When I decided to launch The Eloquent Page I made a conscious decision to try and post only book reviews. Less than three months in and here’s my third non book review related post. Didn’t take me long to jump that shark did it?
I’ve lived in Nottingham for the last four and a half years but only discovered FantasyCon in 2009. In fact Mrs Cheesecake and I only discovered FantasyCon 2009 the week before and so only managed one full day last year. This year we were better prepared, booked some time off work, and managed all three days.
On Friday night after the opening of the convention we went to the Heavy Metal karaoke hosted by Abaddon Books. I finally managed to meet some of those lovely people from Twitter who comment on my inane ramblings. A genuine pleasure to meet @ALRutter, @Ghostfinder, @Sandra_nz. @GavinGSmith was very pleasant too and I do hope he didn’t end up in a ditch as I didn’t see him again for the rest of the convention. The only disappointment of the evening was that due to all the booze consumed I misplaced my copy of I,Zombie.
Over the course of the weekend I managed to sit in on a few panel discussions and found them all very insightful. Personal highlights for me included the discussion on How Not To Get Published. I’m not a writer, and have just enough sense to know I never will be, but I am very curious about the process. To listen in on a discussion by those in the industry is a real eye opener. I have to admit though, that I never plucked up the courage to ask any questions.
Another favourite was an interesting panel on switching genres chaired by Mark Chadbourn. This certainly prompted some vigorous debate between Mrs Cheesecake and I.
Finally, on Sunday morning the interview with Peter F Hamilton rounded things of perfectly. I love my books epic and I think it’s fair to say that a lot of Hamilton’s work is just that. It has been quite while since I have read any of his work. I will be rectifying that oversight very soon. Thanks also to the interviewer, Alasdair Stuart, who was impressed with my and I quote “excellent hair”. He is obviously a man of extreme wealth and taste.
There are a couple of points that kept popping into my head during the weekend and again I wish I wasn’t so shy. I’m interested in publisher’s reactions to the rise of social media and how it affects the industry. I am also keen to find out the part the new technology plays in publishing. For example, some publishers like Abaddon and Angry Robot are obviously keen to embrace the opportunity to sell electronically. What about others?
There were some great book launches throughout the weekend. I picked up a rather natty looking zombie anthology called Zombie Apocalypse!. Mrs Cheesecake was unfortunately denied the new reprint of The Pan Book of Horror, as it was so extremely popular it sold out.
On Sunday afternoon we took part in the raffle and were lucky enough to win a couple of books and an excellent print. In fact, over the course of the weekend we managed quite a lot of excellent swag.
Congratulations to the FantasyCon/British Fantasy Society committee. They did an excellent job and, certainly from my perspective, everything appeared to run like a very well oiled machine. Everyone was very friendly and patient.
Next year FantasyCon moves to Brighton. I am looking forward to a weekend at the beach. Mrs Cheesecake has given us the green-light and we have already booked our places. If you see me, do say hello. I’m the chap with the excellent hair.