The Octocon 2021 Programme is Live

Our schedule is officially live, and packed with panels, interviews, talks, workshops, fan chats, readings, games and guest chats (aka kaffeeklatsches).

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How to watch and attend:

You need to register for Octocon (for free!) and accept our code of conduct if you want to access our Discord server and any of the Zoom meetings for programme items, or join our social spaces.

Registered members will receive a link to our Discord by email. An email will also be sent with sign-up links for workshops, games and guest chats.

  • Panels and interviews (50 minutes): Streamed live to Twitch Channel One and Channel Two – no Octocon registration required.
    If you want to submit questions during the panel or interview, you will need a Twitch account.
  • Workshops (50 or 80 minutes): Live on Zoom. Sign-up required. Check your email or Discord channel #schedule for details of how to sign up.
    Find out more.
  • Talks (50 minutes): Live on Zoom. Check Discord channel #schedule for the Zoom link.
  • Fan chats (50 minutes): Live on Zoom. Check Discord channel #schedule for the Zoom link.
  • Guest chats (50 minutes): Live on Zoom. Sign-up required. Check your email or Discord channel #schedule for details of how to sign up.
  • Readings (25 minutes): Live on Zoom. Check Discord channel #schedule for the Zoom link.
  • Games (2-3 hours): Live on our Discord server. Sign-up required. Check your email or Discord channel #schedule for details of how to sign up.
    Find out more.
Octo is getting ready to enjoy Octocon on all their devices

Who’s coming to Octocon? (part 3)

Octocon loves to celebrate our home-grown Irish creators, and we have a very fantastic bunch to show off, many of them regular Octocon panellists and guests.

Ruth Frances Long / Jessica Thorne

Ruth Frances Long / Jessica Thorne

Ruth Frances Long writes young adult fantasy, often about scary fairies. She works in a specialized library of rare & occasionally crazy books.

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.

As Jessica Thorne she writes Fantasy, Space Opera and other fantastic tales, including The Lost Girls of Foxfield Hall, 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. Her latest novel, The Bookbinder’s Daughter will be available on the 20th September from Bookouture.

Web: www.rflong.com | Twitter: @RFLong and @JessThorneBooks | Facebook: R. F. Long and Jessica Thorne Author | Instagram: @RuthFrancesLong and @JessThorneBooks

Peadar Ó Guilín

Peadar Ó Guilín

Irish writer Peadar Ó Guilín is the author of the YA novel, The Call, inspired by the beautiful northwest of Ireland where he grew up. The Invasion, a sequel to The Call and the end of the duology, was published in March 2018 and was a finallist for the 2019 Lodestar Award for Best Young Adult Book, awarded at Dublin 2019, an Irish Worldcon.
In September 2007, Peadar published his first novel, The Inferior, which the Times Educational Supplement called ‘a stark, dark tale, written with great energy and confidence and some arresting reflections on human nature.’ Foreign editors liked it too, and over the coming year it is to be translated into eight languages, including Japanese and Korean.
His fantasy and SF short stories have appeared in numerous venues, including Black Gate magazine and an anthology celebrating the best of the iconic Weird Tales.

Twitter: @TheCallYA

Oisín McGann

Oisín McGann was born in Dublin and spent his childhood there and in Drogheda, County Louth. He studied at Ballyfermot Senior College and Dun Laoghaire School of Art and Design, and went on to work in illustration, design and film animation, later moving to London to work as an art director and copy writer in advertising.
He has since become one of Ireland’s most prolific and best-known writer-illustrators, and has produced dozens of books for all levels of reader, including twelve novels. He is the author of the Mad Grandad books, Headbomz: Wreckin’ Your Head (in association with the ISPCC), and novels such as Race the Atlantic Wind, The Gods and Their Machines and The Wildenstern Saga. His latest books are We Want Our Park Back, a picture book for Green-Schools, and A Short, Hopeful Guide to Climate Change, a non-fiction book in association with Friends of the Earth, released in May 2021. He is the illustrator of Jason Byrne’s Onion O’Brien series, the latest of which is The Secret Scientist.
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. He is married with three children, two dogs and a cat, and lives somewhere in the Irish countryside, where he won’t be heard shouting at his computer.

Twitter: @OisinMcGann | Instagram: @oisinmcgann

Jack Fennell

Jack Fennell is a writer, anthologist and editor from Limerick. He has published academic studies on Irish science fiction and horror fiction, and he is the editor of the science fiction anthology A Brilliant Void (2018) and the fantasy anthology It Rose Up (2021). He also publishes short fiction, as himself and also under the name Jack Deel. He teaches at the University of Limerick.

Twitter: @JFennellAuthor

Tríona Farrell

Tríona Farrell

Tríona is an Irish comic book colourist who has worked on titles such as Crowed, Black Widow, Spider-Man and Terminator and currently lives in Dublin with her partner and her cats.

Twitter: @treestumped

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Who’s coming to Octocon? (part 2)

Since Octocon is online again for a second year, we’re taking advantage of being able to have programme participants who haven’t been able to make it to an Octocon before – from all over the world, too, from Scotland to Australia, and Brazil by way of Italy!

We sincerely hope we’ll be able to welcome them all to a future in-person Octocon too…

Darren Shan

Darren Shan

Darren Shan was born in London but has spent most of his life in Limerick in Ireland, where he lives with his wife and children. He has published 57 books for both children and adults, and has sold over 30 million books worldwide, making bestseller charts in the USA, the UK, Ireland, Hungary, Dubai, Japan, Taiwan and elsewhere. He is currently writing the Archibald Lox fantasy series, of which six books have already been published, with the final three due to see print in 2022.

Website: darrenshan.com/ | Twitter: @darrenshan | Facebook: darrenshanverified

Check out Darren’s own news post about his Octocon appearance.

Aliette de Bodard

Aliette de Bodard
Picture by Aliette de Bodard & Francesca Myman

Aliette de Bodard lives and works in Paris. She has won three Nebula Awards, a Locus Award, a British Fantasy Award and four British Science Fiction Association Awards. She was a double Hugo finalist for 2019 (Best Series and Best Novella).
Her most recent book is Fireheart Tiger (Tor.com), a sapphic romantic fantasy inspired by pre colonial Vietnam, where a diplomat princess must decide the fate of her country, and her own. She also wrote Seven of Infinities (Subterranean Press), a space opera where a sentient spaceship and an upright scholar join forces to investigate a murder, and find themselves falling for each other. Other books include Of Dragons, Feasts and Murders, (JABberwocky Literary Agency, Inc.), a fantasy of manners and murders set in an alternate 19th Century Vietnamese court.
Her space opera books include The Tea Master and the Detective (2018 Nebula Award winner, 2018 British Fantasy Award winner, 2019 Hugo Award finalist). Her short story collection Of Wars, and Memories, and Starlight is out from Subterranean Press.

Web: www.aliettedebodard.com | Twitter: @aliettedb | Instagram: @aliettedb

Amie Kaufman

Amie Kaufman

Amie Kaufman is a New York Times, USA Today and internationally bestselling author of science fiction and fantasy. Her multi-award winning work has been translated into nearly thirty languages, and has been described as “a game-changer” (Shelf Awareness), “stylistically mesmerising” (Publishers Weekly) and “out-of-this-world awesome” (Kirkus). Several of her series are currently in development for film and TV. Raised in Australia and occasionally Ireland, Amie has degrees in history, literature, law and conflict resolution, and is currently undertaking a PhD in Creative Writing. She is the host of the podcast Amie Kaufman on Writing. Amie lives by the sea in Melbourne, Australia with her husband, daughter, and rescue dog, and an extremely large personal library.

Twitter: @amiekaufman | Instagram: @amiekaufmanauthor

Laura (El) Lam

Laura Lam
Picture by Lawrie Photography

Originally from sunny California, Laura Lam now lives in cloudy Scotland. Lam is a Sunday Times Bestselling author whose work includes the near-future space thriller, Goldilocks, feminist space opera Seven Devils (co-written with Elizabeth May), BBC Radio 2 Book Club section False Hearts, the companion novel Shattered Minds, and the award-winning Micah Grey series: PantomimeShadowplay, and Masquerade. Lam’s short fiction and essays have appeared in anthologies such as Nasty WomenSolaris Rising 3, Cranky Ladies of HistoryScotland in Space, and more. Lam’s romance alter ego is Laura Ambrose. Lam lectures part-time at Edinburgh Napier University on the Creative Writing MA.

Web: www.lauralam.co.uk | Twitter: @LR_Lam

Fabio Fernandes

Fabio Fernandes

Fabio Fernandes is a Brazilian writer currently based in Italy. He has published several books, among which the novels Os Dias da Peste and Back in the USSR (in Portuguese) and the collection L’Imitatore (in Italian). Also a translator, he is responsible for the translation to
Brazilian Portuguese of several SF novels, including Neuromancer and A Clockwork Orange. His short stories have been published online in Brazil, Portugal, Romania, the UK, New Zealand, and USA, and also in Ann and Jeff VanderMeer’s Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded, The Apex Book of World SF, Vol 2, Stories for Chip. Co-edited (with Djibril al-Ayad) the postcon anthology We See a Different Frontier, and, with Francesco Verso, the anthology Solarpunk – Come ho imparato ad amare il futuro (How I learned to love the future). Graduate of Clarion West, class of 2013. Formerly slush reader for Hugo Award-winner Clarkesworld Magazine. His first book in English, the collection Love. An Archaeology, was published in March by Luna Press Publishing. A steampunk novella, Under Pressure, will be published by NewCon Press later this year, and a weird SF novel, Love Will Tear Us Apart (in Portuguese) will be published by Uboro Lopes Editora in 2022.

Twitter: @fabiofernandes

Francesco Verso

Francesco Verso

Francesco Verso is a multiple-award Science Fiction writer and editor.
He has published: Antidoti umanie-DollNexhumanBloodbusters and I camminatori (made of The Pulldogs and No/Mad/Land).  Nexhuman and Bloodbusters – translated in English by Sally McCorry – have been published in the US by Apex Books, in the UK by Luna press and in China by Bofeng. He also works as editor of Future Fiction, a multicultural project, dedicated to scouting and publishing the best SF in translation from the World, from more than 30 countries and 11 languages with authors like Ian McDonald, Ken Liu, Liu Cixin, Vandana Singh, Xia Jia, Carme Torras, Olivier Paquet and others.& From 2019 he’s the Honorary Director of the Fishing Fortress SF Academy of Chongqing (China). In 2020 he co-organized the FutureCon, an online convention with more than 65 guests coming from 20 different countries.

Twitter: @Francesco_Verso

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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

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