FantasyCon 2011 at the historic seaside town of Brighton in the UK was simply terrific. Superbly organised and run by Paul Kane and Marie O'Regan and their Con committee, it brought together over 500 practitioners and enthusiasts of fantastic literature to meet, mingle, chat, argue, drink, and -- astonishingly, given the size and shape of most of us -- dance. (No, not me. Are you fucking insane? There were cameras present.)
Books were launched. Deals were made. Panels were pontificated upon. Awards were handed out. And, more importantly, each of us received the spiritual shot in the arm that is the real function of these events, the reminder that we're not alone in our love for the genre, that we're part of a family which -- however dysfunctional, however geographically scattered -- shares the bizarre belief that tales of ghosts or goblins, revenants or rocketships, are actually sort of important. Or, at the very least, fun.
Dana and I met a bunch of old friends, made some new ones, and had a wonderful time. I want to thank Paul and Marie and their team for inviting me and congratulate them on mounting an excellent convention. I've just heard they've been dumb enough to agree to do it again next year (along with powers-behind-the-thrones Steve Jones and Amanda Foubister), so do yourselves a favor and attend. It'll be great. There are even rumours that the hotel will have fixed the air-conditioning (though they promise hardcore fans of pre-war plumbing that the water-pressure in the showers will still suck).