FantasyCon 2014

Posted: September 10, 2014 in reading, writing life
Tags: , , , ,

As I mentioned on Monday, I spent this weekend at FantasyCon 2014, the British Fantasy Society’s annual convention. It’s only the second time I’ve been, and the first time was several years ago, so I was a bit uncertain of myself. Despite that I had a great time listening to panels, catching up with a few old friends and making some new ones.

Taking notes helps me to take in what people say when they’re talking. As a result I took extensive notes on some of the panels, and will summarise the more interesting ones over the next few weeks. But to start with I just want to mention a few people who impressed me and why:

  • Juliet McKenna – a politely spoken grey-haired lady who turns out to be a sword-wielding badass – this is what action heroes should be like
  • Foz Meadows – the most thought-provoking panellist I saw over the weekend, bringing intelligent feminism and an analytical attitude to social and political topics
  • Paul Cornell – a lively and entertaining host for the weekend’s two gameshow panels who tolerated my brief burst of fannish enthusiasm while he was busy feed his son
  • Chris Barnes – a Scottish voice actor who did a very entertaining reading with Graeme Reynolds, complete with accents and voice modification via pint glass.

Special mention should also go to writer David Tallerman, who I spent quite a lot of time chatting with. I recommend his bonkers comic Endangered Weapon B, which I bought on Comixology after seeing a copy on Friday night, and I am now the proud owner of David’s own battered copy of his first Easie Damasco book, which I’m looking forward to reading. Though unsurprisingly it’s not the only book I’ve come home with.

Just some of the books I accumulated at FantasyCon

Just some of the books I accumulated at FantasyCon


This post-FantasyCon post by Den Patrick is also an interesting reflection on an aspect of author etiquette at cons, and perhaps reflects how as creative types we sometimes shoot ourselves in the foot. Den’s name will come up again later, as he was on a couple of the panels I enjoyed.

More on FantasyCon and its panels later in the week.

  1. glenatron says:

    Juliet McKenna’s books are also excellent- very much “on genre” for fantasy but with style and interesting themes. I have enjoyed all the ones I have read, particularly her Lescari Revolution books, which I ended up having to buy directly from her as they are hard to get hold of elsewhere. Those have the impressive quality of having set up the tension early on and maintained it until very close to the end, right across a trilogy. Pretty hard to do.

    Also she writes books that fit into series but actually have an ending, which I really appreciate. Especially if you are reading them as they come out, there are few things more annoying than a book that just stops without any actual ending. No excuse for that.

    • I’m definitely going to have to give her work a go. And having just read Rothfuss’s Name of the Wind, which lacks a satisfying ending, it would be nice to read a series that has them. I’m very much of the view that individual volumes in a series should have their own climaxes, even if they’re setting up for the next one too. Otherwise the story feels incomplete.

      • glenatron says:

        Exactly. This annoyed me intensely about The Blade Itself. That one almost stopped half way through a sentence. I mean, grimdark isn’t really for me anyway- life is sufficiently grim and dark and I see too much diabolus-ex-machina in there – but that certainly put me off that series too.

        I really enjoyed The Name Of The Wind but felt it hard to defend when someone suggested it was a heinous act of mary-sue-ary.

        • It bothered me less with The Blade Itself, I guess because I love Abercrombie’s dark action style. I’ll probably write a post on Name of the Wind soon, but while there was a lot to love about it, having such a slow start and so little sense of progress after 660 pages mad it hard to love the whole book. I want to know what happens next, but I’m not sure I want to know enough to commit that much time and effort to the next book.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s