Friday, 29 August 2014

Vampires at WorldCon

There really was something for everyone on the huge programme.
Vampires and Identity was a panel on the academic track that sounded interesting. It was just a pity that no-one in the room had read the books that Nin Harris had based her thesis on, so it was difficult to make any comments about it. She did say a couple of interesting things about vampires in Malaysia, though, blood sucking women who lived in the forest, and owl women who swept down from the trees, and I wish she'd said more about that. She kept things going until Deborah Christie arrived, fresh off the plane and craving caffeine, and the third member of the panel never managed to get there at all. Then the discussion really opened up, though, and became quite jolly.
I saw Deborah Christie the next day, looking much less jet lagged in a long green dress, lounging across the Iron Throne!
On Saturday was a panel called The Daughters of Buffy, which was only slightly vampire related - it was more about female characters in TV since Buffy, and what the legacy of the programme had been in terms of gender equality. So Foz Meadows, LM Myles, Dr Tansy Rayner Roberts and Sarah Shemilt talked about the way Buffy had female friends to back her up as well as looking at modern programmes like Orphan Black (which was up for a Hugo Award). I particularly enjoyed this panel, because I've been following Tansy Rayner Roberts' blog for a while now, and I've also read stuff by Foz Meadows on the web, so I was interested to see what they were like in real life - and the answer is, great fun, and full of interesting opinions.
On Sunday, the Young Man wanted to see a panel with one of his favourite authors, Kim Newman. This was called Making Old Tropes New: Vampires, and was very entertaining, going over the history of vampire mythology beyond Bram Stoker to things like Varney the Vampire, and forward to how they have been used in films and books and TV more recently (with a brief mention of sparkly vampires....). I think they even mentioned the Salt Vampire from original Star Trek. The other members of the panel were Alys Sterling, Keffy RM Kehrli, Mur Lafferty and Marianna Leikomaa, who talked about how there wasn't really a Finnish vampire mythology, and why that might be. We saw Nin Harris in the audience of that one.

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