Excuse the delay folks, we were so busy recovering from FANTASYCON we may have forgotten to write!
27th- 30th September marked our second FantasyCon, and it gets better every year. For example, this year our very own Nicola Budd sat on two panels and we hosted a very successful party for our attending (and absent) authors! (More on that later).
The Jo Fletcher authors really represented by coming down to Brighton en force, which was brilliant because we’ve been waiting for such a perfect chance to show them off.
Those attending included one of the FantasyCon organizers, Stephen Jones (Book of Horrors/Curious Warnings), Alison Littlewood (A Cold Season), Sarah Pinborough (Mayhem), Tom Pollock (The City’s Son), Stephanie Saulter (Gemsigns), Naomi Foyle (Seoul Survivors), and Snorri Kristjansson (Swords of Good Men).
Highlights were as follows: On Friday, Tom Pollock did an inspired (and world debut!) reading from the next book in the Skyscraper Throne trilogy entitled The Glass Republic, (complete with natural Game of Thrones pose) Meanwhile, Alison Littlewood sat on a panel called ‘Does Gender Matter?’ about gender roles in Fantasy and SF.
Saturday dawned, beautiful and sunny. For those participants who could drag themselves out of bed or away from the beach, the day had many fantastic things in store. Jo Fletcher’s lovely assistant Nicola moderated the panel ‘Ask the Editor’, where she posed many a tricky and insightful question to her interviewees, which included Gillian Redfearn and Simon Spanton, both from Gollancz. Alison Littlewood joined Thana Niveau and Tony Richards to talk about the makings of a good short story.
After a short break for lunch (and drinks!), and a brief jaunt by the sea with Stephanie Saulter, we were back for an afternoon of stimulating fantasy discussion including panels on fairy tales, steampunk, and the future of YA.
JFB re-congregated in the evening, first to support Nicola in her packed-out panel ‘Print versus Electronic’ (because, to be honest, who doesn’t have an opinion on that?), then for a dinner of fish and chips with the JFB authors organised by Quercus Head of Publicity Lucy Ramsey.
After stuffing ourselves with the fruits of the sea, we returned to the hotel for the JO FLETCHER BOOKS PARTY (once more, spectacularly planned and executed by the wondrous Lucy Ramsey!). There were cocktails, there were speeches, and there were beautiful books for sale. What more could you want?
. . . Icelandic brandy, of course (and thanks to Snorri, there was some of that too.)
Sunday morning saw a brief dip in energy as FantasyCon attendees struggled to recover from the . . . er . . . intellectual stimulation of the last two days, but everyone bucked up for the final party: the FantasyCon 2012 Banquet and Awards Ceremony. JFB proudly commanded its own table in the very centre of the room, and even won an award: Angela Slatter, author of The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter (from A Book of Horrors, ed. Stephen Jones) won best short fiction.
As you can see, it was a weekend of discovery for all of us, and great fun to see a lot of old and new faces. Perhaps the most succinct way to end my report is with a quote from JFB author Snorri Kristjansson (who probably could have summed up this whole article for me in the two sentences below). Snorri writes of his first FantasyCon:
‘FantasyCon was magical. It magically changed all my money into a suitcase full of new books and two champion hangovers.’