Eastercon blog 1
April 6th 2012
Normally when I update the blog, I do so using the online WordPress editor. Not today, dear reader, for bad internet connection is bad: my usually-reliable dongle is stuttering and spluttering like a ten-year old Austin Allegro. I don’t know whether it’s the room I’m in (1st floor out of 3) or that Heathrow is sucking my bandwidth, but whatever the problem, I’m lucky to get a reliable 3G connection, let alone high-speed kilobytes a second.
Which rather knocks the idea of streaming the PKD award. Ho hum.
So – Eastercon. I left Newcastle at just before 9am, and finally swung into the Radisson at just before 2pm. After loading up with name badge and goodie bag, and a refreshing cup of tea in the Atrium, I leaf through the programme, and my eyes immediately alight on “Talk on Cassini and Saturn” by Leah-Nani Alconel. Saturn? Moons? Magnetic fields? I roused myself from my bench and across the way to a soon-to-be well attended talk by Imperial College space scientist Dr Alconel.
Two things about her: firstly, she loves her job. It showed in every single sentence. Secondly, she really loves her job. Seriously. We’re talking hardcore science bug. Yes, I knew some of the stuff already, but the Cassini mission magnetometer data was new to me, and it was presented in a way that wasn’t just engaging, but exciting. Kudos to the doctor.
Straight afterwards I bumped into Philip Palmer, fellow Orbiteer and journeyman – which is one of the good things about Eastercon. An oft-repeated phenomena, in fact, because after I’d wandered down the road to my hotel (I’m in the overflow) and come back, I met Darren Nash, formerly of Orbit and now at Hachette Digital. “Drink?” I suggested.
Four and bit hours later, we’d (him, me, and a frequently-changing rota of SF folk) pretty much put the world to rights, having discussed the Clarkes, ebooks, Hollywood’s passion for remakes, sex, religion and politics. A good evenings work, even if I say so myself.
After a few more conversations, here I am, back at the hotel, wondering what’s happened to my internets…
Tomorrow, it looks like first panel is on “Sufficiently advanced magic”. I may even take notes.