Con Report: DysprosiumCon (Eastercon 2015)

Well, I survived another convention! I could get used to this lark…

Not only that, but I’m happy to report that empirical evidence (this was my second time attending Eastercon) suggests we’ve got a winner! (*Cough*despiteLondon*cough*)

Let’s start at the beginning! More or less…

I arrived early on Friday morning, which meant having actually gotten up before the sun did on account of living in Glasgow. With a bit of help from sugar-heavy coffee, I made it through registration without falling over – though to be fair, the line wasn’t too bad. (Not every Brit enjoys queueing, Certain People Who Know Who They Are.) With that, and a very brief “oh, hello!” moment with Peter Newman in passing, my con was on!

Friday was probably my Relaxed Con Day, which worked out pretty well since I’m not the type to enjoy being chucked in at the deep end of anything. This is probably why I enjoy Eastercon in general – it’s big enough to be exciting and have plenty to do, but not so big that my social anxiety takes one look and strikes up the Internally Screaming band. Win!

What probably helped that quite a lot was spending a lot of my time with a couple of really good friends who were visiting from the US (mostly) for the con, and also with Seanan McGuire, whose skills at distracting one from one’s anxieties with her cat stories, amazing technicolour hair and magpie chasing* know no bounds. Also she writes damned good books that you should read. They’re full of science. Or faeries. Or, arguably, science AND faeries…

Thus suitably reassured that I might survive the weekend without a panic attack, I went on to do just that! I didn’t attend a huge number of panels, which is probably best because despite being more or less large enough to be comfortable, the con/hotel layout was a bit maze-like for the first day or so! I did get lost a time or two… Still, the panels I did attend were full of fun and interesting topics.

Note: Charlie Stross and his puns can, in fact, make a whole room full of people groan aloud.

When not attending panels, I was either catching up with previous con acquaintances (including Emma Newman, who really is a trooper for showing up at all given her in-recovery status) or meeting new/online-only people. Special mention here must go to Mhairi Simpson, who gave me the biggest most excited hug I’ve gotten in a looooong time, and to Edward Cox, who hugged me AND signed his book for me despite being a bit pressed for time. So lovely of him! OMG HUGS FROM TWITTER FRIENDS ARE THE BEST.


Saturday was, I suspect, the most-talked about day of the con for reasons that I’m sure most folk don’t need to be reminded of… I’m not going to go into the Hugos drama, because I tweeted my reactions at the time and many people can say many things much more articulately than I can, and they have. So… Yeah. It’s a sour note, but I am not about sour notes here. I am about fun things and geekery and enjoyment, and I’m happy to be able to report that I got those in abundance this weekend.

Highlight of Saturday: the evening concert with Talis Kimberley and Playing Rapunzel. I’d heard and enjoyed Talis’s music before, but Playing Rapunzel were completely new to me. They were absolutely wonderful, and if you haven’t heard their stuff, go and find it. It’s well worth a listen!

I didn’t get to catch up with everybody that I would have liked to meet, since I left to go home on Sunday and missed Monday’s items – namely Benedict Jacka’s appearance (buy his books!). But, hopefully there will be future opportunities. As for Eastercon in general, I am definitely a fan of it and I absolutely plan to return in future. I hear it’s in Manchester next year, and while I can’t commit with any certainty yet, you can bet it’s on my priority list – as is Satellite 5, which will be right on my metaphorical doorstep!

Oh yeah – and then there’s this:

2015-04-04 10.46.20

But that’s for next time(s). DysprosiumCon was enormous amounts of fun, so well done to everybody who organised and ran the convention, and big thank-yous to all the fine folk I got to spend time with. Hopefully I’ll see a lot of you (and more of you!) next time…


*Apparently not even London traffic could stop her. AMAZING.

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