This Island Hinckley

Well, I’m back from Eastercon, the 56th British National Science Fiction Convention. I wasn’t there for too long (the convention lasts from Friday to Monday; I popped in for the Saturday and Sunday). It was certainly an enthusiastic gathering. Science fiction fans are a breed apart; they engage with their interests and enjoy the opportunity to speak to the writers and the other artists associated with sci-fi. The events ranged from a James Bond-style casino to a live screening of Dr Who to an audience-participation staging of Shakespeare’s Richard III

Audience: “When is the winter of our discontent!?”

Richard: “Now is the winter of our discontent…”

If this doesn’t make any sense, consult the guide.

In addition to the hustle and bustle, there was some some hobbing and nobbing. I bumped into Ken MacLeod (the splendid author who provided me with an equally splendid review of Déjà Vu way back when) and engaged him in a conversation that involved a lot of blithering on my part. Ken told me about some of his upcoming books. Judging by his descriptions, and his past efforts, they should be ones to look out for. Also bumped into Charlie Stross, Cheryl Morgan and M J Simpson. Mike Rennie and Lucy Zinkiewicz (thanks again, guys; particularly Lucy for letting me crash) introduced me to bewildering number of people, each of home asked me a bit about my book. Of the ten or so copies of Déjà Vu I took with me, I managed to get eight of them into circulation. But the trip was more than just business. It was nice to put names to faces and say hello to people. Very nice they were too.

And, if that wasn’t all splendid enough, I managed to pick up a mug (from ZZ9 Plural Z Alpha‘s sign-up table) reading ‘Something that tastes almost, but not quite, entirely unlike tea’.

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Ian Hocking

Writer and psychologist.

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