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FantasyCon 2000 - 8th -10th September 2000

Guests of Honour: Stephen Lawhead, Doug Bradley, Storm Constantine, Stan Nicholls

Making his first appearance at FantasyCon, the highly respected Fantasy author Stephen Lawhead joined us for the entire weekend. After arriving in book shops in spectacular style with The Dragon King Trilogy, he has continued to thrill his readers with the historically atmospheric Pendragon Cycle series and the wonderfully vivid Song of Albion stories. The Black Rood, from The Celtic Crusades, is the latest in a series of impressive tales from The Holy Land.

We were also pleased to welcome popular genre actor Doug Bradley to FantasyCon. Doug shot to genre stardom as the demon from hell Pinhead in the Clive Barker directed film Hellraiser, and has gone on to reprise the character in each of its sequels. He also appeared in Barker's Nightbreed, again under heavy make-up, and has also become a firm favourite at genre conventions across America.

Storm Constantine first stunned readers in 1987 with her ground-breaking novel The Enchantments of Flesh and Spirit - an exploration of gender and sexuality through her hermaphroditic characters, the Wraeththu. A prolific writer, she has had more than 20 novels and short stories published since. Her latest is a fantasy collaboration with Michael Moorcock, Silverheart.

Stan Nicholls' first fantasy book - from The Nightshade Chronicles trilogy - was published in 1996, followed closely by his current series Orcs: First Blood. He has also had an Orcs short story, The Taking, accepted for the anthology Swords Against the Millennium, which was launched at FantasyCon. With his additional involvement in interviewing, journalism and his regular review column for Time Out, he is brought many wonderful insights on all aspects of the Fantasy genres.

Winners of the year 2000 British Fantasy Awards

(Left to Right): Darren Floyd (Best Small Press - Razorblade Press); Tim Lebbon (Best Short Fiction - White); Graham Joyce (Best Novel - Indigo); Anne McCaffrey (Karl Edward Wagner Award); Les Edwards (Best Artist); Peter Crowther (Best Collection - Lonesome Roads); Stephen Jones (Best Anthology - Best New Horror 10). Photo Sandy Auden

Karl Edward Wagner Award

Anne McCaffrey explains to artist Les Edwards and his wife and agent Val what she does to the artist if she doesn't like the covers to her books.
Photograph 2000 Sandy Auden/The British Fantasy Society

Anne McCaffrey

Anne McCaffrey flew in from Ireland to accept the Karl Edward Wagner Award for her life time contribution to Fantasy. Looking incredibly well and cheerful she was an entertaining companion at the Slayer’s Surfeit that preceded the Awards ceremony.

"I’ve always thought I was writing science fiction!"; she said with a laugh. ";Certainly, my first story was written in rebellious mode. It was a complaint about the way females were being treated in S/F."; Anne accepted her award with a touching tribute to Karl Edward Wagner.

Award for Best Novel

Indigo by Graham Joyce

I’m thrilled. This is an accolade for trying something new…"; Graham went on to say how much he enjoys coming to this conference weekend for the rich conversation and can only wonder at ";…the serious talent present…";

Rather says it all.

Award for Best Short Fiction

'White' by Tim Lebbon MoT Press

"I ain't superstitious,"; wrote Tim. ";I've always maintained this, every time I step around a ladder, smile when a bird shits on my wind-screen and avoid number thirteen. So when I went to FantasyCon knowing that White was shortlisted for Best Short Fiction, none of the circumstance surrounding it niggled at me at all. The fact that it was the third award I'd been shortlisted for in as many years, for instance. And it was third category I'd been shortlisted in. Or that it was the third award White had been nominated for (OK, so it never actually made the Stoker shortlist, but it was recommended quite a few times .... give me some slack!) Or that White was my third published book. Didn't mean a thing to me, not at all. Like I said, I ain't superstitious.

But I am now.

And it couldn't have been any better had the script for that tense couple of hours been written by the most appallingly feel-good Hollywood scriptwriter. I was sitting with Pete Crowther and Graham Joyce. All three of us were up for Best Short Fiction (Pete for his collaboration with James Lovegrove). Graham was also nominated in the Novel category, and Pete for Best Collection. I mentioned halfway through the banquet (which I'm sure was scrumptious, though my taste buds had taken a temporary leave of absence, as had any sense of co-ordination or calmness) that it would be wonderful if the three of us won an award each. ‘Yes,’ said Graham and Pete, ‘wouldn't it?’ And we smiled, and all looked around aimlessly, knowing that it was never gonna happen.

But it did. And that's why it was perfect.

I can't recall much of my acceptance speech other than it was shit (but cut me more slack, I was a bunch of nerves held together loosely by a hangover and a few stones of quivering flesh). So here and now: thanks to everyone who voted for me, you don't know how proud - and flattered - you've made me feel. One last thing. I know quite a few people who pour scorn on awards and say they're not worth a thing. This one means the world to me. I ain't superstitious.

Award for Best Anthology

The Mammoth Book Of Best New Horror. edited by Stephen Jones

I would like to thank everybody in the British Fantasy Society who voted for Tenth Anniversary edition..." wrote Stephen. "It is a series that I am particularly proud of, and there is a nice symmetry that the first book in this series (co-edited with Ramsey Campbell) was also awarded the British Fantasy Award. I can only hope that it will not take another decade before readers decide that the series deserves one again I am always delighted when one of my books is nominated for a British Fantasy Award. It is a tangible affirmation that someone out there is reading the work and enjoys it. I truly believe that it is a honour to be nominated, but it is so much better when you win!

SJ

Award for Best Collection

Lonesome Roads by Peter Crowther

As most of you know," wrote Peter, "particularly those who have seen me mouthing off on various panels over the years - I'm rarely at a loss for words. But the Award for Best Collection, so generously bestowed by the BFS membership on Lonesome Roads, Razorblade Press's collection of three of my novellas, completely wrong-footed me. With a shortlist that included books by Robert Aickman, Charles de Lint, Stephen King and Michael Marshall Smith - fine works and fine writers all - I had given up any serious hopes of winning. Not surprisingly, when the announcement came, I managed only to burble a brief 'Thank you' before returning to my seat. So here's the opportunity to set things right.

Dipping and diving my way through the field, I'm fortunate in that I've managed to have a go at most things - 15 anthologies, hundreds of articles, columns and reviews, a novel, three chapbooks, some TV work, a little agenting, my own small press, and, of course, some 650,000 words of short stories.

But though I love doing it all, it's the stories that mean the most to me. I love editing anthologies, love publishing my PS novella line, and absolutely adore writing short fiction: along with comic books, it's what got me into reading and, to this day, anthologies and magazines (and, still, comic books!) remain my favourite purchase.

This Award is a wonderful vote of encouragement and recognition. I mentioned on the stage, it had been a difficult year. Perhaps I should explain: my mother died in June following what seems like a long illness but which, at barely nine months, was mercifully short. We were incredibly close and her exit from my life - and, perhaps more importantly, my having to live with its imminence - took its toll both on me and on my work. Winning the BFS Award was timely to say the least. Nothing that means anything comes without a lot of hard work, and Lonesome Roads is no exception. Aside from my own contribution to the project, I had immeasurable support from my wife and all-important First Reader, Nicky - not just on the three stories the book contains but on the many years' worth of scribbling that led to them - plus some fine work and a considerable degree of faith from Razorblade head honcho Darren Floyd and, of course, some kind and generous words from Graham Joyce to introduce the stories themselves. My thanks go to all of them. But there's also thanks due to the BFS membership at large, a lovely bunch of friends who saw in the three stories - and, it would seem from many conversations and messages of congratulation since the Con, in the rest of my work as well - something worthy of recognition. Thank you all. However, if any single person deserves the biggest slice of gratitude and recognition for getting me where I am today, it's my mother. So this wonderful Award is for you, mum, wherever you are... with my love. PC

Award for Best Artist

Les Edwards

A third time winner of this award Les is man of few word but one gorgeous smile. His work and artist profile can be viewed on Fantasiaonline He has worked on many projects including Clive Barker graphic novels and Mannitou Man for the BFS.

Award for Best Small Press

Razorblade Press Darren Floyd

Overcome and almost speechless Darren gazed at the trophy in his hands. Whether he was speaking to it or to us he was heard to say "Er, ****ing Hell!" and he meant it because he said it twice.

But don’t be too hard on him. Receiving an Award has tongue-tied the best of them.

Cardiff based, Razorblade Press in an independent horror publishing house.

Events and Panels

FRIDAY

FantasyCon Welcomes You (15:00 in Waterstones)
Registration (16:00 onwards in Britannia)
Panels – GoHs in conversation
- Fantasy Online
- Fantasy in the USA
- Urban Gothic: Dark Tales of London
Quiz Night
Gross Out with Mark McLaughlin – Reading



SATURDAY
Lecture – The Man In The Mask
Panel – Female Fantasy
Lunch Break Incorporating the BFS AGM
Panels
- Of Celts and Men (Stephen Lawhead)
- Horror Casebook (David Case)
– Get the Facts Right (Factual genre writing)
The Small Press Promotion Punch Party
Horror Writers Association UK Chapter Meeting
Book Launch – Steven Erikson’s Deadhouse Gates
Fabulous FantasyCon Raffle
Film Presentation (Odeon Cinema)



SUNDAY
Panel
- How do I …? Hints and Tips from our experts.
Mass Signing (11:00 in Waterstones)
Panel
- Goths and Angels (Storm Constantine)
The Slayer’s Surfeit – FantasyCon Banquet (Must be pre-booked)
The presentation of the British Fantasy Awards 2000
Dead Dog Party

We were delighted to have the support of Waterstones Bookshop at 128 New Street, Birmingham for the Convention, who ensured as far as they could that books by all attendees of the Mass Signing would be available.

As well as the panels listed above, there was also the Dealer Room with folks selling everything from new books, to artwork, jewellery, figurines, small press books and magazines, and second hand editions of older titles. Also present were ‘Psychic Pat’ who who gave Tarot readings all weekend. The Dealer Room also featured a TV and video showing a selection of whatever the organisers decide to bring along … The Eidos Interactive games room was open for most of the weekend, to try out some of Eidos Interactive’s new titles and demos.

Attendees

John Aitken, David Allkins, Tom Arden, Sarah Ash, Sandra Auden, John B Ford, Jenny Barber, Pat Barber, Richard Barbieri, Suzanne Barbieri, James Barclay, Kit Bathgate, Andy Bennett, Debbie Bennett, Sue Bennett, Simon Bestwick, Katina Bill, Kathleen Birkin, Caroline Bott, Doug Bradley, Coleen Bradshaw, Paul Bradshaw, Chaz Brenchley, John Carter, David Case, Mark Chadbourn, Andrew Challis, Neil Charlton, Mike Chinn, Peter Coleborn, Julie Collings, Catherine Collins, Storm Constantine, Gary Couzens, Ken Cowley, Cari Crook, Nicky Crowther, Peter Crowther, Mark Cullinane, Jane Del Pizzo, Chrisy Dennis, Pauline Dungate, James E Fields, Juliet E McKenna, Jan Edwards, Lynn Edwards, Mick Ellis, Andy Fairclough, Darren Floyd, Derek Fox, Anne Gay, Chris Gilmore, Simon Green, Gary Greenwood, Jim Hibbert, John Howard, Molly Howard, David Howe, Rosemary Howe, Brian Hughes, Ian Hunter, Mark Huntley-James, Steve Jones, Noel K Hannan, Roger Keen, Stephen King, Joel Lane, Alice Lawhead, Stephen Lawhead, Tim Lebbon, DF Lewis, Di Lewis, Paul Lewis, Paul Lockey, Steve Lockley, Elaine Mace, Judith Marr, William Matthews, Richard McBride, William McCabe, Sean McMullen, Trevor Mendham, Tony Mileman, Guy Miller, Karen Mitchell, Wayne Mook, Chris Morgan, Stan Nicholls, Mike O'Driscoll, Hilary Perry, David Price, Martyn Prince, Jane Prior, S Rowbottom, Catherine S McMullen, Peter Sandercock, Steve Savile, Ann Smith, Trish Smyth, Andreas Stahlbock, Caroline Stickland, Billy Stirling, Neil Summerfield, Christopher Teague, John Travis, Bruce Trudgian, Sally Van Rooden, Nick Walker, Gavin Williams, Val Williamson, Simon Woodward, Alec Worley.

The Team

FantasyCon would not have been possible without the generous support of numerous people working behind the scenes to make it all happen. Here are some of them: Organiser: David J Howe; Assistant: Sandy Auden; Registrations, Hotel Liaison and Programme Book: Debbie Bennett; Dealer's Room: Jenny Barber; Front Desk/Liaison: Di Lewis and Lynn Edwards; Quiz Night: Steve Snowball and Mark Entwistle.

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