Sunday, 8 April 2012


After breakfast for Olympians, in the Brasserie (where the service is better than in Newbury rooms), I went to 'Ethics of AI' as first panel (at 10 am). Simon Bradshaw, Paul Cornell, Louise Dennis, and Lilian Edwards talked about whether machine sentience should have human rights, and if it's switched off by its creator - does that amount to a death sentence. I spent the rest of the morning looking around the art show, and the dealers room - where Roy was selling Black Static and Interzone, and assorted books.

My first panel, 'Superheroes in the movies' started at 1pm, I was joined by John Coxon, David Anthony Durham, Ian Millsted, and Jesscia Yates for wide-ranging discussion of the best, the worst, and the failures in adapting comicbooks for the screen. Of course, I got in a plug for my forthcoming book about Ang Lee's Hulk. It went quite well, I thought, but John disagreed with my criticisms of Samuel Jackson (who's become a parody of himself, nowadays), and 'the Hoff' (a campy cartoon, not an actor!), as Marvel's boss of SHIELD, Nick Fury.

Drinking through distractions, it was soon 4pm, and time for 'the Fantastic Landscape', a panel where Paul McAuley, Jaine Fenn, and Nina Allan, discussed literary examples of metropolis and forest. I also kept missing interesting stuff on the programme (where does the time go?) until 8pm, when 'Private road to space' was a particularly informative panel with Dev Agarwal (best moderator I've seen so far at this con), in charge of author Geoffrey A. Landis, and tech industry experts like John Bray, and Gerry (no last name).

Returning from the bar for umpteenth time today, I went to see Gaspode (John Medany) lead a review of 'Worst and best TV of the past year', with commentators Paul Dormer, Genevieve Valentine, and Carolina. It was interesting to hear about lots of genre telly that I haven't seen on DVD yet.

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