Saturday, March 22, 2008

At Eastercon

It's a terrific convention (in a hotel the geography of which I cannot quite grasp).

My first Eastercon was Seacon in Brighton in 1984 -- a huge and wonderful affair. I was 23, wide-eyed and delighted by the convention. Bumptious, gawky, ransacking the dealer's room for Lionel Fanthorpe books for Ghastly Beyond Belief, occasionally mistaken for Clive Barker (why?) and starting to suspect that I might have found my tribe. And now, 24 years later, I'm some strange old-timery creature, at an Eastercon of 1300 people that's the biggest since, er, Seacon in 1984, and, despite the worries that friends have expressed to me about the greying of fandom, there seem to be an awful lot of people here the age I was at my first Eastercon or younger, an amazing amount of enthusiasm, and a lot of people who are having their first convention, and who may even now be suspecting that they might have found their tribe.

Altogether, a good thing.

Lots of old friends, and some new friends -- both China Mieville and Charles Stross are Guests of Honour as well, and I've known Charles for 20 years. (China for less than that.) I first signed in Fan Guest of Honour Rog Peyton's bookshop with Kim Newman in 1985 for "Ghastly Beyond Belief"... I keep running into people whom I sort of recognise. Then I mentally subtract 25 pounds, make their hair dark and realise who they are.

Did an enjoyable, even if none of us were quite awake yet, panel on mythology in the morning, a wonderful panel on Fantastic London in the afternoon. Ate lunch with Patrick Nielsen Hayden, dinner with the astonishingly nice Paul Cornell -- who I am definitely supporting for a Hugo, at least until Steven Moffat comes through with the promised ice-cream, at which point I might waver. But until then it's Cornell all the way. We spent dinner in full Doctor Who nerd mode. It was much too much fun -- and I got to tell him an obscure Dr Who fact that he didn't know. Possibly one that not even Steven Manfred knows. Holly said we were very cute, and she enjoyed the conversation except possibly when we got onto the early stuff. Also somewhere in there was a lot of signing.

I met my Romanian publishers and was given Romanian copies of my books, and promised to think about coming to Romania...

Lots of fun things tomorrow -- I want to do a bit of a reading during my Guest of Honour time, because the only reading I'm down for is one for kids (a Wolves in the Walls reading) but I have to decide just what I want to read.

Mitch Benn plays at the convention tomorrow night. He just sent me a link to his latest video. It's a happy birthday song of a political nature. But the tune's nice and catchy...

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