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jack_ryder

Beware the Creeper!

Iain's life as a psychotic crimefighter


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jack_ryder

Loncon 3 - First Day

So we determined the first rule of Loncon at the ExCel Centre pretty early on - get off at the next station.

We arrived early enough to the registration queue to still resemble our photo IDs by the time we reached the desk.

After indulging in a simulation of coffee we split up to attend our different panels. My first panel was

Internet Privacy 101

which could have gone on for much longer. There was a fair amount to cover and I think some of the audience were unaware of how fragile our online privacy is. Some basic advice was; to use the TOR network, change passwords frequently (and use a password manager). Some of the revelations were that mobile phones can always be tracked (because they're tied to the locations of the cell towers so their location can be triangulated) and that the US currently holds a decade of mobile phone metadata. Something we have to look forward to in Australia.

Next panel (for a slight change of pace) was:

LOLCats in Space: Social Media, Humour and SF Narratives

With Jean Johnson, Andrea Phillips, Charles Stross and Adam Roberts.

This veered all over the place but was always entertaining. I attempted to live tweet it but I just couldn't keep up - also I'm old and can't divide my attention that easily. I was sold on Adam Roberts and resolved to pick up his books.

A break for lunch and a rather expensive stroll around the dealer's room, then it was time for the next panel:

Experimenting With Comics

This was the highlight so far. Presented by Karrie Fransman (another person's books to pick up) this was a fantastic, engaging and amusing trip through the different variations of sequential art - including such things as the Bayeaux Tapestry, a stained glass window, a dolls house and an auction catalogue. Karrie's work looked great and she has an approach to comics that I really like.

She was very funny, I especially liked her observation "Superhero comics are a history of male anxiety."

After that it was time for:

Out of the Unknown - No Place Like Earth

This was a screening of the very first episode of the seminal British SF anthology series. However, I'd arrived early and caught the last few minutes of the Southbank show profile of Iain Banks. Even the limited footage I saw made me well up. I remember seeing him (along with my friend Alison who, coincidentally, I had dinner with the night before) at the Harold Park Hotel reading from The Crow Road. His loss is sorely felt (he was to be Guest of Honour at Loncon) and I'm afraid I'd lose it completely if I attended any of the many many tributes to him. I was losing it watching the final moments of his profile.

No Place Like Earth was interesting. A sad tale of man's inhumanity to aliens and himself by John Wyndham. It was very much a televised play with some ambitious but low budget attempts at aliens and alien landscapes, but it did drag. Or maybe con fatigue was kicking in. Time for dinner.

We caught up with gillpolack along with ashamel and kylaw and somehow I wound up arm wrestling World Fantasy Award nominee KJ Bishop. So there's that.

The last panel for us was:

The R A Lafferty Roundtable with Katie Lynn Daniels, Andrew Ferguson, Stefan Rudnicki and Michael Swanwick.

I have to confess I haven't read much Lafferty and hadn't read him for years but murasaki_1966 is a huge fan and the panel had a fascinating discussion of this unique voice in science fiction. I'll have to unearth my copy of Nine Hundred Grandmothers now.

Then the train back home (taking a different but better route via Stratford.)

So far, it's been a blast.