Sunday, 6 February 2011

A Weekend by the Seaside

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 MiĆ©ville 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.

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