So over at Nostalgia for the Future, Justin has an excellent write up of Eastercon and nicely distills China’s keynote. China was a bit of a revelation. A fascinatingly literate and erudite speaker; I spent a lot of the weekend coming out of his panels with a list of words that I hadn’t known existed.
But that’s a little flippant, and something you can work out from reading his stuff and/or searching on youtube for footage of him speaking.
The other thing I learned is that he’s a thoroughly nice man. Over the course of the weekend I saw him taking time to speak to various fans, even when he was trying to grab a quiet five minutes in the bar. And showing remarkable patience. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak you should take it.
Then there was Neil (Gaiman – I’m not talking in the third person again). *coughs* You may have noticed that I’m a bit of a fan. And there seems to be an ongoing strange phenomena where by our paths pass very close to each other but we never actually meet or exchange words. This happened all weekend to the point where I believe if we ever met it would cause some kind of causal break in reality, you know: You must never cross the Neils or the universe will end.
Anyway, I’ve seen him speak a bunch of times therefore I was concerned that I’d just hear a collection of anecdotes I’d heard in other sessions. I was wrong and it was good. The Graveyard Book sounds great, very dark and possibly something fairly different from what he’s done to date. His panels were fascinating and it was cool to see him get all fanboy over Hitchhikers.
And he was very kind to the moderators, some of whom were understandably quite nervous.
Charlie Stross was fascinating. Smart in an entirely different to China but equally compelling manner and a fellow alumni of Bradford university. Although I struggled to keep up in places – I’m really more of fantasy guy than hard SF – the panels I attended were just engrossing. And I love that phrase “the rapture of the geeks”.
And a good time was had. Save for the whole bleeding thing.