I don't know why more people who are interested in British Fantasy don't attend these BFS Open Nights. They're FREE and anyone whose anyone in the BFindustry is there. The last one I went to, I was chatting with Simon CLark for an hour or so - now if I was a Simon Clark fanboy, this might have been a really important part of my stalking life. As it was, Simon Clark's just a real nice (and tall) northern bloke to have a chat with.
Last night's BFS Open Night (at the Devereux, just off The Strand) was no exception as it was jam-packed with the British Fantasy industry's major players and up-and-coming young upstarts. The evening was compered by Telos Publishing's David Howe. The shiny-faced Stephen Jones was there. Michael Marshall Smith. Peter Crowther. You get the idea. Notable absentees DF Lewis and Paul Pinn.
Chris Teague (Pendragon Press) was guest of honour, using the occassion to launch his writer Lavie Tidhar's new novella "An Occupation of Angels". Also in attendance were Paul Kane, Marie O'Reagan, Pam Creais, Gary Couzens, Quentin S Crisp and his girlfriend, the really drunk bloke with the piercings, white hair and leather jacket who Tony Richards and I had to scrape up off the pavement last time was there again propping up a corner of the room, Katy Bennett, Mark Samuels and his wife, Stuart Young... there were more people than this, obviously.
But the majority of my evening was spent in the sparkling company of Allen Ashley and some loud-brash New Zealander (I told you I was shit at remembering names). Rather than talking about which books we're bringing out next and boring each othere with the pathetic marketing tack, we actually just had a real good and entertaining chat about "the british fantasy scene" which I explained leaves me a little cold, I introduced the concept of the Bizarros to the two of them and the night sped away quickly. To the loud-brash New Zealander (whose company I really enjoyed), please try to enjoy your job placement in Aus, it can't be all that bad.