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Sci-Fi Comedy Double – After Dusk & Waiting For Becky on January 18th

January 11th, 2020< by Rosie Oliver --> · Comments Off on Sci-Fi Comedy Double – After Dusk & Waiting For Becky on January 18th

Real Positive Poles proudly present a double bill of Bristol’s finest live comedy on January 18th 8pm to 10-30 pm at The White Bear “Room Above” 133 St Michael’s Hill Kingsdown Bristol BS2 8BS. Join them for a delve into the unknown with After Dusk and some American style funnies from Bristol all-stars Waiting for Becky.

You walk into a play but none of the actors have learned their lines, because there are none. This show hasn’t been written yet. A nightmare or a dream? Who’s to say? Up ahead there’s a sign. They take a turning through your imagination and arrive at your final destination: An improvised twist on The Twilight Zone. Some of Bristol’s best improvisers create a brand-new episode of the classic science fiction show which inspired Black Mirror. Suitable for all levels of nerdiness and Twilight Zone knowledge!

With support from: Waiting for Becky! Fresh, hot and recently graduated as the Parents Basement House Team, Waiting for Becky are leading purveyors in American longform style giggles. Their show consists of as many or as few scenes as they want, but at the very least some. For one night only it comes with a sci-fi twist that Real Positive Poles have insisted they insert but have absolutely no power to enforce!

Tickets can be obtained from here.

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BSFA Awards Long-Lists

January 7th, 2020< by Rosie Oliver --> · Comments Off on BSFA Awards Long-Lists

The BSFA Awards long-lists have been published and what I can only describe as our super-human Guest of Honour, Adrian Tchaikovsky, has several entries:

  • Best Novel – Cage of Souls (Head of Zeus)
  • Best Novel – Children of Ruin (Tor)
  • Best Shorter Fiction – Walking to Aldebaran (REBCA)

We also have some local authors on the long-lists:

Best Novel:

  • Peter F Hamilton – Salvation Lost (Macmillan)
  • Juliet E McKenna – The Green Man’s Foe (Wizard’s Tower Press)
  • Emma Newman – Atlas Alone (Gollancz)
  • Gareth L Powell – Fleet of Knives (Titan Books)

Best Shorter Fiction:

  • Damaris Browne – The Colour of Silence (Distaff anthology, ed. Rosie Oliver & Sam Primeau)
  • Rosie Oliver – The Ice Man (Distaff anthology, ed. Rosie Oliver & Sam Primeau)
  • Gareth L Powell – Ragged Alice (

Best Non-Fiction:

  • Gareth L Powell – About Writing (Luna Press)

Congratulations to one and all. (I must admit I have to give Gareth L Powell a super-human award as he is on three lists!)

If I have missed anyone from the southwest off these lists – I don’t know where you all live – please let me know at media[at]bristolcon[dot]com.

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Bristol Area Science Fiction Writers’ Circle – Start Up Meeting

January 2nd, 2020< by Rosie Oliver --> · Comments Off on Bristol Area Science Fiction Writers’ Circle – Start Up Meeting


A small of group of us are getting together to start up a science fiction writers’ circle in the Bristol area.

What is a writers’ circle? It usually comprises a group of writers who submit pieces of fiction at regular intervals to the others for constructive feedback. This technique of improving writing has worked well in many genres and many places.

Is this what the Bristol Science Fiction Writers’ Circle will do? Short answer is yes, but it may do more. As this is a science fiction (please note not pure fantasy or horror) we may try to find out ways of helping each other with the science background side of things. (At least two of us have a notable background in science – and different branches too!)

We are getting together to sort out the details of exactly what we want to do. If you are interested in joining in, we will be having our first meeting on Monday January 27th at 6-30pm in the bar area of the Hilton Doubletree hotel – the same hotel where we normally have BristolCon. This meeting is to discuss what we want do etc. I’ll be bringing along a small wooden horse to place on the table so strangers know where we are in the bar area – you can’t miss it – it’s bright red with strange swirly strokes of other colours. Those familiar with Swedish culture will know it as a Dalecalian wooden horse. (If the weather turns out to be bad, we will rearrange!)

If you want to join and are unable to make this meeting, please contact me at media[at]bristolcon[dot]org with your wish list and resource constraints.

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BristolCon Foundation – Grants and Loans

December 31st, 2019< by Rosie Oliver --> · Comments Off on BristolCon Foundation – Grants and Loans

Happy New Year! May 2020 live up to your hopes.

It is also that time of the year when a lot of people start thinking what they want to do in the coming months. It could be anything from shedding the pounds acquired during Christmas feasting to doing something interesting in speculative fiction.

It may be that you want to do that speculative fiction project or event but need a little extra help with funds. This is where the BristolCon Foundation might be able to help.

BristolCon Foundation aims to encourage the creation and enjoyment of Speculative Fiction, in all its forms, with a focus on the West Country and South Wales. BristolCon does not set out to make a profit, but any left over funds are used to provide grants or loans of up to £250 for projects that further the BristolCon Foundation’s aims. Such projects could include but are not limited to helping to

  • run speculative fiction workshops
  • support launches to do with speculative fiction
  • bring new creators to the genre
  • providing promotions for speculative fiction in all its forms

If you have a project that could benefit from such a grant or loan, please contact MEG at chair[at]bristolcon[dot]org with the following information:

  • your name
  • your e-mail address
  • title of your project
  • a brief description of the project – ideally no more than a paragraph
  • when that project will take place/ be completed
  • where that project will take place
  • what benefit will that project give to the speculative fiction community in the West Country and South Wales
  • the amount of money being requested and whether you want it as a grant or a loan (limit is £250)
  • when you need an answer by from the BristolCon Foundation

All such applications should be at least eight weeks before the grant or loan is required in order to give chance for the committee to consider them. We may be able to fast-track applications but that will be dependent on the availability of the committee to respond to such requests.

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On-Line Membership Portal set to Open 13th January 2020

December 22nd, 2019< by Rosie Oliver --> · Comments Off on On-Line Membership Portal set to Open 13th January 2020

Seasonal greetings to one and all and as of 4-19am this morning (22nd December in UK) the days are going to get longer, which I hope will cheer a lot of people up.

BristolCon committee members have been working quietly away behind the scenes, bless them. And to cheer you up even more we have fixed on a date when we hope to open the on-line membership portal for BristolCon – January 13th… 2020 I hasten to add, not 2021.

We’re looking forward to having another wonderful BristolCon in 2020!

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William Gibson – Agency: What Does the Future Hold?

December 11th, 2019< by Rosie Oliver --> · Comments Off on William Gibson – Agency: What Does the Future Hold?

William Gibson, yes that William Gibson of Neuromancer fame, will have a new novel, Agency, published in January 2020. Of course he has to talk about his new novel and where better than at We The Curious in Bristol as part of the Festival of Ideas?

The event is William GibsonAgency: What Does the Future Hold? and will be held on Monday 3rd February 18-30 – 1930, though I believe the doors will be open at 18:00. The place is We The Curious, Anchor Road, Harbourside, Bristol BS1 5DB. Tickets can be bought here.

For those interested in the novel, Agency, the blurb, taken from Amazon is:

San Francisco, 2017. Clinton’s in the White House, Brexit never happened – and Verity Jane’s got herself a new job.

They call Verity ‘the app-whisperer’, and she’s just been hired by a shadowy start-up to evaluate a pair-of-glasses-cum-digital-assistant called Eunice. Only Eunice has other ideas.

Pretty soon, Verity knows that Eunice is smarter than anyone she’s ever met, conceals some serious capabilities and is profoundly paranoid  which is just as well since suddenly some bad people are after Verity.

Meanwhile, in a post-apocalyptic London a century from now, PR fixer Wilf Netherton is tasked by all-seeing policewoman Ainsley Lowbeer with interfering in the alternative past in which Verity and Eunice exist. It appears something nasty is about to happen there – and fixing it will require not only Eunice’s unique human-AI skillset but also a little help from the future.

A future which Verity soon fears may never be . . .

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A Couple More BristolCon Reports

December 2nd, 2019< by Rosie Oliver --> · Comments Off on A Couple More BristolCon Reports

A couple more BristolCon reports have come to my attention, including one in Czech! That’s right someone came all the way to BristolCon from Czechia (the western half of Czechoslovakia for us pre the fall of the Berlin Wall generation).

(I have added these in to the fuller report below, which will be kept as a formal record.)

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Christopher Eccleston in Bath Dec 5th

November 29th, 2019< by Rosie Oliver --> · Comments Off on Christopher Eccleston in Bath Dec 5th

Christopher Eccleston, the ninth Doctor to us science fiction fans, will be discussing and signing his new book, I Love the Bones of You, which is about his lifelong relationship with his father, Ronnie.

The event is run by Toppings on December 5th at Christ Church, Julian Road, Bath, BA1 2RH. Doors open at 7-30pm and the event itself starts at 8pm. Further information and tickets can be obtained here.

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BristolCon 2019 – Summary

November 24th, 2019< by Rosie Oliver --> · Comments Off on BristolCon 2019 – Summary

Whoosh – and another BristolCon has been and gone. We’ve now had so many BristolCons that 2019 was our tenth anniversary. 

Our Guests of Honour were absolutely delightful. All the way Ireland we had writer Diane Duane (who had in August been Guest of Honour at WorldCon), our own local writer Gareth L Powell (he who had earlier this year won his second BSFA Best Novel award for Embers of War) and artist Andy Bigwood (he who has won two Best Artist BSFA awards). Such a stellar line up who entertained, talked, taught, encouraged others in their creativity and thoroughly enjoyed themselves. We thank you for giving us such special glimpses into your worlds of imagination. 

Andy our Artist Guest of Honour did a wonderful cover for our booklet and designed the ‘Bag of Holding’, which I am sure will prove valued souvenirs of this tenth anniversary BristolCon.

For our spotlight book launch we welcomed back an old favourite for their second volume – Airship Shape and Bristol Fashion – Planes, Trains and Automatons, a steampunk anthology with loads of local authors and published by the local Wizard’s Tower Press. BristolCon would not be BristolCon without our local science fiction and fantasy enthusiasts being brought to the fore! And what a loveable bunch they are! If you want a peek at it see the start of it on Amazon.

With each passing year it seems BristolCon gets bigger and better. 2019 saw the addition of an extra Small Groups Sessions stream – and we still had more people volunteering to run a kaffeeklatsch or workshop than we had room for on our timetable. The art room kept its increased size from last year and rumour has it that one piece of art was involved in a bidding war – don’t know if that has ever happened before. 

And what wonderful evening entertainment we had from the ZHL Strings quartet who played various classical and science fiction pieces of music. Their finale was dancing while playing the Can Can. 

Too much went on at BristolCon 2019 to give a blow by blow account, so I will leave it to others to give you their impressions:

A humungous thank you to all who helped, no matter how small your efforts were. It was greatly appreciated by BristolCon committee and members. Without you volunteering your time and effort, we would not have this lovely friendly science fiction and fantasy convention.

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BristolCon 2020 is a Go!

November 17th, 2019< by Rosie Oliver --> · Comments Off on BristolCon 2020 is a Go!

For those of you not able to come to the BristolCon 2019 closing ceremony, there will be a BristolCon on Saturday October 31st 2020!

The Guests of Honour are authors Anna Smith Spark and Adrian Tchaikovsky.

The place is the same as it has been for quite a few years now – the Hilton Doubletree Hotel (next to St Mary Redcliffe church and five minutes walk from Bristol Temple Meads railway station). I understand the hotel is now accepting bookings for those who want to stay overnight!

Applying for memberships online is not yet available, but will be sometime in the new year. (Those who paid at the 2019 BristolCon for 2020 BristolCon membership – fear not, you are on our membership list.)

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