Oh Nine Worlds, you minx, you appear one weekend every summer like a mirage burn brightly for three days and then disappear back into imaginations for another year. I have so much love for this convention it is really unlike anything else I attend all year.
This year my chap and I elected to stay in the con hotel for reasons of convenience and as a treat seeing as we weren’t having a Holiday. Last year I was purely here as a con goer. This year, some friends ably arm twisted by @rebeccaslater put together and hosted an icebreaker of a pub quiz with prizes and fun. From the feedback we got from people who we didn’t know it seems like it was well received, so much so that we’re going to do it all again next year.
Friday I think was personally my most successful day at the con. I was early for everything and got into every panel and workshop that I needed to. I tried to vary my tracks a little more this year, I dipped my toe in fanfic, which is something I’ve dabbled with in the past. I also went to several creative writing panels and workshops as well as all of the books and the film track too. I won’t give a blow by account of every panel, mainly because my brain is a little rusty and two weeks later I can’t remember all of the ins and outs. But a huge shout out to Emma Newman and her Fear of Writing workshop. Seriously, if you get the chance to attend one of these get yourself to it. I’ve got several pages of notes and a lot of head stuff to work through as a result.
Saturday was a much busier day and some of the panels were put into rooms which were smaller than the equivalent panels in the previous year. Despite getting to panels very early and being willing to sit on the floor or stand somewhere unobtrusively I got moved out of some of the panels I dearly wanted to see. Last year con goers were allowed to sit on the floor but this time there were some very serious people who would not entertain such things. Part of the problem also seemed to be other attendees camping in rooms which was a little bit unfair. The other hand was that there was always something else to see and do so I made the most of it and indeed it gave me the opportunity to get to know some twitter friends better. @Runalongwomble accompanied me to a number of panels when we couldn’t get into our first choice events.
One of the highlights for me was Knightmare Live. As a child of the 80s and 90s it was an absolute hoot to watch Tom Scott the Dungeoneer being steered through all sorts of obstacles. The guys also wandered round the hotel letting folks have their photo taken with the helmet on. I was so thrilled to get to do this – literally a childhood dream came true. (Also Lord Fear – a total hottie)
So meeting up with old friends, making new ones, playing exploding kittens with Imperator Furiosa and some other new people meant a fantastic time was had. There was also much swag in the shape of books and my to read list has become ridiculous as a result.
If you’re interested, this was my take on last year’s event.
You can get tickets for next year’s event here (£75 before the end of August)