Ringwood author, Mark Gallacher, recently attended the renowned Danish science-fiction festival Fantasticon this year with the theme Strange Creatures.

With hundreds of conventiongoers across the two days, June 25th to June 26th, fans of fantasy and sci-fi met to discuss the latest breakthrough books, films, and tv series of the venerated genres and meet successful authors on panel events discussing their works, like Lauren Beukes (The Shining Girls) and Priya Sharma (All The Beautiful Beasts). Ringwood’s own Mark Gallacher, author of Saved From The Fire, was also there and people were able to buy signed copies of his novel and discuss literature and sci-fi.

Saved From the Fire is dark, dystopian, heartbreaking and hopeful. The novel explores a multitude of themes, chiefly the dependency of humanity upon technology, wherein disparate stories are woven together through overlapping experiences and events. It exposes readers to poignant and harrowing lives, where technology is both their redemption and downfall. There are heroes and monsters, there is hope and there is loss. A fantastic fit for Fantasticon 2022 Strange Creatures. 

On the final day of the festival, an unrelated punk event known as ‘Bike Wars’ took place in the neighbourhood square next to the Fantasticon venue. Hordes of intoxicated punks witnessed snarling participants mutilate innocuous bicycles with reckless abandon, using axes, chains and even flamethrowers. The anarchic and violent scenes set to the visceral noise of deafening punk music evoked a definite rejectionist, anti-everything, post-apocalyptic, Mad Max feel. Something the murderous, technology-hating, book-burning Librarians and Informationists of Saved From The Fire would relish.

‘Not for the fainthearted,’ Mark commented, with a wry smile. 

Is there any hope in a world, even in microcosm, abandoned by law? In a dark future lit only by the sparks of wanton, human, destruction? Perhaps all that will be left will be a few treasured books, a few precious stories saved from savagery and fire, for us to read and find hope in.

The answers lie in Mark Gallacher’s profound science-fiction novel, Saved From The Fire – available HERE on the Ringwood Website.