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BristolCon Fringe – February 16th 2015 – John Hawkes-Reed and Stark Holborn

February 13th, 2015 · No Comments

Heads-up, Fringe fans! On Feb 16th the BristolCon Fringe is delighted to be able to bring you local author John Hawkes-Reed (Airship Shape & Bristol Fashion) with his tales of steam-powered war elephants. And from the Wild (south) West we have notorious varmint, cowpoke and mysterious stetson-wearer Stark Holborn (Nunslinger). Miss it, miss out!

If you’d like to come along the event starts at 7.30 at the back room of the Shakespeare Tavern on Prince Street. It’s a free event and everyone is welcome – just turn up and say hi, we don’t bite!

You can join the BristolCon Fringe Facebook group here :

Fringe events are a lot of fun, and open to all, so please feel free to come along!

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Launching “The Ship” with Antonia Honeywell – 19/02/14, Foyles, Bristol

January 27th, 2015 · 1 Comment

Foyles in Cabot Circus will be hosting the launch of  The Ship, the debut novel from Antonia Honeywell on Feb 19th.

The Ship is described as “rites-of-passage novel, a love story and a high-concept thriller”, telling the story of a world in collapse, where a wealthy man buys a huge ship to transport a handpicked group of 500 – including his 16-year-old daughter – to a safe destiny. However daughter Lalla begins to question and then challenge her tyrannical father as the ship approaches its destination.

Antonia Honeywell is a graduate of the Curtis Brown novel writing course 2011 and Bristol Festival of Literature is proud to bring Antonia to Bristol to launch the book at Foyles. Antonia will read a passage before being interviewed by BristolCon’s own Cheryl Morgan, followed by a signing.

You can read an extract from the novel here, and an interview with Antonia Honeywell here.

This looks like being a really entertaining event – you can sign up on the Facebook page.

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BristolCon Fringe Jan 19th – Peter & Emma Newman

January 9th, 2015 · Comments Off

The first BristolCon Fringe of 2015 is going to be a cracker. On January 19th we have Peter Newman reading from his forthcoming sf/fantasy mash-up The Vagrant and former BristolCon GOH Emma Newman (All is Fair, Between Two Thorns), who might be reading something new and SF-y! It’s going to be awesome – miss it at your peril!

If you’d like to come along the event starts at 7.30 at the back room of the Shakespeare Tavern. It’s a free event and everyone is welcome – just turn up and say hi, we don’t bite!

You can join the BristolCon Fringe Facebook group here :

Fringe events are a lot of fun, and open to all. We have an exciting line-up of readers for the next few months, so please feel free to come along!

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Joanne Hall and Gareth L. Powell giving BFS reading at Central Library 27/02/15

December 29th, 2014 · 1 Comment

BristolCon has teamed up with the British Fantasy Society and the team at Bristol Central Library to bring you a sparkling evening of speculative delights.

Our own Joanne Hall, author of the New Kingdom trilogy and the unforgettable Art of Forgetting series, will be joined by the fabulous Gareth L. Powell, author of many fine novels including the Ack-Ack Macaque series. The eponymous first book in this action-packed series about a foul-mouthed gunslinging monkey was the co-winner of the 2013 BSFA award.

It’s free to attend, and there will also be free wine!

Further details are available on the BFS website.

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BristolCon Fringe Welcomes The Flying Powell Brothers – Dec 13th at The Shakey

December 9th, 2014 · Comments Off

Join us for the BristolCon Fringe on Monday December 15th with the Flying Powell Brothers!

Huw Powell is the author of Spacejackers, which is crammed with Space Pirates, wandering orphans, mystical necklaces and lost planets and is stonkingly ace (I reviewed it here ), while his brother Gareth L Powell needs no introduction to regular Fringe-goers but I’m going to introduce him anyway. Gareth is the author of Ack-Ack Macaque and Hive Monkey, and his latest monkey-with-a-spitfire-blowing-stuff-up yarn, Macaque Attack!  is released in January 2015.

This one is going to be a lot of fun, I suspect.

As always, Fringe events are FREE and take place from 7.30pm onwards at the Shakespeare Tavern on Prince Street, Bristol.

You can join the Facebook event here, or just turn up.

And as it’s Christmas there might even be cake…


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Chris Moore confirmed as BristolCon artist GoH for 2015

November 7th, 2014 · Comments Off

We’re delighted to announce that Chris Moore has been confirmed as our Artist Guest of Honour for BristolCon 2015.

Chris is the illustrator behind more iconic SF book covers than you can shake a stick at, having provided artwork for Isaac Asimov, Larry Niven, Frederick Pohl, Anne McCaffrey, Clifford D. Simak, Kurt Vonnegut, J.G. Ballard, Arthur C. Clarke and Samuel R. Delany, as well as being responsible for the much loved Empire Strikes Back wallpapers. Not to mention a whole bunch of other stuff, which you can check out at his website:

Welcome aboard, Chris!

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The Rootinest, Tootinest Cowpoke in the West (Country) – Stark Holborn Comes to Foyles 10/12/14

November 5th, 2014 · Comments Off

To celebrate the launch of Nunslinger: The Complete Series, Bristol-based author and BristolCon 2014 attendee Stark Holborn invites you to a frontier-style literary hoe-down in Foyles, Cabot Circus, Bristol on 10th December 2014 at 6pm. Expect readings by Stark and friends, interviews and refreshments, including jerky (yum – Sarcastic ed.)

Nunslinger is the true tale of Sister Thomas Josephine, a woman whose desire to do good in the world leads her on an incredible adventure that pits her faith, her feelings and her very life against inhospitable elements, the armies of the North and South, and the most dangerous creature of all: man.
Stark ‘Fairweather’ Holborn is the pseudonym of a thrilling new voice in fiction. But he – or she – knows to keep friends close… and secrets closer. Apparently hailing from Wichita, Kansas, Stark now drifts between continents and currently resides somewhere near Bristol. Nunslinger is Stark’s first published work.

Round up those tickets – they’re free but booking is recommended. Please email for all enquiries.

See you there!

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“North By SouthWest” – North Bristol Writers Anthology Seeks Funding

November 2nd, 2014 · Comments Off

North Bristol Writers have launched a fundraising campaign to finance their debut anthology, a collection of short stories going under the title of North by SouthWest. BristolCon are really happy to be supporting this project, but North Bristol Writers also need your help to make their dream a reality – could you spare a couple of quid in exchange for fabulous incentives?

In their own words :

North by Southwest is an anthology of 15 stories by 10 North Bristol Writers: 

The stories are original, never before published, inventive and have a great variety which is a strength of the book, showcasing as it does the work of the writers after a year or so of collaboration. Bristol is such a creative city and the stories are certainly infused with that energy. Bristol has had such a great effect on transport through the ages – it’s an airplane city, a railway city and a port city so such themes recur, as does the theme of ‘North’, The stories are beautifully illustrated by artist Claire M Hutt with art to appear in B&W in the physical book.

Join The Noon Train (by Roz Clarke), or a Tragedy on Concorde (by Margaret Carruthers), walk from Portishead to Bristol in Latitude (by Pete Sutton), join John Cabot as he sails from Bristol in search of new lands in Fisher of Men (by Justin Newland) or just sit back and let Desiree Fischer’s Taxi Driver take you where you need to go. If those forms of travel are too dull then strap in to John Hawkes-Reed’s war elephants in Miss Butler and the Industrial Automation Group or journey Like Giants with Kevlin Henney.

Explore new visions of Bristol in House Blood and Lye Close (by Ian Millsted), Bristol Pound (by Jemma Milburn) or Christmas Steps (by Pete Sutton).

Or indulge in a bit of darkness in Gardening Leave, Uncle Lucas and The Top of the Hill (by Clare Dornan) and Hater (by Pete Sutton).

We have the stories, we have the art, and now we need the money to pay for the typesetter and printer in order to create our book. We need you to help get this off the ground by using this Fundsurfer to pre-order your copies & also grab a bunch of other great rewards including signed artwork & personalised stories.

If we get over £2,000 we have a few stretch goals that we’ll share.

Please pledge what you can & share with your friends and family!

I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of these writers before, on Colinthology and Airship Shape and Bristol Fashion, and you really are in for a treat with North by SouthWest – if you help get it off the ground they have some great incentives too!


Watch the video, feel inspired, follow the link, check out the rewards on offer, feel greedy, pledge!

The rewards are fab, there are books, art, and tickets to BristolCon 2015, among others, not to mention the warm fuzzy feeling of having helped people out… Plenty of good things to choose from!

You can pledge as little as a pound, and every penny will go to help out local writers to bring a brand-new anthology to life. So please feel free to get involved!

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Orcs Attack! Stan Nicholls at Books on the Hill – 1.30pm, Nov 8th.

October 31st, 2014 · Comments Off

Arm yourselves against the Orcs! and head down to Books on the Hill in Clevedon on November 8th at 1.30pm to meet acclaimed fantasy author Stan Nicholls, author of over thirty books including Orcs : First Blood, Orcs : Bad Blood and the Nightshade Trilogy. Don’t forget to sharpen your battleaxe…

Books on the Hill is a fabulous new indie bookshop and their stock includes signed novels by Mark Lawrence and Adrian Tchaikovsky. They are open between 9.30 and 5pm every day except Sundays and can be found on Hill Road, Clevedon – pop in and say hi to Alistair and Chloe!

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BristolCon 2014 – A Note From The Chair

October 29th, 2014 · Comments Off

BristolCon 2014 has been widely heralded online as the Best BristolCon Yet, and a lot of people need to be thanked for helping to pull that off. The Art Room and Dealers Room sold out in record time, and were hugely successful despite some unforeseen logistical hiccups that luckily went unnoticed by most of our con attendees, who had once again braved tangled roadworks, rail replacement buses and the intricacies of Bristol’s labyrinthine one-way system to be with us. Thank you all for coming.

Thanks once again go to Mike Bowyer of Roundstone Framing in Trowbridge for the loan of his art equipment and last-minute supply of a van to transport them in. The art room was lively and crowded and the display looked great.

Special thanks to our guests of honour, who this year were Julian Quaye, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, and Emma Newman, and to Dev Agarwal, Jonathan Wright and Gareth L Powell who took on interviewing duties and poured tea. Thanks also to the rest of our panellists and moderators who took on such a broad range of topics. And to John Baverstock who pushed buttons, made lights flash and swirl, and introduced panels with impressively bombastic theme music, ably assisted by Matt Bishop, and to the PA manoeuvring team of Chris and Bev Rumble.

Thanks to the committee, who have been working very hard all year to make the con a success — Cheryl, Meg, Ade, Claire, Andy, Roz, Scott, Mark, Des, Mike and Amanda. Without people willing to sacrifice their time, energy and marbles, we wouldn’t be able to make BristolCon the success it continues to be.

We have a horde of wonderful orange lanyard-wearing minions who make time on the day to run desks, shift furniture, find chairs, make cake, find more chairs, smile and direct people and generally keep things running like slightly sproingy clockwork. Thank you to Sam and Tom Bishop, Pat Hawkes-Reed, Chris Horner, Clare Neilson, Lor Graham, Rob Harkess, Dan Pawley, and Ian, Piotr and Snorri, who weren’t minions but kept being in the right place at the right time (or the wrong place at the wrong time).

Ian Whates hosted a fabulous book launch for Kim Lakin-Smith’s “Cyber Circus” and dished out loads of free books, and freebie thanks too to Phil Norris for the prize draw prizes, Jo Fletcher Books, and Sophie Calder and Charlie Panayiotou from Gollancz who not only sent us books but made sure they arrived.

Bristol Bad Film Club brought us a truly terrible film and a ferret, much to the alarm of the hotel, and Jon Dowling and Scott Lewis ran our expanded games room in an exceptional manner. Pith helmets doffed all round to you splendid chaps!

We are very grateful to the accommodating and patient staff at the Hilton Doubletree, particularly the capable Leonie in conference sales, Rachel, and the tireless and ever-smiling Hotel Chris, who must dread our arrival but manages to never show it….

Thank you also to Forbidden Planet for providing our goodie bags, and to SFX, Ujiima Radio, Northcliffe Press, Bristol 24/7 @Bristol52 on Twitter, Bristol Literature Festival, Wizard’s Tower Press, Grimbold Books and Oxfam Bookshop in Cotham. And our long-suffering families – you have all been incredibly supportive.

Next year BristolCon is confirmed for the slightly earlier date of September 26th, when our Guests of Honour will be Jasper Fforde and Jaine Fenn. Hope to see you there, if not before!

Best wishes,

Jo Hall (Con Chair)

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