Ooiee! Me Books!

Francis Hardinge, Jonathan Green, China Mieville, Plarchie,
Deadly Knitshade and Me.

The trouble with doing lots of events is that I don't always get time to blog about all the events I've done.  By the time I arrived home from my London trip last week the internet was groaning under the weight of write-ups of Thursday night's Steampunk Christmas shindig at Blackwell's, so rather than go into detail I shall just link you to reports on Sarah McIntyre's blog (from where I pinched all these pictures, as usual) and Rhys Jones's 'Thirst For Fiction'.  My signing beforehand at Foyles went well too; it was nice to meet so many Twitter and Facebook friends in real life for the first time, including Tom and Ash who'd travelled all the way from Southampton bearing first editions...

Luckily Sarah McIntyre was there to entertain the queue by doing this beautiful & flattering portrait of me.

Also present was my long-lost cousin Gareth, who kindly took this photograph of me, Sarah (left) and Rhys (right) with Foyle's Neil Jackson and his colleague Jen: thanks very much to them for organising and publicising the signing.

Blackwell's was also full of lovely people, only one of whom was a giant, man-eating squid knitted out of old carrier bags.  Event organisers Anne Perry, Jared Shurin and Den Patrick had gathered a diverse crowd of guests, and lots of fans had come along to meet and mingle, many of them in elaborate costumes.  There was a hint early on of the sort of serious cultural studies debate which helped to turn me off Steampunk in the first place, but it soon fizzled out amid good conversation, merriment and rum, leaving me to chat to good eggs like Major Willougby Chase of the 1st Tea Company (below left) who explained why Steampunk is so important to him: because it's FUN!