Today on Ujima: WWI, Music Courses & Fair Trade

I’m online at the Ujima studios because I have a meeting this evening and won’t be home until late. Getting some blogging done is a much better use of my time than going shopping.

Today’s show began with my friend Eugene Byrne talking about his new book about Bristol during World War I. Eugene has collected a lot of great stories. The book, Bravo Bristol!, is available on Amazon around the world, but if you want to get a preview of the material there is a website and a free app (which includes suggested walking tours).

The next half hour featured some people from the Trinity Centre who are running music courses for young people. As luck would have it, I had a studio full of teenagers on a National Citizenship Scheme course. They didn’t have a lot of interest in WWI, but once we mentioned music they all lit up and basically took over the show. One of them was even texting his mates getting questions to ask.

You can listen to the first hour here.

The second hour of the show was all about the Fair Trade movement, featuring our good friend Jenny Foster whom I have had on the show before. With her was Lucy Gatward from the Better Food Company. It was an interesting and wide-ranging conversation. Also I got to explain who Thor really is. Because it is radio you did not see me playing air guitar in the studio.

You can listen to the second hour here.

The playlist for today’s show was:

  • My Heart Belongs to Daddy – Ella Fitzgerald
  • It’s Too Darn Hot – Billie Holiday
  • Hot Stuff – Donna Summer
  • Boogie Nights – Heatwave
  • It’s Raining Men – The Weather Girls
  • Purple Rain – Prince
  • Higher Love – Denise Pearson
  • Dr. Meaker – Dr. Meaker

The final two tracks were recorded live on the main stage at Bristol Pride and appear courtesy of Shout Out Radio.

Posted in Books, Environment, Food, History, Music, Radio | Leave a comment

Beth Gwinn Photo Kickstarter

Neil Gaiman

My friend Beth Gwinn, who has been the main photographer for Locus for as long as I can remember, has a Kickstarter campaign going to fund production of a book of her photographs of science fiction and fantasy writers. The above photo of Neil Gaiman is a sample of her work. I used that photo because one of the rewards available is that Neil will be signing 3 copies of a previously un-published print of him. Beth is a great photographer. I do hope this gets off the ground. More more information, see the Kickstarter page.

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The Kids Are Revolting, In a Good Way

Last night’s BristolCon Fringe meeting was very interesting in two ways. Firstly, Ken Shinn had us agog with a tale about a demonic version of Benny Hill who has a drunken otter for a familiar. In addition our other guest, Andy Goodman, had some very interesting things to say in the Q&A.

Andy writes fiction primarily aimed at teenage boys. I asked him about that market, and was delighted to hear him say that there is now pressure from publishers for authors to move away from the “books for boys / books for girls” marketing philosophy, and instead to produce books that can be enjoyed by young people regardless of their gender.

It is not entirely clear why, and it may well be in part due to the pressure that parents have been putting on them. However, Andy’s anecdotal evidence suggests that practical experience has played a part. I’ve been saying for years that if you pinkify a book then boys are not going to read it. It appears that the message has got through to publishers that by packaging books by women as “for girls” they are cutting off half of their potential audience. Here’s hoping that this message spreads throughout the publishing industry.

The audio from the readings should be online early in August.

Posted in Feminism, Publishing, Readings, Weird | Leave a comment

Leah Moore Interview

I have just uploaded the full version of the interview with Leah Moore than I made while I was in Liverpool. In addition to the material that we broadcast on Ujima Radio, this version contains a discussion of the Electricomics venture that she has started with (amongst others) her father and her husband, John Reppion, with the support of the Digital R&D Fund for the Arts.

For more information about Electricomics see their website, or follow them on Twitter and Facebook.

The Digital R&D Fund for the Arts is a £7 million fund from Arts Council England, the Arts and Humanities Research Council and Nesta to support collaboration between arts projects, technology providers and researchers to explore the potential of increasing audience engagement or find new business models. Separate Digital R&D Fund for the Arts are being run in Wales and in Scotland.

DRD logo

Posted in Comics, Feminism, Podcasts, Salon Futura | Leave a comment

August Plans

People have been starting to ask me which conventions I will be at during August, so I thought that a post would be useful.

I won’t be at Nine Worlds. I have to get work done some time, and there’s a limit to the number of conventions I can afford.

I will be in London during Worldcon. I won’t be on any panels, and I’m not planning on spending much time actually at the convention. This is mainly a case of self-care. However, I do want to catch up with as many visiting friends as possible, so if you fancy getting together for a coffee or something please let me know.

I will be at Eurocon in Dublin, and I’m hoping to be on program. I have to leave on Sunday because of an event in Bristol on Monday, but the flight is very late so I should be there for all of the official stuff except the Porterhouse.

I have hotel rooms booked for both events. In both cases these have double beds but they might be switchable to twins. Let me know if you are looking for somewhere to stay.

Also Kevin has a membership for Dublin that he won’t be able to use. If you are looking for one cheap, get in touch.

I have one accommodation issue outstanding. Every year I have to get declared sane by a gender specialist in London (otherwise they’ll stop my hormones, which will drive me crazy). I have an appointment for the Tuesday after Worldcon, but no hotel booking for Monday night. If anyone can put me up for that one night I’d be very grateful.

Posted in Conventions | 1 Comment

Juliet & the Waterstones Count

Yesterday Juliet McKenna put up a long post looking at the issue of how SF&F books are promoted by Waterstones. She has had some friends doing a survey of stores around the country. It looks like there is some pretty good evidence that the feature tables for SF&F are biased in favor of male authors. This is one of the issues we discussed at the Women & Publishing panel at Finncon, where I noted that the last time I was in the Bristol store the counts were 5/35 for fantasy, and 0/35 for SF. If you assumed that the store staff thought Robin Hobb was a man, the fantasy count would change to 3/35.

Juliet makes some excellent points about how Waterstones are hurting their own sales by this behavior. There are plenty of women who read SF&F. Indeed, as another data point, the majority of members of The Emporium Strikes Back, the SF&F book club at Mr. B’s, are women. But why is the effect Juliet notes happening, and what can be done?

Obviously lack of knowledge by buyers and store staff is a contributing issue. Heck, the SF&F table at my local store has disappeared completely since we’ve had a change in management. But even when there is knowledge it doesn’t always filter through. Last year, when Juliet first started making a fuss about this issue, my local manager wrote to head office asking why she was given so few women SF&F books to stock. The buyer wrote back enthusing about something called Ancillary Justice that they expected to be a big seller. And yet, when it came out, my local store wasn’t sent any copies, and the book still isn’t getting pushed much in any store I have seen despite the heap of award wins.

Then of course there is the whole issue of publishers, the editorial staff of whom appear to be mostly female. Yet they too appear to mostly push SF&F by male writers at the expense of women. At Finncon Elizabeth Bear noted that she found UK publishers much more hostile to women SF writers than in the USA.

With all this in mind, I found this article on Mashable very interesting. It reports on an academic study of middle managers in large US corporations, and looked at how those managers’ performance was rated on the basis of their hiring choices. As a back-up, the study was replicated as an experiment using college students role-playing the senior management, and this produced similar results.

What the study found is that, although the corporations has policies advocating diversity, and although white male managers were praised for making diverse hires, female managers and PoC managers were given negative performance evaluations if they recruited people like them.

This appears to be telling us two things. Firstly prejudice is probably much more ingrained and subconscious than we like to think. And secondly women and PoC who are in a position to improve diversity within in their organizations are likely to damage their careers if they do so. No wonder this stuff is so hard to shift.

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July Fringe

Since I have got back from Finland pretty much all I have wanted to do is sleep. However, it has just penetrating my fogged brain that there will be a BristolCon Fringe event on Monday, which I guess I must be hosting.

The two readers are Andy Goodman & Kenneth Peter Shin. Ken has a story in Airship Shape & Bristol Fashion, which he read at Fringe a while back. I’m looking forward to seeing what he comes up with next. I don’t know anything about Andy, so I guess I’d better do some sleuthing before Monday evening.

Anyway, I hope to see some of you there. Also we’ll be trialing the new amp that Jo has bought, which hopefully means much better quality recordings.

Update: via Pete Sutton on Twitter it appears that Andy Goodman is indeed this chap.

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The Finncon LGBT Reading Lists

As promised, I have posted the LGBT Reading Lists that Suzanne Van Rooyen and I produced for the panel at Finncon. You can find them here.

My apologies to everyone I have left out. I’m sure that there are lots of other fine books and authors we could have recommended.

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Girl On Film

A couple of years ago I was interviewed for something called the Trans*Geek Movie. It is essentially a documentary project about trans people who are involved in geekdom. The project is being run on a shoestring so it is taking a bit of time to come to fruition, but last weekend a preview was shown at GaymerX2, the QUILTBAG gamer conference in San Francisco. Much to my surprise, parts of the interview with me were included. The whole thing is available on YouTube, and my bit starts around 9:40 (though I recommend that you watch all of it).

My first reaction was, of course, “OMG, I look so FAT!!!” That, of course, is my own fault for being so fond of good food, and not exercising enough. However, I seem to look better on film that I do in photos, the voice sounds OK, and most importantly I do not seem to have said anything particularly stupid.

My thanks once again to Mr. B’s Emporium of Reading Delights for allowing me to use their store for the interview.

Posted in Gaming, Gender, Movies | 1 Comment

National Diversity Awards

So, yeah, popular vote stuff. Probably mainly an excuse for big corporations to advertise their support for diversity without actually having to practice it, and for celebrities to charge for their endorsement. And of course the awards will go to those people and organizations that work hardest on social media to get the vote out. But that’s a game anyone can play and as I have stupidly large numbers of “friends” and “followers” I should do my bit for organizations that are important to me.

In particular I’d like you to endorse the nominations of Ujima Radio and Bristol Pride. Ujima absolutely deserves it. I mean, how many other minority-ethnic community radio stations are going to let a trans woman talk to science fiction writers on their main women’s interest programme? And Bristol Pride needs your help. It is a great show, it is genuinely trans-inclusive, it got voted the second-best Pride in the UK last year, and yet the City Council has voted to withdraw all funding for next year. Here are the links:

All you have to do is given them an email address they can verify. There doesn’t seem to be any requirement for voters to be UK-based.

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Yesterday on Ujima – The Green Power Show

What I should have been doing yesterday was sleeping. What I actually did was host a 2-hour radio show on climate change and green power issues.

We started out with a pre-recorded interview with Tobias Buckell whose new novel, Hurricane Fever, is just out (and is a lot of fun). I have a longer version of the interview that I’ll be posting on Salon Futura in due course. The reason I had Tobias on the show was that his latest books talk a lot about the effect of climate change on the planet, and in particular on the Caribbean.

Next up were Tasha & Tin from the Avon Coalition Against Big Biofuels. This was mainly a discussion about how all biomass is not equal. Chopping down rain forests in South-East Asia and transporting the wood to the UK to be burned is not, by any stretch of the imagination, green.

You can listen to the first hour here.

At 1:00pm we were joined by Steve Norman who is part of a group protesting about existing activities at Avonmouth. Any wonder what happened to your household refuse? If you happen to live in the South-West of England much of it got baled up and stored at Avonmouth docks waiting to be shipped to Scandinavia for incineration. The local seagulls got rather excited about this, and once the bales had been pecked open the local flies took an interest and started breeding. It got so unpleasant event the Prime Minister was moved to comment. And as there are not enough incinerators in the UK to cope, the stuff is now going into landfill again.

This is, of course, a complicated issue. Ideally we’d throw away less refuse, but recycling facilities in the UK are dreadful and the amount of packaging on things we buy keeps going up. Incineration is better than landfill, but incinerating safely is challenging and companies are tempted to cut corners. Also the ash left after incineration is nasty stuff. So we end up exporting refuse to countries who are prepared to pay for proper incineration, or whose inhabitants don’t protest incinerators as loudly.

My final guest was Harriet from the Centre for Sustainable Energy because I wanted to end by talking about what we can do to help with the energy issue. The CSE does a lot of good work helping people reduce their energy use, and even generate their own. I was particularly interested in Harriet’s comments that people are much less likely to protest green power schemes (such as wind and solar farms) if they are community-owned, and supply power direct to the community, as is generally the case in Germany and Scotland, rather than being owned by multi-national corporations and feeding into the Grid, as is the case in England.

You can listen to the second half of the show here.

The music for the show was chosen by the guests, mostly by Tin. The songs were:

  • Breathing Underwater – Metric
  • 007, A Fantasy Bond Theme – Barray Adamson
  • Green Garden – Laura Mvula
  • Appletree – Erykah Badu
  • Everyday Life Has Become a Health Risk – Disposable Heroes of Hiphoprisy
  • Electioneering – Exit Music feat. Morgan Heritage
  • Sleeping In – Postal Service
  • The First Cut is the Deepest – I-Roy

And here, just for you, Tobias, is Barray Adamson once again.

Posted in Books, Current Affairs, Environment, Music, Radio | Leave a comment

Post-Finncon

Today we traveled back to Helsinki from Jyväskylä. As usual, my Finnish friends insisted on showing me some of the best parts of their beautiful country.

The day began with breakfast with Irma at a cafe on a place called Women’s Island. I have no idea where the name came from, but the island is in part of the network of lakes and waterways that surrounds Jyväskylä. There are a couple of hydro-power stations on the island: an old one which is now a bat sanctuary, and a new one that actually provides power. There is also a large lock that we got to see in operation as a Finnish family on a boating holiday came through while we were looking around.

While we were eating a red squirrel wandered into the cafe gardens. Wisely it wasn’t going to let the very large cat get too close, but Paula managed to sneak up and get a good picture.

Red squirrel

In the afternoon we took the scenic route back to Helsinki. The road Otto took ran along a narrow ridge between two lakes and had some magnificent views.

Back in Helsinki we checked out some of the new construction by the railway station. It is mainly offices, but several of the buildings have restaurants on the ground floor. A place called Eatos doesn’t sound very promising, but Otto had seen it recommended in the Helsinki Sanomat so we checked it out. The food was seriously good. So if you want Mexican food in Helsinki you now know where to go.

I’m flying back to London tomorrow and will be offline most of the day. Then it is back into the Ujima studio on Wednesday, for which I have an interview with Tobias Buckell.

Posted in Food, Nature, Radio, Travel | Leave a comment

Finncon – Day 4

I’m just back from the dead dog party. It is very late, so this will be brief.

Hannu’s Guest of Honor event was wonderful. He talked for about 20 minutes on the history and symbolism of spacesuits. Then he read a really lovely short story about one of the black seamstresses who hand-sewed the spacesuits for the Apollo astronauts. I very much hope that story will appear online in due course.

The Women & Publishing panel went well. Elizabeth Bear, Tanya Tynjälä & Johanna Sinisalo were all wonderful as expected (and all had very different perspectives from around the globe). I was also delighted to make the acquaintance of a rising star of Finnish fiction, Salla Simukka. She’s very smart, she’s as good as Gail Carriger when it comes to fashion, and the first book of her trilogy is out in English in August. The panel was apparently so engrossing that our program gopher forgot to watch the time and tell us when to stop.

I went straight from there to the LGBT panel. It had been put in one of the smaller programming rooms, but on the basis of similar panels at other events I expected about half a dozen people, all of whom identified as LGBT. When I got to the room I found that it was packed solid and people were being turned away, 10 minutes before the scheduled start. Suzanne van Rooyen and Markku Soikkeli helped me put together a great panel, though we really only scratched the surface of the topic. I’ve been talking to the Archipelacon programming people about doing something similar, in a bigger room, next year.

Thankfully the hall costume judging was mostly done by the time I got there, so my lack of brain cells did not cause any problems. Closing ceremonies went very smoothly, and I got a couple of hours power-napping before the dead dog, which helped me survive the evening. Now I need sleep.

I’ll be doing at least two more posts in due course. One will be the reading list from the LGBT panel. The other will be the photos from the masquerade which Joonas Puuppo has kindly sent me.

Posted in Conventions, Finland | 3 Comments

Finncon – Day 3

First up today was my LGBT superheroes talk. I didn’t count the audience, but it looked like at least 50 people. They laughed in all of the right places, which is good.

Then I had a panel on “likeable” characters with Rjurik Davidson, Hannu Rajaniemi & Jukka Halme. I had a bit of a rant about people who pan a book because it doesn’t have any characters that they like. We all agreed that being interesting was much more important than being liked. It was noted that M. John Harrison hasn’t written a likeable character in his life, but that doesn’t stop him being a brilliant writer. And of course one group of characters that everyone loves is the Daleks.

I got taken to lunch at the home of the best cook in Jyväskylä. I never thought that I would have got so excited over spinach soup.

In the afternoon we had the masquerade. That went well in the end, but had a major organizational problem. Against all usual practice the convention asked us to present the contest, judge and give out prizes all in the space of an hour and a half. They told me they had a half time show organized for while the judging was taking place. I pointed out that I could not host the half time show and chair the judging. Jukka Särkijärvi kindly volunteered to hold the fort for me, and I stupidly assumed that the planned entertainment would give us time to deliberate. You know what happens when you assume something, don’t you.

Poor Jukka was left hung out to dry for about 20 minutes. Thankfully something got done to help out (I have no idea what). The first thing I did when I got back was to give a prize to the guy in Cylon armor so he could go and take it off. Otherwise we would have waited until we got to the people in contention for Best in Show.

We had 15 entries this year, including one large group. I actually got to be part of one act. Marianna Leikomaa and a friend had planned to do Emma Frost and Jean Grey arguing over Cyclops. The friend could not turn up, so Kisu made use of a convenient redhead. The jury (without my knowledge) decided to award her the price of Best Use of a Prop.

Some of the entries this year were of very high quality. Petri Hiltunen and Hannele Parviala both had beautiful make-up jobs. There was the aforementioned Cylon. There was a lovely elf costume. Alex Rowland, a young fan of Scott Lynch, had an amazing dress that had around 200 hours of hand-stitching and texturing in its manufacture. However, once again it was Simo Nousiainen who blew everyone away. This year he did Geralt the Witcher from the works of Andrzej Sapkowski.

Hopefully I’ll be able to source some good photos for you over the next few days. I was far too busy to take any.

My thanks to my fabulous jury – Hannu Rajaniemi, Jukka Halme, Tanya Tynjälä and Jenny Teerikangas – to all of the wonderful contestants, and especially to Jukka Särkijärvi for keeping the audience entertained while we did the judging.

After the show we went to Harald for dinner. Hannu and I had one of the set meals that came on a large, sword-shaped skewer. It was fabulous. Bear and Scott were blown away by the wonder of tar ice cream.

In the evening we had the Guest of Honor filks. Those for Jukka and Hannu were written in Finnish, so I have no idea what they were about, but judging by the laughter they were very funny. Bear’s was good too. She will probably blog the lyrics at some point. We also celebrated Toni Jerrman’s birthday. It was a significant one of some sort. I think he might be 25. In duo-years.

That’s it for the day. Tomorrow I have two more panels, and judging for the hall costumes, followed by the dead dog. Given how tired I am, there may be a dead cat too.

Posted in Conventions, Costuming, Food | Leave a comment

Finncon – Day 2

This morning it was back to the academic conference. Who would have thought that a discussion about biological determinism would arise from a close reading of the Narnia books?

Most importantly for you folks, it has been confirmed that there will be an academic track at Archipelacon next year. A Call for Papers will be issued in due course.

After lunch we opened the convention with the traditional Hugo Panel. I ducked out this year because I haven’t had time to read much of the ballot as yet (and frankly don’t want to have to read all of it). Also I needed to do some preparation for the other panel of the day in which I had to interview Elizabeth Bear, Scott Lynch and Hannu Rajaniemi about writing. That seemed to go rather well.

Talking of Hannu, the fine folks at Rosebud books have managed to acquire advance copies of The Causal Angel (which is not out in the UK until Tuesday or so). I have bought one. I could be reading it rather than blogging. Good night.

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Finncon – Day 1

Despite being up into the small hours watching Argentina & Netherlands try to bore each other into submission, Otto, Paula and I were up early this morning to drive to Jyväskylä. It is around a 3 hour trip, but we needed time for a break along the way and to allow for Unexpected Roadworks. In the Finnish summer there are always Unexpected Roadworks, the unexpected thing being exactly where they are, not that they will be happening.

For our break we stopped at Karoliinan Kahvimylly, which is the sweetest little coffee house I have ever seen.

Karoliinan Kahvimylly

The cakes were amazing. We had cinnamon buns. One each. That was lunch. I could not have eaten any more.

Despite the Unexpected Roadworks, which turned out to be the closure of the main highway into Jyväskylä from the south, about 30 km from the city, we arrived at the University in good time. It was great to see Irma Hirsjärvi again. As usual her kindess managed to embarrass me. This time I got presented with a honorary membership of Finfar, the Finnish Society for Science Fiction & Fantasy Research.

The first batch of papers were all very interesting. Hopefully several of them will turn up in Fafnir at some point in the future. We have another batch scheduled for tomorrow, but this evening it was time for sauna.

So: there was beer, there was roasting of sausages over an open wood fire, there were rooms that were hot & steamy, and there was skinny-dipping in the (surprisingly warm) Lake Doom (English translation, so called, as Bear reminded us, because Victor von Doom once had a secret base on the lake floor). There was also a considerable quantity of Death Whisky consumed (Jura Superstition, which you will understand if you have ever seen the bottle).

I shall leave Bear to report on her first experience of sauna. She has Nordic ancestry and clearly has the genes for it.

Meanwhile, as Irma is picking me up at 9:10 tomorrow for the rest of the academic conference, I am going to do some serious re-hydration.

Posted in Academic, Conventions, Finland | 2 Comments

Finncon, Day 0

Bear & Scott: “We’re very sorry, thanks to a mechanical problem we missed our connection in Iceland and we’ll be a few hours late.”

Finns: “Yeah, no worries. We remember when an airline lost Joe Haldeman. We coped with that. It will be OK.”

In other news, I think I have now done all of the necessary prep for my panels at Finncon. I have also eaten blueberry & cardamon ice cream, and tried a local coffee stout. The former was spectacular, the latter nice but not up to Wildebeest standard.

Tomorrow I’ll be off to Jyväskylä for the start of the Finfar academic convention. I read the papers on the flight over. There’s the usual mix of quality, as you might expect from students. If you’d like to get a taste of the sort of thing Finnish academics produce you can take a look at Fafnir, the Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research.

Posted in Academic, Conventions, Finland, Science Fiction | Leave a comment

Fringe Special at Word of Mouth

Once a year the BristolCon crowd takes over Word of Mouth, a monthly reading series run by Tangent Books and hosted by the Thunderbolt pub. Normally we’d put these readings on the BristolCon Fringe podcast stream, but that has limited capacity and these readings turned out to be quite long, so they are being hosted by Salon Futura instead.

The three readers are Pete Sutton, Joanne Hall and Scott Lewis. In Part 1 Pete’s story is a rare (for him) science fiction piece. Jo reads from her latest novel, The Art of Forgetting: Nomad. And Scott reads the first part of a steampunk horror story that will conclude in Part 2.

In part 2 Joanne Hall reads from a currently unsold novel, The Summer Goddess. Pete Sutton reads a story from a collection he is writing in which each story is inspired by the counting magpies folk song. Scott Lewis reads the rest of the story that he started in Part 1. It goes on a little, but we were all on the edge of our seats and encouraged Scott to read the whole thing rather than leave us wondering.

My thanks to Richard Jones of Tangent for inviting us to read, and to Dave from the Thunderbolt for being a fine host.

Posted in Podcasts, Readings, Salon Futura | Leave a comment

A Colinthology Review

As part of her quest to find the best fiction set in Bristol, Joanna Papageorgiou has set Colinthology against Mark Wright’s Heartman. I’m not in the least surprised that Heartman won. It’s not like TV companies have been beating a path to my door or anything. However, I was really pleased that Joanna took time out to read Colinthology and write thoughtfully about it. You can find her comments on the two books here.

I was amused that Joanna found pubs to be a common theme of both books. I suspect that Colin and Mark would have become fast friends if they had met, and would have spent ages enthusing to each other about obscure beers.

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June Fringe Podcasts

The audio from the June Fringe meeting is now online. I continue to cringe about the sound quality, but Jo has recently invested in a new amp, so hopefully the next set of readings will be much better.

David J. Rodger was our first reader. He presented a Cthulhu Mythos tale set in Nazi-occupied Norway during WWII. David is clearly aware that all Finns are evil witches.

Pete Sutton gave us a quick peek at a novel he is writing, featuring seven Crusader knights. He followed that by another of his magpie stories.

Finally we have the traditional Q&A.

There are lots of things arising from that which require notes.

When Pete mentions that Jo writes Grimdark he is, of course, referring to our own Joanne Hall, not that Abercrombie fellow who doesn’t have nearly the same body count.

We mention that Pete read another magpie story at something called Word of Mouth. I do have the audio from that, but it turned out to be too long for the BristolCon podbean account (without upgrading) so I’m going to run it on Salon Futura.

David makes mention of something called BRP. That’s Chaosium’s Basic Role Playing system, which formed the core of all of the rule sets they produced back in the day.

If you’d like to know more about David’s work with the Cthulhu Mythos, he has a guest post about it on Pete’s blog. I’d like to have a much longer chat with him about how you use the Mythos these days. A pub event after he’d had a few beers was not the right time to do it.

The deadly Call of Cthulhu scenario that David refers to is “Roots” by Simon Brake which appears in the collection, Things We Leave Behind from Stygian Fox.

And finally, Wikipedia has little to say about alternative versions of the magpie song, other than to confirm Pete’s assertion that the version he is using is older than the one used by the TV programme.

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