SWECON, STOCKHOLM 15-17 JUNE
Saturday started with more books. FB friends Jenny Bristle and Oskar Källner were on the panel ‘I Want to Read Good Books!’ So many good suggestions! Especially interesting: Zen Chu’s Sorcerer to the Crown, Karin Tidbeck’s Amatka, Anna Jakobsson Lund’s Article Three, oh, too many! Jenny Bristle had several that dealt with the subject of religion which is relevant for me since in my books Merlin is in constant battle with the church and its violence, enmity to science and misuse of magic.
A quick sandwich then ‘How to write collaboratively’ with Mike Carey, Linda Carey, Michael Petersen, Gunilla Jonsson, moderated by Sari Polvinen. Oh, I would love to write a novel with these people!
Then my big event for the day. I was asked at the last minute to moderate the panel on ‘Harry Potter 20 år’ (HP 20 years). What a great panel it was with Florence Vilén, Cecilia Larsson Kostenius, Robin Aronsson and Julia Wallstén, all of who had different reasons for loving HP. We even got into a discussion about whether or not HP will last as long as Shakespeare (I always manage to sneak Shakespeare into the discussion). Sorry, no photos but I’ve asked friends to send one if possible.
A real highlight that we almost missed because we signed up late was ‘Coffee with Mike Carey.’ What a lovely man he is! He talked about the filming of ‘The Girl with All the Gifts’, the unexpectedness of the book’s success, of his other projects. Fellside is about to be filmed – hoorah, great book. When I introduced myself as one of the panel members of ‘Stories based on a classical story,’ he apologised for missing my (Ruby’s) Shakespeare talk because he and Linda had arrived when it was already done. He asked about my books and was very gracious.
‘Will we drown, or will we bake?’ was a very interesting panel discussion. I most appreciated Jenny Bristle’s tone of scientific optimism and Edmund Schluessel’s insistence that no real change can happen unless we get rid of the capitalist economic system. Since that’s what my book Protecting Cheesyfee is essentially about, I was glad that these two aspects were discussed. And since Ian Watson was the moderator, we all left this gloom-and-doom discussion singing ‘Always Look on the Bright Side of Life’!
A fun mingle with some of the nerds on the FB group on which I am most active – ‘Nördar som diggar Fantasy och sci fi’ (translation probably not necessary). Some I know in real life, some I met live for the first time. Very enjoyable!
After that, another highlight. My pile of newly bought Mike Carey books and The Girl with All the Gifts brought from home clutched firmly in my arms, I made my way to the signing table. And before I had the chance to lay them all down in front of Mike, he
whipped out The Nature of Things and asked me to sign it. Wow! M.R. Carey bought my book! Can it get much cooler? And then he signed each one of his books with a quote and a very friendly greeting. Ian Watson signed our old used copy of The Garden of Delights but Kij Johnson didn’t sign anything because I’ve only read her stories on line. The other book in the photo is by Cecilia Åhman, and she signed hers for me too!
After the book signing we had no energy left so home again for the evening. Now looking at the program again I see we missed the panel discussion about whether or not Colson Whitehead’s The Underground Railroad is sci-fi/f or not. I would say not, but I wish I had been there to hear the discussion. Ah well.
One day left.