Who’s coming to Octocon? (part 1)

Octo has been hard at work on social media, announcing some of the wonderful writers, artists and creatives who will be appearing at Octocon this year!

We’re particularly delighted to welcome back some of our previous Guests of Honour.

Kim Newman (GoH 1995)

Kim Newman is a movie critic, author and broadcaster.  He is a contributing editor to Sight & Sound and Empire magazines.  His books about film include Nightmare Movies, Millennium MoviesKim Newman’s Video Dungeon and BFI Classics studies of Cat PeopleDoctor Who and Quatermass and the Pit.  His fiction includes the Anno Dracula series, Life’s LotteryProfessor Moriarty: The Hound of the D’UrbervillesAn English Ghost StoryThe Secrets of Drearcliff Grange School and Angels of Music.  His comics include Witchfinder: The Mysteries of Unland and Anno Dracula Seven Days in Mayhem.  As ‘Jack Yeovil’, he wrote the Vampire Genevieve and Dark Future novels for Games Workshop.  His next novel is Something More Than Night (Titan Books).  He has written for television (Mark Kermode’s Secrets of Cinema), radio (Afternoon Theatre: Cry-Babies) and the theatre (The Hallowe’en Sessions), and directed a tiny film (Missing Girl). 

Web: www.johnnyalucard.com | Twitter: @AnnoDracula

Maura McHugh (GoH 2015)

Maura McHugh

Maura McHugh lives in Galway and has written three collections: Twisted Fairy Tales and Twisted Myths – published in the USA – and The Boughs Withered (When I Told Them My Dreams) from NewCon Press in England (which was nominated for a British Fantasy Award for Best Collection). Her science fiction rom-com radio play, The Love of Small Appliances, broadcast in June 2019, is available online. She’s written comic books for Dark Horse, IDW, and 2000 AD, and her monograph about David Lynch’s iconic film, Twin Peaks: Fire Walk With Me, was nominated for a British Fantasy Award for Best Non Fiction. She walks and dreams in the woods often.

Twitter: @splinister | Instagram: @splinister

Dan Abnett (GoH 2017)

Dan Abnett

Dan Abnett is a multiple New York Times bestselling author and an award-winning comic book writer. He has written over fifty novels, including the acclaimed Gaunt’s Ghosts series, the Inquisitor Eisenhorn Cycle, and volumes of the million-selling Horus Heresy series. His many other novels include The Silent Stars Go By (Doctor Who), Rocket Raccoon and Groot: Steal the Galaxy, Triumff, and Embedded. In comics, his 2008 run on The Guardians of the Galaxy for Marvel formed the inspiration for the blockbuster movies. He is also noted for significant work on DC’s Legion of Superheroes and Aquaman and, for the Vertigo imprint, The New Deadwardians. A regular contributor to the UK’s long-running 2000AD, he is the creator of series including Brink, Grey Area, Feral and Foe, Lawless, Kingdom and the classic Sinister Dexter. He has also written extensively for the games industry, including Shadow of Mordor and Alien:Isolation. Dan lives and works in Maidstone, Kent, in the UK.

Nik Vincent-Abnett (GoH 2017)

Nik Vincent-Abnett

Nik Vincent-Abnett began working as a freelance editor, but has published work in a number of mediums, including advertising, training manuals, comics and short stories. She has worked as a ghost writer, and has collaborated with her partner, Dan Abnett, writing novels, and in the games industry. Nik’s latest solo, independent novel, The Wipe, was published by NewCon Press in the spring. She lives and works in Maidstone, Kent, where she cooks and decorates, and throws pots.

Michael Carroll (GoH 2020 & 2022)

Michael Carroll

Michael Carroll is the author of over forty books, including the award-winning New Heroes series of Young Adult superhero novels and the #1 Amazon best-selling cult graphic novel Judge Dredd: Every Empire Falls. He currently writes Judge Dredd, Proteus Vex, Mayflies and Dreadnoughts for 2000AD and Judge Dredd Megazine. Other works include Jennifer Blood for Dynamite Entertainment, Razorjack for Titan Books (co-written with artist John Higgins), and the Rico Dredd trilogy for Abaddon Books, for whom he has also created the acclaimed Judges series.

Check out his website at www.michaelowencarroll.com and/or his acclaimed comics blog Rusty Staples at michaelowencarroll.wordpress.com

View more programme participants

Octocon Presents: Turning Roads – an Irish Folklore Comics Anthology

Octocon is delighted to announce that our August Octocon Presents will focus on the recent successful Kickstarter of the comics anthology Turning Roads, on Wednesday August 25th at 8pm (UTC+1).

Many Irish myths and legends have been retold through the lens of science fiction and fantasy, and this year’s successfully Kickstarted comics anthology, Turning Roads, brought together writers and artists from all over Ireland and beyond to add their own modern perspectives. What decisions did its creators make when selecting their stories and styles, and how did they choose their collaborators?

Watch live on our Twitch channel OctoconIRL.

Meet our panel

Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll

Paul Carroll is a writer and comic creator from Dublin. His work primarily focuses on the extraordinary, be that through magic, science or just downright chaotic. He is a founding member of both Limit Break Comics and Cupán Fae, Dublin-based creative groups.
His obsessions include tea, foxes and spreadsheets.

Web: paulcarrollwriter.com | Twitter: @writeranonymous | Instagram: pcarrollwriter | Facebook: paulcarrollwriter

Clare Foley

Clare Foley

Clare Foley is a Dublin-based illustrator and comic creator, using traditional watercolour techniques and hand lettering. She released her first comic, ‘La Grande Breteche’ in 2016, followed by ‘Frozen Waste’ (written by Aaron Fever) in 2017, and the ‘Blood Runs Cold’ anthology in 2018 (featuring stories written by Paul Carroll, Gary Moloney, JP Jordan, PJ Holden, and lettered by Paul Carroll, Kevin Keane and Hassan Otsmane-Elhaou).
She has worked on a number of collaborative projects including with Linen Hall Library & PRONI, and Alliance Francaise. She is a member of Rogue Comics Ireland, and a founding member of IrishComics.ie.

Web: clarefoleyart.com | Twitter: @clarefoleyart | Instagram: clare.foley93 | Etsy: ClareFoleyArtist

Leeann Hamilton

Leeann Hamilton

A freelance artist and illustrator of your ideas.

Twitter: @peannlui | Instagram: peannlui | Youtube: peannlui

Gary Moloney

Gary Moloney

Gary Moloney is a lawyer by day and vigilante writer by night from Cork, Ireland, known mainly for his work in comics. His debut anthology, Mixtape, was named Best Irish Anthology by ICN in 2018. He enjoys windsurfing and arguing with Chaz, his aging King Charles Spaniel.

Twitter: @m_gearoid

Catherine Sharp (moderator)

Technical writer by day, fiction writer by night, and always a passionate lover of SF and fantasy (and cake, caffeine and kittens), Catherine’s first Octocon was in 2012. In 2013 she offered herself up on the Octocon altar of volunteering and moderation, and hasn’t looked back. She’s much less terrified this year to be in charge of programme for the second online Octocon.

Twitter: @CSharpWords

Octocon Presents: Bag of Tropes – Writing for Tabletop RPGs

As part of our Octocon Presents series of events in the run-up to our virtual event in October, we’re proud to present Bag of Tropes – Writing for Tabletop RPGs, on Wednesday July 28th at 8pm (UTC+1).

Roleplaying games provided comfort, escapism and social contact for many of us during the pandemic – if we couldn’t party together in person, then at least we could carouse virtually across a landscape built from imagination. But who crafts the signposts and the places they point to and how do they create the mechanics that keep the system rolling?

Watch live on our Twitch channel OctoconIRL.

Roleplaying Octo
Octo really likes to get into character when they’re roleplaying!

Meet our panel

Gareth Hanrahan

Gareth Hanrahan

Gareth Hanrahan’s a writer and game designer based in Cork. He’s written more gaming books than he can readily recall, by virtue of the alchemical transformation of tea and guilt into words.
Web: garhanrahan.com | Twitter: @mytholder

Elaine Lithgow

Elaine Lithgow

Elaine Lithgow is a Line Developer at Cubicle 7, currently working on the Warhammer: Age of Sigmar and Warhammer: 40,000 tabletop roleplaying licences from Games Workshop. She studied Games Design and Production management at university, and has since worked on video games, board games and now tabletop games. She loves writing epic adventures with larger than life characters, as well as the odd foray into the murky waters of grimdark and horror. When she isn’t writing, she can be found delving into digital dungeons or consuming fiction at a frankly alarming rate, all in the name of ‘research’.
Facebook: Cubicle7Entertainment | Twitter: @cubicle7 | Instagram: cubicle7

Paddy Finn

Paddy Finn

Paddy Finn is a writer and founder of Penny Dragon Games, an imprint of Starcane Press. He and his team publish a small mountain of TTRPG content but are probably best known for Mag of Holding, a quarterly supplement for Dungeons & Dragons 5e. When not writing or running games, Paddy can be found at the nearest caffeine dispensary or hanging out with fellow gamers in the growing Penny Dragon Games Discord community.

Gerry Mc Evoy

Gerry Mc Evoy

Gerry Mc Evoy is a National Game Writer Award Winner and the European admin for the Vintage Role Playing Games group (not OSR affiliated), and runs the Irish conventions listing site Cons.ie, He also writes Sci-fi and Fantasy, runs a near daily Interactive Fiction game on Twitter (@legendgerry) and is a former world martial arts champion. He’s the sort of guy who reads the Mountains of Madness campaign, thinks what this needs is the cast of Muppets Treasure Island and then actually writes it. (Best Scenario Warpcon 2020)
The funny part about this bio is people are going to chide him about the other things he does that he’s neglected to mention.

Janet O’Sullivan (moderator)

Janet O'Sullivan

Janet read much too much, much too young and never stopped. She has been involved with running gamer and SciFi events for over a decade, as they are a way to bring joy to her communities. When she is not doing that, she works as a communications expert and is a human rights activist.
Twitter: @sharrow_irl

Join us in 2021

Octocon 2021 is once again online and you can watch our panels on Twitch and attend other programme items via Discord and Zoom, all for free.

To access anything other than our Twitch stream, you will need to register (for free). When registering, you can optionally give separate donations:

  • to Octocon, to help us cover our costs
  • to our 2021 charity partner BeLonG To

You’ll also be able to donate during the convention if you just want to register at the moment.

REGISTER NOW

Octo holding a programme booklet and convention badge
Octo is looking forward to the 2021 convention

If you have ideas about what should be on the Octocon 2021 programme or you’re interested in taking part, get in touch!
Going online again this year creates lots of new opportunities and we’re especially interested in hearing from people who may never have attended an Octocon before.
Contact us via Google Form (preferred) or email.

Octocon Presents: We Can Change Faster Than the Climate Can, with Oisín McGann

As part of our Octocon Presents series of events in the run-up to our virtual event in October, we’re proud to present We Can Change Faster Than the Climate Can, on June 8th at 7:30pm (UTC+1). The event will feature a reading by Oisín McGann from his new non-fiction book ‘A Short, Hopeful Guide to Climate Change’, followed by an interview conducted by Daniella Bella.

Watch live on our Twitch channel OctoconIRL.

What is Climate Change? How can it be stopped? And what can you do to help the fight? Oisín McGann explains Climate Change science and encourages readers to be a part of positive change by getting involved in the global movement to fight humanity’s biggest challenge.

About Oisín McGann

Oisín McGann is one of Ireland’s most prolific and best-known writer-illustrators, producing books for all ages of reader. He is the author of the Mad Grandad books, Headbomz: Wreckin’ Your Head, and novels such as Race the Atlantic Wind, The Gods and Their Machines and The Wildenstern Saga.

He is a winner of the European Science Fiction Society Award, CBI’s Children’s Choice Award and has been shortlisted for numerous other awards, including the Waterstones Childrens’ Book Prize in the UK, le Grand Prix de l’Imaginaire in France and Locus Magazine’s Best First Novel Award in the US.

You can find out more about Oisín McGann via the social media links below, and don’t forget to join us on Twitch at 7:30pm (UTC+1) on Tuesday 8th June for our Octocon Presents event.

Our Survey Says…

Octocon Presents is hosting a panel quiz during Pride Month in June, and we’d like you to answer the following questions!

Complete our survey here!

Don’t think too hard, just put down the first thing that comes to mind, and feel free to skip questions if it’s taking too long to think of an answer. Your answers to the survey will be used to determine the correct answers for the actual quiz – think Family Fortunes.

Octocon Presents: An Evening with Jessica Thorne

Octocon is delighted to run a series of events in the run-up to our virtual convention in October. The first of these is An Evening with Jessica Thorne (Ruth Frances Long) taking place on Friday 23rd April at 8pm IST, featuring a reading from her most recent book, The Lost Girls of Foxfield Hall, followed by an interview and Q&A session.

Watch live on our Twitch channel OctoconIRL.

The Lost Girls of Foxfield Hall blends time travel, folklore and Arthurian legend, along with romances both in World War Two and the modern day, in a spine-chilling magical mystery.

This is the cover of the book The Lost Girls of Foxfield Hall by Jessica Thorne

Jessica Thorne writes fantasy, space opera and other fantastic tales, including The Queen’s Wing, Mageborn and Nightborn. The Stone’s Heart was nominated for the Romantic Novelists’ Association Romantic Fantasy novel of the year in 2020.

As Ruth Frances Long, she writes young adult fantasy, often about scary fairies. In 2015 she won the European Science Fiction Society Spirit of Dedication Award for Best Author of Children’s Science Fiction and Fantasy for A Crack in Everything.

When she’s not writing, she works in a specialized library of rare & occasionally crazy books.

Image of the author Jessica Thorne (Ruth Frances Long)

You can find out more about Jessica Thorne and Ruth Frances Long via the social media links below, and don’t forget to join us on Twitch at 8pm on Friday 23rd April for our first Octocon Presents event.

Octocon goes virtual again for 2021

Octo holding various devices with a caption of Octocon is going virtual again!

A message from our chair:

The committee and I had very much hoped that we would be able to host an in-person convention this year. Unfortunately government guidelines and ongoing restrictions on numbers at large gatherings make it impossible for us to plan an event at our chosen venue this year, and we have decided to go virtual once more for 2021.

Octocon 2021 will take place from Friday 1st to Sunday 3rd October 2021, using much of the same technology as our successful 2020 convention. We’re already in the middle of planning some exciting new programming for you!

If you have a membership for 2021, you should have received an email from us already. As with last year, your membership will be automatically rolled over to our next physical convention in 2022 – effectively giving you the early bird rate! 

However, you are very welcome to request a refund for your membership – please contact members@octocon.com. We aim to process refunds within two weeks. Please note there will be a cut-off date for refunds but it will be closer to the convention and we will give you ample notice.

Keep an eye on our social media and website for more information.