I went to BristolCon’10 last weekend, a Science Fiction and Fantasy convention held at the Ramada Hotel in Bristol. It was BristolCon’s second year, and my first convention since going to Games Day ’87 as a teenager.
It was a great day out. Loads of interesting panel discussions, a range of dealers and artists displaying their work and plenty of interesting and friendly people to talk and drink with. High points of the day were chatting with Alastair Reynolds during the mass book-signing at lunchtime, Eugene Byrne‘s talk on the fantastic cityscape of Bristol and watching John Meaney and Juliet McKenna terrorise Joe Abercrombie and Cheryl Morgan during the “Writing Fight Scenes” panel. I enjoyed all the panels I attended (all but two I think), came second in the pub quiz with a group of people I’d never met before (well, except for Mark) and narrowly avoided becoming embarrassingly drunk (at least I think I avoided it…)
Strangely, I was a little apprehensive before the Con. I’ve been a fan of SF and Fantasy for as long as I’ve been reading, but I’ve never really been into Cons and fandom although it has intrigued me. I guess my reluctance to take part in the past has been due to my own insecurities as much as anything else; I feared things might be cliquey or exclusive and I’m happy to have been proved wrong, at least by the folks at BristolCon. I’ve been going along to the Bristol Science Fiction and Fantasy Society monthly meetings on and off for a few months this year and have met a group of friendly and interesting people, many of whom were involved with running BristolCon, so I’ll be going again next year. Thanks to everyone involved in organising a fun and interesting day!
For the interested, there are a handful of photos on my Flickr page, and a list of links to other BristolCon’10 write-ups here on the BristolCon site. Search Twitter for the #bristolcon hashtag for a load of associated tweets.