Reflections on Eastercon 2015

Susan Boulton

The storyteller
Mar 15, 2006
I have been attending the BSFA convention known at Eastercon for ten years now.

The first time I attended was in Glasgow back in 2006. I was persuaded to go by an author I had met online, Deborah J Miller. I didn’t know it then but Debbie would become a good friend, who would encourage, critique my work with a big red pen and share her love of the genre with me. Debbie was one of the driving forces behind the Gemmell Awards. I know all associated with the award, still miss her as do I. Debbie passed away on the 6th May 2013 after battling cancer for a long time.

Debbie had read the first rough draft of Oracle and encouraged me to continue working on it, at a time when I was ready to put it in the bottom draw of no-hopes.

This year at Eastercon I felt myself missing her very much. I wanted so much to share my joy of finally seeing Oracle in print with her. I know she would have whooped and said, I told you so. With this thought filling my mind I was determined to enjoy the weekend.

I was a little nervous, I must admit, before this Eastercon. It was my first major trip since my surgery at the end of last year. Network rail were doing their normal, “work on main routes”, over the holiday period, so what should have been a straightforward journey turned out to twice as long with 3 changes of train. I was meeting up with friends who knew I had a book published and I knew I would either gabble about it, or not say a word.

I need not have worried. The journey was not that bad, there was plenty of time between trains to get from one platform to another. My system held out for most of the day, though I ran out of steam round about 9.00 to 9.30pm and “retired”, to my room. I did gabble a bit, but not senselessly lol.

The panels were good, they always are, but this year maybe more to my taste. I loved Jim Butcher’s dry sense of humour both during his guest of honour interview and his panels.

The BSFA awards were hosted by Mr Gareth L. Powell. If you haven’t read his Ack-Ack Macaque series from Solaris Books, well get them. You will love them.

The awards went to the following.

Best Novel: Ancillary Sword by Ann Leckie (Orbit)

Best Short Fiction: “The Honey Trap” by Ruth E. J. Booth, La Femme (Newcon Press)

Best Non-Fiction: Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers and the First World War by Edward James

Best Art: “The Wasp Factory” after Iain Banks by Tessa Farmer

All in all Eastercon this year was good. Was it different knowing I was a published author, yes in some ways it was, but in others it was as always, I spent time enjoying the company of good friends who share a love of the genre.