“You mean, it’ll be… Captain Tartan’s Redemption?”

You should always sail into the sea of the unknown on a voyage of discovery.

I go to Science Fiction conventions, events full of… well, everything. They’re a maelstrom of activity that washes over you in a sea fury?

Recently, a convention up in Sheffield. ‘Redemption’, asked me to be one of their Guests of Honour.  Quite something.  My fellow guests included a senior lecturer on ‘War Studies’ at Sandhurst, a videogame developer, an artist and a film historian specialising in silent cinema.

It was fantastic to be there, but I missed most of it.

There was, apparently, Fight Choreography for Writers (which I think I’ve now missed at three different conventions), Lock picking, Ration Roulette (a tasting session for survival rations) and talks on The Prisoner at 50 and Star Wars at 40.  You could be involved in the cabaret, the play, the ceilidh, Morris Longsword dancing or a publishing project.  There was a sewing workshop, Victorian martial arts lessons, cookery through the ages and the now obligatory Tea Duelling.

Lectures and discussions ranged from historical re-enactment, Artificial People (a talk on robots and androids in media and reality), on dystopian fiction (perfect for those studying English), What Are E-Sports?, Post-Apocalyptic Survival, Where Next for the Large Hadron Collider, How Safe Are We Digitally to Victorian Costuming,

That covers subjects like English, Physics, History, Media, Sport and Home Economics. I can’t think of any environment, even University, that offers so much intellectual stimulation in such a short span of space and time.

Myself? My guest talk was on writing and I starred in the play, Captain Tartan – Redemption.  I also ran a panel discussion called Where Have All The Heroines Gone?, which, due to last minutes changes, turned into just me, a bloke, mansplaining feminism to a room full of women.

I sold some books.

And it had a pirate theme.