As those who know me will testify, I love conventions. I mean, weekends (often long weekends) spent in the company of good friends, people with similar interests, listening to authors I’ve long-admired and other industry professionals talk about their craft, socialising, drinking, and partying long into the night… What’s not to love?
Except that I also work at conventions. I invariably man a table or two in the dealers room, promoting (and hopefully selling) both my own books and NewCon Press titles. As a rule, I only escape the dealers’ room when I’m taking part in programme items – panel discussions, readings, signings etc; the dealers’ room opens at 9.00 or 10.00 am (depending on the convention) and closes at 6.00 pm, and I always like to be there at least half an hour before opening to get organised, reset the tables etc… All of which I love doing, but I come back from conventions shattered – it’s a rarity for me to get to bed before 2.00 am and I usually work a routine of four hours sleep a night during cons.
So, a little time is needed in the aftermath for my head to clear and my body (in particular my liver) to recover. This time around, not so much. I’m heading off for the Nine Worlds convention at Heathrow this afternoon, will be back late Sunday evening, and will then have two days to assess sales, unload and reload the car with stock before setting out for the Excel Centre in London’s Docklands for Worldcon next Wednesday. Just to emphasise, this second event is WORLDCON. With 9,000 members last time I checked, this will be by far the biggest convention I’ve ever attended, let alone traded at.
Worldcon runs from Thursday morning through to Sunday night and it will be fantastic; I’m genuinely excited about the event, while at the same time more than a little daunted by the prospect of doing two major conventions back to back. Below is my official schedule for both conventions. It would be great to see anyone who is attending, so feel free come over and say ‘hello’ if you are. In particular, I would draw your attention to the NewCon Press book launch on Friday 15th (free wine, free beer, a plethora of authors and artists, and BOOKS! What’s not to love?) and to my reading on Saturday 16th (11.30 to 12.30). I mean, at an event with 9,000 attendees, if nobody turned up how embarrassing would that be? So take pity on a poor hardworking author and editor and come along… You might even like what you hear.
Sunday 10th August, 3.15: panel discussion: Ask the Professional (no idea how I sneaked onto this one).
Sunday 10th August, 4.30: signing.
Literary Beer Thursday 13:00 – 14:00, The Bar (ExCeL)
Autographing 1 – Ian Whates Friday 10:00 – 11:00, Autographing Space (ExCeL)
NewCon Press Book Launch Friday, August 15th, from 16:30 to 17:30 in the Book Launch section of the Library (located in Fan Village).
Tor Launch Party for Futures 2 (which includes my story “A Piratical Sabbatical) The Fox Warehouse K, 2 Western Gateway
Reading: Ian Whates Saturday 11:30 – 12:00, London Suite 1 (ExCeL)
Book Launch of Mind Seed (which includes my story “Dark Child”) Sunday 11:30 – 12:00, 5-7 pm, LonCon Fan Village.
Fermi Paradox Book Discussion Monday 11:00 – 12:00, Capital Suite 14 (ExCeL)