Well that was fun! As I write this, BristolCon is just winding down. I have had a long day in the Dealers’ Room, not to mention a long day driving and wrangling books yesterday. I’m also very short of time for finishing this ‘zine so I have retired to my hotel room to write.
As always, BristolCon is nominally a one-day event. There is the traditional open mic on the Friday night, and a lot of people do spend both Friday and Saturday nights in the hotel, which extends the time somewhat. Despite this short duration, people come from all over the country because BristolCon is a small and friendly event that they love.
The Guests of Honour this year were Liz Williams and Stark Holborn. Liz and Ian Whates of NewCon Press did a launch event for Embertide, the latest Fallow Sisters novel. It has been out for a while, but the reduced-format FantasyCon was no not offering book launches so this was the first chance Ian had for that.
I had one panel, which was the first one up in the main progamme room. You may still be able to catch it on YouTube. The topic was “Pixies in Space”, or the use of folklore in science fiction. As far as I’m concerned, you can do anything in space opera, and I think we came up with some good examples of people doing just that.
I spent the rest of the day in the Dealers’ Room. I can’t comment on the rest of the panels, or any of the other programming, but I spoke to a few people who had been very happy with their panels. I can speak for dealers’ in that I sold a bunch of books and was well pleased with the day. The art show was a bit thin, but that’s because Andy Bigwood has been very ill and unable to do his usual fine job of recruiting artists. Hopefully he’ll be back on his feet next year.
Being in the same hotel each year has definite advantages in that you can build a relationship with the staff. Some of the hotel people have been at every BristolCon. The hotel bar doesn’t have the greatest selection of beer in the world, but it is hopping throughout the event. As far as I’m aware, BristolCon is the only SF&F convention that provides tea and coffee for free throughout the day.
The other great thing about BristolCon is that it generally offers attendees an extra hour of sleep on the Saturday night so we can recover from the exertions of the day. It is clock change weekend in the UK. I think I shall take advantage of that now.