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Xray the Enforcer

A Reckoning of the Damage: Loncon3 After Action Report (post your own!)

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Mountain Goat: You've been my British husband since 2012, however, our relationship ended on account of irreconcilable differences. I may or may not ask for spousal support. I haven't decided.

The irreconcilable differences being that you are just sooooo argumentative. Like all the time.

I commiserated with your US husband and at least I only have to put up with the headaches for a few days every couple of years. That poor, poor man.

I should probably put up a con report myself at some point but I don't have much time what with TitanCon being just a couple of weeks away. All I can say is it was great to see everyone again and meet many others for the first time. It may be a year or two years before I see some of you again and that's just too freaking long :grouphug:

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Posted a short Loncon3 wrapup on my blog, but just wanted to drive by and give shouts to everyone who I was able to visit with for the brief time I was in Fan Village. Had a razor-tight schedule all con long, and the only free time I had in Tent City was spent at the BWB tent on Friday (short visit), and then again on Saturday night when it was just Bros chilling and Jo singing (again, short visit).



Was great to finally meet Elio and Linda. Mr. X, Xray and the hardcores amaze me as always. (Xray moderated her first ever panel, and she was as stellar as I expected she would be.)



Stoked to see Raya enjoying her first Hugo nomination (but not her last). Cheered like hell when Game of Thrones won the Hugo.



Enjoyed getting to visit with so many of you over there, and before/after my programming items. These things go by so fast....it would not be a Worldcon for me without you folks.



http://picacio.blogspot.com/2014/08/good-times-loncon3.html


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Sunny, AllMenMustRhyme, Buckwheat, Crannogmen, Dracarya, et al: You are the brightest, most wonderful people and I am lucky to have finally met you (except for Dracarya et al who I had met two years ago in London.) You can count on me always. I'm so very proud of you all!!

I still wonder why, it is not like I in particular achieved anything! :rofl:

Pod.

Hear hear. :lol:

It was great to talk to you. :)

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Ah Buck, hush. You have lots to be proud of :D

I blame Pod for me not seeing Pod.

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The irreconcilable differences being that you are just sooooo argumentative. Like all the time.

I commiserated with your US husband and at least I only have to put up with the headaches for a few days every couple of years. That poor, poor man.

I should probably put up a con report myself at some point but I don't have much time what with TitanCon being just a couple of weeks away. All I can say is it was great to see everyone again and meet many others for the first time. It may be a year or two years before I see some of you again and that's just too freaking long :grouphug:

Sure. You tell yourself that. Go ahead. You know very well I'm too much woman for you. Pfft.

Baitac,

How have we never gotten into an argument?

I don't know why. You'd think between taking our stache photo with your STOP sign and dealing with Lancel we would have gotten one in. :)

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Ah Buck, hush. You have lots to be proud of :D

I blame Pod for me not seeing Pod.

If you say so, QQ. *curtsey*

I blame Pod for not knowing who took a photo of me on the throne and now not having such a photo. :P

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If you say so, QQ. *curtsey*

I blame Pod for not knowing who took a photo of me on the throne and now not having such a photo. :P

Blame him no further, that photo is in my camera :P

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Blame him no further, that photo is in my camera :P

Wow, thaaaaaaaaaaaaaaanks! You deserve a special treat for that. *curtsey*

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After a week of panic, finally released that podcast.



Really proud to showcase elements of BwB culture & history!



Thanks for making my first Con a great one BwB! :D



I'm sure I'll be annoying people with a dictaphone in hand at a future Con. :P


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Baitac,

Lancel didn't show up in London, did he?

No, his loosely coiffed blond tresses were nowhere to be found.

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This was my first Con. So much happened, I can barely remember most of it.



I arrived Thursday afternoon and started queuing for Registration. 1.5hrs in line wasn’t so bad because I posted to the board and other BwB came and tracked my down. Hi Yolkboy! Also there was a guy serenading us with a ukulele singing a song called “Who the bloody hell is Tauriel?” and queuing with like-minded SF/F fans is no great chore. Also in the queue I met WilliamJM who remembered me from years back (YAY!) and JonPOT (sp?) and Targh, so that was nice.



After lunch at Subway I went to the GRRM/Connie Willis panel which was awesome. By this point I’d gotten separated from the Brotherhood and talked to these two young whippersnappers who ran a YouTube book review channel. They were pretty cool and I bumped into them at various points of the Con.



I attended more panels that Thursday as well as wandering the exhibitors hall and trying not to buy everything in sight. I managed to get to dinner where I met the rest of the BwB at a Lebanase restaurant. At this point I’m trying to match board names with real names and find I cannot. Chatted to Peadar and theMountainGoat quite a bit and everyone was exceptionally nice.



I was working on Friday so I missed the GRRM reading which was annoying. But I got back Friday evening in time for the party where I met even more familiar faces and some new ones. It was nice seeing you again Barry, Sean and Wert. I remember having an extended conversation with Mo about academia and suchlike. I did leave somewhat early to attend the “Mark does Stuff” panel. I heard some truly horrendous fanfic there. When I returned to the party I repeated what I heard to some of the BwB and they frog-marched me back into the tent to listen to more. That’s my story and I’m sticking to it. Chaldanya and Lyanna Stark can claim otherwise but they’re filthy liars :laugh: .



Over the weekend I attended more panels had dinner a few more times at a really nice Chinese restaurant and met more BwB people.



Unfortunately, the reason I cannot remember clearly all that happened at the Con was because I stupidly decided to commute in and out of Excel every day instead of booking a hotel. This involved taxis, night buses and stupid amounts of money. Late nights and earlly mornings, as a result I was very tired most of the time and even had to leave before karaoke on Sunday. Much sadness. I even felt myself nodding off in some panels, the shame :frown5:



It was great meeting you all. I had a blast. Hope to see you all again.


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This was my first Con. So much happened, I can barely remember most of it.

I arrived Thursday afternoon and started queuing for Registration. 1.5hrs in line wasn’t so bad because I posted to the board and other BwB came and tracked my down. Hi Yolkboy!

The funny thing was - I got to skip the queue, but spent just as long chatting to people in that very queue! Was nice talking to you anyways.

And I too missed the karaoke :frown5:

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My report is pretty lame. The short version is:


  • got pebble hug :grouphug:
  • joy at meeting lots of old friends
  • LonCon setup was rubbish for parties
  • managed to miss every single George thing
  • left feeling incomplete

The long version is: we sandwiched the Con in between visits to friends and family and due to having advance unmovable tickets on trains, hotel bookings etc. we couldn't manage to arrange things to get to the Con before Friday afternoon, so we missed all the Thursday stuff and the Friday morning reading. We rushed back from the Lake District on the Friday, checked in, registered all before 4pm. Found out from the board that Pebble was (wo)manning the lift, so managed to find her and started off on the best note with big pebble hugs all round. :)



Mentat then went off to some panels. I'd volunteered to help at the party from 4-7pm but even with extensive detective work I was unable to find out where it was. I seemed that the large airport-hangar-size room full of marquees was going to become the party room, but at that time the marquees were occupied by non BwB people advertising cons, playing games, entertaining young ones and so on, so I went and checked us in to our hotel while I waited. Still no news, no contact details (I think my idiological hatred of Facebook kept me out of the loop). Eventually, much later, I found out where people were setting up the tent and found X-Ray, Mr X, MG, Elg, Williamjm, Pod, Flip and John and a bunch of other BwBers - finally, back with old friends! I was commissioned by the Xs to work with someone to put up the banners: glancing at her name tag I didn't recognise her, but I'm wondering from reading these earlier reports if she was Dracarya, since she did the lion's share (or should I say dragon's share) of the banner-pinning, while I moved the chair around and offered moral support, tags and small pieces of string.Also got to meet Malt and non-Malt, declared that they looked completely different and how could anybody possibly mistake one for the other? Then proceeded for the rest of the Con to obstinately believe that non-Malt was Malt :blushing:.



Mentat and I went off to grab some food before the party, then arrived to meet tons more old friends (lots of catching up and hugs e.g. - sorry Aly I always forget you don't like hugs, but it's always so nice to see you I go into auto-hug mode :blushing:). Even saw some people I hadn't seen since Glasgow in 2005, like Mo Sneachd :). Thank you so much to the Xs, Luga and everyone else who put so much time into making the party run smoothly. :bowdown: Happy to see even more people: Fragile Bird, Paedar, Min, Eloisa & McGeek, Adz, BoG. Also saw Chal and Sean, Aoife and Lyanna who I hadn't seen in ages. :cheers:



The whole set up was not condusive to parties. I mean, there is a limited amount you can do with (and in) a small white marquee, at least when large numbers of people are involved. The BwB party usually has the best decoration and interesting drink choices. Both these were limited by the LonCon setup, and there was no sense of individuality or quirky atmosphere to the parties. Most of us spilled out of the tent into the hangar area where there were some chairs and tables. But even the ritual of wandering into other parties to check out their drinks and nibbles was no fun, as there were just other tents with limited drink choices and a few sad trays of sweets if you were lucky. And there was no visitation by George and Parris, no knightings or quests, no book raffles or GoT quizzes. This was partly because the party setup was so dismal it would have been impossible for people to gather around for anything (terrible acoustics), and partly because poor George has got so famous now he can't even wander around the Con freely without being mobbed. Sad because he has been going to Cons for ever and was always one of the regulars who you saw wandering around enjoying the atmosphere and catching up with his friends and fans.



On Saturday we went to lots of panels. I did manage in bwteen panels to glimpse Barry, Mormont and some other people I hadn't caught before. I picked panels based on content rather than panellists, which seems to be a different strategy to what others used, so I missed a few good ones not realising who was on them. Having said that, I was happy with the panels I went to, and felt that programming ran well (didn't get any drunk/late/missing panellists and they all ran exactly to time). The only problem was, as usual, that some of the most popular panels were scheduled in rooms which were far too small. In the US this just means people sit on the floor, in the aisles, under chairs, on the ceiling etc. but the UK takes health and safety seriously, so those unable to get themselves a chair were often evicted.



For this reason we failed to get into the panels we wanted first, so we ended up sitting in a 'sex in fantasy' panel - always a good way to start the day, I guess. It was enjoyable. The panel I mean. The panellists were wry and funny and honest. Then I went to the panel called ""Your 'realistic' fantasy is a washed out colourless emptiness compared to the Rabelaisian reality." Discuss." This panel was chaired by Kate Elliott, whose 'Crown of Stars' series I had abandoned after the first book due to my dislike of the way the female character was presented, and too much good/evil/rape stuff, however she seemed to have her head screwed on in this panel, so maybe I dismissed her work prematurely. The four other panellists were mostly academics, each one being a historian in a different field of the history of the middle ages (celtic history, Islamic, bronze age). The other panellist was another writer, who specialised in classical history (ancient Greeks etc.) and cat poems (she didn't confess to the latter at the time). The panel started off rather awkwardly as the only male panellist criticised the title of the panel for being a bit rubbish, then revealed it was probably written by his wife (I hope he was trying to be funny). However the rest of the panel was quite fun, especially when Kari Sperring, the Celtic specialist, went on a rant about 70s feminists presenting the Celtic women as the ultimate model of female power, and how mistaken they were. Other panellists shared juicy gossip about medieval women, Pericles' wife, Islamic divorce customs and so on, and argued about whether you could believe any of the contemporary writers. The verdict was that you can't trust historians and to read comedies instead.



After this I went to "We need to talk about TED", the first time I have attended a Con panel with my other hat on (as a teacher), since the panel was about whether TED talks are a good way to educate people. It was a really thought-provoking panel. The panel was greatly in favour of TED talks but took pains to point out what goes on behind the scenes, from selection process, to rehearsals, to types of talks, how the talks are shaped by TED advisors, and the political shenanigans presumed to be behind the choice to publish certain talks rather than others on the web. The panel made me feel there was a lot I could learn from the art of giving TED talks (apart from recommending them to students, which I already do). I also made a work contact which is always useful.



The last two I went to were both about including more diversity in fantasy ("Full spectrum fantasy", and "Meet the New King, Same As The Old King"). The chair of the first panel decided to shape it around audience questions collected at the start, and began with an interesting discussion of characters with mental health issues e.g, depression, with the panellists trying to think of whether/how they were covered in fantasy. It then moved on to more conventional 'diversity', discussing racism and sexism to some extent, and also class. Joe Abercrombie mostly stole the show in the second of these panels, with humorous comments. The content of that panel was a bit less memorable, perhaps because we were too busy laughing.



In the evening we went on a slightly surreal traipse to a Chinese restaurant (following beneath the sinuous concrete curves of the DLR) with a load of other BwB people - thanks to Targh and MG who organised that. We ended up on a table where I didn't know who about half the people were (or had forgotten), and was too British to ask :dunce: . They were probably people I would have known on the board, but annoyingly people don't look like their avatars.



On Sunday we made sure to arrive almost an hour early for the 'George and friends' panel, in case of chairs. We had decided that we would say goodbye to everybody after this panel, as we were going to stay with family and would visit the British Library comics exhibition on Monday. However we turned up to find that it was cancelled. Hence us missing every single George event. Instead we installed ourselves in the author readings room well in advance, so we were in the select bunch of people who managed to see the Lynch and Abercrombie readings. I preferred the Lynch one, but Mentat the Abercrombie one - I think I just have a weakness for baroque language. So, we didn't really get to say goodbye to (many) people, and left as we had arrived without fanfare. Rather a curtailed Con for us, but it was nice seeing everybody even if just for frantic catch-ups.



:love: BwB people






Edited because I keep remembering more people I met. Remind me if I forgot you!


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The only problem was, as usual, that some of the most popular panels were scheduled in rooms which were far too small. In the US this just means people sit on the floor, in the aisles, under chairs, on the ceiling etc. but the UK takes health and safety seriously, so those unable to get themselves a chair were often evicted.

I did see someone with an ingenious way around these regulations, they carried a camping chair with them and set it up next to the proper chairs. I'm sure this is also in breach of the fire regulations and they'd probably get thrown out of the room if they were caught but unless the Excel staff looked closely it wouldn't have been obvious that they weren't in a proper chair.

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Sophelia - I just arranged the banners, someone else put them up, probably because I am way too short, and would have tumbled to my death if I'd stood on a chair :laugh: (And my name tag had my forum name on it too.) So I think I just missed you! :(

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