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Monday, April 15, 2024

Sci-Fi Weekender XV

The annual geek camp festival Sci-Fi Weekender (SFW), sometimes referred to as ‘Space Butlins’, will be celebrating its fifteenth anniversary next month.

SFW wouldn’t be SFW without The Doctor, and this year Peter Davison will be attending on the Friday.  First appearing in the TV series The Tomorrow People, Davison rose to fame as Tristram in All Creatures Great and Small.  Davison later cemented his legacy when he replaced Tom Baker as The Doctor in Doctor Who.

A first for Sci-Fi Weekender will be the acclaimed horror and science fiction director and screenwriter Neil Marshall.  His debut film Dog Soldiers was a critical success and he quickly followed up with The Descent, Doomsday and many other films.  He also moved into television to direct episodes of Westworld, Constantine and two episodes of Game of Thrones (Blackwater and The Watchers on the Wall).

Mark Ryan will be another special guest. He portrayed pirate quartermaster Mr Gates in Black Sails and Nasir in Robin of Sherwood, and provided the voices of Bumblebee and Lockdown in the Transformers films.  Prior to his acting career, Ryan was an operative for British Military Intelligence.

Others actors appearing include Michael Troughton, son of the late Patrick Troughton (the second Doctor), who has worked on numerous iterations of Doctor Who, and Leigh Gill, who played Gary in Joker and starred as Bobono in Game of Thrones.

There will also be an abundance of authors at SFW, including the internationally bestselling author Peter V Brett of the Demon Cycle series.  Brett will be appearing on Saturday as part of his UK tour promoting his latest novel, The Hidden Queen. Brett’s novels include The Warded Man, The Desert Spear and The Daylight War.

Darren Shan will be making a welcome return.  Darren’s first book, Cirque du Freak, published in 2000, was followed by The Saga of Darren Shan series, which became a global phenomenon. Shan followed up his vampiric saga with The Demonata and The Saga of Larten Crepsley.

New York Times bestselling and Sunday Times number one author Sarah Pinborough joins SFW for the event.  Having published more than 25 novels across multiple genres, her recent books include Behind Her Eyes, Dead To Her and The Death House.

SFW’s ‘strip club’ promises some fantastic artists this year.  Theartist Clint Langley is best known for his work on 2000 AD, especially Slaine and ABC Warriors.  Langley was also the cover artist for Guardians of the Galaxy and has provided art for role-playing games and collectible cards.

The artist Graham Humphreys is also appearing.  Humphreys rose to fame as the artist of the original film posters for The Evil Dead and A Nightmare On Elm Street.  He has gone on to create poster art and covers for a variety of books and films, and will have original prints and books of his work at the event.

Also returning to SFW will be the much-missed board games room, hosted by a team of experienced demonstrators and game hosts.  There will be fast and fun games like Dobble and Just One, as well as a couple of large group games, such as Blood on the Clocktower, and a few mid-weight games like Ticket to Ride and Carcassonne.

Unlike other conventions, SFW continues the party into the night.  This year’s performances have a distinctly steampunk theme, with Professor Elemental returning, as well as the queen of chaphop herself Madam MisfitPaul Eccentric and the Antipoet will also be performing, as well as comedian George Coppen.

The nighttime entertainment will be brought to a climax by the comic con DJ Levelup Leroy, who will be rocking out with his geek-themed playlists.

Peter Ray Allison
Peter Ray Allisonhttp://www.peterallison.net
Science Fiction: the final frontier. These are the articles of the freelance journalist Peter Ray Allison. His continuing mission: to explore strange new realms of fiction, to seek out new genres and new visions of the future, to boldly geek where no one has geeked before.

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