Sunday, 19 September 2010


Nell and I spent the weekend at FantasyCon in Nottingham which was great fun and gave me lots of things to think about - some of which I'll expand on over the next few blogs.

It was great to meet with Lucy from Quercus again and she hosted us at a terrific restaurant called 'Le Petit Paris' - very highly recommended - on Saturday together with Tom Fletcher (of 'The Leaping' fame) and Louise Morgan who helps with the BFS. They made excellent dinner companions...very enjoyable. Thanks very much, Lucy, it was great!

It was great to see Tom again (we'd met at the World Horror Con in Brighton) and good to compare notes. Shame his wife, Beth, couldn't be there but hopefully next time. Tom did a reading which we attended and which gave me much food for thought. Tom's got a good reading style - very expressive - and keeps his excerpts short which I think is essential if you want to keep the audience's attention. Other readers (who shall be nameless) went on and on and on and in doing so lost their listeners. I'll have to practice before I do my first one and maybe think of way of spicing it up. I think I'll pass on a penguin's head though.

A newly shawn Tom Fletcher reading from 'The Leaping'.

Meeting Lou was terrific too - we'd only ever 'spoken' via e-mail - and she talked a lot of sense. I just wish I hadn't been quite so pissed when she was talking about the power of social networking. I think I remember most of it though...

We took in four of the panel discussions and each of them in their own way gave much food for thought. I'll write about these anon. We attended Lisa Tuttle's interview which was fascinating.

Photo of Lisa Tuttle and her interviewer, Stephen Jones

One of the things I noticed was the power of posters at these kind of events so I'm in discussion with Nigel re the designing of one.

The British Fantasy Awards ceremony which took place on the Saturday evening was interesting and I thought James Barclay did a fantastic (sorry) job of hosting it. Conrad Williams won best novel for 'One' - I haven't read it but will. I was surprised at the amount of genuine emotion on display: it shows how much these awards are valued.

A really good weekend!

All-in-all I think Nell and I are getting a better handle on these sort of conventions now and maybe when we've got another couple under our belt we'll begin to be comfortable. Of course it will help when 'The Demi-Monde' is out: then I'll feel less of a wannabe.

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