Back from another marvellous SFX Weekender; tired perhaps, reeling slightly from all this sudden snow business (it was mild in Prestatyn, despite my fears of freezing to death) but filled with the knowledge of a weekend well geeked.
Highlights for me included – getting a hug from a wookie (very cosy), singing along with Robert Rankin to Perfect Day, witnessing China Mieville shamelessly derailing everyone else on Just a Minute, listening to Brian Blessed describe chasing Ben Kingsley around an airport lounge, dancing like a fool to various funk tunes, meeting up with old friends and making new ones… too many great things to list, really. I think everyone who was there and heard it will agree that the Brian Blessed talk was a bit special; not only was he in fine, booming form, he was also delightfully rude and utterly joyous. It was, I think, genuinely life affirming to hear him talk with such passion about how we are all “children of stardust” and how human beings are destined to move out into the solar system. Or that could be the pint of wine I consumed while he was talking. Either way, I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.
My favourite thing about the SFX Weekender, (and it was the same last year) was the sense of being at an event with thousands of people with a shared love for fantastical things. Not everything went according to plan, this is true, but the slightly grim aspect of Pontins itself only seemed to enhance this feeling; yes, our electricity ran out at 1.40am, and you have to keep whacking the button in the shower to make it work, and I had to queue for an hour for a handful of possibly the worst chips in existence… but at least we were doing it together. I was also reminded how much I love fiction, and how our favourite stories can become such important parts of our lives; beloved signposts on a wayward journey, if you will.
Geeks of the Weekender, I salute you, and I sincerely hope to see you all there next year.