6Feb

SFX Weekender Redux

Brought to you mostly via the Hipstamatic iPhone photo app.


This was pretty much what the others had to stay in for the weekend. Numerous war films were brought to mind.


The Tor party in full swing. Lots of great authors and editors and bloggers and readers – a great night.


Authors having to clean up after the party – China at the sink, Adrian with a mop, Peter at the dishwasher, Gary wiping the sides. Julie Crisp runs a tight ship at Tor.


And she was just lying around the morning after (she shouted at me just after this was taken).


The venue…


I saw quite a few authors looking for change around these slot machines.


Okay, so here was the main hall – with added robot. Very scary doing a panel up on that stage.


Julie, Gary, Peter, China, Gillian and Joe going for a leisurely amble along the beach.


Camber is allegedly the furthest outpost of the British Empire.


DJ Craig Charles, no less, who gave a banging Northern Soul set – absolutely fantastic evening, and great to see so many authors shaking their stuff (as well as dancing).


Robot on the dance floor, of course. Bet you don’t get that at Ministry of Sound.


And finally, Joe “fast feet/Riverdance” Abercrombie, pwning the dance floor. I’m actually banned from posting photos of Julie dancing; Joe took one look at her moves and suggested she must have a bit of a dodgy past. I’m probably not allowed to say that either, but sometimes typos will happen on this blog.

So I hereby declare the SFX Weekender the best SFF convention in the UK – the panels were interesting, the venue actually pretty good for the event, the thing pretty well organised. It both did and didn’t take itself too seriously, and there was more energy here than any other con I’ve attended in Britain, with by far and away the coolest evening entertainment. Our Tor cottage was again delightful (and Julie, Chloe and Amy all terrific for pointing authors in the right direction and keeping them supplied with wine/whisky).

And it’s official: I cook the finest scrambled eggs in genre circles.

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About Mark Newton

Born in 1981, live in the UK. I write about strange things.

27 comments

  1. Can’t believe I had a ticket and didn’t go! The baby was ill (fine now though) and we had to take her to hospital; I’m not best pleased with her…
    Looks like fun though, glad you had a good time!

  2. I didn’t say a dodgy past. I just said a past…

  3. It must have been the Smirnoff Ice that made me hear a spicier comment.

  4. Something massively appropriate about photos of a holiday camp like Pontins put through retro-style processing – the 1st, 5th and 6th ones in particular could easily have been taken in the 70s!

    Sounds like a fun weekend was had by all. Making a name for yourself with these eggs, Mark. Expect to find an increasing number of Google searches for “Mark Charan Newton scrambled eggs” in the future

  5. Graeme – shame you couldn’t make it. It was made of win.

    Alex – exactly what I thought! And yes, my eggs speak for themselves. Even got praise from China (“kick-ass eggs” to be precise).

  6. Good post – I can believe how even more post-apocalyptic Pontins looks via Hipstamatic.

    It was fun, and good to see all you guys and very glad Julie came and dragged us upstairs to dance!

    I think Eastercon needs a DJ quite frankly… 🙂

  7. gah – CAN’T believe, I meant. I need to go to bed.

    J

  8. You just couldn’t resist, could you?! Now tell the truth – my partial collapse the morning after was more to do with your Nikka whisky, a 2am finish and a hacking cold, rather than enjoying watch all the authors work like slaves while I reclined like Cleopatra! Oh who am I kidding…
    A truly excellent weekend. Can’t believe that after vigorously announcing ‘I won’t/can’t dance’ – one Smirnoff Ice later and you’re on the floor in a street-style throw down with Cotton-Eye Joe Abercrombie and the talented Mr Miéville. If only there had been video footage…
    Authors that can write, clean-up and dance?! The three of you are setting high standards for newcomers novelists.

  9. I couldn’t help but picture you head in your hands as you saw the picture. 🙂 [What she says is true, people.]

    Yeah, well Smirnoff Ice will do that to a man. Besides, I don’t like to brag…

    I know! Tor submissions policy will have to include some kind of X-Factor style dance-off in future. I’ll even DJ.

  10. I’m going to suggest to Jon Weir that we join forces and take you all on a road tour as a Publishing version of Glee.

  11. Hey, if it sells books, I’m game.

    Jon – good to see you there (and on the dance floor). Totally agree about Eastercon – I think those kind of entertainments really make a good con into something great.

  12. Shame I couldn’t be there, it looks like you guys had a load of fun!

    Somehow, Mark, I don’t think ConJour would have been as good. Leeds is nowhere near as open to being crazy, I reckon.

    P.S. Is that Mr Tchaikovsky with the mop, or someone else?

  13. Hey Cora – that is indeed Mr Tchaikovsky with a mop!

    Yeah, there’s actually something quite nice about the faded British holiday resort that made it thoroughly charming. Mind you, I can say that – I didn’t have to stay in the chalets.

  14. Sounds like this is turning into THE con to go to in the UK 🙂 Shame I couldn’t make this one, but at least next year it’s a mere half hour drive from my house so tickets will soon be booked!

  15. Seriously good con, amazing Tor party, and great pics of the retro 50s location (still think walking the beach felt like being in episode of Wallander).

  16. Sorry we never got chance to chat, but I guess now you’re playing to packed crowds in the main arena the demands on your time have increased ten-fold 😉

    Feel like I missed out a lot by not staying over but I had a good time and would have only put my back out throwing some shapes on the dancefloor like I was back at a 90s rave.

  17. Mark – yeah, should be interesting next year out there! Looking forward to it already.

    Jon – good to meet you (though it’s always rather brief). I loved your Wallander tweet!

    Adrian – I think being in the main arena those crowds became bigger than they would have been normally, which is a good thing since it brings in new readers. Very frightening in front of so many though. I’m sure we can natter more at the next con on the circuit.

  18. So you were spared the chalets! I never thought my house – with its broken boiler – would feel so warm in comparison.

    That was a great con, with a fantastically positive vibe to it. A lot of celebration of stuff. Tempted by Prestatyn?

  19. I see, Mark. I suppose ‘Shadows of the Mop’ doesn’t have the same ring :p Dragonfly Mopping sounds good, though 😉

  20. Donna – yes, hugely positive wasn’t it? And I’ll definitely be there.

    Cora – heh, this is true.

  21. That looks crazy. is there any other event like this. One can only imagine waking up to your favorite author cooking breakfest for you!!!

  22. Next year, I suggest we add windsurfing to the schedule for Sunday morning, post-eggs. Game?

  23. I’m in. Especially if the tide was as insane as the weekend.