Some of you may remember that in 2013, I went to a science fiction and fantasy convention called BristolCon – it was wonderful to have such a thing in my little corner of England rather than all the way out in London or elsewhere. Unfortunately, as I wasn’t in that little corner of England, or much less England at all, for BristolCon 2014, I couldn’t attend. However, my lovely friend Freya did, and she has kindly written an account of her experience!
Hello peeps – Freya here guest posting for Rinn Reads! Last year I attended BristolCon with Rinn and another of our friends from university which was pretty awesome and had a great time! This year due to a few reasons (Rinn being in another country for starters!), I went book-raiding at BristolCon 2014 as a party of one – it was a good day, but going with friends certainly makes the day – I’m looking at you Rinn for attending a Convention next year!
Guests of Honour this year were: Jon Courtnay Grimwood, Emma Newman and Julian Quaye, with a whole host of other authors appearing on panels, doing readings and signings, including: Paul Cornell, Jaine Fenn, Gareth L. Powell, Adrian Tchaikovsky and many more…
There were so many exciting talks and panels going on and it was sometimes difficult to decide which ones to go to! I sadly missed the talk on Modelling the Climate of Tolkien’s Middle Earth (and our Earth) which I am STILL kicking myself over!
I did manage to attend Writing Historical Fantasy which discussed historical accuracy and the pros and cons of sticking to events or being only loosely based in fact. I also went to Sex or Death? where the authors discussed killing characters and how difficult it can be to write a sex scene without it being gratuitous or just ending up a reflection of authors’ preferences and experiences! Amusingly in the same time slot in another room was More Weird Sex – apparently ‘when a mummy alien and a daddy alien who love each other very much…’ or more about bizarre mating and offspring in science fiction.
After a number of mugs of tea and some lunch I went to listen to Garth L. Powell interview Guest of Honour Emma Newman. She is amazing, a lovely person who told me not to apologise for wanting some books signed (I have a habit of sprinkling my sentences with ‘sorry’). She is also very funny with her interview having me in fits and some slightly strange but amusing part about fitting turnips into socks?! She’s a roleplayer, and science fiction short story author though I first heard about her through her Split Worlds trilogy. She also runs a podcast with her author husband Peter Newman called Tea and Jeopardy which just sounds amazing! I would recommend you check out her website where there are free stories (who doesn’t love a free story?). She finished off with a reading of her new science fiction novel called Planetfall which sounds like it is going to be great!
Finally I attended talks on Writing Non-Human Characters with the challenges that brings of making them relatable but trying not to make them sound like a human in a costume, and finally Rogues, Ruffians, Pirates and Thieves where I queried that although these type of characters are often our favourites in fiction, would we actually like them if they were in the real world, as in fiction the consequences of their actions do not affect us? By this point in the day my stomach was growling for supper and I had a tedious headache so sticking around for the evening boardgaming they were planning to do after last year’s pilot was not going to happen for me and I headed home with my goodies from the day.
My goodie bag had a free book by Michael Moorcock, Gloriana, or ‘The Unfulfilled Queen’ and I got books two and three of the Split Worlds Trilogy by Emma Newman signed, Jaine Fenn’s Downside Girls and Principles of Angels signed, and Dragonfly Falling (Shadows of the Apt #2) by Adrian Tchaikovsky signed. The dealers room had a brilliant range of books, graphic novels, jewellery and other goodies being sold and I would have bought a lot more but the Forbidden Planet stall nicked all my money buying books instead (whoops?), however I did want to mention the artwork of Jennie Gyllblad, an illustrator and graphic novel artist who had some beautiful artwork on sale! She has also been writing some of her own graphic novels as well as illustrating them so I suggest you check out her website and take a gander!
BristolCon 2015 is earlier than normal on September 26th at the Doubletree Hotel in Bristol. It’s £20 for the day in advance or £25 on the day – really not bad for a Convention price and it’s growing bigger every year. The Guests of Honour for 2015 will be Jasper Fforde, Jaine Fenn and the artist Chris Moore.