hutch0 (hutch0) wrote,

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wild times in shoetown

Some time ago, the Northampton Development Corporation released a single, 60 Miles by Road or Rail, to generate publicity for the town. Sixty miles is the approximate distance from Northampton to London. Like camies, it took me four hours to cover those sixty miles yesterday.
But I get ahead of myself. More - and some pics -

Newcon has been described as a little convention that punches well above its weight in terms of the guests it attracts. Newcon 4's guests of honour were Iain Banks (I guess in his `M' guise) Paul Cornell, Storm Constantine and Ken Macleod, which is not too shabby, you have to admit. The venue was The Fishmarket, an arts centre in an old, um, fishmarket just beside Northampton's Market Square. This is what it looks like from the outside.

It's an interesting place - a big L-shaped open space, very bright and airy. Down one end of the L were the dealers' tables, and down the other was the bar, and sort of at the corner was where the panels and interviews were carried out, so there was a sense of everything going on at once, which was a little disconcerting when you were trying to concentrate on a panel.
This is what it looks like on the inside.

Speaking of panels, I was on the first one of the day, `Does the future of SF lie in media other than traditional media?' alongside Paul Cornell, John Jarrold, Steve Longworth and Una McCormack. Those of you who know me will know I don't usually regain the power of speech until around lunchtime. Paul Cornell and John Jarrold did a sterling job keeping things going, Steve Longworth was an admirable moderator, and Una McCormack made some very interesting points. I sort of muttered and tried to look cute.
This is a pic of people leaving after the panel. Or possibly during it.

That done, I went and bought some books. Among the books I bought was something by some bloke called Grant...something with big lizards on the cover...was supposed to be a signed copy, but it looks as though it's signed `John Clute...'
Anyway, there were many interesting panels, I bought almost too many books to carry, and in the evening Ian Whates launched Subterfuge. This was followed by a double celebration - Storm Constantine's birthday and the 50th anniversary of the BSFA. There were cakes for both occasions, and a barbecue.

I was going to stay for the second day of the con, but that would have meant dragging all my gear straight into work from Northampton, so I decided to come back on Sunday, and knowing what the British railways are like on a Sunday I left earlyish. Because of engineering work, I first had to get a bus from Northampton to Milton Keynes. Then I had to wait a while for a train to London. Which, because of all the track work that was going on, crept gingerly along like a teenager sneaking out of the house. Still, it was a nice day. Not a bad weekend, really.
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