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Fantasycon 2011 Report

Last weekend Fantasycon 2011 took place at The Royal Albion Hotel in a swelteringly hot Brighton. I was lucky enough to attend with the lovely Mrs Cheesecake.

Panels and Signings

This year I attended many more readings than I have in the past. By a strange twist of fate, they all took place in the same location. Weirdly, it was a hotel bedroom (yes I thought that was a bit odd too but hey quirky is good. Actually, in hindsight, this may have just been me invading someone else’s stay in the hotel I honestly can’t be sure now). Seriously though, every single reader was exceptional.  Kudos to – Guy Adams, Lou Morgan, Adam Christopher, Tom Pollock, Mike Shevdon, Vincent Holland-Keen, MD Lachlan and James Barclay. All I can say is that there are going to be some great books out next year.

Lou Morgan Reading

 

One personal highlight was when Guy Adams proceeded to tell the assembled group at his reading about one poor, deluded reviewer who had read Guy’s novel Restoration (the second book in a series) without reading the first even after expressly being told that this would make understanding the intricate plot tricky. I had to come clean at that point and admit that it was me – I was that reviewer, and responsible for the review in question. Ohh the embarrassment, the never-ending shame, I’m joking he was very gracious about the whole thing.

I also sat in on an entertaining Q & A between James Barclay and Joe Abercrombie as well as an insightful panel covering the rise of the internet and it’s effects on the entire industry.

Social

Fantasycon is a true social media melting pot. You are guaranteed to meet many people who you may have already tweeted, facebooked, e-mailed or Google +’d. I was fortunate to catch up with quite a few, and each and every one was very gracious with their time and absolutely lovely to boot.

Special thanks to the following for putting up with my nonsense – @Hagelrat, @Fiskerton, @HarryMarkov, @SMarshallJones and his wife Liz, @Ghostfinder, Darren Guest and his wife Lesley, @SarahPinborough, @MarkEWest, @RhianBowley, @Disrepdog, @KTScribbles, @JonathanGreen, @GavinGSmith, Pixie Pants, @LouMorgan, @Noose&Gibbet, A.J.Dalton and @David_Heb.  David deserves an extra mention as he was on the team that helped me win the FCon quiz!

There was also an epically cheesey disco that delivered some of the most surreal moments of the entire weekend. Skillfully lead by expert DJs Rio “Mixmaster” Youers and Guy “Jam Daddy” Adams. The attendees ‘shook their collective booties’. (The kids still talk like that don’t they?) I don’t think I will ever forget the interpretive dance I witnessed from the likes of Joe Abercrombie, Gary McMahon, Rob Shearman, Tom Pollock and Jonathan Green. Impressive, gentlemen; most impressive.

Books

At it’s heart Fantasycon is all about the glory of the written word and this year was no exception. Listed below are all the spectacular tomes that myself and Mrs Cheesecake carted back to Nottingham today. Some of them purchased, some of them free and some we even won.  It doesn’t get any better than that.

Darkness Falling by Peter Crowther

The Butterfly Man by Paul Kane

Redlaw by James Lovegrove

The Rise of the Iron Moon by Stephen Hunt

Full Fathom Forty edited by David J Howe

Dead Man’s Boots by Mike Carey

Kultus by Richard Ford

Loss of Separation by Conrad Williams

Regicide by Nicholas Royle

Hellbound Hearts edited by Paul Kane and Marie O’Regan

Dust by Joan Frances Turner

Dangerous Waters by Juliet E McKenna

The Crown of The Blood by Gav Thorpe

Pictus the Thief translated by Robin Bennett

I admit that I have already read review copies of the first two and enjoyed them so much I bought them at the convention just so I could get them signed. Yes I did geek out when I meet Peter Crowther and Paul Kane. I’m not ashamed to admit that.

Swag

Fantasycon is a wonderful event that should be a must for every genre enthusiast in the UK. The team behind it all excelled themselves and based on the reactions I have witnessed from all those in attendance a good time was had by all.

Now all I have to do, is try to catch up on my sleep. Roll on 2012!

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