Orbital Preview

This year's Eastercon is Orbital, to be held in the Radisson Edwardian in Heathrow. It's been a long time since I went to an Eastercon, being as they're across the water and over the one guaranteed four-day weekend of the year, but this one has both China Miéville and Neil Gaiman, as well as Charlie Stross and Tanith Lee. So Nina and I are off on Friday afternoon to London, and as soon as we're in the door, we'll be putting our names down for the coffee sessions with the authors.

The way these things work is that there will be a small room, the authors will be in there with some coffee, and so will a limited nhumber of fans. You book in adance and if (if!) there're more people than spaces, it goes to a lottery. I would imagine that places for the Neil Gaiman session will have a resale value equialent to chunks of the London property market. But if I get a place, I will not be selling.

To be honest, though, if I had to choose, I'd go for China. Much as I love Neil's work, there's not much I can say there other than to drool unbecomingly, and maybe try to compose something coherent about why Thor always comes out badly in his work, while stuttering. With China, however, I have a number of questions in mind - a lot of them centre on what he thinks of the new Tales of New Crobuzon RPG that's coming out from Adamant soon, and what the likelihood of bigger options - MMORPGs, movies and TV series - are. Being as he cites the old Monster Manual as a large part of his inspiration for Bas-Lag in the first place, there's an element of coming full circle for the RPG.

There are other attractions for the convention, of course; various interesting sounding panels and the danger to my wallet that is the dealers' room. There's a panel the topic of which seems to be that tabletop RPGs are dying, which is an odd one to have in the same year as Gary Gygax' death makes headlines worldwide, and D&D prepares to go into its fourth edition. Three bars, at least one of which is selling Real Ale for less than the price of a pint in Dublin. A good few people I haven't seen in years, and the definite likelihood of coming away from it having made a few new friends.

The hotel promises free wifi, so with any luck, I'll be able to do some convention liveblogging.

Posted by Drew Shiel at March 20, 2008 12:05 PM

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