Loncon3: post-con blues
Loncon3. Where to begin? I’ve been back two days now and I’m pretty sure I left my head and heart somewhere in London. I’ll try and give you all a report of my highlights during this amazing con, while feeling very sad that it all went by so fast.
First I have to say that traveling to the UK is like going home. I’ve been to London more times than I can count now and I’ve always loved it so much. Every time that Eurostar gets out of the tunnel there’s this immense feeling of “Finally, I’m back!”. I had to get up really early to get the train and we arrived at the convention a bit before noon. There was a massive queue to get through registration, so that took us another hour and a half (could even have been more, I lost track of time somewhere around the hour mark). We missed the opening ceremony due to this, but used the rest of the day to browse and get a feel of where everything was located. We met up with Sorcha, who we met at the World Fantasy Convention last year in Brighton and went to the talk with George R.R. Martin and Connie Willis, which was good fun. Seeing George R.R. Martin for the first time is exciting and I fangirled for a bit there (actually I did that every time I saw him during the weekend, but oh well). We also won 3 limited edition G.R.R.M. quote posters from the lovely people at the Harper Voyager UK stand in the dealer’s room.
I did 2 Kaffeeklatsches, one with Stephanie Saulter and the other a combined one with Sarah Ash and Jonathan Oliver. I recently read Stephanie Saulter’s Gemsigns and Binary and loved them to bits, so it was really nice meeting the author. She also signed my book! Sarah Ash’s books were among the first I reviewed for this blog and I still think very fondly about them. I enjoyed them very much and at the time exchanged some emails with Sarah, so I really wanted to meet her in person now that I had the chance. She is every bit as lovely as she seemed in the emails and I enjoyed talking to her immensely. With her signing ‘Children of the Serpent Gate’, that was book 2 I brought with me that got successfully signed. She has some new work that I’ll be spotlighting later this week, btw. Jonathan Oliver is the Editor-in-Chief of Abaddon Books, Solaris and Ravenstone and it was nice to be able to tell him how much I liked the diversity of the books I’ve read from Solaris.
I had a lot of other books signed: Den Patrick’s ‘Boy with the Porcelain Blade’, Peter V. Brett’s ‘Painted Man’ and ‘Desert Spear’ (yes, both of them! Though I told him he could pick one, he just wanted to sign both :D) and Gail Carriger’s ‘Heartless’ (who really needed to pee, by the way, but still made some time to sign my book. She’s awesome.). I also bought ‘The Lives of Tao’ and promised Wesley Chu that I’d come and get it signed, but couldn’t make it there unfortunately. But, turns out I actually bought a signed copy, so all is well in the world. I also got a signed Raymond E. Feist book, which is a teenage dream come true, ’cause he was the one who really dragged me in to this whole Fantasy genre with ‘Magician’. The only book I didn’t get signed is ‘Game of Thrones’ because the queue was way too long and I just gave up when I saw it.
Loncon3 is now also officially the first con where I cosplayed. I was looking forward to that, but it was also very terrifying. The first time I put on my costume I was shaking all over. But it turned out to be a great experience! If you saw two girls all dressed in red, with swords and stuff, I was one of them! We were the Adem mercenaries from Patrick Rothfuss’ books. He loved it by the way, which made us even more happy. Have I mentioned how cool Pat Rothfuss is? No? Well, he is. He most definitely is.
I went to the JFB/Tor/SFX party, which was amazing. I mean, there was cake, there was face painting, there was a magician, there were all these amazing people… I had a blast and met so many great authors: Sarah Pinborough, Tom Fletcher, David Towsey, Snorri Kristjansson, George R.R. Martin (ok, I only took a picture of him and Andy, but I was standing very close to him, so that counts) and all the other people I’m forgetting right now. Big ups to Andy and Nicola from JFB (who are all kinds of awesome) and the people from Tor and SFX who helped make this a wonderful party.
I only got to the Gollancz party pretty late and missed most of the people who attended unfortunately, but I met Tom Pollock and Wesley Chu briefly and had a nice little chat with Robin Hobb. I also tasted Baileys and Brandy for the first time and quite liked it. I’ll never drink it though, it would make me drunk in under a minute.
After the JFB party I also got a chance to tell Laura Lam that I loved her books while we were walking home through the corridor. I’m always nervous when I have to address someone whose work I really enjoyed, they’re like in a celebrity category for us readers, but she was really, really nice and I hope she has found the scarf she lost! Can I also mention that I love Emma Newman’s style? God, she looked gorgeous! Unfortunately her books already sold out by the time I got to the Forbidden Planet stand, but I’ll be sure to buy them online when I have saved up a bit again.
I’ve been rambling for way to long now, so I’ll leave it at that. I was a bit bummed I missed David Tennant at the Hugo Award Ceremony, but I’m really pleased with the Hugo award winners. No cons abroad anymore for me this year, only FACTS in Belgium, but I’m already planning next year’s cons. I’ll hopefully see you there!