|The Royal Festival Hall, Southbank, London|
A conversation started on Twitter in the dying stages of last year, not long after World Fantasy Con. There was a feeling it would be nice to do something with regards to gatherings where genre types could come and exclaim their love. The majority of the conversation took place between myself and Jen Williams, author of The Copper Promise, Xbox ninja, and all round bad-ass.
It was my feeling (I’m not putting words into Jen’s mouth) that the existing societies had long histories pitted with grudges and shenanigans. They required committee members and proved fertile ground for heated disagreements and clashing egos. I don’t know about you but that sounds like hard work to me.
And so Jen and I founded SRFC. Super Relaxed Fantasy Club. A ridiculous and irreverent name for a new type of night that might escape the slings and arrows of genre politics and just focus on the books. The books aren’t just Fantasy, we cover all types of genre (I did tell you it was a ridiculous name). And because we are decent, nay, downright awesome types, we decided that we would have parity. One male and one female reader each month (sorry, anti-gender binary types, we welcome you too, get in touch). Readings are short and followed by a Q&A . There is of course booze, because publishing.
Another feature of SRFC is that everybody gets an introduction. It doesn’t matter if you’re a bookseller, editor, agent, published author, fledgling author, passionate reader, or veteran reviewer. Everyone is welcome and no one is more important than anyone else. We are united by a love of the fantastic, the weird, the speculative, the horrific, the spooky. Everyone gets to say ‘Hi’ and feel like they’re part of the gang.
We’re proud to have featured Sophia McDougall, Kim Curran, Scott Andrews, Chris Brosnahan, Richard Kellum, Zen Cho and selection of others who escape my failing memory. We’ve had five iterations now and draw a good crowd. We meet on the last Tuesday of each month at the Royal Festival Hall on the 3rd floor (Green side) from about 6.30pm. Maybe you’ll be there next time – join the Facebook Group HERE.