FantasyCon 2012 draws to a close. I'm now home, slippered feet on a stool in front of the fire sipping a a mug of tea and wondering if it was al worth while.
There was something different about this year's con. Now, how much of that was that the con had changed, and how much that I had changed I really am not sure. The con was certainly bigger this year, especially on Saturday - and to be frank the hotel struggled somewhat to cope. Horror stories about rooms were more prevalent than last year, for one thing. The basement panel room was as hot and as unusable as last year, and the dealer room is still inadequate; yes I know its a book-focused con, but it would be nice to have t-shirts or geegaws or a little art.
Personally, I missed a few very good friends that did not or could not turn up for any number of reasons, and the issues that tainted last year's con are still very much being talked about. Having said that, I got to see a lot of people I haven't had the chance to mix with for a while, and met a number of new friends; Janet Edwards and her husband, Dave Brzeski, Jilly Paddock.
Back to how much the con had changed vs how much I'd changed, I didn't go to many of the panels, and those I did go to I wished I hadn't. It really isn't that I know it all (though I'm sure some people would say I clearly think that I do), but I really dont enjoy panels much any more. There's far too much hijacking and/or lack of direction. Even some of the masterclasses suffered from identity crisis, with the honoured sensei not really knowing what the subject really was.
On that note, a very big round of applause to Will Hill. His masterclass on 'How to write and sell YA' was superbly managed and we actually asked if we could get another hour if we all chipped in another fiver. Really nice bloke too.
So will I go again? Really not sure. The organising team did do a wholly remarkable job getting anything together given the short notice they had, and a vote of thanks to them. I dont think the Royal Albion could cope if the con got any bigger, even though Brighton is a great venue.
I think it boils down maybe to why I go to cons, and a change in personal circumstance that may restrict my options over the coming years.
Am I glad I went? Certainly.