18th August 2014
That was the Con that was:
Loncon3 was the first Worldcon that I have attended. Since it was coming to the UK, I thought it would be rather rude to not go.
I caught up with over a dozen people that I haven’t seen for far too long, and made quite a few new friends. Everyone was friendly, and there was a great atmosphere to the whole event. Really rather nice.
Having already looked online on the organisers excellent website, I had a good idea of the various items that I would like to attend. I had already mapped out my own personal diary before I even entered the doors to Excel, London. However, that had to change. If you have ever heard the expression “victim of its own success”, well then it couldn’t have fitted more aptly than it did at Loncon3. There were over 10,000 people in attendance, apparently 3,000 more than originally estimated. What this meant in the real world was that there was a number items which were over subscribed and the bouncers on the doors had to stop excess people crowding the already full rooms. Elf N’ Safety don’t cha know. NOT the fault of the convention organisers, who were simply brilliant, the cause was simply the events success. Which in many ways I thought was good news, encouraging even.
However, because of this, I revised my agenda and went to alternative items that were equally as good, perhaps even better? There were quite simply many, many items that I could have attended but I had to prioritise to the ones I really, really wanted to go to, and even then there were several items conflicting for time slots. The great thing with the number of items on the agenda, was the variety. You could go and see Joe Haldeman talking on military SF, or see an artist show you how he airbrushes his pictures, live. The spectrum was truly diverse. (My son would have loved to see the man there who made the Millennium Falcon out of Lego!)
The highlight of the entire weekend was for me was one that rather took me by surprise. As I previously mentioned, I had already gone through the program guide online and ear marked the items that I wanted to attend. Because I was concentrating on certain authorly like things, I had over looked one or two other items. One item in particular was the Worldcon Philharmonic Orchestra. Thanks to a certain young lady from Turkey who happen to mention the item to me when we were chatting at the information desk, and an empty slot in my evenings agenda (I wanted some time to just wander around and be social) I sat in on this wonderful concert. If you look on Youtube you can even find a clip or two. They covered Star Trek, Dr Who, and even had a Star Wars suite. In short, the performance was awesome.
The dealers area (I can’t call it is room as it was simply huge) took two hours just to walk round. The art exhibition took another two hours to walk round and admire some very beautiful work. There were plenty of public areas to sit/stand/chat & etc, and like I did, catch up with old friends and new. There were a good variety of food & drink establishments both inside Excel and just outside in an adjacent parade of shops. The conventions bar had some rather nice real ales; need I say more?
Did I mention cosplay? Nope? Well, there was cosplay. (A couple of pics can be found on my Facebook page.) The variety and quality of those attending in multitudinous costumes was fantastic! Some were so good, you would have thought they had just walked off the nearest space plane, or movie set perhaps.
All in all, a fantastic weekend, and a memory to be cherished, and one I can only recommend to any who are ever thinking of attending a Worldcon.