Friday, 22 August 2014

LonCon 3: Friday The Saga Continues

The totally awesome WorldCon Philharmonic Orchestra, made up of world class musicians from the London Symphony, Royal Philharmonic, and London Philharmonic Orchestras playing both modern and traditional classical music.
Friday morning and Susan had slept well.

Whereas I was woken early by the first trains going past our hotel, and couldn't get back to sleep.  As Saturday was going to be full on day for me, with Susan trailing behind, I let her lead the way on what we went to see.  Remember we are now running Plan B.

Besides I was feeling too frazzled, and my brains couldn't make any decisions.  And there was so much to see and do that one could only catch a small fraction of what was on.  Making decisions when one is tired is really hard.  It didn't help that I had forgotten to print out my list of all the things I wanted to see.

I know how very retro of me.

The first panel of the day was The Exceptional Girl Warrior, and what I learnt was avoid the tired tropes of making your young protagonists orphans without any skills.  It had a nice set of panelists, none of whom I had heard of, but they all spoke very eloquently on the topic.  What I took away was  make your protagonists competent at something, and show them becoming more competent instead of going through a learning to be competent story.

Afterwards we dropped into Social Media and New Authors panel, for obvious reasons.  It didn't tell me anything new, but it was entertaining enough.  It also confirmed I was doing the stuff I thought I ought to be doing as a writer.

We then saw the BIS: Skylon and Spaceflight of the Future a presentation by Alan Bond in the main auditorium.  It was good to see the progress being made on the Sabre engine, and the news about money starting to come in to fund the project from the British government.  If all goes well we will have single stage to orbit shuttle in about ten years time.  Susan was so excited by the talk we went to the dealers room, and she bought a model of Skylon to put on our shelves.

Mission accomplished, we went for lunch.

We walked down the long boulevard in an exploring the fast food outlets until we found something we liked the look of, and drank coffee while we ate.  We then got talking to friends who saw us eating, and then it was nearly 15.00, and time to make our way back to the main part of the convention for another panel.

Luckily I was wearing sandals made for walking.

We got into see Space on Screen, which had our friend Jaine Fenn acting as moderator.  Chris Baker was also on the panel and some people remember him back in the day as Fangorn.  He worked on the film Gravity, and had lots of interesting things to say, as did Bridget Landry, and not to forget Paul McAuley and Allistair Reynolds.  This really was an A-Team panel, and the room was packed to the gunnels.

At this point things get a bit fuzzy.

The next thing I remember doing was going to see SF: What it is, What it Could Be.  Another packed room, which made it hard to see the panelists, but I enjoyed the discussion.  After that we went on to what was the stand out item of the day.  A performance by the WorldCon Philharmonic Orchestra.  Live music of favourite SF pieces, and classics with themes relating to space etc.  Outstanding.

Given the time the concert finished all that was left for us to do was go to the bar for a quick drink, which turned into a long drink.  We sat talking to friends, and we didn't get to bed until 02.00.  There is nothing like having a good nights sleep to wake up fully refreshed with a spring in one step in the morning.  And we got nothing like that for the entire con.

This has been part two of my con report posted one week after the convention.

To be continued...

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