Top British comic writer and author Dan Abnett and Star Trek author James Swallow are among several writers, including Stan Nicholls and James Barclay, who will be appearing as part of an impressive line up of creative talent, game demonstrations and more at the next GamesFest (www.gamesfest.co.uk), a one day convention in Tring, Hertfordshire on 4 October.
The event aims to showcase the best of role playing, wargaming, boardgaming and science fiction and fantasy literature.
“We want to pull all the strands of fantasy and science fiction together and create a unique experience for the fan/enthusiast in one convention,” say the organisers. “Ours is a unique vision and we want to focus on customer satisfaction and a totally enjoyable day dedicated to players and fans alike.”
The hope is that GamesFest will enable people to play games in an informal, friendly environment, let fans sample the best the gaming industry has to offer through Trade Stands and demo games, let fans meet the creators/designers of the games and give fans an opportunity to meet the writers/artists of their favourite comics and books. On the guest list are:
• Stan Nicholls who has been a full-time writer since 1981. He is the author of many novels and short stories but is best known for the internationally acclaimed Orcs First Blood series. (Orcs will be released in a paperback edition in September). In 2007, he was awarded the Le’Fantastique Lifetime Achievement Award for Contributions to Literature at the Trolls & Legendes Festival in Belgium.
• Dan Abnett is well known for his comic work: he has written everything from the Mr Men to the X-Men. His prolific work for the Games Workshops Black Library includes the popular strips Lone Wolves, Titan and Darkblade, the best-selling Gaunt’s Ghosts novels (Only in Death is released in October), and the acclaimed Inquisitor Eisenhorn trilogy.
• Star Trek author James Swallow has also written many stories set in the Warhammer 40,000 universe include Faith & Fire, the Blood Angel books Deus Encarmine and Deus Sanguinius, as well as short fiction for Inferno! and What Price Victory. His Black Flame books include Jade Dragon, the Judge Dredd novels Eclipse and Whiteout, Rogue Trooper: Blood Relative, and the novelisation of The Butterfly Effect. James is, to date, the only British writer to have written for any of the Star Trek TV series and has written many scripts for video games and audio dramas.
• Graham McNeil is a noted Games Workshop games developer and author of numerous novels set Warhammer 40K and Warhammer Fantasy universes, including Fulgrim, part of the best-selling Horus Heresy series. His latest 40K novel, The Killing Ground, was released earlier in the year.
• Mark Chadbourn is a British fantasy, science fiction and horror author with eleven novels (and one non-fiction book) published around the world. Six of his novels have been short listed for the British Fantasy Society’s August Derleth Award for Best Novel, and he has won the British Fantasy Award twice, for his novella The Fairy Feller’s Master-Stroke(2005), and for his short story Whisper Lane (2007). His most recent novel, The Burning Man, was released by Gollancz back in April.
• David J Rodger‘s first novel God Seed‘ is a cyber thriller that follows the journey of a documentary filmmaker, Adam Kyle as he covers a group of Corporate Mercenaries. Kyle is propelled into a web of lies, treachery and murder involving fascist extremists, Islamic Terrorists, corrupt government officials an a religion as old as Mankind. David has taken influences from writers such as William Gibson, Robert Ludlumand H.P Lovecraft. He has also created a role-playing game on his fictional world entitled Yellow Dawn.
• Juliet E. McKenna is a professional writer of fantasy novels and short stories, with the occasional foray into science-fiction and dark fantasy. Her first novel, published in 1999, first of The Tales of Einarinn. Her second series, The Aldabreshin Compass, concluded with Eastern Tide in 2006 and she’s now working on a new trilogy charting the course of The Lescari Revolution. The first volume, Straws in the Wind (working title, so that may change.), will be published in the UK and the US by Solaris in the spring of 2009.
• Deborah Miller (a.k.a. Miller Lau) has been writing fiction all her life, mainly fantasy but also some science fiction and horror. In 1993 she was short listed for the Ian St James award, reaching the top fifty from a record entry of 8,000 for her short story ‘Dinosaur.’ Since then, she has worked on novel length fiction although also working full-time as a Technical Editor. In 1999, after reaching agreement with Simon and Schuster’s Earthlight for the sale of her first novel Talisker she decided to dedicate herself to her writing full-time.
• Stephen Hunt is a British fantasy author living in Spain. He is the author of The Court of the Air, a fantasy adventure set in a Victorian alternate world with the addition of magic in various forms. The nation in which the plot is largely set is recognizably based on Victorian Britain and the main neighbouring country is presumably inspired by the Paris Commune (and communist revolutions in general). His second novel, set in the same fantasy world, is The Kingdom Beyond the Waves. Stephen owns and runs the Internet’s second most popular sci-fi web site, www.SFcrowsnest.com which gets about 40 million hits a month.
• Joseph D’Lacey first short story Getaway Car was published in 2001 by Cadenza. Since then his work has appeared in anthologies, magazines and online. Meat, his first published novel, was released earlier this year.
• James Barclay is a British fantasy author who has been publishing novels since 1999. He is best known for his action fantasy thrillers concerning the mercenaries-turned-world-savers The Raven. The six novels in this series are to be joined by a seventh in November 2008. The genesis of The Raven was on the percentile dice RPG tables of James’s youth and unsurprisingly, he has a big following from the ranks of the gaming community. The Raven novels have been translated into eight languages across Europe. Latterly, James has published an epic fantasy duology called ‘The Ascendants of Estorea’ and is currently working on a trilogy concerning the elves of The Raven’s world. Elsewhere, he is working as an actor on a British crime thriller, writes screenplays and is developing young adult fiction.
• Bill Hussey has a Masters Degree in Writing from Sheffield Hallam University. His first novel, Through A Glass, Darkly, was inspired by the lonely Fen villages of Lincolnshire and by a lifetime devoted to the horror story. Bill lives in Skegness and writes stories about things that go bump in the night.
• Peter Mark May was born in Walton on Thames, Surrey in 1968. Married with two young sons, he has been writing as a hobby since he left school. After the sudden death of this brother in 2004, he decided to take voluntary redundancy from an eighteen year Civil Service career and completely changed his life emphasis. He has just taken two years off work to enjoy life with his family and working on getting his latest horror novel finished (Demon) and is now writing a new personal horror novel entitled Kumiho, set during the Korean War.
• Frazer Lee is the award-winning writer/director of short horror films On Edge and Red Lines, both starring Doug Bradley (Pinhead from Hellraiser). He also directed the commercial campaign for True Horror with Anthony Head (of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame) for the Discovery Channel. Frazer’s new projects include the feature length horror movie Urbane from his screenplay with co-writer Max Kinnings, also in development as a graphic novel with art by Shane Oakley. Frazer is also working on more feature-length, short and literary fiction projects. His first book, Urbane and Other Horror Tales is out now, available from www.frazerlee.com along with the DVD of On Edge and Red Lines.
• David Michael Wright was born in 1979, and lives in Royston an old ex-mining village near Barnsley in South Yorkshire. Working as a Freelance Illustrator specialising in fantasy, Sci-fi & RPG art, he has among numerous private commissions, produced images for Wargames Foundry, Alderac Entertainment Group, and Redbrick. View his online portfolio at www.davidmichaelwright.com.
• Garry Charles has been working as an author for four years. He has three novels already published by HadesGate Publications: Heaven’s Falling Volumes One and Two, which span the genres of Dark Fantasy, Horror and action packed adventure, and Hammerhead which is an out and out Horror novel. Slavis and Stone Cold Snake Eyes (both co-written with US author Erik Enck) will be released later this year by US publisher Blu Phi’er. Also slated for release is Tranquillity, a novella from Screaming Dreams Publications. His short stories can be found online and in print in such publications as Estronomicon, Sien Und Werden, The Horror Express, Whispers of Wickedness and NVH, to name a few.
Garry is currently working on a third Heaven’s Falling novel,and two other Dark Fantasy tales entitled Bookend and Hotel Hollywood. Whilst juggling these three projects he is also developing a sci-fi project for TV.
• Steve Dean was born and still lives in Nottingham with his wife and three children. He has been writing for many years, mainly Science Fiction and Fantasy. To date, he has had more than a dozen short stories published in various independent press magazines. He also has three novels in the shops, published by Hadesgate Publications; Soulkeepers, a fantasy novella for the whole family, The Servicing and Maintenance of Wayland Snowball, an adult SF comedy, and Mage Reborn, an adult Fantasy. On the RPG side, Steve worked with ForeverpeopleRPG where he released three books and ideas collections; Wilderness Encounters 2 – Into The Mountains, Wilderness Encounters 3 – Desert Encounters and Wilderness encounters 6 – Into The Mountains. These were joined by three complete scenarios in the Opus Operandi series; Chains in the Dark, A Pool of Clear Water and Tower Down. He was also one of the contributing editors for the short lived but very popular Wyvern roleplay magazine.
In January, Steve made the leap to Talisman Studios, and Adventure Zone: Barbary, a pirates and cannibals expansion for the Suzerain system quickly hit the shelves. Adventure Zone: Wolfpaw, a horror western expansion, will join it by the time you read this, followed quickly by Adventure Zone: Sanxesta, this time a land-based swashbuckling extravaganza. An as yet untitled illustrated pirate story is also in the pipeline. If that wasn’t enough, Steve also writes book reviews for the British Fantasy Society. Currently Steve is writing novels four and five, and continues to create for the ever-expanding Suzerain multiverse.
• Derek Gunn, who lives in Dublin, Ireland, is the author of the Vampire Apocalypse series, the first book, Vampire Apocalypse: A World Torn Asunder released towards the end of 2006 Derek’s debut novel. The film rights are under option and a movie is in development with producer/screenwriter Richard Finney (Miaximum Risk, 100 Girls, Carver, Ye Older Times) and producer Robert Lawrence (Die Hard with a Vengence, Clueless, The Last Castle). The second book in the series, Vampire Apocalypse: Descent into Chaos, is due to be released in the US this autumn and the third, Vampire Apocalypse: Fallout is due out in 2009. Derek has also had short fiction published in anthologies from Black Death Books and Permuted Press.
• Gav Thorpe works for Games Workshop in his capacity as Warhammer Loremaster (whatever that is), something to do with making stuff up and designing games, apparently. He has written an armful of short stories for Inferno magazine, and people constantly nag him for more Last Chancers stuff. You may be worried to known that when he is thinking really hard he has a tendency to talk to the mechanical hamster with whom he shares a flat.
• Richard Williams was born in Nottingham, UK and was first published in 2000. He has written fiction for a range of publications on such diverse topics as gang initiation, medieval highwaymen and arcane religions. In his spare time, he is a theatre director and actor. He has written two books, including the novel Relentless published by the Black Library, and had his work printed in Inferno! and in the anthology Status: Deadzone. Visit his official website at www.richard-williams.com
• Isabel Joely Black is the author of the fantasy fiction series Amnar, available as a podcast at www.joelyblack.net and via subscription at iTunes. She doesn’t have a fantasy fiction author hat yet, but has been promised one in the very near future.
Along with the authors, companies attending GamesFest 3 will be Games Workshop, maker of Warhammer, Esdevium Games, Pinnacle Entertainment, makers of Deadlands and the Savage World RPG system, Wizards of the Coast, who will be attending the Fest for the first time this year and are looking to run demos of Dungeons and Dragons and Magic the Gathering, Project Hydra, a gaming store located in the town centre of Northampton, Calamity Comics, House Atreides, who supply single cards for every CCG imaginable, Games Bazaar, Cubicle 7publishers of games such as the new Starblazer adventures based on the 1980s DC Thomson comic, Qin and Doctor Who, Leisure Games, Simple Miniature Games, the independent miniatures company Otherworld Miniatures, The Black Library, the imprint of the British publishing house BL Publishing, the new international horror fiction imprint Bloody Books:, published by Beautiful Books of London, mass market publisher Hadesgate and CCD traders Cardbreakers.
Along with demo games, this looks to be a truly impressive day’s entertainment for gamers.
• GamesFest 3 will be held on Saturday 4th October 2008 at the Victoria Hall, Akeman Street, Tring, Hertfordshire. Doors open 10.00am until 7.00pm. More info at www.gamesfest.co.uk
The founder of downthetubes, which he established in 1998. John works as a comics and magazine editor, writer, and on promotional work for the Lakes International Comic Art Festival. He is currently editor of Star Trek Explorer, published by Titan – his third tour of duty on the title originally titled Star Trek Magazine.
Working in British comics publishing since the 1980s, his credits include editor of titles such as Doctor Who Magazine, Babylon 5 Magazine, and more. He also edited the comics anthology STRIP Magazine and edited several audio comics for ROK Comics. He has also edited several comic collections, including volumes of “Charley’s War” and “Dan Dare”.
He’s the writer of “Pilgrim: Secrets and Lies” for B7 Comics; “Crucible”, a creator-owned project with 2000AD artist Smuzz; and “Death Duty” and “Skow Dogs” with Dave Hailwood.