After last year’s shenanigans at SFX Weekender, we were eager to do it all over again. Excitement levels were therefore approaching choppy levels last Friday, as Orbit’s UK team – featuring THE FALLEN BLADE author Jon Courtenay Grimwood and FATED author Benedict Jacka – boarded a train to Prestatyn, to attend the third SFX Weekender. The convention – hosted by Britain’s leading science fiction magazine Special effects – has quickly become one of Britain’s most anticipated SFF events, and this year has again been well attended by authors, editors, screenwriters and journalists, as well as TV stars from shows such as Red Dwarf, Torchwood and Doctor Who – not to mention hundreds of happy fans and cosplayers!
After settling into our chalets (an upgrade from last year as they had double glazing!) we watched our very own Anne Clarke on the How to get published panel and enjoyed the Kitschies Awards presented by Anne Perry and Jared Shurin of Pornokitsch. Later, we met INTRUSION author Ken MacLeod and SEEDS OF EARTH author Michael Cobley, and went to a party hosted by our friends at Tor UK.
On Saturday, once we had recovered from our cake and drinking from the night before, we got really stuck in the signs and signings. Mike, Ken and Benedict all signed fan books at the Forbidden Planet booth and participated in some pretty busy panel discussions! Benoît has debated genre definitions with other urban fantasy writers on the What is Urban Fantasy? panel, Mike asked if literature is the only place that still flies the flag of space opera, and Ken MacLeod discussed apocalyptic fiction on the We are all doomed! panel, making some interesting points about the class aspects of survivalist fiction and “comfortable catastrophe”.
Later, we teamed up with our esteemed colleagues from Gollancz to throw a party (probably setting a world record for “number of people crammed into a Pontine chalet” in the process), before heading to the main stage and throw some very dodgy passages to Craig Charles’ legendary DJ set. The dance floor was a surreal mix of fans, authors, and a diverse assortment of aliens, robots, and superheroes.
We all had a great time, and here are some pictures to prove it!
We at Orbit UK send our big thanks to everyone at SFX magazine for organizing such a fabulous weekend! Roll on SFX Weekender 4. . .