The best literary convention? Blogger and book editor Lee Harris thinks it might be - and it's this weekend
Sci-fi and fantasy conventions are a great way to meet likeminded people - to spend a few days in the company of folk who like what you like. Unlike the people you work with, they get you. They understand why it's important that Han shot first, and why it matters that vampires are vicious, bloodthirsty bastards without an ounce of humanity, and not undead lovesick teens.
In the UK we're spoilt for choice. If you want, you could attend conventions every month of the year. I have a few favourites, including the SFX Weekender , FantasyCon and EasterCon (this year's event notwithstanding), but the literary con that's fast making a reputation for being quite possibly the best - and most interesting - of the UK conventions is Alt.Fiction .
This year - as always - the guests are top notch. Dan Abnett and Alastair Reynolds are the Guests of Honour, flying the flag for British SF, but there are many more writers in attendance, representing most - if not all - of our favourite genres and subgenres. Sarah Pinborough (horror, fantasy and crime), Rob Shearman (to my mind one of the top five short fiction writers in the world, in any genre), Guy (he's not really insane) Adams ( Torchwood , The World House series, Life On Mars ), Juliet E McKenna (fantasy novelist and black belt in something scary), Guy Haley (occasional SFX -er, and bloody talented novelist), Ramsey Campbell (who continues to write the most atmospheric horror of any living writer) to name but a few - there are soooooo many more.
The Alt.Fiction weekend is comprised of workshops, readings, interviews, films, panel discussions, and beer. Lots and lots of beer.
If you love SF, fantasy or horror (and you do, or you wouldn't be on this site), if you like the idea of rubbing shoulders with the great and the good of the UK genre scene, if you like the idea of having fun (and taking part in some interesting activities) and if you're free this weekend, you should pop along and see what the fuss is all about. You'll be glad you did.
It's this weekend at The Quad in Derby, and tickets start at just £20.
More information (including a schedule of events) here: www.altfiction.co.uk
Tickets here: www.derbyquad.co.uk/altfiction
See you there!
This is a blog by Lee Harris. Say hello if you go along and see him there.