Stevie Carroll (stevie_carroll) wrote,
Stevie Carroll

Saturday at Satellite 4 (19 April 2014)

The first full day of Eastercon 65/Satellite 4 saw me up reasonably bright and early in order to apply the standard con technique of Eating All the Breakfast, helped by the fact that there was plenty of everything including two varieties of haggis and three or four of sausage (depending on how one classifies sausage slice) plus black pudding, mushrooms, a choice of eggs, and so on. Also we had plenty of fruit juice and a reasonable supply of tea and coffee.

Having got through that lot, I called in at the newsletter office to volunteer my services, and was promptly sent back out as a roving reporter. Which suited me just fine. So I made a trip down the corridors and over the bridge to the SECC (more on which later), arriving back in time for...

Timekeeping on Mars
This was billed as: When humanity eventually spreads to Mars they will need a human-​friendly Mars-​centric calendar. One solution is to create one based on Mars-​centric astronomical phenomena and was a presentation by Nik Whitehead in which she ran through the various attempts that have been made to divide up Mars time and offered up her own theories on which would work best. Humans like their 24 hour in a day, 28-31 days in a month and four seasons of pretty much the same length. This won't quite work on Mars, but various tweaks have been worked out, the best involving leap-days which could be used for public holidays (yayness!).

I really must email Nik and ask for the slides as my notes aren't nearly comprehensive enough...

After that I chatted to various people and looked round the art show until it was time for...

Writing for different media

Panellists Patricia Ash, Gareth L Powell, Piers Beckley, Simon Ings, Taj Hayer talked about the challenges of writing for media other than the standard novel including comics, short stories, games and performing arts and explained how writing in one medium could help them improve their work in others.

The main lesson to be taken away from this one was that it's all writing, and the best way to improve is to write more.

From that panel, I went straight into...

Is it steampunk if it's real?
Feorag NicBhride gave a presentation on some really interesting (and downright odd) developments in transport from the mid to late 19th and early 20th centuries. Some involved monorails, and some are still in existence. Of course some just make you wonder what their inventors had been smoking (especially the steam-powered aircraft).

And then I went back upstairs for...

Future representation
Fran Dowd, Ian Whates, Laura Lam, Donna Scott and Stephanie Saulter talked about what groups are or aren't being represented in SF in terms of race, gender, sexuality, (dis)ability, age-ranges, and so on. Lots of mention was made of instances in which fanfiction does stuff that the mainstream doesn't yet dare, and how we can push the boundaries further in terms of seeing ourselves across more media.

After that I actually managed to eat and talk to people on topics including the upcoming The Hugo Awards shortlist announcement before...

Room 101
Michael and Christine Davidson gave Guests of Honour Juliet E McKenna, John Meaney and Jim Burnsthe opportunity to consign their worst nightmares to oblivion, but only one could win in each round. The rounds were:

SF Conventions -- single-sided badges, bags of free books (the winner) and beer.

SF as a Genre -- New Dr Who, Space Opera and Heinlein's Juveniles (the winner).

Wildcards -- Superheroes, People who slow down for speed cameras and Recentism (the winner).

Always a fun game, whether one agrees with the choices or not.

From there, I went straight to...

Is the internet made of cats?
In which David Dryden, helped by Alison McInnes, presented a detailed scientific investigation exploring the outer limits of internet video. In other words, stuff off YouTube.

Most notable was, of course, Henri.

And then I was actually taking part in something...

12 of us had volunteered to read, and I was last up before Double-Hugo-Nominee Charlie Stross, which was rather terrifying. I didn't use all of my slot, due to drying up somewhat, but managed to read the first few pages of 'Seven for the Devil' from A Series of Ordinary Adventures. Then, of course, I was blown away by a work of genius in the form of a first draft WIP about 3-D Printing in the food industry (see my newsletter article on the event.

Finally, I went and lurked for a while with a drink just outside...

The Ambassadors Ball with That Swing Sensation

And so to bed...
Tags: eastercon, for reference, inspiration, on writing, out and about, published work, real life, winning at life
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