25 October, Doubletree Hotel Dave Bradley visits SFX’s local literary convention
Fancy a day trip out west? There is a thriving literary SF scene in the west country, as evidenced by the cluster of top quality local novelists who are famous on the wider world stage, folk such as Liz Williams and BSFA Award- winner Gareth L Powell. Over the last few years a single- day event in the autumn has provided Bristol with its chance to herd these folk together and celebrate the genre, and 2014 demonstrated once more what a bustling, chummy convention it’s become.
On guest of honour duty were Julian Quaye, Jon Courtenay Grimwood and Emma Newman, and we saw SFX’s Jonathan Wright performing interviewing duties. Alas the acoustics in the main hall were a little quiet at the back but the events were informal and fascinating, and as always the bar was the place to see familiar faces. There was a book launch for Kim LakinSmith’s Cyber Circus and an art zone featuring the likes of Jim Burns. In the evening visitors enjoyed a screening of Uninvited, the quiz, or gaming in the dealers’ room.
Central to BristolCon is the idea that you can experience it in a single day, you don’t have to rent a hotel room or try to rush through a million activities; its compact structure and two strands of book programming on a single Saturday make for a comfortable way to experience an oldschool SF con. £ 30 a ticket on the door is a little steep if you choose to retreat to the bar early on, so making the most of all the day by piling into readings was definitely the wisest strategy. BristolCon 2015 is on Saturday 26 September and guests of honour will be Jasper Fforde, Jaine Fenn and Chris Moore. See you there? Details at www. bristolcon. org.
Guest of honour Emma Newman is watching you. Yes, you.