I spent most of last year's SFX Weekender watching my Twitter stream while sat at home feeling both jealous and smug about the fact I hadn't attended - jealous because people seemed to be having a blast, and smug because it seemed as though there were MANY teething problems. This year the jealousy won out and I decided to purchase a ticket and see what the event was like for myself...
What I Did
- Danced with a werewolf
- Marvelled at girls on stilts wearing feathers and not much else
- Risked the restaurant and survived
- Rocked out to an ace set by Craig "Lister" Charles, who was (I found during his Q&A) a very funny guy, albeit very cheeky!
- Stood on the Angry Robot stall and sold books to excited people
- Was unable to resist buying a Rainbow Brite cushion (the retro charm suited the "retro charm" of Pontins...)
- Listened to three very, very different authors talk about themselves and their books
- Ate pizza with publishing friends
- Met some BRILLIANT new people
What I Learnt
- China Miéville is still nervous about the reader reactions to his novels
- Julie Crisp is an legend on the dance floor
- If you're in a situation, Lee Harris and Adam Christopher are the guys you want on your side
- Jon Green is an absolute gent
- Peter F Hamilton's waistcoats are amazing
- Robert Rankin is fabulously funny and humble
- Watching films with those who know all the lines is more fun
- It IS possible to time travel (it must be, since I just spent the weekend in the 70s...)
- Geeks are still the best and most friendly people I know
I have now been to four convention-type events across the UK - Eastercon, Alt:Fiction, Fantasycon and now the SFX Weekender - and I found the latter to be a very cool experience. It was awesome seeing so many people showing so much love for this genre across its many media forms. I chatted with people who were there just to see Terry Pratchett; I chatted to others who have been attending cons since before I was born, and to people all in between - and what became apparent was that everyone could find something to love about the SFX Weekender.
Top job, SFX guys and gals.