That was the Octocon that was

Maybe it’s just my frame of mind, but I didn’t get a lot of actual sf experience out of Octocon. There were good things – dinner on Saturday evening with 



[info]natural20What is Octocon” page still says that the event will happen “on Saturday 14th and Sunday 15th of October 2006”) gave me the feeling even before I arrived that the actual programming was an afterthought, and this impression was frankly reinforced by my experience (and what I heard of other people’s experiences) at the convention itself. As noted above, only one of the three teams billed to appear at the quiz actually showed (and they were not so much a team as just the students from the college in question who happened to be in the room).

Perhaps I am spoiled by my experience of conferences in my day job, where intricate programming, carefully prepared presentations, and vigorous chairing are the order of the day. I realise that running cons is a hobby rather than a profession, but I am surprised to see it (sometimes) done so casually.

I will not come to Octocon next year, but I will listen out for reports as to whether things have improved – it doesn’t take much, all it requires is actual planning ahead with the aim of ensuring that guests and participants have a good time. They have booked George R.R. Martin for the 2009 2010 event which will be a real challenge.

Many many thanks also to

 who facilitated a bit of historical research for me. More on that when I get back home.

One thought on “That was the Octocon that was

  1. Thomas Hardy shows up often in discussions of “supposedly great books that I hate”. For example, in Jo Walton’s Among Others (“[Hardy] could have learned a lot from Silverberg and Delany”).

    Maybe it’s just that he wrote for adults but gets taught to schoolchildren?

    The Scalzi post perhaps means well but I think it’s dangerous. “People asking for facts” is not “in itself non-partisan”, because of the important issues: what counts as a fact? and who suffers the burden of proof? If one-side’s “facts” undergo a severe forensic cross-examination while the other side’s “facts” sail through unchallenged, how is that non-partisan?

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