Barcelona: a short, belated report

Because cons take their toll and I've been busy afterward, it's taken me a while to get my thumb out and write a report of MIRcon. However! Here it is.


So I left a dark and wet Malmö for Barcelona, where the air was cool and parrots shouted at each other in the streets. The wonderful editors of Ediciones Nevsky, James and Marian Womack, took me on a vertiginous trip to Sagrada Familia which was unlike anything I've ever seen before. It's rare to see something that I can honestly not put into words, but there it is. The light inside that cathedral. As Christopher Priest said later in the weekend, it's one of those very few things that gives you a true sense of wonder. That was pretty much all the tourism I had time and headspace for, and I'm glad I made the trip.

I had a great evening at Librería Gigamesh, talking about Jagannath and Amatka, and had the pleasure of hearing poet Sofía Rhei read one of my stories in Spanish. We also did a surprise screening of Kim Jest Arvid Pekon?. Aaaand I had time to browse the bookstore, of course, unexpectedly leaving with the fresh translation of the Grimm brothers' fairy tales.

MIRcon itself was great fun too. I got to hang out with a bunch of lovely Spanish readers, bloggers and publishers, and talk writerly stuff with Aliette de Bodard, Nina Allan and Christopher Priest. Had way too much fun at a panel with Nina Allan in which we talked New Weird and how to crush the Anglo hegemony in fiction. Gave a talk on what writers do all day and showed a story, "Migration", from scribble (drawing really) to final draft. And I had tapas. So, so many tapas.

James Womack should get a medal for his translation work. He sat on all panels and the talk I did at the con, constantly translating in realtime between Spanish and English. Someone who speaks both Spanish and English said that even when I or another of the participants went on for a long time, James didn't leave a single thing out. Not even the geek jokes.

So, thank you, everyone I met in Barcelona. Hope to see you again soon.