So I've made it back from the wilds of Birmingham, where I spent the weekend sequestered in a large hotel with a large number of sci-fi fans. If you can't be bothered to read what will doubtless end up a long and rambling report, the short version is: I really enjoyed Eastercon.
The trip down was alright, straight across the A69 (except there was a massive fuck off traffic jam, so we skipped down the A689 as a detour) and then straight down the M6 (where there was also a massive fuck off traffic jam, blargh). Our Travelodge was just off the A45 and was easy enough to find, once you'd gotten lost and gone in entirely the wrong direction for a little bit. Aside from delays and drunken twats yelling about shattered ankles and cracked skulls at 3.30am, Thursday went quite well.
So Friday was the first day of the con, we all piled into a taxi which took us to the Hilton, where we stood in a long queue to register and get timetables/voting thingamajiggies. There were no freebies this year - surprising, but not wholly disappointing, since it meant less to carry around!
Apparently contrary to many people, I was quite impressed with the layout of the hotel. Everything was essentially on one level, the rooms were quite large and shit was easy to find
. Plus, the fan lounge, bar and food hall were all nice spaces with plenty of places to sit down. Which, y'know, I happen to think is a good thing! I certainly found it better to get around than the Radisson last year, and as my Dad remarked, fewer stairs was a good thing. (AFAIK both venues are mostly disabled accessible, but I think the Hilton is easier, and certainly was for Dad who has some mobility issues.) There was an admitted problem with the majority of the rooms being way too hot, but otherwise I quite liked it.
The things I went to on Friday were:( Delightful! )
On Saturday, we stopped in at a Tesco's and grabbed drinks and sustenance (because the hotel's prices were ridic. high, even for a hotel =/), then made our way to the hotel (I may have gotten lost a little bit getting there, but in fairness anyone could confuse NEC Parking and NEC signs...).
Things I went to on Saturday weeere:( Fascinating! )
And then we went back to the Travelodge, unfortunately, since we all (excluding Aaron) wanted to be up in time for the Easter service next morning.
Surprisingly, we did manage to get up in time and get there (despite Daddy falling over and doing his best impression of a turtle - only mildly funny since he'd tripped over at the Travelodge the day before =/). It was a lovely service, run by dougs
. Very much a sci-fi fan service, but very good nonetheless. I've never sung a hymn to a midi file before, but there's a first time for everything!
Following that, the items I went to on Sunday were thusly:( Invigorating! )
So then Dad, Aaron and I sat around in the bar discussing shit, and Mum went to another panel. I got to take note of the really cool costumes that have come out this year. Lots of steampunk, and one in particular was so cool - essentially a Victorian shoe shiner, with some steampunk-y elements (I think...? I could be wrong and it was a straight period costume, IDK I suck) ETA found some pics of the costume I mean, here and here, see what I mean? Neat!
. I thought it was pretty clever, especially since it's true - were we honestly in a Victorian future (....you know what I mean), most of us wouldn't exactly be airship pirates...
Anyway, to Monday. Once again we arrived waaaay early, and Mum and I walked through the bluebell wood that connects the Hilton to the NEC. It was very pleasant, and there was a lovely lake :D But the NEC was sooooo weird when it was completely empty and shut up, aside from one Newsagent.
But you don't care about that! So here're the things I did on Monday:( Magnificent! )
And then it was all over, and we went home! I slept nearly the entire way, haha.
Some final thoughts on it all: I liked the venue :)
I liked the 1.5 hour item length - the extra half hour was immensely useful!
Most panels weren't quite as advertised, but on the whole very interesting nonetheless.
Tesco is so much cheaper than hotel food it practically hurts, hahaha.
The Dealers room was good! I got 4 books, 2 necklaces (one of which was this, isn't it fucking awesome?) and 2 t-shirts :D
I really want an iPad.
Next con plans are Nemacon in June - an anime con in Middlesbrough, and then probably Novacon in November, and then possibly Thought Bubble - a comic thing (con? massive dealers room? something else? IDK) in Leeds. I'm excited :D
Also hahaha why did I get this up before my MCR post? *sob*