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Gav Thorpe Blog - Nine Worlds Geekfest 2017


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#1 Bugman

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Posted 12 August 2017 - 08:00 AM

Nine-Worlds-Geekfest-Logo-230x230.jpgLast weekend saw Kez, Sammy and I make our annual trip to Nine Worlds Geekfest. If you’ve not heard of it, Geekfest is a fan-based convention covering a multitude of geekdoms:

“Nine Worlds is a big festival for all kinds of geeky interests: academia, boardgaming, books, comics, cosplay, crafting, creative writing, entertainments, fandoms, fantasy, fanworks, food and drink, gaming, identity and culture, kids, LARP, meetups, movies, performance art, podcasting, RPGs, science, social gaming, theatre, tech, TV, videogaming, and young adult.”

Here’s a very tiny selection of the 262 sessions, so you can get a feel for how varied it is:

Sex Lives of Goblins – Sex scenes & the different approaches to writing them.

Orkish History 101 – A crash course in Orkish history and culture of Middle Earth: reconstructing Elven revisionism, the real meaning of the work “Uruk” and the cultural importance of swearing!

Women Write About War – A talk about the depictions of warfare in SFF books written by women in the 21st century.

Philosophy & Final Fantasy – Our panelists will dig deep into the characters and quandaries of the franchise, bringing the philosophies contained within to the surface for debate.

Jewish (Mis)representation in the Superhero Genre – This talk will discuss the manner in which Jews, Jewishness and Jewish identity is portrayed, coded, and erased in specific comic book characters, on the screen.

Gav-on-Nine-Worlds-Geekfest-Panel-2017-p

Photo by kind permission of Andrew Merritt

Most of the conventions that I attend are for ‘work’ purposes, and I’m usually scheduled for panels, book signings and workshops, with no break to actually attend sessions for myself. Nine Worlds has always been different – I attend as a fan (and proud geek) and get to enjoy the varied and interesting panels on offer.

This year however I received a last minute request from Nottingham-based author Mike Brooks, as he’d had a last minute cancellation on the “Interpretations of an Interstellar Human Future” panel he was moderating. I’ll try and blog separately about the topic, but for now I’ll just say it was an enjoyable panel, with some interesting perspectives from the other panel members.

Sammy-in-superhero-mask-Nineworlds-Geekf

Super-Sammy, but shhhhh – he’s trying to keep his identity secret.

I managed to attend Podcasting 101, How to Make Your Tabletop Game, and Screenwriting & Scripting the Fantastical – all things that I hope will come in useful in the future. It is still a very Sammy-centric weekend for us, but fortunately children are well catered for with their own play area, specific sessions for children, and several others labelled as ‘kid friendly’. I’ll do a shout out here to Grant Howitt (writer of RPGs such as Unbound, Goblin Quest, and Doctor Magnethands) who did a sterling job of reading to children, without leaving a sobbing wreck or having to apologise for taking a swipe at an over-zealous Sammy.

I’ve never been to a more inclusive and friendly event. Consideration is made for those with access needs, the LGBTQIA community is embraced, and there’s no ‘them and us’ with guests and participants. Even the hotel staff dressed up as superheros this year, and had badges declaring “I like anime” etc, so they could be part of the conversation. From our perspective the event went like clockwork, thanks to the hard work of the organisers and volunteers – and a special thanks should go to the kids coordinator Jaime, for taking up that role. When Sammy is a bit older we’ll do our part and volunteer.

The 2018 event may be moving from London to Birmingham, but either way we’ll definitely be attending again. I might even pitch a “Miniatures Gaming 101” session to try and drum up some new recruits!

If you attended Nine Worlds, or the “Interpretations of an Interstellar Human Future” panel, let me know in the comments what you thought of it.

**To make sure you don’t miss out on any blog posts, you can keep up-to-date with everything Gav by signing up to my monthly newsletter. As a bonus, every other month I randomly pick a newsletter subscriber to receive a free signed copy of one of my books.**
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