BristolCon 2012: My first science fiction and fantasy convention

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Last year, I attended my very first science fiction convention! And they say you never forget your first time…

I decided to go firstly because I’m a reader and fan: to meet authors whose books I’ve enjoyed, such as Philip Reeve, Alastair Reynolds and Ben Jeapes, among others; to discover new authors and titles that I will enjoy.┬áThe second reason I went was as a writer. It’s a chance to be inspired, to meet other writers, to learn more about developing my craft and about genre publishing.

Not having been to a convention before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would everyone be in costume? Would people talk to me as a newcomer, or be huddled in their own impenetrable groups knit together through years of attendance? Would I be able to resist the temptation to come back laden with several years’ worth of reading material?

Spoiler alert… I had a great time! Listen to the episode for interviews with Joanne Hall, one of the convention organisers; author Philip Reeve (previously interviewed for the podcast), who is this year’s Guest of Honour, plus panel clips and chats with other fans at the event!


I recorded several panels – you can listen to the Apocalypses debate here, and there are more to come.

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BristolCon 2013 takes place 26th October – for full details visit

Why are Apocalypses so popular in Science-Fiction? BristolCon Panel

BristolCon Apocalypse PanelThe End of the WorldIt’s the end of the world… again. Whether it’s a zombie outbreak, nuclear war, alien invasion or just some unspecified Terrible Event, it seems that many of us love a good apocalypse. But why the obsession with the destruction of human civilization? What’s the appeal of seeing society collapse, and is it a healthy thing to dwell on? What do our fears of the future tell us about our societies now?

Recorded at BristolCon 2012, this panel discussion is moderated by fantasy author Juliet E McKenna, and features the wit and wisdom of Michael Dollin, Janet Edwards, Tim Maughan, and John Meaney. And see if you can identify a familiar voice in the questions at the end…!


Big thanks to the panel and BristolCon organisers for letting me loose with a microphone, and stay tuned for the full BristolCon convention report, coming soon! Booking is now open for 2013’s event, and I can definitely recommend it.