Get yer Ben here

Anyone within striking distance of Oxford on May 8 may like to know that The Write Fantastic is holding a 5th anniversary event at St Hilda’s College, of which yours truly will be a part.

My windows shiver as an ignorant nation bellows: “What is The Write Fantastic?” It is “an exciting initiative by professional authors aiming to introduce fantasy fiction to readers who have yet to experience the genre. Its mission is also to ensure existing readers know the full breadth and depth of current fantasy writing.” Said professional authors include such lovely people as Juliet McKenna and Chaz Brenchley and it’s all well worth it.

Anyway, I love mixing with people I first met on a panel of debut novelists at a convention over 10 years ago sharing our experiences about how we got our first novels published and who are now leading lights in their field with sales in a list of countries as long as your arm and not feeling remotely bitter about it (hi, Jules!).

And before that, on 6-7 March I’ll be in Exeter for the university SF society’s annual Microcon. Remembering the extremely steep hill you have to get up and down to arrive at or leave the campus, I expect to be marginally fitter on 8 March than I was three days earlier.

Lovely as it would be to see the same familiar faces at both these, I might start to worry that I’m being stalked if I do.