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Beyond Picocon - other conventions in the area


For those of you who braved the trip off campus to Picocon, you might be curious in exploring other conventions too? Well there are a lot of them happening all across the country throughout the year and I could write many pages just covering the ones I'm aware of. Instead I thought I'd focus on the ones that are "local".

Possibly the most important convention coming up this year, is Worldcon 2014. If you couldn't get guess from the name, it's the world science fiction and fantasy convention and this year we're lucky enough to have it right on our doorsteps in London. It's actually called Loncon 3 - a lot of conventions change name each year but fall under a common name (eg Eastercon). The last time the UK hosted a Worldcon was back in '65 so there is a lot of eager anticipation to go to it just in case we don't get another one for another 50 years.

The weekend before is a relative newcomer to the con-scene is Nine Worlds which styles itself as a geekfest. It's located at a hotel in Heathrow so is pretty easy to get to from campus. This year is it's second outing but based on their first go last year, it should be pretty good.

Over the Easter weekend is the British science fiction and fantasy convention, called Eastercon. We've been relatively lucky recently with it being held at Heathrow 3 times in the past 7 or so years. This year it's in Glasgow, but next year it potentially returns to Heathrow again. It's not a definite yet, because the way these things work is that there is a bidding process to "win" the right to host the convention. Typically the bidding for 2015 should have happened at the 2013 Eastercon, but for whatever reasons, no bids were made and now there's a late bid that they'll be deciding this year instead. But since it's the only bid, it seems pretty likely they'll succeed.

There's also London Comic Con which happens the last full weekend of May and October. I've never been to this so I don't really know much about it, but from what others have said it's a different sort of convention to the previous 3. The basic differences between a Media Con (this one) and a Literary Con (the other 3) is that with Media Cons you pay less to get in, because you then have to pay extra to take part in some of the activities inside, where as with Literary Con's your ticket price covers you for everything.

And there are undoubtedly a lot more. There was an attempt by Surrey Uni to organise a convention but I've not seen any mention of it since for example. It's also worth checking out what conventions are happening near where you live outside of term time.


by Adrian Long

There's Sci-Fi London, a week long SF film festival. Not sure of this year's dates, though.

by Chris Turner

Ah yes, I should have remembered that one cos they were handing out leaflets at Picocon. According to which it's on from April 24th until May 4th.

by Adrian Long

It's well worth keeping an eye on - it's not exactly a con, but it's an event ought to be mentioned in the same breath as them.

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