Progress on the WIP: #SciFi in the Making.


The Fantastic Books Publishing bookstore before we opened.


War Over Dust launched at Fantasticon 2017 in Hull, England, over the weekend of 2nd and 3rd September. Fortunately, I was there to sign the paperback copies and answer readers’ questions about the book and progress on the follow-up. More on that in a later post.


And the crowds get down to it!


Fantasticon, an annual event that’s been going for 4 years, is a multifaceted convention bringing fans of science fiction, fantasy and gaming together under one roof. This year, for the second time, the venue was the Guildhall in Hull, UK City of Culture for 2017. We had a little competition, as the city was hosting a Freedom Festival over the weekend. Bright sunshine brought out the crowds and the centre was busier than I’ve ever seen it.


Almost exterminated by a wandering Dalek!


The book launch went well, with most copies snapped up quite soon after we opened. I helped out on the bookstore and met lots of readers in the process. The convention crowd is made up of a really diverse group of people, who meet each year as friends. Their overriding qualities are affability and generosity: I’ve always found them such warm company.


Not all the games are new; there’s a range of the old favourites on offer.


On Saturday afternoon, as one of the on-stage performances, Drew Wagar and I held an informal conversation about our writing in the fields of science fiction and fantasy. We played to a full house and enjoyed the session, as did the audience.


Drew and I in conversation on stage.


There’s always a great deal going on at Fantasticon, with many stores displaying products of interest to attendees. Daleks and other Cosplay characters mingle with the crowds. Live music fills the air with great sounds.


Some of the Cosplayers.


People partake in games from role-playing through old fashioned and newly designed board games to the most technically advanced online action games. There’s a chance to experience VR, and there’s always a Nerf War room for those eager to show off their prowess with those mock weapons. Almost everything, except the products for sale, is free once you have your ticket, so it’s a great weekend for all.


Kate Russell, IT Queen, organising a screening.


The raffle at the end of the event is now legend. And a great deal of charity work goes on both behind the scenes and upfront. Fantastic Books Publishing, with its authors, donates 10% of all profits to selected charities. And SpecialEffect, an organisation devoted to helping disabled people by providing personalised technology, were on hand. Many of the companies behind the various displays and experiences provide their services free, so those who attend are able to have a fantastic time.


FanAli of special
Ali and Baz of SpecialEffect, on hand to raise cash for their charity.


There are too many volunteers, helpers and supporters to name here, but let me express my personal thanks to all of them for such a great weekend. If you’ve never been to a convention like this, make sure you get involved next year. And, if you’ve been to something you think is similar, give Fantasticon 2018 a try: you won’t regret it.


Dan Grubb, organiser supremo, hands out the awards.


Those of you weren’t able to make it to Hull this time can easily order my books, including the new one, by following this link to the publisher’s site. Or you can find War Over Dust at your local Amazon store here, and the earlier book in the Generation Mars series, Blood Red Dust, here. Enjoy the read!


Some of the raffle prizes stacked up on the piano.


By the way, I’m still happy to provide a free digital copy of War Over Dust in return for an honest review. If you’d like one, please use the ‘Contact’ tab, complete the short form with your email address and say whether you’d prefer a .Mobi, .PDF, or .ePub file and I’ll send it as soon as I can. Thank you.


Just to prove I did go outside the venue. This is Queen’s Gardens, Hull, through which I passed on my way from the hotel to the Guildhall. I hadn’t seen it so quiet, and the early morning sun lit up the old buildings. As I put my camera to my eye, some swine switched off the fountains!


5 thoughts on “Progress on the WIP: #SciFi in the Making.

  1. The cool factor on your black t-shirt – with white writing on it no less – and blue jeans combo while you were up on stage at 4:15pm (pardon my suspicious, fiction-swirling mind Stuart but was that deliberately-obvious time stamp in the picture part of the creation of some elaborately staged alibi by chance, whereby a nefarious act organised by you was taking place at precisely the same time in another place which you wished not to be connected back to you?) was like.. an eleven!

    Well done Stuart!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Ahhgg! Caught in the nefarious act by a perspicacious observer. But I refuse to supply the information sought. Guilty as charged, but you’ll never get the secret out of me. Never! Do you understand? I will deny everything, even down to my actual existence, rather than compromise the…oops! Nearly involved my accomplices then. But I’ll never admit to anything. Nothing. I’m innocent, I tell you; innocent!

      Liked by 1 person

Comments are closed.