From the camp at Frunt End I liked ter look back sumtimes the way we’d come, an see the Road stretchin away from me down into the low lands. Strate as a measurin stick it lay across the ruffness and muddle o them wild places. But instead o feet an inches it was marked with my ‘memberins, and the graves an birthin places o my family.
I could ‘member back to when I was just a bitty girl an we was pushin the Road thru kindly country, along a wide valley with woods an green hills on eyther side an a river windin down its middle like a silvry snake. There was plenty o time in them days fer me an the other kids ter lark an laze along them shady river banks while the growed-ups discuxed how best ter get the Road across, an the smiths an carpinters got busy buildin the bridges that was goin ter carry it.
But that was all so long back that I could scarcely see that green valley now from up at Frunt End; jus the far twistins o that river sumtimes, shinin faintly thru blue distance an white ruffs o mist. Past few years we’d bin climbin agin, up stony steeps where nort but black pines grew, towards high mountins that walled off the sky. The huntin parties had ter go long miles ter gather all the food we needid, an there was scarce enough forage fer the piggs nor grazin fer the cattle nor timber fer makin the gas to fuel our trucks an diggas. The goin was so bad the Road had ter be laid in zig-zags some places, tho each ziggin an zaggin section of it was still strate as a ruler, so Foreman Skrevening sed it did not deviate from Rightchus Strateness…
End of the Road also features stories by Lavie Tidhar, S.L. Grey, Ian Whates, Jay Caselberg, Benjanun Sriduangkaew, Zen Cho, Sophia McDougall, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz, Anil Menon, Rio Youers, Vandana Singh, Paul Meloy, Adam Nevill and Helen Marshall.
It’s available from all good booksellers, or as a digital download here.
This coming Saturday isBristolCon, where I’ll be doing Guest-of-Honouring duties alongside Storm Constantine and Mark Buckingham. If you’re within reach of Bristol and like SF, fantasy and/or meeting lovely and interesting people, I’d highly recommend it.
There will be two packed programmes of panels and readings running throughout the day. My bits will include:
11. – 11.45Kaffeklatsch – which is foreign for a cup of coffee and a natter (cake, too, if I can organise it). It’s too late to book a space, apparently, but there are four available on the day, first come, first served.
16.00 – 16.45 I’ll be interviewed by/in conversation with the brilliant Emma Newman (right) who is the author of the Split Worlds series among many other things. (I’m reading the first, Between Two Thorns at the moment, and it’s excellent.)
16.50 – 16.55 Reading – I guess this crowd will be a bit too old for Oliver and the Seawigs, so I’ll probably read from my story We Know Where We’re Goin’, which appears in the new Solaris Books anthology The End of the Road. (Editor Jonathan Oliver commissioned it at last year’s BristolCon).
18.00 – 18.45 Panel event: Beyond Arthur: We continue to mine the Arthurian legends for fantasy novels, film and TV, but there’s a wealth of more obscure myth and legend anchored in the landscapes and collective memories of Britain, including the South West. Our panel discusses some of the potential inspirations that lurk beyond the beaten paths, in the forests and lakes beyond Avalon.
With Gaie Sebold (moderating), Roz Clarke, Catherine Butler, me, Scott Lewis
The rest of the time I’ll be hanging around the convention, and watching a lot of the other sessions. The programme is packed with good stuff and great speakers, and you can peruse it here. You can also BristolCon on Twitter and Facebook
BristolCon is on Saturday, 26th October at the Doubletree (formerly Ramada) Hotel in Bristol. Membership is £20 if you book in advance, or £25 on the day.