As most of you will know, World Fantasy Con will be in Brighton next year. Lots of industry professionals from the USA, Canada, Australia and other countries will be descending on the UK. But World Fantasy is predominantly a professional networking event, and has a strict membership cap, so if you are coming all the way from another continent you might be thinking about how you can make use of the trip to meet fans.
Well, I can help. For 2013 we have moved BristolCon a week later in the year so that it takes place the weekend before World Fantasy. Bristol is a good tourist destination. It has lots of museums and the like itself, and is only 10 minutes by train from Bath. I’ll enthuse more about that in detail nearer the time. There’s also a direct train service from Bristol to Brighton, which passes through Salisbury, the nearest large town to Stonehenge. Kevin and I are planning to make that trip, including the short bus ride out to look at a pile of stones.
Since we made that decision I have discovered that the 2013 Swecon will take place on the weekend we would have normally used for BristolCon. It is taking place in Stockholm and has Jo Walton and Lavie Tidhar as Guests of Honour. So if you are planning a long European trip you might consider that one too. Carolina Gómez Lagerlöf is in charge, so I’m confident it will be a great event. And there will be English-language programming for the benefit of the large numbers of Finns who will attend.
Looking even earlier, Octocon in Dublin is normally held early in October. They don’t seem to have announced dates for 2013 yet, but there’s a good chance it will be the weekend before Swecon. A month is a long time to be touring, but it is worth bearing in mind.
Of course none of these cons will be able to pay trans-Atlantic flight costs for anyone other than their GoHs, who are probably decided by now (I know ours and Swecon’s are), but they do provide an opportunity to meet fans and see parts of Europe you don’t normally get to. If anyone is interested in taking in one of these events I’d be happy to put you in touch.