NineWorlds 2014 writeup
13 Aug 2014
Originally posted at https://palfrey.livejournal.com/312693.html
Despite having had the last couple of days off, I hadn't managed a NineWorlds writeup yet. That I basically went plonk on Monday is part of the reason, but hey, here I am now. When you look at the list of stuff I did, you may understand. Also, this is probably missing many things I can't remember. Note to self: write notes.
So, awesome things already mentioned elsewhere: The @9Waccess communication tags. Started off with a blue and a yellow, later finding out that the yellow wasn't so useful for how my head works, but that the red ones are very handy for the mid-con "and now I'm just shattered" periods. Blue one also acted as a conversation starter earlier, as many folks weren't aware of them. Will be bringing my set along to Loncon3, and if I'm organised enough today, will bring extras for others :)
Cosplay: All the cosplay, all the time. Felt like almost half the people were in cosplay sometimes. I only had my Jayne hat, but wore it for all of Friday and Sunday, and got a fair few "nice hat" and "Man walks down the street in that hat, people know he's not afraid of anything" got repeated a few times. Special mentions to the folks in the full Aliens marines; the full-blown Alien; the woman with the crocheted facehugger (and the alien pod bag, and the Wonder Woman crocheted costume); a Gamora; and so many more that my tired brain can't remember properly.
And now to the panels. I'm going to be a little bit brutal here, as there was a few items I was less happy with. Overall, loved them, and judging from digging around Twitter a bit, one person's "amazing panel" is another person's "boring, done before", but I'll chime in myself anyways. The full schedule was pretty crowded, so there's a few things I missed (one on time travel for instance), but I think I saw a good set:
- Fanvids and gaming: played Slash with some folks, doing a somewhat more hardcore variant that involved each detailing every pairing, which worked well. Fanvids were silly: 80s intro style versions of Stargate for example...
- Cheese & Cheese!: Readings of various cheesy work, and some eating of cheese. They ran out of folks on the list, and asked for more, so I got to read Original Message to the crowd, which was much fun :)
- Symbolism and Metaphor of Buffy: very good, very interesting. Realised just how long it's been, and resolved to rewatch all of it sometime...
- From Killer Drones, To Cuddly Robot Companions: More about the history of robotics, but still a good talk by @SciWriBy
- Prop Weapons Construction: Basically, making fake guns from foamboard and a craft knife. Very good, very hands-on (as in every audience member got to cut stuff!). Had a gorgeous replica Halo shotgun he'd built.
- Writing Better Characters: mainly around video games, but I was there more thinking from the PoV of narrative role playing games. Many recommendations of things I hadn't heard of/played.
- Looking Forwards: Supposedly about the future and books of the future, but kinda boring. Skipped out of there for the fanwork recs panel which included the utterly awesome Steve Rogers at 100: Celebrating Captain America on Film
- The Mechanisms: Awesome steampunk band telling cyberpunk tales of dystopian futures. Stuck around for "Ulysses Dies At Dawn", but then had to get some food before I fell over, so missed their second set.
- Last year's best fanvids: Trying to remember this much. Suspect there was some good bits in there, but was a bit tired by that point. I may have only been there briefly...
- Nine Worlds party: Had the awesome Queen tribute band Rhapsody who did an excellent set. Was bouncing around wearing my Jayne hat :)
- Saturday - started off fairly broken because of all the things on Friday
- Cyberpunk: exploring society in the corporate machine age (.net): Seemed very interesting, but I was rather dead at this point, so skipped out for coffee and collapsing.
- Dragons vs Werewolves vs Vampires vs Warlocks: The Ultimate Deathmatch Smackdown: Awesome, awesome, awesome! One of my favourite panels. Werewolves and Vampires were fairly weak, but Warlocks had Scott Lynch doing variants on the theme of "Warlocks rule!" and Elizabeth Bear (Dragons) smacking him down repeatedly. Very very funny. Panel members kept repeatedly slipping between "they do X" and "we do X", leading to the possibility that Scott Lynch is in fact a hidden warlock, which is just funny.
- In Conversation with Reiner Knizia: So, game designer, should be interesting, but I just wasn't feeling it. Brain was still a bit fuzzy at that point.
- GoT: Season 4 in Review: 4 (deceased) cast members talking about season 4, and just generally the experience of being on set during Game of Thrones. Twitter seems to indicate some more hardcore fans didn't like it so much, but I thought it rocked. Miltos Yerolemou is damn cool.
- Some food was gotten early at this point, then caught a bit of Quantum Battlestar Deep-Space Voyager Tardis Wars: The Million Dollar Space Epic. All of the bad puns (including a meta "Your puns are weak old man" Star Wars one). Worth seeing properly at another time.
- Whedonverse Sing-Along: Very, very cool. Singing through "Once More With Feeling" and then Dr Horrible (with yours truly being on stage for the latter). Dr Horrible had a pair of folks, him as Captain Hammer, her as Dr Horrible, doing impromptu acting for the end scenes, which was amazing. Then we got to sing the Firefly theme :) Songbook covers were cool as well.
- Ducked into the Steampunk cabaret, but the sheer level of horrible puns was too much (cockney steampunk music-hall parodies: just say no)
- Edible Knitting: knitting cord bracelets from strawberry laces: Caught the last half an hour or so, and made a bracelet. Crochet (or at least the very basics) is now less scary, and we were encouraged to eat our mistakes, which is always good :)
- The Duke Mitchell Film Club: Saw some of the very silly movies there. Good folks.
- Rock Club: Got horribly delayed by Bifrost's lack of realistic timing. Thankfully I decided to have an early night (only like 11:30pm) instead, which was a good plan.
- Neuroscience of Swearing: @SciWriBy back for more, this time with experiments involving dumping an arm in cold water and seeing if having a swear word to say increased people's average times they could stay in there (it does). I'm now curious about how things that aren't swear words currently could be made ones. Current candidate: "sturdy"
- This was followed by Illusions and Brains by @DCorney who has managed to get computer systems to see some of the same optical illusions as humans do. Apparently it's a side-effect of being able to disambiguate scenes.
- Spock vs the Sorcerers: F or SF? The Genre Deathmatch Smackdown!: More of the same as Saturday's one, but slightly less dramatic. Fantasy was losing very badly, although the Baron Harkonnen doll and the creepy Eye of Sauron toy didn't help things. That, and Geoffrey Ryman being very eloquent.
- Food in Science Fiction: Everything from pills to hydroponics, to a fair amount of childrens books. Not bad, although the room felt like we were being broiled.
- Epic Fantasy: the panel of prophecy!: Heavy on the authors talking about their own stuff, which when it's folks like Scott Lynch and Elizabeth Bear is no bad thing. Got a few recs out of it as well.
- Applied Mathematics: Poetry for Geeks: I'd run into Dan Simpson earlier in the con, watching on a Netrunner game, so was interesting to see the poetry side. Lots of meta-stuff and playing with the medium, which was good.