Sci-fi Weekender review: Cosplay, Solar Eclipse


So this weekend, I experienced a lot of cool things. Some sort of magic happens when you get a group of like-minded geeks together in great number. I was proud to be part of the pack.

In a very un-British turn of events, the weather at the end of March was nice. So we went to the beach to soak up the “sun” (turns out: shiny lies) and show our pet shark – Larry – the sea. It was a beautiful start to the holiday.

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I went to some cool writing workshops, including a debate on Horror: visceral or psychological? (My opinion, like peanut butter and chocolate… why not both? And in great dollops?) And another on world building and writing great openers. Such fun!

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The Friday morning, bleary-eyed and dehydrated, we made our way to the beach again to witness the solar eclipse. For someone with an over-active imagination at the best of times, it was surreal to see the sunny day turn into near darkness in thirty minutes. I imagined zombies and meteors and deadly viruses erupting from the depths of the earth. (I suppose, in retrospect, I also may have still been slightly tipsy…)

 

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Another highlight of my *cough* life *cough* weekend was the Galaxy Quest Quote-athon. I sat in the cinema at midnight, with pizza and sweeties, and I shouted every word of my favourite film  with tons of fellow geeks. It was like getting a hug from the Universe. We cheered. We booed. We quoted a whole hell of a lot.

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The evening’s entertainment was similarly off-beat. We had Darth Elvis, and then a Cosplay disco. I watched Batman get off with a gender-switched Iron Man. (Marvel and DC finally unite! YAY!)

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Three Doctor Who’s – who could be anything from teachers to dentists to secret spies back home – danced the night away without a care in the world. And that’s the point, I think. The atmosphere was amazing, and inclusive. The several-hundred strong conga line almost tripped up poor cardboard-Unikitty, but luckily a rogue Zoidberg came to her rescue, still keeping in character and moving sideways the whole time. I sort of watched in awe.

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At around 3am we went back to the beach to get some air and look at the stars. I could draw some sort of contrast between the common unity I felt with the strangers at the arena, followed by the vast insignificance I basked in when I looked up at the stars… but, nah… it was just a bloody good view.

 

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Things I learned:

– Photographing drummer Storm Troopers really messed with the White Balance on my camera.

– It’s hella hot in full body costumes.

– It is somehow legal to charge £8 for two drinks… and cosplay outfits make ideal alcohol-smuggling vessels.

– I am pretty crap at Adventure Golf.

– Never give up. Never surrender.