Eastercon Schedule

It’s that time of year again.

Eastercon, the British National SF convention runs from April 6-9 this year.

The provisional programme (PDF) has now been released, and it looks like it’s going to be a belter.

Here are the items I’m currently scheduled to be on:

Friday, 9pm – 10pm “Doctor Who: The Importance of Scheduling” (panel)
Doctor Who’s scheduling has varied over the years, from Saturday teatime to weeknight primetime. This year, for the first time since the new version launched, the season will premiere in the autumn. Is this a good or a bad thing?

Saturday, 11am – 12noon “How to set up a Theatre Company” (talk)
For the last year and a half or so I ran Red Table Theatre, a theatre company producing Children’s Theatre. We set up a new business model for Fringe Theatre, were the featured story on the front page of The Stage, got four and five star reviews for our productions, and made a profit. I’ll talk you through what we did right and wrong.

Saturday, 3pm – 5pm “Creativity Workshop” (talk and workshop)
For the first half I’ll be talking about creativity – how it works, and tips and tricks you can use to increase yours. Then in the second half, we’ll put them into practice and create a TV series.

Monday, 5pm – 6pm “Social Medial in SF” (panel)
Talking about both social media as portrayed in SF, and SF told through social media themselves.

There are a few tickets left, but it’s getting perilously close to selling out.

Do come up and say hello if you’re there.

Eastercon Panels

This year’s Eastercon is almost upon us. Hoorah!

My panels this year are:

Saturday 5pm “Tales From the White Hart”

In homage to Arthur C Clarke’s short stories, panellists will be telling their own scientific tall tales. Although it’s in the programme as two hours long, I suspect it’s only going to last an hour, given that Doctor Who starts at 6:20pm.

Hopefully I’ll get a chance to do mine in the first half. If not, then you can look forward to an impromptu reading in the bar later.

Obviously when I say “look forward to” I mean “fear”.

Monday 12noon “How to Send Your Script to the LMC”

I’ll be speaking about what a certain British Large Media Corporation are looking for when they receive unsolicited scripts, and how you can improve your chances as a writer.

If I said who they were on this blog, I’d have to put a disclaimer at the top saying my opinions weren’t theirs.

I know, it’s a bit complicated, but we don’t want anyone thinking my witterings are official LMC policy now.

Whoever they might be.

Monday 2pm “Icons, Symbolism and Archetypes – Moving Between Faith & Fiction”

Religious imagery in SF. There’s a lot of interesting things here ranging from James Blish through to Battlestar Galactica. Should be a good’un.

There are still tickets available, and if you take the opportunity to book online today or tomorrow rather than buying them at the door, you’ll save yourself a tenner.

It’s going to be great fun – hope to see you there!

Panel Beating

Oh, I know you’ve been in suspense.

My panels at this year’s Eastercon are:

Are TV novelisations and tie-ins proper books? Friday, 7pm
The Doctor – Saviour or trickster god? Saturday, 12noon
Is there a future for Trek with no series? Monday, 12noon

More information about the rest of the programme.

And I can also highly recommend Crisis Management, which you’ll need to sign up for as soon as you get there, as spaces go fast – I won’t spoiler it for you, but it’s well worth two hours of your time.

Science Fiction / Double Feature

Two things.

Thing the first: This year, I shall be going to Eastercon, and I think you should too.

Every year, there’s a british national science fiction convention, held over the Easter Weekend. (Thus the imaginative name).

People who like SF gather, talk, drink, listen to the guests speak, and generally have fun. There’s pub quizzes, games, dancing, videos, and academic talks for those that wants them as well.

This year’s guests are The Mighty Neil Gaiman, Tanith Lee, and China MiĆ©ville.

If you’ve never been to a con, you might have the impression that it’ll be full of people dressed as Klingons. If you’re lucky, out of the thousand or more people who’ll be there, you might meet one or two. On the fancy dress night.

I’ve been to a couple of conventions (otherwise known as cons) run by the people who are organising this year’s Eastercon, and I can guarantee that it’ll be good fun.

To attend will cost you 55 quid for the four days. It’s out in Heathrow – so commutable to London if you’re very very poor – but it’s more fun to stay in the hotel with everyone else. And because there’s so many people staying, the rates are about forty quid per person per night, breakfast inclusive. And this is a five star hotel, mind.

To find out more about Eastercon, check out the introductory page here. And hopefully I’ll see some of you there!

Thing the second:

Loli will be joining me at the con. And she’s not yet a science fiction afficionado. So the question is this:

What should she watch or read beforehand? Assuming no more than one novel (or, say, three short stories) from any writer, and no more than one episode from any TV show, what are the best bits of SF that everyone should see?