johncoxon: ([Me] Renovation)
Hello everyone! As most of you will have noticed I stopped posting book updates on here; I've migrated to Goodreads (which is a pretty awesome website). If you want to keep up with me on Goodreads then feel free to do so, I've linked my account to Facebook so it should be easy to find me.

However, I wanted to list the books that I want to read in February (as much for my reference as anything else) so here goes.

Books I'm currently reading

Report on Probability A by Brian Aldiss*
World War Z by Max Brooks
The Reality Dysfunction by Peter F. Hamilton*

Books I want to read

Ack-Ack Macaque by Gareth L. Powell*†
Cyber Circus by Kim Lakin-Smith*
The Noise Within by Ian Whates*
Hothouse by Brian Aldiss*
Chasm City by Alastair Reynolds (possibly)*
Midnight's Children by Salman Rushdie†
Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell‡

* Author appearing at the Space Fiction event being held at the National Space Centre in February.
† Reading for book club.
‡ UK film release on 22nd February.
johncoxon: (Default)
Seventeen people voted for the Nova Awards this year. I'm pretty sure that I had enough friends at Novacon that, had I offered to buy each one a drink, I could've mustered eighteen votes.

Hmm.

It bears noting that, although I'd really love to win a Nova for Procrastinations someday, bribery is not the way I want to do it. Don't flame too hard!
johncoxon: (Teledu)
So, the Eastercon schedules are out! I have posted mine on my website, if you're curious to know what I'll be appearing on (11 panels, all told).
johncoxon: (Teledu)
So, the Eastercon schedules are out! I have posted mine on my website, if you're curious to know what I'll be appearing on (11 panels, all told).
johncoxon: (Teledu)
So, the Eastercon schedules are out! I have posted mine on my website, if you're curious to know what I'll be appearing on (11 panels, all told).

PhD place

Dec. 10th, 2011 11:54 am
johncoxon: (Barred Spiral Galaxy)
I have already posted this on Facebook (119 likes!) and on Twitter. I'm sorry, LiveJournal, it's just that you're more effort than the other social networks I use. But you'll always be my first!

Anyway. I have, as of this week, been given an unconditional offer by the University of Leicester to study for a PhD in ‘The Role of Substorms in Solar Wind Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling’ under Prof. S.E. Milan! Which is pretty amazing, I think. I'm really looking forward to it – I start in mid-January and it will definitely last until the end of 2014, if not a little bit longer (for writing up, etc). I'm really excited to begin a new chapter of my life, and I'm also super-excited by the prospect of learning more. Being away from university for more than a vacation made me realise just how much I miss that aspect of my life, now that it's gone.

So, yeah. I will be based in Leicester again as soon as I find somewhere to live, and as a result of now having a paid position I will be able to attend Satellite 3, which will be the first Scottish convention and the first Satellite that I've attended. I'm really, really looking forward to it.

PhD place

Dec. 10th, 2011 11:54 am
johncoxon: (Barred Spiral Galaxy)
I have already posted this on Facebook (119 likes!) and on Twitter. I'm sorry, LiveJournal, it's just that you're more effort than the other social networks I use. But you'll always be my first!

Anyway. I have, as of this week, been given an unconditional offer by the University of Leicester to study for a PhD in ‘The Role of Substorms in Solar Wind Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling’ under Prof. S.E. Milan! Which is pretty amazing, I think. I'm really looking forward to it – I start in mid-January and it will definitely last until the end of 2014, if not a little bit longer (for writing up, etc). I'm really excited to begin a new chapter of my life, and I'm also super-excited by the prospect of learning more. Being away from university for more than a vacation made me realise just how much I miss that aspect of my life, now that it's gone.

So, yeah. I will be based in Leicester again as soon as I find somewhere to live, and as a result of now having a paid position I will be able to attend Satellite 3, which will be the first Scottish convention and the first Satellite that I've attended. I'm really, really looking forward to it.

PhD place

Dec. 10th, 2011 11:54 am
johncoxon: (Barred Spiral Galaxy)
I have already posted this on Facebook (119 likes!) and on Twitter. I'm sorry, LiveJournal, it's just that you're more effort than the other social networks I use. But you'll always be my first!

Anyway. I have, as of this week, been given an unconditional offer by the University of Leicester to study for a PhD in ‘The Role of Substorms in Solar Wind Magnetosphere-Ionosphere Coupling’ under Prof. S.E. Milan! Which is pretty amazing, I think. I'm really looking forward to it – I start in mid-January and it will definitely last until the end of 2014, if not a little bit longer (for writing up, etc). I'm really excited to begin a new chapter of my life, and I'm also super-excited by the prospect of learning more. Being away from university for more than a vacation made me realise just how much I miss that aspect of my life, now that it's gone.

So, yeah. I will be based in Leicester again as soon as I find somewhere to live, and as a result of now having a paid position I will be able to attend Satellite 3, which will be the first Scottish convention and the first Satellite that I've attended. I'm really, really looking forward to it.
johncoxon: (Default)
I have been a little bit lax with updating this, so here we go. I really haven't done enough reading this year... I blame exams, roleplaying games and Half-Life 2.

The books )
johncoxon: (Default)
I have been a little bit lax with updating this, so here we go. I really haven't done enough reading this year... I blame exams, roleplaying games and Half-Life 2.

The books )
johncoxon: (Default)
I have been a little bit lax with updating this, so here we go. I really haven't done enough reading this year... I blame exams, roleplaying games and Half-Life 2.

The books )
johncoxon: (Alltami)
I'm only on six five panels at Odyssey and won't be helping out with newsletter, this year's going to be very, very weird in terms of how much free time I have. Might be nice, I s'pose... :)
johncoxon: (Default)
I've just been asked to moderate a panel with Gerry Webb, Dave Clements and Alastair Reynolds on it at the next Eastercon, and I've just sent a blog entry about Hitchcon to Jennifer, at Penguin, which should be up on 6of3.com at some point soon.

A friends-locked, and somewhat more involved, entry about what I've been up to recently will appear at some point, I hope, and once the blog post is up at 6of3.com I will of course repost it here for you guys to peruse.
johncoxon: (Default)
Just a quick note to apologise to those of you who commented on my offer of 2-for-1 tickets to Hitchcon – I have a ticket, so I don't need to utilise the offer. However, [livejournal.com profile] viclet is looking for someone to do the offer with, so go comment on her journal if you'd like to do so. :)
johncoxon: (Alltami)
Does anyone reading this not yet have a ticket to Hitchcon but is intending to go? They're doing 2-for-1 tickets through Facebook, so if so, leave me a comment and we can go halves. Comments are screened.
johncoxon: (Default)
This is my Constitution con report. Constitution began with me having to run across Peterborough railway station to catch a train, then find a seat, then copy [livejournal.com profile] aeglefinus' number out of my Mac and then ask a stranger to let me use his phone to text him. Rather surprisingly, it all came together and I made it to the convention in time for the opening ceremony, which was good!

More convention behind the cut )

Parties

Apr. 21st, 2009 12:21 pm
johncoxon: (Default)
I've been invited to no less than six birthday parties in the first two weekends of May. What is it with you people and birthdays?! The first weekend is easy to decide, since I've already said I'll go to one of the parties (sorry, [livejournal.com profile] frandowdsofa, but she got there first). The second weekend, not so easy - I've got to choose between [livejournal.com profile] cdave, [livejournal.com profile] nina, and [livejournal.com profile] jamesb 'n' [livejournal.com profile] stefzilla in a weekend I ought to be revising anyway!

I am currently beavering away on an LX con report and a report of the weekend just gone, expect them to materialise on LJ at some point.
johncoxon: (Default)
Right then. Firstly, I'll be writing and editing the newsletter at LX... I also plan to be spending some time on [livejournal.com profile] zz9's table in the Dealers' Room and I want to gopher for an hour or two (probably on the Friday or Monday) if I get bored, but here are the seven panels you'll be able to see me on during the convention:

Saturday

14:00: Fanzines 101
"Find out more about the mysteries of fanzines. Some current editors tell you how easy it is to publish within the fannish community." [Guess this means I really do have to write the seventh issue of Procrastinations in time for LX, then...]

17:00: SF, technology and games
"Almost every SF trend, from artificial intelligence to virtual reality, was embraced by the gaming industry first (or at least that's what some gamers like to think). But what has the gaming world really been like over these last few decades? How did it compare to what SF promised us it would be? Which are the noteworthy games in this regard, past and future? And where is the industry really heading to?"

21:00: Adapting comics for the big screen
"What makes a good adaptation of a comic book - faithfulness to the text, or willingness to change it for the screen? Can you film the unfilmable? What makes The Dark Knight so good, and The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen so bad?" [I'd have several interesting things to say on this subject but given I'm moderating and there are some very loud people on the panel already, I reckon I'm going to spend most of my time desperately trying to maintain a pretence of control on a sinking ship... Ought to be a whole lot of fun!]

Sunday

11:00: Twitter: Ego boosting, or information busting?
"Twitter has recently hit the news and is the latest internet fashion. Is it full of trivia, rubbish and egotistical nonsense, or is it a useful tool for collecting information and communicating? This panel takes a look at how Twitter is developing and it's potential impact on the Internet."

20:00: Couldn't I just waste him with my crossbow?
"What if books were more like games, with no need to take into account pesky things such as plot lines and narrative coherence? What alignment would Gandalf be? How many hit points does one give Sauron? Couldn't Bilbo just jump on Gollum's head? A humoristic look at how famous (and not so famous) works of fiction would have played out."

Monday

11:00: Conventions and breaking them, or lifting up your game!
"Does a role-playing group have to be fun with dice and pizzas, or running around the woods with a plastic sword? Can your game feel more like a literary masterpiece? A comic? A screenplay? Our panel discuss techniques and experiences from their own gaming groups."

12:30 Battlestar Galactica
"The much-praised show has come to an end. Did it live up to the promise of the early seasons, or lose its way in the end? How will it be remembered?" [Note to self: watch last three episodes of BSG before Easter.]
johncoxon: (Default)
The last time I updated this thing properly was Christmas. That's possibly a bit of a long time, since then it's just been 15 or so entries on not a lot, so I'm going to give you guys an update here.

I went to several comedy shows during the Leicester Comedy Festival - Jim Smallman, Tim Minchin, Ed Aczel, Ed Byrne. Minchin did his new show, which I believe is touring Australia at the moment before coming back to the UK later this year - see it if you can, it's got some really good songs in it (as anyone who saw my Twitter during the concert will already know!). Ed Byrne's set was also really, really good - it's coming back to Leicester later this year, so I assume it's still touring elsewhere in the UK. I recommend seeing it if you can, I really enjoyed it. Ed Aczel was weird (as I was expecting), and two or three people walked out of his show, but I was laughing so that was fine. And Jim Smallman is a comedian I've seen a few times, but his set was as funny as always.

Tonight was the Geek Quiz. I've just received a text telling me that my team didn't actually win (it went to tiebreak, but apparently an answer has been discovered to be inaccurate since the end of the evening so my team lost by two points), but it was a good evening. And we won the competition to get most kicker questions (really hard questions at the end of every round designed to sort the men from the boys).

What else has happened? Not a whole lot. Had a friend from home visit recently, and shortly afterwards I also went home - saw all my brothers which was awesome, and celebrated my grandparents' wedding anniversary. I've been doing uni as usual, and it's been going averagely. I'm now social secretary of the Game Society, and I was elected president on Monday, so I'll be president next year. We're having a twenty-four hour board gaming social in a fortnight's time which ought to be epic.

On the subject of Gamesoc, I've been playing more Warhammer 40,000 - I'm getting better, slowly but surely. I beat my friend Ash the other day, and I've won one lost two in the doubles tournament that's running (I confidently anticipate placing in the middle somewhere). We also played a 6000pts/side game of Imperial Guard vs Necrons, which was good fun. We Necrons won, but by the skin of our teeth!

I'm also now on the committee for LL3, which is absolutely definitely probably happening in summer 2010. Unfortunately, someone decided that during exams was the best time to hold a convention, so I can't go to Plokta, which is annoying. I also couldn't have gone to Redemption, even if I'd remembered it was happening, due to family commitments. I should be at Constitution this summer though, so I'll see some of you there. I'm also (obviously) still going to be at LX and Odyssey 2010.

Can't think of much else happening in my life. Didn't win the lottery tonight, that was a shame! I am now going to shower, buy peanut butter from the twenty-four hour Spar down the road, and hit the hay, as I'm up at something ridiculous like 07:00 tomorrow morning for Picocon. I plan to read Watchmen for the first time on the train, in anticipation of the film on Friday. See some of you there!
johncoxon: (Beer Drinking)
So, this blog article is a combination of the Beer Festival (Part 2) and my Zombiecon report. Unfortunately, since Part 2 of the festival report is late, I haven't got any more detailed notes on what the beers were like, so you'll have to make do with the rankings - the explanation of said rankings is in Part 1.

Cut for those of you who aren't ale drinkers )

So, that's one piece of out-of-date reporting out of the way, and onto the second - Zombiecon! Well, let's just get one thing straight - if you didn't go, you missed a cracker. And now, the rest of the report )

It was a really, really good con. I got to meet new people, I got to become better friends with people I'd already met, I got my copy of Hunter's Moon signed, I got an awesome tie with skulls on it, I got a hanged Lego figure, I got a Necrocard to tell the doctors to let my body be used by necrophiliacs when I die, and all in all, I had an awesome time.

Also, one last thing - the hotel. I just want to say that this is my first time at the Novacon hotel, and I confess that I don't think the evening meal was optimal (it was edible, and it wasn't nasty, it just wasn't as good as it could have been). However this was the only real problem I had with the venue - otherwise, the room was good, the swimming pool was clean and nice to use (according to Fran, this is an improvement, I think), the breakfast was made of win, and the butties available at around midnight in the bar were absolutely brilliant (probably the best evening food I've encountered at a con). The hotel, on the Sunday night, having not been contracted to do the bacon/sausage/chip/cheese butties for that night, came and asked the Undead Dog Party whether we wanted them to do it later in the night - since only about thirty people were still around and most of us had eaten already, not expecting the butties to be available, the consensus was no, but it's the principle of the thing. The hotel staff were consistently really friendly, quick to respond to your needs and facilitating, which is not always the case. If all else fails and you really do hate the hotel, there is a hotel just the other side of the roundabout, but I felt the hotel was perfectly adequate for the purposes of the con, and the breakfast was absolutely brilliant. The hotel wasn't as nice as Chester, but it's probably the second-nicest con venue I've been to so far, so I'm at a loss to explain all the negativity.

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