Then at 2 pm, it was time for the convention to begin.
Satellite 4, aka the 65th Eastercon was opened by Bailie Phil Greene of Glasgow City Council, who turned up to be rather a Sci Fi fan himself as well as being tremendously chuffed that World War Z had recently been filmed outside his office. But before he had a chance to speak to us, the Guests of Honour were introduced: SF Author Guest of Honour John Meany, Fantasy Author Guest of Honour Juliet E. McKenna, Artist Guest of Honour Jim Burns, Fan Guests of Honour Alice and Steve Lawson and Scientist Guest of Honour Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell. Sir Terry Pratchett was an Absent Guest of Honour, but he sent us a video message.
The opening ceremony was followed by a wine reception sponsored by Glasgow City Council, so I chatted with yet more people until it was time for...
Women in Science and Speculative Fiction
Panelists Dame Jocelyn Bell Burnell, Juliet E. McKenna, Clare Boothby and Stephanie Saulter discussed the issues facing women working in science and/or writing speculative fiction, and how these might be overcome or circumvented. All were keen to point out that not all obstacles are a consequence of direct misogyny, since different factors can combine to make situations more difficult for women (and for other groups such as carers) and then might not be noticed by those in authority who have not been similarly disadvantaged. The panel acknowleged the efforts of allies including jimhines and Charlie Stross and concluded that it is important to realise that different work environments will present different challenges, that more can be achieved by studying the issues than by shouting about unfairness (although that may be important at times too), and that it is essential that we all comment on biased selections or selection procedures when we see them.
After that panel, I moved next door for...
In which DC, Lilian Edwards, Steve Lawson, Pat McMurray and inamac discussed which of the many TV and film incarnations (over 150 at the last count) was the true inheritor of the Conan Doyle original. I'm not sure we reached any conclusions but it was a lot of fun, and it was generally agreed that the current US and UK incarnations have rather different takes on the characters.
Much as I would have loved to have stayed to chat after that panel, I had to rush off and be supportive at...
A Renaissance of the Renaissance?
The panel consisting of Steve Rogerson, Lesley McIntee, lexin, David McIntee and Tony Keen discussed the fad for historical fantasy on screen lately and whether we are seeing a renaissance of the Renaissance, or just the enduring appeal of big shirts and leather trousers on our swashbucklers. I already wrote about the panel for the newsletter, and reporduced my piece here, so I won't say much more here, other than that the panelists enthused about Shakespeare in Love, reminding me that I need to rewatch that one at some point.
Following her panel, lexin and I retreated to the buffet and ate a fine dinner, although that did mean I was too late to callin at the newsletter office and so instead went off to...
Entity and Entity
This was a game loosely based around the old TV Show Mr and Mrs, in which couples answered questions of varying levels of difficulty about their partner and the one who got the most right won. Rather fun, especially in terms of the phrasing of some questions.
And after all that, I went to bed.