Discworld 2012, known as DWCon, was held this bank holiday weekend in Birmingham. A fan run convention made up of committee members that organise the weekend dedicated to everything that, I can only say “Legend”, is Sir Terry Pratchett. A four day marathon of panels, guest talks, Q and As, meet and greets and all that is Discworld. Check in was very easy, where I was handed a weekend planning guide and explained a few details. Checked into room and down to the bar to plan the weekend ahead.
First thing was “A Trolls guide to the convention“, where the general rules of convention was explained, down to who to go to if things go wrong. General answer to the reply was “OPS”, got a question go to OPS, got a problem, go to OPS, So basically just to go to OPS!!!. We had a further look at the program guide and decided to venture into one of the smaller talks entitled “Criple Mister Onion“, which was an explanation and how to play a card game. WOW seriously over my head, involving both elements of poker and black involving 8 suits of cards. Confusing to the 1st timer but very interesting.
The next on the list was the Opening Ceremony, with an introduction of the guests including the guest of Honour Sir Terry Pratchett, Colin Smythe, Stephen Briggs and Rob Wilkins to name a few.
We were recommended to attend “Terry and Robs Bedtime Stories”, from where they read from the yet unreleased “Dodger” novel which I have to say one of the highlights of the weekend.
Other panels that we attended was the GoT interview, again a great choice and The Watch Team interview, which explained about the upcoming BBC collaboration to make 12, 1 hour long episodes for TV. Although there was a lot on during the weekend, signings, roleplaying, lectures, I have to say that my interest was solely on meeting to Terry Pratchett and trying to attend any panel that he was doing. This came true and thanks go to the committee members at the bar on Sunday night. We were advised that Sir Terry is partial to a glass of brandy, so purchased one and let my son go over and hand Sir Terry his night cap. I then managed to sneak in and have a 5 minute conversation, on a one to one basis with him. Another highlight of my weekend. After that I would have been happy for the convention to finish, not only had I seen Sir Terry in person, I had spoken to him without interruptions from anyone else, I actually had a personal introduction from Rob who according to Twitter ” Terry Pratchett’s assistant is a right nob”. Hmmmm so far from the truth.
I have to comment, he is such a great guy, yes he does have Alzheimer’s, but he is very approachable and always so enthusiastic concerning his writing and all things Discworld. For me he reminds me of Stan Lee, willing to continue through tiredness and pain to meet the fans.
Our time was coming to a close, but we had one last panel to attend, and small group of children were invited to meet with Terry and have a chat. Anyone under the age of 12 had to be accompanied by an adult so I, much to displeasure, had once again have to sit and listen to the great man speak. With the kids asking the question and interacting with TP, it was great finish to the weekend
What a weekend it was, new friends, many things bought and meeting Sir Terry Pratchett after first being introduced to his books some 21 years ago.
I do have one crumble concerning this convention and that is, it only happens every 2 years. The volunteers were polite and gofered, the watch watched very well and committee made the whole event run smoothly.
Pat yourself on the backs with a very successful convention.
See you in two years, and Rob if you read this see you in New York in October.
And to you Mr Firefly, I never did managed to meet you this year, I suppose I will never you but take care of yourself.