Fantasycon 2019 Roundup

It’s been a couple of days since Fantasycon 2019 came to a close, so “while I’m recovering from con crud” seemed like the best time to reflect on the weekend! I had an excellent time hanging out with old writing pals, and meeting new ones.

A black-and-white photo of four people sitting behind a table.
Shona Kinsella, Allen Stroud, Heather Valentine and David Tallerman discuss Scotland on Screen

This weekend was the first time I’ve been on panels at a writing convention, and it was a great experience – thank you to my fellow panellists and open mic readers, and to everyone who popped in to one of the panels or the fanfiction open mic night. It was lovely to present for such knowledgeable, engaged audiences and I hope you came away with something interesting to think about.

Four books lying in a square.
Jack of Thorns by A.K. Faulkner, Resurrection Men by David Craig, The Trans Space Octopus Congregation by Bogi Takács, and The Forgotten and The Fantastical 5, edited by Teika Bellamy.

Fantasycon is, obviously, about books, so I picked up some small press offerings from the dealer’s room. Faulkner was (a) incredibly fun at Friday night karaoke and (b) writing queer X-Men style fantasy adventures, and Resurrection Men came about after I complained, in the Scotland on Screen panel, that speculative representations of Scotland often gloss over its involvement in colonialism, and I was afterwards recommended Craig’s book as a piece of grimy Scottish Victoriana. I’d already had my eyes on The Trans Space Octopus Congregation from reading Takács’ non-fiction work, so I’m excited to crack open their fiction collection, and I was intrigued by Teika Bellamy’s fairytale collections after seeing her speak at a panel on running a small press.

I was also fortunate enough to get a seat at the British Fantasy Awards – congratulations to all of the shortlisted and winners, but particularly to Ruth EJ Booth for her nonfiction win – Ruth is a keenly supportive and talented figure in the Glasgow speculative fiction writing scene, and it’s lovely to see her receive recognition for her essays in Shoreline of Infinity.

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