Follycon Convention Diary Sunday 1st April 2018 Eastercon

Preston, England
April 9, 2018 5:18pm CST
I hate April Fool’s Day as I’m no fan of practical jokes. One guest at the breakfast table at the guest house tried making a joke of telling everyone it was going to snow but as it did snow briefly later in the day the joke was on her. Our very sweet young German waitress presented me and each other guest with a small chocolate bunny as her own Easter Sunday tradition. After breakfast and my daily fight with the hotel shower and my job searching through my lap top, I headed to the convention for another full exciting day. The first event for me was the Remembering Aldiss panel, with writers and personal friends of a favourite writer of mine, Brian W Aldiss, paid tribute to him. (He died recently). A regular con attendee himself and often an outspoken critic, as well as a great public speaker (I have seen him talk) he had a larger than life personality. Anecdotes included him interrupting an atrocious talk by another writer who shyly faced away from the audience causing everyone to struggle to hear him. Aldiss had eventually knocked over several chairs and tables fleeing the room in uncontrollable laughter. Aldiss was ill-treated in a movie adaptation of his novel Frankenstein Unbound and the short story that inspired the movie AI – Artificial Intelligence. An expanded edition of his epic history of science fiction, Billion Year Spree, called it Trillion Year Spree, detracted from the beauty of Aldiss’s direct and powerful presentation. He was particularly praised for destroying the myth that science fiction only started with Shelley’s Frankenstein. Panellists included fellow writers Roz Kaveney, Christopher Priest, John Clute, Ian Waites and Marion Pitman. I had a meeting with a publisher concerning a book I am working on, and he has accepted it for publication, launching at the next Eastercon in 2019. I was deeply thrilled by that. After a few beers to celebrate I went to a comedy event, Defending The Indefensible, a very funny game show hosted by poet, Richard Stephenson. Here, the four competitors had to reason why someone regarded as a terrible Dr Who companion was really the best one and why Servalan, the villainess in TV series Blake’s even was right to wear high heels no matter what planet terrain she was visiting. One competitor, faced with such audacious challenges looked blankly at the audience for a moment before holding up a piece of paper and saying, ‘Look. I drew a giraffe.” Richard Stephenson also performed later in the sketch show format event, Follycon Fast Forward, presenting his excellent poetry between two of the three sketches offered. One condensed Star Wars The Empire Strikes Back to a micro-drama with a cast of four playing all the parts and Obi Wan’s ghost just being someone with a sheet over his head. The second sketch broke away from genre completely to parody a factory tea break, with exaggerated mannerism, and perpetual clock watching by a gaffer boss who saw the other two staff members merely a The Lad and The Lass. The closing sketch was the best in imitating Eastercon panel event. Three ardent feminists lambasted male writers, and declined to let real writer Adrian Tchaikovsky get a word in edgeways or even get a decent hold on the microphone. He showed a brilliant ability to act entirely in facial expressions of increasing despair and dread. Finally asked if like most other male authors, he did his writing in a garden shed, he burst into tears with a plaintive confession, ‘Yes’. Fabulous. I went out for food to a nearby Italian restaurant as it was raining and going much further would have soaked me to the skin. I had a very nice lasagne. The last event of the night for me was a panel on Writers And Artists collaborations, featuring a panel including two of the event guests of honour, Kieron Gillen and Nnedi Okorafor discussing the craft of collaborative writing. I asked about how writers cope with not being able to describe too much what the art work visualizes and being reduced to dialogue speech bubbles. Kieron noted that the sacrifice is worthwhile and the writer is essentially playing support for the artists who bring the real ideas to life. The rest of the night was beer, chocolate and chatter in great company. Youtube – theme music to Blake’s Seven Arthur Chappell
7 people like this
6 responses
@Plethos (12263)
• United States
9 Apr
to me, every day is april fools day. i can tell you have a great time at these sort of gatherings. i can sometimes sense the passion you have for literature.
3 people like this
• Preston, England
10 Apr
@Plethos thanks yes, books are my greatest pleasure in life
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (188725)
• Switzerland
10 Apr
I remember a year we spent Easter in the German part of Switzerland and they gave us a small chocolate bunny during our breakfast, it is a German tradition. Defending The Indefensible, sounds to be an interesting and funny show.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
10 Apr
@LadyDuck it was a very funny show and the choc-bunny tradition is really nice
1 person likes this
@LadyDuck (188725)
• Switzerland
10 Apr
@arthurchappell I agree that the choc-bunny tradition is nice.
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
10 Apr
@LadyDuck not a tradition I ever saw before
1 person likes this
@Ithink (10492)
• United States
10 Apr
How exciting, do you have lots of work to do on your book yet? You can tell how much you love these things, I have never gotten to go to something like this but I do love reading!
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
10 Apr
@Ithink yes, the marketing process is as demanding as the writing itself.
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@Ithink (10492)
• United States
11 Apr
@arthurchappell Well I hope it goes smoothly for you and congrats!
1 person likes this
@Corbin5 (122985)
• United States
9 Apr
Now, that publisher offering to publish your book was quite wonderful. Defending The Indefensible sounds like it was so much fun!!
1 person likes this
• Preston, England
10 Apr
@Corbin5 yes, getting both events in one day was fabulous
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@Courage7 (21353)
• United States
9 Apr
Oh I am so thrilled to read that the publisher accepted your work Arthur! That was quite funny that guy not facing the audience and the other fella running out in laughter knocking over chairs lol
1 person likes this
@JudyEv (141827)
• Bunbury, Australia
9 Apr
That is wonderful news about your book. Congratulations. Will it mean a lot of work between now and publishing? Do you need to do a lot of editing?
1 person likes this