Bradford is to host the country's biggest gathering of science fiction and fantasy fans next year, it was confirmed yesterday.

A bid to bring the 64th annual British National Science Fiction Convention – popularly known as Eastercon – was put before the current Eastercon yesterday and voted through.

This year’s Eastercon, which finishes today at Heathrow, has been a huge event, sold out for the first time in almost 30 years and featuring as guest of honour George RR Martin, the author of the books on which the hit TV series Game of Thrones is based.

Each Eastercon is run in a different city and the bid-team for Bradford is chaired by fantasy author Juliet McKenna, with other committee members including Simon Bradshaw, Steve Davies, Sue Edwards, Sian Martin, Phil Nanson and Kari Sperring.

The Bradford con will be known as Eight Squared and will be held at the Cedar Court Hotel from March 29 to April 1.

Throughout this Eastercon weekend the team has been giving out information and flyers about the bid and at a bid session yesterday morning at Heathrow, Juliet McKenna outlined the proposals and unveiled some of the big names from the worlds of SF and Fantasy literature who have confirmed their attendance.

Guests of honour include Walter Jon Williams, who is a major American science fiction author with a huge body of work, as well as Freda Warrington, Anne Sudworth and Edward James.

Bradford last hosted Eastercon in 2009, also at the Cedar Court, and that was hailed as a huge success.

Juliet McKenna said: “That was a very, very successful convention and Bradford was an obvious choice to stage another Eastercon.

“It will give a lot of fans who are based in the North the opportunity to get to Eastercon, as they sometimes struggle to get to London, and as the con attracts industry figures and fans from across the country and from abroad it will give people the chance to see how great Bradford is and that it’s certainly not as grim up north as some of them might think!”

Eastercons are generally built around the literature of the SF, fantasy and horror genres and feature panel discussions, author readings, movies, costume parties and book dealers selling collectables and rarities.

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