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September Readings – Fringe vs the Kraken

September 18th, 2014 · No Comments

This Monday, 22nd September, the BristolCon Fringe event is being invaded by Kraken (more than one, to be clear – the plural of Kraken is Kraken).

In October 2013 the Bristol Literary Festival hosted a workshop in which writers were invited to write a story in just 24 hours, with support from six authors. The stories were entered into a competition, and the top ten were published, in record time, by Angry Robot Books.  Details are here.

We have five of those intrepid Krakeneers here to read their stories for you:  Ian MillstedScott Lewis, Rosie Oliver, Kevlin Henney and Piotr Świetlik.

As always, the readings take place in the inestimable Shakespeare Inn on Prince Street, and proceedings commence at 7:30pm.

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Promotional Items for BristolCon Goodie Bags

September 15th, 2014 · 2 Comments

Calling all SFF authors, publishers, and creative types!

If you have any books or small promotional items (flyers, postcards, bookmarks, pens, keychains etc) you would like us to include in our BristolCon goodie bags, we will need to receive them by October 5th at the absolute latest, so you don’t have that much time.

If you would like to post something to us please email for the address.

We are aiming to put together 300 goodie bags (sponsored by Forbidden Planet) but if you don’t have 300 things to send that’s fine, just send what you can.


→ 2 CommentsTags: Media

The BristolCon Games Room – Come And Play!

September 11th, 2014 · No Comments

Following the success of the trial run last year, we’ve decided to expand gaming at BristolCon. After the programme ends at 8pm, we will be turning the Dealers Room into a Games Room, running a number of quick games with small groups of people, games like Munchkin, Flux, Werewolf, that kind of thing. We will have plenty of games, but if you have a game of that nature that you think might be new, you are welcome to bring it along. (All games are their owner’s responsiblity, so it might be an idea to put your name on them just in case.)

Also on hand will be Mhairi Simpson, who will be play-testing Be A Bard, a brand new storytelling game she is hoping to Kickstart in the near future. Here’s what she has to say about it :

It all began when I invited a writer to contribute to an anthology I was putting together. He’d been blocked for several weeks but within an hour he’d written nearly a thousand words. This made me incredibly happy, so happy, in fact, that I decided to analyse why.
It is in my nature to be happy, but this self-analysis is relatively new. When I considered the matter I eventually realised that my joy sprang from having allowed someone’s imagination to take flight. The power to dream up a story had always been there – he’d just needed a bit of a boost.
This formed the seed for what would become Be A Bard. Everyone has an imagination. Not everyone, however, knows where to start with using it. I also realised one day that all writing prompts are, by definition, for writers. They almost always involve text, for a start. What if you’re not so good at writing? Or maybe you’re not brilliant at reading? None of that means you don’t have an imagination, but those factors remove nearly every opportunity you get in this modern world to enjoy a story, much less build one yourself. Audio books are out there, but you need patience and money to access them. Personally, I don’t have the patience.
Bard cards are purely visual – there’s no text on them at all. Symbols indicate action cards and the various suits or genres. The story is told verbally, by turns, so no one has to read or write anything unless they want to. It’s quick and easy to start, just five cards each and away you go. There’s a variant which is even quicker – three cards in the middle and one to every player. This worked well at midnight on the Saturday of FantasyCon when everyone was, it could justifiably be said, somewhat the worse for wear.
I’m looking forward to seeing how people get on with Be A Bard now that I’ve implemented the feedback I got at FantasyCon. Games can take as little as five minutes or as long as you like, depending on which variant is played and how long you want to spend on it. Any and all feedback will be welcomed. I look forward to seeing you there!

So if you want to be one of the playtesters for a game which is a lot of fun (I played the midnight-drunk-at-Fantasycon variant ;)) pop into our games room in the evening!

→ No CommentsTags: Programme

Calling South-West Book Lovers – Books on the Hill is Now Open!

September 10th, 2014 · No Comments

If you’re lucky enough to live in the vicinity of Clevedon, or even if you’re just visiting, you now have a lovely new independent bookshop to enjoy. Books on the Hill opened on August 31st and can be found at 75, Hill Road, Clevedon.

They also have a comprehensive website :, a programme of forthcoming signings, and some signed books in stock by our own Mark Lawrence (Prince of Thorns). I’m sure Alistair would be happy if you just dropped in to say hello and stayed to buy a book or seven.

It’s always nice to see new independent book shops springing up, and we wish them the very best of luck.

→ No CommentsTags: Books · Bristol

“Uninvited” is Coming to BristolCon via the Bristol Bad Film Club!

September 9th, 2014 · No Comments

I’m sure there’s not a person amongst you out there that doesn’t have a sneaking affection for some Truly Terrible Film, be it guilty pleasure or just so-stinkingly-awful-it’s-brilliant. I know I do ;) So this year BristolCon has joined malevolent forces with the insane genius that is the Bristol Bad Film Club to bring you an evening of entertainment so bad you will need a stiff drink or three just to recover from it.

After the programme ends we will be opening up the ballroom and inviting in the UNINVITED – a cult classic which has one of the best premises ever: a mutated killer cat finds its way on-board a yacht full of criminal businessmen and spring breakers who are just asking for gruesome deaths.

It has everything you want from an 80s horror film – beautiful women, big hair, a villain with an evil moustaches and a killer cat with no mercy!

Need to know more? It also stars George Kennedy (Cool Hand Luke, The Naked Gun) who was clearly aching for a pay check.

Proceeds from the screening are going to Hollyhedge Animal Sanctuary, but your lovely BristolCon committee are making a donation so Bristolcon attendees who are brave or drunk enough to take it on can attend for free. Don’t say we don’t do anything for you… ;)

The Bristol Bad Film Club is renowned for showing phenomenally awful films at various locations around the city and donating the ticket money to local charities, and they’ve raised thousands, so we’re really happy to be able to support them in their good / evil mission. Previous, err, hits have included The Room, Supergirl, Masters of the Universe, Birdemic and Shark Attack III – Megalodon, so that shows you exactly how low the bar is set…

Dare you see… Uninvited?

→ No CommentsTags: Events · Movies

Calling Special Effects Fans – CineMe Bristol Host Martin Bower, Bristol, Sept 28th

August 18th, 2014 · Comments Off

Calling all film buffs and special effects fans!

CineMe Bristol are running an event on September 28th, 7pm at the Redgrave Theatre, Bristol, with Film and TV Model Maker Martin Bower (Alien, Blake’s 7, Space: 1999, Flash Gordon, Tripods, Outland). Martin will be discussing his career, answering questions, displaying some of his models and excerpts from his work will be used to illustrate points.

Admission is £6.00 on the door, or £5.00 in advance at

Sounds like a fun evening – if you have any interest in practical FX you won’t want to miss it!


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August Fringe – Open Mic!

August 6th, 2014 · Comments Off

Calling all Bristolian writers with voices!

To celebrate the first anniversary of the BristolCon Fringe, we’re putting on an Open Mic session on Monday August 18th at 7.30pm in the Shakespeare Tavern on Prince Street, Bristol. Readings will be five minutes long and you can read anything you like – flash, WIPs, extracts from short stories, poetry, whatever! No need to sign up in advance, just turn up with something to read and we’ll fit in as many of you as we can.

If you haven’t been to a Fringe event and you’re wondering what you might be letting yourself in for, you can hear recordings taken at the fringe here on the BristolCon website or on Cheryl Morgan’s blog – for July’s readings, for example…

You can sign up on the BristolCon Fringe Facebook page or just come along – it would be really nice to see lots of you!

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BristolCon Fringe 21st July feat. Ken Shinn & Andy Goodman

July 19th, 2014 · Comments Off

This Monday evening summons forth our July instalment of the BristolCon Fringe reading series at the Shakespeare Tavern.

Featured this month are Andy Goodman, and local writer Ken Shinn, whose short story “Case of the Vapours” opened Airship Shape and Bristol Fashion.

The usual format applies: we start at 7.30 at the back room of the Shakespeare, which is on Princes Street near the harbour. There’s no charge for entry, and the pub’s food and ales are excellent.

You can join the BristolCon Fringe Facebook group here :

August’s Fringe event is an open mic session, featuring lots of writers reading for a few minutes each. Its an intimate space and we’re a very friendly and supportive bunch, so if you haven’t read for an audience before and would like to try your hand, come along and give it a whirl!

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Would-be panelists: Have you got your membership for BristolCon yet?

July 1st, 2014 · Comments Off

This week our Programme director, MEG, will start the lengthy and brain-bendingly complex process of finalising our panel items and fitting people into them, as well as making lovely things happen such as readings and book-signings.

At BristolCon we don’t dictate the panel selection; we ask potential panelists to tell us which of the suggested topics they’d be most interested in. It takes longer, but we think it’s worth it. So if you want a chance to be a part of and shape the programme at BristolCon 2014, you need to sign up right now – seriously, right now, that cat video can wait! – and let us know that you’re interested in taking part.

Here’s the membership page.

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Joe Abercrombie ‘Half a King’ Waterstones Bristol July 5th

July 1st, 2014 · Comments Off

‘Lord Grimdark’. aka BristolCon’s 2010 Geust of Honour Joe Abercrombie, is off on tour promoting his new YA saga Half a King. He’ll be at Waterstones in the Galleries at 1:30 pm on Saturday 5th July. If you’re interested in attending call in at the shop or contact them on: 0117 925 2274

You can find out more about Half a King and Joe’s other novels at his website:

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