Thursday 29 October 2015

The Goldfish and Fantasycon 2015

The above photograph is my favourite photo from the handful I took last weekend at Fantasycon. It is also the only non-blurry photo. Maybe I was especially nervous or I'm just really crap at taking photographs. Will try better next year. I apologise if I forget to mention you here but the weekend is descending into blur and I'm a bit of a goldfish at times.

Priya Sharma (who is all of the awesome) gave the Bestwick and me a lift up to the convention this year. We stopped off for a sneaky McDonald's on the way. When we got to the convention the first people we saw where Alison Littlewood & Fergus (totally love those guys)... I should add I love everyone else too but I reserved an extra pocket for them. Other wonderful folk in the lobby where James Everington, Phil Sloman and Dean Drinkel (all of whom I got to sign the first book I purchased at the convention), Steve Shaw, Neil Williams, the Marshall-Jones', Sarah Pinborough, and I am certain there were loads more folk. Fret. Fret.

We hurried to the convention centre because they had all off the books. Seriously ALL of the books. I've never had so many freebies. I think the Bestwick only picked up one free book because I snagged all the others and we don't need two of each - well except for Adam Nevill's novel but that's a special case. Then we attended the opening ceremony. After that I had a message from Priya to say she was in the lobby and we found her gabbing to Andrew Hook, Sophie Essex, and Roseanne Rabinowitz (hence the above photo).

And, the above is about as linear as I get with this tale as the rest is a jumble. Attended four panels (which is three more than at my first convention) and was a panel member for one - thank goodness for the gabbiness of my fellow panellists Adam Nevill, Simon Kurt Unsworth, Stephen Jones, Alison Littlewood and Nina Allan and our moderator James Everington.His first time moderating and he did awesome. Also caught a number of readings, the first being Lynda Rucker's and the last James Everington's, and in between my Bestwick's, Ray Cluley, Victoria Leslie, Priya Sharma, Joe Hill, Paul Kane, Ramsey Campbell, Marion Pittman. Attended book launches - Adam Nevill, Mark Morris, Spectral, just caught the end of the Undertow Publications launch.

Spent until way after one gabbing in the corridor by the bar on the first night chatting to Ali & Fergus, Ray Cluley & Jess Jordan, James Everington, Stephen Volk, Steve Shaw, Rosie & Jim (to mere mortals that's Simon Kurt Unsworth), Rob Shearman.

Over the weekend chatted at various times with Carole Johnstone, Laura Mauro, Mark West, Tom Johnstone, Paul Feeney, Victoria Leslie, Adam Nevill, Simon Clark, Trevor Denyer, Lynda Rucker & Shaun Hogan, Rob Shearman, Roy Gray, Pete Coleborn, Gary Couzens, Ellen Gallagher, Deborah Walker, all of the folk listed above. Good to see Nina Allan, Stephen Bacon, Fiona Ni Ealaighthe, to meet Jim McLeod for the first time (such a soppy bugger), Graeme Reynolds (and his new better half), Shaun Hamilton, Marie O'Regan, Paul Kane, Rio Youers, Selina Lock, Jay Eales (who warned against the convention centre noodles), Adele Wearing, Paul Meloy (whose book we forgot to get but that is easily rectified), Chris Teague, Ren Warrom... All of you beautiful people that I've forgotten.

Oh, and thank you to everyone who said they enjoyed my novelette in Black Static (with a special hug to Trevor Denyer).

On the Friday night we had a meal in the con hotel with Priya, Carole Johnstone, and Ali & Fergus. As to Saturday, we had breakfast and then didn't eat again until late evening. On the Saturday night, after running into Jon Oliver of Solaris Books in the lobby we arranged to go for a meal in town - and, as it turned out, the meal was on the Solaris Books tab. A gazillion thanks. So off we went for a Thai meal with a bunch of folk including the insanity that is Robert Shearman. His next book is going to be fecking awesome.

We ended the weekend with the banquet and the awards ceremony and with some awesome nominees at our table. I wouldn't be surprised if they were up for awards again next year.

And have just bought Cuckoo Song by Frances Hardinge, which won Best Fantasy Novel at the awards this year thanks to Jenny Campbell who turned around to us mid ceremony and said the book was brilliant and that she and Ramsey had bought the author's backlist.

Can I go back now please?

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