British Fiction Focus

#GollanczFest ’15: Gollancz Harder

Remember #GollanczFest?

You should, dear reader. Last year’s award-winning Gollancz Festival was the first of its kind, integrating digital and physical book events in one day on multiple platforms, featuring live participation from almost 50 writers. In just 24 hours, it reached nearly 9 million timelines on Twitter, attracted almost 20,000 YouTube viewers, and sold out an epic event at Waterstones’ flagship store in Picadilly. After the fact, the first #GollanczFest inspired companies across the country to follow in its footsteps, up to and including HarperCollins, whose #VirtualVoyager has been going strong all week long.

So: it should surprise precisely no-one that #GollanczFest is coming back. This year, though, it’s going to be “even bigger and better” than ever, according to Gollancz’s blog.

Offering “four days of action-packed events and creative digital programming” from the 15th through the 18th of October, the Gollancz Festival 2015 has been embiggened (not to mention embettered) in large part thanks to a number of promising partnerships. With Great Britain’s biggest bookseller, Waterstones, which will host not one but two—times two—events:

Both the events in Manchester Deansgate, 16 October 6-9pm, and London Piccadilly 17 October 2-6pm, will have two unique strands of action-packed programming, followed by a group signing session including all participating authors. Each attendee will receive a goody bag with some spectacular exclusives.

In addition, the science fiction and fantasy imprint of the Orion Publishing Group has enlisted the assistance of the GamersBus, which will bring both consoles and gaming PCs to both venues—presumably to play Elite: Dangerous, an unfinished space sim Gollancz has a certain interest in.

Gollancz is also working with Future PLC (the publisher of SFX and Total Film magazines and the website GamesRadar+) and with the Prince Charles Cinema, which will be screening two movies adapted from the imprint’s best-in-business backlist: Minority Report and The Prestige.

“The hottest new talents in SF&F” will be in attendance at these events, to talk and sign and suchlike. More exclusive goody bags will be given. Plus, attendees will have the chance to see two terrific films on the big screen.

But let’s say that you can’t come to London; let’s say that even Manchester is an age away from where you stay. You can still participate digitally! And Gollancz’s last partnership—with Hachette Australia and New Zealand, who’ll be hosting a series of supplementary celebrations from midnight through 8 a.m. on October 16 and 17—is guaranteed to make that a great deal easier.

In the unlikely event that you’re still on the fence, I’ve saved the best for last:

The full list of participating authors taking part in traditional and/or digital events currently includes: Ben Aaronovitch; Joe Abercrombie; Mark Alder; Stephen Baxter; Greg Bear; Bradley Beaulieu; Kit Berry; James Blaylock; Aliette de Bodard; Anna Caltabiano; C. Robert Cargill; Elspeth Cooper; Paul Cornell; Edward Cox; AJ Dalton; Stephen Deas; Jaine Fenn; Tony Gonzales; Charlaine Harris; Joanne Harris; MG Harris; Joe Hill; John Hornor Jacobs; Antonia Honeywell; Stephen Hunt; Simon Ings; Alex Lamb; David Langford; Ursula K Le Guin; Philip Mann; Elizabeth May; Paul McAuley; Ian McDonald; Suzanne McLeod; Simon Morden; Richard Morgan; Den Patrick; Sarah Pinborough; Tim Powers; Hannu Rajaniemi; Alastair Reynolds; Adam Roberts; Al Robertson; Justina Robson; Pat Rothfuss; Brandon Sanderson; Nalini Singh; Gavin Smith; Mark Stay; Tricia Sullivan; Lisa Tuttle; Jon Wallace; Catriona Ward, Michael J Ward; Sean Williams; Chris Wooding.

And you know what? I bet that are still a few more names to be announced…

Join the fun, folks, by registering your interest at The Gollancz Festival website.

Niall Alexander is an extra-curricular English teacher who reads and writes about all things weird and wonderful for The Speculative ScotsmanStrange Horizons, and Tor.com. He’s been known to tweet, twoo.

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