Tuesday, 20 October 2015

No Twerking Please (my FantasyCon schedule)

I love the FantasyCon experience (I've written reports for most of them) and my first was in September 2000 (FCon XXIV) in Birmingham, where Doug Bradley was one of the guests of honour.  I knew about three people before I went into the venue, but knew a load more by the time I left and most of those friendships are still going strong.  Last years Con, at York, was even more fun and I don't expect this one to be any different at all (especially with all the "Lost Film" goodness!).
Since all the cool kids are doing it (hey, I'm not above trying to claim coolness-by-association) - and because it's the first time I've ever been on a panel - here's my schedule for the weekend.

* * *
Friday 23rd - 5pm - Pendragon Press, launch of "The Lost Film Novellas" by Stephen Bacon & Mark West.
Oh yes, our novellas are finally unleashed.  Please come along, don't force me & Steve to sit in front of an empty room, twiddling our thumbs and smiling nervously at one another like we're on a first date...
* * *

Friday 23rd - 9pm (Conference Theatre) - The Atrocity Exhibition
A distinctive show betwixt Victorian parlour game, debauched freakshow and kitsch cabaret. Most wicked jollity with Mistress of Ceremonie Donna Scott.

Panellists: Kim Lakin-Smith, Emma Newman, Gareth L. Powell and Mark West
I'm not entirely sure what to expect with this, except that Donna is a guarantee of quality and look at my fellow panellists!

* * *

Saturday 24th - 6pm (suite 2) - "Weirdness, Darkness, Madness: the Psychology of Dark Fantasy"

The landscapes of the mind have always been fertile ground to explore in Gothic literature. How is that tradition now informing today's dark fantasy and weird fiction?

* morbid fascination: why are we drawn to what unsettles us?

* what techniques, tropes and tricks do writers and film-makers use to get in our heads?

* what disturbs you the most: fear for your life vs. fear for your sanity?

* what weird experiences have the panellists had and how have they informed their writing?

It's all in the mind. . .or is it?

Moderator: Terry Grimwood
Panellists: Timothy J Jarvis, Kim Lakin-Smith, Helen Marshall, Deborah Walker, Mark West
* * *

Sunday 25th - 3pm onwards - The Awards Ceremony.  note - I usually attend this anyway but this year sees my first solo nomination with "Drive" up for Best Novella (against a very strong field).  Fingers crossed!
* * *
York, September 2014 - Sue Moorcroft, Steven Chapman, Steve Bacon, me, Neil Williams
As FantasyCon sees the launch of "The Lost Film Novellas" (my most recent blog about the project is here), Steve & I - aside from the official 'do' mentioned above - will also be hanging around the Pendragon Press table in the dealers room, signing copies of the limited edition paperbacks and handing out any badges that are left!

In addition, there are plenty of panels and readings that I'm keen to get to, plus a lot of friends have book launches and then there's the epic curry outing, organised by Phil Sloman.  If you don't see me at any of those, I'll either be in the dealer room or in the bar.  Or at the disco, which is always great fun (plus Jim Mcleod - Mr Ginger Nuts Of Horror himself - and I are considering a dance routine together, though I promise not to twerk this year).
York, September 2014 - Fiona Ni Ealaighthe, Jim Mcleod, me, John Travis
FantasyCon, for me, is as much about the people as anything else and - like always - I'm looking forward to catching up with old friends I haven't seen for a year.  There's something positive in the air, that creates a real buzz, when you're surrounded by creative people who love the genre as much as you do and it's always good to meet new friends too.  So, if you see me wandering around, please do come over and say hello!
The Disco, Brighton 2012 - me, Peter Mark May, (wish I knew her name), Lee Harris, Paul Melhuish, Robert Spalding
I hope to see you there and, as ever, there will be a full report when I get back!

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