John Vaughan: The Golden Blasters Interview

As interest in the first National Irish Science Fiction Film Awards (AKA The Golden Blasters) grows, we here at Octocon HQ took a moment out from measuring our tuxedos and fabulous designer dresses to ask director John Vaughan not only what he will be wearing but a few questions about the festival itself.

Octocon: So what gave you the idea of having a film festival at Octocon?

John Vaughan: Over the past few years I've been travelling to some film festivals and I've seen some excellent genre short films - especially from Ireland. However, the main medium for exhibition is just film festivals so unlike the big budget Hollywood blockbuster very few people get to see these films. Having discussed it at length with the Octocon committee, we felt it was time to bring some of these films to the attention of the Octocon audience who we knew would enjoy and appreciate them. Hence the Golden Blasters.

O: What can we expect?

JV: Fun! The most important thing to know is that these films have been selected on the basis that they are entertaining to watch. You wouldn't believe the amount of festivals I've attended where you have to sit through a film such as the one about the perils of Growing Cabbages in northern France. Yes, such films exist. So while we've selected entries chiefly for entertainment value, it doesn't mean they don't have something to say.

O: Will the festival just be sci-fi films?

JV: No. This festival is open to the genres of horror, science fiction and fantasy. This year we are looking at a good mix of horror and science fiction with variations from alternate history to out-and-out comedy.

The 2001 Harry Harrison Interview: Complete!

Paul Tomlinson over at the Harry Harrison news blog has just posted the last part of his 2001 Octocon-recorded interview with Harry, and we thought we'd link you to the full session, since we love you all so much!

Part 1: Sex in SF

Part 2: Adaptations

Part 3: John W. Campbell

Part 4: Bill the Galactic Hero

Part 5: Soylent Green

Part 6: Audience Questions

We want to say a HUGE thank you to Paul for posting the panel, as well as for doing it in the first place. We hope to see him along with Harry this coming October!

Viva l'Octocon!

Mike Carey: The Interview

Continuing this year's guest interview series, Octocon 2009 Guest of Honour, Mike Carey, has allowed us a peak into his life, his writing process, and his career. We talk Vertigo, Felix Castor, and writing with his family...


Octocon: Before you began writing full time, you were a teacher. Is there a moment that you remember the whole comics thing clicking into place and it replaced teaching as "the thing that you do"?


Mike Carey: No, I don't think there was a transforming moment. It was a slow accumulation of thoughts and ideas, really, leading to a decision which - by the time I made it - seemed inevitable. If I'm honest, it was something I always wanted to do, but I didn't formulate it to myself in terms of "being a writer". I just found myself drifting gently into a situation where my comics work was making my teaching work harder and harder to do well, and I had to make a choice.


Except that, being me, I made the choice provisionally. I took a sabbatical first - and it was only a part-time sabbatical at that. For a year I taught on Mondays and Tuesdays, and continued to run Media courses at the college where I was working, and then I wrote for the rest of the week. In some ways, it was the hardest year of my life - except maybe for teacher training. At the end of the year, I knew I wanted to stick with this new career.


O: Really glad you did! It sounds like a really tough decision. Was it always a goal to work for the major American publishers like Marvel and DC, or were they something that just came along as a nice surprise?

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