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

Jess Bennett jb at
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

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

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?

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