Monday, 5 April 2010

Eastercon – Afterthoughts

Back home after a truly excellent Eastercon weekend. Stepping out of the hotel there was a certain amount of blinking and squinting at the unfamiliar sight of natural daylight, and the process of starting the car seemed to have become a complex and overly fussy operation that I barely remembered having mastered before the con. The journey home was okay, but there is a lingering and inevitable sense of displacement on re-entering the real world.

Enough of that – what were the highlights?

Top of the list was Writers and the Web, a panel that featured Joe Abercrombie, Maura McHugh, John Meaney and Mark Charan Newton. I didn't know any of these writers in advance (there are so many out there) but as a result of this panel I will be making a bee-line for their books, because they were, each one, thoroughly entertaining - the only disappointment being the moment when the hour came to an end. It just goes to show, a talent for live interaction with an audience can be so useful. (Note to me – you do not have this talent, do not try it. Ever!)

Oh, and as well as entertaining they gave out some useful advice, like keep your blog up to date. Or a least be consistent about how often you up date it. And if you can't keep it up to date, don't start one. (Bit late for that now.) And blogging is okay for a writer but it's more important to do the actual writing. Yeah, I've just noticed that scribbled note and I've strayed from the advice within an hour of getting home. So this will now be a short blog. In fact I'll switch to bullet points. Then I'll do some actual writing.

So... Other highlights:

  • SF/F and social media (in which some of the veil of mystery attached to Twittering was revealed to me.)
  • Non-Euclidean Geometry – Nicholas Jackson. (Because I almost understood some of it.)
  • Pyrotechnics display by Stephen Miller (because he didn't raise the hotel to ground, especially as Sarah and I were in it at the time.)
  • Fusion Power by Anthony Webster (because I have a thing about fusion, something to do with not wanting to go back to a manual typewriter any time soon.)
  • Writing for Audio, (Jack Bowman, Paul Cornell, James Swallow, Philip Palmer and Martin Easterbrook.) I love any radio that avoids music and jingles but especially radio and podcast drama, so this was a gem of a panel. The Wireless Theatre Company is one to subscribe to. (I might even try writing a bit for this medium some time.)
  • The Hugo Nominations (Yay, go Starship Sofa.)

And some honourable mentions:

  • Tax and Royalties – bit close to the day job, perhaps, but could save me a few bob in the long run.
  • GoH Alastair Reynolds' talk, especially his ability to wing it for a while when the tech failed.
  • The little cubes of fried potatoes at breakfast. Loved these. Probably loved them too much. Probably love hotel breakfasts too much in general.

And now Odyssey2010 is over and I'm thinking about Birmingham next year. But I really have gone on a bit and I'd better do some proper writing – the kind with plots and grammar and some of the words spelled right.

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