Tuesday, 24 March 2015

SFX Weekender 2015

This last weekend I had the privilege of meeting such sci-fi alumni as Sylvester McCoy, (The Seventh Doctor Who - if you didn't know), Julian Glover (Credits too numerous to mention, but notable to me for 'Quatermass And The Pit', 'For Your Eyes Only' and 'Indiana Jones And The Last Crusade) and James Cosmo (Highlander, Braveheart, Game Of Thrones).

Sylvester McCoy was funny and energetic on stage, but unfortunately by the time I got him to sign my Curse Of Fenric DVD he was so tired he could barely keep his eyes open. My ticket was 142, which gives you an idea of how many things he had already signed.

Julian Glover, the consummate villain is 80 this week, has hearing problems but nevertheless was one of the nicest guys you could ever meet. They say this about actors who play villains, and it turns out to be true. I can only surmise that all their 'evil' is drained away by the acting process leaving only goodness behind. He told an interesting story about his death mask from Indiana Jones, which was lying in his garage until his wife forced him to throw it out. A few years later a dealer offered him £17000 for it. He was mortified.

James Cosmo is tall, tough and very friendly, even though I could barely say two words to him, he still shook my hand and posed for a photo. One anecdote from his long career was taking a thirteen year old Christian Bale scuba diving and his greatest regret was never being cast as a romantic lead.

I also went to a lot of science fiction author panels and met the likes of Gareth Powell, Bryony Pearce and Danie Ware. Gareth has written various novels about a brain enhanced monkey named Ack Ack Macaque as well as a book of short stories call 'The Last Reef'. I have to admit to preferring his short stories which are eloquent and stick in the mind. The man himself was big, looming over me, well spoken but maybe a little held back. Bryony Pearce has written books I have not had the pleasure of reading and was very forgiving when I almost sat on her later in the evening. (The chairs in the arena are not very wide). Danie Ware was happy to answer many of my questions even when I realised they were questions she had been asked very recently already. I can't say I learnt anything new about writing, but that in itself was reassuring, as by listening and speaking to the authors I discovered I'm on the right track at least.

Cosplay wise there was an awesome Chewbacca there, a Michael Keaton Batman near perfect, an array of Judge Dredds, Darth Vaders, a Nicholas Angel, a Poison Ivy looking similar to a Jean Grey Phoenix and many many more. They did a good job of walking up to people and trying to catch them unawares. The weather was good, the people were friendly, and the food was edible. A good weekend had by all and a solar eclipse thrown in on the bargain.

Will I go again? We'll see.

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