Monday, 28 September 2020

FantasyCon Memories

This past weekend should have seen FantasyCon 2020 take place in London but, due to Covid-19, it was understandably cancelled.  Absolutely the right decision but it meant a lot of us missed out on one of the few chances we get in a year to catch up, in real life and in living colour, with our writing friends, a weekend full of chatter (books, writing and general bollocks), laughter and eating.
The FantasyCon Boyband publicity shoot went well - Richard Farren Barber, Steve Bacon, me, Wayne Parkin on Scarborough sea front, 2016

I've missed meeting up with my writing family this year, so I thought I'd share some of my favourite FantasyCon memories from over the years here.  If you were at any of these with me, it was a real pleasure to spend time with you and roll on next year, when hopefully we can finally do it again!

FantasyCon 2018 - Chester (I wrote about it here).  Set in another grand hotel, highlights from this include great book launches, being on a panel with Joanne Harris and the inaugural Best Legs In Horror contest (tightly fought by me, Phil Sloman & Jim Mcleod, I was robbed...)
In the Jubilee Room for the Black Room Manuscripts 4 launch with, from left, Tracy Fahey (who co-edited the anthology), Duncan Bradshaw, Peter Mark May, Steve, Penny Jones, me, Neil Williams, Michelle Williams and James Everington
Me & Jim Mcleod (I can't remember now why he suggested I sit on his knee) - pic by Lisa Childs
The "no pressure whatsover panel" featuring, from left, Juliet Kemp, Joanne Harris, me and Lesley Jones - some of these people are more nervous than others...

Fantasycon 2017 - Peterborough (I wrote about it here).
On a panel with some stellar writers - Ramsey Campbell, Phil Sloman, me, Helen Armfield, Nina Allan and James (pic by Peter Mark May)
Out for lunch with Dave Jeffery, Sue Moorcroft, Phil (his left arm isn't really that long!), Peter Mark May, me, Richard
Priya Sharma, Steve Harris, me, Simon Bestwick (front) and Peter

FantasyCon 2016 - Scarborough (I wrote about it here).  Probably my favourite Con of all time, this had everything - a wonderfully gothic hotel, great friends, excellent weather, successful book launches, fish & chips on the front and lots of laughter.
from left - John Gilbert, Sue Moorcroft, Neil, James, Priya, Phil, me, Lisa Childs, Ross Warren, Wayne, Cate Gardner
At the launch of Hersham Horror Books' 4 Novella's - Phil, Steve, me, James
In the back bar (pic by Chris Teague) - from left (bottom) Wayne, Gavin Williams, Amanda Rutter, Steve, Sharon Ring, me, Ross, John Travis, Peter, Lisa, Sue, Phil, Steve, James
Me, Alison Littlewood, Gary Fry and Gary McMahon - sarcasm not pictured

FantasyCon 2015 - Nottingham (I wrote about it here) A real highlight, this included the launch of The Lost Film, the "surprise" book launch of Jim Mcleod Must Die, a cracking disco and lots and lots of laughing with friends.  The hotel menu wasn't brilliant, nor was the service at the curry house...
Launching "The Lost Film" with Steve and Christoper Teague
"Jim Mcleod Must Die!" - the big man is overcome at all the love in the room for him, with Sue, Phil (who organised the wonderful project) and Steve
Jim, me, Charlotte Bond, Paul Melhuish and Richard 
A misted up camera lens produced this - Peter, me, Phil and Steven Chapman, boogie-ing the night away...
l to r - Paul Woodward, Phil, Steve, me, Alison, Jim and James with Gavin Williams in front.  I am NOT fiddling with his ear...

FantasyCon 2014 - York (I wrote about it here) This was just after my heart attack and it still gives me a warm glow, remembering the way people came up for a hug or to say how good it was to see me.  That meant an awful lot to me then and it still does today.
In the Dealers Room (again) with Steven, Phil, Jim, me, Sue, Neil and Chris

World Fantasy 2013 - the third in Brighton and this was huge (I wrote about it here)
In the dealers room with Stephen Volk, Gard Goldsmith and Paul Finch
Neil Bond displays his autographs, with Steven and Ruth Booth

In the dealers room with Selina Lock, Richard and Stuart Young
Having a great time at the disco!
Alison & I having a laugh in the Hauntings book signing.  Poor old Paul Kane doesn't look so amused...

FantasyCon 2011 - my first in Brighton (I wrote about it here).  This was also the Con where I got to see Simon Duric's masterful short film Later (which I wrote about here).
At the Alt-Dead launch with Stuart Hughes, me, Dave, Steve Lockley and Stuart Young.  Peter Mark May is handing out the cake.

In the bar at the Brittania in Nottingham
(left to right: Gary McMahon, hiding behind his proof, Shaun Hamilton, Steve, me, David Price, Simon Kurt Unsworth, with Simon Marshall-Jones in front

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