• Conventions

    World Fantasy Convention 2015

    In a couple of days I’m flying to the USA with the main goal of attending the World Fantasy Convention 2015 in Saratoga Springs, NY. The lovely side-effect is getting to spend time with the amazingly talented Kate Laity before and during the convention. I haven’t attended many WFCs – two in the UK so far. As with most writers I have to judge which events to attend based on a variety of criteria, and once it’s taking place in America the costs balloon significantly. I’d heard good things about the last WFC in Saratoga Springs, and with it being located on the East Coast it makes it a more…

  • Conventions

    Loncon 3 schedule

    I’m heading over to London on Wednesday evening for the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention (Loncon 3), which is taking place in the ExCel, London Dockland from 14 – 18 August. Here’s my schedule of events during the weekend: 12pm Friday, August 15 What Do You Mean You Don’t Watch … Orphan Black, Grimm or The Returned Capital Suite 17 (Level 3), 12pm – 1pm Mark Slater, Jeanne Beckwith, Maura McHugh, David D Levine (I’m speaking on behalf of The Returned.) 1:30pm Friday, August 15 Best 21st Century Comics: Predicting the New Classics Capital Suite 13 (Level 3), 1:30pm – 3pm Ada Palmer, Maura McHugh, Hannah Berry, Adam Rakunas, John…

  • comic books,  Conventions

    2D Bound

    Later today I’m starting my journey to Derry, including an overnight stop, for the annual 2D Comic Book Festival. It’s a long way to Derry from Galway, so I’m taking it in stages. The first year I went I did it by bus – never again! With traffic it ended up being over a six hour trip. There were people on the bus going to the festival who travelled nearly three hours to get to Galway, so that was a marathon trip for them. And if you’re travelling from Cork or Kerry..! It’s a testament to the festival’s reputation that comic book creators and fans are willing to travel so…

  • photographs,  Thoughts

    alone moments

    I often travel or eat on my own. I don’t say this to elicit sympathy, it’s a side-effect of attending events away from home, which I often have to do. It’s also something I’ve always done throughout my life, when I was single or in a relationship. I’ve never minded going to the cinema on my own, for instance. This was something my sister would never do. For her it was a social event to be shared, so she never went to the cinema solo. I got into the habit as a teenager because there were always movies I wanted to see, and not always someone to accompany me. I…

  • comic books,  Conventions

    Highland fling

    Since starting to write comics I’ve been fortunate to meet many new people and come to call them friends. Two such gems are Vicky Stonebridge and Richmond Clements, who run Hi-Ex: the Highlands International Comic Expo. Not only are they warm and generous people they are also talented creators in the comic book industry, and run what I’m told is one of the most enjoyable events in the British comic book calendar. I’ll be able to confirm this for sure in a few months as I’ve been invited to be a guest at Hi-Ex, which is taking place from 31 March – 1 April in Inverness, Scotland. I’m looking forward…

  • photographs

    easter egg window

    I took this picture while I was in Stockholm, Sweden over Easter. I’m always interested in the differences in detail from country to country. This is an image I could not have shot in Ireland. We don’t have that style of window combined with that wrought iron, and I’ve never seen an Easter decoration like that over here. I love the cartoon scene on the giant eggs. It has the sheen of cute nostalgia, yet the the rabbit is a touch too cheerful, and appears to be talking the duck out of one of her eggs. Maybe it’s a protection racket: one stripy egg for the rabbit, or else a…

  • Octocon

    Octocon 2011

    One of my favourite Irish conventions of the calendar has rolled around again: Octocon. It’s taking place in the Cameden Court Hotel in Dublin, and features Guest of Honour John Higgins as well as a plethora of guests (including me). Here’s my schedule for the weekend: Saturday 12:00 Essentials of Horor Fiction 15:00 “Women in Sci-Fi/fantasy/comics panels” – Are they still needed? 17:00 Atomic Diner – Are Irish comics viable? 18:00 If at first you don’t succeed Sunday 11:00 What fresh hell is this? 12:00 Reading 14:00 Golden Blasters 17:00 Awards Ceremony I’m very much looking forward to the Golden Blasters Awards – which is the screening of five short…

  • Conventions

    back to Brighton

    I’m on my way to Brighton, England today to attend the British Fantasy Society’s annual conference, Fantasycon. It’s my first time attending a British Fantasycon, but the guests, the programme and the location made it too tempting to resist this year. I was in Brighton last year for the World Horror Convention, and it’s a wonderful place to visit. And it appears I’ve inadvertently booked myself a sun holiday as the sea-side town is experiencing summer weather at the moment. I wonder will I be able to escape the gravity well of the conference events and people in order to enjoy this rare bout of sunshine?

  • photographs

    look up

    This is a picture of the Millennium Bridge in London during a recent trip, from the vantage point of a tour cruise on the River Thames. I visit London often, but rarely do the touristy stuff. This time I was showing relatives around who wanted the highlights, and as a result I saw more of the city than usual. The weather was temperamental throughout the holiday, but I lucked out with a short period of sunshine on our river journey as the tempestuous clouds gathered to rain upon us again. I love that one silhouette of a person who stared down at us as we floated underneath, waving to those…