Yeah, it was okay, but there was far too much horror, scifi and alt fiction and far too little fantasy. And, strangely, it was pretty much books only – no gaming, movies and so forth.
But there were some big fantasy names. I got severely led astray by James Barclay (www.jamesbarclay.com) in the bar on the Friday night – but a thoroughly nice bloke, from what I can recall. And then there was a cool panel debate led by Mark Chadbourn (www.markchadbourn.net) on the Saturday about how authors are increasingly having to be ‘professional writers’ to make ends meet (i.e. writing books and screen plays to order, like Torchwood books and so on). The editors of the big publishing houses pretty much lay down the law these days about what authors can and can’t write. If they have one book that’s a hit, they then pretty much have to write the next one in an identical manner. Scary. So much for creativity, artistic licence and imagination.
And then Peter F. Hamilton was there on the Sunday… if you’re into scifi.
There was an interesting panel about small presses too. They resolved to term themselves ‘independent presses’ from hereonin. Met some really nice guys from Eibonvale Press (www.eibonvalepress.co.uk), including Andrew Coultard, who’s got a new story out in Blind Swimmer, an anthology of Eibonvale authors. He’s based in Sweden and keying in to the great crime fiction coming out of that country at the mo.
So what the hell are you complaining about, Adam?! The whole thing rocked!