Saturday, 3 April 2010

Odyssey 2010

Odyssey 2010 - 61st British SF convention

Hotel busy and I had time for a panel on book collecting before checking into top-floor room (with only car park view). Meeting & greeting, sorting out copies of Premonitions for dealer's room, and trying to avoid buying any books... then it was 4pm, time for first panel in main hall, where Iain M. Banks, Edward James and others discussed Utopia – in various fictions, while  questioning whether it could ever be realised.

Friday's teatime panel on UK vs. US TV was in small room 40, packed to capacity with more standing than sitting. Jane Killick and Gary Blog led discussion on styles, standards and examples - with Chad Dixon becoming default moderator Рbut no consensus was reached about quality from either side of Atlantic. I went to NewCon Press launch in Royal, but free booze was all gone, and I wasn't tempted by that new SF anthology. Looked in main hall for several minutes of UK movie premi̬re Universal Soldier: Regeneration, but even Van Damme's presence couldn't save this clunky actioner, so I left early, to visit art show launch, which seemed smaller than previous 2008 exhibition at this hotel, but which still had several excellent displays.

Opening ceremony started late and finished quickly, but 'star-scape' stage set-up, giant video display with original animation and 2001 theme music made it look grander than just intro to line-up of guests and organisers. A panel item on 'Disability and Villains' was troubled with an inactive sound system for a sizeable room, where my 10pm panel titled, 'It's Shit But We Like It' was fun and enjoyable as noisy chat about films & TV, but derailed by lack of focus. At least a techie arrived to switch the mics on.

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