LonCon3 – The whole Con, miscellanea therein and the final curtain thereof…

Note to self – try not to have a big birthday next time World Con comes to London! But what a weekend…

Fantastic four / five days wandering between the ‘fan village’, the Exhibits Hall, and then the panels I could make (see previous posts) – and also sitting in the boulevard and writing bits up. Didn’t have time to finish in the exhibits unfortunately but had an absolute blast. Here’s a bit of a run down of particular bits around the Con over the whole weekend, and also the unfortunately inevitable end of the LonCon3 – a wonderful place and time for the duration.

Here’s Hugh Norwood’s Angst-Lesspork, a tribute to a certain city of Terry Pratchett’s Discworld. Hm, is that (bottom-right) a certain librarian of the Unseen University?

From the guide: Angst-Lesspork is a small model railway that draws its inspiration from and is a tribute to the Discworld books of Terry Pratchett and in particular the greatest city on the Circle Sea, Ankh-Morpork. The scene is urban with a tidal river to the front. Buildings are predominately timber-framed. Although superficially a Victorian/Edwardian townscape, many characters and architectural features give clues to the layout’s true identity. Angst-Lesspork appears with the kind permission of Sir Terry Pratchett – and pre-dates Raising Steam by a couple of years…

Other bits around was the art exhibition, other displays, dealers, and fan tables including the bids for future World Cons. Absolutely smashing stuff…

Had a fab time at the Titan Books party on Friday – hadn’t even realised there was a Tor and Jo Fletcher birthday party happening just around the corner!There’s revellers behind and aside the displays but a fine sample of science fictional works from their growing book list. Mind Kim Newman is the star of the show and gets a display to himself (bottom-right)…

Fantastic time throughout but all good things and all that… I attended the closing ceremony on Sunday which was packed.

After a review of the video that won London World Con this year, showing a montage of alien invasion and the science fictional destruction of our capital, the Chairs of LonCon3 – Alice Lawson and Steve Cooper – emerge to deliver the closing speeches. There were presentations to the guests of honour including, sadly in absentia, the dear departed Iain M Banks, to whom the Chair’s had pledged that he’d be guest of honour regardless of anything in his final days. It was a very touching moment with those who knew him well being deeply moved.

Iain M Banks 1954 - 2013

Iain M Banks
1954 – 2013

On a brighter note there was a song to sing given someone in the audience had their birthday that day, someone who’d been present at the first LonCon: Brian Aldiss.

Finally the Chairs performed the formal duty of closing the 72nd World Science Fiction convention with the pronouncement and banging of the wooden hammer, then passing it to Sally Hall, the Chair of Sasquan, the next host of World Con.

And from there, well the bar was still open and the remainder of us – of which there were many – gathered in the fan village for drinks and chat and last celebrations. The photos below are very much of that, the first three being of kids who’d acquired bubble wrap and were joined by more and adults besides to make sure that if LonCon3 hadn’t ended with the sort of big bang that would guarantee an apocalypse for London, there were certainly many little ones happening at the same time.

Which was just how we ended it.

Fantastic long weekend of celebrating the fantastical and the science fictional and massive thanks and kudos to all the organisers and volunteers who made it such an amazing convention.

Tim

 

Destroying London! From LonCon3 and beyond…

Capital cities tend to get destroyed in Science Fiction – they represent the country and it’s civilization as a whole. So they’re natural targets of aliens [substitute fantastical antagonist as applicable] and the evil genius authors who guide their attack.

The University of Liverpool had the simplest of exhibits up at LonCon3, A4 printouts with pictures on a display board, but if you’re talking destroying London, our capital, and my home city, then you’ve got me at ‘The Destruction of London’.

From the guide: Drawing upon the prophecies of medieval astrologers and soothsayers to modern science fiction and fantasy (Richard Jefferies, George Griffiths, H G Wells, John Wyndham, Doctor Who), this display will look at some of the imaginative and sinister ways the destruction of London has been imagined. 

We start off around 1524 when there was a Europe-wide panic due to astrologers forecasting downpours and floods on the 1st February. The Thames was meant to have burst its banks and drowned the whole city. 20,000 Londoners fled – but not a drop fell. The embarrassed astrologers (like any good apocalyptic doomsayers thwarted by reality) issued a statement saying that they really meant 1624. Then comes a poem by Horace Smith, a friend of Percy Bysshe Shelley (who helped to manage his finances). The two agreed to submit poems (sonnets) to the Examiner having been inspired by Diodorus Siculus (Book 1, Chapter 47) which is on Ozymandias – Shelley’s of course became better known but I was very pleased to discover Mr Smith’s contribution of the same name, printed February 1, 1818 a week later in the Examiner.

IN Egypt’s sandy silence, all alone,
Stands a gigantic Leg, which far off throws
The only shadow that the Desart knows:—
“I am great OZYMANDIAS,” saith the stone,
“The King of Kings; this mighty City shows
“The wonders of my hand.”— The City’s gone,—
Nought but the Leg remaining to disclose
The site of this forgotten Babylon.

We wonder,—and some Hunter may express
Wonder like ours, when thro’ the wilderness
Where London stood, holding the Wolf in chace,
He meets some fragment huge, and stops to guess
What powerful but unrecorded race
Once dwelt in that annihilated place.

Wonderful.
Battle of Dorking Hartmann the Anarchist The Sleeper Awakes
 Next we’re off to 1871 and Chesney’s ‘The Battle of Dorking’ (kicking off the invasion genre and an important precursor to science fiction) and other fictional invasions of London including Hartmann the Anarchist, before we move on to HG Wells’ and his dystopian future-London setting of The Sleeper Awakes.
Then there’s the sidestep into gaseous fog threats across the decades, in William DeLisle Hay’s The Doom of the Great City 1880 and Conan-Doyle’s The Poison Belt (1913), before we start to see familiar images from screens small and large and we’re up to date and looking forward to seeing what the next destruction of London will look like. daleks-london
  And on that subject, just across the way is this fantastic diorama by Nick Cobb of a post-apocalyptic Peckham, circa it’s car park and cinema; you can see more of this epic work on Nick’s Flickr page

London is an awesome place. London will still be awesome post-apocalypse – just rather more… apocalyptic.

Again big cities tend to get destroyed in science fiction. Their remnants show scale. The scale of disaster and the scale of what has been lost.

Great stuff.

 

The Hugo Awards 2014!

Media update from LonCon3 – The winners of this years Hugo Awards!

Best Novel: Ancillary Justice by Ann Leckie (Orbit US / Orbit UK)

Best Novella: Equoid” by Charles Stross (Tor.com, 09-2013)

Best Novelette: The Lady Astronaut of Mars” by Mary Robinette Kowal (maryrobinettekowal.com / Tor.com, 09-2013)

Best Short Story: The Water That Falls on You from Nowhere” by John Chu (Tor.com, 02-2013)

Best Related Work: We Have Always Fought: Challenging the Women, Cattle and Slaves Narrative” by Kameron Hurley (A Dribble of Ink)

Best Graphic Story: Time” by Randall Munroe (xkcd)

Best Dramatic Presentation (Long Form): Gravity written by Alfonso Cuarón & Jonás Cuarón, directed by Alfonso Cuarón (Esperanto Filmoj; Heyday Films; Warner Bros.)


Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): 
Game of Thrones: “The Rains of Castamere” written by David Benioff & D.B. Weiss, directed by David Nutter (HBO Entertainment in association with Bighead, Littlehead; Television 360; Startling Television and Generator Productions)


Best Editor – Short Form: 
Ellen Datlow


Best Editor – Long Form: 
Ginjer Buchanan


Best Professional Artist: 
Julie Dillon


Best Semiprozine: 
Lightspeed Magazine edited by John Joseph Adams, Rich Horton, and Stefan Rudnicki


Best Fanzine: 
A Dribble of Ink edited by Aidan Moher


Best Fancast: 
SF Signal Podcast Patrick Hester


Best Fan Writer: 
Kameron Hurley


Best Fan Artist: 
Sarah Webb


The John W. Campbell Award 
for the best new professional science fiction or fantasy writer of 2012 or 2013, sponsored by Dell Magazines (not a Hugo Award): Sofia Samatar

Ancillary Justice

Time

Time by Randall Munroe

Rains of Castamere

Rains of Castamere

Ginjer_Buchanan_at_NY_Comic_Con_2011-2

Ginjer Buchanan

Julie Dillon

Julie Dillon

A Dribble of Ink

SF Signal Podcast

SF Signal Podcast

Hunter by Sarah Webb

Hunter by Sarah Webb

The 2014 Hugo Award winners were announced at a ceremony held at Loncon 3 on Sunday evening, 17 August 2014 in London. The ceremony was hosted by Justina Robson and Geoff Ryman and broadcast live via Ustream with additional live text coverage via CoverItLive.

 

LonCon3 – 1939 Retro Hugo Award Winners

Lovely idea – LonCon3, where this years Hugo Awards will be announced on Sunday, hosted a Retro Hugo Awards Ceremony for the year 1939. Here’s the results from their media release:  

1939 Retro Hugo Award Winners

LONDON, 14 August 2014 – Loncon 3, the 72nd World Science Fiction Convention being held at London ExCeL from 14-18 August, is delighted to announce the 1939 Retro Hugo Award Winners. 1,307 valid ballots were received and counted in the final ballot. The full statistics for the nominating and final ballots are available from the Loncon 3 web site.

sword-in-the-stone

Best Novel: The Sword in the Stone by T. H. White (Collins)

Best Novella: “Who Goes There?” by Don A Stuart [John W. Campbell] (Astounding Science-Fiction, August 1938)
Best Novelette: “Rule 18” by Clifford D. Simak (Astounding Science-Fiction, July 1938)
Best Short Story: “How We Went to Mars” by Arthur C. Clarke (Amateur Science Stories, March 1938) War of the Worlds Orson Wells
Best Dramatic Presentation (Short Form): The War of the Worlds by H. G. Wells. Written by Howard Koch & Anne Froelick, directed by Orson Welles (The Mercury Theater on the Air, CBS)
Weird_Tales_December_1937 Cover by Virgil Finlay Best Editor – Short Form: John W. Campbell
Best Professional Artist: Virgil Finlay
Best Fanzine: Imagination! edited by Forrest J Ackerman, Morojo, and T. Bruce Yerke Imagination
Best Fan Writer: Ray Bradbury

The 1939 Retro Hugo Award winners were announced at a ceremony held at Loncon 3 on Thursday evening, 14 August 2014 in London. The ceremony was hosted by Mary Robinette Kowal and Rob Shearman and broadcast live via Ustream.

The following other awards were also made:

Siegel and Schuster The First Fandom Hall of Fame Award was presented to John Clute.
First Fandom Posthumous Hall of Fame Awards were presented to John “Ted” Carnell and Walter H. Gillings.
The Sam Moskowitz Archive Awards was presented to Mike Ashley.
The Forrest J Ackerman Big Heart Award was presented to Vincent Docherty.
A special Committee Award, decided by the Loncon 3 committee rather than being voted on by the membership, was awarded to Jerry Siegel and Joe Shuster in recognition of the first published appearance of Superman.

Miranda Benzies – Artist Profile

Miranda-Benzies-Port

MIRANDA BENZIES

Miranda is a figurative painter working from her studio in Tottenham, north London. Miranda’s work is inspired by her experience of living in extreme rural and urban environments (see below for full Bio)
Website:
MirandaBenzies.com
Facebook
facebook.com/mirandamantlepiece
Twitter
@wizconda
Latest exhibitions / events:
carabas.co.uk/london-october-exhibitions-miranda-benzies/

 

Portfolio selections

London Face Oil on wood, 60x70cm, 2011

London Face
Oil on wood, 60x70cm, 2011

Waterloo Bridge at Night Oil on wood, 30x50cm, 2013

Waterloo Bridge at Night
Oil on wood, 30x50cm, 2013

Pink Towers Oil on wood, 30x30cm, 2013

Pink Towers
Oil on wood, 30x30cm, 2013

London Lady in the Park Oil on wood, 40x50cm, 2013

London Lady in the Park
Oil on wood, 40x50cm, 2013

Heavens Above  Oil on canvas, 102x152cm, 2012

Heavens Above
Oil on canvas, 102x152cm, 2012

Thames III Oil on wood, 18x24cm, 2014

Thames III
Oil on wood, 18x24cm, 2014

 

Here’s a short interview with Miranda on her London Faces series:

 

 

For more artwork and to enquire about originals and prints see Miranda’s website.

 

Biography

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