My First Eastercon

I’ve been to a couple of conventions before. FantasyCon is fun if you already know a few other attendees, and Alt.Fiction has great panels (and is also just down the road). It was with a little trepidation that I agreed to accompany my better half to Illustrious (Eastercon). I don’t really consider myself to a part of any fandom, for the most part because I read pretty slowly and can’t keep up with everything. I also seem to have unreasonably high standards for books and a tendency to end up not liking the “great works”. Mostly though, I was shit-scared. Four days is a long time to spend inflicting yourself on other people and my anxieties were on fine form.

I needn’t have worried. Everyone was lovely and welcoming and fun. Despite the ridiculous hotel (dismissive, confused staff and horrendous prices for pretty much everything), I had an brilliant time, made a bunch of new friends and even attended some panels!

So, onward to what I’ve learned!

  • You need a food plan. Hotel food is crazy expensive and the NEC area is effectively an industrial wasteland, especially on a bank holiday weekend.
  • Monorails are still awesome. We discovered that we could use one to reach our hotel.
  • Do not go to an Etap hotel and expect a bed that will result in you feeling anything less than thoroughly abused. Mind you, the shower was great. POWER!
  • Walking through the NEC at night is way creepy. Industrial estates aren’t the nicest of places in daylight, but at least there are noises then.
  • I no longer care to argue about genre vs. literary. I’m now going to argue in favour of labelling the aforementioned argument being pointless. They’re all books. Move on.
  • Fans can be beyond common sense. Nerd arguments are funny, but also annoying and frustrating. Reasonable debate seems rather rare among fandom.
  • ‘Tropes’ is actually pronounced ‘tropés’ (not really). One panellist kept saying it that way and I seriously began to question my command of language.
  • The dealer room is a dangerous, DANGEROUS place.
  • Talking like a pirate for an extended period of time really hurts your throat.
  • If you can’t find the lever, always push the plug.
  • Filking isn’t actually rude.
  • I haven’t entirely thought my female character’s personalities through (the women-in-fantasy panel was very interesting!).
  • There’s a gap in the pet market for frunkies.
  • If there’s one thing that can drag you back to sugary coffee it’s a 3am bedtime. Yes. I know. I’m aged.
  • I need to finish projects. Seriously. As in, “you lot seriously need to harass me until I finish one story before I’m allowed to start a new one”.

By the end of the con I was massively craving the vegetables. Junk food will get you so far… Quite far. Some might even say fairly far. But ultimately what it will get you is ill. The sweet potato and pea soup we made when we got home was possibly the best soup I’ve ever tasted (relatively). Roll on next year!

Thanks to Emma, Saxon, Tom, Amanda, Andrew, Cathy, David, Sue, Kathy and Vick for keeping us company. Awesome, lovely people!

One thought on “My First Eastercon

  1. Cathy says:

    Yeah, that pronounciation of tropes was confusing. Especially as I’ve been fooled by that sort of thing before.

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