BristolCon 2012: My first science fiction and fantasy convention

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Last year, I attended my very first science fiction convention! And they say you never forget your first time…

I decided to go firstly because I’m a reader and fan: to meet authors whose books I’ve enjoyed, such as Philip Reeve, Alastair Reynolds and Ben Jeapes, among others; to discover new authors and titles that I will enjoy.┬áThe second reason I went was as a writer. It’s a chance to be inspired, to meet other writers, to learn more about developing my craft and about genre publishing.

Not having been to a convention before, I wasn’t sure what to expect. Would everyone be in costume? Would people talk to me as a newcomer, or be huddled in their own impenetrable groups knit together through years of attendance? Would I be able to resist the temptation to come back laden with several years’ worth of reading material?

Spoiler alert… I had a great time! Listen to the episode for interviews with Joanne Hall, one of the convention organisers; author Philip Reeve (previously interviewed for the podcast), who is this year’s Guest of Honour, plus panel clips and chats with other fans at the event!

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I recorded several panels – you can listen to the Apocalypses debate here, and there are more to come.

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BristolCon 2013 takes place 26th October – for full details visit www.bristolcon.org.

Why are Apocalypses so popular in Science-Fiction? BristolCon Panel

BristolCon Apocalypse PanelThe End of the WorldIt’s the end of the world… again. Whether it’s a zombie outbreak, nuclear war, alien invasion or just some unspecified Terrible Event, it seems that many of us love a good apocalypse. But why the obsession with the destruction of human civilization? What’s the appeal of seeing society collapse, and is it a healthy thing to dwell on? What do our fears of the future tell us about our societies now?

Recorded at BristolCon 2012, this panel discussion is moderated by fantasy author Juliet E McKenna, and features the wit and wisdom of Michael Dollin, Janet Edwards, Tim Maughan, and John Meaney. And see if you can identify a familiar voice in the questions at the end…!

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Big thanks to the panel and BristolCon organisers for letting me loose with a microphone, and stay tuned for the full BristolCon convention report, coming soon! Booking is now open for 2013’s event, and I can definitely recommend it.

Points of Who #4: Jenna-Louise Coleman, Doctor Who Convention, Top of the Pods

Your Impossible Podcasts team in Eddie's Diner

Your Impossible Podcasts team in Eddie’s Diner

Welcome back to Points of Who, our monthly roundup of news, views and general waffle.

And what a month it’s been! The Doctor’s new companion for Series 7 was confirmed, in the form of the lovely Jenna-Louise Coleman. We discuss her casting and float a tantalising (if unlikely) theory about the sort of character Steven Moffat might have in mind for her.

Then there was the official BBC Doctor Who convention right here in Cardiff and we’ve got a report from the front lines. Sort of. We did at least meet with the fine folk of the Who’s He, Ubuntu UK and Doctor Who podcasts, and recorded some of the results. And, for your continued listening pleasure, we give you a quick roundup of some of our favourite geek-friendly podcasts. (See the links below to visit their sites).

All this, plus your feedback and a look ahead to some of our forthcoming podcasts. So what are you waiting for? Click below and give us a listen!

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Links to other podcasts…

Trials & Triumphs – A Review of the SFX Weekender 3 Event

The dust has settled, the hangovers faded and the cosplay has been packed away for another year. But was this year’s SFX Weekender – one of Britain’s biggest sci-fi and fantasy conventions – worth the trip?

It’s safe to say that not everything went according to plan, but did the stellar guest list make up for the freezing temperatures and interminable queues? P.G. Bell shares the high and low points with Caleb Woodbridge and Sarah Burrow. PLUS! a report on the inaugural cosplay competition and interviews with a few of the participants. Click on the jump below to find photos of some of the people we spoke to, but head on over to our Facebook page to see a complete gallery of the weekend’s events!

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P.S. The excellent ‘Transdimensional Mix’ of the Doctor Who theme music comes courtesy of HardWire.

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Video: Doctor Who Party – Fish fingers and custard!


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Last weekend, we threw a party with the help of a Come Round Doctor Who party pack. As part of the evening’s festivities, we decided to re-enact the Eleventh Doctor’s first meal post-regeneration, as served to him by Amelia Pond: fish fingers and custard! Stay tuned for our podcast discussion on the series 6 DVD release, the movie rumours and the Christmas special trailer, all coming soon!