|Conducting myself appropriately at the Alchemy Press launch.|
I always love Fantasycon, but this was a cracker by any stretch of the imagination. There was a huge amount going on, and huge numbers of lovely people - and I only got to talk to a fraction of the ones I would have loved to catch up with! - but here are a few highlights.
Getting to talk to Frances Hardinge, whose work I've become a huge fan of, and catching her interview with Kim Lakin-Smith. Amazing writer, lovely person and very, very funny.
Meeting Catriona Ward, author of Rawblood (which won the August Derleth Award for Best Horror
The panel 'Girls Just Want To Have Fun', about women in genre fiction, with Catriona, Maura McHugh, Ann Nicholls, Heide Goody and Priya Sharma. Which got left off the printed programme - a source of some sardonic amusement! - but was the best panel I saw that weekend.
The launch of Snowbooks' novella line, resurrecting novellas from John Llewellyn Probert, Ray Cluley, Mark Morris and, of course, Cate Gardner, that were originally published by Spectral Press, together with new work from Gary Fry and Andrew Hook.
Getting to meet Keris McDonald/Janine Ashbless properly IRL - and to sign her copy of Hell's Ditch! Keris has new stories out in The Private Life Of Elder Things, along with Adrian Tchaikovsky and Adam Gauntlett. That one's out from Alchemy Press, along with the Joel Lane tribute anthology Something Remains. Massive kudos to Pete Coleborn, Jan Edwards and Pauline Dungate for making that anthology happen.
Catching up with other friends like Lynda Rucker and Sean Hogan, Alison Littlewood and Fergus Beadle (who we stalked and were stalked by en route to the Con...) Helen Marshall and Vince Haig, Gary Fry, Gary and Emily McMahon, Stephen Volk, Steve Savile, John Llewellyn Probert and Thana Niveau, Anna Taborska, Andrew Hook and Sophie Essex, Laura Mauro, Victoria Leslie, Ray Cluley and Jess Jordan, Adrian and Annie Czajkowski, Phil Sloman, Des Lewis, Jon Oliver, Dave Moore, Lydia Gittins, Nina Allan, Jim Mcleod.... the list goes on and on and I'm sure I've missed important people off....
Seeing the Karl Edward Wagner Award go to the Redshirts, past and present, who make the whole thing happen.
And best of all, seeing the lovely Priya Sharma win the Best Short Story Award for the superb 'Fabulous Beasts'.
I was on the jury for Best Collection with Carole Johnstone and Emma Cosh - the shortlisted collections were all superb, and picking a winner was a very, very tough call to make. Nonetheless, we were all unanimous in our vote: the fantastic Ghost Summer: Stories by Tananarive Due. It's a beautiful, powerful collection, and hugely recommended.
A fantastic weekend. I'm missing it already.
Next year, FCon's in Daventry. Can't wait!