10.00am saw me moderating the panel, ‘The Appeal of Steampunk’ with panellists GofH Tim Powers, Toby Frost, Cory Doctorow, Peter Harrow and Venetta Uye. It was a daunting task aided considerably for having a clear head and six hours sleep (unusual under con conditions). I was delighted that all of the panellists engaged fully with the subject, with delightful physical evidence of steampunk’s appeal courtesy of Peter Harrow’s steampunked IPod and gleaming pocket watch. Tim Powers was a gentlemen, Cory Doctorow a brain, Toby Frost an expert, Venetta Uye an academic, Peter Harrow an enthusiast, and me, well I was the gas-punk insurrectionist with the sense to listen to my wiser fellows. The panel was recorded and I will post the file as soon as it becomes available.[more]
Lunchtime Del and I joined Colin Brush and Hannah, rep for Puffin, for another trip to the silver bowls of digestive enlightenment. Then it was 2.00pm and time for me to be a panellist on ‘Pacifism and None-Violence in SF & Fantasy.’ The panel was moderated by literary critic, Farah Mendelson, and featured author of the excellent The Goneaway World Nick Harkaway, and the very affable Sam Kelly. In retrospect this probably wasn’t the best choice of panel for an urban SF writer into her smash-em-and-crash-em car chases, martial arts and rebel championing. But hopefully I didn’t come across too pro-aggression – except in the realms of literature.
Luckily there was a genteel steampunk tea party to attend after. The costumes were fantastic, particularly the array of military uniforms, and it was big congrats to my fellow steampunk panellist from earlier, Toby Frost as he celebrated his forthcoming Space Captain Smith launch. Then it was on to Liam Sharp’s launch of God Killers, where I also caught up with Liam’s other half, the very smiley Chris.
With this serious stuff done and dusted, it was time to relax and drink a stiff shot or several…Because Sunday Night was Rock Band night, organised by the delectable Danie Ware and the debonair Dave Devereux. Armed with a bellyful of dutch courage I took to the mike alongside the gorgeous Sam Moffat and the rest of ‘Sleazy Diesel,’ namely Del on drums, Paul Skevington on guitar and Tiff on base. It was fantastic, mind-blowing fun and we came second!!! And I even got a snog out of it. Thanks Sam!
Monday was a bit of a downer in comparison. Hearing that Scarlet had been poorly, we got straight on the road so didn’t even get to say our goodbyes. While I was very happy to get home to our little girl, the con had been a blast, and over all too soon.
– Ben North: Flamenco Dancer
– Danie Ware in fishnets
– Ian Watson in platform-heeled PVC knee-length boots.
– Liam Sharp’s powerslide
– And, of course, for one Night Only: Sleazy Diesel live on stage.
Roll on Odyssey 2010!