BWS-Logos-RGB-(red-HR2015) It’s Book Week Scotland 2015! How do you plan to celebrate? There’s lots going on across the country, and you can find out what there is to do near you here.  This year, professionally speaking, I will be assisting at an author event organised exclusively for Dennistoun Library Book Group; I have been working with the group since January this year. As part of Glasgow Libraries’ A Book, a Brew, and a Banter series of author events, Tom Ogden Keenan will be talking to the group about his novel The Father, set in his hometown of Glasgow, at their meeting this Thursday. I hope it will be the first of many such events for the group. We’ve also put together a display of the group’s reading over the past year in Dennistoun Library proper; I’ll be posting some photos thereof once I’ve done some last tweaks tomorrow. Continue Reading »

The Pre-Raphaelite Society explaining National #PRBDay 2015

The Pre-Raphaelite Society explaining National #PRBDay 2015

The first #PRBDay was organised by the Pre-Raphaelite Society on 8 September 2012, to celebrate 164 years since the founding of the Pre-Raphaelite Brotherhood, in a small house on Gower Street, in London. I used to walk past this house most lunchtimes when I worked on London (6.5 years!) and it always made me terribly delighted imagining the conversations they must have had behind that front door.

I’ve been following the enormously busy Twitter thread (#PRBDay, as above), since I got up much, much later than planned today, and I really recommend dropping in on it throughout the day, or, you know, if you have the time, staying glued to it all day (which I would love to do). Serena Trowbridge, editor of the Review of the PreRaphaelite Society and creator of the Culture and Anarchy blog, will be there to chat to (@serena_t), along with Madeleine Pierce, coordinator of the Society’s London and South East Chapter (@nouveaudigital); she also writes the blog Nouveau Digital: Digital and the Pre-Raphaelites. Continue Reading »

The full trailer for Star wars: the Force Awakens having just come out (pause for a SQUEEEEE!), I am of course going to be thinking, most impatiently, about that for the next seven or so weeks. I’m not alone in that, of course, and was delighted to see Stephanie Pina’s Pre-Raphaelite Princess of Star Wars blog post reappearing on the Pre-Raphaelite Sisterhood Facebook page. It’s a very interesting and entertaining read about some of George Lucas’ many sources of inspiration for the Star Wars series of films.

The Death of Albine, by John Coliier (Oil on canvas, 137.2 x 182.9 cm. (c) Glasgow Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation).

The Death of Albine, by John Coliier (Oil on canvas, 137.2 x 182.9 cm. (c) Glasgow Museums; Supplied by The Public Catalogue Foundation).

Continue Reading »

I met a lot of new people on my trip to Canada. Because I’m determined to write up this trip soon thereafter, unlike my last two bouts of travel, which, while they remain mostly in my notebooks (fondly called “brains”), are gradually coming back to life, I’ve been thinking a lot about the life pseudonymic. Not everybody likes their real name being used online, others don’t like their photos appearing, and some don’t want either to happen. So I made a habit of asking people if I could post their photos online, and if they would prefer that I don’t use their real names online. Most were fine with my use of their real-life identities, while others wanted no photos published, and others, I suspect out of a sense of whimsy, suggested a name. Continue Reading »

I was informed today by a friend that today (8 October) is World Octopus Day. Given that my familiar is an octopus – specifically an octopus adorabilis – I could not let this auspicious day pass without mention. Continue Reading »

I flew to Toronto on 18 September, and spent just over two weeks in Canada, splitting my time between Prince Edward Island, Prince Edward County, and dear old Toronto. It was a much-needed, most enjoyable holiday, which sadly ended on Monday of this week. As I went back to work the day after I returned home, and as my sleep patterns remain decidedly bizarre, I have had little time to write anything here. Until I have such time, then, to write and to sort out my many, many photos (for me at least; a paltry number compared to those taken by one of my hosts), here are some of the things that I learned: Continue Reading »

Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley by Richard Rothwell. Oil on canvas, exhibited 1840 29 in. x 24 in. (737 mm x 610 mm). Bequeathed by the sitter's daughter-in-law, Jane, Lady Shelley, 1899. Primary Collection ; NPG 1235. Copyright: National Portrait Gallery.

The First Lady of Horror: Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley
by Richard Rothwell. Oil on canvas, exhibited 1840
29 in. x 24 in. (737 mm x 610 mm). Bequeathed by the sitter’s daughter-in-law, Jane, Lady Shelley, 1899.
Primary Collection ; NPG 1235. Copyright: National Portrait Gallery.

A few weeks after I started working at Dennistoun Library, our boss told us that we would be assigned a collection to look after. I immediately put my name down for the Fantasy and Science Fiction collections, and, lo, my wish was granted! Glasgow Libraries include horror and supernatural books in these collections, so those fell to me as well, as did Young Adult Fiction and Graphic Novels. There’s a lot of overlap between these collections, and I am enjoying the work. Last week I was asked to compile a list of women authors of fantasy, horror, science fiction, and supernatural works, to put forward to Library HQ for collection development purchases. In addition to my own lengthy list, I enlisted the help of the Iggles (the collective noun for members of the International Geek Girl Pen Pals Club) on Twitter:

I also put the call out to my friends and family via Facebook, and in real life. The response from everybody polled was excellent. Now that I have compiled and organised all the suggestions, I thought that you, dear Readers, would be interested in the results. So here they are:

    Women authors of Fantasy, Horror, Science Fiction and the Supernatural (8 September 2015)

  • Lynn Abbey ; Kelley Armstrong ; Madeline Ashby ; Margaret Atwood ; Victoria Aveyard
  • Rachel Bach (also called Rachel Aaron) ; Elizabeth Bear ; Leah Bobet ; Leigh Brackett ; Paula Brackstone ; Patricia Briggs ; Octavia Butler
  • Meg Cabot ; Pat Cadigan ; Gail Carriger ; Charlene Challenger ; Suzy McKee Charnas ; Elaine Chen ; C.J.Cherryh ; Suzanne Church ; Julie Czerneda
  • Ellen Datlow (editor) ; Alyx Dellamonica
  • Diana Gabaldon ; Kate Griffin (also writes as Claire North)
  • Laurell K Hamilton ; Charlaine Harris ; Kim Harrison ; Zenna Henderson ; Robin Hobb ; Charlie Holmberg ; Nalo Hopkinson ; Tanya Huff
  • N.K. Jemisin ; Diary da Jones
  • Patricia Kennealy (or Kennealy Morrison) ; Julie Kenner ; Nancy Kilpatrick ; Rosemary Kirstein ; Mary Robinette Kowal ; Nancy Kress ; Katherine Kurtz
  • Madeleine L’Engle ; Mercedes Lackey ; Tanith Lee ; Ursula K Leguin ; Doris Lessing? ; Tonya Liburd ; Elizabeth Lynn
  • R A MacAvoy ; Anne McCaffrey ; Seanan McGuire ; Fiona McIntosh ; Vonda N McIntyre ; Patricia McKillip ; Robin McKinley ; Lois McMaster Bujold ; Julian May ; Shirley Meier ; Judith Merril ; Sarah Monette (aka Katherine Addison which is SM’s pseudonym) ; Devon Monk ; Elizabeth Moon ; C L Moore ; Erin Morgenstern (only one book out currently, The Night Circus, which we already have, but another is being written)
  • Audrey Niffenegger (graphic novels as well) ; Andre Norton ; Naomi Novik ; Jody Lynn Nye
  • Charlotte Perkins Gilman ; Ursula Pflug ; Doris Piserchia ; Emily Pohl-Weary ; Tamora Price
  • S.M. Reine ; Anne Rice ; Kelly Robson ; Joanna Russ ; Mary Doria Russell
  • Michelle Sagara West ; Pamela Sargent ; Jessica Amanda Salmonson ; Elizabeth Ann Scarborough ; Gail Simone ; Mary Shelley ; Melinda M. Snodgrass ; Midori Snyder ; Amanda Stevens ; Caitlin Sweet
  • Sheri S Tepper ; James Tiptree Jr (pseudonym of Alice Sheldon) ; Lisa Tuttle
  • Catherynne M. Valente ; Joan Vinge
  • Diane L. Walton (editor of On Spec magazine) ; Karen Wehrstein ; Margaret Weiss ; Martha Wells ; Kate Wilhelm ; Terri Windling ; Janny Wurts
  • Marion Zimmer Bradley

I haven’t read every author on this list, but will work on it. I deliberately didn’t include book titles, for all that some of the authors are included on the basis of one book alone. I’m also expecting, even hoping, that there may be dissension and debate among readers of the list. It would be great if you could leave your suggestions and thoughts in the comments on this post. I’m hoping to keep the list going, with new additions, and any suggestions you give will be added.


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