If you want to share in the cheers, the tears and the beers of World Fantasy Con 2013, then I’ll be giving it to you blow by blow, glass by glass, indiscretion by indiscretion... right here. I’ll post the latest wisdom and controversy as it emerges from Brighton, from Thursday 31 Oct to Sunday 2 Nov inclusive.
I’ll be putting up reports and pictures of the great and the good... and the less great and the bad (as long as it’s not too incriminating). I’ll be rubbing shoulders with Brian Aldiss (well, he’s much taller than me, so maybe his elbow will catch me in the neck), Sir Terry Pratchett, Tom Lloyd, Stephen Deas and a load of American scribblers too.
Why am I going? Well to be honest I felt like it. Its the first time I have had the opportunity to attend, and now as a signed author, I thought I ought to go and see what all the fuss is about.
The buzz and complaints actually started a while back. Here are current talking points on the net:
• The entry fee of 150 quid is too high – especially when you add on hotel, travel and restaurant costs – meaning it costs at least 500 quid all in
• There were a limited number of cheaper tickets issued in Aug, but they went to those in the know and those best connected – meaning that touts can now sell on tickets at a decent mark up
• The slots for panels, readings and signings are dominated by the American names and only the biggest of the UK authors – meaning that not even A J Dalton himself can get any sort of proper platform beyond the overcrowded bar
• Nice though the convention centre is, its capacity is pretty limited, meaning that the attendees are in large part from the ‘trade’ – authors, publishers, merchandise sellers, etc. – just how many fantasy fans will actually get in? And it’s meant to be the ‘World’ convention? For the sake of comparison, you may like to know that when Dragon Con took place in Atlanta a few years back, it had 50,000 attendees. (Is the Hilton Hotel Brighton really going to manage that?)
These are not my opinions and insights, I should add, but feel free to respond with thoughts.
In the meantime, as a Halloween treat and to celebrate my attendance of WFC (the first time it’s been in the UK in 17 years), I’m giving away Knight of Ages for free until the end of the Convention. Get your free download here: http://metaphysicalfantasy.wordpress.com/knight-of-ages/
I'll be back with my first missive from the Con on Thursday!