Last week I decided at very short notice to go to Dysprosium, the 66th EasterCon (the BSFA’s annual convention). I’d been in two minds about it, in part because I’ve been a bit underwhelmed by BSFA events in London and I wasn’t going to know many people there. Events like this are always much more fun with friends. I lucked out in the end, and some old friends of mine who live nearby booked at the last minute, and there were a few other people I knew there, including my comrade in Musketeer-love from my book club.
I had a wonderful time, mostly dashing from programme item to programme item, but it did force me to accept that I don’t have the stamina to commute to stuff like this any more. If I’m going to go I need to commit to it and book a hotel room. That much excitement, so many interesting programme items and so many people have left me exhausted. And that’s without the whole cognitive dissonance of going from a creative, playful environment back into the office.
So, before the magic fades, here are some personal highlights.
The invasion of the cat people.
There were a lot of people wearing cat ears, thanks to the lovely people at Genki Gear. I was one of them.
She was horribly jet lagged (“I can see time!” “You are all lizards!”), but gloriously entertaining on every panel she did. She’s a favourite author of a friend of mine (though I have never read any of her books), so it was really interesting to hear her speak. Never have I seen anyone get so excited about necrotising fasciitis.
I spent a lot of fun time visiting the dealers. There was some amazingly creative talent there this weekend, and I succumbed several times, including to a purple top hat.
One of the highlights was hanging out with Doctor Geof, who drew my portrait and enrolled me in the First Tea Company.
He has some wonderful steampunk inspired art and collectables. Check out the posters, in particular.
Gollancz must have been clearing out their stockroom as there were free books galore. I probably got my membership cost back just in free books.
There is something wonderful about being surrounded by people enjoying themselves in creative play. There was fabulous cosplay. There were inventive and funny panels too. My favourite was the late night bar argument that turned into a programme item on which was best, Thomas the Tank Engine or Ivor the Engine. (For the record, Ivor won, largely because of the poor health and safety record and endemic bullying culture in NWR, whereas Ivor has a dragon for a friend and is allowed to go to choir practice.). And there was wild speculation, like Charlie Stross wondering if the Dangerous Dogs Act applies to werewolves, particularly given its requirements for muzzling and castration.
And a lovely man let me hug his Catbus.
So, will I go again? Probably.