Saturday, 1 October 2011

On missing FantasyCon 2011...

I'm trying to convince myself that missing FantasyCon - going on this weekend in Brighton - is a good thing. You know, even though pretty much everyone I know in the writing world will be there. Mrs Theaker didn't want to go this time, and didn't fancy me going away for up to four days, and in a moment of "niceness" earlier in the year I said I wouldn't go. I don't know what I was thinking! So here's what I'm telling myself:

  • By staying at home, there's no chance of me getting drunk and acting silly. I'm still cringing about asking horror impressario Johnny Mains to high five me last year! I don't even enjoy drinking; I only drink at FantasyCon to get over my nervousness. 
  • There's no chance of me going to the Annual General Meeting, at which there would be a danger of (a) getting into an argument (the BFS AGM can be very frisky) or (b) signing up for the time-consuming drudgery of a BFS committee post.
  • I can spend the weekend finishing off Theaker's 38. It's going to be a good one!
  • I won't catch any con crud. Or rather, since I'm already a bit poorly, I won't pass it on. 
  • There's no chance of me being caught on camera rolling my eyes if a British Fantasy Award goes to a less than deserving winner!
  • I would have felt a bit out of it this year; at last year's convention I was right at the centre of things, doing admin for the event and umpteen BFS committee jobs, including chair. Maybe having a year's break is good because I can go back as a fan.
  • Mrs Theaker really owes me one and has to be really nice to me all weekend. Unfortunately she has the same poorliness as me, only worse, so it's not as if she's going to be heading to the bakery for doughnuts or anything. I'll be lucky to get a cup of tea out of her...
  • If I had been going, I would probably have had to cancel anyway, because of Mrs Theaker's poorliness, so I guess this way I've kept my hotel deposit.
  • I get to watch the last episode of Doctor Who with an audience of appreciative fans (i.e. Mrs Theaker and the little Theakers) rather than those guys who spend every Sunday morning moaning about it on Facebook!

That last one is actually pretty convincing!

I hope everyone at the convention is having a super time. I'm watching enviously on Twitter. The line-up is brilliant - Brian Aldiss, for crying out loud! - and it all seems to be very well organised. Really wish I was going. Next year it's going to be much closer to home, so I'll be able to nip over on Saturday morning, come back on Sunday evening. Already looking forward to it - hope to see you there!


  1. If it’s any consolation, Stephen – I’ll add the following.
    Brighton’s not the nicest of places to spend a long weekend nowadays. I lived there for 45 years, and have seen so many changes for the worst it’s unreal. Brighton’s going to be very overcrowded, not only with the attendees at the con, but in general. It’s a mini London even more so since becoming a city, attracting people from all over the world this time of year – you’ll be walking along the narrow streets and lanes shoulder to shoulder. It’s very expensive, aggressive, and potentially dangerous when the sun goes down. True, some of the pubs are beautiful, as some tax reduction back in the god-knows-when allowed anyone to open a public house – hence some of them to the east of the city being the size of an average terraced house lounge. It can be fun, it can be bohemian and does *try* to generate a feeling of cohesive togetherness that many of the locals abhor – unless they’re in business. It’s a pain to navigate if you’re driving, as the centre of town is virtually off limits to the average sized car, and parking (if you can find a space) for the day will cost as much as one night in a good B&B. It was perfect for the WorldCon back in ’87, but now you’re better off where you are sir.

  2. Funny that, because one reason Mrs Theaker didn't want to go is because I was pretty clear that I wouldn't want to go out into Brighton very much. I haven't been to Brighton for a while, but I did like it. It's just that if I'm going to go to a convention, I want to listen to readings, attend panels and launches, all that kind of stuff.

  3. Trying to keep my mind off missing the con, and who turns up in a question on this week's QI - John Lenahan, who performed at FantasyCon the year before last!