Friday 4pm Saturday 1am Saturday noon Saturday 6pm Sunday 1am Sunday 5pm Monday 1am
Redemption 07 at the Hinkley Island Hotel - so far, not bad. Been wandering round a bit, half-recognising semi-familiar faces from the DWCon. Check-in was a faster process than that time, too. The hotel is the same as last time - the aircon making it slightly chilly mostly, but overactive to freezing point in the bar again. At least I don't have a costume that involves me wearing no shirt.
When I first saw the programme, I thought I'd never get a chance to eat and so on, there's so much going on. I managed to rationalise some of it though, and now I have free time, potentially. I've been to one event so far, a panel event about the different writing and production styles required for various media. It was - illuminating.
The amount of leaflets advertising other Cons in the freebie bag was - rather high. Practically the first one I saw was the one for DWCon08 at the Hilton Birmingham Metropole, with BriD as Lu Tze on it. There was also one for Orbital and one for Novacon, at least one of which I think I shall be looking at going to.
Okay, my plans for the day totally went out of the window. I met Tal (from DWC06) dressed as Yeoman Rand, and instead of the runabout design workshop, I went to the filking thing, followed by a bit at the ceilidh instead of watching Dark Star (will have to rent it on DVD). We then spent some time talking in the Rotunda (I still can't help thinking of all the room names as they were at DWCon, though), and the talk got a little personal. It was a little tricky for me, what with everything that I'm trying to accomplish at the moment, but it ended amicably. I controlled myself as she allowed me to take a photo of her in her costume, then went to see her room door, which had been decorated as a stargate. I'll be taking a photo of that tomorrow. And also hanging out at the pool for a bit, so that means some things I'd decided on for Saturday will also be going out the window probably. It's going to take me ages to get to sleep.
Saturday, and things didn't go as planned, but neither did they go as otherwise planned. No pool, and missed a couple of items, but I did get to the panel on props for military SF. Wasn't bad, lots of geeking about guns and uniforms and insignia and so on, but not exactly what I thought it'd be. There was nothing about what would be or needed to be included for an authentic military operation (which was what I was there for), but more sort of what guns were used in the new BSG and Stargate. Got a pretty full afternoon planned, but whether I'm able to follow it remains to be seen. It's like Napoleon said - "no battle plan ever survives contact with the enemy". In this case the battle is the convention events I'm going to see, and the enemy is the convention itself, and the people at it who might convince me to do otherwise. Got more leaflets for other upcoming Cons - will have to see about them. I also bought a Death's Head ring - the traditional symbol of actors, pimps, and other low-lifes (in silver, at any rate. This is in pewter.)
Afternoon did actually go pretty much as planned. A panel on RPGing basically descended into arguing about the merits of various different game systems. I wasn't feeling particularly awake at the end (nothing to do with the subject matter), so instead of the panel on what SF Cons would be like in 50 years, I hung around a few minutes then went to the charity auction. I bid on two items - one, a lego X-Wing, I didn't get, the other, some prop teeth from Hogfather, I did, after agreeing to split it with Smurf. Retrieved a red bull from my room then went back for the writing for radio workshop with Scott Fredericks, and after that a panel on why do we love SF but hate science. It wasn't as clear cut as that, and the debate had barely got going properly by the time we had to wrap up. Wandered a bit, then scoffed a pot noodle in my room whilst watching the music channel. Then off to the fancy dress & cabaret (finally, a Con where I'm not in either!), followed by the disco.
Very good cabaret and fancy dress. Went to the bar in between while they cleared a dance floor, and nearly got decapitated several times by Tal's wings (she was in the cabaret, singing a Heather Alexander song). Strolled over to filking again, as the disco didn't sound too lively, and there were only six people dancing. After a short while of filkage, had a slight wander, then arrived at the disco. Good disco classics kept people dancing, although I only got myself onto the dancefloor for Surfing USA, where I made use of a chair. The disco faded through to the rock phase, and I found myself dropping out. This is normally my favourite stuff, but it has been so long since I was at a late disco, I'm out of condition. I retired gracefully to write this up and then sleep. Tomorrow, I have a panel on military SF that I might miss, then an hour's break, then the backsword workshop, then lunch, then a bit on alien cultures, the closing ceremony, then a two-hour gap before a panel on the future of SF, then the swordplay for writers panel, then I get a taxi quick-sharpish to the station. Let's see if that plan can be stuck to.
Well, the plan was almost entirely followed. I deceded to drop in a couple of extra panels (Templars - Saints or Sinners? and The Original Orion Programme) to pass the time. The backsword workshop was good. I was a little pleased at how easily fencing moves came back to me after so long doing nothing, and how similar the technique was to stage fighting. I may have to look in to going to ConFounding Tales in Glasgow at the end of May, as they have a stage fighting workshop. Oh, that's a point, I almost disappeared under a pile of Con leaflets; DWCon08, Redemption09, Orbital, Novacon, Year of the Teledu, ConFounding Tales, Reunion 5. I may have to look into going to some of them.
The closing ceremony was fun. The usual stuff, announcement of prizes, thanks to all and sundry, have one last look at the guests and comittee. The winner of the Ruler of the Universe election was announced. Of a little over 400 people eligible to vote, 800 votes were cast. Some of the candidates only got a few votes, but some got a hundred or more. The official winner was The Space Baron (basically a clone of Ming the Merciless), but the Puppet Alliance joined with Londo Molliari to form a winning coalition (284 vs 262). Then Kickass allied herself with the Space Baron, so Zaphod Beeblebrox joined the Puppets and Londo (366 vs 328), and other candidates came together (including the tech crew with nine votes!) and I didn't get a picture 'cos my lousy camera's battery died. I really need a new camera. Anyway, got a couple of hours to hang around in before the last couple of events I'm going to - the future of SF & Fant, and the Swordplay for Writers (the one that I really wil not miss, and in fact re-arranged my travel plans to be able to get to it).
Missed the first workshop I intended due to issues, but made the second one, where I got to hold a big sword - a bastard sword, actually, not the biggest there is, but still impressively large. If I were in a situation where I has to use a sword, I'd prefer an arming sword, as they're a bit shorter and lighter, and therefore easier for a weed like me to control. Had to leave before the end, due to time constraints about trains, so said goodbye to Tal, got a taxi, and froze my arse off waiting at the station for 10 minutes. Another 40 minutes at Nuneaton in a waiting room reading the Firefly Companion I'd picked up (along with a Farscape Series 3 Companion), then a nice comfortable, warm train ride to Milton Keynes, where a rather quick change awaited me, more reading of Firefly on the train from there, then got the bus home from Harrow & Wealdstone. Finally made it back at 1am, and I have to get up in 6 hours for work.