Glenroyal Hotel, Maynooth, Co. Kildare, Ireland. 16-17 October 2004.

Guest of Honour: Tanith Lee

Post Con Report

12 Nov 2004

It's all over!

The Octocon committee would like to thank everyone who participated in making Octocon 2004 a great success!

Despite some worries about Octocon moving outside Dublin for the first time, we still had well in excess of 200 attendees; in fact Maynooth seems to have been a hit with everyone; the Glenroyal Hotel proved to be an excellent venue (as we knew it would!), and there was plenty of quality alternative accommodation nearby. The town surprised many people by turning out to be not nearly as far from Dublin as they had previously imagined, and containing some great restaurants!

This year, Octocon surpassed its tagline of being "Ireland's national SF convention", and became a truly international event: we had attendees from all over the globe; Europe, North America, South America, Russia and Australia!

If you didn't make it, you missed some excellent events... We don't have enough space to list everything, but this should give you an idea:

The Tanith Lee Interview

Tanith was interviewed by Allison Rich, webmistress of, who asked some great questions, which prompted many insightful - and often hilarious - answers. The interview was moderated by the lovely Leonia, who also had her trusty tape-recorder present; we hope to have a transcript of the interview on-line soon!


The World-Premier of John Vaughan's short movie... John introduced the movie, and even brought along some of the cast members. The movie proved to be such a great hit that it was repeated - twice - the following day!

The Charity Auction

The items up for bidding included dozens of books, graphic novels, DVDs and models, as well as original comic-book pages by top artist John Higgins, storyboards from Valour, a set of Crazy Dog Audio Theatre's Diabolic Playhouse CDs (which haven't yet been officially released!), genuine James Bond movie props, and a membership for WorldCon 2005. The final auction lot, and one which we're sure everyone present will remember forever, consisted of Tanith Lee's original hand-written manuscript for her novel A Bed of Earth, plus the type-written manuscript and a copy of the book in hardback - both personally annotated by Tanith. Our charity for 2004 was the Cabas School in Drogheda, for which the auction raised almost €2000!

A Night to Remember!

Most conventions run a disco on the Saturday evening... We did too, and our pirate / zombie / goth / make-it-up-as-you-go-along theme proved to be very popular! But Octocon's Saturday evening events didn't stop there...

Defying the traditional "all panels end at six" rule, we carried on until nine, with John Vaughan's Video Vault, followed by a special presentation by Roger Gregg and the Crazy Dog crew of their own very skewed and hilarious take on Star Trek.

And not only that: Octocon's old pals Chip 'n' Jumbo organised and ran a mini-casino on Saturday night; each Octocon membership pack contained a voucher that could be redeemed for playing chips, and - for the hardened players - chips could also be bought. As this was a fund-raising event, winners could only chips exchange their chips for raffle tickets, not actual cash! This was a very popular event, and one that - we hope - will become a regular feature of Octocon!

And More...

Octocon 2004 was host to a table quiz (run by James Bacon, in aid of the James White Award and the Trans-Atlantic Fan Fund), Frank Darcy's Choose Your Own Adventure (in typical Frank style, it was hilarious madness) panel... Plus panels on Celtic fantasy, teen horror movies, classic radio shows, reviving old SF shows, freemasonry, guardian angels and muses, fanzines and webzines, mad machines, computer games, foreign fantasy, goths, The Hitchhiker's Guide to the Galaxy, and more... Not to mention workshops, including Photoshop (courtesy of author / artist John Kaiine), making a living, developing ideas and characters, conceptualising covers and building a comics portfolio.

And Even More...

The Octocon 2004 programme book features included two very rare short stories by Tanith Lee, a cover by Peter McCanney, an article on Tanith Lee by Allison Rich, articles on Hitchhiker's by Roger Gregg and MJ Simpson, and even a comic strip by Bolt-01 and Sprout.

Lots of Thanks!

First, I would like to extend infinite and ever-lasting thanks to Tanith Lee... She proved to be the ideal Guest of Honour; friendly, charming, amazingly generous and seemingly tireless! Octocon 2004 would not have been half the success it was if not for Tanith!

Thanks also...

... To our guests Eugene Byrne, Storm Constantine, Roger Gregg, Harry Harrison, John Kaiine, Dirk Maggs, Anne McCaffrey, Peter McCanney, Matt Smith and John Vaughan; they are all wonderful people and contributed immeasurably to Octocon!

... To our panel participants, all of whom were tremendously entertaining and generous with their time; Deirdre Counihan, Liz Counihan, Allison Rich, Maura McHugh, James Bacon, Franck Martial, Michael O'Shea, Douglas Spencer, John Sullivan and Paul Tomlinson.

... To the following institutions for their help: 20th Century Fox, 3rd Place, The Associates, Buena Vista, Dublin Sci-Fi Club, Forbidden Planet, Kildare County Council, Mitsubishi, Newstalk106, Overlook Press, Rebellion, Sub City, UIP, the staff and management of the Glenroyal, the staff and management of Bowe's in Fleet Street.

For services above and beyond the call of duty, special thanks must go to Angie, Becka, Frank Darcy, Brian Nisbet, David O'Brien, Liam Proven, John Richards, Edward Stafford, David Stewart, Wayne Talbot, and, of course, the one and only Dave Lally!

The committee would also like to thank the following, who - while they weren't able to make it to the con - were nevertheless vital to its success; Alix, Bolt-01, John Higgins, PJ Holden, MJ Simpson, Michael Scott, Paul Scott and Emmett Taylor.

(Sincere apologies to anyone I've forgotten!)

Your Octocon 2004 committee were... James Brophy, Leonia Carroll, Mike Carroll, Caitríona Hamman, Nichola Hannigan, Cat McGrath, Robert McGregor, Vince Pennell and James Shields.

So... It only remains for me to also thank everyone who attended or supported the con; I hope you all had as much fun as I did!

Mike Carroll

Chairman, Octocon 2004 (retired)

Next year... Octocon 2005!

Oh yes!

Keep checking; details coming soon!

Click for previous announcements.

Our Guests:

Tanith Lee, Storm Constantine, Roger Gregg, Harry Harrison, Paul J. Holden, John Kaiine, Dirk Maggs, Anne McCaffrey, Michael Scott, Matt Smith, John Vaughan

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