Evolution: Eastercon '96

The 1996 British National Science Fiction Convention
5-8 April 1996, Radisson Edwardian Hotel, Heathrow

GoHs: Vernor Vinge , Colin Greenland, (science) Jack Cohen , (artist) Bryan Talbot, (fan) Paul Kincaid and Maureen Kincaid Speller

Once I had reminded myself this was a British Eastercon, and not a Worldcon (how we do get spoilt), I stopped thinking "a bit small, isn't it?" and started enjoying myself.

The Radisson Edwardian Hotel has to win an award for most confusing layout --- all very long, absolutely identical corridors --- "you are in a maze of twisty little passages, all alike".

Programme highlights

Panel: Balkanising Britain

Why is the idea of a fractured Britain so fascinating to British authors?

Dave Clements: The Long Term Future of the Universe

Can we survive the death of the solar system? And can that event be postponed?

Panel: Rocket Science in the Real World

Panel: Living Through the Singularity

Bryan Talbot: GoH talk

This was heavily illustrated (naturally!), and structured around his new graphic novel about child abuse and Beatrix Potter The Tale of One Bad Rat . Since this is a mainstream novel, not genre, he tried not to use too much of our "acquired knowledge of comic grammar", in order to make it more accessible. He explained some of the techniques he did use:

Vernor Vinge : GoH talk

Caroline Mullan & Greg Pickersgill: Fandom as Gynocracy

Panel: Tall Technical Tales

Some very odd things go on in labs late at night...

Jack Cohen: GoH talk

Jack Cohen 's life in science (and on the edge...)

"That was when I stood up to be counted. As usual, the count was one."

"I reckon I've got about 10 years left, and it's still interesting!"

Panel: Elves in Spacesuits

Far future SF: " Any sufficiently advanced technology is indistinguishable from magic "

Panel: 21st Century Odyssey -- SF as Travelogue

I'm still looking for old-time fan Chuck Harris's werewolf yarn which opens with the legendary line: "The family were changing for dinner."

-- Dave Langford . SFX 51 , 1999