Wednesday, 21 September 2016

My FantasyCon schedule

I love the FantasyCon experience (I've written reports for most of them) from my first in September 2000 in Birmingham up to last year in Nottingham.  Back at my first, I went in knowing about three people but by the time I left I knew a load more and most of those friendships are still going strong.  This year, it's FantasyCon-by-the-Sea and so Sue Moorcroft & I are off to sunny Scarborough and I'm really looking forward to it.  As I'm involved in a few things (and because the cool kids are doing it), here's my schedule for the weekend, starting off with a new novella from me.

Twenty years ago at college, Martin, Paul, Jane and Gwen were members of the GLUE Club - the Gaffney Legendary Urban Explorers - run by the charismatic Tom.  Now, following his mysterious death, they agree to meet up again and undertake one final exploration to honour his name.

Aside from Paul who never left, none of them have been back to Gaffney since and the reunion is awkward, re-opening old wounds.  As they begin to explore the long-abandoned Pocock Factory, it seems they might be intruding on something better left alone.  As they succumb, one by one, to the spirits in the darkness, it quickly becomes a battle to see who will survive the night...

* * *
Friday 23rd - 8pm - Royal Ballroom - The FantasyCon Disco!
I don't know why it's on a Friday night this year but I love the disco, we always have a great laugh and so that's where I'll be!

* * *
Saturday 24th - 10am (Royal Ballroom, Royal Hotel) - Creepin Up on You
Are We Running Out of Imaginary Scares? Is Reality The New Horror?
Paul Finch (Chair), Ramsey Campbell, Tracy Fahey, Helen Marshall, Mark West

Am I nervous?  Yeah, just a little bit...

* * *
Saturday 24th - 1pm (Palm Court Ballroom, The Grand Hotel) - All About You
First Steps As a New Writer – How Do You Go About Launching Your Career?
David Tallerman, Rob Power, Sue Moorcroft (Chair), Helen Armfield, Iain Grant

* * *
Saturday 24th - 3pm (Main Ballroom, The Grand Hotel) Book Launch – NewCon Press
Ian Whates launches Ten Tall Tales (which includes my story Do You Believe In Ghosts?)

I'm well chuffed, look at that company I'm keeping!

If you're not attending, the book can be ordered from the publisher on this link, whilst the ebook can be ordered from Amazon here

* * *
Saturday 24th - 7pm (Cocktail Bar, The Grand Hotel) Book Launch – Hersham Horror Books
Peter Mark May launches four novellas and a collection, featuring:

Stephen Bacon with Laudanum Nights
James Everington with Paupers Graves
Phil Sloman with Becoming David
Mark West with The Factory
Marie O'Regan with In Times Of Want And Other Stories

Please come along, otherwise the five of us will just spend the hour sitting around and nattering!
* * *
Sunday 25th - 3.30pm onwards (Royal Ballroom, Royal Hotel) Fantasycon/BFS Awards Banquet
Depending on the timings, I usually attend these anyway but this year sees my second ever nomination (following  Drive  last year).  This time I am nominated for curating the King For A Year Project in the non-fiction category.  It's a strong field but fingers crossed, eh?
as it was announced on Twitter - 7/6/16

In addition to all the above, there are plenty of panels and readings I'd like to get to, plus lots of friends have book launches and there's also the epic curry outing (with hopefully quicker service than last year).  If you don't see me at any of these, I'll either be in the dealer room or in the bar.  Or in the disco on Friday night!
FantasyCon 2015 Disco (I got warm, my camera misted up) - from left, Peter Mark May, me, Phil Sloman, Steven Chapman
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 at a Con, 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!
FantasyCon 2015, from left, Paul Woodward, Phil Sloman, Stephen Bacon, me, Alison Littlewood, Jim Mcleod, James Everington - front - Gavin Williams
I hope to see you there and, as ever, there will be a full report when I get back!


  1. Fantastic stuff, Mark. It all sounds excellent and I'm sure you'll all have a great time. One day I might have the guts to turn up myself! :-)

    1. Thanks Val, it'd be great if you did get to one!