Nineworlds 2014 Geekfest is here!

sophieThe moment we’ve all been waiting for is finally here. Science-fiction and fantasy convention season has begun. With the start of Nine Worlds Geekfest yesterday and all the genre events next week – Fantasy in the Court (Tuesday 12th), The Gollancz Festival (Wednesday 13th) and the 72nd Worldcon Convention (Thursday 14th – Monday 18th) – it’s possibly the most exciting time to be a British SFF fan…ever! Our San Diego Comic-con envy is now a distant memory.

Team Gollancz are feeling superbly lucky  to have 11 authors and 4 staff members at Nine Worlds Geekfest 2014. We’ll be joined by GOSPEL OF LOKI author and self-confessed mega geek, Joanne M. Harris, fantasy-fiction super star Scott Lynch (THE GENTLEMAN BASTARDS) and multi-talented SF and fantasy writer Elizabeth Bear (the first book of her space opera series will be published by Gollancz in 2015). Amongst other panels on topics ranging from high fantasy (Lynch and Bear, Sunday, 3.15pm), westerns (Harris, Saturday, 3.15pm), and mythology (Harris, Friday 1.30pm), the one that I am most looking forward to seeing these three and Gail Carriger in action on ‘Dragons vs. Werewolves vs. Vampires vs. Warlocks: The Ultimate Deathmatch Smackdown’ (Saturday, 11.45am)

One of the most exciting things for me about the Gollancz authors joining us at Nine Worlds this year (and I hope you’ll agree), is our excellent selection of talented debut writers. They’re all brilliant and need to be celebrated, so we’re throwing a ‘Class of 2014’ #promenado party. Please join us on Saturday in the ‘All the Books’ room from 8 – 10pm for drinks & nibbles, a mirror ball, back-to-school tunes and a Gollancz goodie bag. Jon Wallace and Den Patrick helped me with the playlist, but you can blame all the cheesiest ones on me!

Our debut writers are also on panels covering a variety of superb subjects including Likeable Bad Guys (Den Patrick & Anna Caltabiano, Saturday 1.30pm), Food in Fantasy (Ed Cox Saturday, 1.30pm), Writing Transmedia (Anna Caltabiano 6.45pm, Friday). One of the panels that I’m most looking forward to is learning about Cyperpunk (a genre I’m yet to be well acquainted with) from Paul McAuley & co, Saturday, 10am.

As always, Forbidden Planet have put together a great programme of signing slots. It’ the perfect chance to ask authors questions one-to-one. I’m going to be heading down there at 4.30 today (Friday) to meet Jon Wallace (BARRICADE), Mark Alder (SON OF THE MORNING) and GAVIN SMITH (The paperback of THE AGE OF SCORPIO is out next week). Do visit Forbidden Planet in the dealers room for a full list of signing slots. They’re also going to be selling copies of Ed Cox’s THE RELIC GUILD for the first time ever!

The Gollancz editors and publicists in attendance are Gillian Redfearn and Marcus Gipps. From the publicity team, I’ll be there (Sophie Calder) with Charlotte Morris. Gillian is going to sharing her expertise on working with artists (Saturday 6.45pm), as the editor of BEHIND THE SOFA (with Steve Berry) and a life-long fan, Marcus is going to be discussing DR WHO (Saturday 11.45am), and I’ll be offering you my tips on genre events and publicity at the ‘Getting the Word Out’ panel (Sunday 11.45am).

Nineworlds Geekfest 2013 was my convention of the year. It stood out from the others because of the sheer range of its strands and diverse assortment of fresh new faces. My con highlights were the Harry Potter academic strand, the Brony workshops and being photo bombed by Scream while having my picture taken with Alien. The 2013 ‘All the Books’ panels were packed with remarkable authors and attendees that impressed me with their passion and the diversity of their geekiness. With Jared Shurin, Jenni Hill and Anne Perry at the helm this year, I know for a fact that the ‘All the Books’ 2014 track is going to be the highlight of the convention. In fact, I need to stop blogging and get me to some panels.


Can you guess the Class of 2014 author?

‘The Class of 2014’ Party is in the style of a high school prom or secondary school leavers do. The following photo is of a Gollancz author snapped when they were sweet 16, but who is it? Tweet #promenado @gollancz or leave a comment below to be in with a chance to win a copy of the debut novels from all 6 authors being celebrated in ‘The Class of 2014’ – Anna Caltabiano, Jon Hornor Jacobs, Ed Cox, Jon Wallace, Den Patrick, Mark Alder.