One of the greatest writers in the English language of the modern era, JG Ballard died today after a long illness

I read Ballard from my teens to the present day and will continue to do so. An author whose work I hugely enjoy as a reader, and whose writing skills were second to none.

Bye, Jim. 

Here is an excellent retrospective by Jeff vanderMeer.


Well that was fun!  I survived the Dragons Lair and got to talk to, and thank, most of the panel afterwards.  These included John Jarrold, Pete Crowther, and Gillian Redfearn, and I also met five other nice people, the other finalists.

Eastercon itself was also a whole lot of fun.  I met many people I'd never spoken to before, and cuaght up with several old friends, especially the Milford crew.  It was great to hear about Heather Lindsley's first sale to Asimovs - what a good sale!

So I was roped into David Wake's brilliant play, 'Insidious', stayed up late, did the other thing writers love to do - drink beer and talk about writing.  It all went too fast. 

I'll be back next year and we have plans for three workshops for 2010 instead of this year's one.

Maybe see you there.


Off to Eastercon tomorrow and it's been hectic, with the added bonus of dear old Dad (91) deciding to take the doctors thoughtless advise that he gives up his Meals-on-Wheels food for a week for digestive reasons I shall spare you the details of.  Thanks, Doc.  And thanks also for not bothering to tell anyone else in his care team, nor me, or suggesting any alternatives for his main hot meal of the day.

Calls to social services, arranged for them to cook for dad at no notice whatsover, and I will shop for extra food.  Gosh, how we laughed.  Social Services people are wonderful.  NHS?  Hmmm....

I've been doing loads of reading and prep for the Writer's Workshop my writing group is doing.  3 stories done so far, one left for tonight.  I've also been putting together what I'll need for the Dragon's Lair session - the synopsis, opening pages, plus a few prompt cards. The later hopefully helping me remember my snappy, comprehensive answers to the questions I've tried to anticipate coming from the panel.  As I'm doing a reading too - first ever, but am trying to remember all the rules for public speaking from a course I did some 20 years ago - I've been rehearsing that too.

I've a couple of ideas to make the pitch more memorable and entertaining, but will only do those if the venue looks appropriate.  If you're there, you might see them!