Attended my first BristolCon today (Sat 20/10/2012) and a pretty fine con it was too, with I'd guess between 250 to 300 attendees. After wandering through the arts room and dealers room I went to the first event on the program in room1 where (from left to right) Dev Agarwal, Aliette de Bodard., Michael Dollin, Ben Jeapes and Guy Haley discussed the possibilities of colonizing other planets and if we could, would we want to go? Dev and Aliette didn't seem all that keen but I think Michael, Ben and Guy might be persuaded!
Next up was Juliet E. McKenna interviewing Guest of Honour John Meaney and the conversation covered such subjects as when did John first start writing, to the novels he has written and also touched on martial arts. When question time came around I was really tempted to ask Juliet (akido) to demonstrate some moves on John (karate) and then stand well back... but I chickened out :)
After a quick cup of tea the next event was Netiquette for Writers - How not to make a twit of yourself online. Giving advice were, from left to right again, Robert Harkess, Dolly Garland, Mark Aplin, Marc Gascoigne and Guy Hayley. Subjects included, never respond to bad reviews! Don't get dragged into posts that get out of hand, the recent spate of sock-puppetry and much more.
And then it was time for a spot of lunch and a couple of pints with my mate Steve Upham who insisted on doing his impression of 'Chad'
After lunch I went to see the next Guest of Honour Gareth L Powell being interviewed by Kim Lakin-Smith.
Gareth spoke about the writers that influenced him when he was a youngster and surprised me by saying Capt. W.E. Johns' Biggles was one. He then explained how his new book's hero, Ack Ack Macaque forced his way into being and bullied him into taking his Interzone short story on to novel length. Finally he read an excerpt of the novel and finished at a cliff-hanging spot so all listening were motivated to go buy the book!
The third Guest of Honour was the artistic and beautiful Anne Sudworth who designed the cover for the 2012 program and with other artists discussed art techniques in a digital age.
Finally, before I had to leave, who should I spot propping up the bar? None other than Joe Abercrombie (one of my favourite authors) who'd been signing copies of his new book, Red Country, just up the road in Waterstones. He generously exchanged a few words with me and then signed a copy of the book. Then to top it all I forced a copy of my book on him (Flames of Herakleitos) and even signed it for him. He graciously accepted it and although couldn't promise to read it (he has a massive stack to get through) said it might come in handy to prop up a leg on his wobbly desk...
Dedication says: To Bob, Best of luck with the lonely profession. (that's what I put on his one too...)
And finally, here's my haul from the con. A nice freebie bag from Forbidden Planet, Steve Upham's Antho edited by Johnny Mains, The Screaming Book Of Horror and Probably, Maybe, Perhaps by Terry Martin of Murky Depths. A great con and well worth going to, see you in 2013 guys!