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Work related news

I suppose I should talk about today's big story here at work - a serious fire in the other office building on our site yesterday evening.

The fire was reported at 5.38 pm. Had I been here till my normal time I would have seen it but since I was going into London for the BWB meet up I left about 45 minutes before then. It was a big fire, took nearly two hours to fully put out and it has gutted two offices, about half of the third floor of the publishing building. Thankfully nobody was hurt and those who were on site followed procedure and got out safely. It is not thought to be suspicious, probably an electrical fault.

When I arrived this morning I saw a lot of people standing around outside the other building and assumed there had been a fire drill but in my office nobody knew anything about what was going on. It was not till later when an email came round that we had the full story. They were removing the blackened glass windows today at lunch time and I could see smoke damage on the wood cladding above and below the windows. Obviously I had not looked up when I arrived this morning. About 35 workstations were destroyed and I think almost everyone who works in the other building was sent home as safety inspections were carried out today.

So the question now is will the company repair all the damage or will this force their hand into making a decision about the future of the building? We know its old, it is mostly constructed of asbestos and having closed down the warehouse a couple of months ago we are pretty sure we'll be moved to another site at some point in the near future. Whether they will knock this building down and build a new one on the site, we don't know. The company "are committed to staying in Basingstoke" but whether that means here on this site or elsewhere, we don't know.

But in further work related news I have got the job in the Web Development Team. This means after 3 years in the web production team I will instead be concentrating on the page building processes full time, having worked 50/50 between teams over the last 6 or 7 months. I find the work more interesting, less routine and it also comes with a nice little pay bump


Chapter Reference Table updated

For anyone who finds it useful I've updated the Chapter Reference Table on my website for ADWD - yes the chapter names are SPOILERS so don't look if you haven't finished reading yet.

Right time for a hot bath, I'm starting to smell like Reek here....

...and then the Dance was over

Took me 2 full days, around 32 hours of solid reading to finish A Dance With Dragons.

Yes I am quite a slow reader but I like to take it all in and enjoy it.

here be spoilersCollapse )
Two bits of bad news and one good to share with everyone today.

After a month of trying to get hold of Kat blackrock (seriously it was like she had dropped off the face of the planet) I finally got an email back from her, she has just been busy moving house and working on a new programme at the University she works at. This new programme means she will now be insanely busy all through the summer and will only be able to attend Worldcon Fri-Sun. This also puts the Lake Tahoe hike in doubt (unless we have enough people with cars wanting to do it), I've lost my lift from SF to Reno and any chance of a camping/hiking trip through Northern California in the week before is definitely off. This sucks.

At least I had not already booked hotels so my plans are at least a little flexible.

The second bit of bad news is Kristian Nairn has confirmed that due to shooting commitments he won't be able to attend Worldcon either, which probably means jakestormoen  won't be there either. But the good news is Jake might be coming to TitanCon instead and Kristian will be joining us on the GoT Coach Tour.

Alright that good news isn't good for anyone not coming to Belfast, sorry bout that...

Beware of the Spoilers!

Some fuckstick is posting ADWD spoilers all over Westeros including as a comment in my profile. I was wary and only read the first line but still it cannot be unseen. Of course it could be an untrue spoiler, Werthead and Ran have been posting warnings about that as well.

The account has already been blocked and posts deleted but still the damage may have already been done.

Fucking Amazon.de breaking the embargo - you see the shit you've caused assholes!

Perhaps I need to go into Internet hibernation for the next 12 days....


Game of Thrones Coach Tour

Announcement regarding our Friday and Sunday events for TitanCon!

Friday 23 September - Culture Night Belfast - FREE entry
Award winning novelist Ian McDonald reads excerpts from his Hugo-nominated novel The Dervish House. Ian will also be joined by fellow TitanCon author guests Peadar Ó Guilín and T.A. Moore who will be reading excerpts from their novels.

The venue for this event is McHughs Bar, we've hired the basement bar for the evening. This is the same veue where the BWB held Belfast Moot 1 in 2009. This event is also a celebration of Studio NI's 7th anniversary so we'll be partying quite late (though those of us getting up at 6 am to start work on TitanCon might be bowing out early).

Sunday 25 September - Game of Thrones Coach Tour - Tickets £28

Our special Sunday event is a coach tour visiting various locations used in the filming of Game of Thrones season one including Tollymore Forest, Inch Abbey, Audleys Castle and Castle Ward (Winterfell courtyard) where we will be hosting a medieval feast, archery workshop by the SCA and a LARP event run by LARPNI.

The tour begins at 10.15 am departing from the Europa Hotel in Belfast. We won't be back till 9 pm so make sure you can stick around all day because you really don't want to miss this!

See the full Coach Tour schedule for more details. Spaces are limited so please buy your tickets as soon as possible to avoid disappointment!

This has been a lot of work for the TitanCon Committee to put together and we are so glad to finally make the announcement public. Please help advertise us and if you can't attend yourself then please consider buying a Supporting Membership for £5. It would be a big help to us. Thank you.

Hodor is Coming plus TitanCon video promo

An update on the progress of TitanCon 2011.

Our first Game of Thrones cast member confirmed as a guest for TitanCon 2011 is Kristian Nairn who plays the role of Hodor in the HBO TV series. Already a firm favourite with the fans thanks to his appearances at Octocon and Belfast Moot 2 in 2010 he will be a giant presence at TitanCon. Fortunatly for us he says a lot more in person than just "Hodor".

Also check out our promo video created by the hilarious Joseph Campo from the AWESOME and legendary Get Joe on the Show YouTube series.

Two huge pieces of news today, firstly:

It has been a long time since I've posted anything to my LiveJournal, all those reports on Conventions and BWB meet ups from last year, well they never got finished. In my defence I have been busy with something else. Something we are finally ready to publicly announce:

Sat 24 September 2011
Europa Exhibition Centre, Belfast

TitanCon is a science fiction and fantasy literature, media and gaming convention for Belfast Northern Ireland including panels on HBO and George RR Martin's Game of Thrones, organised and run by GRRM fangroup the Brotherhood Without Banners, Studio NI, Northern Ireland's largest arts and culture group, and The Other Ones a Belfast science fiction and fantasy society.

Full details can be found on our website www.titancon.com

and now the real hard work begins...

Oh yeah and George has made some minor announcement about some book being published on 12 July 2011, A Dance With Dragons or something....

Dublin: Day 1

So in honour of the impeding trip to Ireland I have changed my theme from the cityscape of Sydney Australia for something that speaks of the tranquil hills, the rural Irish landscape I will be enjoying for 5 days from tomorrow.

Tonight I go straight to Gatwick from work. Sadly while packing last night I realised that there was no way I could meet the 10kg restriction on hand luggage and so I will have to check some luggage. And since this is fucking Ryanair that means risking not getting it back. But it is the only way.

If the flight is on time (unlikely) then I will be arriving at 22.15 where a certain peadarog  should be waiting to pick me up from the airport. Peadar invited me to stay with him and I took him up on the chance. OK so he invited me last year but I figured the offer was still good and thankfully it was. Then tomorrow morning we will be back out to the airport to pick up LugaJetBoyGirl before driving into Dublin to meet up with Mormont, Pebble and Luzifer's Right Hand before heading off to Glendalough for a day of hiking.

The plan is to get back to Dublin for 5.30 so we can get showered and changed ready for dinner with George at 7 pm. I hope Parris has managed to catch a flight over to Ireland today and will be able to join us.

I will be staying at the Camden Court Hotel from tomorrow evening through to the end of Octocon when I fly back to the UK on Monday afternoon.

Just as with Worldcon I will aim to post updates from Octocon which should be much easier with complimentary wi-fi in the hotel. With any luck this will include video of panels and other interesting stuff - except for George's reading of course. However, just like Worldcon I will start out with the greatest of intentions and probably fail to deliver so ya know, be happy for what you get ;)

Right just under an hour before I leave so wish me luck.