Writer Life & Lessons

FantasyCon, York, 2014

wfc3 008Today marks the beginning of my FantasyCon14 experience. I spent last night compiling food, checking lists and panicking over getting to the train station.

As of this morning, I have oats, crackers, homemade apple crisps + cucumber slices to take. I’m heading on a train up to York this morning, set to return on Monday (thus, there likely won’t be a blog post this weekend).

I’ve spent the past few evenings preparing — finding out we’ll be on the FantasyCon Pointless, charging my kindle and camera, sorting out the sim for my new tablet, and working out which clothes work for casual days in hot or cold rooms and then equally work for evenings out.

I’ve had a skim of the schedule, and picked out a few keys things to attend, as well as agreeing to some social events re-connecting with friends from WFC13. As I learned last year, the evenings are kind of hard to plan, and sometimes clashes lead to me not attending anything in that slot.

There were a few clashes, so this is just a rough guide, but here are the key things I’m planning to attend:

Friday 5th September

3.00pm – Opening Ceremony
Graham Joyce, Kate Elliott, Toby Whithouse, Charlaine Harris, Larry Rostant

5.00pm – Pointless [we’re contestants!]
Paul Cornell hosts this FantasyCon edition of the popular TV show.

7.30pm – Karaoke [depending how we’re feeling…]
Join Rebellion (Solaris and Abaddon) for an evening of… well, let’s just call it “music”.
Lydia Gittins

Saturday 6th September

10.00am – But Does It Make Sense?
Economics of fantasy systems.
Leila Abu el Hawa (m), Kari Sperring, Kate Elliott, Tom Pollock, Anne Lyle

11.00am – The Pen vs the Sword
Writers who also happen to be swordfighters discuss the myths and realities of the sword in fiction.
Marc Aplin (m), Fran Terminiello, Juliet E McKenna, Adrian Tchaikovsky, Clifford Beale

12.00 Noon – CLASH – Gentleman Thieves, Loveable Pirates and Sex Tricksters [most likely]
Why are untrustworthy characters and criminals among SFF’s most beloved characters?
James Barclay (m), Joanne Harris, Kim Lakin-Smith, Frances Hardinge, Libby McGuigan

12.00 Noon – CLASH – Dead Parents, Burned Homesteads and Wicked Stepmothers
Is it essential to write out the parents before youthful characters can head out on adventures?
Marc Gascoigne (m), Edward Cox, Emma Newman, Sophia McDougall, Glenda Larke, Laura Lam

2.00pm – Surprise!
What happens when the reader feels the rug has been pulled out from under them?
Karen Miller (m), Roz Kaveney, Toby Whithouse, Simon Spanton, Sarah Lotz

3.00pm – CLASH – She Ain’t Heavy, She’s My Sister [most likely]
Epic friendships between men are common in fantasy, but friendships between women, or platonic relationships between men and women that stay that way – are much thinner on the ground.
Roz Kaveney (m), Mhairi Simpson, Glenda Larke, Charlaine Harris, Den Patrick

3.00pm – CLASH – The Chosen One
The panellists discuss ideas and subversions of the One in SFF and beyond.
Gillian Redfearn (m), Tom Pollock, James Oswald, Joanne Hall, Frances Hardinge, Helen Marshall

3.00pm – CLASH – Icky Romance
How often do complaints about the place of romance in SFF come down to a fear of girl cooties?
David Moore (m), Joanne Harris, Edward Cox, Karen Miller, Tom Harper

5.00pm – Possibly – Who’s Missing?
A discussion about some authors you should be reading, but probably aren’t.
Glen Mehn (m), Tom Pollock, Gillian Redfearn, Sophia McDougall

6.30pm – Mass Signing

8.30 – The FantasyCon Disco, sponsored by Gollancz. Dedicated to Hajnalka Bata
Strut your funky stuff, oh no. (We’re probably serious about the “oh no”.)

9.00pm – Super Relaxed Fantasy Club
A gathering of like-minded SFF fans, getting together for an extremely informal chat about our favourite things. Readings by Laura Lam, Edward Cox, Emma Newman and Niel Bushnell.

Sunday 7th September

10.00am – WORKSHOP: Worldbuiding
Kate Elliott, Tom Pollock

11.00am – Editing Dreams and Editor Nightmares
Editors are people, and get to see *everything* – how to work with them and make their lives easier, which will make your life easier.
Simon Spanton (m), Nicola Budd, Abigail Nathan, Gillian Redfearn, David Moore


I’ll be wearing my usual long black coat, and updating on twitter where possible. I’ll be catching up with friends from WFC13, and I believe there’ll be a card game or two over the weekend.

Want to meet up? Tweet me!

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