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.
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.