Friday, August 5th, 2005 - Glasgow

I headed over to the convention alone grabbing something to eat from the local sandwich shop. Very good.

Convention Items Attended

Time Description Comment
10:00 Blake's 7 A discussion about the continuing appeal of the UK SF series Blakes 7 the panel discussed why it is so appealing and any possible future of the series (not any really, well, the DVDs, I suppose).
11:00 Digital Dreams A conversation with a number of Science Fiction artists (those that create SF art work including cover-art) as to what tools they use for creating their work. It was interesting to see that all of the artists use computers but there was panel member that said he painted the picture then digitised it so the creative work was still in a physical medium before converting it into digital form.
12:00 Japanese SF
13:00 Ethics of Colonisation
14:30 Dune Update (Anderson) A VERY packed room where Kevin J. Anderson talked about his work on the latest books in the Dune saga (picking up where the original author, Frank Herbert, left it). It was interesting to hear of his conversations with his co-author Brian Herbert on Frank's vision and what they were going to do in the future (including continuing the original Dune series). I was also interested to hear that they found some of Frank's original ideas in a box labelled “Dune Ideas” found in Brian's garage…Only just recently.
15:30 Anime 1: Early Anime This was the first of three talks on the history of Anime (Japanese animation). The speaker is very good and very knowledgeable. In this first talk he discussed how the first Anime were lost because of the war but Anime created after the war (basically propaganda films) do survive – He showed us a couple. Very interesting discussion about something I know nothing about.
17:00 Secret History of Ansible I have always been a fan of David Langford the author of the Internet e-mail newsletter, Ansible. His wit makes the newsletter an enjoyable read indeed full as it is of news from the SF world and his infamous “Thog's Master Class” (literary quotes that are completely unbelievable and terribly funny). In this discussion he recounted how his newsletter started complete with amusing tales of SF insider politics in the UK.
18:00 Huygens on Titan A discussion from one of the scientists from the Open University who was working on one of the sensor packages on the Huygens probe that just recently landed on Titan, the largest moon of Saturn. He talked about his experiment (basically to examine the surface of the moon) and showed some of the data that they have only just begun to process. It was very interesting and shed some light on the complexities of such an experiment.
19:00 Pro-AM Technobabble This was a quiz show panel where the panellists were required to explain some bit of SF-based technology using “technobabble” with bonus points given for sounding completely plausible or completely confusing the presenter (which often happened). A bit of light entertainment.
20:00 Lucas Back in Anger A spoof play put on by the Reductio Ad Absurdum theatre troop which endeavoured to present all of the Star Wars movies in the space of one hour. Very amusing use of sets and extremely “punny” (R2D2 being a dalek for example). In the play they got through the first three movies (that is, Star Wars, Empire Strikes Back and Return of the Jedi) but had forgotten about the remaining three movies so did a very abbreviated version using paper tear-off costumes. A lot of fun.

One of the biggest nights for parties. Chicago is bidding for the convention in 2008 so was serving hot dogs to everyone though we had to wait quite a while since they kept running out. Chatting to a few people we went from party to party (visiting Kansas City, Norway, Japan and Los Angeles – who is hosting the convention next year). Everyone was friendly and the drinks were free-flowing…

Japan was of particular interest to me as they are hosting the convention in 2007 that I have supported ever since they first started bidding. I think it is a great reason to visit Japan. Of course, Japan also had sake, tea (someone was doing the tea ceremony) and various Japanese desserts.

The parties were all a bit crowded but a lot of fun. I always wonder whether or not I will go to the parties at these things but never regret going out…

⇒ Continue to Saturday, August 6th, 2005 - Glasgow