Bris­tolCon 2014

25 Oc­to­ber, Dou­bletree Ho­tel Dave Bradley vis­its SFX’s lo­cal lit­er­ary con­ven­tion

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Conventions -

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.

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