Showing posts from July, 2015

EdgeLit Derby - Enlightened by Grimdark

This last weekend, I went to a convention in Derby for fantasy/sci-fi/horror writers, called EdgeLit.  It was the first time I had been to this or any convention - except for the time I went to pick up my James White Award at the 2005 Hugos, which was a flying-visit blur of nerves, Alan Lee, and people in Ming the Merciless cloaks.  This time, I had actually paid  to go.  It turned out to be a very enjoyable day, both inspiring and entertaining. As is often the case with such things, one of the best sessions was one I only decided to go to at the last minute: a panel discussion entitled  Into the Grimdark – Is Darker Fantasy a Trend, or Here to Stay? The discussion began with an attempt to define Grimdark as a sub-genre.  There was some disagreement as to whether George RR Martin ( Game of Thrones etc.) came under this heading.  I think it was generally agreed that Scott Lynch's Locke Lamora books did.  As far as I now understand it, Grimdark is

Come into the House

12th July sees the publication of Come into the House , a new anthology from Corazon Books, showcasing the winners and short-listed entries from a  competition they ran in partnership with The Historic Houses Association (HHA), to write a short story either inspired by or set in a historic house. One of those stories is my tale, "The Yorkshire Defiance," inspired by Shibden Hall in Halifax, West Yorkshire.  Outside the local area, Shibden is best known for being home to lesbian diarist and landowner Anne Lister in the 19th century.   Read my blog on Anne Lister and Charlotte Bronte's "Shirley" But there is much more to the Hall than Anne Lister.  When I went to Shibden Hall to write my entry for the competition - "in situ" - I drew inspiration from 18th-century family portraits in the Great Hall, and from earlier members of the Lister family. One such character was Martha Lister, who grew up at the Hall along with her sisters, attending t