Nine Worlds: Post-match report

Two days after Nine Worlds and I’m still recovering. It was good. Real good. I loved it.

I loved it because Nine Worlds was run by a fine bunch of fans who knew what they were doing, and knew what people wanted to see, hear and do. It felt like the most amazingly inclusive convention ever, covering a bewilderingly broad range of interests, but not skimping on any of the content.

It was, for example, so refreshing to go to a panel on writing and publishing, followed by a panel on the Big Finish audio dramas. I was on a few panels myself, and got to talk about the science of science fiction AND my favourite Doctor Who villain. And thanks to the crossover of topics I was reunited with people I hadn’t seen in 19 years (holy mackerel) and met a lot of new and interesting folk who don’t normally go to things like EasterCon or FantasyCon.

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Just A Minute, with (L-R) Gary Russell, me, Michaela Gray, Paul Cornell, Helen Keen, Adrian Tchaikovsky. Photo by Curious Magpie Photography, used with permission.

And I had so much fun. Just a Minute was hilarious and terrifying and incredibly hard work, but was the best con event I’ve ever taken part in. The New Voices Slam reading sessions were ace – although I felt a little like an interloper reading from what will be my fifth published novel – because they were a single event, with an MC and nine five-minute readings, which encouraged people to come along and support a whole bunch of new authors and stay for the whole thing (I tell you, there’s nothing worse than having the reading room clear out just before your slot because a popular author was in there before you!).

I met Chris Barrie. I accidentally had dinner with Matthew Waterhouse. I caught up with old friends, made new ones, and made a case (in public) for why Count Grendel from The Androids of Tara needs his own spin-off series (hello, Big Finish!).

Nine Worlds fills a huge gap in the UK con scene, between the more traditional bookish events like EasterCon and FantasyCon – the quality of which can vary hugely year-to-year – and the less focussed multimedia things like the SF Weekender. Nine Worlds has all the potential to be the UK’s equivalent of Dragon*Con, which we totally don’t have a the moment.

Considering how well this first event went, and how well received it was, I really hope that Nine Worlds will just grow and grow. It deserves to. So a big thank you and congratulations to the organisers and the volunteers who made it such a great weekend (photographic evidence can be found here).

Roll on Nine Worlds 2014! Early bird tickets are already available!