Kim Lakin-Smith

Science Fiction and Fantasy Author

Tag: Eastercon

Eastercon LX 2009: SURREAL SUNDAY

steampunk_girl 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.

Highlights then:

– 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!

Eastercon LX 2009: FREAKY FRIDAY

So there went Eastercon. Over a week later and I am only just recovered from my immature excesses. But what a blast! It was so good to see so many friends, old and new, and I even got to a few panels this year.

Friday, a typical pre-con mania descended on Ivy House as Del and I tried to get ourselves packed up, Scarlet tied up in a bow and delivered to her grandparents, and Drake – our big fat black lab – taken care of. At last, we were on the road to Bradford and very pleasantly surprised to find it only took us an hour and a half to reach our hotel. Unfortunately this turned out to be in the town centre, with the con hotel being located several miles away on the city’s outskirts. Immediately on entering the doors though, we met up with the ever cheerful Mr Ian Whates, who was kind enough to act Easter bunny with a lovely box of chocolates. At reception, we bumped into Deborah J Miller, writer, Wonderlands extraordinaire, and administrator of the David Gemmell Awards ( which are taking place on the 19th of June at the Magic Circle Headquarters. After checking into our room – a weirdly small deluxe twin which required some sort of swift footed ballroom dance to take place every time Del and I needed to pass one another – we found ourselves installed in the bar with Deborah, her beautiful daughter Tiff, and Mr Ian Watson.[more]

Next port of call was Eastercon itself at The Cedar Court Hotel. The set up this year was very sociable, with the main bar having a decent amount of seating (even though a certain horror writer stole my seat as I was about to sit down, leaving me stood there, open-mouthed – you know who you are, oh tyrant!) Friday evening saw us catching up with Tom Hunter – administrator of next week’s Arthur C Clarke awards, Simon Gilmartin, Neil K Bond, Donna Scott – administrator for the British Science Fiction awards, author Sam Stone, artist Anne Sudworth, Ben North – Creative Director of Harper Collins, Colin Brush of Penguin Books and others. I was also delighted to meet a good Facebook friend, SF writer Gareth L Powell in the flesh at last!

Later that evening and after a few jars, we piled into the 10.00pm panel on ‘The Marketing of Novels’ moderated by Ian Whates, writer, editor and owner of New Con Press, with panellists, the aforementioned Ben North and Colin Brush, and also the DDG Danie Ware of Forbidden Planet (aka @Danacea at Twitter) and Peter Crowther of PS Publishing. The panel was exceptionally informative, particularly on the harsh realities of the heavy weight publishing houses and the realities of getting your book displayed with the main book retailers. It was also the first time I’d witnessed such a clear division between those members of the publishing industry who were all for embracing online marketing and social media, and those yet to be convinced of its value.

So, what is a gang of SF devotees to do on a Friday night in Bradford? Virtually commandeer the entire floor of the Eastercon disco of course! The Mission, Sisters, G&R, Rob Zombie, MM, NIN, Aerosmith – good tunes, bad dancing, much fun. We finally poured ourselves into a taxi and headed off back to our hotel about 2.30am.

Eastercon: battles, punk and tea parties

The UK’s largest science fiction convention, Eastercon LX will be taking place 10th-13th of April 2009 at The Cedar Court Hotel, Bradford. Del and I will be attending for the full event and I am delighted to be taking part in two panels.

10.00am (ouch!) Sunday is ‘The Appeal of Steampunk’. I will be moderating the panel and am joined by guest of honour, Tim Powers, LX co-chair Peter Harrow, Cory Doctorow, Toby Frost and Venette Uye.

2.00pm Sunday I am a panellist on the subject of ‘Pacifism and nonviolence in SF & fantasy’ The moderator will be Farah Mendlesohn, and my fellow panellists will be Sam Kelly and writer of the incredible ‘The Goneaway World’, Nick Harkaway.

In-between we’ll be making much use of the bar and enjoying the delights of a steampunk tea party, futuristic disco and Forbidden Planet’s Battle of the Bands.

Visit for more information.

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