Eastercon Part 1

As I'm on my phone, I am rather limited in how much I'm willing to type but have some spare minutes and thought I'd talk about the day so far at Eastercon (Olympus 2012). Edit to add: Cory also made the point that with the internet, censorship requires surveillance, the two become inseparable.

We got here in time to register, and for me to check into the hotel even, before the 11am The Death Of The Internet (Tweets at Eleven) panel where Cory Doctorow and Simon Bradshaw took us on a tour of threats to the internet as we know it and seemed to converge on the same place as Lawrence Lessig's ORGCon keynote: we need to reform lobbying!

I then got to hear two chapters of Winds Of Winter, the next A Song Of Ice And Fire series, read by GRRM himself... and then a brief Q&A session. He wouldn't be drawn on changes to plot he would like to make or holes he dug himself and wish he could get out of and I'm sure that it'll come as little surprise he considers himself more of a gardener than an architect in writing style 8-).

A break to catch up with friends and then onto discussion of genre boundaries with Paul Cornell, Jon Courtenay Grimwood, Sophia McDougall, Robert VS Redick and Gillian Redfearn. I never got an opportunity to ask whether genre is a conscious choice by the author or more in line with the definition of a hate crime - any work the author, reader, critic or community feel is genre. Also I also felt that the panel seemed very focused on works being part of one genre only - thankfully, someone in the audience suggested that works should just be hashtagged as much as necessary 8-).

We Hung around for Charlie Stress and co to lead us on a discussion to uncover our new alien overlords, the markets! Even with a banker (well bank system programmer) on the panel (and a lib den who garnered unsolicited Panto-esque booing) the panel were generally of a mind that more regulation was needed and it went in the Lessig direction again.

After a brief opening ceremony I scuttled off to a Sci Fi on Stage panel (missing the Cory Doctorow interview 8-( ). The general consensus there was that sci fi may be around on stage but it's not going to make it big unless something tips it over the precipice. There was also a consensus around sci fi on stage being predominantly adaptations, almost nothing original. I think I came away more positive than that thinking of the wonderful shows I've seen, 1984, Ballad of Halo Jones, Midnight, Clockwork Orange etc. There's loads of great stuff in the smaller theatres. I did get to mention Lassfest and the tight curation mixing Sci Fi and Carrie episodes which couldn't be more mainstream.

Now, if you'll excuse me, Paul Cornell is hosting Just a Minute!

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