A timely con report! Well, almost timely. Eastercon, aka Mancunicon, took place pretty early this year, since it takes place (clue in the name) over the Easter weekend. Also, (more name clues) it was in Manchester aka NORTHERER THAN LONDON, YAY. So my travel time from home was delightfully modest.Also, Manchester is a little bit good wtih its multiple connecting railway stations (yes, I know nothing about Manchester, shusht, it’s all new to me) so it meant that although the con hotel was sold out well before I signed up, it was still a very easy trip to the hotel, despite me staying some distance away.
This was the *checking website* 67th British National Science Fiction Convention. And my…fifth? Maybe? I’m not sure. I go intermittently, mostly when they have them more towards the middle of the country. And this was the first Eastercon where I volunteered for programming. Which was a bit scary, but mostly lovely. (In my head, Eastercon is all Proper Sci-Fi, and I am Doctor Who Sci-Fi, which is silly, for many, many reasons, including my brain deciding on a bizarre and arbitrary hierarchy of science fiction, and it deciding I didn’t get to be in sections where I’ve read and enjoyed and have opinions on stuff. HOW RUDE, BRAIN.)
Anyway, in order not to ramble on incessenantly about things like how I discovered I quite liked Stella Cider, it is almost the same colour as Irn Bru, did you know that? I shall conreport in the handy form of the unordered list. Voila:
- The programming overall was pretty great stuff. I think I maybe got bored twice, and I’m sure one at least one of those occasions it was me not having had enough coffee and sod all to do with the panel. Stuff that I saw that I give a double thumps up to: Revealing History, Revealing Now – history in fantasy! Lovely people being RIGHT AND PROPER about history! Sometimes people say things about history that make me a little stressed (often starting sentences with “women never…”) and there was none of that here and lots of being excellent and knowledgeable and such; Whose Line Is It Anyway? – I bought someone’s book cause it turned out they were V AMUSING at improv, which is obv how one should decide how to buy books; A Feminist Fantasy Canon – audience member mentiond Naomi Mitchision; I cheered, on the inside, I am an introvert, dammit; Balancing The Creative Life – this mostly enabled a lot of my dubious procrastination choices WHATEV, that is surely a good thign, shusht; Public Engagement With Science – I’m not sure if that’s the right name, I can’t find it in my programme book, anyway, bunch of scientist talking and it was quite great. I love scientists getting annoyed about stuff, or disagreeing quite voraciously. It always feels like it’s IMPORTANT, to me anyway. I blame Star Trek.
- There were at least half a dozen things I didn’t get to go to cause they clashed. Boo.
- I left quite wanting to be an amateur quantum physcisict, thanks to Alex Lamb. (Who suggests reading loads of popular science books to get comfy with the concepts *then* worry about the maths; and if you can write two pages of code you’re pretty much there anyway….which I am totally prepared to take a leap of faith on and assume, yes, I too can understand quantum physics). I have started on this EXCITING JOURNEY of SCIENCE with Quantum Physics FOR THE PERPLEXED. I totally bought it for the, um, scientific rigour, not cause the name made me lol. Anyway, the stuff it starts with is about the last stuff I remember doing at school (the double-slit experiment and how handy BUCKMINSTERFULLERENE (great name, or greatest name?) is), so I seem to have hit the right level. Soooooon, I will know all the mysteries of the universe!
- There was a podcast panel that was perfectly lovely but also made me try to hide in my chair. Because the panellists were talking about what makes a great podcast and they all had clips of said podcasts and one of them brought a clip of Verity! and I felt both delighted and omg.
- I feel like there should be more tea parties at cons. Strange Horizons had a tea party and it is a very excellent mag, made only MORE EXCELLENT by the fact they decided tea and biscuits for all! was a smashing convention plan.
- I only managed to catch one of the GoH interviews, and that was Sarah Pinborough’s which was smashing stuff. Charming and funny, and I’ve read her fairytale books, but the interview made me want to go find more things she’d written what I’d like.
- Awesome that Aliette de Bodard won the BSFA Awards for her novel and short story – I love her writing like pie; and if you read my post yesterday, you’ll know she’s probably my very favourite short story writer currently writing.
- Book loot! The Tor novellas were freebies, ra! And I very much recommend this range. I’m on my fourth one now, and haven’t been disappointed yet (though none has yet managed to top my first foray, which was Paul Cornell’s Witches of Lychford). The Frank Herberts I already own, but these were in So Much Better condition than my copies, so yay:
Also, the very final activity at the con for me (and, frankly, what I now think should become a Final Thing At The Con tradition) was my first ever game of Dungeons and Dragons. It was pretty great.