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Irish Sci-Fi News #27
By: Charles Rector | Newsletter | 8:49pm, October 10, 2005
Welcome to Irish SciFi News Newsletter #27! In an absolutely packed
newsletter this time ‘round, we’ve news of various conventions, a few
signings, and more Irish comics. Virtually all of these news stories
appeared first on the Irish SciFi News website. There were even a few
stories that made it to the site, but by the time I got around to
writing this NL, they were over! So, if you want to stay up-to-date,
check back on the site regularly, here:
http://www.slovobooks.com/irishsfnews/news.php You can also get it as
an RSS Feed, or through Bloglines, LiveJournal, or My Yahoo!

Now, on the subject of news, is anyone interested in being a reporter
for the site? We’re always looking for news, and if you fancy having
as go at being a contributor, drop us a line, and we’ll explain how
it all works. Either reply to this mail, or write via the feedback
form on the site: http://www.slovobooks.com/irishsfnews/feedback.php

And I can’t let the opportunity pass without congratulating both
Susanna Clarke and Charlie Stross on their recent wins at the Hugo
Awards. Susanna, who is Guest of Honour at P-CON next March, won the
award for Best Novel for Jonathan Strange & Mr Norrell; and Charlie,
who is GoH at Octocon next month, won the award for Best Novella for
The Concrete Jungle. Well done to both of them.

So, to the news. It’s roughly in this order: SF convention news,
comics’ events, signings, new SF shops, Irish comics, short story
awards, publishing news, and everything else that’s fit to print,
followed by the ongoing list of forthcoming events. All stories, with
one exception, by my good self.

Octocon Update:
Octocon have added a few guests to their list. As well as Guest of
Honour Charlie Stross, and previously announced guests Michael
Carroll, Roger Gregg, Harry Harrison, Anne McCaffrey, Juliet E.
McKenna, Michael Scott, and John Vaughan, they are now also playing
host to last year’s GoH Tanith Lee, her husband John Kaiine, and
Sligo resident James P Hogan. Octocon is, as I write, only scant
weeks away, and you have until the end of September to join up at the
old rate of E30, which goes up after that. As I’ve said previously,
I’ll be there myself, and will have two tables in and around the
Dealers/Fan Room, one trying to sell you secondhand books, the other
trying to sell you memberships to P-CON!

See you there, if you’re there, and if you’re not going, why not?

More information about Octocon from their website:
http://www.octocon.com/2005/

Dates For Mecon 9 Announced:
The all-new MeCon 9 will be held on the weekend of 4th - 6th August
2006, in the Queen's Elms Centre, Malone Road, Belfast. This is a
change from the convention’s previous regular dates in March, and
previous regular venue, which has been sold off and revamped. After
Mecon 8, incoming convention chair Michael Perkins was given the
brief to revamp the con from the ground up, including moving the con
from it’s previous time-slot.

According to Perkins, “We arrived at this date through a long and
arduous process of deliberation about potential dates and clashes,
weighing up the pros and cons of the dates that were left open to us,
and choosing the one that didn't come slap-bang in the middle of
exams!! This does, of course, give us the advantage that the
University Halls of Residence, which are on the same site as the Elms
Centre, should be available to us. We are currently contacting
potential guests, although none are confirmed as of yet. We should be
in a position to start taking bookings for MeCon 9 by mid-September,
in time for the start of the new University year.”

What: Mecon 9
Where: Queen's Elms Centre, Malone Road, Belfast
When: 4 – 6 August 2006
Who: No confirmed guests as yet
How Much: No price as yet
Website: http://www.mecon.org.uk/

Banopticon 2005 Cancelled:
Banopticon 2005, the Doctor Who convention that was to be held in the
Marine Court Hotel, Bangor, Co Down, was cancelled, according to
postings on the Queen’s University Belfast Yahoo! Group,
http://groups.yahoo.com/group/qubscifi/ . The convention, organised
by the Northern Ireland Doctor Who Society, was to have been held on
Sunday the 14th of August, and guests were to include sixth Doctor
Colin Baker, along with Nicola Bryant, who played one of his
companions, Peri.

The cancellation was apparently due to a shortfall in advance
bookings, with only 150 people pre-booked, and the break-even point
standing at around the 200-person mark. This would have left chief
organiser Colin Dowling severely out of pocket, so he decided to
cancel the event at short notice.

Mark Buckingham at Sub-Con in October:
Robert Curley of Sub-City tells me that he is running another one-day
comic con. The event takes place on Saturday the 8th of October in
the Central Hotel in Exchequer Street, Dublin 2, just across the road
from the Dublin branch of Sub City. The Guest of Honour is comics’
artist Mark Buckingham, who has worked on Fables, Sandman,
Miracleman, and many other titles.

What: Sub-Con
Where: Central Hotel, Exchequer Street, Dublin 2
When: Saturday 8th October 2005, 10 AM – 6 PM
Who: Mark Buckingham
How Much: €3 Admission
Contact: Sub-City at 01 677 1902

Irish Comics’ Expo in December:
Robert Curley of Sub-City comic shop in Dublin’s Exchequer Street is
running an Irish Comics’ Expo in the Central Hotel on Saturday the
3rd of December 2005. The event will run from 10 AM to 5 PM, and
there will be no admission charge.

The purpose of the event is to highlight the number of people
involved in comics’ production in Ireland. Some of the publishers
confirmed for the event so far include Alan Nolan and Ian Whelan from
20,000 Leagues, Bob Neilson from Aeon Press, Bob Byrne from Clamnut
Comix, Eugene J. Byrne of Wolfman Productions, as well as Robert’s
own comics’ company, Atomic Diner. For a fairly complete list of
Irish comics’ producers, have a look at this page on the Irish SciFi
News website:
http://www.slovobooks.com/irishsfnews/links.php?linktype=7

Regular readers of this newsletter will know that the comic business
in Ireland is one of things I’m passionate about, so I’m very much
looking forward to getting along to this. See you there, if you’re
there.

What: Irish Comics’ Expo
Where: Central Hotel, Exchequer Street, Dublin 2
When: Saturday 3rd December 2005, 10 AM – 6 PM
Who: Irish Comics’ Creators & Publishers
How Much: Free

Robert Picardo Signing in FPI in Belfast and Dublin:
Robert Picardo, who plays the Doctor in Star Trek Voyager, is
appearing in Forbidden Planet International branches in Ireland.
He’ll be in their Anne Street, Belfast branch from 3.30 PM to 5.30 PM
on Tuesday the 27th of September, and their Crampton Quay, Dublin
branch from 5 PM to 7 PM on Thursday the 29th.

Terry Pratchett Signing in Dublin and Belfast:
Terry Pratchett, author an astonishing amount of rather good books,
and the possessor of some truly lovely headwear, is visiting our
shores as part the signing tour for Thud!, the umptysomethingth
Discworld book.

Terry will be in Eason’s, on Dublin’s O’Connell Street on Tuesday the
18th of October, and in their Belfast branch in Donegall Place the
following day, Wednesday the 19th of October. In both cases, the
signing will be at 12.30 PM.

Model Mania in Temple Bar:
If any of you were wondering where Christy Flood’s SciFi model shop,
The Modeller’s Nook, which used to be in Berkeley Road in Phibsboro,
had gone, you need wonder no more. After a hiatus of more that a
year, Christy and his son Jason have opened a new shop on the corner
of Crow Street and Cecilia Street, in the heart of Dublin’s Temple
Bar area. The shop, now called Model Mania, is sharing the same space
on the corner with Liam Webster’s secondhand comic shop, Story.

The shop stocks model kits and figures from the movies, comics, and
TV, and also offers a model building service, along with hints and
tips on doing-it-yourself.

Name: Model Mania
Where: 8 Crow Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 2
Manager: Christy Flood
Opening Hours:
Monday to Saturday: 12.00 PM ­ 6.00 PM
Thursday 12.00 AM ­ 7.00 PM
Sunday 3.00 PM ­ 6.00 PM
Selling: Model kits, figures
Telephone: N/A
Website: N/A
Contact Email: modelmaniaireland[at]hotmail.com

New Irish Online Comic Shop:
Colin O' Mahoney of getyourcomics.com writes to me to say this,
“We’re a new Irish website, and we sell comics, graphic novels,
anime/manga, and in the future will also be dealing in games,
merchandise etc. We do a comic subscription service, whereby a
customer signs up to a comic subscription, and our prices include
delivery anywhere in Ireland, and all comics are bagged and boarded,
which is also included in the price.

We have only just launched, but in the coming months hope to be able
to provide a platform for indigenous comics as well, and will be
happy to stock and do our best to promote Irish comics, or even books
or whatever else is out there.

Getyourcomics has a newsletter too. We’re currently running a
competition with a chance to win one year’s subscription to a monthly
comic of your choice if you sign up to our mailing list. There are
still some places left...”

More information from http://www.getyourcomics.com/

Aeon Award at Worldcon:
The inaugural Aeon Award, run by Aeon Press, the people who publish
Albedo One, and with a top prize of €1000, was won by Julian West
with his story My Marriage. Julian has already won the James White
Award, in 2002, with the story Vita Brevis, Ars Longa.

Legendary SF writer Ian Watson did the final judging, and the
winner’s name was announced at Interaction, the 63rd World Science
Fiction Convention (or Worldcon for short!) All six finalists will
also be published in Albedo One, Aeon Press’ SF short story magazine,
where they will be eligible for that issue’s best of issue award of
€100.

http://homepage.eircom.net/~albedo1/html/aeon_award.html

James White Award at Worldcon:
This year’s James White Award was won by Elizabeth Hopkinson,
although we’re still not sure which story she write, as the list is
printed without authors’ names attached. We’ll post the details as
soon as we’re sure. The prize was awarded at Worldcon before the Hugo
Awards ceremony. The final judging panel was composed of Teresa
Nielsen Hayden, Andy Cox, Michael Carroll, Jasper Fford, and Robert
Sheckley.

The James White Award was set up to honour the memory of popular
Irish SF writer James White, and this was the fourth time it has been
presented.

http://jameswhiteaward.com/

Launch of This Way Up #2:
The second issue of This Way Up was launched on Tuesday the 26th of
July 2005 in the Curved Street Café, above Arthouse, in Curved
Street, in Dublin’s Temple Bar area. Like the first issue, this will
be available free in various locations around Dublin and elsewhere.

The first issue of This Way Up, a collaborative, semi-surreal trip
through the streets of Dublin with over a dozen different
contributors, was launched in February 2005 to considerable critical
acclaim, and was subsequently distributed free throughout Dublin,
with copies also being available in select locations in Cork,
Belfast, and London.

If you have any queries, e-mail thiswayup[at]yahoo.ie or visit the
This Way Up website: http://www.thiswayup.ie

Original Graphic Novel From Aeon Press:
Hot on the heels of their Irish short story anthology Emerald Eye,
Dublin-based Aeon Press have just published Spell Maffia, an original
102-page graphic novel by writer and artist team John Lee and Denise
O’Moore. Indeed, if you skip lightly past Cló Mhaigh Eo’s Irish
language young adult titles An Sclábhaí, An Tóraíocht, and An
Teachtaire, which may have been a bit too short to properly qualify
anyway, this book can definitely claim to be the first original Irish
graphic novel published.

Spell Maffia (with two Fs, leading to tag lines like They though
there was only one F in Mafia) concerns the adventures of the staff
of a New Age shop on the Dublin quays, called The Wizard of Od, who
become the target for the Russian Mafia’s protection racket. One of
the staff is kidnapped, and the Irish Wicca community decide to give
a hand in rescuing him. Much running around in woods ensues, as
spells are performed sky clad (that’s naked to the rest of us…) All
in all, a good fun read is guaranteed, and you might even learn a few
things about witchcraft along the way. As a bonus, this volume also
contains the short story ‘Father Further Investigates... The Devil in
Dingle’ by Bob Neilson and Denise O’Moore, the first of a series of
Father Further Investigates… adventures.

Spell Maffia, which costs E9.99 or £6.99, is now in all the comics’
shops in Dublin, and can also be purchased through the Aeon Press
website:
http://homepage.eircom.net/~albedo1/html/aeon_titles_1.htmlwebsite .

Jonathon Strange & Mr Norrell in Paperback:
Susanna Clarke’s debut novel, Jonathon Strange & Mr Norrell, was
released in paperback last Monday, the 5th of September. The book
sold 750,000 copies in hardback in the UK within two months of its
release in October 2004, and has won an enormous number of awards in
the intervening period, including the 2005 Locus Award for the Best
First Novel, the Mythopoeic Fantasy Award for Adult Literature, the
2005 Book Sense Adult Fiction Book of the Year Award, the Virgin
Books Newcomer of the Year Award, and of course the 2005 Hugo Award
for Best Novel. As well as all of these, it has also been nominated
for the 2005 British Fantasy Award for Best Novel. So, if you want to
see what all the fuss is about, and buy the book I *guarantee*
everyone will be talking about for the next six months and longer,
now’s your chance.

If you’re in Dublin looking for a copy of the book, we picked up a
pair of copies at E5.90 each in Waterstone’s in the Jervis Street
Centre. Undoubtedly there’s a good price on it at a bookshop near
you, too.

Of course, I have a vested interest in all this, as I’m the chairman
of P-CON III, where Susanna Clarke is Guest of Honour, which is on in
Dublin next March. http://www.slovobooks.com/phoenix/index.php

More information about Susanna Clarke and Jonathon Strange & Mr
Norrell can be found on her website, http://www.jonathanstrange.com .

New Book From George Green:
George Green, a Dublin-born writer now living in the UK, has just had
his second book, Hawk, published by Bantam Books. A follow-up to
2004’s Hound, the story of Cúchulainn, Hawk is the story of Serpicus,
set in Rome in AD 34.

George Green’s first novel received considerable critical acclaim,
and this one looks set to do the same. George will be attending P-CON
III in Dublin in March 2006, so you can come along to get your books
signed.

More information about Hawk can be found on George’s website at
http://www.george-green.co.uk/

Longevity City from David Murphy:
David Murphy’s latest novel, Longevity City, is now available from
Five Star in hardback, you can order it online here:
http://search.barnesandnoble.com/bookSearch/isbnInquiry.asp?r=1&isbn=1594143528

David, a Corkman living in Dublin, is one of the people behind
Ireland’s long running SF magazine Albedo One, and has been writing
full-time since 2003.

TommyWorld Relocates:
For those of you who have been wondering where Tommy Ferguson’s
TommyWorld site ("Where Fandom Gets Personal") had gone to, he has
the following to say:

“Due a combination of ineptness on my part, and damned stupidity on
the part of my ISP, I have lost the TommyWorld.net domain. I'm now
using http://www.tommyworld.info as my hosting site and would be
grateful if you could update links etc.”

Gallery of Belfast Fandom:
Eugene Doherty has been working on an online gallery of Belfast and
Northern Irish Fandom, with photographs from conventions past,
including Nicon in 1986, ’87, ’88, and ’89, Mecon I and IV, and
various other fan gatherings. There are also photographs of prominent
Northern Irish fans, including Tommy Ferguson and Joe Nolan, probably
the oldest SF fan in Ireland.

As Eugene says “It’s still a bit beta at the moment (firefox gets
cranky on some of the early pages) but here is a rough gallery of
rough Norn Iron fan photos from various gatherings over the years inc
the Monico, Nicon, Mecon, & TASH [The Amazing Sentient House].”

You can see the gallery here:
http://www.terracon3000.org.uk/fandom/index.html

Shockingly, the gallery is missing this photograph:
http://members.fortunecity.co.uk/tinman23/mecon4/mecon4_03.JPG , of
myself being kissed by the late Michael Sheard, who passed away last
week, during the ‘Who Wants To Be a Chocoholic?’ panel at Mecon Delta
in 2001.

Irishmen Annotate Albion:
If you’ve been reading Albion, the six-issue comic written by Leah
Moore and John Reppion, and published by Wildstorm, reviving old UK
comic characters like Robot Archie and The Steel Claw, and are
wondering who all the characters in the comic actually are, wonder no
longer. Instead, go have a look at ‘In the Fifty-Pee Box: An Albion
Website,’ which is the brainchild of two Irishmen.
http://www.comp.dit.ie/dgordon/albion/

Damian Gordon, who has already created the League of Leagues website
( http://www.comp.dit.ie/dgordon/League/loeg0010.html ), annotating
all the different versions of the League mentioned in The League of
Extraordinary Gentlemen, has teamed up with Pádraig Ó Méalóid, of
this parish, who should, eh, need no introduction. They had both
independently decided to start annotating the comic, and, when they
became aware of each other’s work, decided it would be a good idea to
pool their ideas and resources. They eventually hope to expand the
site considerably, to provide biographies of the original artists and
creators of the characters as well as lots of other things they
haven’t decided on yet…
[Story by Anne M Kletcha]

In Brief:
The most recent issue of Albedo One, issue 30, is available from all
good shops now, quite possibly, or by subscription from the Albedo
One website:
http://homepage.eircom.net/~albedo1/html/a1__magazine.html

Finally, a word of commiseration to David Stewart, who was heading
the bid committee to host Eurocon in Ireland in 2007. The vote for
the 2007 site was held at Worldcon in August, and the day was carried
by a bid from Denmark in the end. Nil desperandum, however, as
perhaps we can do it another time.
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