was held on
Saturday 16th February 2019,
in Imperial College Union.
What is Picocon?
Picocon is the annual Science Fiction & Fantasy convention
run by the Imperial College Science Fiction and Fantasy Society, ICSF.
It usually takes place on a Saturday in February, in Imperial
College's Blackett Building.
We try not to clash with other conventions around the same time.
It is a small (hence the name), affordable and convenient convention
for students and fans in or near London.
Registration opens at 9am, with the first scheduled events kicking
off at around 9:30.
The schedule concludes in the evening.
At a Picocon you will encounter:
Guests of Honour doing talks and panels
The Destruction of Dodgy Merchandise, typically with liquid nitrogen and an enormous hammer. (Donations welcome!)
Stalls selling books, ICSF t-shirts, and other stuff
Andrew Bannister grew up in Cornwall and spent far too much time reading science fiction. He studied Geology at Imperial College and went to work in the North Sea before becoming an environmental consultant. He now pretends to work in the construction industry while spending far too much time writing science fiction.
He lives in an ancient cottage in the middle of nowhere, next door to an abandoned iron mine. He has an excessive collection of vinyl records. He also likes cheese very much.
Andrew's Spin Trilogy (Creation Machine, Iron Gods and Stone Clock) is published in the UK by Bantam Books, in Germany by Piper and (from March 2019) in the USA by Tor in print and ebook formats, and by MacMillan as audiobooks. He finds all this rather exciting and is currently working on a novella and on his next trilogy.
Andrew is represented by the John Jarrold Literary Agency.
Lottie’s a producer and big advocate for women in games. She started out working on client-led indie titles and went on to join Alexis at Failbetter in 2015. She worked there on Fallen London, Sunless Sea‘s Zubmariner expansion and Sunless Skies. She’s spoken internationally on production and game development.
She’s been a games consultant for the Foreign and Commonwealth Office and is now a BAFTA Crew member, a STEM Ambassador and a WISE Awards finalist for women in STEM.
Alexis is an acclaimed writer and game designer. He founded Failbetter Games, where he built Fallen London and was creative director on Sunless Sea (plus StoryNexus, Machine Cares!, Night Circus, Black Crown et al). He speaks internationally at conferences and universities on interactive writing and narrative design.
Simon Morden, based in Gateshead, trained as a planetary geologist, realised he was never going to get into space, and decided to write about it instead. His writing career includes an eclectic mix of short stories, novellas and novels which blend science fiction, fantasy and horror, a five-year stint as an editor for the British Science Fiction Association, a judge for the Arthur C Clarke Awards, and regular speaking engagements at the Greenbelt arts festival.
Simon has written ten novels and novellas. The wonderfully tentacular Another War (2005), was shortlisted for a World Fantasy Award, and 2007 saw the publication of The Lost Art, which was shortlisted for the Catalyst Award. The first three books starring everybody's favourite sweary Russian scientist, Samuil Petrovitch (Equations of Life, Theories of Flight, Degrees of Freedom) were published within three months of each other in 2011, and collectively won the Philip K Dick Award - the fourth Petrovitch, The Curve of the Earth, was published in 2013. In a departure from the usual high-tech mayhem, 2014 saw the arrival of Arcanum, a massive (and epic) alternate-history fantasy, which not only has flaming letters on the cover, but the story inside is "enthralling", "intelligent", "impeccably rendered" (Kirkus), and "engrossing", "satisfying" and "leaving the reader craving for more (Publishers' Weekly). Which was nice.
Gavin Smith hates writing about himself so he has chosen not to-to preserve the mystery. Only you can decide if it’s working. Turn to page 80. He also misses Fighting Fantasy novels, though Deathtrap Dungeon was too hard.
Other than that he was born in Dundee in the same year that Iron Butterfly recorded Inna-Gadda-da-Vida. He has also lived in Camberley, Hayling Island, Portsmouth, Hull, Leamington Spa and is currently living a near feral existence in Leicester (if you see him in the streets he will write science fiction for sweeties). Anyone who has been to any of these places will understand why his fiction is like it is.
He has a degree in writing for film and a Masters in medieval history. Veteran is his first novel but he is patiently waiting for one of the 2.5 scripts that have been optioned to be turned into films.
He likes to travel and dive when he can afford it and in his free time he enjoys getting the s**t kicked out of him whilst practicing Silat. He is hoping that the book does well so he can buy a motorbike.
He should not be approached after 8pm at conventions.
It is true that he has never seen The Great Escape.
Discounts for large parties (e.g. other University SF societies)
are potentially available
(email the Picocon Sofa).
Please note that neither ICSF nor Union membership is required to attend Picocon –
all are welcome.
Fast-track lunch menu
Food will be served from 12:30-13:30, at Imperial College Union. If you are not an Imperial student or staff member, make sure to let the serving staff know you're attending Picocon and show your Picocon wristband.
Directions to Picocon
Here's a general map of the area,
pointing at the entrance to Beit Quad (which houses the
Union) off Prince Consort Road.
By London Underground
The tube is probably easiest way to get to Picocon; both
Gloucester Road Station and South Kensington Station are
within easy reach.
Both stations are served by the
planned engineering works
on some other Underground lines
These stops are served by buses
C1, 9, 10, 49, 52, 70, 74,
345, 360, 414, 430, and 452.
There are three hire cycle docking stations on Prince
Consort Road, which also houses the Union.
Search for 'SW7 2BB' on the
Note: If you get lost around South
Kensington trying to find Beit Quad, ask for directions to the
Royal Albert Hall, and once there, Beit Quad is the building
on the left of the RAH as you face its main entrance
(if you arrive from the Hyde Park side, you will be at the
rear of the RAH).