Wincon (Was RE: New book (and other things))

Jess Bennett jb at draftsman.demon.co.uk
Wed Sep 15 13:23:33 EDT 1999


On Wed, 15 Sep 1999, Lucy Mackintosh wrote:
>
>Er ... I'll try ... And with any luck, Jess will be more familiar with cons
>and will describe it from her point of view.  Mine is very much an
>outsider's view as this was the only such event I have been to.

It was very interesting hearing it from your point of view Lucy. I've
been going to cons on and off for <casts mind back and is rather shocked
at how old she's getting> ten years now. And I still feel rather like a
newcomer myself most of the time.

>
>From what I can gather, Wincon is fairly small by con standards.  It seems
>to be attended primarily by seasoned con-goers (con-attenders?
>conventionists? convicts?) who all know each other.  Several people told me
>that Eastercon is the one to go to for having a big party and meeting lots
>of new people.

I think there were between 1 and 2 hundred people there, which is
reasonably small. I knew the majority by sight, mostly from having
bumped into them at other cons. I think it would be a completely
different experience not knowing anyone. For me, if I didn't want to go
to a panel or talk to the two people I'd travelled there with, I could
pretty much guarantee finding someone in the bar to talk to. Shame we
didn't have this conversation before the con, we could have met up!

Eastercons have 500 - 1000 people, so the opportunities for meeting lots
of people are there, though it might be a bit daunting to go not knowing
anyone beforehand. If anyone's planning on going to 2Kon (next year's
Eastercon, in Glasgow) do get in touch, we could have a get-together or
something.

>
>Guests of honour were DWJ, Michael Shead (actor, Admiral Something in Star
>Wars), 

And Mr Bronson in Grange Hill, Hitler in Indiana Jones and lots of bit
parts in various other things. He was also an incredible 'luvvie' who'd
trot out a showbiz anecdote at the drop of a hat. Rather entertaining in
short doses.

>someone who writes comics, 

Warren Ellis (writes Transmetropolitan amongst other things), who I
hadn't met before, but who turned out to be a really lovely bloke, very
approachable and friendly - I got chatting to him because he laughed at
what it said on my T-shirt ('Vacuous Tart' in case you're interested)
and he insisted on buying a round of drinks.

>There were talks and panels on all sorts of things - do children get the
>best fantasy?, 

To which the answer was, of course, 'Yes'. Especially since DWJ was on
the panel.

>Being used to attending
>residential conferences and courses for  work I kept being terribly shocked
>that people didn't go to things and kept having to remind myself that no one
>was paid to be there.  It was a great treat not to have to take notes.

<g> You should go to an Eastercon. I consider I've been to lots of
panels at an Eastercon if I've averaged one a day. The temptation to sit
in the bar all day chatting to people, with occasional trips to the
dealer's room, is very great. 

>Beards.  Yes, there were lots of beards.  And oh so much hair.  Men came in
>three main styles: techie (indeterminate hair, T shirts from previous cons),
>real ale (lots of hair, lots of beard, T shirts from previous cons) and Neil
>Gaiman (long hair, lots of black).  I don't know how to categorise the
>waistcoat with the multicoloured lemmings, though.  Women's main options
>were hair and dress roughly as for male techie (but generally with a greater
>capacity for beer) or long hair and long clothes.  

LOL. Yes, I think this about sums it up.

>DWJ was there throughout and I'm sure was very approachable.  I avoiding
>approaching too closely for fear of exposing myself as a dribbling fool.  

I did exactly the same. She must have been wondering why everyone was
avoiding her!

>I think she said that the new book would be coming out next year 

Sounds vaguely right, though I can't remember properly either. It was
the last day, and I'd been up rather late the night before (this is
normal behaviour for a con), so my brain wasn't exactly in gear.

Have I bored everyone sufficiently yet?
-- 

Jess
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