Friday 9 December 2011

The Kitschies - A Steampunk Evening

On Thursday evening I was fortunate enough to be one of the guest authors at The Kitschies Steampunk Evening, held at Blackwell's bookshop on Charing Cross Road.

The Kitschies - promoting intelligent, progressive and entertaining genre literature.

The event was organised by Den Patrick, Jared Shurin and Anne Perry, and was sponsored by Kraken Rum - which, I have to say, is delicious!

Tom Pollock and China Mieville bump knuckles over a large pile of books.

The evening began with Den Patrick (in full steampunk gear) welcoming everyone to the event. Jared Shurin then took over, welcoming the guest authors, artists and other steampunk creators. Next up was Adam Roberts, author and professor of 19th century literature, waxing lyrical about the origins of the modern steampunk movement.

The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus and Anno Frankenstein alongside the other steampunk titles on sale at the evening.

One of the many nice touches that the organisers had arranged were name badges, with sub-titles inspired by the different authors' works. So, you could be a member of the Anti-Traction League from Philip Reeve's Mortal Engines series, a Brobdinagian from Adam Roberts' Swiftly, or even an Agent of the Crown, inspired by my own Ulysses Quicksilver Pax Britannia books.

(I heard a rumour that China Mieville was seen leaving with a copy of The Ulysses Quicksilver Omnibus in hand.)

Mark de Jager, James Long (of Orbit Books) and Den Patrick (steampunk facilitator).

Adam Roberts waxes lyrical.

The event was very well-attended!

The Steamies were out in force!

Jenni Hill (who edited Anno Frankenstein, and now of Orbit Books) displaying her own cephalopod companion.

Frances Hardinge, Philip Reeve and Yours Truly.

The steampunk creators encounter Plarchie the Squid.

The evening had many highlights for me - meeting Philip Reeve, chatting with China Mieville, catching up with my steampunk friends, catching up with the guys from Abaddon/Solaris - but one of the best was catching up with Alex Milway, who I had only actually met in person once before, four years ago, and yet who I've got to know much better online since.

Alex Milway and Gary Northfield.

Alex kindly gave me an embroidered badge inspired by his Mythical 9th Division books.

So all that remains for me to say is a huge thank you to Den, Jared, Anne, Blackwell's and last, but not least, Kraken Rum!

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