I've been waiting for the dust to settle for posting my thoughts on Eastercon, but if I keep waiting, we'll be here to Christmas. It was, in short, a very, very good convention. Very well organised and run, from what I could tell - and I didn't hear a great deal of grumbling from any quarters. The thing that struck me, on arrival, was that it looked busy - the lobby was packed, the hallways were packed, the stairs were packed, and I gather from chatting to one or two dealers that business wasn't at all bad. 1200 attendees was the last figure I heard, which is pretty damned good.
Most encouragingly, the various program items I saw were very well attended - including the single program item I managed to get to in which I wasn't a participant. That was my one regret, really: not being able to just sit and take in panels and discussions as part of the audience, because I do genuinely enjoy just sitting back and hearing interesting and opinionated people talk passionately about the stuff that matters to them. Knitting. Real ale. Cats. No - SF and F, of course! As it was, I was either preparing for an item, on my way from one, trying to grab some nourishment, or signing books. Mainly, it was signing books. There was no formal signing session, so people who wanted their books signed were obliged to track me down between program items. There's a Pythonesque scene in Adam Roberts' Yellow Blue Tibia where a Soviet-style queue forms entirely spontaneously, and that's how it started to feel at times: it only took one person to whip out a book, and within seconds an impromptu line would begin to form. I sound like I'm whingeing here, but really I'm not; it was just weird the way it kept happening. I was genuinely grateful for the attention.
It was also good to catch up with friends old and new, although as always there were people I meant to chat to that I only spotted in fleeting, espionage-style glimpses, from across a crowded lobby. Also, because it was located near That London, I got the feeling that a lot of the Smoke-based writers and SF people only popped in for specific items. Really, though, a fantastically enjoyable experience. Onward to the next Eastercon, and - even more so - to the London Worldcon bid for 2014. I fully intend to be at both.