CinePunked at Octocon 2021

We’re delighted to confirm that CinePunked will once again have a presence at Octocon – The National Irish Science Fiction Convention, which is running online again this year from 1st – 3rd October 2021.

Registration for the convention is free, with a packed programme of talks, panels, and access to a huge online community via Discord. To sign up visit

Both Dr Rachael Kelly and Robert J.E. Simpson will be in attendance, and while the schedule is subject to change, will be appearing in the following sessions:


13:00 The TV-ification of Film
Channel Two (Twitch) Track: TV/Film
Type: Panel Ann Gry (moderator)RB KellyKim NewmanRobert JE SimpsonAnne-Louise Fortune
How did making original films just become about setting up a sequel? So much of what we watch now feels like pilots for TV shows that never get made, all being thrown at the screen in the hope of creating instant fans for an ongoing multimedia brand instead of just making one good thing and then if that works, making another. Join us as we explore the negatives and positives of these strange new worlds that have birthed thousands of orphaned fans and many hashtag campaigns.

14.30 Reading: RB Kelly
The Library (via the Lobby/Zoom)


11:00 The Gateway Fiction That Brought You Here
Channel Two (Twitch)Track: Literature
Type: Panel MaryBrigid Turner (moderator)Jean BürleskRB KellyPeadar Ó GuilínAmie Kaufman
Did you ride into fantasy upon the back of a dragon or climb in through a wardrobe? Were you enthralled by Dracula or terrified by IT? Who gave you your first glimpse of a ray gun or a rocket to Mars? There are as many paths to being an SFF fan as there are books in L-Space, and our panellists reveal the stories that opened the doors – and wormholes – for them.

13:00 Howling Laughter: The Intersection of Comedy and Horror
Channel Two (Twitch)Track: General
Type: Panel Robert JE Simpson (moderator)RB KellyKim NewmanAnthea WestDilman Dila

Why is screaming so close to laughing, surprise so close to shock? Why does comedy so often fill the gaps in tales of horror? From ‘Abbott and Costello Meet Frankenstein’ through ‘Scream’ to ‘Happy Death Day’, these two great flavours of entertainment prove to be a winning combination time and time again. Are the audiences just here to see the juggling of the opposing forces of fear and joy, or is there a deeper truth to be found in how we deal with subjects too terrifying for the rational mind?

16:00 I Used to be a Fan and That’s OK
Channel One (Twitch)Track: Fandom
Type: Panel MaryBrigid Turner (moderator)Janet O’SullivanGillian PolackRobert JE SimpsonDavid Ferguson
Many fans have needed to renegotiate their relationships with the books, shows and comics that helped define them, whether because the creators and contributors have lost their fans’ respect, the stories and characters are out-of-date, or the fandom itself has turned to the bad. Can we ever reconcile our conflicted feelings, and should we even try?

17:00 Titancon Presents: Writing Our North – Culture and Belonging in Northern Irish Literature
Channel Two (Twitch)Track: General
Type: Panel Samuel Poots (moderator)RB KellyGraham AndrewsCaroline Mullan

Northern Ireland has proven fertile ground for the fantastic, from the young adult adventures of Narnia to the multi-species medical drama of Sector General. But what characterises N. Irish genre fiction, and how do its writers explore the unique blend of cultures and traditions found in Our Wee Country?  

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