Skip to main content

Worldcon - the world SF convention


This particular Worldcon is called Loncon3 as it's the third one to be held in London. On the morning before I went I put a photo of my Star Wars T-shirt on Facebook and commented how it would make me fit in. Not that I needed to fit in. I saw:
  • a large green cat like figure
  • several top hats, some with brass goggles
  • several Terry Pratchett hats
  • a spoon headdress (worn by a space scientist)
  • a Tardis dress
  • a dragon on someone's shoulder
  • just the one fez
The breadth of the programme is amazing. It runs from Thursday to Monday. There are 600 items which means at any given time there are about ten things to choose from. All sorts of types of SF are represented: literary, film, graphic, TV, young adult, music and science too. 

As well as all those items there was an art show, dealers stalls, a games tent, a library and a fan area. What I was looking forward to was seeing some authors I've read or certainly heard of, in the flesh. Like a twitcher I ticked off Cory Doctorow, Kim Stanley Robinson, Paul McAuley, Alastair Reynolds and Chris Foss, the artist. The list of people who I've heard of, or read books by, but didn't see in person, was longer. Headed by Charlie Stross, it included George RR Martin, Brian Aldiss, Ben Bova, Lauren Beukes etc. etc.


One popular format on the programme is the panel. One moderator, four other people, usually authors, and a question to consider. I went to one on ideas vs. story, one looking at Elysium and Gravity, and other space films, and one on that age-old question "what is SF". Or to be more accurate:
SF as a genre is both loaded and contested, bringing with it decades of controversies, assumptions, prejudices, and possibilities. What do the genre's various practitioners and consumers think SF is? Are we speaking the same language, or talking past each other? How do perceptions of SF - in terms of who can write it, who can consume it, and what kinds of stories can find a market - create or reinforce realities? Is 'core' SF still about space exploration and colonisation, or is there room for other types of stories? If SF is 'dying', as we're frequently told, what does that mean and in whose interests are the preparations for its funeral?
Some people who are more fannish than me are probably bored of the question, but I found it interesting.

Moderating a panel is a skill and those that I saw did it well, though there was one famous author who seemed to take over the questioning. There was also a Q&A with Chris Foss, the artist. I enjoyed it, but at the end I thought that he does do quite a lot of spaceships. When a van passes me with diagonal stripes on the back I'm now thinking of him. The art exhibition showed just what a vast breadth of SF&F artists there are.

There was a really good writeup in The Guardian and a picture gallery. I saw the Waggott family in that first picture and a couple of the other people there myself. I went on a Friday. On the Saturday they had the costume show - Masquerade - so there were probably many more people in costume around the place.

Comments

Popular posts from this blog

Cardboard seven inch tablet stand

When I got a Playbook I wanted to use it to listen to BBC iPlayer while doing the washing up. So I made a cardboard tablet stand out of the cardboard you get with new shirts.

Recently I came across a video by Jude Pullen showing how to make a right angle joint with card and it inspired me to share what I'd done, via a PDF rather than a video though.

The PDF below is for a Playbook but I would have thought that any seven inch tablet, like the Kindle Fire or the Google Nexus 7 would fit. If in the unlikely event they are more chunky than the Playbook, you can just cut the slot wider. It's probably more sturdy if you make it out of a corrugated cardboard.
Seven inch tablet stand


20 years of blogging: First post

Back in 1999 it mostly cost money to run a blog (from what I can remember). You had to sort out your own hosting. Then Dave Winer made on offer on his blogging platform editthispage.com for a 60 day free trial, so I was away. So what was my very first post? What words did I choose to post for all on the internet to see?
 23 December 1999 I'm stil trying to decide what to do with this. Click on the skull to add your suggestion. Oh, that's not very good is it. A typo in the second word too. The URL was morrissfamily.editthispage.com. (I think. Everything I say could be unreliable, because it was a while ago.) I also created an FAQ page that day:

Who are the Morriss family? We are just a normal family with a dad who likes exploring the internet.Why don't you have more information? Because I'm not sure want I want to do with this site. I think there are no typos there. The idea was that I would share family news. Come back in January to see what my next post was.

20 years of blogging: fourth post

4/1/2000 Things are moving We've had the letter from Wycliffe about "raising support".  They want us to aim that 25% of our income comes from other people by the end of a year, and 50% by the end of two years.  Other news: I've officially asked for voluntary redundancy Spoiler: after 4 years of trying I didn't even get to 20%, so I was paid a salary after all.