Fantasycon | Pendragon Press


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Tag Archive: Fantasycon

ę Previous Entries

The Lost Film

Posted by Chris on September 14, 2015 at 15:52
Posted in: Book News, Conventions, General

I do like stories about lost films – pretty evident since Pendragon has published Gary McMahon’s “Rough Cut” and David Barnett’s “popCult!” – which is why when Mark West mentioned many moons ago that he and Stephen Bacon were writing a novella each with a single collection centred around the theme of lost films I said yes.

Well, the time is almost upon us for an actual launch: in a little over a month’s time, you too will be able to read what they have written and if you love stories about film, especially pulpy horror from the 70s and 80s then I’m pretty sure you’ll love this. . . and what better place than FantasyCon?

Talking of FCon, Pendragon will also be launching Paul Kane’s latest Dalton Quayle escapade and on the Sunday we will discover whether or not Mark West’s “Drive” will be picking up the award for Best Novella from an extremely tough short-list.

In other news, the open submissions reading continues apace. Thus far, the first acceptance is Liam Ronan’s debut novella “Creeping Stick” – a tale of the supernatural, set in a quiet Welsh coastal village.

… and now, the reading starts.

Posted by Chris on August 5, 2015 at 17:06
Posted in: Awards, Book News, Conventions, General

Well, Pendragon’s first open submissions window for original novellas in many a year has ended with forty manuscripts from primarily male writers from the US and UK. There are six female authors, two of whom I have previously published – one way-back in Nasty Snips.

I had to delete one purely on the basis that it wasn’t original – in that it is currently available as an ebook/Createspace paperback.

Out of these forty, the aim is to pick four for publication next year. With this in mind, mathematics will tell you that there is every likelihood of a male-only line-up, but we’ll soon see.

Ross, Robert and myself will start the deliberation this week and hopefully get back to the successful authors in the next few weeks.

In other news, and this is a biggie: Mark West’s Drive has been nominated for a British Fantasy best novella Award – if he wins in October at FantasyCon, this will make the third in six years for Pendragon (the previous being Stuart Young’s The Mask Behind the Face and Paul Finch’s “Kid” from Choices – now out of print). I have to say though that I do not envy the judging panel: the quality of writing in the category is extremely high.

Safe to assume that I’m rather chuffed about this, and not to toot my own trumpet too much, but testament that I know a good novella when I read one – even if my business and financial skills are lacking by comparison!


On the Edge

Posted by Chris on June 17, 2015 at 17:24
Posted in: Book News, Conventions, General

With a little over three weeks (or just under a month) to go before Edge Lit4 in Derby (organised by the unflappable Alex Davis), I shall be there huddled behind my table, enticing those climbing the stairs to the various panel discussions to stop off for a brief moment.

I think this will be my third year at the day-long Convention and I have to say it has become quite a date to keep in your calendar if you’re a fan of horror, fantasy or science fiction – especially if you’re a new writer. This year, Alex has tried something different and each panel discussion is sponsored by a particular group – in Pendragon’s case, it is the opener “Into the Grimdark” with¬†Mark Charan Newton, Sophie Sparham, Adrian Tchaikovsky and Adele Wearing. Many moons ago, I published Mark’s debut novel The Reef¬†(long since out of date, but Mark did release an ebook¬†– well worth downloading, but then I am biased!)

I was hoping to launch a new title on the day – Paul Kane’s Dalton Quayle follow-up to Rides Out entitled “and the Bric-a-Brac Man” – but there has been a delay with the cover art, so this will more than likely be pushed back to FantasyCon in October, launched alongside Stephen Bacon and Mark West’s double-novella collection, The Lost Film.¬†Both books will be a signed, limited edition of 100 paperbacks with an ebook to follow. You can pre-order Paul’s book now, with details of Stephen and Mark’s to follow.

If you’ve never been to FCon, then I urge you to dip your toes with Edge Lit first – Conventions are a curious and expensive beast, and best to spend a day first than a weekend away.

In other news, the recent free giveaway for Stuart Young’s new ebook collection was Pendragon’s most successful yet, and the price is now at the usual ¬£1.99 on Amazon – if you have grabbed yourself a copy, then all I ask – if you are so inclined – is to jot a couple of words on the book’s Goodreads page. Thank you.

And this is, as they say, a rap for this month. Hopefully see some of you in Derby next month!

Posted by Chris on September 10, 2014 at 17:22
Posted in: Book News, Conventions, General

Well, returned from another excellent weekend at FantasyCon in York. I don’t write reports any more since I invariably spend most of my time in the dealer’s room so take a gander at Mark West and Jim Mcleod‘s musings on the weekend for a full-rundown which echoes my own thoughts.

Sadly though (and very similar to what happened last year at World Fantasy in Brighton when Joel Lane died a couple of days later) it was reported that Graham Joyce, one of the nicest people you could possibly meet, died from cancer. It has dampened the general positivity that is post-Convention smiles but the outpouring of love and memories on social media just cements how well liked Graham was by fans, writers and publishers alike. He will be missed, but next year we will all drink to his memory for Graham rarely if ever missed a Fantasycon.

Time though does march on…

Back from FCon with signed bookplates for Neil Williams’ The Derelict and pre-ordered copies packed up and en route to their respective destinations. The ebook will go into production at the end of the month for a publication later in October.


Posted by Chris on July 30, 2014 at 18:14
Posted in: Book News, Conventions, General

Proofed and with the bookplates all signed, Mark West’s DRIVE is in production and should be with me any day now, with the ebook due to enter production following…

Neil Wiliams’ THE DERELICT is on track for a FantasyCon launch and has just received a superb quote from William Meikle, “… a spooky nautical tale worthy of William Hope Hodgson himself. Atmospheric and genuinely chilling. I loved it.”

Closing the year, I’m hoping to launch Stuart Young’s collection REFLECTIONS IN THE MIND’S EYE in London in December.

Talking of FantasyCon, Pendragon shall be there in the dealer’s room albeit with a limited number of titles – no driving this year, I shall be allowing the train take the strain. Arriving on Thursday and staying until the Monday, looking forward to spending a day or two wandering around York.

Just to re-iterate the special offer in the previous post: any hard cover purchased between now and FantasyCon (which gives you a month) will net not just the hardback itself but also a copy of Mark, Neil and Stuart’s books.

In other news, it is more than likely that Uther Books will be launched next year. Taking the form of a new imprint for electronic-only chapbooks, open to all for download to your Kindle and any other device you can think of. Still thrashing out the finer details, but watch this space.

Dereliction of Duty

Posted by Chris on June 23, 2014 at 20:20
Posted in: Book News, Conventions, General

Well, not quite, but when you lose a steady Internet connection for nigh on two months it does tend to set you back a little…

I’m hoping with luck and fortitude to have DRIVE ready for launch at Edge-Lit in Derby next month – purely because I know Mark will definitely be there.

In the meanwhile, feast your eyes on the final wraparound cover design courtesy of Neil Williams for his own novella (“The Derelict”) which – along with Stuart Young’s Reflections in the Mind’s Eye – will be launched at FantasyCon in York.

FantasyCon Write-Up

Posted by Chris on October 3, 2012 at 14:16
Posted in: Book News, Conventions

I am often asked if attending this event is worthwhile financially… and to be bluntly honest with you, I do sell a few books (which helps) and if it were any other Convention I would think twice, but since FCon was my very first event way back in 2000 I have a connection with it and the folks involved and those who attend year-in, year-out.

I don’t attend with a view to cover the costs, since I love the weekend away too much – in fact, I think the only time I’ve covered costs was when Clive Barker and Neil Gaiman attended the Nottingham gig.

I don’t have a solid enough memory to write a detailed journal of my five day stay in Brighton – I’ve even tried selling a copy of To Usher, the Dead today to someone who already purchased a copy last weekend. Embarrassed, me? Yes, very much so. :(

In fact, it is only since attending FCon that I’ve become more sociable – not that I’m someone whom you could consider a master of conversation, but I try…

Anyway, if you have never attended FCon before then it is easily the friendliest event for convention virgins – and a great place in these days of Facebook friends and Twitter followers to say hello face-to-face and share a drink, many drinks.

Attending FCon for me, though, on a business level is a means of building a shop-front: online sales out-number cold, hard cash… but seeing someone hand-over cash is much more rewarding (and gives me an excuse to exercise my mental arithmetic).

As stated, I’ve been going to FCon since 2000 and missed three – two one-day events in London and when my nan died – and last weekend was quite possibly the best: drank too much, slept too little, ate great food (just love The Sussex pub) and thoroughly enjoy some wonderful conversation with some great people.

Thanks to those who persevered and waited for my entrance at the To Usher, the Dead launch (and apologies to Gary and Mia for my tardiness) – and equal thanks to those who stopped by the dealer’s table.

I would also like to apologise to anyone who caught a glimpse of me dancing on the Saturday night, and to Emily McMahon and her foot who I’ve just realised I stepped on during “One Step Beyond”. :(

No FCon next year (World Fantasy instead) – I’ve been to a few Cons now and I’m quite apprehensive about WFC (it’s huge) – therefore, I’d wait until 2014 for the return of FCon (up north insofar has I am aware) if you are at all intrigued…

Back to the grindstone now – got those Usher pre-orders to post…

Sold out… almost…

Posted by Chris on September 26, 2012 at 11:17
Posted in: Book News, General

Packing up books for FantasyCon this weekend I have discovered that there are only two copies of the signed/numbered edition of Silversands left… when these sell at the weekend, then that’s it folks; I still have the standard edition, which isn’t signed and numbered, but do you want to risk not having a book to keep when Gareth Powell becomes a Big Name? And trust me, he’s rapidly on the way…

Thomas Usher

Posted by Chris on September 18, 2012 at 20:54
Posted in: Book News, General

Today, I approved the cover proof of Gary McMahon’s collection To Usher, the Dead – a collection that has been talked about for many a year, the delay being all mine. Featuring the eponymous Thomas Usher, a “psychic detective” who featured in the two-book series Pretty Dead Things and Dead Bad Things

I can’t remember where I read his first appearance, but when Gary asked me about the collection the first book wasn’t yet published. He stated that it would contain a new novella called “The Other Tenants” and since I love novellas and didn’t really relish reading every story I asked him just to send me that – I knew the stories would be good anyway.

I think it was less than a week when I said yes to the collection – and so the wheels turned, and for me very slowly (anyone who has dealt with me, past present and future will testify to this). It was around this time that I also noticed Paul Mudie’s cover work on Charles Black’s series of horror anthologies and thought he would be the perfect artist. He agreed.

I can’t explain why I took so long to publish this collection – money probably – but all I can say is that I’m glad it is now coming to fruition and in my cold hands next Friday, 28th September.

As a consequence of getting this book ready, Gavin Salisbury’s short-novel Fade-Out won’t be making the party – but will be available later in October – and the much fabled Nasty Snips Project will too be available (or at least the first couple of instalments) around Hallowe’en.

Just when enthusiasm for the business and industry wane, I get a jerk of adrenaline from what is I believe – and I say this without apology – a very important book for not just Pendragon but the horror/supernatural genre.

I just hope I can do Gary and Thomas some justice.

To Usher… at last!

Posted by Chris on July 3, 2012 at 15:04
Posted in: Book News, General

Some of you may remember an announcement many years ago about a new short story collection from Gary McMahon – “To Usher, the Dead”. Well, I can finally say that yes, it is coming out, and to prove it you can pre-order with or without payment from the Books page.

Available has a limited numbered edition of 200 copies with only the first 100 signed by the author, this book will be launched at FantasyCon in Brighton where you may well witness Mr McMahon signing the actual copies first hand.

Due to the vagarious nature of independent publishing, I have decided to offer pre-ordering without payment since I still feel a sense of shame at how long Visions Fading Fast has taken so long to see print. With this in mind, if you do wish to pre-order with payment then you will also receive a 25% discount off your next Pendragon order.

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