Intervention: Eastercon '97

The 48th British Easter Science Fiction Convention
28-31 March 1997, Adelphi Hotel, Liverpool

GoHs: Brian Aldiss , Octavia E. Butler , David Langford , Jon Bing.

This year's Programme Book's cover wins no awards for its artwork! [The desired effect was more like the glossy black cover for Ken MacLeod's The Star Fraction , but the publisher waited until the last minute to advise against it. Pity.]

Media-fest: a BBC film crew were making a 'fly on the wall' documentary about the Adelphi Hotel; a South Bank Show film crew were doing a piece on Iain Banks . Someone wondered whether the crews would end up filming each other...

I felt there were rather too many panels, and too few prepared talks, this year. Some people like panels, but I find they tend to wander aimlessly over well-explored ground, unless firmly chaired. The imbalance may have been due to the choice of GoHs: Brian Aldiss and Dave Langford usually give excellent talks, in addition to those given by the guests of honour.

Programme highlights

Panel -- Future Slang: Inventing a New Language

How does one produce an idiom that can seem alien yet remain comprehensible?

[plaque] Panel -- Do You Think that They will Think that His Arm is Permanently Stuck in that Position?

How we have, and how we might, try to send a message to worlds beyond.

Panel -- Newspeak: Vocabulary and Imagination

Was Orwell right in claiming that if something cannot be spoken then it cannot be thought?

Panel -- Expanding the Universe Within

Science fiction and science at the microscopic level

Panel -- Messages from Starfleet: FTL Communications

Can't design 'em; can't live without 'em

Panel -- The Fantasy Encyclopedia

Tales from John Grant , Dave Langford , Diana Wynne Jones , Chris Bell

Panel -- Why Should We Care What They Think?

The thorny relationship between fandom and the press

Panel -- Where are We Headed?

Trends in biotechnology

Panel -- Will the Keyboard Kill the Love Letter?

Panel -- Tales of First Contact

Panel -- Adaptation: The Medium is the Message

There are problems with adapting from one medium to another, but still maintaining the essence