So I am back from Nineworlds 2018, and it wasn’t as chaotic as I was expecting! We actually took things very easy, and I’m glad that we did. My colleague said that usually it’s a bit of a party-hard thing, which I can entirely see (and did struggle with, as I worried I was missing out/not making the most of it/not seeing enough people/not doing all the things…) but at the same time, I have to accept my energy levels – and I’d just come off a week of horrible cold! So we took it easy, and it worked.
We were nominally there to sell books, which we did – and talked to a whole bunch of amazing people, some with some absolutely stunning cosplay (dwarf with a knitted beard! The brain slug contingent! A knitted Dalek dress! The Thirteenth Doctor! A knitted Wonder Woman! Princess Unicorn! A mermaid with a knitted tail and fantastic jewellery! Two amazing Reys! I did feel like I was squeaking every five minutes and we ran out of tokens quite fast…) and had a lot of discussions about books. A lot of people found out their Machineries of Empire faction (there’s a lot of heretics around, but also quite a few others!) and I got quite a few book recommendations in return. So overall on the book sales front, it was great, and a lot of fun!
I also talked to so many people…I definitely don’t remember all the names, but it was great to meet everyone! And I’m so sorry if I was shouting at anyone…I got back and my ears popped, and I COULD HEAR. Which meant I probably couldn’t over the weekend…whoops. Sorry!
The convention overall was very geeky (in a good way!) and it did reinforce my opinion that I wouldn’t have enjoyed it as much if I hadn’t been there as a Publishing Person to Sell Books – I’m either not immersed or not interested enough in a lot of the geek culture to appreciate many of the panels (although they did sound fantastic for anyone who is into those fandoms!) I went to a couple of panels; one on villains, one on female tropes in TV, and one on rewrites and reworks – and they were all brilliant, really interesting and with some really knowledgeable panellists. But…I’m just not super into the topics being discussed, mostly – which is definitely a me thing. If you’re into TV or film culture, nerd culture, fanfic….Nineworlds is definitely your place.
And, honestly, it was the most chilled-out and randomly friendly convention I’ve been to so far, even though I didn’t really know anyone. I had random discussions with a whole bunch of people (and spent a lunchtime discussing Battle Unicorns…as you do!); I loved the interaction system that they’d set up (you could put a colour on your badge to say how much – if any – interaction you wanted) and while I was blue (“talk to me!”) the whole time, I could definitely appreciate how amazing it would be if I didn’t feel like talking to people – and I also appreciated it when talking to other people! That was alongside preferred pronoun stickers, no-photos-please lanyards, access need stickers/chairs/lifts, and there were several quiet areas set up as well, alongside quieter sessions. I spotted a lot of people knitting/sewing/stimming, and if I’d been doing more panels I definitely wouldn’t have felt out of place with my cross-stitch (which I definitely did at FantasyCon back in 2015). So it’s amazingly inclusive and it felt really welcoming for it, for all that it does add some elements of stress for me as I really don’t want to get things wrong! While I didn’t necessarily feel like it was “my place” and I didn’t have points of connection with a lot of people – so it did feel lonely in that sense – it certainly wasn’t an unfriendly con. (And major shoutout to the tech and ops teams for being amazingly wonderful!)
I’m feeling much more confident about FantasyCon and BristolCon in October (book people!) – but I’m definitely appreciative of how much effort goes into Nineworlds, and it’s a fabulous con. I’m trying to convince a geeky friend to come next year, as I think it’s totally his space – and I’d definitely consider going again next year if Rebellion are selling again! So overall, a lot of fun, and a very relaxed, friendly, geeky con.