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Fantasycon XXIII - Birmingham 17th-19th September 1999

Guests of Honour: Raymond E. Feist, Graham Masterton, Mike Tucker, Louise Cooper & Robert Rankin

A FantasyCon XXIII Survivor Writes:

"Just a quick word to say what a fantastic con. Turnout great; company, the same, and the panels were very informative, amusing and constructive. A pleasure to listen to Raymond Feist. Hotel fair - rooms too hot though I rather think it was a Fantasycon conception of a more pleasant hell, so the heat generated was, I suppose, immaterial. Naturally I spent too much on the well represented book room - don't I always! One suggestion for consideration for future cons: We would all like to share in the excitement of accolades so why not consider making the presentations on a Saturday night when EVERYBODY is there? Say after the Raffle? The winners can bask more in their achievement with the benefit of a larger audience. Once again thanks everyone for a very enjoyable weekend."
Derek M. Fox

Winners of the 1999 British Fantasy Awards
(Back L to R): Philippa Pride (Stephen King's editor at Hodder and Stoughton collecting on behalf of Stephen King); Stephen Laws (Best Short Story); Jo Fletcher (Orion editor collecting on behalf of Stephen Jones and David Sutton for Best Anthology); Ramsey Campbell (Best Collection); Diana Wynne Jones (Karl Edward Wagner Special Award). (Front L to R): Tim Lebbon (collecting on behalf of Andy Cox for Best Small Press), Bob Covington (Best Artist).
Matt Williams and Graham Masterton chat during the mass signing at Birmingham's Dillons. Over 30 fantasy and dark fantasy authors signed for an hour.

More feedback from delegates and guests:

From: Martyn Prince: Just a short note to offer my congratulations for FantasyCon '99 and to say a big 'thank you' to all those who made me feel so welcome. I've only been a member of the BFS since earlier this year, so it wasn't easy turning up in a strange place by myself and meeting everyone for the first time. Fortunately, you all made it rather easy, and there are many conference organisers who could learn a lesson from the BFS on how to make people feel at ease. I'll be back next year.

From: Matt Williams: Just wanted to say well done for organising a fine 'Con. I thoroughly enjoyed it - and everyone I spoke to echoed these comments. Great mixture of panels (representing the various genres), good hotel facilities, everything well organised and to schedule.

Small Press writers Ken Cowley, Tim Lebbon and Gary Greenwood chat to customers during the mass signing.

From: Stan Nicholls and Anne Gay: That twinge of melancholy you get at the end of a con you've enjoyed was like manic depression for us yesterday. Which just has to be a sign of how good it was. We haven't enjoyed a con so much for a long time. No dragging bits, plenty of interesting items, convivial company and a very gratifying number of attendees. Keep this up (if it doesn't kill you) and FantasyCon will definitely be back on the map as one of the year's 'must do' events.

From: Tim Lebbon: A quick note to say thanks for a brilliant FantasyCon. I'm sure I thanked you before through an alcoholic haze, but it really was a great one. Coming second in the awards was pretty cool as well ... and as it's an 'official' second, it will look great on my cv. One year, maybe ...

Justina Robson, whose debut novel, Silver Screen, was launched at the convention

From: Mark Morris: It was a superb convention. I hope you get the accolades you deserve for it. From: Peter Crowther Just a quick line to thank you for your efforts on this year's FantasyCon. I thought it was an excellent event... many times better than last year's and pretty much back to the standard I remember from days of yore. You should be very proud.

From: Graham Joyce: Congratulations on a superbly organised convention. You effectively revived Fantasycon from its rather moribund and declining condition and delivered an event that had buzz and energy and stature.

From: Louise Cooper: We enjoyed the weekend enormously. It was a timely reminder for me that, where work's concerned, there *is* a world beyond the confines of the computer screen, and that was very refreshing indeed! I've also come home inspired with new ideas and a lot of determination to broaden my scope and start writing more speculatively, for the sheer pleasure of it, as well as doing the commissioned work that pays the bills.

The Mayor of Birmingham, FantasyCon organiser David J Howe and Guest of Honour Raymond E. Feist.

The FantasyCon XXIII EVENTS AND PANELS were:

FRIDAY
15:00 FantasyCon Welcomes Raymond E. Feist (Dillons) - A reception for our special Guest of Honour courtesy of Dillons Bookshop. Come along and kick off the convention in style.
16:00 Registration (2nd floor)
17:00 Opening Ceremony (9th)
Panel (9th) - GoHs in conversation (Raymond E Feist, Louise Cooper, Robert Rankin, Graham Masterton, Mike Tucker)
18:15 Launch (9th In the Bar) - Silver Screen Launch Party (Justina Robson & Macmillan Publishers)
19:30 Panel (9th) - Writing Fantasy for Kids
20:45 Panel (9th) - Whose Story Is It Anyway? A round-robin with publisher interference
22:00 Quiz Night (9th In the Bar)

SATURDAY
09:00 Registration (2nd)
09:30 Opening Ceremony (9th)
Panel (9th) - Editing Fantasy: A User's Guide. (Attending Editors)
11:00 Panel (9th) - Raymond E Feist in Conversation.
12:00 Lunch Break incorporating ... BFS AGM (9th)
12:30 Prism Meet (9th) - Ideas and suggestions with the Prism team.
13:00 Panel (9th) - Fantasy Effects in Film and TV (Mike Tucker)
14:15 Launch (9th) - Small Press Launch
15:15 Panel (9th) - Writing Horror for the Millennium
16:30 Mass Signing (Dillons) - Open to Public
18:00 The Gollancz/Millennium Happy Hour (9th In the Bar)
19:00 Meal Break
21:00 Horror Writers Association UK Chapter Meeting (9th)
21:30 Fabulous FantasyCon Raffle (9th)
23:00 A Ghost Story for Bedtime (2nd) - Chilling tales to take you through midnight.

SUNDAY

10:00 Panel (9th) - How do I ...? Hints and Tips from our experts.
11:00 Panel (9th) - One Man and his Sprout. Robert Rankin in conversation.
12:30 Panel (9th) - Where Next? Fantasy and the Millennium.
14:00 Orcs' Feast: The FantasyCon Banquet (9th)
16:00 The British Fantasy Awards Ceremony (9th)
17:00 Dead Dog Party (9th)
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