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The Brighton Readings: Part One

November 8th, 2013

taking care of business at WFC compressedCall me the warrior scop. Maybe I didn’t battle monsters at this year’s World Fantasy Convention in Brighton, but I did spend some time beating back gale-force winds that rivaled those of England’s Great Storm of 1987. And I did get a chance to wield an artisan-made sword from a dealers-room display. So maybe I was a warrior. Sort of? Humor me.

The scop part might be easier to defend.

I spent my first evening in Brighton at the University of Brighton’s Center for Teaching and Learning, where I read excerpts from Visions and spoke about the process of writing for publication. Arranged by Drs. Gina Wisker and Vedrana Velickovic, the event attracted some enthusiastic students and writers, many of whom submitted questions that I promised to address in an upcoming blog. More on that soon.

After the University reading, I headed south to World Fantasy where I spent most of my time in the Reading Café, a spoken-word venue organized by Martel Sardina. (That’s Martel below, introducing Thomas F. Monteleone.)

Martel Sardina and Thomas F. MonteleoneAmong the Reading Café’s highlights were presentations by F. Paul Wilson, Simon Kurt Unsworth, and Thomas F. Monteleone – three guys that I make a point of catching every chance I get. They’re fine storytellers.

Tom in particular has a style that qualifies as performance art. He doesn’t simply read his stories. He acts them out, assuming the posture and voice of each character – a device that worked perfectly for his Reading Café story: “Yog-Sothoth, Superstar,” from Songs of Cthulhu. Composed as a series of emails, faxes, reviews, and telephone conversations, “Superstar” made for an excellent performance piece.

Flashing the V sign in Brighton

My own WFC presentation took place on Saturday. The audience was terrific, with some of them hanging around afterward to flash their V signs. Great people . . . a terrific time.

Since the reading was recorded, I’ll be back soon with a link and a complete report on my University presentation.

Until then, keep flashing those Vs . . . and scop on!