The Astrea Conspiracy is out!

After being determined to blog more this year I am, naturally, doing a terrible job of it, alas. So this post is about six weeks late. Ahem.

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At the end of February my Short Trip and Big Finish’s first Twelfth Doctor, The Astrea Conspiracy, was released. Here’s the blurb:

The conspirators sit in Antwerp, plotting to kill King Charles the Second. Aphra Behn’s mission is simple: get former lover William Scot to turn against his treasonous comrades. But her money is running out and the complications don’t stop there. A strange Scottish man arrives at her inn with troubling news.

William Scot is out and the Doctor is in.

It was an absolute joy to write, and when it came out I was quite overwhelmed with the response. Thank you everyone who bought, listened, and said such lovely words about it. There was even fanart. Thank you so much, again, Melissa Dow! It still makes me flail when I look at it. (In my teens and twenties I made so many fanworks, but I never really thought about someone ever making something inspired by something I’d written, so, yes, that was a little bit amazing to me.)

And a huge thank you to my editor Alfie Shaw, director Nick Briggs, and the wonderful Neve McIntosh.

The Astrea Conspiracy is available to download on the spiffy new Big Finish website for £2.99.

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I’ve Written the First Big Finish 12th Doctor Story!

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As well as lovely new Doctor Who this weekend I also had some personally exciting and cool Doctor Who news: I’ve written a Short Trip for Big Finish, and it’s also the first 12th Doctor Big Finish story. Which I didn’t, thank goodness, actually know when I was writing it. That would have been rather scary.

Here’s the lovely synopsis:

The Astrea Conspiracy by Lizbeth Myles

The conspirators sit in Antwerp, plotting to kill King Charles the Second. Aphra Behn’s mission is simple, get former lover William Scot to turn against his treasonous comrades. But her money is running out and the complications don’t stop there. A strange Scottish man arrives at her inn with troubling news.

William Scot is out and the Doctor is in.

These are also the first Short Trips edited and produced by Alfie Shaw, who was absolutely amazing, and a delight to work with, and I’m so looking forward to listening to this season of stories, and seeing where the range is going next.

The Astrea Conspiracy is available to pre-order now, and is released in February 2019.

 

To the Gallifrey-mobile!

I’m off to Gallifrey One aka Gally this weekend, and I’m trying to pack and I hate packing, so what’s actually happening is tons of productive procrastination and no packing. Mostly I hope it’s warm in Los Angeles. I am totally imagining the eye-rolling of certain friends as I type this since they have like fifty feet hills of snow to contend with, but it is COLD here and there is snow outside ON THE GROUND and it won’t go away. As a British person, it is my nature, nay my DUTY to find weather that won’t change HIGHLY SUSPICOUS and to moan about it as often as I can.

But, yes, Gally! I shall be there and so will many other people and so will Kat and Erika and Deb, and we’ll have Verity! stuff to give away. By which I mean ribbons and wrist bands, and you should ALL HAVE ONE OF EACH. And mine are the best ones, so you should ask me for them. (Last sentence in no way a cunning plan to get rid of this stuff that’s been cluttering my office for the past four months.)

I’ll also be doing a couple of panels which are these ones:

The Changing Face of Doctor Who: Program E, Friday 9.30pm

The Missing Companions: Program C, Sunday 4pm

And you can see all the Verities’ schedules over here, and the whole Gallifrey schedule here. My main aim of the con is to be v brave and say complete and non-embarrassing sentences to Rachel Talalay. And also bottle some California sunshine so I can take it home and use it to defeat winter.

So looking forward to this weekend. Gallifrey One is ridiculous and relaxed and so well-organised and has so much amazing cosplay and so many wonderful friends, mostly ones I only get to see once or twice a year, if I’m lucky.

Things I did elsewhere on the Interwebs:

  • Last week’s Verity was a roundtable on fanworks. We had guests!
  • I participated in a Mind Meld at SF Signal talking about the intersection and influence between computer games and genre fiction. It’s a great article, loads on interesting perspectives, also it is DANGEROUS. After I read Lou Anders’ I was at serious risk of starting a new Skyrim game to play as suggested and was only saved by my amazing iron willpower and maybe a desire for cake.
  • I’ve been Pinteresting! This is actually the fault of Erika and others talking about how jigsaws are all calming and stuff, and I’m not a jigsaw person, but through whatever leaps of non-logic my brain went from jigsaws to suggesting putting pictures of loads of stuff I like together for cheeringness. Mostly I’m pinning Stuff that make me yay, and Doctor Who awesomeness.

Things that are awesome and everyone should know about:

Farewell! And hope to see some of you at Gally!

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:

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“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!)

^E”

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:

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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!

Hugos and Eastercon and Breaking Bubbles

What happened to that amazing plan to blog every week, self? What happened? You’re going to have to do a week of lists or something to catch up. But lists are great, right? Everyone likes lists! (Five Vegetables of Most Hellish Taste; Five Beigest Trek Episodes; Five Lego Creations People Should Make For Meeeee….by gum, I could do this all day…)

Since last time, when I was apparently Judging Cybermen, as you do, there has, at least, been some Exciting News. Verity! (that delightful podcast what I do) has been nominated for a Hugo Award in the Best Fancast category. It’s a bit ridiculous, and brilliant, and exciting, and thank you so much to everyone who nominated us! Particularly awesome as the Hugo Awards ceremony will be in London this year, a mere 400-ish miles away! Splendid days. (We also have an intro to the podcast type post up, if somehow you’re here, and interested in Doctor Who podcasts and haven’t tried it already.)

And we’re nominated alongside what is actually my favourite podcast: The Writer and the Critic. If you have even the vaguest interest in SFF books, for goodness sake, go, go now, and enjoy. Kirstyn and Mondy are fantastic hosts, smart funny people, and have brilliant chemistry. I’ve been nominating in them in this category FOREVER (well, last couple of years, whatev) and given that they missed out on the short list by one vote last year, it’s keen to see them make it this time.

(Also, thumbs up for Galactic Suburbia, another favourite podcast, which is co-hosted by Tansy Rayner Roberts, who’s also on Verity! …will we find out who she votes for first on the Hugo ballot so one of her podcast teams can shun and judge her? Or will she be able to keep it a secret, despite the flying space monkeys I’ve despatched to find out? Stay tuned!)

(Further thumbs up to Tea and Jeopardy, hosted by the fabulous Emma Newman, which I’m also a fan of, for many reasons, but my current favourite is Emma’s deadpan delivery of the most absurd exposition. Like…if Elizabeth Bennett suddenly started talking about secret underground volcano bases. It is joyous. If you’ve never tried it, give the Emma Vieceli ep a shot; tis my fav thus far, and my favourite means best, obviously.)

And I have not heard the others, but I will! (We shall not speak of the fact I only recently realised that Skiffy and Fanty was *not* some odd reference to the tasty orange chemical flavoured fizzy pop Fanta, but a diminutive of fantasy. Yeah, I got the sci-fi bit, but fantasy? Just too much for my delicate brain…*shame*)

Many of the fiction categories are a strange mess, what with there being a voting campaign based on malicious intent to upset the sort of people who aren’t hard right-wingers and like equality and shit (and, no, I’m not reading that stuff: I don’t *care* how good the food is, if I can hear the chef yelling sexist racist rhetoric in the kitchen, I am not wasting my time in that fucking restaurant. There’s too much good food in the world, okay?).

It’s one thing to for creators to let people know what works of theirs are eligible; another for people to make suggestions for stuff they loved or thought was great. It’s a very different thing when you campaign for a suggested slate that’s mainly designed to piss other people off. Spirit of the law, dammit.

Anyway, there’s still some nifty stuff in those categories, particularly Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Justice and Aliette de Bodard’s The Waiting Stars. And great to see Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Lady Astronaut of Mars there, after the joys of last year’s technicalities.

The Fan Writer category, however, is just amazing. Genuinely don’t know what to do there. Seriously considering flipping a coin. Wouldn’t know how to judge between Foz Meadows, Abigail Nussbaum, Liz Bourke and Kameron Hurley based on quality. My personal preferences mean I don’t enjoy Nussbaum’s work as much as the others, but then…yeah, I don’t have a clue. It’s a beautiful slate.

In the Best Doctor… I mean Best Short Form Category (shutup, that joke never gets old, NEVER) there’s a whole lot of Doctor Who. And, yes, I am one of Those People who just votes for Doctor Who in this category. I know, I know, I’ve been told, loudly, angrily even, and yet I am unrepentant. For nothing else bring Teh Joy as Who does. I’m sorry. Except not really. Especially since The Five-ish Doctors made it in! Ah, The Five-ish Doctors, only the greatest gift the cast and crew of a telly series have ever given their fanbase…

And congrats to everyone I know who’s been nominated for a thingie! You are all wonderful, ra!

The ballot was announced at Eastercon, in Glasgow this year, where it was terrifyingly bright and sunny and warm. The Clyde looked gorgeous, the con had a plethora of entertaining panels, and Gollancz put out loads of free pens. Which was important to me, since I’ve got about three pens that are working and was starting to get worried.

Also, poetry panel, and various attendee types meant I’ve been reading the archives of Goblin Fruit. I still don’t feel like I know a damn thing about poetry, but now can at least now express views on what I like, sort of, which is an improvement.

Jocelyn Bell Burnell was there. I did not speak to her. That would not have gone well. But I saw her speak and she was a bit more amazing than I expected (which was Quite A Lot). Also, people sometimes get all yay at Irish accents and I don’t get it, but I cannot deny Burnell does have a fantastic accent…maybe it’s the words. Maybe science is more science-y in Northern Irish intonation.

Moving on, I had a slightly exciting moment last week when the cover for my Big Finish audio went up. Lookit! Is it not divine? I may have been cooing over it a bit. My name is on it! Right there on the front. In letters! (I still haven’t screwed up the courage to listen to the trailer…but you should. It’s probably brilliant, maybe, somehow.) You can see the full, perfect, I desire an A1 print of this, artwork on Paul Cornell’s blog here, scroll down. All the way down. Right to the bottom. There it is.)

Until next time! Farewell, delicious readers!