I'm still recovering from yesterday's BristolCon. A whole day full of fun, excitement, intelligent (and sometimes weird) conversation, and a whole lot of books.
Official start time was 9, so I was there at 8:30 of course. Advantage of that is that I didn't have to queue up to get my name tag. Managed to catch up with some nice people I met last year, and met some new people as well. Jo (the supremely efficient chairperson for BristolCon) was already a busy-bee, as was Meg - providing panellists with their schedules, setting up books for sale etc. I was on three panels this year. It was good schedule for me, first 9, second at 10, third at 11 - all 50 minutes long, with 10 minutes break in-between. But that meant that after 12, I was free to be a visitor and sit into everyone else's panels. Being on panels was good fun (at least for me), despite some nervousness that comes from being a newbie. But I have to say - my fellow panellists (mostly writers, some artists) are the most wonderful and supportive people you could ever meet. Our audience was great too, and the whole thing went smoothly, and we all had a good laugh, especially in the Battle of the Books panel. Paul Cornell and John Meaney were excellent champions for their chosen books - though I still think Paul has some audience hypnosis power.
Mike Shevdon did a session on Archery. It was informative and fun, and it could've given Legolas some tips about archery. Another fun session which included Joanne Hall and Paul Cornell on the panel was G.R.R.M Is Not Your Bitch! The sentence made famous by Neil Gaiman's blog post was now an event at BristolCon.
For the first time at BristolCon, we had two parallel streams of programmes. It went wonderfully, though often many of us were left wishing we could be in two places at once because all the events were fantastic. Last year was fun, but I just feel like this year we did so much more. Dealer's room was full of wonderful books and authors. In the afternoon, two book launches which included Gareth Powell's book "Recollection" that received a fantastic review in The Guardian.
Keith, the founder of a popular writing software Scrivener was there as well, explaining further details about the software, and answering questions about upcoming Windows version. Cheryl Morgan was a fabulous moderator on the Battle of the Books panel. I attended KaffeeKlatsch with John Meaney and we learned not only about his writing prowess, but amazing Yoda Powers. KaffeeKlatsches gave a good opportunity to have decent conversation with writers you really wanted to spend more time with.
I'd intended to leave early, as soon as all the workshops finished but I was having so much fun that I decided to stay till the end. Just as well because the quiz was fun, and thanks to supreme knowledge of Philip Reeves and Iain our team (Minion + 5) actually came second. The said minion provided me much amusement.
By the time it ended, I realised I'd missed the last train home. However, wonderful Jo Hall and her friends came to rescue, and gave me a lift home. Good thing too, because by that time I was totally knackered.
So all in all, a wonderful day, spent in wonderful company.
And for those of you who can be in Bristol area next year, 2012 BristolCon is scheduled on 20th of October. I can't wait!