The annual sci-fi and fantasy convention based in the heart of Bristol, BristolCon is a great time out for all fans of literature and art. Whether you’re a fan of large or small authors, or if you want new sci-fi and fantasy inspired art pieces to display around your humble abode, this is the event for you. BristolCon, coming on October 28th, is a fun-filled one day event with interesting panels, local authors and artists and much more. If you’re a sci-fi/fantasy geek, then read on for more as you will want to check this out!
Where: Hilton DoubleTree Hotel, Redcliffe Way, Bristol BS1 6NJ
Date: October 28th 2017
Guests of Honour:
Art – BSFA Award winning artist Sarah Anne Langton,
Literature – Jonathan L. Howard, Jen Williams
Our fans will have likely heard of the story of how GeekOut South-West got started, but if not, BristolCon has a lot to do with it. When I started, I wanted some allies in geek culture. Upon scouring the internet for existing groups that fit within our niche, I stumbled across a group called the Bristol Sci-Fi and Fantasy Society. Reading the words Sci-Fi and Fantasy, (SFF from here on,) filled my heart with glee, as these were exactly the sorts of people I wanted to associate with. I reached out to them, found where they met and off I went.
Considering how I can be denser than an oak tree stump, I went to The Commercial Rooms in Bristol, wanting to meet these people and bring them into my own fold. I needed geeks, so I arrived, met the lovely Joanne Hall, was seated and found out very quickly – These guys were writers. I had literally found myself being welcomed by local authors, which immediately made me more humble. I felt like a tiny guppy asking much larger fish to join my school in a massive geek ocean.
Skip forward to the following year and GeekOut had grown, not without thanks to BristolCon and the SFF Society. We went from nobodies, to a group of over 500 members. Then the following year we hit over 1,000 members, then over 1,400 and now over 1,700 members. It’s hard to believe how long we’ve been going – and BristolCon shows no sign of wear or tear after all these years either. As such, we welcome all of you once more to attend BristolCon 2017!
What Can You Expect?
As ever, there will be guests at the event, who will act as panel runners. The guests this year include: BSFA award winning artist, Sarah Anne Langton and authors Jonathan L. Howard and Jen Williams. These guests will host panels ranging from their own experiences, to inviting people to talk about their experiences in the Sci-Fi and Fantasy fields. From art and literature, to talks about how to get involved with the scene – There’s so many interesting panels to attend. Plus, having met with Jonathan back at my first Bristol SFF Society meeting, I can tell you this is going to be an excellent lineup.
But that’s not all! The venue is spacious enough for them to host a large dealers hall, along with a sizable bar. The dealers hall typically has a great range of stalls, from local dealers to wonderful charities. The hall has books and art up for grabs, along with other trinkets of interest. I once remember grabbing about 10 books for £5 from [BristolCon 2015], so be on the look out for the great deals inside. I’ve also picked up excellent art and truly superb unique pieces, along with some games!
On the subject of art, there’s an artist’s gallery, allowing local artists the chance to sell their one off pieces or otherwise. The hall is well presented and it gives fans the chance to chat with the artists/their agents, giving you a great chance to truly understand the unique pieces on display. Furthermore, if you’re just interested in knowing more about the artists, they are always so welcoming to everyone. Looking for a piece but don’t see one you want there? Get chatting to the artists, who will gladly point you in the right direction.
Finally, there’s always a hall for board games. If you’re a fan of tabletop gaming, or if you just want a space to sit down, BristolCon has you covered. They often attract board game creators to bring brand new games with them, allowing people to have early access to board games before the general public. Furthermore, in previous years, there has been a free book swap and a cinema screening of SFF films and TV shows. Last time I went, there was also a lady giving a talk on the history of yokai, or demons, in anime.
How To Get A Ticket
If you’re interested in attending this year’s BristolCon, then check out their website. You can purchase a ticket here, or on the door (but it is £5 more expensive on the door). It’s always worth buying your ticket early for BristolCon, as it really helps the organisers know how many are guaranteed. That’s it for this years look at BristolCon – We’ve got an ad for the group there, so if you’re attending, be sure to take a picture of our ad in the guide book you’ll be receiving. As always, let us know if you’ll be attending, or if you’ve been to a previous event in the comments below, or over on Facebook or Twitter.