This Easter weekend, I decided to take the plunge and attend my first Eastercon. This is a Science Fiction and Fantasy convention during Easter (not that the name gives it away, right?). To make myself easier to find, I wore my Knit Anele cosplay (it has a huge Moon on the chest), and this definitely helped, plus given that it was a warm day, it felt quite breezy and nice.
The wonderful guys at GeekyClean and The Clockwork Tea made my day a little bit extra nice with letting me hang out a little with them. They’re awesome sellers, awesome creatives, and have great products (I love all GeekyClean products and I kept talking about them to anyone that was around, woops).
I also had the chance to meet several authors I interact with on Twitter and hang out with them, plus meet some new authors. And a lot of books signed (nothing like YALC, but also I only went one day and I was behaving, I didn’t go crazy buying stuff).
The main event for me was the Fountain Pen Meetup (huge thanks to Aliette and Juliet for organising this and being the masterminds behind it), which was a neat way of trying new pens and inks. I finally tried a few I couldn’t decide if I wanted to buy, plus found a new love, the fude pen! Jeanette Ng introduced Tade Thompson and me to it and we both loved it for sketching (and Zen Cho ha da lot of fun using it for its intended purpose, Chinese calligraphy). I also confirmed I do not love Lamy Safari pens (or any fancier type either), enjoyed the TWSBI 580 (now I am getting an Eco), and trying so many new ink colours.
Then we had lunch and afterwards joined a Tor launch party. I was glad to see a few familiar faces, and happy to help organise (because of course I was early). There were free books, wine, and a gorgeous cake!
I then took a break and rested, attended an imprompty launch party for Genesis by Geoffrey Carr and bought a book. Then attended (again, by accident as in I was wandering around and went into the room and sat down and lo and behold it had started) the BSFA. Maybe we should’ve invited Ian McEwan… Wonder if knowing that there have been 70 conventions to celebrate Science Fiction might surprise him…
Finally, I attended an author reading, my main intent to see Stephanie Burgis, but there were two other authors and gosh I enjoyed their readings so much I now have their books on my wishlist. (People, author readings are awesome, but they’re a trap! You will end up buying books you hadn’t even heard about before, or that you weren’t sure if you’d buy)
As you can see on the top picture, even if I didn’t spend a lot, I managed to get a lot of loot. The two piles on left and middle, of books are books got at the convention (free/bought). I also bought some illustrated books from an Indian/Asian press, and got a lot fo ribbons for my badge, plus pins and other goodies (all the stickers).
Finally, my cosplay got SO many comments it made my heart swell. This was a dream I made true last year and wearing it this past weekend and having it complimented so much was a great thing. It fuelled a little my creative juices.
So what is the veredict? I liked Eastercon. I loved seeing way more older fans (YALC has mostly under 40 attendees, most fo them in their 20s, for example), their approach to SFF was delightful and made my heart soften a little more. But it also made me realise that maybe we younger people need to check our privileged attittude towards YALC. There was barely any drama here, people were extremely polite and helpful. They had badges for every need (need Visual/Hearing/Other priority? Invisible Disability? What pronouns you want? Do not take pictures?) you could select from the welcome table to suit your needs. Absolutely well handled and I never felt like a stranger, everyone was wonderfully welcoming and non judgemental. Instead, there was so mcuh glee, so much respect of “you got here first, or you have needs, therefore you first”.
So I will plan better next year to make more of Eastercon. And if anyone wants to join, let me know, as I’d love to catch up there too 🙂