alt.fiction 2007

Thursday, August 16, 2007

The first look at the schedule...

Hi All,

You'll have to forgive me if this post is rather thinking aloud but I've just been having a first think about the programming for Alt.Fiction next year and I'm finding myself torn on a couple of issues...

Those of you who attended last year will remember that for most of the day we were actually working on a 4-room basis, with spaces designated for book launches, readings, discussions/panels and of course a workshop space. I can't pretend to anyone that the workshop space was ideal. so ensuring that those take place in a better space will be a priority for 2008. My current thinking is to move the workshops to the '45 suite, which was the home of the book launches last year. However this poses another issue because this room is in close proximity to the venue's Great hall and as such we can only have this till the end of the dinner break, which hopefully will again be 4:45pm-6pm.

So it looks like the most likely outcome will be 5 workshops in the '45 Suite, discussions/panels in the Reception suite (possibly with some launches thrown in) and then the reading/q+a sessions in the Darwin Suite. Someone please stop me if I'm overthinking this... :-0

The thing that's a shame in that layout, of course, is that the workshop schedule is pretty light and I've always felt that these are really beneficial for people who attend. It's also, in my opinion, an important aspect of the day. In an ideal world I'd love to have the three spaces all day but short of laying out a fortune to have the whole building to ourselves it's not going to be practiceable.

Basically it's looking like 21 sessions throughout the day with 5 of those being workshops, about 8 readings and about 8 panels. Hopefully we'll come up with something really exciting with plenty of good slots throughout the day.

The other reason for looking at the programme so early is also thinking who would be good to fill the spaces that are currently empty. I'll make no secret that I'm looking to be a lot tighter with the budget for '08, and as such I'll be thinking about the participants on the day very carefully before sending invites around. My reckoning is that I can pay for anything from 8-10 authors on the day, and that's a figure which is largely down to the great support so far from publishers (take a bow Orbit, Solaris and Hodder Headline...). Without going into specifics that's a lot less authors than we have invited and paid in the previous instances. I don't think this will be noticeable from an audience perspective but it does make it a pretty different experience to plan from the organising perspective!!

I did have a point at the start of all this, but I lost what it was somewhere in the midst of typing all this. I think it was to ask if anyone has any opinions on the types of sessions they'd like to see throughout the day- perhaps that would help me stop pondering over it so much...

I'll be checking in again soon, so keep popping back for a look.

Thanks a lot


Thursday, August 02, 2007

Regional events news 1

Hi All,

This is the first in what I'm hoping will become a regular feature on this page featuring some SFF and horror wriring news from around the region. If you're involved in something, or know of something going on that would be suitable drop me a line either at or at


1st September 2007- BOOK LAUNCH & SIGNING: The Voyage by Tony AMCA
2pm - 5pm Weston Favell Library
Weston Favell Library is proud to host the launch of The Voyage, the first novel in Tony AMCA’s exciting series of novels, The Vluvidium Collection. The Vluvidium Collection takes you into a new literary dimension. Rich in scientific fact and innovative thinking, it introduces new philosophies and dogmas and offers an explanation to many unanswered questions.

Tickets from Weston Favell Library: 01604 403100 /

30th October 2007- PHOBIC – Halloween Horrors
7pm Northampton Central Library
Halloween is the traditional time of year when our fears are supposed to come to life. But do ghosts, gremlins and ghouls still frighten us? Or are there more modern terrors lurking out there? Join us in this special event exploring the shape of irrational fear in a modern context. Expect chilling readings from two fantastic authors, as well as your chance to pose your questions on horror. Readings will be from a new anthology Phobic, a gathering of 15 new horror stories from a wide range of authors – both masters of the genre like Ramsey Campbell as well as comedy, TV and literary writers such as Jeremy Dyson, Matt Holness and Hanif Kureishi.

Tickets from Northampton Central Library: 01604 462040 /

*You'll find more about this event further into the bulletin


Nottingham again hosts this year's FantasyCon event, which takes place from the 21st-23rd September at the Brittania Hotel. Guests of Honour for 2007 are Terry Brooks, Stephen Jones and Michael Marshall Smith. I'll be posting a brief interview with Michael about the event here in due course. I'll be co-running a session at the event about funding so that'll be a good chance to quiz me on where the money is...

You can find more details on the FantasyCon event at


In my home working capacity I've been putting together a 6-date tour for 'Phobic', a fabulous horror anthology as released by Comma Press. You can find out more about the anthology at It's a book that I thoroughly enjoyed and features a great range of authors.

The dates and venues look as follows, and I'll be putting some meat on these bones in the very near future. Be sure to get them in your diary, and I'll look forward to seeing you there!!

Wednesday 24th October: Donington-Le-Heath Manor House, Coalville, Leicestershire
Thursday 25th October: West Bridgford Library, Nottinghamshire
Friday 26th October: Leicester Guildhall
Monday 29th October: Chesterfield Pomegranate, Bar Area, Derbyshire
Tuesday 30th October: Northampton Central Library
Wednesday 31st October: Lincoln Central Library

That's all for now- expect more Alt.Fiction news and regional news soon.

Thanks a lot