Hither Green Festival Video One – growing up reading SF and Fantasy…

Cherry Potts & Katy Darby Arachne Press authors and editors, talk about growing up reading SF & Fantasy, particularly by women, at Manor House Library for  Hither Green Festival

For the completists amongst you, here is the list Cherry forgot to bring with her of lots of  Sf/Fantasy books she loves, feel free to comment to add your own high points. There are loads more these were the ones that sprang readily to mind!

Growing up with SF/F – YA books and first reads…

Diana Wynne Jones The Spell Coat series
Susan Cooper The Dark is Rising
Sylvia Engdahl Heritage of a star
Jan Mark: Useful Idiots/ Riding Tycho/ The Ennead
Andre Norton Forerunner Foray, Plague Ship, Moon of Three Rings, The Beastmaster, Mark of the Cat, Witchworld series, Octagon Magic, Steel Magic etc
Tanith Lee The Dragon Hoard, Kill the Dead, Companions on the Road, Drinking Sapphire Wine
Ursula le Guin Earthsea series, Lathe of Heaven, Rocannon’s World, Left Hand of Darkness, The Dispossessed (actually pretty much anything by Ursula)
Helen Simpson Ingo series
Joy Chant Red Moon, Black Mountain
Pamela Sargeant Women of Wonder anthologies

Writers discovered in the 70s and 80’s

Margaret Atwood Handmaid’s Tale
Joanna Russ We Who are About to
Jaygee Carr Leviathan’s Deep, Navigator Syndrome
Joan D Vinge Snow Queen, Catspaw,
Jane Yolen Cards of Grief, Briar Rose, short stories,
Vonda McIntyre Fireflood and other stories, Dreamsnake
Elizabeth A Lynn The Woman who Loved the Moon
C J Cherryh Faded Sun, Brothers of Earth, Heavy Time, the Morgaine series
Marian Zimmer Bradley Sword & Sorceress anthologies
Anne McCaffery The ship who sang, Pern series, Decision at Doona
Megan Lindholm Wolf Brother, Harpy’s Flight
Suzy McKee Charnas Walk to the Ends of the World, Motherlines
Nicola Griffith Bending the Landscape (as editor), Hild, Ammonite, Slow RIver
R A MacAvoy Tea with the Black Dragon
Kate Wilhelm The Infinity Box, Where late the sweet birds sing,

Classics:

Charlotte Perkins Gilman Herland, The Yellow Wallpaper
James Tiptree, Jr Houston, Houston do you read? (short story) Her Smoke Went Up for Ever
Naomi Mitchison Memoirs of a Space Woman
Vera Chapman Three Damosels
Zenna Henderson The Anything Box

More recent:

Naomi Novik Temeraire series
Emily St John Mandel: Station Eleven
Aimee Bender The Colour Master (short stories)
Kate Atkinson Not the End of the World, Life After Life

Women writers of SF/Fantasy published by Arachne Press

Alex Smith Devilskein & Dearlove
Cherry Potts Mosaic of Air, The Dowry Blade
Ghillian Potts The Naming of Brook Storyteller series

Anthologies: (stories with SF/F flavour by women, there is SF/F by men, and stories with nothing to do with either SF or fantasy in most of them!)
Weird Lies (Alex Smith, Angela Trevithick, C T Kingston,Ellen O ‘Neill, Maria Kyle, Peng Shepherd, Rebecca J Payne) winner of Saboteur2014 best anthology award
Lovers’ Lies (Mi L Holliday, Michelle Shine)
We/She (J A Hopper, Joanne L M Williams, Jennifer Rickard, Elizabeth Hopkinson, Ilora Choudhury, Katy Darby)
Five by Five (Katy Darby, Helen Morris)
Solstice Shorts (Helen Morris, Imogen Robertson, Cindy George, Jayne Pickering)
Shortest Day, Longest Night (Polly Hall, Katy Darby,Pippa Gladhill, Karen Bovenmyer, Cherry Potts, Frances Gapper)
Dusk (Pippa Gladhill, Penny Pepper, Fiona Salter, Helen Slavin,Katy Lee)
Liberty Tales (Katy Darby, Cherry Potts, Sarah Evans)
Stations (Cherry Potts, Caroline Hardman)

Science Fiction and Fantasy for The Hither Green Festival

May 18th at 7pm
Manor House Library
34 Old Road
SE13 5SY
as part of the Hither Green Festival

FREE

Meet Arachne Press authors Cherry Potts and Katy Darby for a chat about Science Fiction and Fantasy written by women, and their own writing.

The evening will include readings and an opportunity to buy books and ask questions (PLEASE ask questions!), and Katy and Cherry will talk about their favourite women SF/F writers and what got them started on writing speculative fiction. Cherry will also talk about her mother, Ghillian Potts’ young adult fantasy series The Naming of Brook Storyteller the final book of which, Wolftalker is published in early June. we  have pre-publication copies, and will bring other books for you to buy. There may even be some giveaways.

Preview of Dusk on Resonance FM

Listen to Cherry Potts, Laila Sumpton, Michelle Penn, Katerina Watson Math Jones and Grace Cookey-Gam talking about and reading from work that will be performed in tomorrow’s Solstice Shorts Festival together with two of the songs – Anna Kissell’s Oh, the Dark (Bristol) and 3 Bucket Jones Light Another Candle for You

#Arachne5 at Archway With Words video

It has been a busy time, another set of videos I’ve only just had time to edit and post:

We took part in the Archway With Words Festival back in September, reading from a variety of books at Archway Library. (5 books, 5 authors, for our 5th anniversary…)

Carolyn Eden, Free White Towel, Liberty Tales

Cherry Potts, Mirror, Lovers’ Lies

Wendy Gill, A Little Favour, Shortest Day, Longest Night

Katy Darby, The Horror, the Horror, Stations

Liam Hogan, Crossroads, Happy Ending NOT Guaranteed.

Shoreham WordFest: Liberty & Protest videos

We had a lot of fun at Sussex Yacht Club in Shoreham for Shoreham WordFest on Thursday, lovely crowd, great acoustic and though we say it ourselves, some marvellous poems, stories and songs.

Poems by Bernie Howley, Elinor BrooksBrian Johnstone, Jeremy Dixon, Kate Foley and Andrew McCallum; read Carrie Cohen, Elinor Brooks and Greg Page

Stories by Carolyn Eden, Cherry Potts and Liam Hogan read by themselves.

Songs by Sydney Carter, Ali Burns, Albert Nyathi, George Loveless/ Joe Stead and  James Oppenheim; arranged by Melanie Harrold messed around with and sung by a small subset of Vocal Chords Choir, (Cherry Potts, Alix Adams, Bea Jackson, Caroline Dunton, Denise Mueller-Brown and Maria Kirby)

The Privilege of Departure, or Dover Bound, But Delayed by Bernie Howley, read by Carrie Cohen.

 

 

 

Singing We Raise the Watchword Liberty in full with the audience

The second half – stories, and a certain amount of difficulty with the camera cutting out.

Carolyn Eden:

Cherry Potts:

Liam Hogan:

Here’s some feedback from the audience on what they liked (you can hear them joining in on some of the songs)

Well constructed programme, the segues from music into poetry and back again, the variety of interpretations given to the theme of liberty. Bread and Roses, Free White Towel and the promise of a free badge!

Here is an interesting evening, full of fun, wisdom and wit. Hear some moving poems/ stories from those from the past and present combined with our essential liberties.

I love being read to. A very mixed programme which really stimulated my mind and imagination.

relaxed

variety – the spice of life

I enjoyed the flow of the first half

Loved the storytelling

Singing – chance to join in

Celebrating freedom – and keeping socialist history alive – good songs poems and stories too!

Witty and original writing. Very lively material, good singing.

Signed Arachne Books for our DUSK Crowd Fund

 

For the collectors amongst you – SIGNED books. limited numbers available, in some cases only ONE. Support our crowd fund for Dusk, the next Solstice Shorts Festival.

 

Pledge £10 or more for a Signed copy of The Old Woman from Friuli

copy of our children’s illustrated folk tale (illustrated by Ed Boxall) signed by the author, Ghillian Potts

 

 

 

 

Pledge £15 or more Signed copy of Devilskein & Dearlove

Young Adult fantasy novel Devilskein & Dearlove, (Nominated for the Carnegie Medal 2015) with book-plate SIGNED by Alex Smith.
Sorry, We can’t ship to South Africa as D&D is published by someone else there.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pledge £15 or more for a SIGNED copy of Liberty Tales or Shortest Day, Longest Night, (you choose!) signed by as many of the authors as we’ve managed to catch up with, (there are only a couple of these left)

 

 

or a copy of Brat our new YA novel by Ghillian Potts, signed by the author.

 

 

 

 

Pledge £17 or more a Signed copy of an Epic Fantasy Novel

Signed Copy of Cherry Potts’ mammoth fantasy epic, The Dowry Blade. UK only, it’s a big book!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pledge £30 or more for a Signed copy of OUTCOME

Our spectacular full colour photographic portraits by Tom Dingley, signed by him and as many of the subjects as we’ve happened to bump into. There is only ONE of these available.

 

Live lit events coming up

Being busy people we can’t always arrange our own events as regularly as we might like, so we are very happy when we get asked to take part in other people’s.

Next Friday 22nd September 7pm Liam Hogan is reading from Happy ending Not Guaranteed at the launch of London Writers’ Eclective at Waterstones 11 Islington Green, N1 2XH

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

On Wednesday 27th September 18.15 we are at Archway with Words at Archway Library, Hamlyn House Highgate Hill N19 5PH where Liam is reading again, alongside Katy Darby, Cherry Potts, Carolyn Eden, and Wendy Gill

On Saturday 30th September we are at Free Verse Poetry Book Fair at Conway Hall where we will have a stall all day, and are reading in the Red Lion Square garden cafe at 4.30, with Jeremy Dixon, Lisa Kelly and Sarah James.Experience a flush of openness in San Francisco, a long day on a till, an even longer night in a hotel, and time shifting about the three occupants of a house.

In October we are off to the Shoreham Word Fest with a Liberty Tales/ Songs of Protest evening at the Yacht Club on Thursday 12th at 19.30 (£10) with Elinor Brooks, Greg Page and Carrie Cohen reading poetry and Cherry & Liam reading prose, and Ian Kennedy & Sarah Lloyd and some of Vocal Chords singing. We will be teaching two very simple protest songs!

Followed on the Saturday Morning at 11am with a Children’s event in the Library, (Free) with The Old Woman From Friuli by Ghillian Potts being read by Tash Fairbanks, and a kind of demonstration of woodcut printing from Cherry Potts, because we couldn’t get hold of Ed Boxall, the illustrator of the book, to join us. No sharp objects will be let near children!

#Arachne5 Mosaic of Air

As part of the run up to our celebration of our fifth anniversary we are highlighting our first five books, all available for £5 each from our shop

Also available to bona fide libraries and book charities free please contact us to enquire.

Number Four: Mosaic of Air

Originally published twenty years ago, the sixteen short stories in Mosaic of Air reflect and explore Lesbian life in the 1980s through myth, history, fantasy and science fiction. Delving into lecturing spiders, Helen of Troy, seaside libraries, computers that fall in love, murder and memory; but most of all humour, and a delight in all that women can be.

Praise for the first edition:

Cherry Potts writes with economy, punch, panache.

Ellen Galford

Definitely about women in space, not the usual glossy tomboys of standard sf.

Gwyneth Jones

Delightful … both a hilarious spoof of one-man-and-his computer myths such as 2001, a Space Odyssey; and a reflection on the limits of love and power.

Zoë Fairbairns

From the foreword:

Sometimes I think that I would write these stories differently now, and then I think, would I? Yes, the world has changed, these days many of the scenarios played out by characters in the contemporary stories wouldn’t now happen in Britain; but there are plenty of places in the world where these stories would still happen. Sadly they have not dated as thoroughly as I might have hoped.

review from Sabotage

High points

‘Mosaic of Air’ is an interesting parable featuring a proto-post-feminist lead, a computer programmer whose programme becomes sentient which surprisingly encases an abortion debate.

If you read nothing else in this book you must read ‘Arachne’s Daughters’; this takes apart a myth about Arachne (a human) challenging Athene (the goddess): ‘”Now, can you believe anyone would be so stupid?” ‘.  It’s set as a speech given at a women-only meeting with a clever twist on why so many women shouldn’t fear spiders despite the extra legs and pincers ‘ “Forgot something though didn’t they?…[Men]… How many Cancers and Scorpios are in the audience?”.’

audio of readings:

LGBT History Month at Walthamstow Library

 

We are having a PARTY on the 8th September. Come along! free, but ticketed

The Old Woman from Friuli at Ealing – recording

Here’s a recording of The Old Woman From Friuli by Ghillian Potts being read last week at West Ealing Library by Ghil’s daughter, Cherry.

The Old Woman is next being read at our 5th Anniversary celebrations at Manor House Library in Lee SE13 on 8th September at 6.30pm. This event is free, but ticketed.

Then at Shoreham Library as part of the Shoreham Word Fest on October 14th at 11 am where it will be read by Tash Fairbanks. This event is free.

The Old Woman is in Ealing this weekend

Another outing for The Old Woman from Friuli!

Ghillian Potts‘ creation will continue her tour of London Libraries at West Ealing Library Melbourne Avenue, Ealing, W13 9BT

Reading by the author’s daughter & publisher Cherry Potts

Saturday 12th August 2pm Free

Suitable for everyone age of 5 and above

Books available for sale

In the meantime here’s Sarah Feathers reading the book at Osterley Library last month!