Monthly Archives: April 2015

The greatest gift

So, the other day my friend Øystein texted me asking me if he could e-mail me a song he had made. I said “of course”, and that I wasn’t afraid of telling him my opinion. Which he already knows, of course, he knows me well enough. After a bit I found time to sit down and listen, so I opened up my inbox, and downloaded the song, called “Flowing”.

I was listening to the song carefully, and not only did it give me goosebumps, but it also made me cry. I found it so sad… Songs hardly ever have that effect on me. I then texted Øystein, and I told him about my reaction to the song, and the he said “I wrote it to you”. Needless to say, I was speachless. It made me cry even more, though not of sadness. What a beautiful gift to get from one of your best friends! The song is online, and can be listened to for free on Soundcloud.

This is probably, by far, the greatest gifts I have ever been given. It might not have much value money wise, but to me, it’s worth everything. So, what’s the greates gift you have been given?

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Øystein playing with Tønes at Rockefeller in Oslo, 14 March 2015.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Pre Bookcrossing Convention: The Cotswold Coach Tour

For the ones of us who arrived early to the bookcrossing convention in Oxford this year, they had arranged a Cotswold Coach Tour. The tour was simply wonderful, and the organizer MissMarkey had done an excellent job putting it together. Often on coach tours there’s not enough time to really look around at the stops, but this time we had plenty of time each stop, and we didn’t even have to stress when we had our lunch stop.

We set out from St Hilda’s college in Oxford in the morning, and after managing to get everyone on the coach, we headed for our first stop, Burford. Burford was a lovely small and cute town. I stopped by the library first, which was really small, but considering the size it was really good. I even had a chat with the librarian, and got some information on the building, fundings and such. There was also a fun book/hat shop in Burford. It’s the only combined hat and book shop I’ve been in, and it was called The Madhatter Bookshop.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Burford
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

The Madhatter Bookshop
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Burford Church
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Our next stop was the small village Little Rissington, where you can find one of England’s telephone box libraries. Here you could pick up a book, or leave one. I neither brought any book or took any.


Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

The phone box library in Little Rissington.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015


When we got to Bourton-on-the-Water, it was lunch time. I decided on doing this town on my own, and fist I did a bit of walking around. I found a nice pub called Kingsbridge, where I had a veggie burger. After lunch there was still time to walk around, before heading back to the coach.


Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Buorton-on-the-Water
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015


At Snowshill Manor and Garden we got to see the collection of Charles Wade. He had bought a house for all the odd bits he collected through his life. While his collection had its own house, he himself lived in a small cottage. The gardens were quite large too, and since it was such a beautiful sunny day, it was a nice stop, and I ended it with coffee and cake at the tea room.


Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Snowshill Manor
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Sheep in the gardens of Snowshill Manor
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015


Our very last stop of the tour before heading back to Oxford was The Rollright Stones. The stones are megalithic monuments from the Neolithic and Bronze Age periods. There were several bookcrossing books released, but yet again, I didn’t release any.


Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

The King Stone
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

The King’s Men
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015


We got back to Oxford just before 20, and it had been a great tour!

EasterCon 2015: Dysprosium

I signed up for this year’s EasterCon at last year’s EasterCon, and was very excited to go. Dysprosium was held at ParkInn by Raddison at Heathrow, so getting there would be the easiest convention for me to get to, with a lot of flights to choose from.

This year’s guests of honour were Jim Butcher, Seanan McGuire, Herr Döktor, and Caroline Mullan. The only guest of honour I had heard of was Seanan McGuire, simply because she was also a guest of honour at last year’s EuroCon in Dublin. To me, it’s not the guests of honour that are the important thing, though, but the fact that EasterCon gather a lot of fans from pretty much all over Europe. That’s pretty fun, in my opinion.

There were a lot of interesting panels and talks this year, but one can’t go to them all. I chose to attend a handfull, as well as being a lot more social than I have been previous years. All good. The panels I attended were all good, even though I had to leave The Unseen London panel halfway through, as I had a splitting headache, and needed painkillers, water and a nap. I siply couldn’t focus, and was sad not to being able to listen to such an interesting topic.

I find it hard to pick a favourite panel or talk this year. I really enjoyed the Guest of Honour interview with Herr Dötor. I am incredible fascinated by how he’s able to make the cool art. He had some pieces exhibited at the art show, and they were magnificent.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Herr Döktor was inerviewed by Lady Elsie.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

Other than a lot of geeky stuff, there were lots of geeky people. This being my third EasterCon meant I knew more people this time around than two years ago, when I attended my first EasterCon, and Twitter helps too. I have probably been more social over the EasterCon week end than I have been in years. All good, though. There were great chats. Great company. And I had in general an excellent time.

The 2015 Hugo Awards – The Short List

So, the shortlist of the 2015 Hugo Awards was just announced, and I am, for the first time ever, eligible to vote. I forgot about nominating, but I have every intention to give my vote.

I am very much looking forward to read Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie, as I loved Ancillary Justice. However, there are books I will not read and not vote for, and that are the sad/rabid puppy selection. The reason for this? Well, the explanation I was given on Twitter says it all:

2015-04-04-twitter

Correction from @ClaireRousseau
Claire Rousseau has in the comments asked me to add the following correction:
Vox Day put up a post on his site in which he called NK Jemisin, who is a woman of colour, a “half-savage”. Because his blog was syndicated to SFWA social media, the post was tweeted from the official SFWA twitter. NK Jemisin put in an official complaint in accordance to the SFWA harassment policy that ultimately resulted in Vox Day’s SFWA membership being revoked.

Here is wikipedia for reference: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Theodore_Beale#Conflict_with_the_SFWA

So, I will read the following novels:
Ancillary Sword, Ann Leckie (Orbit US/Orbit UK)
The Goblin Emperor, Katherine Addison (Sarah Monette) (Tor Books)

As for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form, I have already seen Captain America: The Winter Soldier, and really should watch Edge of Tomorrow as well.

I think it’s really sad when some people think things like the sad/rabid puppies thing is all right. After all, it will backfire on the works listed, no matter how great they are.

All shortlisted nominations can be found HERE.

Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

The 2014 Hugo Awards winner, Ancilliary Justice by Ann Leckie.
Photo: Hidden in a Book © 2015

EDIT 05 April 2015:
I edited this post after The Puppy-Free Hugo Award Voter’s Guide was brought to my attention. I will not read any of the short stories, and have therefore deleted the section of short stories to read.