What a blast! The partying has barely finished for SFW9, but work has already started on the next invasion of North Wales, as SFW-X hits the starting grid and we gear up for the biggest and wildest event ever!
Much of the programming is in its early stages, and we’re still reaching out and contacting guests from film and television, more authors, more artists, and more entertainers to make your jaws drop, but we can announce a few of the guests who have been confirmed already, and let you know about some of the special events we are working on for the Weekender, the UK’s biggest geek festival!
Something that we are often asked, is how the Weekender is different from the many other ComicCons which seem to be taking place every weekend around the country … the answer is simple. SFW is not a ComicCon, and we’re not a ‘signing event’ … The emphasis is on having a good time, and providing an interesting and varied schedule of programming over the Weekend, so that there’s always something to do, someone to see, or something to watch. You generally won’t find our guests sat behind tables signing autographs for a long line of people … instead you’ll find them in the bar, or wandering around … you’ll see them on stage, or talking to an intimate crowd … if you want autographs, then there are signing passes available which allow you to get them, but on a numbered, rota system so you’re not queuing for half the day. Plus our author and artist guests are generally available the whole time in The Strip Club or at the Author Central tables, happy and willing to chat or sign books or create original bespoke artworks just for you. It’s the atmosphere and the people who make SFW, and while there is drinking … there’s also fun and cosplay and music and dancing and karaoke and live bands and comedy and magic and amazement … So if you’ve not tried the SFW experience before, come along and join in the fun … we guarantee you a good time!
But on to SFW-X, the tenth cycle of what has become the biggest science fiction festival in Europe … What guests do we have lined up for you?
Our first guest is someone who has always gone down a storm whenever he has appeared. He packs out any room he is speaking in, and of course EVERYONE in the room, nay the CAMP can hear him. We’re pleased and delighted to welcome the awesome BRIAN BLESSED back to SFW!
Brian was born in 1936, and started his career as PC ‘Fancy’ Smith in the BBC series Z-Cars, and went on to appear in many TV shows, including I, Claudius, Blackadder, Doctor Who, The Aphrodite Inheritance and many more. In film he played Prince Vultan in Flash Gordon, Robin Hood’s father in Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves and Boss Nash in Star Wars: The Phantom Menace. His voice has even been used on TomTom satnav devices! Brian is always full of wild and wacky stories of his life and adventures, and we’re looking forward to hearing more of them!
Next up, we have a guest who was sadly unable to make SFW-9 due to work, but who promised to make every effort to come along. So it’s tremendous that we can welcome CHRISTOPHER JUDGE to SFW-X. Christopher starred as Teal’c in Stargate SG-1 and has also appeared in Andromeda, Stargate Atlantis, The Mentalist, and as one of Bane’s henchmen in The Dark Knight Rises.
Joining Brian and Christopher is an author whose name is synonymous with Star Trek, but who has done so much more! We’re delighted to welcome writer and actor DAVID GERROLD along to SFW-X.
David's work is famous around the world. His novels and stories have been translated into more than a dozen languages. His TV scripts are estimated to have been seen by more than a billion viewers. His prolific output includes teleplays, film scripts, stage plays, comic books, more than 50 novels and anthologies, and hundreds of articles, columns, and short stories. He has worked on a dozen different TV series, including Star Trek, Land of the Lost, Twilight Zone, Star Trek: The Next Generation, Babylon 5, and Sliders. He is the author of Star Trek’s most popular episode: ‘The Trouble with Tribbles’.
Many of his novels are considered classics of the science fiction genre, including The Man Who Folded Himself, the ultimate time travel story, and When HARLIE Was One, considered one of the most thoughtful tales of artificial intelligence ever written. His stunning novels on ecological invasion, A Matter For Men, A Day For Damnation, A Rage For Revenge, and A Season For Slaughter, have all been best sellers with a devoted fan following. His young adult series, The Dingilliad, traces the healing journey of a troubled family from Earth to a far-flung colony on another world. His Star Wolf series of novels about the psychological nature of interstellar war are in development as a television series.
A ten-time Hugo and Nebula award nominee, David Gerrold is also a recipient of the Skylark Award for Excellence in Imaginative Fiction, the Bram Stoker Award for Superior Achievement in Horror, and the Forrest J Ackerman lifetime achievement award.
In 1995, Gerrold shared the adventure of how he adopted his son in The Martian Child, a semi-autobiographical tale of a science fiction writer who adopts a little boy, only to discover he might be a Martian. The Martian Child won the science fiction triple crown: the Hugo, the Nebula, and the Locus Poll. It was the basis for the 2007 film Martian Child starring John Cusack and Amanda Peet.
An accomplished lecturer and world-traveller, he has made appearances all over the United States, England, Europe, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. His easy-going manner and disarming humour have made him a perennial favourite with audiences.
He is currently completing the fifth book in The War Against the Chtorr series.
Alongside David, we have several other top authors along for SFW-X: Some of these we have invited back by popular demand, while for others this is their first taste of SFW.
RICHARD DINNICK is the creator and writer of the new Legendary Entertainment series Rob: Young Robin Hood. He is a TV writer with credits on shows such as Thunderbirds Are Go! (ITV/Amazon), Tree Fu Tom and Go Jetters (both BBC) as well as being Lead Writer on the Disney show Eena Meena Deeka. He writes a great many things for Doctor Who and is currently the Lead Writer on Titan’s 12th Doctor ongoing series, wrote the 2017 San Diego Comic Con special and the back-up strip for the 7th Doctor mini-series coming in June 2018 as well as something special later in the year... He has written several books for Doctor Who including Underwater War (2016), Myths & Legends (2017) and The Missy Chronicles (2018). Richard has written prose, scripts and comics for many series including Sherlock Holmes, Stargate, Sapphire & Steel and of course Doctor Who. He currently has TV, book and graphic novel projects in development in both the UK and in the USA.
PAUL FINCH is a former cop and journalist now turned best-selling crime and thriller writer, and is the author of the very popular DS Mark ‘Heck’ Heckenburg and DC Lucy Clayburn novels. Paul first cut his literary teeth penning episodes of the British TV crime drama, The Bill, and has written extensively in fantasy and science-fiction, including for Doctor Who. He has also scripted two horror movies, which went on to full production and distribution, and is editor of a series of regional horror paperbacks, the Terror Tales books. However, he is probably best known for his crime/thriller novels, specifically the Heckenburg police-actioners, of which there are seven to date, and the Clayburn procedurals, of which there are two. The first three books in the Heck line achieved official best-seller status, the second being the fastest pre-ordered title in HarperCollins history, while the first Lucy Clayburn novel made the Sunday Times Top 10 list. The Heck series alone has accrued over 2,000 5-star reviews on Amazon. Paul is a native of Wigan, Lancashire, where he still lives with his wife and business partner, Cathy
EMMA NEWMAN won the British Fantasy Society Best Short Story Award 2015 for ‘A Woman’s Place’ in the 221 Baker Streets anthology. Between Two Thorns, the first book in Emma's Split Worlds urban fantasy series, was shortlisted for the BFS Best Novel and Best Newcomer 2014 awards. Her science-fiction novel, After Atlas, was shortlisted for the 2017 Arthur C Clarke award. Emma is an audiobook narrator and also co-writes and hosts the Hugo and Alfie Award winning podcast Tea and Jeopardy which involves tea, cake, mild peril and singing chickens. Her hobbies include dressmaking and playing RPGs.
PETER NEWMAN is the author of the critically acclaimed, award-winning Vagrant Trilogy: The Vagrant, The Malice, The Seven. He sometimes pretends to be a butler for the Tea and Jeopardy podcast, which he co-writes and for which he won a Hugo Award in 2017. His first book, The Vagrant, won the David Gemmell Morningstar Award in 2016 for best fantasy debut. Peter writes for George R R Martin’s Wild Cards series and will first appear in Knaves Over Queens. He has also written for the computer game Albion Online. He lives in Somerset with his wife and son.
Cambridge graduate BRYONY PEARCE fled her ‘real London job’ in 2004 and now lives in the Forest of Dean. She is a science fiction fan, a lover of films, books and all things superhero. People are often surprised at how dark her imagination is, as she is generally pretty nice. When the children let her off taxi duty and out of the house, she enjoys doing school visits, festivals and events. Her novels include: Angel’s Fury (a multi award winning thriller about a teenage girl who has been reincarnated), The Weight of Souls (a supernatural thriller about a teenage girl who sees dead people), Phoenix Rising and Phoenix Burning (award winning dystopian adventures about pirates who sail on junk-filled seas seeking redemption), Windrunner’s Daughter (a science-fiction adventure set on Mars with a feminist message), Wavefunction (a science-fiction novel about a young man who can jump between universes) and Savage Island, (a horror novel focused on the question ‘what would you do for £1million?’). She also has short stories appearing in the anthologies Now We Are Ten by Newcon Press and Stories from the Edge.
As always, SFW isn’t just about the guests though … and although we have nothing concrete to announce at this time, the SFW team are looking forward to bringing you the usual mix of music and bands and dancing and entertainment … all with that SFW kick to liven things up. As soon as we have plans in place, then we’ll let you all know!
One special event which is taking place on the Thursday night of SFW-X is the brand new SFW AWARDS ceremony.
If you are a Royalty or a VIP RED ticketholder, then you can attend the first ever SFW Awards Ceremony where you’ll head down the red carpet into Main Void, along with the authors, actors, writers, and other industry professionals for a star studded sit down drinks party (with big, draped, round tables, 12 people to a table) where Awards will be presented in a number of categories, eight of which will have been voted by the fans. The night will be honouring those within our Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror circle for their achievements over the years ... and we’re also throwing in some special entertainment in between presentations.
But don’t worry if you’re not one of the lucky ticketholders: there will still be entertainment in the Spaceport and the SFW Screening Zone – traditionally Thursday nights are ‘quiet’, but we’ll make sure that we’re making some noise in 2019!
We’re also expecting Area51’s walkabout and amazing stage presentations; there’s the Cinema showing a variety of films all day and all night; The Imaginarium presentation on Friday night – a Cabaret of music, dance, special effects and acts to blow your socks clean off; more Authors and Artists to be announced; more Media Guests to be announced; the ‘early bird’ panels and entertainment on Thursday afternoon; SFX and costume making demos; Cosplay competition; guest DJs; Karaoke …
So join us at the end of March 2019 for the Geekfest to end all Geekfests ... SFW-X ... the tenth anniversary of the best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror (and Warriors!) event on the planet! #itsfamilybaby
SFW takes place at Camp SFW, Pwllheli, North Wales, UK on 28th – 31st March 2019. To book one of the last few remaining rooms or boarding passes either do so online at www.scifiweekender.com or ring 0207 097 1521.