This year’s Worldcon — the appropriately named LonCon3 — was held in London over the weekend, so I popped along on Saturday to have a look.
WorldCon is a science fiction convention that’s held every year in a different city, different country, and has done so since 1939. Worldcon also hosts the Hugo Awards.
The convention was huge! Multiple discussion panels, a Fan Village with gaming tents and its very own library, an Exhibits Hall with tons of loot for sale. Slightly daunting at first and so much to do that I barely scraped the surface.
Here are the discussion panels that I went along to:
- The World at Worldcon: SF/F in South and South-East Asia
- The World at Worldcon: Chinese Diaspora SF
- Bridging the Gap: Genre and the Mainstream
- Imagining the City
The South/South-East Asia and Chinese Diaspora SF panels were great fun with some excellent audience participation at the end of each. Adam Roberts‘ surprise appearance for the Genre and the Mainstream panel was also a pleasant surprise. He’s an excellent speaker: intelligent, articulate, modest and very funny. Other favourites included John Chu in the Chinese Diaspora panel for his infectious enthusiasm and humour, and Zen Cho for much the same reason in the South and South-East Asia panel.
I’ve read and enjoyed several of John’s stories so it was great to hear him talking about his work, especially when it came to questions about translating these English-written pieces back into Chinese. There are various gender-neutral and tense challenges that would make this a difficult task. I can certainly recommend a couple of John’s stories: Thirty Seconds From Now and The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere. Both of these are available to read on-line. The latter of these two stories went on to win the Short Fiction Hugo later Sunday evening. A worthy win. A great read.
One of the highlights of my visit was meeting up with some old friends — Chris, Ola and Claire — who I haven’t seen since Eastercon 2013. Good luck Chris and Ola with your adventures in China! I hope to see you over there sometime.
Another reason for attending the convention was to pop along to a literary get-together run by my agent John Jarrold. I’m quite new to this and I have to admit that I found it rather daunting to be in the same room and talking with the likes of Ben Peek, Mark Newton, Gareth Powell and Gaie Sebold. Blatant name bomb! Well, I think I played it safe by keeping my gob shut (which makes a change).
It was also pretty fantastic to bump into Saxon Bullock who I haven’t seen in years. He tried to don a cunning disguise — i.e. sans-beard — but I still managed to recognise him. Madness!
After all of this I very nearly missed out on the trade stalls which were shutting up shop by the time I arrived in the trade hall. I added to my t-shirt collection (Uber Torso if you see anything you fancy):
And I now have a list of books that I need to buy including Zen Cho’s Spirits Abroad as well as Fish Eats Lion edited by Jason Erik Lundberg, and many others.
So that was LonCon3: busy, fun, great to meet up with a load of old friends. See you at the next one!