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So, we have gone down to Coventry to take part in the Redemption Multimedia conference. Wendy and I were up north in Fraserburgh for the first part of the week and drove down on Wednesday back to Glasgow and then flew down to Birmingham on the Thursday. So a busy week so far. We were gouged by wonderful FlyBe because we hadn't checked in our luggage online and it cost us £30 for 1 bag!

We wanted to get the bus to Coventry and were directed to stance K. This showed the 900 bus to Coventry arriving in 4 minutes. Great we thought, and waited. I suddenly noticed that the next stance (J) also had the bus number 900. Hmmmm, I thought. Why is there two stances which have the 900 bus. At that moment the 900 arrived at the next stance. So I went and asked if it went to Coventry.
"Naww, Stuuunce K, mate, Stance K" he said and he pointed to the stance next door as if I was an idiot who didn't speak English (like him). 

We waited, and waited, watching three or four 900 buses all going to Birmingham stopping at stance J while the electronic display at our stance clicked down twice to 900's going to Coventry which didn't turn yup.

Finally, the 900 bus to Coventry arrived and we boarded. It was a standard bus with hardly any space for luggage, and as it was the one bus going through the airport to Coventry this now made perfect sense.

Ghhhhhaaaaaaargh!!!!

We got to the bus station in Coventry 39 minutes later (which was marked on all the timetables and maps at the airport as Pool Meadow Bus Station, so tough if you didn't know that this was Coventry Bus station. It must be such fun for people who haven't done much research and expect to find sensible bus numbers and electronic timetable displays which are accurate, and maps which actually supply reasonable information, like me for instance) and the hotel 4 minutes later.
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After we came away from the Fancy Dress and Cabaret [livejournal.com profile] dalg  suggested that we go to the Media room and see the new shows from the US (Someone had got a recording from either one of the Scifi channels or one of the US channels). There were two episodes of Heroes and one of Dollhouse.

I enjoyed Heroes, in which one of the hero characters was actually killed (albeit in a rather sanitary US TV sort of way. I didn't realise that she was dead until one of the other characters bemoaned the fact). But both episodes suffered from the standard problem which I have with Heroes. Very little actually happens in each episode and frequently it is very similar to the previous episode or even season. In fact so much of the two episodes were like those of season one that I thought that they had hit the reset button on the series and started again. Also there is the standard problem of the wetness of some of the characters as well as they appear to be the only oppressed minority in the entire world AND it's all a great secret that no one can ever find out about. I also noticed an unnerving tendency for the superheroes to lose their powers at the most inconvenient of moments, like when 10 guys are standing in front of them with guns in their hands.

After those two episodes they showed the opening season episode of Dollhouse which I loved. Kept me riveted to my seat in the media room. It also left me with a nasty aftertaste as it paralleled some stories I had read about the ability of government or big corporations (it’s not made clear which) to convert, heart and soul, people into tools for their bidding.

It’s basically another Joss Wheldon extravaganza well worth the time to watch when it finally hits this country.

This took me to 1:00am and by the time I had got back to my room and done a bit of surfing the web the Disco downstairs had actually finished. Although it was difficult for me to tell through my drunken haze. More to come tomorrow!


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Excellent day. Had a good breakfast in the hotel (Large quantities of dead pig, very tasty!) and sat in the lounge drink tea and blogging yesterdays blog. Was pouring myself another cup of tea when this guy spoke to to ask which of the pots was tea and which was coffee. When I answered he said "like the accent, can you tell where mine was from?". To cut a long story short, he was from Dundee but worked in London and was taking a year out (cause he never had one at university in his day) and just doing the things hes always wanted to do. Like come to a SF con! I should point out that this is someone who I reckon is about 50. Taking a year out is now my ambition for when I am 50. Which unfortunately is not too far in the future.

Bob (for that was his name) had never meet someone who had a blog and he was the source of the interruption in yesterdays blog. He wanted me to tell him what it was all about and what I was doing and were did I get the machine and how much it cost. It was easier to stop blogging and explain it all. Anyhoo, we kept bumping into Bob for the rest of the day. Not sure if he was just here on a day ticket or he is here today (Day 4 of Redemption when I am bogging this) he's a nice guy but a con virgin so needs a lot of help. Decided it was best to share that out across the con rather than providing it all myself.

Went with Bob to the first program item which was Christine doing "Forensic Science in fact and Fiction" which as a lecturer is what she does in real life. Very interesting and entertaining indeed!

I wandered around a bit after that, peeking in on the Guest of Honour (Paul Cornell) interview in the main hall and ending up at the next program item "Life Support Systems" with www.beeblebear.net/ which was equally interesting as Christines presentation.

Had bit of a blank after that before going to the "How to send your scripts to the BBC" panel. I missed the beginning and throughout the speaker kept saying "Oh you can get that bit of information on the website as well". However, he may have mentioned the website address at the beginning but he never mentioned it while I was there. I was, as usual, too shy and retiring to ask again at the end, as I thought that this would show me us as a numpty who had managed to miss the start of the panel. Still I though it was very interesting. Gave me some ideas as well.

After that we met up and went down to the Zocalo where I bought a few of Christine's and Michael's Banoffee pie and some flapjacks for midnight snacks. [livejournal.com profile] dalg demonstrated the suction power of banana cream and managed to pull his partial plate right out of his mouth. He had to wrap it up in a napkin and talk back to his room for washing. Ugh!.

We had some preparation for "How to find Uranus" at 6pm, but they had rescheduled an earlier item into our room which finished right when we wanted to start (Look on Flickr for the room announcement picture). We rushed around trying to stick up the planets of the Solar System on a Ceiling which was resolutely noy going to hold the whitetack. We then had a hilarous hour or so with a few people (I don't feel that they gave enough detail in the program as to what we were going to do) running around trying to get the probes to the correct planets. It was great fun and fairly exhusting.

I went along to the Cabaret with Michael, Christine and [livejournal.com profile] dalg  and that was pretty damn entertaining. There are pictures on Flickr of some of the entries. It would be bit too complex to try and describe them here.


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Yesterday was the actual first day of the convention. Didn't manage to get to any of the panels in the morning as I was either helping [livejournal.com profile] dalg in setting up the Satellite 2 table or running around trying to help people (I really must stop doing that). We found the Oxfam shop in central Coventry which had the best SF section I have seen outside of the Oxfam in Morningside, Edinburgh (which is another snippet I really should post) and although that doesn't sound to much like a complement I should point out that I thought that Oxfam in Morningside was better laid out than Watersons and better stocked than Borders (at least with SF). So we asked the Oxfam manager if he was interested in SF and if he knew that there was a SF Multimedia con on in a hotel 100 odd paces away from his shop. He was very interested. He suggested an exchange of Oxfam flyers with Redemption flyers. So I went and got some Redemption flyers from the con reception desk who also said that there was already someone selling books for Oxfam. Went up and spoke to him and although he was selling books for the con charities, he wasn't willing to even have the Oxfam fliers on his tables! I was a bit surprised.

Still, told this  story to Christine and Micheal and they were perfectly happy to have the flyers on their table for Satellite 2 Huzza!!

Went to the Opening ceremony which was good. Well organized, coherent and fun. I then went to "The mythology of the Dalek-Gallifrey time war" which at the begining was divided between those who treated it as a pure thought experiment and those who thought that it should just remain as Myth to support the backstory in the series. But as it progressed it slowly moved towards those who had carefully thought through the details and could quote chapter and verse from the series to support their pet theory why it MUST have happened this way, no doubt about it. More than a little scary.

Had a wee interrupt earlier and now have a chance to complete the entry for yesterday. After the time war panel me and [livejournal.com profile] dalg went to the "Could time travel one day be possible". The answer it appears is yes... according to current day understanding of Physics. It was interesting as we wandered back and forwards between real physics of possible time travel (it has been described as an engineering problem) and time travel anecdotes from audience members favorite stories. Eventually the panel (who were mostly real astrophysicists and physicists) went through each panelists favorite time travel story or film with recommendations for "Back to the future" being the only one I can remember at this moment.

Finally I stayed for the "Monsters v Aliens: Whats the difference?" panel which [livejournal.com profile] dalg wimped out of and went to bed. This was an interesting panel which started out as a sort of fight between Star Trek and Dr Who (with Star Trek having Aliens and Dr Who having Monsters) and came down to a sort of agreement that Monsters were things you either couldn't communicate with or had an agenda which they would not compromise on (and therefore you had to destroy) and Aliens were things you could communicate with and had some kind of culture that the audience could relate to (and therefore you could work with). People found a number of contradictions with this and a number of series which also contradicted or changed monster/alien status half way through (AVP being an example, the Borg another, etc.).

Then I gave up and went to bed. Which was not a lot of fun as The Friday night Ceilidh was in full swing in the Main Hall which was one floor below me. [livejournal.com profile] dalg  said that it was fairly loud on the 7th floor, so you an imagine what I was like for me. I could actually hear something (it was either the plumbing in the bathroom or the light fittings in the room) rattling when they hit the extra loud notes.

I lay a while and listened to a talking book on my iPod with the volume  turned up until I could not keep my eyes open. When I woke an hour or two later thankfully the Ceilidh was finished. I suppose that it was well advertised in the program and I knew I was on the 3rd floor when I checked in so I should have known better. Still, I have the Cabaret and Disco in the main hall tonight until 2am to listen to.  ;-)

ksimes: (Default)
I forgot to mention in my last port. We went down for the greeting meal (which was very good) and grabbed the first table we could see. It had a first timer to conventions already sitting at it and we said hello. Then the convention Guest of honour, Paul Cornell, joined us at the table and kept us entertained with Dr Who script stories and discussions on the merits of Captain Britain comics (which he now writes) throughout the meal... Which was nice.

There was a long and interesting discussion on the current crop of SF American TV series currently on over here and also what the Brits are showing in return. Strong support for "Being Human" and a great deal of support for BSG (I've been told everyone will know that means BattleStar Gallactica) which I didn't think too much of, as you had to suspend belief too much in each episode to allow the characters to function as real human beings.

I just felt that in real life, the first time they came up against a problem then the entire crew would go to pieces agonising over their personal hangups and worried about who hadn't screwed who that week, and whether anyone would notice the extraordinary number of enemy Cylon spies were in the command crew. I felt that if you couldn't believe in the ability of the characters to be meaningful members of a military crew then the rest of the special effects were not going to keep it going.

The stories I watched were interesting, just the people were so irritating. Most of the stories revolved around a command given to Starbuck, Starbuck ignores/dismisses/contradicts order (delete where applicable) and goes and does her own thing, commanding office realises the error of his ways and everything goes on as always, type formula. Not good in my opinion, just dramatic.

Please feel free to supply your own opinion.
ksimes: (Default)
Well made it to Redemption.

Long, long bus trip down from Glasgow to Coventry with [livejournal.com profile] dalg via Birmingham with a 20 minute long holdup just 15 minutes from Birmingham bus station because of an accident on the M62. But a lot of the other buses were held up as well so we ended up catching the bus to Coventry  at 4 pm that we would have caught at 3.

The hotel is OK. A bit faded, the seat I am typing this on is broken, but not too badly that it can't be used. The bathroom taps definitely have a mind of their own and the shower... well let's not talk about the shower, except to say its like standing under a tap. The room's nice and big though and I'm within range of the free wifi from downstairs. So not all bad.

Helped with the bag stuffing last night so everyone will get a goody bag at 10. It was surprisingly hard work!

Look forward to start of convention in about an hour and will post more this evening.

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