TitanCon presents EuroCon 2019
Dublin WorldCon 2019 Logo

TitanCon 2019 Guests of Honour

TitanCon 2019 - The Eurocon is delighted to announce our first Guest of Honour - none other than the one and only...

...George R. R. Martin!

George was instrumental in TitanCon's creation, as you can read about in our TitanCon History page, and appeared at our first pre-con Moot. So it is only fitting that he returns to Belfast to see our take on EuroCon!

We are grateful to the Comic Book Guys for giving us the opportunity to host our Comics Guest of Honour: James Roberts!

We are also proud to present our, for the first time ever, Toastmutant!

Pat Cadigan and Peadar Ó Guilín have agreed to achieve some sort of symbiosis and appear as our Toastmutant - as if there was ever any doubt that we wanted, nay needed, them both? We hope it wont be too messy! We know they are going to be wonderful hosts, and Pat will turn the party out, whilst minding Peadar and helping him curb his cannibalistic tendencies.

Guest of Honour: George R. R. Martin

George R. R. Martin

George R. R. Martin

TitanCon’s Guest of Honour this year will be science fiction, fantasy and horror writer George R.R. Martin, a resident of Santa Fe, New Mexico. Born in 1948 in New Jersey, George began his writing career in comics, writing letters to the Stan Lee-written Fantastic Four and Avengers in the mid-1960s before attending the very first New York Comic-Con and writing his own stories for friends in the fan community (including an early story about “Barristan the Bold, Scourge of the Dothrak Empire”, which George filed away for later use).

George started writing prose short fiction in 1968 and sold his first story, “The Hero”, in 1971. Throughout the 1970s he built up a huge amount of critical acclaim and won multiple awards for character-focused science fiction stories like “A Song for Lya”, “The Way of Cross and Dragon” and “Sandkings”.

In 1979 he published “Nightflyers”, a moody story mixing science fiction and horror. It has been adapted for the screen twice, as a 1987 movie and a brand-new TV series on SyFy which began airing in 2018.

In 1977 George published his first novel, Dying of the Light, an elegant and bittersweet story about love and loss on a remote, wandering planet drifting away from its star. He followed that up in 1981 with Windhaven, a collaboration with Lisa Tuttle set on a world that had regressed from an SF society to more of a medieval one (and featuring locations such as the Iron Islands, another name that would be recycled for future use).

Dying of the Light

In 1982 Martin released Fevre Dream, an Antebellum vampire novel he described as “Mark Twain meets Bram Stoker.” It marked a shift in Martin’s writing away from mostly SF to horror. One of film-maker Guillermo Del Toro’s favourite novels, it was George’s first major sales success. His subsequent novel, the rock and roll horror epic The Armageddon Rag, was less successful and for a time George found it hard to sell novels to publishers until the publication of Tuf Voyaging in 1987.

However, George’s career was saved by an unexpected change in direction. He was recruited by Harlan Ellison to work on the mid-1980s TV reboot of The Twilight Zone and moved to Hollywood to develop more projects there. He worked on The Twilight Zone for a year followed by a three-year stint working on the urban fantasy drama Beauty and the Beast, starring Ron Perlman and Linda Hamilton.

At the same time, a superhero roleplaying game he’d been playing with fellow authors (including Walter Jon Williams and Melinda Snodgrass) had given rise to a shared world short story series, which became known as Wild Cards.

Set in a parallel timeline, Wild Cards begins in 1946 when a criminal mastermind releases an alien virus over New York City. 90% of the people infected die, 9% turn into deformed mutants (“Jokers”) and 1% gain amazing, superheroic abilities (“Aces”). The story skips forward to the present day where the presence of Jokers and Aces, not to mention the existence of aliens, is common knowledge. The stories explore the differences between this timeline and our own, and universal themes of bigotry, alienation and inequality. The Wild Cards series has continued ever since, with the 27th volume, Texas Hold ‘Em, released in 2018 and more volumes planned. A Wild Cards TV series is also in development by Hulu.

Moot 1 photo

Photo from Belfast Moot 1 2009 taken by Adam
Whitehead. See more over at The Wertzone!

In 1991 George decided to retire from Hollywood, bored of writing scripts that were never produced, and started work on a new science fiction novel. It was going well, but he was unexpectedly struck by the vivid image of a young boy being taken to watch his father execute a criminal. The image was so powerful that he felt he had to write the story of what was going on. Five years later this had turned into a massive fantasy novel, and the book that would change George’s life. A Game of Thrones, the first volume of the series A Song of Ice and Fire, was published to immediate critical acclaim in 1996. A gamechanger in the epic fantasy field, the novel was praised for its vivid, convincing characters and its darker and more adult take on the genre. George has since published four additional volumes in the sequence, with two more planned. His most recent book related to the series is Fire and Blood, a book of “imaginary history” about the Targaryen family.

In 2009 the American cable network HBO started filming a pilot episode based on the books, under the title Game of Thrones. During the filming of that pilot, a group of fans came together with George and actors from the TV show to celebrate the start of a very special journey. That gathering was the genesis of TitanCon, which started with two “fan moots” in 2009 and 2010. The TV show started airing in 2011, which is also when the first TitanCon proper took place. Since then the TV series has broken records for international acclaim and viewership (and piracy!), winning multiple Emmy Awards and turning its actors into some of the biggest stars on TV. Game of Thrones will return to our screens in April 2019 to air its eighth and final season, but HBO are also developing a prequel spin-off series.

We are very pleased to welcome back George R.R. Martin to Belfast for TitanCon 2019, a convention which began as a fan event for his books and the TV show but has grown to celebrate the science fiction and fantasy genres in all of its forms.

Comics Guest of Honour: James Roberts

James Roberts

James Roberts

Guernsey author James is well known for his game-changing eight years writing IDW's Transformers comics. In Last Stand of the Wreckers, More Than Meets The Eye, and Lost Light he has attracted cult audiences and critical acclaim. Labyrinthian SF structures are explored through character identity politics: in labour, crime and punishment, gender and relationships, and with great wit and poignancy.

James Roberts Sample

His work has attracted rave reviews at The Guardian, the BBC and Comics Alliance. He's scooped up awards from Comics Alliance (Outstanding Writer Award 2015, Best of 2015: Continued Excellence in Serial Comics, Best Sci-Fi Comic of 2016). from Comixiology (Reader's Choice Awards for Best Ongoing Series and Best Writer) and IGNs Best Comic Series 2018 People's Choice Award.

James appearance at Eurocon is sponsored by Comic Book Guys. Call by his panels for a unique insight into his Transformers work and his new series. James can be found on Twitter at @jroberts332

Toastmutant: Pat Cadigan

Pat Cadigan

Pat Cadigan winning the Hugo Award for Best Novelette
at WorldCon 2013 in San Antonio.
Photo taken by Shawn McConnell for Amazing Stories.

Pat is a two-time winner of the Arthur C Clarke Award for her novels Synners (won in 1992) and Fools (1995), a three-time Locus Award winner in three different categories - best short story for Angel (1988), best collection for Patterns (1990), and best novelette for The Girl-Thing Who Went Out For Sushi (2013), which also won the Hugo Award for best novelette at WorldCon 2013 in San Antonio.

Pat has been an active member of SFF fandom since 1976 when she joined the convention committee for MidAmeriCon, the 34th WorldCon, held in Kansas City. Pat worked for ten years at Hallmark writing greeting cards, often in perfect iambic pentameter. She sold her first professional science fiction story in 1980 with her success encouraging Pat to become a full-time writer in 1987. She moved to the UK in 1996 and now lives in London.

Pat has been dubbed 'the Queen of Cyberpunk' but her novels defy such narrow categorisation. Her first novel, Mindplayers (1987), introduces what becomes the common theme to all her works - blurring the line between reality and perception by making the human mind a real explorable place. Her second novel, Synners (1991), expands upon the same theme and both feature a future where direct access to the mind is possible via technology. While her stories include many of the gritty, unvarnished characteristics of the cyberpunk genre, she further specializes in this exploration of the speculative relationship between technology and the perceptions of the human mind.

Harley Quinn: Mad Love

Her third novel Fools (1992) examines a near-future in which insertable memories and personalities are for sale. This was followed by the Doré Konstantin series, comprising Tea from an Empty Cup (1998) and Dervish is Digital (2000). AR is not just a way of life, it turns out, but also of death, as homicide detective Doré Konstantin discovers when she is called upon to investigate the death of a young man in an artificial reality parlour.

Pat has written a huge number of short stories, many of which are included in three short story collections - Patterns (1989), Home By The Sea (1992) and Dirty Work (1993). Pat has also contributed short stories to the Wild Cards shared-universe edited by George RR Martin including By Lost Ways in Wild Cards II: Aces High and Addicted to Love in Wild Cards V: Down and Dirty. If you are a fan of George's work but haven't heard of Wild Cards I highly recommend you check it out.

Alita Battle Angel: Iron City

The award winning novelette The Girl-Thing Who Went Out For Sushi was first published in the anthology Edge of Infinity (2012) and is also available in The Year's Best Science Fiction: Thirtieth Annual Collection (2013). The story is about a group of workers who live in the orbit of Jupiter, where they assist in ongoing scientific research. All the workers have "gone out for sushi" - that is, they have had themselves surgically converted into forms resembling marine life (the narrator is an octopus) in order to better function in microgravity. However, this transformation has also made them into a political underclass relative to the normal humans referred to as bipeds.

Pat has had a busy end to 2018, with two new publications in just the month of November alone! Pat collaborated with beloved DC character Harley Quinn's co-creator Paul Dini to create the definitive backstory for her in Harley Quinn: Mad Love. Pat is also responsible for the Alita Battle Angel prequel Iron City, and has also written the film novelisation. Looking to the future, we have it on good authority that Pat Cadigan is currently working on a super secret project that we should be getting excited for...

Pat brings so much energy to TitanCon. She is universally loved by everyone, and we are still a little sore at lending her to Octocon for 2018, but we know we have to let her out to play and share like good kids, until we buckle in for the Eurocon. Whether you were at the Hugos at Mid Americon II in Kansas City or not, you know you are going to be in for a wild ride.

Toastmutant: Peadar Ó Guilín

Peadar Ó Guilín

Peadar at WorldCon in Montreal 2009.
Photo by Wendy "Pebble" Duly.

In September 2007, Peadar Ó Guilín 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." It tells the story of Stopmouth and his family who must battle for survival in a world of tribal societies. To live they must hunt rival species or negotiate flesh-trade with those who crave meat of the freshest human kind. There is but one law: Eat or be Eaten.

The second book in the series, The Deserter (2011), continues Stopmouth's journey as he attempts to understand The Roof and find the mysterious woman he loves who fell from it. The final book in the trilogy, The Volunteer (2013), is available as an eBook, or is available in print (only from Amazon).

Peadar put out another eBook called Forever in the Memory of God: And Other Stories in 2013. The collection comprises three stories The First of Many (a novellette that Peadar read the opening chapter of at TitanCon 2013), Forever in the Memory of God and Fairy Gold.

The Call

The Call (2016), has been a huge success scoring numerous nominations for prestigious YA book prizes, and has won several awards including - Children’s Books Ireland, Children’s Choice Award 2017, ESFS Achievement Award for Best Work of Fiction 2017.It is a rich story mixing horror, survivalism and deep-rooted Irish mythology. The Wertzone has given The Call a great review and strongly recommends it.

The Invasion

What if you only had 3 minutes to save your own life and the clock is already counting down... Three minutes. Nessa, Megan and Anto know that any day now they wake up alone in a horrible land and realise they've been Called. Two minutes. Like all teenagers they know that they'll be hunted down and despite all their training only 1 in 10 will survive. One minute. And Nessa can't run, her polio twisted legs mean she'll never survive her Call will she? Time's up.

The Invasion, sequel to The Call and its climactic resolution, was released in March 2018 - and is being chomped up at a rate of knots by fans and critics alike - in fact, it is a finalist for the LodaStar award, which will be presented alongside the Hugos at Dublin WorldCon this year!

Peadar recently joined the Wildcards collective and you can enjoy his contribution in the most recent publication, Knaves Over Queens, edited by George RR Martin.

Peadar has also started his own podcast, bringing tales of beguiling woe to easily-perturbed listeners everywhere. This can be found on iTunes or via his website.

Peadar has proved a huge hit with the audience over the years moderating Game of Thrones panels and hosting our Masquerade and Lovely Beard Competition in such hilarious style. Peadar is a gem in many ways, but not only for his impromptu coach tour storytelling prowess and great patience whilst people are silly - but also for his kindness, and his own conrunning activities. He was instrumental in the creation of our growing literature tracks and connections with the Irish/Northern Irish writing scene. He is of Titancon.