petermorwood: (Default)
...The Irish one this time, and just as good in its own way as the USDWCon at the beginning of September. One was big, the other was small; one was far away, the other was relatively speaking in our own back yard, one was hot and dry, the other was intermittently but impressively - Hollywood special effects impressively - wet.

And then the sun would come out :-)

D and I had a great time - including one especial benefit, being able to sit and speak to Terry for the first time in too long. We didn't have any opportunity to chat with him at all during the Tempe convention, so really enjoyed being able to just talk: about knightly things like spurs (we gave him a pair, since HM didn't) and swords (he's making one, since HM overlooked that, too) and the leverage being a Sir can give against the more annoyingly petty bureaucracies; about writery things like DragonDictate, which can now be trained to recognise the vocabulary of a complete backlist; and about stuff we weren't allowed to mention till the banquet - the Scottish BAFTA award for Living With Alzheimer's. I'm happy the documentary won, but at the same time I wish it had never needed made.

We had the chance for a natter with Jack Cohen and Bernard Pearson as well. Jack is as wise as ever, and added some interesting comments to our impromptu, five-minutes-warning Folklore panel (the original panellist didn't show) that gave people second thoughts about having furry slippers in their bedrooms, never mind on their feet. Bernard is his usual ebullient self - has anyone ever thought of bottling that man's laugh as an anti-depressant? If an audible dictionary needs to define guffaw, that's what to use.

Much beer was consumed over the weekend (of course) and I'm not the only one to think that Sir T. Pratchett, all in black with a white beard, looked very well matched by the pint of Guinness in his hand. He also seemed very at ease, so much so that he decided to extend his stay at the hotel. And There Was Much Rejoicing.

We weren't the only ones who got plenty of Terry-time beyond the programme items (where there were a few moved or cancelled events, but nothing earthshaking that a glance at the Voodoo Board couldn't fix.) The Falls Hotel and the convention numbers were both cosy enough that he was able to sit in one place and let the con come to him - which it did, with great enthusiasm. As he said at the closing ceremony, IDWCon gave him fond recollections of other early conventions, and he even used the word "relaxacon."

Though fortunately not the word "custard." :-D
petermorwood: (Default)
I almost didn't write a post about the North American Discworld Con in Tempe at all, I was so late in getting around to it; after all (he thought) others will have done it sooner, better, more enthusiastically...

Then, reading someone else's con report, I saw the comment that provides this post's title and did a slow burn. Not that slow, either. In answer to such a question, I had to say, somewhere, "Hell, yeah!"

All right, Diane and I were invited guests - I blogged about that nearly two years ago - but after having to pull out of the 2008 UK Discworld con thanks to a last-minute deadline we couldn't sidestep (and we tried, oh how we tried) I think we'd have done our damnedest to go to the NA one in any case. We're certainly going to the UK 2010 and deadlines be buggered.

This is not to disparage Dragon*Con in any way, and certainly not the snotty way my title poster dissed Discworld (there's some sort of wordplay in there, probably a bad pun.) For one thing there were a lot of friends whom we haven't seen for years - but multiple streams were less attractive than a single-focus con, especially since Terry's Discworld novels are the only fiction I always buy in hardback - the collapse of Mort into a loose-leaf folder proved that paperbacks just weren't sturdy enough for that much repeated reading.

What a sad wanker individual, I can hear Mr Title Poster thinking (not from censorship either, but because as an American he probably wouldn't know how to use "wanker" properly...) Yeah, maybe. But I know what I like, and a con of (checks Dragon*Con's Wikipedia entry) 30,000-plus members is way too big to be fun, at least for me. I'm not enochlophobic by any means and I'd attend a convention of that size as business, but not on my own nickel; I prefer to meet my friends in smaller groups.

The NA Discworld con was what I do go to cons for: big enough to be impressive, small enough to be fun, people I already knew, people I hadn't met until then, a subject I enjoy - and with an extra bonus: sunshine. Lots of sunshine. Diane calculated that by the time we left for the convention at the beginning of September, it had rained in our part of Ireland for some part of every day since mid-June. There were a bunch of American lady tourists on the plane who were wittering on and on about how green Ireland was. Yes, and we knew why. When it goes beyond verdant into verdigris, it stops being so attractive. Even the cats were starting to rust.

I should shut up about rain or lack of it at this point: the next con Diane and I are going to is another DWCon, but this one is in the West of Ireland (Ireland's first DWCon, in fact, just as Tempe was the first in the USA) and if they can lay on sunny weather in November, I for one will be most impressed.

And will wonder, rather nervously, how they did it.

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