Saturday, 17 February 2018

PicoCon 35

The theme was harmony.

Falling the day after my birthday, this year I went alone to PicoCon, run by the students from the Imperial College Science Fiction & Fantasy Society. Susan was off on an archery coaching training course, so she missed the fun. Still, I had me some fun, bought a couple of secondhand Andre Norton novels for Susan, and saw friends.

The illustrator at work.

This year the first two speakers were unknown to me. However, they weren't exactly unknowns. Paul Stewart and Chris Riddell did a two hour talk, overrunning a bit. There was a toilet break, so all was good. Paul Stewart is a writer and Chris Riddell is an illustrator and political cartoonist who does a bit of writing too. Their talk had to be the most original presentation I've ever seen at any convention.

Looking like he's about to perform a magic trick.

They talked about their books while Chris Riddell drew cartoons that commented on the presentation in an amusing manner. He was slick, producing drawings on the fly that were shown through an overhead projector. They joked, bantered, and they were entertaining.

Then we had a break for lunch.

She said she was very nervous.

Next up was the charming Emma Newman, who instead of talking about her books and writing, instead chose to talk about her work as an audio book narrator. At any other event this would have been a standout presentation in its own right.

The hand of the illustrator.

Finally, there was an author panel to answer audience questions, where Ben Aaronovitch turned up. Another very entertaining panel, enhanced by Chris Riddell's off the cuff illustrations.

As always, my friend Chad Dixon covered the event, streaming it live.

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