Well, that was fun. Exhausting, but fun.
We arrived around mid afternoon on Friday, and soon met up with the first of many old friends (in the bar, natch). Then I was into a hectic evening’s programming. I was one of several guests on the opening chat-show, and I took the opportunity to confess that Novacon was the only convention I’d ever been thrown out of, although that was a long time ago…
Next was the double book launch, and I was really pleased by the turnout – boosted, no doubt, by the free booze. Still, people really were queuing round the room for their books. On a roll, and having already caused a delay by having my launch run over its allotted time, I then barged my way onto the Conspiracies panel, which made for a fun end to the formal events of the evening.
Beloved, in his role as the voice of common sense, stayed up drinking with me – and many others – but did drop gentle hints about needing sleep around 1am, which I heeded.
Up for breakfast on Saturday, then on to a talk on parallel universes, which introduced the useful concept of Schrodinger’s Jeremy Clarkson and the Quantum Suicide.
My interview was fun – what’s not to like about being allowed to talk about your stories shamelessly for a whole hour? – although I kept having to catch myself to avoid letting spoilers slip.
As an extra bonus event I organized a ‘Chocs & Frocks’ get-together on behalf of TWP, an APA I’ve been in since before we had t’internets, and which is still going today. After losing losing the lid to the container of wasabi beans I’d brought along to supplement the chocolate, I performed my first Abuse of Guest Privileges (henceforth: AofGP), and went round the bar forcing said dodgy snax on hapless con-goers, most of whom felt it would be impolite to turn down food proffered by the Guest of Honour. Well, they’d only have gone off otherwise (the beans, not the con-goers)
In the evening I was taken out and fed excellent curry, without having to lift a finger to organise anything. And then, more drinking and talking. One of the great things about Novacon is that it is not too big, so I got to spend time with most of the friends who were there, rather than just seeing them across crowded rooms.
Sunday, I was two for two when it came to actually being conscious for breakfast, thanks again to Beloved’s gentle late night reminders. Straight after that, there was an excellent talk about Alan Turing. Then, the art auction. Novacon produces a chapbook every year with a story by their GoH, and it’s illustrated by astro-artist David Hardy, whose work I greatly admire. Obviously I needed to own the picture that illustrated The Ships of Aleph … even if I did have to commit my second AofGP by turning round and giving a Hard Stare to other potential bidders. Suitably cowed, no one bid against me, leaving enough in my budget to buy a Dr Who print by new (to me) artist Alex Storer.
My last panel was one on short stories which, I’m embarrassed to say, I had failed to prepare for as well as I could. I had intended to reread some old favourites but ran out of time in the run-up to the con. It was still a good discussion. And then, the closing ceremony, in the course of which I was given a lovely Steampunk pen/pocket telescope (great juxtaposition!) and also challenged the laws of probability (or possibly proved the Many Worlds theory) by drawing several sequential raffle tickets, assigning the prize of free Novacon memberships to two members of the Novacon committee and then giving away a free copy of Downside Girls to the book’s publisher. Raffles are not truly random, my friends.
This left only the ‘dead dog’ party which was indeed very cultured, with delicious Thai food and more beer than you could shake a damaged liver at. Also, a surprisingly amount chocolate. Well, I shouldn’t really be that surprised, given this is fandom, although I did commit my final AofGP by demanding a second piece of chocolate so good that it was probably illegal in many countries. Despite staying up even later (Beloved had given up around midnight) I did make it to breakfast, though only to say goodbye to people; solid food was, alas, beyond me.