A little later than we wanted … but the SFW Team and Dark Watch Tower have been hard at work reaching out and assembling the talent to make SCIFI WEEKENDER XV the best ever celebration of all things Geek! YES! Geek Camp will be rocking again in March as we bring you a spectacular line-up for both day and night to keep you on your toes…
Some of these fine people and acts we had announced before, but things change and other commitments get in the way, so this announcement comprises the FINAL lineup as of release…it could change again of course, but this is our current and best expectation…
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ABOUT THE LINE UP
SFW wouldn’t be SFW without a Doctor on standby, and we’re delighted to welcome along Fifth Doctor PETER DAVISON who joins us for the Friday Only.
Peter Davison’s television debut came in three episodes of children’s sci-fi series The Tomorrow People (ITV, 1973-9) where he played a space cowboy but his big break came with the romantic period serial Love For Lydia (ITV, 1977) before being cast as Tristram in All Creatures Great and Small (BBC, 1978-80; 1988-90). There followed two successful sitcoms, Holding the Fort (ITV, 1980-82) and Sink or Swim (BBC, 1980-82). He also hosted the children’s lunchtime storytelling show Once Upon a Time (ITV, 1979-82) and, a keen musician, he provided the theme tune to another children’s lunchtime series, Button Moon (ITV, 1980-88), and also wrote and sang the theme to the sitcom Mixed Blessings (ITV, 1978-80). Alongside the two sitcoms, he was also cast as the actor to replace Tom Baker in Doctor Who, and was the subject of This Is Your Life (ITV, 82) aged just 31.
With several high-profile roles already behind him the spectre of typecasting often associated with roles like Doctor Who seemed to avoid Peter. He next appeared in the period drama Anna of the Five Towns (BBC, 1985) and then playing Dr Stephen Daker in Andrew Davies’ satire A Very Peculiar Practice (BBC, 1986-88; 1992) this show pushed Peter from the family entertainment bracket into something edgier without damaging his bankability as a ‘TV star’, as shown by his casting as 1930s detective Campion (BBC, 1989-90).
Revivals of All Creatures Great and Small re-established his nice guy image but it was At Home With the Braithwaites (ITV, 2000-03), a drama about a family of dysfunctional lottery winners, that finally broke the mould of genial types with Peter playing the distinctly flawed and unlikeable David Braithwaite. He has since played an out-and-out villain as a stalker in Too Good To Be True (ITV, 2003), down-on-his-luck cop Dangerous Davies in The Last Detective (ITV, 2003-) and the curmudgeonly Dr Bill Shore in Distant Shores (ITV, 2005- ). Not to mention guest spots on many shows like Toast of London, Thunderbirds are Go, Good Omens and Murder They Hope. Recent shows as a regular include The Larkins and The Gold.
We are delighted to welcome the amazing MICHAEL TROUGHTON to SFW. Actor and writer Michael Troughton, son of the late Second Doctor Patrick Troughton, is best known for his roles on TV including Testament of Youth (1979), Minder (1984-89), The Heart Surgeon (1997), The New Statesman (1987-92) and the film Enigma (2001). Other notable television appearances include playing Professor Albert in the Doctor Who Christmas special ‘Last Christmas’, as well as the series Birds of a Feather, Jonathan Creek and Breathless. He has written two books about his father: Patrick Troughton: The Biography, and Smile on Your Face, chronicling Patrick’s long career through photographs and words.
More recently, Michael has taken to producing audiobooks for Amazon Audible, and voiceovers and narrations from his own studio, becoming an Audible Approved Producer. He has enjoyed working on a number of projects with Big Finish Productions, including most recently taking the role of the Second Doctor in the audio adventures.
One of the very best purveyors of horror and science fiction on both the big and small screens, top director NEIL MARSHALL joins us for SFW XV. Neil is an English film and television director, editor, producer, and screenwriter. He directed the horror films Dog Soldiers (2002) and The Descent (2005), the science fiction action film Doomsday (2008), the historical war film Centurion (2010), the superhero action film Hellboy (2019), and the adventure horror film The Reckoning (2020) and most recently The Lair (2022). Marshall has also directed numerous television series, including Lost In Space, Westworld, Hannibal, Constantine, Black Sails and two episodes of the HBO fantasy drama series Game of Thrones: ‘Blackwater’ and ‘The Watchers on the Wall’, the latter of which earned him a nomination for the Primetime Emmy Award for Outstanding Directing for a Drama Series.
We also welcome to SFW actor MARK RYAN. Mark is an English actor, author, singer, and action director. He portrayed pirate quartermaster Mr Gates in the Michael Bay/Starz production of the pirate show Black Sails, Nasir in the British TV series Robin of Sherwood, and is known for his work as Bumblebee and Lockdown for the Transformers film franchise. He has also appeared in the TV show Alias. In June 2015 Mark’s autobiography Hold Fast was published, detailing his life, in which he has combined his acting career with a secret existence as an operative of British Military Intelligence.
LEIGH GILL is best known for his role as Gary, Arthur’s co-worker in Joker. He also starred as Bobono in the HBO series Game of Thrones. An outgoing and lively personality has seen Leigh become a regular on Keith Lemon’s Celebrity Juice. Other credits include Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them, The Witcher and Scorpion Ling 4. Leigh is currently looking forwards to reprising the role of Gary on the forthcoming Joker: Folie à Deux.
We’re delighted to welcome American author PETER V BRETT as part of his UK tour promoting his current novel. Peter is the internationally bestselling author of the Demon Cycle series, which has sold more than three and a half million copies in twenty-seven languages worldwide. Novels include The Warded Man, The Desert Spear, The Daylight War, The Skull Throne, and The Core. He lives in Brooklyn. Peter joins us on the Saturday Only to meet everyone and sign copies of his books.
DARREN SHAN is also back with us. Darren’s first children’s book, Cirque du Freak, was published in January 2000. It was the beginning of The Saga of Darren Shan series, which went on to become a much-loved global phenomenon, making bestseller charts in the UK, USA (New York Times Top 10), Japan, Taiwan, Hungary, Norway, the Netherlands, Dubai and elsewhere. The first three books were adapted into a movie by Universal in 2009. Darren followed up his vampiric saga with The Demonata, which saw him enjoy similar chart success worldwide. That has been followed by three more series, The Saga of Larten Crepsley, Zom-B, and most recently Archibald Lox. He has also published a few stand-alone books for children, and there was a much translated manga adaptation of The Saga Of Darren Shan, drawn by the Japanese artist, Takahiro Arai. Darren writes novels for adults too. Some of those were released under the Darren Shan name, but now he releases his books for older readers under the pseudonym of Darren Dash.
Darren’s books are on sale in every continent, in 40 countries, in 32 languages, and have sold more than 30 million copies worldwide. The Saga Of Darren Shan, Zom-B and short novel Koyasan are all currently under option for TV or film adaptations. He lives in Ireland, with his wife and two children, where he continues to write, read and watch far too many movies and TV shows.
SARAH PINBOROUGH also joins us for the event. Sarah is a New York Times bestselling and Sunday Times number one and internationally bestselling author and screenwriter who is published in over 30 territories worldwide.
Having published more than 25 novels across various genres, her recent books include Behind Her Eyes, now a smash hit Netflix limited series, Dead To Her, now in development with Amazon Studios, and The Death House in development with Compelling Pictures.
Sarah lives with her dog Ted and is currently adapting her most recent novel Insomnia for Left Bank Pictures amongst other film and television projects.
MAXIM JAKUBOWSKI published his first book at the age of 16 and has worked for several decades in book publishing. He has written 21 novels, 5 short story collections and edited over 100 anthologies in the Sf & fantasy, erotica and crime genres.
A winner of the Karel, Anthony and Red Herrings awards, he has also featured regularly in the Sunday Times bestseller lists under a pseudonym.
He was until recently Chair of the Crime Writers’ Association and ran Crime Scene, London’s mystery film festival for 10 years while reviewing crime for Time Out and The Guardian. He once wrote a Doctor Who outline, which Douglas Adams rejected. Maxim has recently sold his noir thriller novel Just A Girl With a Gun, and this book will be launched at the event.
ELIZABETH MORTON was born and raised in Liverpool, spending much of her formative years either at convent school, or playing her piano accordion in Northern working men’s clubs. When she was 18 she trained as an actress at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama and went on to work in TV, film, and theatre. She is known for the Liverpool sitcom, Watching, playing Madeleine Bassett in the ITV series, Jeeves and Wooster, and performing in Willy Russell’s plays, including the role of Linda in the original cast of Blood Brothers in the West End.
She began writing after winning The London Writers Competition and has written plays as well as episodes of Doctors, the Radio 4 drama series Brief Lives, and CBeebies.
She was shortlisted for the Bath Short Story award in 2014, also shortlisted for the Dragon’s Pen competition, Fish Short Story Award, and in 2015 won prizes in the Exeter Short Story competition, and the Trisha Ashley Most Humorous Short Story. In 2016, she was one of six shortlisted in the CWA Marjorie Allingham award.
Recent books include The Girl from Liverpool, The Orphans from Liverpool Lane (as Eliza Morton) and, in July 2024, the paperback of The Children Left Behind (as Eliza Morton).
NOELLE HOLTEN is an award-winning blogger at www.crimebookjunkie.co.uk. She is the PR and Social Media Manager for Bookouture, a leading digital publisher in the UK, and worked as a Senior Probation Officer for eighteen years, covering a variety of risk cases as well as working in a multi-agency setting. She has three Hons BA’s – Philosophy, Sociology (Crime and Deviance) and Community Justice – and a Masters in Criminology. Noelle’s hobbies include reading, attending as many book festivals as she can afford and sharing the booklove via her blog.
Dead Inside, her debut novel with One More Chapter/Harper Collins UK is an international Kindle bestseller and the start of a series featuring DC Maggie Jamieson. 6 Ripley Avenue, a stand-alone thriller is her first standalone and is out now. A new stand alone novel is coming in Spring 2024.
BEN ALDERSON is a #1 Amazon bestselling author. His stories are set in fantasy worlds filled with magic, adventure and MM romance. Ben lives in Oxfordshire and, when not writing, can be found reading, taking Winston – his Labrador – out for long walks, or obsessing over Marvel’s The Scarlet Witch.
G N GUDGION (‘Geoff’) grew up with his nose in a book, often one featuring knights in armour. A later search for stories where women didn’t have to be either beautiful damsels or witches led him to the fantasy genre and the works of Guy Gavriel Kay and Mark Lawrence. After Geoff gave up a business career to write, it was natural to gravitate to historical fantasy, to stories with complex, conflicted characters that a reader can bleed with, cry for, and perhaps fall in love with. They live in worlds where you can smell the sweat and the sewers, as well as the roses. Geoff lives in a leafy corner of England, where he’s a keen amateur equestrian and a very bad pianist. He spends much of his time crafting words in a shed, fifty yards and five hundred years from his house.
R S MOULE (‘Roger’) lives in South London with his wife Eloise and their cat Tinks. He has a passion for writing epic fantasy grounded by human flaws and desires, set in worlds inspired by a childhood divided between his home in the soft, rolling hills of the Cotswolds and summers spent exploring the rugged coastline and deep glens of the Isle of Man. When not reading or writing, he can often be found playing guitar or watching football.
RAVEN DANE is a UK based author of dark fantasy, alternative history, steampunk novels and horror short stories. Her first books were the dark fantasy Legacy of the Dark Kind trilogy. These were followed by a High Fantasy spoof, The Unwise Woman of Fuggis Mire. Her steampunk novels are the award-winning Cyrus Darian and the Technomicron and Cyrus Darian and the Ghastly Horde. She has also had many short stories published.
In 2013, her collection of Victorian ghost stories, Absinthe and Arsenic was published and in 2015, the alternative history/supernatural novel, Death’s Dark Wings. Novellas include The Bane of Bailgate, a horror tale, and The House of Wrax, set in a chaotic, dystopian future. A lifelong Doctor Who fan, Raven was delighted to be part of the script team on a spin off film, The White Witch of Devil’s End released by Reeltime Pictures in 2017. She also contributed to the novelisation of the film. Her next work is a folk horror tale, Dwrg Stones, which will be launched at SFW XV.
Stalwart of SFW BRYONY PEARCE returns! Bryony is a multi-award-winning novelist (including the SFW best sci-fi author award) writing for readers of ages 9-12, 13-19 and adults.
For young adults she has penned a mixture of dark thrillers, paranormal adventures, science fiction and horror. Her most recent young adult novels are Cruel Castle (the sequel to the award-winning, Savage Island) and Raising Hell, an urban fantasy with a Buffy vibe. For the adult market she writes thrillers focused on missing children.
Bryony works as a consultant and mentor for Cornerstones Literary Consultancy and teaches the Writing for Childrencourse at City University. Among other events, she has performed at the Edinburgh Literary Festival, YALC (twice) and MCM Comicon (twice). She also appears regularly at the Sci Fi Weekender, her favourite place to hang out.
She currently lives in Gloucestershire and, when she isn’t working or providing a taxi service for teens, can usually be found reading, writing, drinking wine or playing the cello (badly)
And of course…
Bestselling author and award-winning screenwriter, Samantha Lee Howe, and Doctor Who historian, writer and publisher, David J Howe, will be running Author Central as usual with the help of their stalwart crew Tracey and Mick Herod.
Copies of all attending writers’ books will be available at Author Central.
As well as our amazing Author Guests, we’re also delighted to welcome to SFW two of the top artists in the UK … working across the realms of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror
Jim Burns is a contemporary British science fiction illustrator. His work mostly deals with science fiction with erotic overtones. His paintings are generally intricate photo-realistic works of beautiful women set against advanced machines and spaceships. While his preparatory sketches are more erotically focused, his final works and published book covers have a more academic tone portraying far off and imaginary worlds. Apart from book and game covers, Burns briefly worked with Ridley Scott on Blade Runner, and his illustrations and paintings comprise much of the book Mechanismoby Harry Harrison. He has also had books of his own works published, including Lightship, Planet Story (written by Harry Harrison), Transluminal, and Imago. Burns won the Hugo award for best professional artist three times and has also been awarded 12 BSFA awards.
Graham cut his teeth with the original film posters for The Evil Dead and A Nightmare On Elm Street and has gone on to create poster art and covers for a wide variety of books, events and DVD/Blu-Ray releases. He’ll have original prints and posters and books of his work for sale at the event, and will be talking horror and art at every opportunity …
As well as the immense pool of talent from Television, Film, Literature and Artwork, SFW XV features an incredible roster of evening entertainment…
LOST VOICE GUY Lee Ridley may not be able to talk but he definitely has something to say and his comedy will leave you speechless. Lee won Britain’s Got Talent in 2018 and the BBC New Comedy Award in 2014. Lee’s other credits include America’s Got Talent: The Champions (NBC), Live At The Apollo (BBC Two), The Royal Variety Performance(ITV), I Just Called To Say… (Sky Arts), Comedy Central At The Comedy Store (Comedy Central UK) and four series of Ability (BBC Radio 4). Lee went on a massive nationwide tour of the UK in 2019, performing 103 shows and selling out venues up and down the country. He’s also performed at the Edinburgh Fringe, Latitude, Comedy Central Live, Galway Comedy Festival, Brighton Fringe, Glasgow International Comedy Festival, Leicester Comedy Festival, Nottingham Comedy Festival and Liverpool Comedy Festival.
Lee’s first book, I’m Only In It For The Parking, was published in May 2019 by Transworld. Lee has told jokes/given motivational speeches for a range of charities and organisations including Sainsbury’s, Barclays and The Royal College of Nurses. He is also an ambassador for Scope as well as being a patron of Smile For Life, Find A Voice, Communication Matters and The Sequal Trust.
After GEORGE COPPEN’s triumphant comedy set at last year’s event, we’re delighted that he is back! George is an actor and comedian who appeared in the Netflix film The School For Good And Evil playing Cupid, and also in the new Willow television series. He’s a regular in Pantomime, and will be performing his stand-up on the main stage.
Another acclaimed returnee from last year is PAUL ECCENTRIC AND THE ANTI-POET. Paul is a published author, songwriter, poet and playwright who’s probably best known as being one half of the comedic beat poetry combo, The Antipoet. He has played hundreds of festivals including Glastonbury, The Edinburgh Fringe, Camp Bestival etc.
After over 40 years of writing and performing, and having several books published, Paul is now thoroughly enjoying writing in his favourite genre, that of Steampunk. His series, The Periwinkle Perspective is published by Caffeine Nights and has been very well received, with a comic series coming later this year. Volume five of the series, The Brotherhood of Man will be launched at Waterstones Milton Keynes on 8th May, 2024.
Paul lives in Aston Clinton, Bucks, with his wife, Donna, from where they run three telephone box libraries and a farm school library, whilst looking after cats; a goat; various chickens and Samantha, the very naughty Herman tortoise.
‘The Antipoet’, Paul Eccentric and Ian Newman, are comedic beat poets with a double bass and a triangle. They have become somewhat successful over the last fifteen years, tirelessly touring the poetry, comedy, Steampunk and music circuits, and appearing at countless festivals including: Glastonbury, Bestival, Camp Bestival, The Edinburgh Fringe, and Brighton.
IT’S A TRAP! A long time ago, in a galaxy far, far away… The Improvised Star Wars Show brings you the hilarious, untold, and completely unofficial tales of the Star Wars universe! Taking a title suggestion from the audience, It’s a Trap!fills in the gaps between the films, exploring old characters and inventing new ones, showing us the locations and real stories neglected by Star Wars canon. Every show is a unique chapter of Star Wars, complementing and breaking the universe in new, unexpected and ingenious ways. Truly geeky, hilarious entertainment – whether or not you’re a fan of Star Wars – this IS the show you’re looking for. Nominated for Best Improv / Music Show at Leicester Comedy Festival 2022!
THE JUNKOACTIVE WASTEMAN AND THE TIN CAN TWINS The Junkoactive Wasteman, self proclaimed junkophile. World’s 1st ever Tinphonia player. Playing chopped up samples and live breaks. Whilst working as a freelance bin man, relentlessly picking litter in the backstreets, he drowned in a barrel of toxic waste but was saved by tin cans which fused to his body. No longer a bin man, but part man, part tin can. Unbeknown to The Junkoactive Wasteman, two rival freelance bin men followed his tin can trail and fell into the very same barrel of toxic waste. In so doing, they became the mega dance duo they are today . . . ‘The Tin Can Twins’. Now outcast from polite society and rejected by those they once called friends, the tinny trio are feted to travel the wastelands. Mouth and skin now bound to the tin, the Wasteman can barely speak an understandable sentence, so is forced to communicate via the use of breakbeats and gnarly bass lines, whipping audiences into a frenzy wherever his Tinphonia contraption is brought to life!
EXPERIMENTAL SONIC MACHINES A triumphant return for SFW’s cult hero. Grab your tin foil hat and get ready to Conga. Everything used on stage is completely fully homemade. Bonkers and truly brilliant!
GRAHAM GRAHAM BECK He’s not been the same since he found SFW – the Action Man With a Giraffe’s Head has been busy working on some new material especially for SFW, so get ready to boogie to some inexplicably catchy tunes about everyday household objects … and UFOs. Graham has recently been featured on Radio 6 Music as he continues his rise through a parallel Universe of Pop
AND THE REST …
We’ve not even mentioned the annual COSPLAY COMPETITION, ADAM’S BIG FAT QUIZ (please bring pens!), PANELS and WORKSHOPS, BOARD GAMES, ROYALTY MEET N GREETS, VIP SIGNINGS, READINGS, the annual craziness of JUST A MINUTE, some FILMS and probably a lot more shenanigans yet to be confirmed …
Add to this a panoply of fun and geekiness, camaraderie, partying, cosplay, as much as you can eat and drink on tap, on site, and your very own spacepod just a stagger away, and we’re hopefully set for another amazing Weekender!
On top of all this, there’s the Thursday night SFW AWARDS for ticket holders only, a red carpet event where we give thanks and accolade to those who have entertained and entranced us over the years (but particularly in 2023), with a special evening of awards and comedy and music and singing … all with side-looks to the terror that is the alcohol!
And the theme for the Awards this time is: STEAMPUNK IT UP!! and/or ILLUMINATUM!!
So get your tickets booked, your shuttles set for March 2024, and we’ll see you all there for the best Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Festival in Europe … SFW! Science Fiction … Fantasy … Warriors!
3 Rooms left for first ones in as SFW marches closer to a complete Sell Out
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The Countdown has started, just make sure you are there to see it