Fantasycon 2021

Fantasycon 2021 - 24th - 26th  September 
The Jurys Inn Birmingham, UK

Ian Whates

We were delighted when Ian Whates accepted our

invitation to be a Guest of Honour at this year's Fantasycon.

Sadly, for reasons of his health he has had to subsequently decline this.

Ian says:
"It is with great regret that I have to withdraw from attending this year’s Fantasycon. The invitation to be a Guest of Honour is very humbling, and I was looking forward to the event enormously. Unfortunately, subsequent to my accepting, I’ve been confirmed with a serious medical condition that requires immediate attention. Therefore, rather than making merry in Birmingham with friends we haven’t seen in far too long, Helen and I will be at home, where I shall be shielding ahead of 4 to 5 hours of surgery (or so I’m told) on the morning of Tuesday 28th. We know where we would rather be.


Thank you to the organisers of Fantasycon for seeking to honour me in this way. We shall miss you all, and hope that many of you will raise a glass, especially on the Sunday, which is my birthday. Have a fabulous time, and we look forward to seeing everyone at 2022’s Fantasycon."

I’m sure you will join us in wishing Ian all the very best with his recovery and look forward to celebrating that in person at a future event.


One of the most prolific and diverse independent publishers in the United Kingdom and a highly successful writer of Fantasy, Science Fiction and all things in between, 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 now has more than eighty 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, including a volume that raised thousands of pounds in 2020, at the start of the pandemic, to provide PPE for frontline medical staff. Innovation in 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.

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. He and his wife Helen are an integral part of genre publishing in the United Kingdom.

Fantasycon 2021 is proud and privileged to have Ian Whates as a guest of honour for this year’s convention.

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