(aka a great weekend of unashamed geekery)
For all devotees of Fantasy and Sci-fi goodness, rejoice: Eastercon 2012 is almost upon us!
What the devil is Eastercon?
Eastercon is the ‘British National Science Fiction Convention’ that has been running in various guises since the 1940’s. It’s a convention run by fans, for the fans.
This means that over four days up to 1,200 fans converge to indulge in anything from 150-200 different events, including Discussion Panels, Quizzes, Talks and Interviews with celebrity guest stars, Workshops, an Art Show (an exclusive chance to buy original fan works of art), the Dealers Room – where professional distributors sit alongside homemade fan creations to form a colourful, indoor flea-market, and the almighty Masquerade – an all-out fancy dress competition, often with entries made on the fly at the convention in the ‘Chaos Room’ – followed by a costumed disco dance-off.
You don’t buy a ticket to Eastercon, but rather a membership (around £50-£60), because it’s an immersive, interactive social experience – a chance to mingle with hundreds of like-minded enthusiasts. Every year the fans get to vote on who should host the next convention – this year Olympus won the bid – and it looks set to be stunner.
Eastercon 2012 will be held at the luxurious Radisson Edwardian Hotel in Heathrow this April, from Friday 6 to Sunday 9. The Radisson will play host to the traditional guest talks, panels, workshops, book launches, dealers’ room, art show and masquerade.
But also confirmed to spice up the mix are themed discos (Superheroes on Saturday and Robots on Sunday), a ceilidh (Gaelic folk-music and dancing), table-top gaming, demonstrations, an exclusive LARP game, screenings, author readings and even a few signings.
That’s not to say the talks and panels are to be sniffed at – potential topics include DC’s New 52 comics, Classic SF videogames and storytelling in videogames, alternate funding models in publishing (Kickstarter, Peerbackers as well as crowdsourcing your own funding), Fantasy and supernatural elements of the works of Shakespeare and his contemporaries – and that’s just for starters. Talk about variety!
You can find a full rundown of the stalls for the 2012 Dealer’s room – an eclectic mix of book stalls, comics, costumes and jewelery – catering for a variety of tastes, from Anime fans to steampunkers.
Best of all, celebrities will be rubbing shoulders with their fans – guests of honour are Paul Cornell, Cory Doctorow, Tricia Sullivan – and George R R Martin himself. With the breakout success of HBO’s awesome Game of Thrones series, and Dance with Dragons being named Time’s novel of the year, you can expect to see a whole new wave of Westeros fans descending this Eastercon. It’s a fantastic opportunity to see George read and sign his books in person – and maybe even buy him a drink at the Radisson’s bar. It’s that mix of celebrity and intimacy that makes Eastercon so exciting. Cory Doctorow will be a big draw too – not only has his brilliant brand of sci-fi won him fans and awards – but his outspoken views on digital rights, and his habit of releasing his work under a Creative Commons license that endorses fan fiction, are sure to be hot topics on the talks and discussion panels.
Accommodation at the Radisson is currently full, so check in at the nearby Renaissance and Marriott Hotels for what committee chair Rita Medany calls ‘a great weekend of unashamed geekery.’ You can count us in!