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Guests 2011

Guests of Honour

Juliet E McKennaJuliet E McKenna has always been fascinated by myth and history, other worlds and other peoples. This ultimately led to her studying Greek and Roman history and literature at St Hilda”s College, Oxford, as well as to a lifetime love of SF and fantasy fiction. She is the author of the acclaimed Tales of Einarinn series, translated into more than a dozen languages, as well as the highly praised The Aldabreshin Compass sequence. Her most recent trilogy, The Chronicles of the Lescari Revolution, explored divided states, personal conflict and the rights and responsibilities of power. Her current project, The Hadrumal Crisis, sees what happens when wizards, however powerful, get caught up in unforeseen consequences along with everyone else. She is one of the leading lights of The Write Fantastic, a UK authors” initiative promoting the breadth and depth of current fantasy fiction, and reviews online and for Interzone and as a contributing editor to Albedo One. Living in Oxfordshire, England with her sons and husband, she fits in her writing around her family and vice versa.

For more information about Ms. McKenna click here.

Justina RobsonJustina Robson is one of the UK”s foremost writers of science fiction and SF/Fantasy cross-overs. Her novels been shortlisted for the Arthur C. Clarke Award twice, for the Philip K. Dick Award three times (finishing second in 2006), for the British Science Fiction Association Award three times, and for the John W. Campbell Memorial Award twice (finishing second in 2004). Her latest book is Down to the Bone, the fifth and final installment of the Quantum Gravity series. She lives in Leeds with her Significant Other and two sons.

For more information about Ms. Robson click here.

Jim Burns - photo by Szymon SokolJim Burns was born in South Wales and lives near Bath. After a brief career as a jet pilot in the RAF, seeking to emulate his hero Dan Dare, Jim embarked on what has proved a hugely successful career in science fiction and fantasy art. He has won 3 Hugo Awards, 4 British Fantasy Awards, 12 British Science Fiction Association Awards and 2 Asimov’s Reader Polls. He was also a Guest of Honour at the 1987 World Science Fiction Convention, and provided the cover of the souvenir book of the 2005 World Science Fiction Convention. His works have graced the covers of books by authors such as John Meaney, Peter F. Hamilton, Greg Bear, David Brin, Bruce Sterling, Joe Haldeman, Robert Charles Wilson, Lucius Shepard, Ricardo Pinto and many others.

For more information about Mr. Burns click here.

Keith BlountKeith Blount is the designer and creator of Scrivener, software for the Mac (and soon Windows too) for supporting the creative process of writing and structuring the first drafts of long texts. Self-confessed possessor of a disorderly mind and a desk to match, after struggling to order the ideas, research and notes to be used in his own novel, he designed Scrivener. While the novel has unfortunately yet to be completed, his software has been enthusiastically adopted by numerous best-selling authors and screenwriters, including Charles Stross and Michael Marshall Smith.

For more information about Mr. Blount click here.

Also Attending

Alastair Reynolds - photo by Beth GwinnAlastair Reynolds is one of Britain”s best-selling science fiction writers. Currently signed to a million-pound contract by Gollancz, he thrills readers with his complex tales of the far future. Reynolds’ Chasm City won the British Science Fiction Association Award for Best Novel in 2001. He has also won a Seiun Award in Japan, and been three times nominated for the Arthur C. Clarke Award. His latest novel is Terminal World. He lives in South Wales, and was a Guest of Honour at the first ever BristolCon in 2009.

Paul CornellPaul Cornell is a writer of SF and fantasy prose, comics and television scripts, the only person to be Hugo nominated for all three media. He wrote three episodes of the new Doctor Who, Captain Britain and MI-13 for Marvel Comics, and is now the regular writer on Action Comics and Knight & Squire for DC. His novels are Something More and British Summertime, and he has another coming out from Tor next year. He lives in Oxfordshire with his wife, Caroline. Paul was a Guest of Honour at BristolCon in 2010.

Colin HarveyColin Harvey lives in Keynsham, and is a writer, reviewer and blogger. He is the editor of Future Bristol, published in 2009, and of Killers, which was short-listed for the Black Quill Award. His novel, Winter Song, published by Angry Robot Books, was launched at BristolCon ’09, and his latest novel Damage Time was published in October 2010, also by the Angry Robot. Last year he also edited Dark Spires, an anthology of west-country based SF, fantasy and horror from Wizard’s Tower Press. His next project is an anthology for the Irish publisher, Aeon Press.

Colin passed away on August 16th. He will always be with us in spirit.

John MeaneyJohn Meaney is the author of To Hold Infinity, the Nulapeiron Sequence (Paradox, Context, Resolution) and Absorption, vol.1 of the Ragnarok trilogy, all hard SF novels. He also wrote the dark fantasy/Gothic SF novels Bone Song and Dark Blood, and (as Thomas Blackthorne) the violent, near-future thriller and political satire Edge. His short fiction has been reprinted in several year’s best anthologies.

Meaney has a degree in physics and computer science, holds a black belt in shotokan karate, and works out fanatically. Before writing full time, he enjoyed a long career in IT, and taught business analysis and software engineering around the world. A trained hypnotist, he likes dark chocolate and adores cats. He lives in a Welsh valley.

Paul McAuleyPaul McAuley is a former scientist who lived in Bristol for most of the 1970s while studying for his BSc and PhD. His first novel, Four Hundred Billion Stars, won the Philip K. Dick Memorial Award; his fifth, Fairyland, won the Arthur C. Clarke and John W. Campbell Awards. His latest, In The Mouth of the Whale, will be published by Gollancz early next year.

Philip ReevePhilip Reeve is the author of the hugely successful Mortal Engines and its several sequels. Amongst many awards for the series, Mortal Engines was a Blue Peter Book of the Year, while A Darkling Plain won the Guardian Children’s Fiction Prize and the Los Angeles Times Book Award. He lives on Dartmoor.

Mike ShevdonMike Shevdon’s blend of real history and folklore was launched on an unsuspecting world in 2009 with his debut novel, Sixty-One Nails, published by Angry Robot Books. It interleaves forgotten legends and faerie tales with real history and ancient rituals that are still performed at the core of the realm to this day. A refreshingly different take on Urban Fantasy, The Courts of the Feyre is a series exploring humanity”s relationship with the creatures that inspired the oldest of stories, weaving a modern faerie-tale into the fabric of reality.

The sequel, The Road to Bedlam, was published in September last year, revealing more of the relationship between the everyday world and the secret world of magic and darkness beneath. Angry Robot has since signed Mike to produce two more books in the series. Mike”s work has been described as richly detailed and an effortless joy to read with a pace and plot that leaves you wanting more.

There’s more about Mike on his website.

Gareth L PowellGareth L Powell was born in Bristol, England. He is the author of the SF novels The Recollection (Solaris, 2011) and Silversands (Pendragon Press, 2010); and the critically acclaimed short fiction collection The Last Reef and Other Stories (Elastic Press, 2008).

His short story “Ack-Ack Macaque” won the Interzone Readers” Poll for best short story of 2007. His work has been published in magazines all over the world, and featured in a number of recent anthologies, including Shine (Solaris Books, 2010), Conflicts (NewCon Press, 2010), 2020 Visions (M-Brane, 2010), Dark Spires (Wizard”s Tower, 2010), and Future Bristol (Swimming Kangaroo, 2009).

Gareth has written nonfiction articles for The Irish Times, Futurismic, Write To Done, Matrix, SF Signal, and Focus, and has a regular spot writing interviews and reviews for Acoustic, a national UK music magazine. He has delivered lectures on creative writing at Bath Spa University and been interviewed on the BBC Radio 4 Today Programme. He has also been a guest and moderator in panel discussions at literary conventions and art events all over the country, and has enjoyed reading his work to appreciative audiences at book launches and other events.

Gareth lives in the West Country with his wife and two daughters, and can be found online at:

Jaine FennJaine Fenn is an SF fan turned pro writer who still finds it slightly disconcerting to talk about herself in the third person. She is the author of a number of short stories and the Hidden Empire series of far future SF novels, the first book of which, Principles of Angels, was published by Gollancz in 2008. She is also a closet Wurzels fan.

Eugene ByrneEugene Byrne is a novelist and journalist resident in Bristol. His books include Back in the USSA, co-written with his old schoolfriend Kim Newman, ThiGMOO, Things Unborn and a biography of Isambard Kingdom Brunel in comic form, drawn by Bristol artist Simon Gurr. In 2008, Eugene and Simon produced The Bristol Story, a 200-page graphic history of Bristol; over 100,000 copies were printed and given away free. Last year Eugene and Simon brought out a graphic biography of Charles Darwin for the Darwin 200 celebrations.

Eugene has written a guidebook to Bristol’s Arnos Vale Cemetery, which is full of all the city’s leading dead Victorians and he says you really ought to visit it. He lives in quietly-desperate suburban respectability with his wife and two children, does all his own ironing and drives a Skoda.

Stephanie BurgisStephanie Burgis writes Regency-era fantasy novels. Her first novel, A Most Improper Magick, won the Waverton Good Read Children’s Award 2011. Her second novel, A Tangle of Magicks, was published this August. She has also sold nearly thirty short stories to adult science fiction and fantasy magazines and anthologies, including Strange Horizons, Black Static, and Future Bristol. To find out more, please visit her website.

MD LachlanMD Lachlan is the pen name of Mark Barrowcliffe — an acclaimed mainstream author and journalist. Mark has published two fantasy books so far — Wolfsangel and, his latest, Fenrir. Both are historical fantasies, published by Gollancz, set in the Viking period.

Wolfsangel and Fenrir have been translated into eight languages and have been very well received by critics. Mark is a consultant in creative writing at the University of Kingston. He has another historical fantasy series coming out with Gollancz in 2012 under the pen name Mark Alder.

Publishers Weekly said of Fenrir: “Lachlan doesn’t skip a beat in this fast-paced sequel to Wolfsangel, immersing the reader in a richly imagined fantasy fashioned from history, mythology, and strange destinies. Lachlan’s rousing tale is enlivened by surprising plot twists and populated with earthy, well-developed characters, making this one of the most entertaining historical fantasy sagas of recent years.”

Guy HayleyAn experienced science fiction journalist and critic, Guy Haley began his career on SFX where he eventually became deputy editor. He edited renowned gaming magazine White Dwarf for three years and after that the short-lived but bold Death Ray. Guy is the author of the novel Reality 36 from Angry Robot, with Champion of Mars (Solaris), Baneblade (Black Library) and Omega Point (Angry Robot) due to be released in 2012. He also writes gaming background. Guy lives in Somerset with his wife, son, Dr Magnus the Malamute and an enormous, evil-tempered Norwegian forest cat called, ironically, Buddy.

There is plenty more about Guy on his website, including reviews, interviews, fiction samples, and free stories.

Harriet CastorSince having her first book accepted for publication by Penguin at the age of twelve, Harriet Castor has written over forty fiction and non-fiction books for children. Between books, she has fitted in a History degree at Cambridge University and a variety of jobs, including teaching English in Prague and three years spent with The Royal Ballet as a dance notator. Now she writes as close to full time as her family will tolerate. This autumn her first novel for young adults — VIII — is published by Templar. Bringing the tension of a psychological thriller and the eeriness of a ghost story to the historical fiction genre, VIII presents Henry as a 16th-century Anakin Skywalker figure — a boy of extraordinary talents, astonishing warrior skills, and a fierce sense of honour and virtue, who believes he is destined for greatness, but is haunted by the ghosts of his family’s violent past. Pre-publication reviews called VIII “Exciting, fascinating and surprisingly scary” (Charlie Higson) and “A real page-turner for older readers” (The Bookseller).

A trailer for VIII was created by film students at Bath Spa University. Harriet lives in Bristol with her husband and two daughters.

Alex KellerAlex Keller has studied Ancient History, Archaeology, and Egyptology, but in the end decided to be a writer. He has written two books, Haywired and Rewired, and has about twenty more in his head waiting to appear. He’s always been a fan of fantastical worlds and bizarre characters, and writing lets him explore these ideas to his heart’s content.

Alex lives in North London.

TalisBristol-born Talis Kimberley is returning to her home city to present her narrative, whimsical brand of music to Bristolcon’s discerning attendees. Talis is a storyteller. Her songs are full of tales, some true, some speculative. Whether inspired by literature, real life or the world of myth, her work always takes a quirky, sideways view of the world. She can sing you what Lady MacBeth said to Helen of Troy over a bottle of wine, or introduce you to the secret world of teabags. Here are references to Escher’s drawings, Oliver Postgate’s creations, celestial geometry, oh, and werewolves. Talis knows what type of car the Moon drives, why all self-respecting heroes need a back-up team, and what the selkie keeps in her suitcase. She drinks Redbush tea and looks taller than she actually is.

Simon GurrSimon Gurr is an illustrator and comic artist whose professional comics debut was in 2000AD (the first strip to be drawn entirely with vector graphics). Since then he has collaborated extensively with author Eugene Byrne, producing web and print comics together including graphic biographies of Charles Darwin and I K Brunel. He is also the artist/author of a comic serial adaptation of The Day Of The Triffids.

His illustration work appears most often in books and magazines and includes SF and Fantasy subjects. He was the only illustrator to appear in every issue of roleplaying magazine Arcane, providing artwork for the popular Encounters series.

Craig Lewis Craig Lewis is a mixed-media artist, muralist, illustrator, tutor and perpetual image tweaker. He studied Fine Art at Cardiff University and has experience in animation, illustration, graphic novels and community workshops, where he organises urban murals and teaches artistic techniques.

Working in a variety of media, from oils to collage, he has produced work for a range of projects and exhibitions, having showcased work at a number of galleries and impromptu venues in Wales, London and Nottingham. A six-time nominee for Welsh Artist of the Year, Craig has been working on a collection of surrealist digital work, portraying weird and wonderful fantasy scenes, reminiscent of the work of Joel Peter Whitkin & Dave McKean, two of his inspirations.

Steve Upham Steve Upham is a freelance artist and designer from South Wales. Although trained in traditional media, he now works mainly with digital tools for his illustration work. His artwork has appeared on book and magazine covers by various small press publishers, including Pendragon Press, Guranteed Books, Atomic Fez, Twisted Tongue, BeWrite Books and Undertow Publications.

He also runs his own small press, Screaming Dreams, which publishes the free Estronomicon eZine, a selection of free eBooks, plus of course a range of book titles in print. The website is dedicated to all things fantasy, sci-fi and horror. You can find more information at :

Simon BreezeSimon Breeze is an artist from the weird and wonderful countryside of Somerset. His passion for Science Fiction & Fantasy stories and art began at a young age with the comic books his father would buy him, namely The Eagle, 2000AD and The Savage Sword of Conan. Through these amazing worlds and their heroic characters, Simon was introduced to art by the likes of Frank Frazetta, Boris Vallejo, Jim Burns and Carlos Ezquerra whose breathtaking work still inspires him to this day.

Over the years, his creativity has seen him working in several genres and on many projects such as illustrations for books and calendars, photography, comics, concept art, advertising, graphic design, and even movie props. His creative skills currently have him working on a fantasy adventure book called, Azmath: the Tale of the Necromancers Eye, due to be published in 2011.

Wayne SimmonsBelfast born, Wayne Simmons, loitered with intent around the horror genre for some years, scribbling reviews and interviews for various zines.

His bestselling zombie horror novel, Flu, is available through Snowbooks. The sequel, Fever, is due out in Halloween 2011.

Wayne’s apoc-horror, Drop Dead Gorgeous, is also available through Snowbooks, with a sequel due out early 2012.

In what little spare time he has left, Wayne enjoys running, getting tattooed and listening to all manner of unseemly screeches on his BOOM-BOOM Box. Look out for Wayne (he”s hard to miss!) at various genre and tattoo conventions.

Steve WestcottSteve Westcott lives in Sulby on the Isle of Man with wife, Carole, and two children, Samantha and Michael. He began writing thirteen years ago after Carole got fed up about him moaning there were not enough books on the market he liked to read and challenged him to write his own. He did, and got bitten by the writing bug. His first book Reluctant Heroes, originally published in 2003, has recently been reprinted by Frontlist Books, with the second in the Black Dragon series Cronan the Librarian, also published by Frontlist, launched in 2008. Both titles are available on-line and from all good book shops. Book three, as yet untitled, is plotted, but not yet completed.

Steve has recently signed contracts with Priory Press for the release of Of Light and Shadow, a modern-day thriller set against the background of Christianity, and is his first novel-length foray outside the humour market. OLAS is scheduled for a November 2011 release.

Gaining a growing reputation amongst sci-fi fans in the UK and the USA, Steve has contributed to four print anthologies, Deeper Magic, A Twist of Fate and Manx Tails volumes 1 and 2. He has also sold a number of short stories to net-based e-zines.

Steve is a regular guest of the sci-fi, fantasy and horror Phoenix Convention which is held in Dublin every March.

Peter LoftusPeter Loftus is a writer, editor, comic creator and reviewer who lives by the sea with his wife, comic creator Hilary Lawler.

His short stories have appeared in the BSFA’s Focus Magazine, Visionary Tongue, Midnight Street, Alienskin, Byzarium, Reflection’s Edge, Everyday Fiction and Monomyth, among others, and have been longlisted for both the Fish and Aeon short fiction competitions. He has published numerous factual and historical articles in Ireland’s Eye, Ireland’s Own, ETP and Issues magazine. He is a regular reviewer for Interzone (UK) and Eternal Terror (Nor), both of whom let him loose to do the occasional interview. He has been producing independent comics under the Longstone Comics banner for the last few years, which for the most part involves giving scripts to artists and never seeing them again.

Bob NeilsonBob Neilson lives in Dublin with his wife, two daughters, son, two dogs, one cat and a growing feeling of claustrophobia. In partnership with his wife he runs a successful retail business in Dublin city. His short fiction has appeared extensively in professional and small press markets and he has had two plays performed on RTE and one on Anna Livia FM. He also presented a radio show on Anna Livia for a year. He has had two short story collections published, Without Honour (1997, Aeon Press) and That’s Entertainment (2007, Elastic Press) as well as several comics and a graphic novel. His non-fiction book on the properties of crystals is a best-seller in the UK and Ireland.

Emma NewmanEmma Newman writes dark short stories, post-apocalyptic novels and records audiobooks in all genres. She is recovering from the launch of her short story anthology From Dark Places whilst preparing for the release of her debut post-apocalyptic novel 20 Years Later in hardback. In a vain effort to retain a modicum of sanity, she blogs and gets up to other writing mischief at Bristolcon will be her first convention since one for ST:TNG in the 1990’s…¦ please be gentle with her.

Anne LyleAnne Lyle studied zoology at Bristol but was lured away to the Great Wen (aka London) and thence to Cambridge, where she now works as a web developer for the Wellcome Trust. Science may pay the bills, but her true love is history, particularly the late medieval and early modern periods. She is also fascinated by languages and enjoys conlanging, though she promises not to put too many apostrophes in her characters’ names!

In March 2011 her alternate history fantasy trilogy Night’s Masque was snapped up by those lovely chaps at Angry Robot Books. The first volume, The Alchemist of Souls, set in Elizabethan London, is due out in April 2012; right now she’s feverishly working on the sequel, The Merchant of Dreams.

Tim MaughanAfter spending most of his life putting it off, Bristol based author Tim Maughan finally started writing science fiction a few years ago. His first sale — Havana Augmented — was nominated for a BSFA award, and this year he released Paintwork, a collection of three cyberpunk-tinged stories dealing with the roles of art, celebrity and globalisation in a very near, and strangely familiar, future. At present his work deals with his obsession with architecture, augmented reality and video games, and next year he hopes to release his debut novel God’s Switch that looks at the social impact of hacktivism, online protest and cyber-warfare.

Away from fiction he is one of the UK’s best known writers on Japanese animation and comics, and is‘s resident anime and manga blogger, as well as a contributor to Anime News Network and a frequent podcast guest.

Dev AgarwalDev Agarwal began his SF career reviewing for the New York Review of Science Fiction and Critical Wave.

He has published fiction in Irish, American and Australian magazines and was shortlisted for the first Aeon Award. An active workshopper, he attended Clarion West and more recently Arvon (taught by Alistair Reynolds and Christopher Priest).

Dev writes a column on writing for BSFA’s Focus magazine. He is an associate editor for Albedo One. He is a keen reader of history (primarily ancient and twentieth century), and his fictional interests include writing on Rome, the near future and political SF.

Outside of fiction, he has written government legislation in the field of social care, worked as a complaints manager, disaster response coordinator and has escaped from more than one dysfunctional government body.

Raven DaneRaven Dane is a Welsh/Irish writer, currently based in the Chiltern Hills in Buckinghamshire where she lives with her family and an aquarium full of tropical fish all called Neville. She is the author of the Legacy of the Dark Kind series, Blood Tears, Blood Lament and Blood Alliance … yep, there is a common theme. She has also written the BFS award nominated funny fantasy, The Unwise Woman of Fuggis Mire and many contributions to short story anthologies including the recently published Full Fathom Forty, a celebration of the fortieth anniversary of the British Fantasy Society. Her latest novel, first of a steampunk series, Cyrus Darian and the Technomicron was launched at the Victorian Steampunk Society’s Convivial, also known as The Asylum weekend in Lincoln. Raven has been on panels at many events over the years, including Phoenix Con in Dublin, Odyssey Eastercon, the BFS FCon and was a guest at Elf Fantasy Fair in Holland in the same year James Marsters was attending…she is still recovering from the swoon. This is her first BristolCon. Raven’s blog is on and she is happy to be contacted direct at unless you are an accounts director from Africa with six million pounds to share.

Dolly Garland: I am a Fantasy writer, finishing up edits on my first book, writing the second, and planning the third. I am currently unpublished, preparing for the submission process while I finish up the edits.

Jonathan Wright: For want of a better description, I’m one of main SF literature freelances at SFX. Over the years I’ve profiled Banks, Aldiss, Moorcock, M John Harrison, Le Guin, Mieville, Pratchett, Justina Robson and many, many more for the magazine. I also write many of the mag’s lead reviews and I’m the SF reviewer for BBC Focus magazine. I’ve written on SF for The Guardian website and Independent too.

Andy BigwoodAndy Bigwood is an artist, draughtsman, bookbinder, cartographer and illustrator from West Wiltshire, UK, where he lives alone, only venturing out for disastrous foreign holidays and the occasional convention.

Trained in technical illustration, in Bath (shortly before the evolution of computer aided art), Andy has provided artwork, cartography and cover designs for a variety of Fantasy, Horror, and Science fiction novels including The Winter Hunt, Conflicts, The Push, Future Bristol, and maps for the Wraeththu trilogy; twice winning the British Science Fiction Association Award for best artwork with the book covers of ”disLOCATIONS” (2007) and ”Subterfuge”(2008) .

Cheryl MorganCheryl Morgan won a Hugo Award in 2004 for the online book review magazine, Emerald City, and another one in 2009 for her writing. She has been nominated for several other awards, including the Best Fan Writer and Best Web Site Hugos. She currently co-edits the web site, Science Fiction Awards Watch and writes the Cheryl’s Mewsings blog. Since January 2009 Cheryl has held the post of Non-Fiction Editor at the Hugo Award winning and World Fantasy nominated Clarkesworld Magazine. In 2010 Cheryl launched her own publishing company, Wizard’s Tower Press, and the online critical magazine, Salon Futura.

Joanne HallJoanne Hall lives in Bristol, England, with her partner. She enjoys writing fantasy, and will have a collection of her short stories published by Wolfsinger Publications in March 2011. Her New Kingdom Trilogy was published by Epress Online, and her short stories feature in Colin Harvey’s Future Bristol and Dark Spires anthologies. She is currently failing to learn the guitar, and is disappearing under the avalanche of junk in her office while she finishes her latest doorstop of a novel. Her personal website can be found at, and she’s always happy to hear from readers.

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