Update on treatment & Worldcon

Saw consultant this afternoon.

The key phrase is “metabolic remission”.

Last week’s PET scan showed nothing metabolically active in my lymph nodes, any swelling is due to residual tissue. My Lymphocyte levels are below 1 which is where they should be, my haemoglobin is 111 which is only just below normal range. That said, tomorrow’s dosing is going ahead and the team will debate whether I get 6 cycles of treatment or 8, so it is not yet clear when I will be finished. Following that I will have 2 years of monoclonal maintenance therapy which means one day’s dosing every 2 months, but otherwise life can return to normal

This is good news.

I was well enough to attend Loncon III, the World Science Fiction Convention at the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands.

I drove upon Thursday and the first thing I saw when I got there was a huge queue for registration which took about an hour to get through. It was my first time at the Excel Centre which is a vast barn of a place. The convention used only a fraction of the space even though it was attending by hordes of people, many in costume. The con progamme booklet was the size of a novella. The workshop space I was responsible for was a long walk from the main body of the Con and initially difficult to find, that said all the workshops went well and would have been better served by a larger room and fewer aircraft passing overhead. Friday’s writing workshop was intense, but most people I heard from found it a valuable experience. My particular thanks go to US uber-agent Joshua Bilmes, who came by for an hour and shared his wisdom with us, and brought cookies.

I was able to sign up to a Kaffeeklatsch with an editor from Tor(US) and pitched ‘Shadows’, which was well received and I’ll be sending the manuscript. This is just as well as I had a talk with my agent and we have no takers for ‘Shadows’ among the UK publishers.

I also did a couple of pirate readings of ‘Shadows’ to small but appreciative audiences. I feel the pirate readings worked better at WFC; the space we were given was too noisy and surrounded by other activities – ever tried doing a reading with Morris Men dancing in the background?

On Sunday the T-Party launched ‘Mindseed’, an anthology of stories in memory of our friend and fellow writer Denni Schnapp who left us far too early. I’m told we sold over 30 copies at the launch. I’m proud to have contributed to this project whose profits will go to support Next Generation Nepal, an anti-child trafficking charity Denni supported. There are some great stories in it, go buy it.

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Nerve-wracking week

Been an interesting and nerve-wracking week to be a Southampton supporter. With Cortese resigning there seemed for a while to be a fair chance of Pochettino going too, followed by an exodus of our best players. Hasn’t worked out like that, but I was worried. As the architect of our rise from -10 points in League 1 to (currently) 9th in the Premiership, Cortese will always have my thanks, but he did appear to be a man who wanted to do things his own way and damn the consequences. The dismissal of Nigel Adkins typified that and left many feeling that it wasn’t the way the club should do business. Still he’s gone and the new regime is being installed, promises have been made about continuing commitment to the club. I have tickets for the next 2 home games and hope to see us holding on to the position we’ve gained.

In other news, the T-Party have been approached by the organisers of Loncon, the 2014 World Science convention, to run a writing workshop (and possibly other workshops) at the convention. I very much hope we’ll be able to do this as it should be a huge con. 

Note for writers out there: Simon & Schuster (US) have started a new SF/F e-book and print imprint called Simon451. Currently they are open to unagented submissions at http://www.Simon451.com , this is a good opportunity to send them something. I did.