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The Necromingicon
The Book of the Howlings of Ming, Seeker After Arcane and Esoteric Truths
Redemption 2007 - Big time geek out! 
26th-Feb-2007 05:31 pm
Looi Kin-Ming
Short version: enormous fun, seriously intense geekout weekend. Kicking myself for taking this long to get to a Redemption event, signed up for 2009 already.

Long version behind cut.

Photos here in the Redemption 2007 album, as usual basically costume photos. Here's one:



"Ming finally manages to pull a bird at a con..."


This is likely to be considered heresy by some in the Terra Nostra but, yeah, Redemption 2007 was an enormously enjoyable con and I'm kicking myself for not having got to previous ones and I have signed up for 2009 already.

The crucial element was that whole discussion thing that jmswallow, ysrith and others and I had been pondering since Galactica One. Spent much of the weekend agonising over what panel to attend next and rushing off to it. Didn't miss the actor talks/autographs/photoshoots one bit.

Basically, I enormously enjoyed the panels. Probably shot my mouth off way too much in them though. Highlights included the Rise and Fall of Babylon 5 Fandom (think I managed to avoid any major FUBARs as a panel member), It's Shit But We Like It (JAG! Airwolf! etc), Military SF (with several panel members in Nintedoflage!), Religion In SF (pretty neat to see Scott Fredericks come along to it!), How To Fight A Space Battle (other people who've heard of 2300AD and the Stutterwarp!) and that's just some of the ones I went along to...

The biggest problem was trying to make up my mind which ones to go to, the most painful clash being between the B7 audio talk and the Old vs New BSG panel. Sigh. Still, better class of problem. I now have a strong suspicion that, from a BSG discussion perspective, Redemption will prove to have been far more satisfactory than Galactica 3 will be... I think Marwan summed it up best by commenting "it's like it's a media con but being run like a lit con"

Also had great fun at the Guns, Gadgets and Kung-Fu workshop (run by lonemagpie and sweetheartwhale and the BSG crisis management game (small group of us trying to cope with an escalating situation at a nuclear facility - protestors, Cylon attacks, the end of the world with information coming in by radios, phones and the occasional runner) but unfortunately, missed the backsword fighting workshop despite having been first to sign up, due to misreading the timetable...

It was generally amazing how many familiar faces there were there that I hadn't seen since Deliverance in 1998, including the likes of lexin, Clare G etc. In fact, another small world thing: on the trip up, Smitty, who was, as far as I know, just some random person from the con list who'd taken me up on open offer of a lift there and back, turned out to be sharing a room with Clare!

Other small world things:
  • Chatting to chief steward over lunch on Friday and exchanging names, he said he figured I'd be Ming as I resembled a friend of his who often got mistaken for me. "Er... Paul Chan?" Yep. He also confirmed Paul was indeed "I'm not Ming" guy from the Blackpool SFX event. Guess that's one mystery resolved. jmswallow has a good point though: need to get a photo of the two of us together to dispel any suspicion that we are the same person
  • snowgrouse revealed she recognised me from Silver Arrow 2003 and that she was there with Frankymole from the Robin of Sherwood group who has a copy of the B7 RPG...
  • I still seem to be known to quite a few people as the B7 RPG guy and/or the Psi Corps guy from the Deliverance's Master of the Universe election! Well, at least it meant I had something to throw into the discussion in the online pseudonyms and anonymity panel...
  • Small world thing that fortunately proved not to be the case. Nearly freaked at breakfast on Saturday because, from behind, selenay936 has remarkably similar hair cut, complexion and build to Liz. For a moment, I was wondering just WTF Liz was doing at a con!


I bought an Earth Alliance beer glass and Life On Mars modern policing guide from 1973 in the charity auction. The guide ("written" by Gene Hunt, copy "belonging" to Chris Skilton) is a hilarious support marketing piece with top tips like "2b. Sometimes getting the all important confession can take a bit of time but as a general rule a backhand slap will get you circumstantial info, a bunch of fives gets more seriously incriminating facts and good kicking gets a full confession"

There was also a bundle of Doctor Who novels including the legendary Lungbarrow and I was tempted to bid on it but it was clear the other bidder also knew the significance of the book and, quite frankly, I decided I wasn't in the mood. End result, she got a bloody bargain at £10!

The hotel itself was generally pretty impressive. Free Wi-Fi access was a good start - Pretty neat, the sight of clusters of fans in reception and the rotunda beavering away on their laptops. Shame about the utterly crap mobile reception (for Orange, anyway) though. The place needs a picocell!

The bar prices were suprisingly reasonable e.g. £2.50 for a bottle of Old Speckled Hen, Hobgoblin or Spitfire but, despite that, I ended up drinking much less than usual due to constantly running from panel to panel. Hell, even came home with *all* the booze I took up with me, which is unprecedented!

Needless to say, I did more than my fair share of poncing about in costume, provoking comments like "Just how many costumes did you bring?" and "Do you have any outfits apart from the tux that aren't military uniforms?" Very pleasantly surprised that the Earthforce uniform still fits (even if Jim's observation that it has to be some 13-14 years old was rather scary) and that I got 3 or 4 hall costume tokens from passers-by for the BSG one.

I also got a chance to see people in the costumebay BSG uniforms up close. Hmm... OK but could be a better. I think, if I really do want a grey piping uniform, my first course of action will be to try to call the King Paul Tailor guys in Manila first.

Other thoughts:
  • Average age was lower than I expected, given that B5 and B7 aren't exactly contemporary programmes but, given the discussion topics, it makes sense - didn't have to be a hardcore B7/B5 fan to enjoy the con.
  • Had a minor panic when I realised I'd left my B5 crew jacket in a panel room and it wasn't there when I went back. Not sure which scared me more, the potential loss of credit cards etc or of the jacket itself! Fortunately, Tim had spotted it and dropped it off at Corrine's table in the dealers' room. He'd left me a voice mail but, with the crap coverage...
  • Didn't get to any of the discos but still managed to meet my arhythmic making an arse of myself quota by going to Stepmania session
  • Pretty neat, Scott Fredericks mixing with us in the bar areas
  • Hope I wasn't too much of a gushing fanboy sitting with Jane Killick (author of the B5 season guides)
  • Got an amusing phone call from Liz on Sunday evening. She was in White Lion in East Finchley and wanted to know if I'd like to join her for a drink ("er... would love to but...")
  • I think I need to read more SF books!
  • There is no t-shirt too geeky for this event - chief evidence: Smurf's Forte Agent shirt. Next time, I take my OS/2 Warp one!
  • Found another Julia Ecklar CD (Traveller) in the dealers' room (Tribbles and BSG filk!)
  • Impressed by the numbers of people wearing LJ badges from rwrylsin and davidcook


Anyway, rather sad to be heading home with tlanti and Smitty this morning via Oriental City for lunch!

However, important issue, for the next Redemption, I fancy doing another Master of the Universe campaign. The two main ideas I'm toying with are:
  • Sargeant Wilson from Dad's Army ("Ahem... er... if you wouldn't mind awfully voting for me...", election promise to increase lard rations, defense policy: "Cold steel, they don't like it up 'em!" etc). I'd need a Home Guard uniform (what a hardship...).
  • Fu Manchu: droopy moustache, robes, long nails dacoits with red headbands, threats to unleash Black Lotus poison clouds, sound weapons etc


Thoughts or ideas, anyone?
Comments 
26th-Feb-2007 07:38 pm (UTC)
Basically, I enormously enjoyed the panels. Probably shot my mouth off way too much in them though ... Religion In SF

If you were at that panel, you know there are others who shoot his (or her) mouth off more...


Shame about the utterly crap mobile reception (for Orange, anyway)

That's not new- at 05 I couldn't get a signal in the building, with an Orange phone. This year I've got a Virgin phone and it was fine.


The bar prices were suprisingly reasonable e.g. £2.50 for a bottle of Old Speckled Hen, Hobgoblin or Spitfire


Those were specially negotiated con prices, which we do with the Real Ale. If you'd been drinking other stuff you'd have seen the difference...

Also had great fun at the Guns, Gadgets and Kung-Fu workshop (run by lonemagpie and sweetheartwhale

Aww, thanks! We're already planning what to do next time, and I *think* it'll probably be "let's analyse some SF melee weapons (e.g. batleths, staff weapons, etc) and see how (in)effective they'd really be, how they could be used in real life, as compared to what we see on screen. Sort of Mythbusters for fictional alien weapons.
26th-Feb-2007 07:49 pm (UTC)
If you were at that panel, you know there are others who shoot his (or her) mouth off more...

Heh. I couldn't possibly comment...

That's not new- at 05 I couldn't get a signal in the building, with an Orange phone. This year I've got a Virgin phone and it was fine.

Aha. Interesting. So much for my initial hypothesis that it was a GSM1800 vs GSM900 thing (since a friend on Vodafone was doing OK) and Virgin/T-Mobile is also GSM1800. it's an Orange-specific thing. Sigh.

Those were specially negotiated con prices, which we do with the Real Ale. If you'd been drinking other stuff you'd have seen the difference...

Well, that would certainly explain the shocked look from Smitty when I said I thought the bar prices were surprisingly reasonable!

I *think* it'll probably be "let's analyse some SF melee weapons (e.g. batleths, staff weapons, etc) and see how (in)effective they'd really be

Sounds great, especially as I remember a friend trying to cut her wedding cake with a Klingon dagger of some sort and having all sorts of grief!
26th-Feb-2007 07:56 pm (UTC)
Sound like you had a very fun filled weekend. I will probably go to the next one as I have two years to save up for it. *g*
26th-Feb-2007 07:59 pm (UTC)
I most certainly did and heartily recommend planning to go to the next one!
26th-Feb-2007 08:18 pm (UTC)
Life On Mars modern policing guide from 1973 in the charity auction

If you'd come to my Life on Mars panel you would've got one for free ;-) Some kind soul had a whole wad of them that she passed out.

Didn't get to any of the discos but still managed to meet my arhythmic making an arse of myself quota by going to Stepmania session

You and Mark were about equally terrible ;-)

And my Orange coverage was bad too, the only place I got any sort of signal was the Rotunda!

We'd really like to go back in '09 but a bit early for us to commit at the moment, once the wedding is over we'll probably have a better idea if we can.

If you run for Ruler of the Universe I'd vote for you, assuming my vote wasn't knobbled by David again ;-)



26th-Feb-2007 08:25 pm (UTC)
If you'd come to my Life on Mars panel you would've got one for free

Oh well, I shall regard it as my good deed for the day then, he said, not in the least bit through gritted teeth. No, Sir! ;-)

You and Mark were about equally terrible ;-)

I shall have to dig out the Xbox and dance mat and practice before 2009!

If you run for Ruler of the Universe I'd vote for you

Excellent. But any preferences for Sgt Wilson or Fu Manchu or, indeed, any other suggestions?
27th-Feb-2007 12:10 am (UTC)
£10 for Lungbarrow? Ouch. I'm filling the gaps in my New Adventures collection via eBay right now (only about 30 to go)

I actually bought Lungbarrow on eBay a few years back just to read it, and had to sell it immediately afterwards. Now I've got to try and find it again.

Sounds like a good weekend
27th-Feb-2007 08:08 am (UTC)
Well, quick check reveals last copy on eBay went for £55!
27th-Feb-2007 05:55 am (UTC)
Uh Ming, that bird isn't real, but I notice you paid out for the luxury model - you perv!
27th-Feb-2007 08:06 am (UTC)
Ah, but I didn't. Yep, I managed to pull someone else's bird...
27th-Feb-2007 05:48 pm (UTC)
It was great to see you there and catch up!

Oh, and Clare G has an LJ, she's clare_nce.

27th-Feb-2007 06:01 pm (UTC)
Likewise. I was actually rather blown away by all the familiar faces from Who's 7/Deliverance/London Horizon days!

Ah cheers. I shall go stalk look her up
27th-Feb-2007 05:59 pm (UTC)
I meant to tell you, I've a good picture of you here: http://s88.photobucket.com/albums/k169/lexin0/redemption%2007/?start=all

27th-Feb-2007 06:28 pm (UTC)
Ah, cheers. Speaking of which, I have a recall you mentioned you had a UNIT badge of some sort that was surplus to requirement?
27th-Feb-2007 10:40 pm (UTC)
*waves*

Scott is generally to be found in the bar at conventions (not that he's exactly done many, but I've been to 3/4 of those he's been at), even those like Star One where the minders work at keeping Guests in the Green Room; and Redemption Guests are generally to be found in the bar anyway. Of course the fact that a glass of chilled white wine in the bar was around £5.50 might well have had something to do with our strange habit of disappearing to the supermarket around lunchtime on most days (not that we were smuggling anything back into our hotel rooms, of course, oh no...).

Interesting contrast at the Religion in SF Panel: I get quieter when running panels after a couple of drinks, while snowgrouse gets more talkative. I think she was the one that suggested Scott came along-with.

Oh, and I'd definitely recommend late-night sandwiches from reception to future con-goers.
28th-Feb-2007 07:17 am (UTC)
*Waves back* Hooyah!

Re: Scott. OK, I'm even more impressed.

The wine prices also make the real ale ones seem even more impressive!

Only surprise about the supermarket trips is that you did it daily, my tendency is to do one big trip at the start and just be thick-skinned about it!
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