Sunday @ Cymera 2021

Previously: Saturday @ Cymera 2021 | Coming Soon: Ace of Spades Book Review

All good things must come to an end, and Cymera 2021 ended last night. Incase you weren’t already aware Cymera celebrates fantasy and science fiction literature, and is usually hosted in Edinburgh, though this year, like last year was hosted on Zoom and YouTube. I was grateful to accept a press pass and immediately booked as many events as I could possibly attend so that I could share the experience with you.

If you are interested in Cymera, then do keep an eye on their website and socials for future events.

History Remixed with Barbara Stevenson and Lavie Tidhar

Sunday was definitely my busiest day events wise, and if you saw the schedule you would know why. I began the day with this event with Barbara Stevenson, who was discussing her book The Dalliances of Monsieur D’Haricot, and Lavie Tidhar’s The Hood. These aren’t books that I had come across but I liked the idea of hearing about the way in which these authors used history in their books. As an extra treat the event was being moderated by Justin Lee Anderson, the author of one of my favourite books of 2020, The Lost War. Since this was such an early event for a Sunday morning it was lovely to be able to watch it from bed. I especially liked the way that Tidhar compared the Arthurian myth to The Godfather, as I love both of these things. I’m pretty well-versed in Arthurian my thing having taken a whole class on it’s 19th and 20th century depiction as part of my MA course.

It’s Grim Up North with John Gwynne, Thilde Kold Holdt, and Mike Brooks.

If you’ve been around the SFF community then you must have seen the cover of John Gwynne’s latest book, The Shadow of the Gods. It has a dragon and it’s glorious. Does that ring a bell? While I have yet to read any Gwynne, I did want to pick up this book and I am planning on participating in a read-along of one of his older series’. Also, he has the best author picture I have ever seen. I was less familiar with Thilde Kold Holdt who was promoting Northern Wrath, and Mike Brooks’ The Black Coast. All three of the books depict northern settings, with Mike Brooks going all out to have both a northern and a southern setting.

V.E. Schwab

Over on Cymera’s YouTube channel was a prerecorded event with the queen herself, V.E. Schwab, that I knew I could not miss. I’ve see Schwab speak many times before, and I hope to see her many times again. I love hearing about the way her mind works, and how she channels her own creativity. She is excellent at demystifying the publishing process and is very inspiring to hear from.

With Knife, Book, and Spell with Anna Stephens, Suyi Davies Okungbowa, and Matthew Ward

At one point I actually had this event running at the same time as V.E. Schwab because they overlapped slightly. Last year I watched a Cymera event with Justin Lee Anderson, who wrote one of m favourite books of 2020 The Lost War, and Anna Stephens was chairing. When I saw that she was making a return visit I really wanted to see her again because she was a very good chairperson. This time she is here to promote her own book, The Stone Knife, along with Suyi Davies Okungbowa’s Son of the Storm which has the most beautiful cover. Also, Matthew Ward was promoting his book series , The Legacy Trilogy, and the discussion broadly centred ways to win a fight wither with a physical weapon, like a knife, intelligence, like a book, or a spell, as in magic. This seemed like the most varied event as the three authors did not have as much in common initially. However, it was interesting to head how they did in fact overlap in certain ways.

Space Marauders with Becky Chambers and Stark Holborn.

My final Cymera event of 2021 was this sci-fi epic. Becky Chambers is extremely well known for her Wayfarers series, of which I have only read the first one but I did enjoy it. The finale of the series, The Galaxy, and the Ground Within was recently released. While I have not seen much about it this event did make me want to pull my socks up and crack on with the series especially now that it is finished. While Chambers’ books are known for being a slow burn Stark Holborn’s Ten Low sounds like a wild ride. One that I very much want to be on.

So that is that. Cymera 2021 has officially reached its conclusion. Big thanks to Cymera for allowing me to join in with the fun. It was so much fun to hang out with other SFF fantasy fans, and hear authors speak about their books. At the end of the day no one can sell their book as well as the author, right? I found so many great books that my TBR is overflowing (maybe I need a special Cymera TBR?). Hopefully we can do this all again next year. Bring on Cymera 2022… maybe even in Edinburgh?

If you want to check out any of the books mentioned then I have put together this handy list (affiliate link), or they will be available to purchase from the usual places. Don’t forget to use your local independent bookshops where possible or your local library.

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