Meeting: 12th September

Great to see a couple of new faces at the meeting last night. Just a reminder to potential new members that we read work beforehand and not during the meeting itself. You’re more than welcome to drop in without having read anything (great way to see how the group works) but be prepared for some confusion over what’s going on! Saying that, our two new visitors last night seemed to cope very well and we appreciated the quick reading and feedback given.

We had seven people attending last night’s meeting with four pieces of work being discussed as follows . . .

  • Craig presented a piece called The Three Harmonies, Aspect 1: Earth. Some confusion over whether this was a short story or the start of something larger. A difference of opinion over the sleepwalking scene: some found it jarring, others enjoyed it. Calls for more of the SF world and more of Lee. Suggestion for a new sub-genre classification: ‘Chinese Ghost Punk’.
  • James presented a short story called I Dream of Tetris. Much praise for the world-building, the characters and the theme of PTSD-induced alcoholism. Some doubts were raised over whether it was realistic for the battlesuit to be loaded, but plenty of suggestions as to how to deal with this from inert ammunition left lying around all the way up to hidden planetary weapon systems. A couple of questions raised over similarities with Iain Banks. Obligatory film reference: The Thing [NSFW]
  • Graeme presented the fifth chapter from his novel A Kill in the Morning. Further compliments on the world and setting, especially the Berlin party scene. I think everyone enjoyed the new character Johanne and no one saw the plot twist coming. A couple of members raised concerns over Kitty’s motivations and her apparent lack of judgement. She now seems to have her own fan club!
  • Richard presented a short story called The Space of You. Several people said that they enjoyed the lyrically melancholic tone in this piece. A few questions were raised about the use of tense and the challenge in using monologue to deliver a story. Some members wondered whether the last section with the change of viewpoint was strictly necessary and whether the end of the first-person section could be expanded to complete the story. TV/Film references: Caprica and Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind.

We finished just after nine and popped around the corner for a few drinks and conversation that included the ol’ chestnut that is the literary-versus-genre debate (this time: criticism over genre writers for being so defensive) to MMOs (again, sorry!) to next year’s Eastercon.

So Eastercon is running in Bradford next year, which is a little more local for us than previous Eastercons. James has already said that he intends to attend all four days and I’m planning on attending at least a couple of days. Who else fancies meeting up there? Perhaps we could car share? Going as a group to these events is much better than soloing it. Feel free to add a comment below or chat in the Facebook group. I’ll post further reminders nearer the time (though it’s probably worth booking your ticket / rooms now before they run out).

Next meeting: Wednesday 10th October. See you all there!

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