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Because I was so utterly bowled over by the last couple of episodes of the latest series of Doctor Who, I have been reading all the discussion of them I can find. Including in the Doctor Who group on Ravelry, which was probably a mistake as it's full of casual viewers and people who think there's too much about gender and it should just be about the adventures, and someone who (a) appears to think that Steven Moffatt is "pushing" non-heterosexual characters because he's gay himself and (b) followed that up by responding to someone who said that RTD was gay and they hadn't been aware that Moffatt was (presumably because he isn't) with "RTD doesn’t make a big deal out of it like Moffat". I'm sorry, are we talking about the same RTD here? Russell T. "Gay Agenda" Davies? I'm quite used to seeing charges of misogyny levelled at Moffatt while no-one mentions the misogynist beam in RTD's oeuvre, but this is a new one on me...
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Last year I made a spur-of-the-moment decision to buy a day ticket to Nine Worlds and see what a con was actually like. I enjoyed it enough to buy a full weekend ticket at the early-bird rate (not much more expensive than the day ticket bought just before the con) and this weekend was my first ever full three-day con experience. Now I wish I hadn't let shyness keep me from taking the plunge and actually going to a con for so long, because I had a brilliant time. I went to some really interesting and engaging panels; particular highlights were Twin Peaks Wild Speculation, a talk on Minerva in London, Transformative Works and the Colonisation of Historical Space, Recreating Ourselves With Stories, the Joss Whedon Singalong*, The Limitations of Strong Female Characters and Historical Headcanons, though everything was good with the exception of the panel on "Writing Utopia" where none of the panellists appeared to have a very clear understanding of what a utopia actually was.

Also, somewhat ironically given that I didn't go to cons for so long because I was worried about not knowing anyone, I spent a lot of time just hanging out and socialising, largely with friends-of-friends I'd only met for the first time that weekend; by the end of Friday I'd found myself introducing myself to a complete stranger who I recognised as someone [personal profile] aella_irene had told me to look out for by her costume and knitted BB8 and spending half an hour drinking tea with her, playing a game with three people I'd only just met via [livejournal.com profile] triskellian, who'd had to go off to babywrangle, and spending half an hour after a panel having an in-depth conversation about feminism and parenting and life choices with C who I know as a knitter and two of her friends, as well as spending some time chatting to [personal profile] coughingbear and [personal profile] hano and briefly seeing [personal profile] sir_guinglain (who I did manage to catch up with properly later in the weekend).

The venue this year was the Hammersmith Novotel, which was much better than last year's, both in terms of location (it made it very easy to stay elsewhere and get to and from the con, and to pop out to buy food and just have a bit of a breather) and also in terms of layout (wide corridors that didn't feel overcrowded when people were milling about between sessions, and enough food and drink outlets that getting tea and snacks didn't take up the entire break).

I've already bought my ticket for next year (super early bird rate until the end of August).

*which I found surprisingly emotional, as well as really good fun; something about singing "Going Through The Motions", which absolutely nails how depression feels for me, while feeling so happy and alive and surrounded by likeminded people had me getting a bit tearful.

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