Easter is here, and that means only one thing . . .

Eastercon! The Gollancz Gang is going to be hanging out, attending panels, in the bar, running a book stand and more at the Edwardian Raddison, Heathrow, throughout Easter . . . so here’s our quick guide to all the Eastercon action:


Friday 6th April 2012


14.00               Pushing the Boundaries of Genre

What are the boundaries of genre? Where does one begin and another end? Does definition limit imagination, or give it something to feed on. Come along, for all this and more in discussion with: Robert V.S. Redick, Sophia McDougall  and Gillian Redfearn (as moderator!), alongside Guest of Honour Paul Cornell, and the marvellous Jon Courtenay Grimwood. Find us in Royal B&C.


15.00                     DestinyQuest 

It’s a new kind of gamebook for the 21st century – and you’re invited to come and give it a try (and maybe even snaffle a free copy!) with creator Michael J. Ward and editor Marcus Gipps, along with Joe Abercrombie, Chris Wooding and other Gollancz authors! Join in, in Room 40.


17.00                     There’s a Hole in my Plot!

There’s one editor to moderate, and four authors to discuss the tricky subject of plotting. How do you plot, how do you deal with plot problems, and how might you try to avoid them in the first place? What are the biggest traps and pitfalls? Joe Abercrombie, Elspeth Cooper, James Barclay and Gavin Smith  discuss, moderated by Jenni Hill. Check it out, in Room 38.


18.00               Message from the drowning world

Scientific disaster! The end of the world! Post-apocalyptic visions! Come and join the conversation with our very own Paul McAuley, who will be talking to Edward James, Dave the Planetbuilder, Jessica Yates and moderator Niall Harrison. Read the message in Room 38.


20.00               Beyond Red Mars

Join moderator  Paul McAuley as he and his four panellists Geoffrey A. Landis, Gareth L. Powell, Mary A. Turzillo and Ian Whates navigate their way beyond the red planet and into space. What’s out there, in reality and in fiction? And, in fiction, what can or should follow Kim Stanley Robinson’s seminal Red Mars trilogy? Come and explore, in Royal B&C.


22.00               Where have all the Hippies gone?

Have you lost a hippie? This may be the panel to find out where they’ve gone! Four brave panellists will be examining the tricky hippy question tonight, namely:  Gavin G. Smith, Gaspode, Dave Lally and Ian Millsted. Be part of the hippie hunt in Room 38.

Saturday 7th April 2012


10.00               Sufficiently advanced Magic

‘Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic’ said Arthur C. Clarke, inadvertently kicking off any number of panels debating the two. Today, four authors and one editorial moderator discuss how to develop magic or technology and incorporate it into your world. What are the challenges – and what are the opportunities – of magic and technology in fiction? Stephen DeasChris Wooding, Marcus Gipps (as moderator), Juliet McKenna, Adrian Tchaikovsky, and Shana Worthen will be sharing their thoughts and tips. Share yours as well, in Royal B&C.


12.00               The SF Gateway

Launched in 2011, The SF Gateway is your portal to the classics of SF and Fantasy, brought to you by Gollancz and The Encyclopedia of Science Fiction.  It’s an extraordinary publishing achievement and a unique genre forum (even if we do say so ourselves!) and today’s panel with three of the people behind it all should be fantastic: Malcolm Edwards, Darren Nash, and Graham Sleight, in conversation moderated by Vector’s Shana Worthen. Enter the portal today, in Room 38.


14.00               How to get Published


It’s one of the perennially popular panel topics at any conventions, and this year there are some fabulous folk lined up to share their thoughts. Join Ian Drury (moderator, and agent to Elspeth Cooper, Jaine Fenn and Peter Higgins to name just a few), John Jarrold (agent to a host of authors including Robert V. S. Redick, Suzanne McLeod, and Stephen Deas, Gillian Redfearn (editor to Joe Abercrombie,  Chris Wooding and Sarah Pinborough, all of whom are part of Gollancz’ Eastercon Gang this year), Bella Pagan of Tor UK, and debut author Gaie Seabold. Get all of the top tips in Royal B&C.


16.00               The Fantastic Landscape

Jaine Fenn and Paul McAuley are on hand to debate and discuss the fantastic landscape – and whether that’s the critical, genre, imaginative or another variation on the Fantastic landscape, it’s going to be a lively discussion. They’re joined by Nina Allan and moderator Niall Harrison. Come to Royal B&C for their view.


17.00               Wild Cards 


We admit that none of us are on this panel, but we’re including it in our schedule today because Gollancz is delighted to be the new publisher for George R. R. Martin’s Wild Cards series, and we’ll be bringing them to a bookshop near you. In the meantime, grab this opportunity to learn about the series from the creator himself! Find out more in the Commonwealth Room.


19.00               Worldbuilding: When, how and how much?

The title says it all! Four authors and one editorial moderator take on the subject of worldbuilding. How do you worldbuild, how much do you need to do – and how much do you need to share – and when do you tackle it? Figuring it out today are: Chris Wooding, Robert Redick, Simon Spanton (as our intrepid moderator), Suzanne McLeod, and Anne Lyle. Learn how it’s done in Royal B&C.


20.00               Writers Bloc presents FANtasia

What happens when fans find themselves in skiffy stories? Members of Edinburgh’s leading spoken-word performance collective, Writers-Bloc dish the dirt in their own inimitable style. Hannu Rajaniemi will be joining Charles Stross, Stuart Wallace, Andrew J. Wilson and Mark Harding. Hear all about it in Room 41.


Sunday 8th April 2012


10.00               Promoting yourself online

We all know writers are encouraged to do it – but how, where and when? What are the top tips, how do you get more followers, and are there any DON’TS!? Join panellists  @Gollancz, @ElspethCooper, @Paul_Cornell, @ClarkeAward and moderator @Danacea to find out more! Follow the conversation in Royal B&C, and follow them all on twitter!


12.00               Wench! Fetch yon tankard here . . .

There are few things that make readers cringe quite so much as dreadful dialogue or crass characterisation. Three authors, moderated by Bella Pagan, discuss how to avoid the biggest characterisation pitfalls and how to avoid diabolical one-liners. Come and hear Joe Abercrombie, Jaine Fenn and David Tallerman discuss how it’s done. The conversation starts in Royal B&C.


12.00               Sequel-itus

Sequel-itus is a literary disease, sometimes difficult, embarrassing or painful to diagnose and, at other times, a joy and a delight to behold. Our very own Paul McAuley discusses the symptoms, diagnosis, causes and the treatments available today with James Treadwell, Paul F. Cockburn and Martin Anderson. The surgery will take place in Room 41.


15.00               You got your Robot Elf Sex in my SF

Adam Roberts, Justina Robson, Francis Knight, Gail Carriger and moderator Tanya Brown discuss Robot Elf Sex. Enough said 🙂 Join in, in the Commonwealth Room.


17.00               The Nature of Heroism

This is one of our most-anticipated panels of the convention! A great, meaty subject and some fantastic panellists to discuss it: Joe Abercrombie, George R. R. Martin, Tricia Sullivan and Genevive Valentine share their thoughts with moderator David Anthony Durham. See all of the heroics in the Commonwealth Room.


18.00               The BSFA Awards

The climax of the whole convention – the award ceremony itself, hosted by the inimitable and irrepressible John Meaney and Donna Scott. The authors wrote them, we nominated them, you voted for them and now we all get to discover the results!


Monday 9th April 2012


11.00               When Science meets SF

How do you handle real science in great fiction? What are the limits; should story or science come first; and where does the line blur between real science and science fiction? What happens to the genre when real science catches up? All this and more, with the marvellous Jaine Fenn, Nik, Tricia Sullivan and moderator Caroline Mullan. Get stuck in, in Royal B&C.


13.00               Epic Legends of the Hierarchs

Our final panel of the convention – and luckily it’s a great one! Seeing us out with a bang, the dos-and-don’ts, how-to tips, challenges and pitfalls of writing a long series. Who better to discuss it than George R. R. Martin, Sophia McDougall,  Adrian Tchaikovsky, Patrick Nielsen Haydon and, as moderator, Nic Clarke. Check it out, in Royal B&C.


Stuck for something to do in between panels? Why not drop by the dealer’s room at any time between 10.00 and 14.00 today to say hi to the Gollancz Gang, have a natter and maybe even buy a book!

. . .  and if you don’t catch us there, why not say hi at a panel – or even in the bar!