Wednesday 3 October 2012

Fantasycon in Bullet Points

Last weekend, I attended my very first convention - Fantasycon - and I loved it. Here are some of the things that occurred and helped make it something to remember...

- Simon may never forgive me for making him run from our B&B to the convention hotel because I wanted to attend Rob Shearman's reading. The run included stairs. I will apologise eventually. Maybe. Probably not. It was Rob Shearman after all. I also attended readings by Simon Bestwick (duh!), Alison Littlewood, Gary McMahon, Graham Joyce and Jon Oliver.

- Beware of Graham Joyce and seemingly innocent lists of signatures. Always check under Joyce's thumb. Several writers signed their names to the List of Cunts. Snort.

- An absolute thrill to finally meet Ray Cluley and to discover that his girlfriend, Victoria, is VH Leslie who's had stories published in Black Static. At several points during the weekend I was surrounded by Black Static and Interzone authors. This makes me part of the gang, right? Right? It's almost like having a story within the pages, right? Simon and I went for a meal with Ray and Victoria on the Friday night. A definite highlight of the weekend. The following night we returned to the same restaurant with the brilliant Gary & Emily McMahon. I ate swordfish. This is exotic for me.

- Arriving at a disco via the dance floor when your boyfriend is an extrovert and you are an introvert is scary. I demanded a pint of cider and after a few sips discovered my rhythm - or rather, no longer cared whether or not I had rhythm. I didn't have rhythm.

- Beware of DJs with a wicked sense of humour.

- I can hold my drink. Cue one boyfriend who was slightly less concerned when I demanded he buy me another pint of cider.

- During the British Fantasy Awards the room erupted when Rob Shearman won the award for best collection. Although all the winners received generous applause, the announcement of Rob's win almost brought the hotel down. In fact, I suspect parts of Brighton are still shaking. Adam Nevill got a rapturous applause too. Someone needs to check if the hotel is still standing.

- Despite claiming we would, the Bestwick and I never managed a trip on the big wheel. We ran out of time. It wasn't because we're wimps or that we were still trying to catch our breath after running to Rob Shearman's reading. Although, hearing Soozy Marjoram's report of her experience on the big wheel I'm rather grateful to the beast that stole time.

- Nina Allen is so lovely.

- Alison Littlewood & Fergus are lovely too. But this I already knew. In fact, lots of people were lovely and in some cases bonkers. I appreciate bonkers. Amongst the lovely and the bonkers who I spoke to (leaving out those already mentioned) were Graeme Reynolds, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Jay Eales, Rosie Seymour, Christopher Teague, Rio Youers, Lynda Rucker, Mark West, Selina Lock, Joel Lane, Gary Cole Wilkin, David Price, Simon & Lizzie Marshall Jones, Neil Buchanan, Maura McHugh, and... okay, I've mentioned him before but... Rob Shearman. So, so excited to meet Rob. I don't think it showed though. Apologies to all those I forgot to mention (I have just face palmed)

- Somebody forgot to attend any panels. That would be me. No matter the awesomeness of the Guests of Honour if you get lost in Alice in Wonderland corridors you'll never find your way to their interview. Oops! In fact, I think my reflection is still trapped somewhere in the basement of the con hotel.

- I didn't take many photos because I suffered a strange case of Behind Camera Shyness. This is a new illness. I'm going to prescribe something sugary.

- I developed an addiction to ice cubes. My home made ice cubes do not compare. I would also like to continue having breakfast in bed. Someone arrange the latter.

- Roy Gray (of Interzone / TTA Press) kindly gave us a lift to and from Fantasycon. Much thanks to him. I think he survived the experience.

- Candy floss was consumed.

- Most important of all, the convention made me desperate to write. I'd lost a little of that want over the past few months. Oh, and did I say, I met ROB SHEARMAN!!! This may have pleased me.


Aaron Polson said...

Sounds like a delightful time, Cate. And in list form! Bonus!

Deborah Walker said...

Wow. Le wow. It sounds fabulous.

Unknown said...

This all sounds lovely but why no mention of Rob Shearman?

Cate Gardner said...

It was, Aaron & Deborah

I forgot he was there, Tony ;)

Katey said...

Ooooh bringing down hotels and all. So glad it was amazing--but not surprised!

Simon said...

Funny how you forgot to mention Rob Shearman telling you he loved your work and that you were a terrific writer... :-)

Simon Kewin said...

Sounds fab. Must try and get there next time.

Cate Gardner said...

Yes, not like me at all, Simon ;)

Oh do, Simon K. I'd love to meet you.

K.C. Shaw said...

Sounds like fun! I'm glad you got to go!

Cate Gardner said...

Me too. Thanks, Kate