LonCon3 went by in a blur of books and authors and signings and panels and more books and free booze and never enough sleep and more books and more books and more books. It was fucking wonderful, one of my favorite vacations ever. I hope someday soon it comes back to Europe so I can scrape together the cash to attend again.
LonCon3 only covered a handful of days, but it was an enormous experience with input coming in fast and furious, more every second. You talk to someone interesting waiting in line to see George R.R. Martin chat with Connie Willis. You get books signed by favorite authors. You roam the vendor’s hall wishing you had a bottomless wallet. You try to get into the coffee klatsches with people you admire and meet even more fascinating people while standing in line and then die of happiness as you attend all the coffee klatsches you made it onto the list for. You attend an Iain Banks memorial whiskey tasting and because it starts late you have to leave halfway through because meeting Jeff Vandermeer at his Literary Beer is starting already.
Every minute of every day is full of impossible scheduling choices and joy and wonder and more books and authors and passionate geeks and weird t-shirts and amazing cosplay and games and more books and people who love books, everywhere. The same books that you love. It is an experience that I can’t recommend enough.
The further back in time LonCon3 slips, the less likely I am to ever find a way to write about it. So, fuck it, I’m going for photos with words. I’ve collected some of my favorite photographic moments here, and I’ve written a little bit about the experiences behind them. If you want to see photo galleries of The T-Shirts of LonCon3, I did one of those, or The Cosplay of LonCon3, I also did two of those (part two is here). Those were easy ways to sort and process the experiences. Tackling the entirety of the event is not.
Iain Banks Memorials
LonCon 3 had a number of wonderful tributes to the late Banks. The photo above was a recreation of the Wasp Factory of his debut novel. You could viably feel the love for the man and his work at the con. Looking forward to reading his whiskey book someday; until LonCon3, I hadn’t realized that was something we had in common.
London at Large and My Accommodations
Though staying at the con hotel can add an extra element of awesome to a con experience, con hotels are always too fucking expensive. So I stayed with friends of a friend in Hackney, in a blissfully cloud-like bed in an absolutely gorgeous apartment. I was almost never there (sadly, because I would have liked to get to know my hosts more, my friend has good taste), but every morning on my way to the con I would pass this adorable little free library. It was the perfect place to put all the con freebies I couldn’t fit in my suitcase on my way to the airport. Long live free libraries and all of their descendents and relatives.
The Broken City
This scale model of an apocalyptic world was awesome. My notes are a mess. Someday I will return to this post, organized and on top of shit, to tell you the name of the artist who created it.
Whenever I had a few minutes, I would wander the vendor room looking for people with geeky t-shirts to photograph and to ogle books. Gollancz had along most of the Terry Prachett special edition hardcovers, many of which I bought on the spot as amazon charges an extra fee to ship things outside of England.
I hadn’t brought any Simon Ings books along to be signed, as I’d planned to buy the ones I was missing from the vendor room. Day one, I showed up at the Gollancz stand and couldn’t find any. I asked the gentleman behind the table about this, to which he replied, “Oh, we only bring books of the authors who are here.”
I laughed. “He is here. He has a reading and a signing tomorrow.”
“Oh shit,” the kind gentleman replied. “I should know that. I’m his editor.”
The next day the Gollancz stand had all the Ings books I could ask for. I bought them all.
Pimp Your Tattoo
Out of pure love, this guy had set up a glitter tattoo stand in the fan village area. When he saw the tattoo I have on my arm, he insisted on blinging it. I was hesitant because I love my tattoo and I don’t love glitter, but hell, why the fuck not, I said. It was itchy, though, and I ended up scratching the bling off a few hours later. Sorry, bling man, it was fun while it lasted.
Of Course, the Iron Throne
Everywhere there are geeks, the Iron Throne appears. This was a photo hub pretty much all day every day. Obviously. When you imagine us working on Book Punks, you should always imagine us sitting on chairs like this, at even more brutal desks.
Behold, the Fan Village
This is where the parties were, where the Literary Beers and Coffee Klatsches were, were you could just go and fucking relax for a second to watch people play Quidditch or browse stalls for future cons or drink a fine English ale or meet your new best friend.
Behold, the Vendor Room
Behold, Emma Newman, Paul Cornell, Lee Harris, and Catherynne Valente, Playing a Stupid British Game I Do Not Wish to Understand
BEHOLD GEORGE RR MARTIN AND CONNIE WILLIS
With Paul Cornell filling.
Were any of you there as well, dear readers?