by Lynsey on Sep 2, 2008 at 12:40 pm
Last weekend (22-25 Aug) I had a truly eye-opening experience. I went to my first ever Discworld Convention. Having been a life long Discworld fan I had always been curious about the cons but this was my first chance to indulge! And what an experience. Never have I been in an environment with so many other like-minded Pratchett fans. And what a diverse bunch we all are!
Upon arrival each member received a Discworld goody bag with your Disc Con pass in, which you have to wear at all times. This pass has your name on (I think real names are optional as I’m sure I saw a Princess Tibbles!) and a section that declares which guild you belong to. I was sadly guild-less. The guild’s feature heavily in the Discworld novels and are based in the city of Ankh-Morpork. There are over 300 in the books but these were whittled down to include the most prominent including the seamstresses guild, alchemists guild and the thieves guild. Members of each guild undertake different activities at the convention – and the activities are endless!
The convention organisers are an efficient bunch, roping in volunteers left right and centre to help make sure everything for the 800 attendees runs smoothly. From hedgehog races, troll’s guides, interviews with special guests, costume making, swash buckling, maskerade and Pratchett’s bedtime stories there was something for every level of enthusiast. The maskerade was especially fun with members dressing up a la Discworld and providing a little light entertainment on the theme of their attire.
Two things really stood out for me as being particularly exceptional overall. This is fan heaven, why? because Terry Pratchett, Stephen Briggs, Jacqueline Simpson et al are involved 110%! They are everywhere, walking around chatting to conventioneers, running workshops, signing everything and everyone and amazingly with big grins on their faces! The second thing is the fans themselves. I arrived at the Convention as a complete newbie and within five minutes of sitting in the bar found myself surrounded by ten people all happily chatting away about themselves and all things Terry. It is truly outstanding to be with such a friendly bunch (and the more enthusiastically dressed, the more sociable the person – maybe there’s science in there somewhere!)
By the end of three days I was utterly exhausted but to my delight had been inducted into the Assassin’s guild courtesy of their leader Stephen Briggs. It was a proud moment between the lines reader. For anyone who dips their toes into the Discworld or prefers to dive in head first (in leather with studs) the Discworld Convention 2010 is your temple. It is a truly an unforgettable experience.
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