This is a con report I did for the first (and, at the time of writing, only) issue of Steve Green’s resurrection of Critical Wave, and it describes my time at Zombiecon. Enjoy!
Published in Critical Wave #2.01 (ed. Steve Green & Martin Tudor); available on eFanzines.com
As someone who is (relatively) new in fandom, having only been to five conventions since coming onto the scene, Zombiecon was a new experience for me. I’ve attended Contemplation, the 2007 emergency Eastercon; I’ve attended Year of the Teledu, the almost entirely member-run convention held in Leicester in the summer of the same year; I attended Recombination, a fairly casual affair which was a melding of Unicon 21 and the British Roleplaying Society’s annual convention; I attended Orbital, the 2008 Eastercon which brought the convention back to London and attracted more members than any Eastercon since before my birth, and, lastly, I’ve attended Zombiecon, my first James ‘n’ Stef con.
Each con I’ve been to has been markedly different in some way or another, and the first thing that struck me about Zombiecon was how much everyone who went was putting into making sure they had a fun time. The feel at Year of the Teledu was that people needed to construct their own panel items, run them and find volunteers, which meant that the people who were comfortable organising such things were right at home and perhaps meant that the people who were not so comfortable had a more difficult time of it. This did not seem to be stopping anyone at Zombiecon – James ‘n’ Stef were relentless in getting people to help out and appear on panels or do various things and it really gave a positive, optimistic vibe, despite the horrible weather outside!
To be honest, zombies aren’t really my forte (I talk on the subject at a reasonable length in Procrastinations #6) but that didn’t matter. The programme was well done to provide something for people who aren’t really into zombies but wanted to come to the convention anyway, the bar was spacious, relaxed and friendly, the programme area was away from the bar (but not too far), in a suite with its own toilet facilities, meaning that non-fans weren’t able to accidentally wander into the programme items. It was a really good convention – I could go into detail on the panel items and the brilliant, brilliant breakfast but I don’t have room – and I wouldn’t hesitate to recommend the hotel or the organisers to anyone wanting my opinion on a convention.