So, the event is over, and I'm currently enjoying my first morning off. This weekend will be a slow one, catching up on all the abandoned chores left neglected in the run up to the weekend.
For those of you that weren't able to make it, or managed to lose your programme on your way home from the convention, I thought it might be nice to post up the editorial on this blog. I wrote this as a response to a few things I read on the internet about conventions and after reflecting on the nature of Fantasycon itself.
Welcome to Fantasycon 2018
Time is a quantity our stories can choose to manipulate. For some of us, leaving Fantasycon 2017: Peterborough at the end of a packed weekend and returning to our worldly concerns may seem like it was only yesterday, for others, it may seem like another life. For me, looking back now it is both. So much has happened, but it many ways, those events seem to have rushed past so quickly.
The privilege of organising and facilitating that convention was one I shared with my partner, Karen Fishwick and an amazing team of volunteers, panel participants, guests of honour, members, traders and other attendees. Now, we are here at the Chester Queen Hotel, ready to go again, with another brilliant set of generous people offering their time, their skills and their talent to make this a great weekend.
There is something that binds all these people together, a strange tangible and intangible magical force that I name goodwill.
Goodwill is an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us and penetrates us, it binds the galaxy together. Goodwill is everywhere. You can see it when you look out your window, when you turn on your television. You can feel it when you go to work, when you go to church, when you pay your ta(okay... maybe not taxes, eh Morpheus?).
The amount of goodwill and willingness to contribute to this annual event is palpable and certainly its most precious commodity.
It is difficult for any of us to properly understand goodwill. We offer it ourselves by doing that little bit extra for a friend, for a cause, or for a stranger we hardly even know. It happens spontaneously and with planning, but always seeks to enrich and make better what might otherwise have been broken or at fault.
It is goodwill that keeps our fantasies, our horrors and our science fictions as vibrant, colourful and interesting as they are. We find it in cosplay, in competitions, in awards, in all the opportunities presented to every writer, artist, editor, producer and publisher. Fantasycon stands as a celebration of that goodwill as much as it is a celebration of everything else we do each year for the love of these wondrous genres.
So, when you reach the end of this introduction, take a moment to give yourself a little credit. We are here, in this place, at an event, having a lovely time because of something you did. That could be as little as walking through the door and smiling at a friend. Who knows what that smile encouraged that friend to do? Or it could be as massive a thing as being present at the earliest Fantasycons, which laid the foundations for the one we have now.
Chair, Fantasycon, 2018