24 hours after returning from Fanfest (the MMM “Pub Team” like to drag things out for a few extra days), I find myself somewhat refreshed and reinvigorated, as I always do after coming back from the annual EVE pilgrimage in Iceland
As ever it was great to meet the real faces behind the pretend names who I’ve come to rely on to help me with the magazine: CrazyKinux has become a close ally and it was great to catch up with the Blog Pack leader as he launched himself from one presentation to the next like some fevered journalist (he was probably the busiest guy in the building). Yoshito Sanders was another EON stalwart it was good to be reacquainted with, who at least seemed more alert than when I last saw him, crashed out on the EON sofas at Fanfest last year. Fellow fictioneer The Cosmopolite offered a hand in friendship, which I was happy to shake, and, In fact, over the course of the three-day EVE extravaganza (of which I lazily attended two) it was a bumper year for name-checking: Alienhand, LaVista Vista, and Reiisha… just a few of the many legends I spoke with.
Sadly not everyone could come to the party, and given the 250,000 players who might have turned up, it’s probably a good thing they didn’t (although I suspect the economy would have embraced such a delegation). Notable absentees include the elusive Winterblink. Likewise Urban Mongral‘s non-bounding about looking for his podcasting other-half also made the halls seem a little emptier …although my bar tab was lighter as a consequence. Thankfully there was an off-the-leash Midnighter happy to pick up the slack. An abiding memory of Fanfest V will be a vision of him, drenched in RoXoR love and cheap beer, clutching the neck of a smashed guitar. I trust he managed to get it back through customs.
It wasn’t the most hedonistic Fanfest, nor the busiest – American attendees seemed particularly thin on the ground, but from an EON perspective, it was among the very best. Aside from catching up with contributors, there was some big announcements – all of which are by now well known, but need careful pondering. For the next month, that’s pretty much what I’ll be doing.