Another week of strong progress. Target this week was 72k, but I’ve reached 75,228 words so far – nearly a week ahead of schedule. Chapters 9 and 10 are now in the hands of my publisher for review and I’m cracking into the final third of the story. This is where all the plots begin to resolve, the lines are drawn and the major characters are heading towards the inevitable confrontation and conclusion. Plenty of twists to go, but the end is in sight.
And so to this week’s big event : LaveCon!
Suffice to say it was excellent throughout. Click on any of the pictures for a bigger version.
From an event that was supposed to be a ‘symbolic handing over of a hard drive full of sound effects’ between members of the Lave Radio crew, this event grew into a full on convention.
The four gentlemen concerned made a magnificent effort. A room was organised, hired, decked out with banners. Recording equipment was professionally set up and handled. I’d made the assumption that the Lave Radio crew had known each other for a long time. It transpired that two of them had, but the others were ‘real life’ strangers to each other up until this event. A massive measure of trust and confidence demonstrated right there – hard to believe they’d never met before.
Any chance of a discrete entrance was quickly abandoned. My status as a ‘Bruce Campbell’ lookalike just doesn’t allow it apparently. It was great to meet fellow Elite fans, particularly a long-time internet buddy – Dave ‘Selezen’ Hughes. We’d been chatting for seven years before meeting for the first time. Everyone was good humoured, with an infectious enthusiasm for Elite, its sequels and the upcoming game. Dave Hughes and I heckled from the back doing our best to assure the correct pronunciation of Diso. (Deeso, Fozza! Deeso!)
Most interesting to me was to put faces and personalities against the names and voices we’ve heard over the last six months. Chris Jarvis was possibly the most peculiar of all. Every time he’d say something I’d keep expecting Commander Thane to step aboard his Merlin spacecraft and find another stowaway…
Kate Russell was present too, making time in her busy schedule to join in. She added a practised air of journalism to the proceedings, asking some very insightful questions of those who braved the various panels.
There was an amazing cake made by Carl, a Coriolis space station (the one at Lave presumably) with not only an Orange Asbo Sidewinder just leaving the docking bay, but figures of David and Michael astride miniature spacecraft based on Mobius’ artwork. An air of the anarchy systems was provided by our resident forum nutter, bedecked in a Pirate and Wookie onesie… the inimitable Psykokow.
Frontier was present too in the forms of Michael Brookes and Lin Chen. Not only had they made the trip, but Michael had brought A3 prints with him for the delegates. That Frontier is prepared to engage with the fans in this fashion is truly admirable. As I’ve said before, the community around this game is a powerful thing, and knowing that Frontier acknowledges and welcomes that is very heartening.
You’ll hear the podcast of the event via the Lave Radio link once they broadcast it. Listen out for tidbits on the game that Michael let us into during the evening. The fiction was well represented too, with some lively Q&A on the various projects underway. I got to do my reading too, it seemed to be well received**. Even John Harper (And Here the Wheel) joined in vicariously via video update…
Time between sessions allowed trips to the bar where the discussions continued, a never ending debate of all things Elite, the conversations never petering out for a minute. We could have talked all night… actually we did, pretty much. I think I got to bed well after 2am. There is something so compelling in sharing a common topic. We might not have had a great deal in common all other things considered, but we were united in our passion for this game and the entire genre of material it has spawned over thirty years.
The event was concluded with a laser light show and we were played out by Chris and Allen, with a selection from their Elite music, including a rendition of the Frontier theme (in E Major apparently!)
Bravo to the Lave Radio crew. Bravo to Frontier and bravo to the fans who all played their part in making it a most memorable event. I salute you all.
Right on, Commanders.** – The Lave Radio has promised to provide my reading as an excerpt which I will host online here. They haven’t finished the editing yet, so I will post another quick update when that is available. Stay tuned.