The first ever Bristolcon Fringe Reading

A good night was had last night at the inaugural Bristolcon Fringe Reading event, held at the Shakespeare Tavern down by the harbourside.

The first reading was by Myfanwy Rodman who shared the prologue of her epic fantasy novel; an evocative account of a poor, beaten soul hunted by man and – particularly vicious –  hawk.

Gareth L Powell reads from Hive Monkey
Gareth L Powell reads from Hive Monkey

Second up was Gareth L. Powell who gave us a sneak preview of the sequel to Ack Ack Macaquehis 2012 tale of a cigar-chomping, spitfire-flying monkey. Yes, you read that right. I have to admit I’ve not read Ack Ack yet, but on the basis on the two chapters Gareth shared from Hive Monkey (out in January from Solaris Books) I need to get to it. My copy of the novel has gone to the top of my ever-increasing to-read-pile. I’m currently enjoying George Mann‘s excellent The Executioner’s Heart but as soon as that is finished – and I proof the latest Blake’s 7 novel from Big Finish – it’ll be Ack Ack all the way.

There weren’t an awful lot of questions from the floor after the readings, but everyone loved the idea of throwing Ack-Ack into other genres. Gareth’s suggestion of chucking the aerial avian into an episode of EastEnders was met with howls of laughter– and a hint from the author himself that maybe, just maybe, the idea of Ack Ack touring every major soap opera might be nearer to the ending of Hive Monkey than we’d think. Intriguing.

I think this is exactly what Britain’s soap operas need. Let’s start the petition to parachute genre characters into our soaps. Imagine Slaine the Barbarian ordering a hot-pot in the Rovers Return. What about Hellboy investigating an infestation of boggles in Emmerdale? Or Judge Dredd been stationed under Juliet Bravo?

(OK, I know Juliet Bravo doesn’t air any more but work with me here. Drokk, it would be amazing!)

It was a fun evening and a good chance to catch up with SFX editor David Bradley, natter about superheroes and discuss our reactions to World’s End (although that’s a discussion belonging to a different post).

The Fringe Reading is a new monthly event and one I hope I’ll be able to get to when I can. You never know, I may even give my own reading at a future event. Watch this space!

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