Preview: Spotlight on Our Panels

We’ve got an absolutely packed programme of panels, showing on not one but TWO Twitch channels simultaneously! (Thank you to all our Twitch streamers/producers – we couldn’t have put this programme together without you.)
Here are some of the programme team’s favourites.
(All times in Irish Summer Time / UTC+1.)

We’re in This Together Now: The Importance of Found Families

A gang of mismatched teens fighting supernatural horrors. A close-knit spaceship crew. Superheroes (and sometimes villains too) banding together against a common enemy. Whether they’re hurtling around the universe or crossing forests and mountains on a quest together, the bonds built between companions and crew can be tighter than those between blood relatives. What do the found families we enjoy say about the relationships we find ourselves in and the things we create together in fandom?
Catherine Sharp (moderator), Dan Abnett, Nik Vincent-Abnett, Amie Kaufman
Saturday 2nd October 11:00 – watch on Twitch Channel One

Grand Designs: The Big House and the Small Tombs of Gothic Fiction

The sinister castle or big house has been a staple of Gothic fiction since Horace Walpole launched the genre with The Castle of Otranto in 1764, continuing through the last two centuries, with abandoned spaceships playing a similar role in science fiction, the castles or castle-analogues almost becoming characters in the story. What do these once-grand but now decrepit mansions and their gardens signify? And what makes for a particularly memorable stay?
Samuel Poots (moderator), Maura McHugh, Ruth Frances Long / Jessica Thorne, Clare Foley, Ian Moore
Saturday 2nd October 12:00 – watch on Twitch Channel Two

African Science Fiction: Reclaiming Our Voices

When someone mentions Black science fiction, they are often thinking of Anglophone African-American and Black British writers. However, there has been an explosion of new writers from the African continent who are beginning to reclaim their voices and histories from colonial cultural damage. Our panel discusses the identities and traditions that contribute to the new wave of African science fiction
Joseph Elliott-Coleman (moderator), Tobi Ogundiran, Yvette Lisa Ndlovu, Dilman Dila
Saturday 2nd October 18:00 – watch on Twitch Channel One

Crime Narratives in Other Worlds

Murder. Blackmail. Theft. Fraud. Even in far and future worlds, we can’t escape them or the institutions that police and punish them. Why are crime narratives central to so many science fiction and fantasy stories, and what makes them different to the crime tales set in the world we see around us?
Jack Fennell (moderator), Aliette de Bodard, Michael Carroll, Christopher J Garcia
Sunday 3rd October 12:00 – watch on Twitch Channel One

Howling Laughter: The Intersection of Comedy and Horror

Why is screaming so close to laughing, surprise so close to shock? Why does comedy so often fill the gaps in tales of horror? From ‘Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein’ through ‘Scream’ to ‘Happy Death Day’, these two great flavours of entertainment prove to be a winning combination time and time again. Are the audiences just here to see the juggling of the opposing forces of fear and joy, or is there a deeper truth to be found in how we deal with subjects too terrifying for the rational mind?
Robert JE Simpson (moderator), RB Kelly, Kim Newman, Anthea West, Dilman Dila
Sunday 3rd October 13:00 – watch on Twitch Channel Two

See our full programme
and find out more about our 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: | 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

Web: | 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