Every year, the good and the great of the genre scene (and the plain old writer in search of a decent pint) gather in a hotel somewhere in England and talk and celebrate all things genre-related media. Last year it was held in Nottingham but, for this year’s event, the committee has upped sticks and moved lock, stock and barrel all the way down to the south coast to Brighton. The hotel for the seedy rendezvous is the Royal Albion Hotel and the event is being held between 30th September and 2nd October.
There will be a number of events going on there, such as readings, book launches, panel discussions, signings and a raffle to win all kinds of special goodies. A further delight will be the presentation of a twenty minute pantomine version of the classic Tigon Productions film, The Blood on Satan’s Claw, brought to you by the exquisite John Llewellyn Probert and Thana Niveau, both of whom will play all the roles required (unmissable!).There’s also the wonderful prospect of sitting down for a drink amongst your favourite authors between all of these happenings and then getting caught up in the
drunken – errrr – animated conversations around the tables. Another attraction will be the Dealer’s Room, where publishers and specialist genre booksellers will have tables selling all manner of interesting things to spend your cash on. Did I mention that there will also be a bar? And no doubt there’ll be a few curry outings, too!
I won’t be getting a table to represent Spectral this year, however I AM involved in two events, should you be interested: first, at 1pm on the Friday in the Fitzherbert Room, I will be part of a panel discussing Small Press Markets, so please feel free to come and watch me dribble inanely, searching for words of wisdom and erudition. Then, later on in the evening, at 10:30pm, there’ll be a Spectral Press reading, featuring Gary McMahon (with an extract from What They Hear in the Dark) and Simon Kurt Unsworth, reading his story Pyramid Spider, which will be one of the tales to be included in his Spectral Signature Edition to be published in 2013. I might even be participating in that one – it’s being held in Room 134…
On top of all that excitement, there’s the special guests, who this year will be:
Christopher Paolini, author of Eragon, Eldest and Brisingr, and The Inheritance Cycle (the last novel in the series, Inheritance, will be launched November). Saturday ONLY.
Joe Abercrombie, author of The Blade Itself, Before They are Hanged, Last Argument of Kings, and The Heroes.
Gwyneth Jones, award-winning author of such books as Divine Endurance and Bold as Love.
John Ajvide Lindqvist, author of Handling the Undead, Harbour, and the bestselling Let the Right One In.
Peter Atkins, author of Morning Star and Big Thunder, and a Hollywood scriptwriter (Hellraiser II-IV, especially, and Wishmaster).
Special Guest of Honour is Brian Aldiss OBE, writer of such classics as Hothouse, Frankenstein Unbound and The Helliconia Trilogy – not to be missed!!
Don’t forget there’s also the British Fantasy Society Awards Ceremony as well on the Sunday afternoon after the banquet, hosted this year by the lovely, glamorous Sarah Pinborough.
This promises to be another fun-filled weekend, and it’s only just over a fortnight away! I hope to see many of you there, and please, don’t be afraid to come over, offer me a rum ‘n’ coke or a glass of wine, and talk to me! I may have a tattooed head, but I don’t bite… =)
For more information, please go to the FantasyCon2011 website.