19 May 2005

More H&N bits

(because someone hit the publish button instead of the return button...ahem...)

So where were we...(and I really must stop starting each post with 'so')

News, news... ah yes. Apparently someone nominated us for a BFS small press award (which is a little embarassing because it's for work in the year 2004 and last year was one issue and worse than lousy response times.) On the plus side there's about 20 or so other things nominated in the Small Press category so we can just ignore that blip this year. Now next year, we might actually deserve the nomination.... (still be a bit embarassing though... would rather one of the stories won best short fiction, then the mag won best small press...)

BFS bits

While we're on awards, it's always so tempting to gossip and I'd get strangulated for going into actual details... but at the moment the BFS committee bods have started up the annual discussions on who's going to get the Special Award this year. (The only award where final voting is down to the committee & RAmsey C., whereas all the rest are membership voted.)
Anyway, we had about a dozen nominations from the membership and the fun always comes because one portion of us go for one type of person, another portion go for another type of person and we then spend weeks seeing who can argue their case best.

As for the rest of the voting... the forms are getting copied up at the moment, ready to go out with the next Prism (which should be due in a couple of weeks) and there's tons of buggers nominated for the first wave.

Fcon bits

The Walsall hotel visit was a fun one - they've repainted and fixed the air-con so it was actually possible not to freeze this time. And not only did we get free rooms as con organisors, but it was an executive suite! Thank you very much!! (I've never had a kitchen in my hotel room before! Or a living room!)

We've had Steven Erikson confirmed as our 3rd guest (cue grumbles becuase it's an all bloke line up this year) and Graham Joyce has kindly agreed to be Master of Ceremonies.

For next year we've got a Big Name American Guest semi confirmed, pending confirmation of dates from us.
But to do that, first we need to lock down the venue.... argh!
The first hotel I scouted looked perfect... right up until they gave me their best prices. The award for biggest bunch of jokers go to the Renaissance Hotel in Reading! You don't even want to know what their room rates rise to for the Sunday night...
Next on my list is the hotel on Caversham Bridge (down the road from where they do the Reading Festival...) - which looks like it might be a possible (pending prices) - although it is further away from the town centre than I'd like. (Close enough to Reading Station though..)
At least there's a couple of restaurents/cafe's etc nearby so if we do get it, and the hotel food stinks, then there's other options available.

If their prices are stupid though, I'm not sure where to look next as that's it for suitable Reading hotels. We want somewhere near civilisation for '06, but town centre hotels with conference facilities tend to go for a vast hike in prices. We can deal with pricy venue hiring I think - at least as far as next year is confirmed, but the goal is to get decent rates on the accomodation.
So if Reading bottoms out where next? Stay south and hit Bracknell or Swindon, or move back to the middle and go for maybe Birmingham or Manchester or similar.
(Or really shock the northerners and do a Newcastle one!)

Will keep you updated!

Other bits

So (argh! did it again!), mum, the publicity slut, is going on the local radio next week to pimp her book. (Then she's got Newcastle radio in Sept/Oct and various student paper articles/columns/ god knows what as well..)
And, the funniest thing is that, according to mum's publisher chappie, the AIIC (Association of Independent Inventory Clerks, to you. Regulatory body kinda thing.) want to incorporate vast chunks of the book into their training courses. The funny bit being that mum knew nothing about this and she's actually on the committee!

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