My Beautiful Loncon Schedule

Worldcon aka Loncon 3 is, terrifyingly, in two weeks time. Obviously, I’m completely organised and totally calm about that. Yes. Good. And I have a schedule! Of stuff! It’s really awesome. Here it is:

The Girls Who Waited

Friday 19:00 – 20:00, Capital Suite 11 (ExCeL)

Last year, in an essay for The Guardian, Anna Smith highlighted the lack of on-screen time-travel stories with female protagonists. In works as varied as Doctor Who, Quantum Leap, The Time-Traveller’s Wife, About Time, The Terminator, and Back to the Future, women are either companions or observers. Is this simply a question of men being given an agency denied to women, or is there something more complex going on? What stories is time travel being used to tell? Which films and TV shows do feature time travelling women? Which women are allowed to travel, and what do their stories have in common?

Russell Blackford (M), L. M. Myles, Sarah Ash, MaryAnn Johanson, Andy Duncan

The Daughters of Buffy

Saturday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 4 (ExCeL)

At the end of last year, to mark ten years since the broadcast of the final season of Buffy the Vampire Slayer on the BBC, Naomi Alderman made a special edition of the Radio 4 programme Front Row, featuring interviews with cast, creator, and critics. Among other things, she asked what the show’s legacy had been, and whether the right lessons — female characters written as well as men, given as much narrative importance as men, and surrounded by other women — had been learned. We’ll listen to her programme, and then the panel will discuss: who are Buffy’s heirs?

Foz Meadows (M), L. M. Myles, Dr. Tansy Rayner Roberts, Sarah Shemilt, Emma England

Into Every Generation A Captain Kirk is Born?

Saturday 15:00 – 16:30, Capital Suite 3 (ExCeL)

The twenty-first century is the time of the reboot. From Star Trek to Doctor Who, Man of Steel to The Mandarin, iconic SF and fantasy franchises and characters are being reinvented — often by those who grew up as fans (most often, men who grew up as fans), but with a mass audience in mind. How do viewers and creators navigate (or fail to navigate) the power differentials that result? What different approaches do such works of “professional fanfiction” take to revising their source material, and how do they affect viewers’ and fans’ engagement?

Nicolle Lamerichs (M), Lise Andreasen , Mélanie Bourdaa, L. M. Myles, C. Robert Cargill

Lizard Wizards in Space! Bethesda vs Bioware

Sunday 11:00 – 12:00, Capital Suite 1 (ExCeL)

Panel examining the impact of Bioware and Bethesda videogames on recent gaming experiences. Baldur’s Gate, Mass Effect, Dragon Age and Skyrim have all advanced player experiences in games, providing us with rich worlds, exciting possibilties and diverse characters to play. Both companies pride themselves on allowing the player to choose their own pathway through the game, and to experience each world on their own terms. This panel investigates the strengths and weakness of these games, and looks at the ways they are influencing play.

Jenni Hill (M), Sylvia Wrigley, L. M. Myles, J.W. Alden , Ashley M.L. Brown PhD

A Rubber Chicken on a Pulley – Celebrating Text and Point and Click Adventures

Sunday 16:30 – 18:00, Capital Suite 15 (ExCeL)

We are still playing point and click adventures – on our phones, on Steam and online; and the legacy of games like Monkey Island, The Hitchhiker’s Guide to the Galaxy and Broken Sword are still resonating in gaming culture, with newbies Double Fine and Telltale Games making fantastic new offerings in the tradition of the old. What can point and click and text adventures bring to contemporary gaming, and why are they still so important to us?

L. M. Myles (M), Helena Nash, Frances Foster, David Dingwall, Ed Fortune

I Am The Law

Monday 13:30 – 15:00, Capital Suite 6 (ExCeL)

Law is a neglected aspect of genre worldbuilding; whether Our Heroes are enforcing it or finding themselves on the wrong side of it, the workings and rationale of the system tend to be largely opaque. Our legal team is asked: If you were designing a legal system from the invented ground up, what would you put in it? How might the demands of different fantastical worlds and their citizens vary — from Moon colonies and AIs to Imperial Courts and dragons? And what legal realities have you encountered that are far too strange even for fiction?

Simon Bradshaw (M), Francis Davey, L. M. Myles, Melinda Snodgrass , Liz Zitzow

I’ll also be at the Hugos, being all cool and dignified, I’m sure, and helping out at the Welcome Party on Friday (2100 – 2300) where, if you’re new to conventions or feeling a bit socially arg, you can come along and meet lovely people and find some with shared interests and make the whole thing a little less arg.

So, yes, lots of stuff…should probably figure out how I’m getting to London and book some tickets or something.

Oh, and before all that, Nine Worlds! Which shall have its own lovely post. Just as exciting, but terrifying for Whole Other Reasons, hurrah!

Farewell, delicious readers!


Verity! Big Finish Round Table

This week’s Verity! has three whole guests on it! Or two, if you think we cheated by including me. But two guests! All novel and exciting for us. And there’s a competition, with prizes from Big Finish, ra! Behold:


“We at Verity! often jabber on about Big Finish, but this time we thought we’d let some experts do the jabbering for us. Join Deb, Erika, and Liz (who is actually one of the experts in question) as we chat with a couple special guests. Yes, we have not one, not two, but three Big Finish writers in the house! Una McCormack makes an overdue return, and we’re delighted to welcome Caroline Symcox to the podcast!

If you’ve ever been curious about what the Big Finish process is like, this is the Extra! for you. And if you have a favorite BF audio, do tell us in the comments. We’re always all ears for recommendations (and specifically, recs for where to start)!

Also, do you like free stuff? Well, then be sure to enter our Big Finish giveaway! Three people will win download codes for three different stories (Breaking Bubbles and Other Stories, The Council of Nicaea, and Starborn [by Jacqueline Rayner]), and a fourth lucky winner will win codes for all three!

Twitter entries are preferred: use “#BreakingBubbles from @bigfinish” to enter! If you’re not on Twitter, we’ll accept comment entries here as well. (No other social media though. Two entry sources are enough to comb through. Wouldn’t want to miss anybody!)


A handy link to the episode: Verity! Extra! Big Finish Round Table (and if you’re entering the competition, please enter on the Verity! blog, not over here, ta!)

Ah, bless, Erika calls me an expert…nobody dissuade her of this notion!

It’s also Big Finish’s 15th birthday, so they’re having many a freebie and sale of stuff, which is very much worth having a looksee at. Here’s a link to their fourth day of shinies, which includes two of my very favourite releases available for but a quid each for the next 48 hours-ish: Loups-Garoux (werewolves! Eleanor Bron! the Doctor getting accidentally engaged!) and Neverland (beautiful epic sci-fi goodness; scary, heart-warming magic). Both are very much recommended!

Farewell, delicious readers!

Breaking Bubbles and Other Stories is out!

I received this very exciting package in the post last week:


Rah! A Doctor Who story what I wrote, all real and on a CD with a cover and notes and things! There’re also stories on there by the not-at-all intimidating company of Mark Ravenhill, Una McCormack, and Nev Fountain. And you too can have one of these delicious looking objects, available as they are for purchase in digital or ye olde physical format over here.

You can also take a listen behind-the-scenes of the anthology with Big Finish’s July podcast.

And I did an interview with the delightful Michael Gilroy-Sinclair for the Tin Dog podcast, which can be heard over here, if hearing me ramble in a completely sensible and almost certainly non-libellous way is how you’d like to spend twenty minutes of your time. (Yes, that does appear to be a picture of me hiding behind my Gel Guard in the corner…ahem.)

Hurrah! Happy Tuesday! And farewell!

Breaking Bubbles Bits and Pieces

My Doctor Who audio from Big Finish, Breaking Bubbles, is out this month. Precisely when? Not a clue. But there are a couple of THINGS to do with it that of which at least one, I am assured, is yayful and lovely. Naturally, I lack the courage to look and/or listen to them without first placing a blanket over my head.

So! There are a few words that I said in this month’s Doctor Who Magazine, and a kindly person very nicely tweeted a pic of em at me, to which my reaction was to make a high-pitched noise and then hide from the monitor lest I actually read any of it. Mostly I’m glad I didn’t say anything awful (I may have accidently dissed The Sensorites a bit, but they didn’t print that, yay!); I was terrified: phones are very much not my forte. But the DWM chap on the other end – whose name escapes me, apologies – was quite lovely , which helped a lot.

Also, there is mention of the audio on last month’s Big Finish podcast, amongst many other exciting Big Finish-y things. I have no idea what they said. Maybe tis just the trailer and there are no words telling you how great it is? I do not know. But they’d probably quite like it if you bought it, so I assume nothing terrible is said. Hurrah!

And, course, you can order the lovely thing right here. There’re four stories on the release, and mine’s first, so if you hate it, there’re still three more chances for you to be entertained! How nifty is that?

Till next time, delicious readers!

Verity #45 and Other Fripperies

There are no fripperies in this post, sorry. Everything is a very proper and substantial thing, but I felt particularly keen on the word at time of writing, so a pox on meaning, it shall be in the title.

Anyway, this week! Verity! At our forty-fifth ever-so-exciting episode: verityepisode45-210

“It’s another villaintastic episode of Verity! This time we’re talking about machines–computers, robots, and androids who want to do very bad things. Join Deb, Erika, and Liz as we use “The Robots of Death” as a jumping-off point for our discussion. It’s a great place to start, as it deals not only with robots themselves, but their integration into society. From there we jump to their integration into stories, and after that, we’re all over the map: WOTAN! BOSS! Tara! Smilers! And much much more!”

Erika also has some apologies to make because some of us were COUGHING, and she was unable to achieve auditory perfection by removing these distasteful and unnatural sounds. Thank goodness nobody sneezed!

To the episode!

In other podcast-y type news, I’m on this month’s Reality Bomb, in a SKETCH, playing a CHARACTER. In other words, ACTING. Obviously, you should go and listen to see just what a national treasure the RSC has lost, but also if you enjoy Doctor Who podcasts and are not yet listening to Reality Bomb, FORSHAME. It sounds DELICIOUS. And whilst I enjoy the magazine-y format, and what people say with the discussing and such, it wins my love due to the lolarious and delightful sketches that turn up every episode. Quality Doctor Who fan sketches, people! And I got to be in one. Well chuffed.

In even further podcast-type news (and to demonstrate just how appalling I am at blogging in a timely fashion, ahem), there’s a shiny new (well, new when I intended to write this post, SHUSHT PLEASE) podcast out by three very shiny people, following the progress of one of the nineties marvellous sci-fi telly shows, Babylon 5: the Audio Guide to Babylon 5. It’s not the catchiest of titles, but it *is* informative, and accurate! Which are also good things. It’s being hosted by Erika (because obviously she’s not doing enough podcasts), Shannon and Chip (who are MARVELLOUS but often V WRONG about Doctor Who, and one of whom is the Two-minute Time Lord), and if you enjoyed Babylon 5, or if you’re curious about it, or fancy watching a shiny new sciffy show that you missed first time round, these are all very good reasons for listening. It’s the first podcast I’ve listened to where I find I get impatient for the next episode. And they are, frankly, Quite Mean, with their biweekly schedule, and excuses of Having Lives, or other, less interesting, podcasts to do (yeah, that’s right, skip some Verity! Erika! More B5!) And it sounds lovely, by which I don’t just mean sound quality, I mean the accents are just very nice listening. I’m frequently flailing in disagreement, course, but that’s only to be expected.

Right, I’m saving the rest of everything I haven’t blogged about for two months till tomorrow. It’s double XP week in SWTOR! And you know what that means! (You don’t, do you? That’s okay. I won’t judge. Much.)

Farewell, delicious readers!