After last year’s shenanigans at the SFX Weekender, we couldn’t wait to do it all over again. Excitement levels were therefore approaching unstable levels last Friday, as the Orbit UK team – along with THE FALLEN BLADE author Jon Courtenay Grimwood and FATED author Benedict Jacka – caught a train to Prestatyn, to attend the third SFX Weekender. The convention – run by top British science fiction magazine SFX – has quickly become one of the most anticipated events in British SFF, and this year was again well-attended by authors, editors, scriptwriters and journalists, as well as TV stars of shows such as Red Dwarf, Torchwood and Doctor Who – not to mention hundreds of happy fans and cosplayers!
After settling into our chalets (an upgrade on last year, as they had double-glazing!) we watched our very own Anne Clarke on the How To Get Published panel and enjoyed the Kitschies Awards presented by Pornokitsch’s Anne Perry and Jared Shurin. Later, we met up with INTRUSION author Ken MacLeod and SEEDS OF EARTH author Michael Cobley, and headed to a party thrown by our friends at Tor UK.
On the Saturday, once we’d recovered from our cake and alcohol intake from the previous night, we really got stuck in to the panels and signings. Mike, Ken and Benedict all signed books for fans at the Forbidden Planet booth, and took part in some pretty packed panel discussions! Benedict debated genre definitions with other urban fantasy authors on the What is Urban Fantasy? panel, Mike asked whether literature is the only place still flying the flag for space opera, and Ken MacLeod discussed apocalyptic fiction on the We’re All Doomed! panel, making interesting points about the class aspects of survivalist fiction and the ‘cosy catastrophe’. (more…)