I was very pleasantly surprised to find that the first half of the event was quite socially-oriented. I got to have a chat with Anthony, who introduced me to his wife and several other people. I also got to speak with the head of humanities at Bath Spa University as well as a nice history professor. I always find meeting new people enjoyable, so I was especially pleased of the opportunity to chat with these nice people. Plus, there were snacks and drinks, so I had a few crisps and a glass of apple juice.
The main part of the event had Anthony giving a talk about his book and then reading an excerpt to us. For those who are completely unfamiliar with it; it's about a zoologist named Brendan Merlie who travels to central Africa for an ecological survey but finds something much more deep and mysterious than he expected. Over the years, I've heard Anthony tell numerous stories, both retellings of existing tales and things of his own creation, and I have to say, the reading he gave of Deep Time might just be the best I've heard from him yet, which bodes well for Deep Time! I'm looking forward to reading the novel in its entirety, because if the quality of writing found in that excerpt is maintained throughout I (and indeed, everybody else who is going to read it) am in for a treat.
There was also a talk and a reading by Helen Moore from her book Ecozoa (a poetry collection). Unlike Anthony, I didn't actually know anything about Helen or her work, but I think it's always a worthwhile experience to learn about the work of others. The end of the evening was a question and answer session in which Anthony and Helen both discussed their environmental views; as somebody who with a strong interest in environmentalism, I was keen to learn of their perspectives, especially as they both tied it in to creativity and literature.
So, on the whole: a very good evening. I've got my nice, new copy of Deep Time and I am eagerly looking forward to getting started on it. Once I've finished it, you can be sure that I'll be posting a review of it here!
(Don't miss today's Finger Puppet Show!)