SFX Weekender #3 Prestatyn

Have a flick through the gallery. See that lovely white house? That was The Lodge/Bond villain lair, where all the Tor UK authors were staying, while the other publishers herded their teams into chalets. Which weren’t as bad as last year, by all accounts. The Tor party is becoming one of the highlights – it’s not that often the great, good and recovering alcoholics of the publishing industry all gather under one roof. Quick highlights: there was a baby (you can see Peter Hamilton holding her – not his, but Editor Julie’s), a very steep hill, possibly the steepest in the country; the Kitchies, and lots of Kraken Rum; an introduction for Sam Sykes to the delights of a British chippy; the panel I moderated went, I was told, rather well.

All in all, met lots of new people, didn’t get to speak many folk for as long as I’d have liked to. This is still by far and away the best SFF convention the country has to offer. Hoping to do a write-up for the new Tor UK blog very soon.

But for now, man flu – so just the photos.

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About Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.


  1. That looked so much fun! Wish I had gone now.

  2. Love the house you all stayed in – it looks really, really cosy.

  3. Yes, I can safely say it certainly was very cosy. 

  4. I had fun, too. (But then, I didn’t stay on site either, so didn’t experience the sub-zero queue from hell to check in…)

    Big improvement on last year, I thought – better balance between media and lit events, and a better set-up for the dealer’s room and the ‘main void’. And Brian Blessed is a legend. Having heard good stuff about Craig Charles’ DJing, this time I stuck around for some of the Saturday night party and was really glad I did: great atmosphere.

    There was also much less of the Women Are To Be Leered At, Not Listened To vibe that made me feel so uncomfortable there last year: the Imagarium and related eye candy remain bizarrely retrograde for a 21st-century con whose audience must be at least 60/40 men/women, but the programme as a whole was *much* more inclusive (as opposed to last year where a mighty 6 of the 47 guests were women). Every panel I saw had a woman on it, and in a couple of instances there were even two (!).

    I’m still not sure it’s a con I’d go to if I had to actually pay – for the second year in a row I was there on one of a bunch of free tickets won by a friend – because I’d rather spend my limited money on Eastercon, where I know I’m going to get more in-depth book discussion. But it was a fun weekend, and there are definitely things Eastercon could learn from it. A good disco, for example…

  5. Yes, that was one thing I noticed this year as well. Good to see SFX make the progressive step, too. I wonder how much the TV/Film influence has on the higher proportion of women in attendance compared to a traditional SF book convention? That said, Alt Fiction has always remained pretty balanced to my mind. 

    I actually thought the panels were pretty solid topics – broad enough for a general audience, but not vacant of juicy content. They were very well attended, which was lovely to see.