I always see the Fcon disco as the pinnacle of the event, so what follows is perhaps an appendix, an encore if you will. A day that I’ve sometimes eschewed entirely, or otherwise had a cursory one hour stay before departing after the first panel. This time, (massive) thanks once again to the good people at New Writing South, I was able to take in the whole thing.
After breakfasting with Carole Johnstone and Priya Sharma (the most naturally friendly person I have ever met, anywhere), I went into the Con centre to find an overriding atmosphere of hungover happiness. I met up with Ben Jones, Ross Warren and Lisa Childs to attend a panel on the writer’s life with the latter pair. There was some sound advice on being realistic about your expectations, how to manage the transition from hobbyist to professional, and some amusing and innovative examples of self-promotion from Simon Clark and Heide Goody. However, much of my attention was taken by the loveliest baby since my own in the seat in front, grinning and gurgling at us over mummy’s shoulder.
That was the end of the panelling, so it was straight from there to the signing, where I got Sarah Pinborough and Paul Kane to etch their names onto my treasured tomes, and all that remained after that was the awards. Here is the link to all the winners: http://www.britishfantasysociety.org/british-fantasy-awards/winners-of-the-british-fantasy-awards-2015/ but the highlights were emotional acceptances from Adele Wearing was when the tables were turned on presenter Juliet McKenna and she was given the Karl Edward Wagner Award for lifetime achievement, for her body of work and contribution to the genre, which includes organising conventions, her role in the Write Fantastic group, and fighting the good fight over unfair taxation for the self-published.
And thus it ended; in my (admittedly limited) experience the best FantasyCon ever. If you rewind back to my first ever post on this blog, you’ll see that I criticise the event, and its divide between fantasy and horror content, writers and fans. That was not an issue here; the programme was harmoniously balanced in terms of content, and the timing of that content, so that whatever your taste there would always be something for you.
I spent the rest of Sunday night looking through Facebook at Con-related posts from friends old and new, which was great, apart from finding the one and only picture of me from the convention … in which I am suffering a very prominent wardrobe malfunction at the front of the shot!
I’m sure next year’s FantasyCon in Scarborough will be brilliant as well. In the words of Derek Zoolander, I guess I have a lot of things to ponder regarding the distance (Paris would be closer for me!), but if I need motivation to make the journey, all I need to do is remember this weekend.