Like many fiction fans, I spent a long weekend in Brighton for FantasyCon 2011 and now I’m back home wondering which of the many books I acquired to read first and reflecting on the entertainments offered during the weekend.
Being a FantasyCon newbie I wasn’t sure what to expect from the weekend and went with an open mind. I’d heard mixed reports but in reality I found the crowd welcoming, the panels enlightening and the whole weekend very inspirational. Lack of sleep was a small price to pay.
Later in the week I will be blogging about some of the panels I attended and sharing my views on how rewarding the event was. I think the main plus was meeting so many likeminded people and so many aspiring genre writers, and let’s face it they have provided both encouragement and competition so it was worth the trip in every way.
For now, here’s my highs and lows from the weekend:
Amongst the highs are definitely: the intelligent and animated panel discussions; discovering Joe Abercrombie is as entertaining in person as he is on paper and gracious enough to sign my book after I stalked him halfway across the hotel; mass signings; the sheer collection of talent in one location; finding a female that swears more than I do; the Jacuzzi bath (wow bring back the British seafront heyday); the incredible weather (ok not strictly con-related but worth a mention!); and the amount of books on offer (and some free which was an unexpected bonus).
The lows: my inability to recall every intelligent comment made by the panellists; some rather questionable conversation starters, and killers, that will stick in my mind forever; a randomly acquired bruise on my shin (not sure if that was con-antics or pebbly-beach-antics); dropping a book into the Jacuzzi bath (thankfully it wasn’t a signed copy and it survived thanks to the fantastic weather); and bruised shoulders from carrying all the books home (but at least I know where those bruises came from).
Verdict: the highs win.