Bristolcon and Post-FenCon

Well, FenCon was excellent. It's one of those conventions run by a gang of mates who've been together forever, but they're interested in outreach, in attracting an audience, so it wasn't like a couple of those I've been to where you feel like you're at someone else's yearly general meeting and it's all a bit grim. They're keen that new attendees feel it's their party too. I made a lot of new friends (Alan J. Porter, Warren Buff, Carla Ulbrich, Keith DeCandido, hello). Guest of Honour Lois McMaster Bujold was delightful, popping along to other people's panels, with loads of questions about comics, because her Miles Vorkosigan saga has just started to be adapted in a French anthology. I really enjoyed being Toastmaster, because it gave me a chance to present, to interact with an audience and improvise. I don't think I've ever been exposed to that much filk music before. It's a slightly unusual mix for a convention: SF; music; science (with NASA guys up from Houston); media. And they take it all equally seriously. It works. And they've got a record number of pre-registrations for next year, so the party's going to be even bigger next time out. I may well pop back just for the fun of it.

Tomorrow is Bristolcon, the world's smallest convention. (I suppose the vanishing point for that would be, say, Corey Doctorow stepping into a cardboard box and declaring it to be BoxCon, with just him, but then he'd have to do at least one panel and take audience questions.) It runs from 2.45pm to 5.45pm, during which they'll fit in five panels. Which means we'll be talking faster than me Keith DeCandido on the 'two men yell about comics like they're on speed' panel at FenCon. (And okay, there are social events in the evening.) It's actually smaller than both MicroCon and PicoCon (and PicoCon is bigger than MicroCon, so what's that about?) I'm looking forward to it, assuming I can get my health together, because...

I came back from FenCon with a Post Convention Condition of some kind. It's just a big rude cold, but for a while there I thought I'd lost the Swine Flu lottery. This is actually a recognised syndrome in fandom. It's traditionally called Con Crud. We get together once a year, and shove right up close in con suites, sweating over mayo dips. Not enough time to share immunities, plenty of time to hothouse a virus. This is, after all, what happened to the American Legion. It was their convention that led to the naming of Legionaire's Disease. I wonder if SF fandom will ever get a disease named for us? (Pause for twenty minutes of self-hating humour from Doctor Who fans.) Maybe I'm just allergic to filk. There's a Robert Palmer song in there somewhere.

So last night, I propped myself up and stumbled sweating through the crowds at the reception on the first night of Caroline's first term at theological college, or Vicar School as I'm sure a BBC3 documentary series would have it. I wonder if it'll be just her this morning, with everyone else in bed with the snuffles? I'm so proud of her, to have finally started on her life's ambition. It looks like an interesting course: I quite fancy sneaking in the back of some of the lectures.

I'm still managing six pages of comics and 1000 words of Wild Cards every day, mind you. That's my minimum requirement for facing myself in the mirror without feeling unemployed. Ah, and talking of which...

That's Adi Granov's fabulous cover for issue two of Black Widow: A Deadly Origin, coming to you from me, Tom Raney and John Paul Leon this autumn.

And finally, a few months before I'll start really raving about it (it's out next March), here's the cover to Chicks Dig Time Lords, an anthology of articles by female writers (and at least one man, unfortunately) about Doctor Who and its fandom. It's co-edited by my old friend Tara O'Shea, and it promises to be excellent.

It's already available on Amazon UK: you can find it here

I think it might cause quite a stir in the mainstream British media. Anyhow, that's me for today. I shall leave you, coughing and spluttering, and hope to see some of you tomorrow. But don't get too close. Cheerio.

17 Response to "Bristolcon and Post-FenCon"

  • Marjorie Says:

    Hope you feel better soon, and that Caroline and the other vicars-to-be didn't catch it. (although presumably they will forgive you if they did!)

  • Joe Says:

    Hearing you say "All-Star Git Down Filksing Hootenanny" was worth the price of admission.

    It was great meeting you!

  • Rhonda Says:

    I so want to be part of "Chicks Dig Timelords Vol. 2". 8-) I'm so glad you had a good time at FenCon. Don't be a stranger, we always welcome our GOHs back with open arms.

  • S.H.I.E.L.D boy Says:

    Adi Granov's cover is stunning.


  • EE Evans Says:

    I'm really looking forward to this book! Also, love the cover art.

    Why "unfortunately" about a single article by a male? I always think it's good to get another perspective. I don't understand why that would be unfortunate... o.O

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    We'll see how that goes, Marjorie, thanks! I still can't say that, Joe, and ta! Nanny hooting. Thing. I may well be back, Rhonda, and yes, spread the word. SB: I think so. EE: I'm glad you feel that way.

  • James Mahaffey Says:

    Ok Paul, you asked for it...well not really, but here it is anyway...

    For Paul

    The music starts, and you’re unsure
    If you know what you’re in for
    You better have a snack or two
    Avoid the dip..I thought you knew!

    You stagger off, to the loo
    Feels like you've caught Swine Flu
    You’ll be o.k., don’t worry, bud
    What you’ve got is called Con Crud

    Not enough time to share immunities
    Oh yeah
    You’ll have to self medicate and take a pill
    You know you're gonna have to face it
    You're allergic to filk

    You can’t resist – you go back in
    You want to hear Tom Smith again
    There’s Joe G and Carla U
    I can’t believe, can this be true?

    David Lee is playing blues
    And Uncle Bill is jamming too
    But soon the pill starts wearing off
    You start to splutter and to cough


    Might as well face it: you're allergic to filk
    (repeated 4 time)
    (repeat one last time, a cappella)


    The music starts, and you’re unsure
    If you know what you’re in for
    You better have a snack or two
    Avoid the dip..I thought you knew!


    Might as well face it you're allergic to
    filk (8x)

  • Michele Says:

    I just might get 'Chicks Dig Time Lords' (don't think much of the title, but never mind!) I'm curious about the essay on Rose since I feel the show did the character a huge disservice.

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    That's great, James, thank you. Anyone got another version? Michele: I don't want to ask, do I? No, I think I'll avoid that temptation.

  • Michele Says:

    I just think the show made Rose regress to a clingy, can't-live-without-the-Doctor girl from the relatively kick-arse girl she was in S1. I think of the way she talked down Nine in 'Dalek' when he was brandishing that gun, compared to the way she behaves in 'Journey's End' when Ten almost regenerates (and she's seen him do THAT before so why's she whinging like that?).

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Why is it when I say I don't want to know, people always tell me?

  • Michele Says:

    Sorry... :(

  • heatherfeather Says:

    While the title leaves a lot to be desired(I hate the word "chicks", the book itself sounds interesting. I've felt that New "Who" has attracted more female fans because of the growth of the companion's background and family.
    Glad to see you enjoyed the Con and you missed the swine flu:)

    Good luck to your wife.

  • mezzaninedoor Says:

    How does it feel to effectively be working for the 'big mouse' :)

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    Thanks, HF. I think it sounds jaunty. Mez: brilliant. See earlier post for why.

  • Garpu Says:

    Not the flu? Spread during PAX like wildfire. Hope you feel better soon!

  • Paul Cornell Says:

    I'm pretty sure it's not.