Paul Kincaid, Nick Hubble, Victoria Hoyle, me, Maureen Kincaid Speller, Helen Marshall. Photo by Will Ellwood – thanks, Will!
Just back from two days in London, where among other things I enjoyed a fabulous evening at the Clarke Award ceremony, where a sizeable Sharke contingent was strongly in evidence (see above). The conversation at dinner afterwards was – as I’m sure you can imagine – pretty lively. We were only sorry that Vajra, Jonathan, and Megan were unable to join us.
I’m still mulling over the whole Sharke experience, trying to get my thoughts in order not about the books in contention – I think we pretty much covered those – so much as the insights gained into the state of critical discourse within SFF, not to mention my own priorities as a critic and as a novelist. Being involved with the Sharke has affected me on many levels, and I hope to write about that at greater length in the not-too-distant future.
For now, I just want to thank my fellow Sharkes for their commitment, their enthusiasm, their passion, their insights and their company these past seven months. It’s been a privilege and the greatest of pleasures. Swim on.
“The big one, though, is that representation matters: a female Doctor will tell little girls they can play the lead, just as Wonder Woman told them they could be a superhero. There’s a video going round Twitter at the moment of a girl, perhaps nine years old, watching the BBC as the casting is revealed, completely silent until the very end. Only then does she turn to the camera with the biggest grin you’ve ever seen and scream, “The new Doctor’s a girl!” That is why this is a great day, right there.”
(Jonn Elledge, New Statesman.)
“An intellectual is someone who challenges binary oppositions, bridges cultural gaps, has the cognitive flexibility to connect various disciplines and passionately defends a nuanced way of thinking.
Intellectuals should be bold and loud and yes, offensive. It is high time to stop denigrating the term. At least out of respect for those people who pay a heavy price in other parts of the world just to be a public intellectual.”
(Elif Safak on the Denigration of the Public Intellectual.)
My second novel The Rift is published today. Huge thanks to the team at Titan for taking such sensitive care of the manuscript and for bringing the book out into the world – you are wonderful people.
For those in the Glasgow area, I shall be launching The Rift formally at Waterstone’s Argyle Street this Thursday, July 13th at 18:30 pm. Neil Williamson (The Moon King) has very kindly agreed to act as questionmaster? interrogator? and there will be a chance to ask your own questions afterwards.
For those not lucky enough to live in Scotland, I will also be signing copies in London at Forbidden Planet, Friday July 28th 6 – 7 pm.
Once again, a huge thank you to the many wonderful friends and colleagues who have offered their unstinting encouragement and support as The Rift journeyed towards publication. No book ever happens in a vacuum, and the discussions, deliberations and free-ranging book-chats that happen along the way are often among the most rewarding parts of the process. Thank you all.