Nine Worlds 2016

Dear reader, it’s been a while since I updated and certainly on a regular basis. Stuff, Things and Unpleasantness have been happening and I’ve not felt up to chirpily blogging when so much has been going on both in my personal life and in the news. Still, I couldn’t go to my third Nine Worlds without blogging about it, so:

NINE WORLDS NINE WORLDS NINE WORLDS NINE WORLDS ♥ It was rather splendid and much-needed. I didn’t manage to get to everything I wanted to, due mostly to fatigue, but the stuff I did go to was great. The hotel and its staff, in contrast to the previous host of Nine Worlds, couldn’t have been better. This year, the fact that Nine Worlds was in the hotel didn’t feel like a dirty secret and everything was a lot more relaxed.


My talk at Nine Worlds 2015 was at 9am on a Sunday, which meant I was able to drag myself out of bed, get ready, go down and get the talk done. This year there was some anticipatory build-up, as I was talking at 5pm. I’m lucky in that I tend to get only a tad nervous, the worst possible symptom being that I blush furiously or speak so fast I stammer (both of which are easily remedied), but I still spent most of my Friday feeling slightly nervous. I did, however, manage to get to some cool things.

The Beginners Guide to Cosplay was incredibly helpful – I have about fifteen cosplay ideas now, all potentially doable. I’m not sure if this is a good or bad thing, but it’ll be good to think my Nine Worlds next year will include an extra dose of fun.

MST3K4EVA was a nostalgic look back at Mystery Science Theater 3000, its origins and its future. A nice, relaxed talk, with beanbags and enthusiasm. I ended up having a quick wander around the expo, too, and bought a Companion Cube project from Geek Stitch.

I had a break before my talk, to have some food and a lie-down. The talk itself went well, although I forgot to pace my speaking so that I ended up fitting 5000 words into 40 minutes. To those who came, thank you! To those who kept up with my fast pace, blimey! To the Novotel bar, which served my favourite gin, thank you too!

After a drink and a catch-up with some friends, I went along to a small panel, Disabilities in Visual Media. It was a lot of fun as after getting over some initial shyness, we were all discussing and agreeing with each other about various types of disability shown in media and occasionally drawing a collective groan at certain representations. It was a good, friendly sort of space – I just wished it could’ve been longer, as there was clearly so much left to be discussed.

Masked Poetry Writing was a fantastic workshop. I borrowed a mask from a friend, slightly freaked out everyone else with it and wrote a poem from the perspective of Jon Snow’s direwolf puppy. I’ve been thinking about writing more poetry for a while now and it would appear that I’ve managed to get past the Terrible Teenage Angst phase, so I’ll be writing a bit more.


Friday night had some great entertainment options: I ended up going to the Live Commentary for a Mystery Movie, as I was in a beanbag sort of mood and had a hunch as to what the movie was. I was right and spent my Friday evening laughing at and even having a chance to riff on Anaconda, which, like many bad movies, was vastly improved by lots of people being silly. I also, somehow, managed to stay up and stay awake for the Midnight Movie, Aliens. It was the director’s cut version and I didn’t get to bed until quarter past three. Oops.


Unsurprisingly, I was a bit tired on Saturday. I had wanted to go to Con Self Care, but as it was an early panel there was no way I would get enough sleep if I want. Giving up going to a panel on self care to ensure self care was funny, though, and I had been able to contribute some ideas on Twitter in a previous week. I was up in time to try and go to Queer Coding in Disney, but unfortunately arrived too late to have a chance of getting in. The same thing happened with Fantasy vs Science Fiction and my second option for that time slot, a talk on Mythology and Urban Fantasy, so I ended up having a drink with a friend and doing some writing, going back down the Expo and buying a Monty Python necklace from RichardsonRichardson and nipping out to Tesco. This was the lovely thing about this year’s Nine Worlds: it was entirely possible to pop out to a selection of shops or just walk around somewhere interesting to avoid con saturation. It was nice for me, too: being from Hammersmith, it was good to be in the area again and have time to settle some old memories. My hotel room overlooked the Ark, where I did some research for a school project. It’s always seemed like a friendly sort of building and it was nice to wake up, stretch, potter over the window, draw the curtain, lean out into the windowsill to say good morning to it and bang my head on the glass divider like a bluebottle threatened with a rolled-up newspaper. Twice.

The writing I did, once I’d finished getting the talk up on here, was typing up and polishing another poem I’d written at the Friday workshop, in preparation for the Original Poetry Open Mic. It was a good group and I had some lovely, helpful feedback from several people. It’s confirmed a small idea I have for the future, when I’m back in London, so that was a very positive experience.

Being somewhat tired, I didn’t go to the cabaret- instead, I honed in on the beanbags and went to the Duke Mitchell Party. It’s very hard to adequately describe this, but it was hilarious, relaxed and exactly the laugh I needed. I even managed to muster energy for Saturday’s Midnight Movie, Evil Dead II.


I slept late again, as I wanted to be sure I had enough energy to be at least semi-competent on a late morning panel, talking about Theatre as Transformative Works. Aside from mentioning jaffa cakes and giving several of us the munchies, it went very well. Despite only having briefly chatted to the other panellists online, we gelled quickly and, I think, made for an interesting and fun panel. I also got to talk about Samuel Beckett and Shakespeare, so I was happy.

Fuelled by good tea, I went to a couple more panels on Creepypasta and Writing Humour, which were both great, and then tried to go to the End of Con Quiz, which, sadly, was full. I did however have a lovely evening with friends, decent booze and a stunning No-Face cosplayer. So while the end of my Nine Worlds was a bit sudden, it was still lovely.


I suppose I’ll have to get to thinking what I’ll be pitching for a talk next year… In the meantime, dear reader, I’m mainly packing up to move (no date yet, all very stressful), studying for my – eek – fourth driving test and writing most days, when Barney doesn’t decide to sit on the laptop. I imagine I’ll next update when I have some definite news about my move back to London. Thank you, as always, for reading.

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