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Ian Whates February 2022.JPG

Fantasycon 2023

Fantasycon 2023 - 15th - 17th  September 
The Leonardo Royal Hotel,  Birmingham, UK

As founder of Newcon Press, Ian Whates is also one of the most prolific and diverse independent publishers in the United Kingdom. Ian Whates is appreciated by all who have the pleasure to spend time with him and to read his stories.

At first, Whates saw publishing success through magazines, but he quickly developed a strong catalogue of work with independent presses and short stories published in a variety of venues. His City of a Hundred Rows novel trilogy published by Angry Robot and Noise sequence published by Rebellion/Solaris showcased his talents as a writer, while his editing of a number of collections for Solaris demonstrated his ability to work with other talented artists, bringing out the best in their creative endeavours.

However, the foundation of his own publishing company, Newcon Press, signalled a new direction for Whates, one that would come to benefit many of the amazing writers that he chose to work with. 

Anthologies, showcasing short work from a vast array of contributors, collected together on a theme, or a genre, all expertly edited, followed. The concept behind each allowed for imaginative interpretations by the writers. Established names, partnered with new discoveries allowed readers to discover just how rich and diverse the genres can be.As a publisher, Ian Whates is a diligent companion and confidante to his writers. A supporter who wants their work to be as wonderful as possible.


In 2019 Whates received the Karl Edward Wagner Award from the British Fantasy Society. Whether writing, editing or publishing, he epitomises the meaning of the prize, his work constantly is 'an important contribution to the genre'. He and his wife Helen are an integral part of genre publishing in the United Kingdom. 

In 2020, at the start of the pandemic, Newcon Press published Stories of Hope and Wonder, an anthology of stories, the proceeds from which went  to provide PPE for frontline medical staff. Whates was then due to be Fantasycon gues of honour in 2021, but was unable to takepart owing to ill health.

As a publisher, Whates’ work provides a stepping-stone for those developing their careers in writing. NewCon Press has championed novels, novellas and collections by authors whose work might otherwise have escaped attention, many of whom have gone on to success with major publishers. Ian’s generous nature has been shown time and time again, with Newcon Press authors winning recognition through nominations and awards, but he has not neglected his own fiction and continues to release shorts and novels through his own company and in collaboration with others.

Today, Ian Whates continues to successfully balance a career as a writer, editor and publisher, with his Dark Angels trilogy of space opera novels earning new accolades and twice seeing him top Amazon sales charts. In early 2023, Ian Whates has returned to the fantasy genre with The Double Edged Sword; a gritty swashbuckling adventure full of desperate and dubious characters for readers to love and hate.

Fantasycon 2023 is proud and privileged to have Ian Whates as a guest of honour for this year’s convention.

Ian Whates

Ian Whates is the author of published Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror novels, novellas, and a vast number of short stories that have appeared in a variety of venues, including Nightmare Magazine, Galaxy’s Edge, Daily Science Fiction, the science journal Nature and numerous anthologies. 

Whates' work has been shortlisted for the Philip K. Dick Award and on three occasions for BSFA Awards. He is a director and former chair of the British Science Fiction Association and has been a judge for both the Arthur C. Clarke Award and the World Fantasy Awards. He has edited more than 40 anthologies and is the editor of ParSec digital magazine for PS Publishing.

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