From The SFX Weekender

AKA. From Outside The SFX Office with the team’s highlights and random memories from the weekend that was

Were you one of the legion of sci-fi fans having a jolly at a Pontins in Prestatyn this weekend? If not you missed out on two (and a bit) days of geekery, slightly naff food and the sight of team SFX running about like lunatics to make sure this year’s event didn’t collapse under the weight of its own awesome. We survived (just) and arrived back in the office to a very pleasant surprise – SFX issue 219 featuring a whole load of Hobbity goodness. Best of all it’s on sale now, so you can find out why we’re still the galaxy’s greatest sci-fi mag. Even Christmas doesn’t come close to generating the kind of buzz in the SFX office right now.

Rich: “My highlight, as ever, was meeting and chatting with so many top people, whether they were TV stars, authors, publishers or readers. And I’m still loving Neil Gaiman's acceptance speech.”

Dave B’s highlight of the event could only be having dinner with SF legend Brian Aldiss and his wife, and Stephen Baxter: “Charming, witty people who fully deserved their standing ovation at the Awards that night. It was a privilege to get them to myself for a couple of hours,” he said. Being SFX overlord does have its perks.

“Just A Minute on stage was awesome, although next time I promise to bring a whistle. The only thing funnier than the on-stage banter between Paul, China, Joe, Sarah and Toby was me suddenly realising I'd have to put my hand up and shout stop when the clock ran down.

“A big shout out to the incredibly geeky fantasy conversation I had in the Screening Zone bar with the likes of Paul Cornell, Simon Kavanagh, Graham McNeill and more lovely people, that took in everything from Chaucer to David Gemmell to playing Lords Of Midnight on the ZX Spectrum.

“Listening to Brian Blessed come out with one long and hilarious anecdote after another while he was signing, and making every single person feel special after meeting him

“Cuddling both Sophie Aldred and Sylvester McCoy - because they are both very cuddly indeed

“Chatting to Mark Buckingham's adorable wife Irma Page in the green room over a tuna sandwich with too many red onions in (you had to be there - but I'm glad you weren't).

“...And generally meeting so many lovely, clever, friendly, great people all drawn together under one big cosy community umbrella.”

Ade’s liver is in slow recovery mode from drinking pints of wine with Eve Myles (yes, pints), Sambuka shots with Anjli Mohindra and all-night drinking sessions with Craig Charles: “Massive thanks to everyone who came to the Cosplay Competition. Everyone of you where winners in my eyes. Special thanks to everyone who bid in the Great Ormond St Auction too. Just amazed at your generosity.

“Dave Bradley said I looked dead Sunday morning before the four hour drive home and hell did I feel it! But you know what? It was all worth it just to have partied with you all, and you made it one hell of a Weekender. You lot sure know how to party!”

[caption id="attachment_60579" align="alignright" width="324" caption="Whatever you do, don't drop it."]

2000 AD cake

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Jordan is convinced the Weekender has given him superpowers, because not only did he wake up on Sunday morning without a hangover, on barely four hours sleep, but he hasn’t developed con flu, came into work on Monday and isn’t walking round in a waking coma. Clearly something’s not right here… His highlight, of course, was meeting you lovely lot (particularly the woman who told him his Supernatural reviews were the favourite part of the issue every month), but other special memories include: hearing the few gags from his awards script that made it through Robert Rankin’s filter get big laughs, presenting the cake at the 2000AD’s 35th birthday party, hanging with the Hollies backstage, a dance-off with Jes (and with the rest of the SFX crew) on stage while Craig Charles played his incredi-set, and the first time he saw the glory of Russell’s Green Hornet costume. Fun times indeed.

Rob's eardrums are still in recovery after the battering they took from Brian Blessed, and he still can't quite believe just how little he had to say to the great man. Easiest. Interview. Ever. Meeting Dredd creators John Wagner and Carlos Ezquerra will stay with him til the day he dies (as will Mr Wagner's priceless reaction to Robert Rankin's special awards outfit). Additional excellent Weekender memories include Tony Lee and Dan Boultwood in general, but more specifically: gin, Al Ewing rocking the 2000AD party, Tharg's gracious speech at the same, Jes 'Lyrical J-Bombb' Bickham's relentless stream of pocket-based gaggery, the incredible reaction of the Main Void to Blessed and of course meeting all the beautiful people who made the trip to Prestatyn. Roll on 2013...

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Random Quote Of The Weekend: “No, it was the porn FIRST, THEN the Nazi propaganda film.”

Freebie Of The Week: In case you weren't at the Weekender, or didn't see our post online, the brilliant SFX Sci-fi Quiz app is now 100%, no-strings-attached free . There's no excuse not to.

Whose Spirits Funnel? (last, er, whenevers answer: they were Dave G’s socks!)