Phonicon, Paintwork, and the Heligan Structure

I’ve done a  short interview about my Doctor Who story The Roots of Evil over on Sarah McIntyre’s blog, which she’s illustrated with this fantastic drawing of the Heligan Structure, the giant space tree in which it all takes place.

Sarah also asked me which actress I thought should play a female Doctor – but you’ll have to look at her blog to see the three I suggested.  In the pictures she’s chosen they all look eerily similar – which they didn’t at all in my mind’s eye; I was thinking more of their personalities or acting styles than their appearances.  But it seems that I subconsciously see the Doctor with a blonde bob…

Thanks to everyone who has re-tweeted and re-posted my bit of Doctor Who news on twitter and elsewhere!

The Roots of Evil is one of the things I’ll be talking about at Phonicon, the Sci-Fi extranaganza which is set to take over Exeter’s Phoenix Arts Centre this coming Sunday (7th April). Doors open at 10.30 a.m., and I’ll be on stage at 11.00, so if you want to see me being interviewed you’ll need to be there good an early. (I’ll probably be hanging around for much of the rest of the day, though, so feel free to come and say hello).

There’s no official bookseller at Phonicon, and I’m not really geared up to sell heaps of my own books. I’ll be bringing a small selection with me, but if you want to get books signed it would probably be best to buy them in advance, or nip over to WHSmiths or one of Exeter’s two branches of Waterstones (all of which are fairly close to the Phoenix).  The Waterstones nearest the cathedral should also have a few copies of The Exeter Riddles, the short book I wrote for the recent Animated Exeter festival.

And finally, here’s a haunting short film by one of my favourite contemporary SF writers, Tim Maughan, (with Alan Tabrett and Laurie Eagle, in association with Arc Magazine). It’s set in Bristol, in a future so near that it’s almost here, and is based on the opening passage of Tim’s powerful anthology Paintwork, which I reviewed on this blog last year. Enjoy – and then, if you haven’t already, read the book!

Animated Exeter

Sarah McIntyre and I had a good day in Exeter on Saturday.  I was commissioned about a year ago to write a story for the city’s animation festival, Animated Exeter. I ended up with a magical adventure called The Exeter Riddles, and festival organiser Susannah Shaw has had it bound in a limited edition of 500, with illuminated capital letters by some local artists and one by Sarah M, whose cute gargoyle is also on the front cover.

So first we signed copies of The Exeter Riddles in Waterstones, which is just a stone’s throw from the cathedral whose carvings inspired the story.  Then we headed over to the Phoenix Arts Centre for a two-hour event. I thought an author talk in an animation festival might seem a bit strange, but a comics event makes perfect sense; there are all sorts of connections between comics and animation. So after I’d talked a bit about the Riddles story things quickly morphed into a comics jam, with the whole audience joining in, telling us what to draw and then making comics of their own.

Meanwhile, Sarah (Reeve) and Sam had been out and about in the streets of Exeter, spotting some of the curious characters who had fallen into the present day through the city’s fraying timelines – all part of the Timewinders street-game, which was loosely inspired by my story.  

Sadly we didn’t have time to have a go at the game, or to hang around for the spectacular closing performance, but everyone I know who has been to events in the festival has had a great time, and it’s been a great privilege to be involved with it.  Look out for Animated Exeter 2014!