Fantasycon 2017 - 29th September - 1st October.
The Bull Hotel Peterborough, UK
Fantasycon 2017 is delighted to
announce Guest of Honour:
Ben Aaronovitch grew up as part of a famously engaged and lively North London family. He has written for many TV series including Doctor Who and been a bookseller. His Peter Grant novels have been hugely successful and he now writes full time. He still lives in London, the city he likes to refer to as 'the capital of the world'.
Reading Ben Aaronovitch
I distinctly remember watching Remembrance of the Daleks back in 1988 when it was first screened. At the time, Doctor Who had been off the television for a little while and Sylvester McCoy was the incarnation to bring it back. I was eleven or twelve at the time. I remember going round to a friend’s house - lifelong Doctor Who fan, Matthew Barber, who is now a doctor of film studies, and regularly reviews for the BFS Journal and his own website, Film Ark.
Remembrance of the Daleks got me interested in Doctor Who again. The iconic scene of the Dalek hovering up the stairs brought new life to a regulation monster. The series had to compete with an array of imported American science fiction set on other worlds or in space, something which Doctor Who at that time, never really got to grips with. Remembrance of the Daleks played to the strengths of the show, introducing a new doctor battling his most popular enemy. Looking back, the writing is particularly well focused. Drawing out all sorts of small references to previous Doctor Who episodes. In this, Ben confirms himself as a meticulous planner as well as an excellent writer.
In more recent times Ben Aaronovitch is known to us for his PC Peter Grant mysteries, the first of which, Rivers of London recently featured on an episode of BBC's Pointless. If you’ve not read Rivers it’s an excellent book that refuses to be bound by any particular genre. PC Grant narrates the story as if recalling an old case for his memoirs. In this story, he’s newly qualified and sent out on a tricky case. There’s something strong and knowledgeable about Grant, along with a little sardonic humour that mocks everything and everyone. Dark humour seasons the detail of a murder mystery that quickly expands into something more. The writer makes use of his main character’s limitations, flavouring his description with quick character assessment and limitations of experience. Grant is particularly out of his depth interviewing Nicholas, a ghost who witnessed the first murder. Both London and the Metropolitan Police are detailed characters in this book too. Grant’s assessment of both is cutting and laced with humour. There’s something knowing and depreciative in how he continually comments on every part of British society. I recognise the places, the people, the way in which everyone behaves. This is a world I know, one that feels familiar. There’s enough here too for people who don’t know the places and organisations. You can relate and you get a sense the writer knows where he’s going.
By connecting the reader to this world and using humour, the fantastical parts of the story feel authentic. Grant doesn’t believe what he’s seeing, but he finds a way to cope and process what’s going on. There’s even a few Doctor Who references along the way and you certainly get a British X-Files feel.
Ben writes regularly on his blog - Temporarily Significant.
His books are available via his Amazon Page