Nexus 2000 - 7th - 9th July 2000

Report by Judith Proctor.

This is a brief con report because I'm knackered and there were loads of zine orders waiting when I got home.

In a nutshell, Nexus is a really good con. I intend to go next year regardless of who the guests are and it's very rare indeed that I say that (I think only Cult TV and Ecclecticon have ever had that status until now - Who's 7 would have done, but it always had a B7 guest anyway).

Nexus is my type of event. In addition to enjoying listening to Paul's guest talk, I also went along to the interactive programme and that was really good. I'm the kind of sad person who really enjoys listening to an aerospace engineer analysing the design of Thunderbird 2 and managing to find plausible reasons for most of it. (though I fear Cloudbase from another Anderson series had some rather serious design flaws)

I like discussing the possibility of data crystals (and was really evil when I discovered that my long ago O-level in geology could be used to generate difficult questions) and had a great session with the people discusing the merits of good scripts versus good special effects. The panel member who said 'Invasion Earth' summed up my views perfectly. (great special effects cannot compensate for bad acting and a lousy script)

There were some great-sounding sessions that I missed while minding the Redemption stand. "Will you swop?" I asked Eddie. No such luck - he wanted to go to the same session.

Then there were the great ones that clashed. Paul Darrow won out over a discussion on the future of Crusade. My definition of a good convention is how many things I had to miss and regretted missing. There were at least half a dozen at Nexus.

We also had good sessions in the evening. The Jarvis hotel has a really good social area with lots of comfy chairs and good air-conditioning (clears the cigarette smoke) and I had a lot of interesting chats with other fans. Emma Peel did a Wobblevision session which was an absolute hoot.

We all got assigned our parts for Rumours of Death and had ten minutes to find a suitable costume. The random assignment led to some highly amusing casting. As I was in an Avon costume, fate decreed that I drew Tarrant <grin>. My husband, wearing a bright orange Hawiaian shirt, drew Avon - but my costume didn't fit him <evil grin>. He got the studded vest, but that was all. I got the fluffy black wig that someone else had brought.

Servalan was drawn by David McIntee (imagine a middle-aged man with a beard and a Glaswegan accent if you don't know David). I'm really looking forward to the photos on Emma's web site! This one had to be seen to be believed (a true testament to David's sense of humour).

Shrinker's laser probe was hastily constructed out of a toilet brush!

I haven't enjoyed an evening so much in ages, well, except perhaps the Friday night of the con when one vampire, half a dozen Centari and one Avon went out to the Bristol hippodrome and blended perfectly into the audience for the Rocky Horror show! All together now - "Let's do the time warp again."

The people running the event were friendly and helpful. There was the occasional cancelled/rearranged session, but that's inevitable in any convention. If Jackie Pearce turns up at the last moment (with impeccable timing on a perfect entrance line during Paul's talk and really delighting the audience who hadn't known she would be there) then you adapt events to fit this.

There were long autograph queues, but many cons have problems in this area (I'd say Cult TV and Neutral Zone cope best of the cons that I've been to - they both have ways of getting people to turn up in small groups rather than everyone queueing for ages)

As I don't collect autographs, this didn't cause me any problems anyway.

The main reason I'm not repeating what Paul said is that apart from the news he'll be involved in a radio play about monks and nuns it was mostly stuff I'd heard before. I'm hoping that someone who's been to fewer cons than me will be able to write about it and convey the enthusiam that one has when seeing Paul for the first time. (I should add that Paul isn't dull even when you know the answers. He's a great entertainer.)

The con charity was the National Library for the Blind. Their particular aim is to make more SF available to the blind. I hope they succeeded. It was a great convention.


PS. I must say thank you to my husband. He spent a lot of time looking after the table in the dealers' room, handing out Redemption flyers and selling zines. That gave me a lot more time than I normally have to take part in the actual convention. (But then if Nexus hadn't had a lot to do, he wouldn't have come because the boys would have been bored. As it was, they enjoyed themselves too.) I spent some time on the table to give him a break, but it's also nice to chat to passing fans. If you're selling B7 fanzines then, surprise surprise, you meet B7 fans.

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