is over. Worldcon
is now in the hands of the L.A.con IV
committee — if we can judge from the contribution of their “space cadets” to the closing ceremony, they are a fun bunch and the con should be good... but it is unlikely we shall be able to afford to go. It seems like yesterday, rather than a week ago yesterday, that we were walking into the SECC
to get our MIMO
badges to help with the setting up of the con. We left the Dead Dog Party in the early hours and finally got home about three. My legs are aching, which is hardly surprising after walking miles back and forth on concrete floors for eight days. The good thing about hotel-based cons is they have carpetted floors!
It was a good con, the sort of con you have in your mind when you read glowing descriptions of SF
cons for the first time (for me, that was in some stuff written by Asimov, no idea where — perhaps in his introductions in Before The Golden Age
, but I honestly can’t remember). Over 4,000 people were there, and almost all of them were friendly and even charming. We encountered exactly two rude people. Unfortunately, one was a local — clearly not fully in his skull for some reason, and just plain obnoxious, he was completely not the typical fan. The other was an American, and his behaviour exhibited the sort of boorishness which gives American tourists such a bad name (which most of them — and in particular almost all the American fans — do not deserve). That’s not at all bad out of that number of people.
We met people we knew but hadn’t seen for some time. Last night at the Dead Dog I found myself sitting beside Chris O’Kane. We looked at each other, recognised each other’s faces, but couldn’t recall when we’d met. We suggested some cons from the late 1970s that might have been the occasion, but of course it wasn’t at a con that we’d met, it was during my too-brief period of attending the Trouts in about 1978-79, before pressure of work destroyed my social life for a few years. Neil Craig of Futureshock
was there — his hair may be grey now, but there’s still plenty of it.
And then there is the meeting of new friends from far and near. I particularly want to mention Barbara and Piper from California, who are fortunate enough to live only a few miles from the L.A.con IV site, as well as llynecat
, Morgan Nightbear, whose email address I seem to have misplaced, and others from the USA, plus, from nearer home, Helen X who was a great help on the Info Desk. It would be nice to get to Novacon
if only to see Lucy again before she heads back to Australia, but I suspect we won't manage that. From Sweden, we met thette
, whose LJ I had previously come across; in her last pre-con post, she desribes herself as “someone quite short and chubby” — well, she isn’t tall, but she didn’t strike me as notably chubby. I had met Børn (from Norway) before, but not really his delightful wife, Sidsel, who came to our midnight programme item on Sunday and rather liked the Moniack Mead
we provided: on Monday, she dropped by the info desk to find out where she could get some.
The parties, of course, need to be mentioned. As always, the Scandinavians excelled (for the purposes of this we’ll include the Finns under this heading, although they aren’t actually Scandinavian). I didn’t make the Finnish party, as it was obvious if I went to that (and probably also the tequila-serving Texan party next door) I would stand no chance of getting sober to our programme item at midnight. I heard all about it, though, and it sounded good. The Norwegian party was, as always, superb. However, for the first time I can recall at a con with Scandinavian parties, it wasn’t quite the best. The Swedes put on a stonking party, with vast quantities of smoked moose sausage served on crispbread clinching their leading place. The range of alcohol available helped, too, of course.
The other parties were pretty good too. Worth noting was the homemade mead served up by BWB
, the refreshing punch at the Kansas bid
party, the Japanese party’s plum wine, the fiery confectionery strewn on the Chicago bid party’s tables, and the South African party with its very friendly people and plates of biltong. Oh, and then there was the twister game at the Redemption
party — you don’t see that every day....
worth noting: Chernobyl in 2011
, Geneva in 2008 (er... “The Geneva Convention”), and Xerps in 2010
One tradition of British cons was ruthlessly flouted, though. The real ale bar was provided by the Kelburn Brewery
, who kept restocking it — so we couldn’t drink the bar dry by Day 2! The swine!
I haven’t mentioned the programme much. We did get to a couple of programme items, plus our own (not something you should take for granted!), but, as Børn noted last night, you can tell a good con by the quality of the programme items you are missing. Everyone said what a good con this was — and those who were there in ’95 noted that it was better than Intersection
Well, we had a good time, a very good time, and it’s done now. As our Dear Leader, Colin Harris — not to be confused with our Glorious Leader, Vince Docherty — said at the closing ceremony, there was something of a lump in the throat that it was all ending. All I can say is...
... ten years’ time, anyone?