Tuesday, 21 September 2010

24 Hours in Nottingham - or - How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Metal

So, last Friday lunchtime (with still some way to go on my latest Pax Britannia novella Proteus Unbound*) I packed in work for the day and headed up to Nottingham for FantasyCon 2010. Due to other commitments I would have to hit the motorway again at 2pm Saturday so arriving in Robin Hood's hood at 2pm on the Friday, I had 24 hours in which to experience all that FantasyCon had to offer.

Friday 17 September 2010

2pm - Arrived in Nottingham in need of a comfort break and so stopped at GW HQ and popped into Bugman's Bar... Where who should I run into but Christian Dunn and Alex Davis from Black Library editorial. Chris is holding a handful of Fighting Fantasy gamebooks and was about to sit down with Alex to discuss... I wish I could tell you more, but I can't. Not yet, anyway. Suffice to say it was a very exciting moment!
Relaxed and ready to take on the world again, I had a good nose around the Warhammer World miniatures hall which gave me a few ideas for... But again, alas my lips are sealed for the time being.
3pm - Checked in to my hotel where I discovered that complimentary Wi-Fi in all rooms didn't actually mean free. Settled down to do some more work on Proteus Unbound.
8pm - Headed into the city, to The Salutation Inn, semi-ready for a night of Abaddon Books-sponsored metal karaoke. The first fifty to the bar received a complimentary** copy of Al Ewing's I, Zombie while David Moore judged the metal karaoke-ists, the winner receiving a complete set of his chosen Abaddon series!

10pm - David took the mike himself and I wondered why I don't do this sort of thing more often. David's hat gets passed round, photos are taken, and reputations are ruined, all at the click of a shutter lens.
Just for the record, I am not in any way metal - as this photograph proves most effectively.

11pm - Tinnitus kicks in and I realise why I don't do this sort of thing anymore.
12am - Head back to my hotel while the hardcore (a.k.a. Jon and David) rock into the wee small hours of the morning.

Saturday 18 September 2010

8am - Stumble out of bed, ears still ringing. Swear never to go to another metal karaoke as long as live (or until the same time next year, whichever is sooner).

9am - Back to the laptop. Proteus Unbound is starting to come together quite nicely now.

10am - Head off to the Britannia Hotel to experience FantasyCon for myself for the first time. Conclusion: It's basically a load of mates (who happen to be writers, artists and editors) all getting together for a pint*** and a chat.

Barely through the door when I'm met by Mark and Liz of My Favourite Books (go check it out!) and Mark Charan Newton of Nights of Villjamur fame. Then run into Jonathan Oliver, who's looking a lot worse than I am (see above).

Head off into the dealers' room and meet Lee Harris of Angry Robot Books and pick up Guy Adams' The World House along with Lavie Tidhar's The Bookman while I'm about it.

Check out the Art Show upstairs and display incredible self-control and great restraint in managing not to purchase a print of Les Edwards' cover for Creature of Havoc or a piece of original Bryan Talbot comic artwork.

Go back downstairs to the bar where I run into Marc Gascoigne (Angry Robot overlord, former BL publisher, my first FF editor and former flatmate) followed by Bryan Talbot. I even get to shake the great man's hand****.
1pm - The End of the Line book launch. Twelve authors arrayed to sign Solaris Books' latest horror anthology. Take pity on Jon Oliver and David Moore (who are both looking worse than me) and buy them a re-hydrating Coke each. Manage to pick up the last copy and get it signed by all present, in the process meeting such luminaries as Simon Bestwick and Stephen Volk in the flesh for the first time.

2pm - Leave FantasyCon with a bag full of books, Doctor Who toys for the kids and safe in the knowledge that I'll earn a few Brownie points for leaving on time!

Here are the books I picked up at FantasyCon. Some were freebies, some I parted with my hard-earned cash for.

Nice one, FantasyCon. See you next year down in Brighton.

* I can say that now that it's finished and in with my editor. ;-)

** Complimentary here does mean free.

*** The definition of 'a pint' that I'm using here is 'Anywhere between 2 and 10 pints, but most definitely not just the one'.

**** Bryan Talbot's, that is.


Jenni Hill said...

Aaw, wish I could have been there!

David Moore said...

The refreshing coke at the launch was *wildly* appreciated. It may have saved my life/stomach lining. You tha man.

Jonathan Green said...

Is this the bit where I say, "No! You da man!"

And then you go, "No, man! You da man!"

And so on and so forth?