CYMERA: Science fiction, fantasy and horror bestsellers come to Edinburgh for debut book festival
- Sofia Matias
- 8 May 2019
Festival Director Ann Landmann discusses the process of creating a festival dedicated to genre fiction from the ground up
Ann Landmann is no stranger to the world of literature and book events. After spending a summer working at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, the Scottish capital proved to be too enticing for a book lover such as herself, and she went on to become an events manager at Blackwell's. It wasn't until she was nearing the end of her MA in Arts, Festival and Cultural Management, however, that the seed of creating her own festival buried into her mind.
'As much as I love the EIBF, their genre programming is just non-existent,' she says. For fans of genre fiction, the options are then often limited to conventions, or a scarce offering at festivals. Lamenting this fact over a conversation with fellow genre lover Noel Chidwick, editor of sci-fi magazine Shoreline of Infinity, she decided to take matters into her own hands, and wrote a business plan for CYMERA: Scotland's Festival of Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror Writing as her dissertation.
'It all just came together,' she remembers. 'I spent four months with it in my brain, talking to people that I knew, authors that I knew … I set up a couple of meetings down in London, to sound people out, to see what they thought.' Her connections to people in the publishing industry and events experience became invaluable in this process, and, when it came to actually putting the festival together, it showed. 'We have a ridiculously big program. I invited lots of people, assuming half of them would say no, and then they all said yes!'