Well, we have returned from the only sunny weekend of the year spent indoors in a hotel bar. A very nice time was had at Eastercon. We spent the weekend with two of the chaps on our books, Eric Brown and Keith Brooke. Eric seemed particularly keen to discuss eunuchs and Aqua Marina. Make of that what you will! Mind you, we did chat about Michael Coney for a good while too, since we're both fans of the little-known writer. Plenty of good folks were there: Dave Langford, Richard Morgan, Paul Cornell, Ian McDonald, John Jarrold. Our pretty cover designs were passed around to much hushed awe... I drank far too much Chardonnay the first night, and was on water for the rest of the weekend. Nuff said about that.
It was a fairly quiet convention on the whole. This was the rescheduled convention after the collapse of the previous plans for Liverpool (I think). The dealers room was not as great as I'd hoped. There was too little to make me skulk to the cashpoint thinking about how many meals I'd miss this month, and I was even more annoyed there were few small press titles there. Plenty of second hand books, and a few oddities. There was a small art show, too, the highlight being Chris Moore's gallery. A fabulous artist indeed. The panels had too few ones on literature for my tastes: you got your TV and film stuff, your komodo dragon lectures, your monorail discussion. Plenty for everyone, I guess, even the Filkers. But not quite enough for the book geek in me. Still, there was a solid crowd there, and everyone seemed happy!
The British SF Award for best novel went to End of the World Blues by Jon Courtenay Grimwood, so alas my vote for M John Harrison's amazing Nova Swing counted for nothing. Still, I've just plugged it again, so there.
Next for us will be Derby Alt Fiction, which was a very useful trip out last year. It's all the literature elements of a genre convention crammed into a day.
— Mark N