Just about every year, Zandy and I (and now with G) go to this strange thing called Eastercon. It sounds like a really strange thing to go to, but with its own context it is a wondrous thing.
After all, can you imagine any profession where a conference is held once a year that both people within the profession and ordinary people can go to and mingle freely, meeting and discussing a huge variety of subjects of interest to the profession, garnering opinions from the people who use the profession, that people can network (or not, if they want to) and freely share information, where the professionals eat and drink in the same spaces as the consumer, for four days, in one hotel?
Well, if you're an aspiring science fiction/fantasy writer, Eastercon is a good place to be. As well as having the opportunity to meet very well successful writers like George R R Martin (I've also met Anne McCaffrey, Robin Hobb, Iain Banks and Charles Stross) you can rub shoulders with editors and publishers from the major Science Fiction/Fantasy labels and genre magazines and meet others in the same boat as you. Buy them a drink and compare notes of how to cope with rejection. You can go to panels to discuss how to avoid the biggest potholes in your plot (one panel discussion was on how to get published) and others on tips to improve your craft.
If All Things Literary Isn't for you, you might go into the games room and play a myriad of games. You might join the costumers and create something marvellous for the masquerade or costume ball. You might wander through the art show and see work from some of the most successful artists hanging alongside art from new people. You might have the opportunity to see Mitch Benn live (and for free), or knit a Clanger or Dalek. And there's so much more to do and see.
This is Eastercon.
The Guardian has written an excellent article here about the community of SF and how there is something for everyone, to coin a phrase.
But at the end of the weekend, you pack up your room and leave the cocooned space where fairies magically appear and make your bed and clean your dishes, and you return to harsh reality where your house is 11.9°C and the nappies need folding.
- Posted using BlogPress from my iPad
Location:Radisson Edwardian, Heathrow