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Casino Royale

#LonCon3: Sunday


The first event of Sunday morning was my favourite of the weekend: The Spies We (Still) Love, curated by nwhyte, which turned into an intimate 150-person discussion of beloved spy shows from the 1960s to the present. Crowning moment of heartwarming: Danger Mouse is mentioned and the entire audience cheers. I came away with an extensive list of new cool things to read and watch.

With nothing scheduled for a couple of hours, I hit the dealers' room to examine all the shiny stuff. I was reasonably restrained, coming away with a T-shirt and a patch. Coordinated texting enabled me to track down foozzzball, the two of us located kyellgold, and because Kyell knows all the cool people, I now know what ursulav looks like, whereas previously I only knew what her cats look like.

Next on my agenda was The Gendered AI, because I hoped there might be sexy robots. In fact, what happened was that somebody came out with the idea of Marvin the Paranoid Android having an orgy and the entire room was simultaneously squicked. I left with the impression that whether you give your AI a gender, two genders, infinity genders, or none, you will stumble into a minefield of implications, be judged, and probably damned. Unless you wrote Ancillary Justice, which I have just bought for Kindle.

Lastly, I went to Detectives in SF, which was so popular it was standing room only. A member of staff popped their head round the door and told us not to stand in the aisles, so we sat in them instead. I learned both what's currently out there for fans of detectives and sci-fi, and what the panellists would like there to be (Cluedo IN SPACE! Cosy crime IN SPACE!), which was highly inspirational.

I tagged along with a gang of furries and writers, and furry writers, to dine at nearby pub the Fox. Inevitable furry sniggers ensued at the 'Fox All Day Breakfast' (helps you to fox all day), and I found myself, as the only native, the expert on such matters as what halloumi is (squeaky Greek cheese) and how to pronounce 'goujons' (GOO-johns). Afterwards, rather than attend the three-hour Hugo awards ceremony, I went home to take my washing out of the washing-machine.

There were plenty of people I never managed to bump into and lots of things I didn't do; I listened to no filk, watched no screenings, and played no games, though I'm sure I would have enjoyed all these things had I gone along to them. I didn't manage to do half the things I'd earmarked on my programme, including, alas, 'stare at Joe Haldemann', but I filled my time in a fun fashion, and that's what's important.

Would I go to another WorldCon? If it was reasonably local, like a shot. Further afield, not sure. Had I but world enough and time, as Illya Kuryakin would say.


Eastercon might be worth considering; usually fairly local, and nothing like as big, but with a lot of the elements you seem to have found interesting. (Next year's is Dysprosium.) Or check Ansible's list of up-coming Cons and take your pick...
Ah, yes, I know a few people who go to Eastercon and rate it highly! Maybe.
Patch snap! I also got a Cheese +4 one.

I had such a good time and came away feeling ever so inspired to read stuff, write stuff and make stuff.
I only spotted the Cheese one after making my purchase, but I was tempted!

I thought of you in the Spies panel when Danger Mouse came up.
And as a certain Haldeman trilogy would have it, too!

Crushed you didn't manage to stare at Joe H.! Wasn't sure how much proxy conversation you'd come through with, but huskies make great starers, no? :D

In the unlikely event you've left a Worldcon looking to further add to your reading list... Mindbridge is a slam-dunk if you liked FW, and 1968 is an great book (though comes with the twin warnings of "not SF", and "hugely downbeat").

Great to hear what I fun time you had! I can't judge you too harshly on the "localism" test, as it seems I'm yet to make it to a SF con that wasn't within 20 miles and a train commute of my mum's house (and mostly of my own then domicile). Though London would consider its events "cosmopolitan" rather than "local", I'm certain... witness your "native guide" duties extending to French and Greek cuisine!
Docklands is a weird part of London, but it is very sci-fi!

And thanks for the recommendations! I like the sound of 1968.