The 2019 Creators
We had a fantastic range of creators joining us for our inaugural festival. Here a wee reminder who they were.
Knot Unknot Studio
aka Madeleine Shepherd
2019 is a year of anniversaries. It's 50 years since I watched the grainy TV images of the first humans on the moon. This has inspired me to expand my series of knitted space nostagia work to include the Saturn V launch, Aldrin's Footprint (pictured), Armstrong's Selfie and Tranquility Base. I'll be showing these along side my earlier work on Soviet space history.
It's also 10 years since I started speculating about Scotland's engineering history and our potential as a space-faring nation. I called the idea Alba ad Astra and began taking photographs to support it. The notion developed into a short story placing the images in a narrative. I worked Andrew J. Wilson, Gavin Inglis, Kirsti Wishart, Andrew C. Ferguson and Fergus Currie to create portfolio of evidence for the existence of a forgotten Scottish space programme. Our work was exhibited in Transreal Fiction during August 2009. A booklet was produced to accompany the exhibition – more than just a catalogue, it contains the Alba ad Astra photographs and documents, with a foreword by Ken MacLeod. The original photographs and dossiers will be on display and I'll have the booklet and related material for sale.
Craig Collins Comics
Comic Creator, Glasgow
Craig Collins is a comic writer and illustrator and stalwart of the UK independent comics scene. He is best known for his surreal experimental horror comics including the award-nominated Roachwell and Crawl Hole in collaboration with artist Iain Laurie, and his own DIY small press comics including the infamous Ultimate Ross Geller Fanzine and the relentlessly grim Billy Quest. More recently Craig has collaborated with artist Mark Brady on Medieval Times, a series of interlinked medieval battle comedy comics based on the figurine each comic comes with, and they are currently working on a full-scale graphic novel in the fantasy adventure comic Trapped! When not working on comics, Craig has a regrettable habit of collecting vintage photography and ruining them with occult weirdness and garish 90’s aesthetics via Posca paint pens, with unique and disturbing results.
J.H. Campbell is a novelist, writer of short stories and a photographer. He lives in Edinburgh, Scotland and is the author of the Epic Dark Fantasy series “The Legend of Zanta Klaus”. He started off writing short stories and his debut novel “And Hell Followed After” Sub-title: “The Witch Hunters of Otnasnom” came out in August 2017
This is a direct Elven translation of the faery tale of Zanta Klaus, it is said it was told as a warning or prophecy.
“You are aware of the legend of Zanta Klaus. He will be known by many peoples and by many names. This is how he will be known to the followers of the light. He will be born of two kingdoms to unite all the good people. He will have a sister, not of his blood. He will make his transition from childhood to a man with a baptism of demon’s blood. He will save the good people from the demon hordes. Children will call his name and he shall be known as Zanta Klaus, the demon legends call him Santa Claus. He will be able to tell good from evil, even when it is hidden. He will face Death and rise to stand against the forces of the dark. He will lead the followers of the light. Where he goes, the light will follow.”
Demon Logic Productions
aka Chris Phillips
Comic Creator, Edinburgh
Chris writes, draws and colours his own comics under Demon Logic Productions.
”I like to write stories about characters as I feel to tell a good story it all lies in that connection you have with its cast. My biggest influence is Jrpgs and I try to take what I love from them and reflect it in my comic series The Hero Dies Alone. The comic being based in a fantasy world really gives me the freedom to do and draw whatever my imagination comes up with.”
The series centres around Harmonica a white mage who is being hunted down by a mysterious group, with the help of a couple adventurers they set out to escape to the human capital of Appleonia in the hope of finding safety there but fate has other plans.
aka Christopher Mitchell
The Magelands is an epic fantasy series of seven books by Christopher Mitchell that will be released in full by September 2019.
Six mages from five different lands, each with a destiny that will bind them together as friends, enemies and lovers, must join the battle for control of their world before facing the ultimate test, one that will determine the survival of the Magelands.
Millennia ago, five continents smashed together to create a new world – The Magelands. For countless years the earth shifted and settled and now, at last, the five peoples can meet each other on the fertile plateau that joins their lands together.
Two of these peoples, the Realm of the Holdings and the Rahain Republic, are advanced, rich and powerful, and the world is soon engulfed in war. The Rahain grow dominant and eye their neighbours with greed, but the Holdings have a secret weapon – the creator of the world is their god and ally, and can speak to their mightiest vision mages.
With a god on their side, how can the Holdings lose…
Aka Colin Maxwell
Comic Creator, Dunfermline
Colin Maxwell founded Maximized Comics in 2013. Although best known for his Scottish historical comic books, his fictional sci-fi and horror stories have been published in several anthologies. In 2017 he won the Dundee Comics Prize for his short sci-fi story, Dimensions. He will be bringing his sci-fi/horror anthology, Maximized Shorts to Cymera along with his ongoing sci-fi series, ElectroMagnetic. This retro futuristic series reimagines the Scottish scientist James Clerk-Maxwell as a steampunk inventor, and is set against a backdrop of war between Britain and India. The story was developed as part of the comic writing workshop at Edinburgh’s Skriva Writing School, run by Emma Beeby (Doctor Who, Judge Dredd, Robbie Burns: Witch Hunter).
Blood Bath Literary Zine
Blood Bath publishes horror and genre short fiction, poetry and visual art in Edinburgh, Scotland. The first two issues of its literary zine, BODIES and DEMONS include work from international and local contributors, taking on topics from living with endometriosis to the American justice system, through the appropriate lens of genre fiction. Blood Bath was created to showcase the best in thought-provoking, innovative and socially aware horror.
Follow us on social media @bloodbathzine
aka Katt Wilson
Comic Creator, South-West Scotland
Katt Wilson is a young up and coming artist from South-West Scotland who specialises in the anime/chibi style. If you're looking for adorable pastel catgirls or cute gore demons then Kitten.Katt.Art has it all!
All of her prints are her own characters and you can get them as A3 to A5 size prints, stickers, badges and even mystery packs and be sure to check out her first book, Twin Tales.
"Now more than ever, Mika wished her fate was not set."
Twin Tales is a original short origin story about two young girls, Mika and Maika, following their life and the twists and turn that occur. A 28 page booklet with illustrations from Kitten.Katt.Art and many other artists from Instagram!
@Kittenkattart / https://www.twitter.com/Kittenkattart
@Kitten.Katt.Art / https://www.instagram.com/Kitten.katt.art
BHP are an independent publishing house based in Glasgow. They make Graphic Novels and Art Books from established creators like Frank Quietly’s Drawings + Sketches, alongside cutting edge new talent, like David Cook and Craig Paton’s Killtopia and Gary Chudleigh and Tanya Robert’s award-winning Plagued: The Miranda Chronicles.
City of the Dead Tours
Publisher & Tour Company, Edinburgh
With the perfect mix of humour, history and especially horror, City of the Dead’s award-winning tours will take you for a walk on Edinburgh’s dark side. Descend into Edinburgh’s Underground City or venture into the infamous Covenanter’s Prison, a locked section of Greyfriars Graveyard and lair of the Mackenzie Poltergeist, regarded as the best documented supernatural case of all time. City of the Dead are the ONLY tours with access to the Covenanter’s Prison and hundreds of people now claim to have been ‘attacked’ by the entity during a COTD Haunted Graveyard or Double Dead Tour.
For more information and to book: www.cityofthedeadtours.com.
Luna Press Publishing
Luna Press Publishing is a Scottish Award Winning Press, est. in 2015. We publish Fantasy, Dark Fantasy and Science Fiction through collections, anthologies, novels and graphic novels. Academia Lunare is the non-fiction and academic arm of Luna Press, promoting the understanding of SFF through CfP and research projects. Academia Lunare is now also open to non SFF projects.
Shoreline of Infinity
Shoreline of Infinity is an award-winning sci-fi magazine based right here in Scotland. In addition to the magazine, they also publish books, and run Event Horizon, Edinburgh’s monthly mini Science Fiction Festival.
The World Within
Inspired by actual events, The World Within is a young adult sci-fi novel about a real sleep phenomenon called 'hypnagogia'. Aurora, a young woman from England, is visited one night by Marcux, a 5 year-old dream traveller from a neighbouring Universe. Marcux and allies want to make contact with the human before their nemesis, General Quern, learns of her existence. Aurora struggles to function between realities, until courage leads her to her destiny.
Hypnagogia is a real night-time phenomenon. The main character's journey starts with an unexpected night-time visitor. This experience happened to me whilst on a work trip in Rome, aged 22. How I describe the encounter in the book is exactly how it happened.
Unable to logically explain the strange dreams and twilight apparitions that followed, I felt compelled to write this book in an attempt to express it.
The World Within is a culmination of some actual life events and real dreams that followed after that first hypnagogic experience, mixed with a heavy dose of fiction, science-fiction and pure imagination.
Tanya Roberts is a comic book artist with over a decade in the industry, working on such titles as Star Wars: Clone wars, How to Train Your Dragon, You Story and TMNT.
She will also have a couple of independent titles for sale; the SICBA award shortlisted Abeyance and Plagued.
Allan J.D. McNeill
Allan J.D. McNeill is an Edinburgh, born and raised author. Allan began writing back in 2014 when he wrote a short story as a trial, and the rest is history. Writing is in Allan's blood. He is descended from the author, Dr Donald Buchanan, author of 'Reflections on the Isle of Barra'. Being a fan of short story
movies such as Creepshow, he wrote his first full novel, 'Tales by the Campfire' which is three stories in one edition. Allan continued on to pen other novels: 'Diary of a Broken mind', 'Inflatable', and the companion novel to go alongside his favourite childhood movie 'Planet of Dinosaurs'.
Allan is currently working on his fifth novel, another story compilation titled: 'Night Terrors: Volume one'. He plans to write a follow on to his 'Planet of Dinosaurs' novel in 2020. Allan is looking forward to attending Cymera and very much looking forward to meeting you there.
Hedera Felix is a new independent press based in Glasgow, Scotland, established in 2018. Through our print and digital magazines, Mycelia and SisM, we aim to provide a dedicated space for explorations of the weird and the eerie in literature and art.
At #Cymera19, come and see us in the Creator’s Hall all weekend and come to our Mycelia event on Sunday! This is what we are doing:
Between 1pm and 3pm on Saturday we will host an exclusive VR room-scale experience of the sci-fi dystopian allegory 'A Place Called Ormalcy’ by Mez Breeze, an award-winning digital designer. This piece of VR expanded literature is one of the highlights of our online-only magazine, SisM, which will be available to explore at our table (SisM #1 features a short film, an experimental spoken word video, animated GIFs and a beautiful song).
On Sunday, we will be in the Cabaret BAr at 1.30pm hosting our Mycelia event. Seven authors from Issues 1 and 2 will be reading extracts from their work and Noel Chidwick, editor or Shoreline of Infinity, will be chairing the Q&A and discussion afterwards. This will be an exciting look into the contemporary weird fiction, sci-fi and experimental literature scene and will offer insights into setting up a new magazine in today’s newly invigorated indie publishing culture. Tickets are just £8/£4 conc and available to book here, or on the door!
Events are a fundamental and exciting element of our publishing mission. We are planning to host a new regular event for writers, artists and others who are interested in contemporary literature and art. Subscribe to our newsletter service to stay informed and receive exclusive discounts! You can find us online at:
You can find us online at:
Baked Glass Creations
Creator, West Lothian
Baked Glass Creations make hand blown glass decorations, jewellery, and housewares. Each unique creation is made by melting coloured glass in the flame and sculpting it while molten. Due to the nature of this process, every piece is hand made and one-of-a- kind, making them perfect gifts and keepsakes.
Baked Glass make a wide range of items, including sparkling galaxy pendants, tiny bottles, cute bookmarks, and dragon beads. If you don’t see anything you like, just ask. Custom request are gladly arranged whenever possible.
Baked Glass want to make people smile, to bring delight to heart and joy to the spirit. Some of these pieces might be titled whimsical, perhaps even a little childish, but in my opinion, those numbed into lethargy and despair from the sheer volume of chaos and negativity our digital age serves up every minute, maybe energise into making a difference with this light-heartedness.
New products for Cymera are customised pens and bookworm jewellery.
Matthew J. Keeley
23rd Century historian Dyrne Samson doesn’t want to read about the past anymore. Now he can visit it. Abandoning university lecturing, Dyrne joins a classified organisation hidden beneath the streets of New London. Using their time-distortion pods, he can visit any event in history he chooses. Almost. Visiting his own timeline is forbidden – the only reason he can’t return to the day he’ll never forget.
M. J. Keeley’s Turning the Hourglass transports the reader to New London – a city recovering from a devastating war. Billions of lives have been lost and countless historical records erased. This sci-fi story is an exploration of secrecy, guilt, loss, and prejudice and the extremes these can drive us to.
Matthew J. Keeley studied English Literature at the University of Glasgow and has worked as an English teacher in secondary schools since 2008. He mostly writes speculative stories and has had short fiction and poetry published by Centum Press, Medusa’s Laugh Press, Mother’s Milk Book, Ink & Voices, and Havok magazine. He is also a contributing writer of arts reviews for award-winning magazine The Wee Review and the Neon Books blog.
Facebook: Matthew Keeley Author
The ancient Seers are dead.
Or so everyone believes.
But the visions that shape Kyra’s dreams, and the mysterious Watcher who invades them, are more than just a nightmare. When it becomes apparent that their paths must cross, Kyra is drawn into a battle between otherworldly powers where the fight for control of her own mind is the least of her
Welcome to the first book of The Seer. Children of Shadows is the debut novel from A.M Hall with volume 2 due for release later this year. The author is a keen fan of all things fantasy: influences include Pratchett, Eddings and, of course, Tolkien. Please drop by for a chat.
Alex is a comic artist and illustrator, originally from Tel Aviv and currently based in Edinburgh. Her projects include the noir webcomic Shaderunners, the sci-fi erotica Captain Imani and the Cosmic Chase and various anthology projects.
Find her on social media at @alexassanart.
David Sodergren lives in Scotland with his wife Heather and his best friend, Boris the Pug. Growing up, he was the kind of kid who collected rubber skeletons and lived for horror movies. Not much has changed since then. His first horror novel, The Forgotten Island, was published on October 1st 2018 to critical acclaim. He followed this in May 2019 with Night Shoot, a brutal throwback to the early 80s slasher movie cycle.
Praise for The Forgotten Island
"Lots of sex, violence, gore and laughs - this one is sure to be a hit with classic and modern fans alike!"
Sadie Hartmann, Scream Horror Magazine
"This book read like a blood-drenched love letter to Lovecraft, and didn't hold back on the splatter factor. But what impressed me more was Sodergren's masterful control of dread[...]this book is handled with impressive authority and confidence."
James Fahy, author of The Changeling series
"Nothing is going to prepare you for the mayhem Sodergren throws at you once he shows his cards. A novel packed with with old movie references, gore, violence, humour, wit and originality."
Gavin Kendall, Kendall Reviews
David P Macpherson
Local Edinburgh author David P Macpherson will be selling copies of his debut comic fantasy novel Here Be Dragons.
"A mid-life crisis, a castle gardener, an unfaithful steed, a dastardly hero, a merciless king, and a dragon that needs saving. With heroes this bad who needs villains...
When Orus graduated from the Cromalot School for Heroes he was ready for a life of glory and adventure. But after being seduced by his first damsel in distress, he quickly learns the heroing life doesn't bring in the steady income required to raise a family.
Twenty years later, with his son all grown up and his waistband all grown out, a favour for a friend gives Orus one last shot at the life he always wanted. But any old hero can slay a dragon, this old hero has to save one."
SPFBO 2018 Semi Finalist
BookNest Fantasy Awards 2018 - Best Debut Longlist
"A wonderful little gem of a book. It’s clever, it’s funny, and it’s just so heart-breakingly wholesome." The Fantasy Inn
“It is a rare author who finds themselves able to make readers laugh out loud while reading. Pratchett did it, and so does Macpherson.” Fantasy Book Critic
The Sinister Horror Company
Publisher, South of England
The Sinister Horror Company are a publishing company with a simple mission: to produce quality, original horror literature. From modern gothic to gut wrenching extreme, their output ranges across the entire horror spectrum. Established in 2015 they have been slowly building a reputation with a discerning readership for producing great looking books that continue to push the boundaries. This year has seen them already release the transgressive sci-fi horror I Dream Of Mirrors by Chris Kelso, the subtle ghost collection Trying To Be So Quiet & Other Hauntings by James Everington and announce new titles from pulp horror legend Guy N Smith.
"The Sinister Horror Company are a veritable powerhouse of imaginative, original and ingenious horror." - DLS Reviews
"The Sinister Horror Company are well on their way to becoming the most important small horror press there is." - Jim Mcleod, Ginger Nuts Of Horror
"One of the best presses currently operating in the UK are the Sinister Horror Company." - This Is Horror
Dungeons on a Dime
Dungeons on a Dime is a roleplaying game magazine making the hobby easier to get into, one adventure at a time. Don’t know what to prepare? Not sure how to act as different characters? From front to back we’ve got you and your adventure covered.
Written to be compatible with the 5th Edition rules of Dungeons and Dragons, the magazine is full of tips for first time game masters and expandable story points for pros looking for a last minute twist.
Each issue combines dynamic stories filled with motivated and engaging characters with inspiring artwork and all the hand outs and visual pieces you need to sit down and start playing. Printed copies are sustainably printed with soya-based inks through Leith based social enterprise Out of the Blueprint.
“Despite it being a beginner adventure, [Dungeons on a Dime] is delightfully complex while never becoming complicated.
The text supports you the entire time, so you’re bound to have a very surprising session or two without having to sweat the details.” Stu Horvath, Unwinnable Magazine / VintageRPG
Ell J Walker
Comic creator, Edinburgh
Ell is an Edinburgh comic artist and illustrator who originally emerged from the North Sea, near the islands of Orkney. Her work is inspired by fantasy, folklore and the natural world. Most of Ell's past work is comprised of short comics and zines, but at the moment she's working on a longer form webcomic about the inherent magic behind words, mental health and the importance of communication. Galdr is set to be launched online sometime at the end of June.
My website: www.elljwalker.com
John McNee is the writer of numerous strange and disturbing horror stories, published in a variety of strange and disturbing anthologies, as well as the novel 'Prince of Nightmares'.
He is also the creator of the bizarre, depraved sludge-city of Grudgehaven and the author of 'Grudge Punk', a collection of short stories detailing the lives and deaths of its gruesome inhabitants, as well as its sequel, 'Petroleum Precinct'.
"Fantastically warped and wonderfully twisted, John McNee is a writer with a towering imagination, and he knows how to use it."
- Victor Gischler, author of INK MAGE and DEADPOOL: MERC WITH A MOUTH
Check out his website at www.johnmcnee.com and check out his cooking show, 'A Recipe for Nightmares' on YouTube
C L Raven
C L Raven are identical twins and mistresses of the macabre. They're horror writers because 'bringers of nightmares' isn't a recognised job title. They write novels, short stories, comics and film scripts. Their work has been published in magazines and anthologies in the UK, USA and Australia. A story of theirs was published in The Mammoth Book of Jack the Ripper, which makes their fascination with him seem less creepy. They’ve worked on several indie horror films as crew and reluctant actors and have somehow ended up with lead roles in the forthcoming indie horror film School Hall Slaughter. In their spare time, they hunt ghosts, host a horror radio show, look after their animal army, and try to look impressive with polefit. Their attempts at gymnastics should never be spoken about.
Comic publisher, Edinburgh
Sloth Comics are an Edinburgh based comic book publisher who specialises in comedy, fantasy, action and adventure. They’ve got a lot of gory comedy with Booyah, a big green monster who accidently kills children and Goblins, the classic-fantasy bunch of little green failures who die on every page. They also publish a series of gas-light fantasy books, including an adaptation of HP Lovecraft’s Dreamquest of Unknown Kadath and the dark, gothic fantasy Hopeless, Maine by Tom and Nimue Brown which has enough ghosts, ghouls, vampires and steampunk to satisfy everyone.