Accommodation Update – Some questions you might want answered.

Oh no, a split site con, this is going to be a pain isn’t it?
Not if we can help it and we’re working on that. We would love to have one large hotel where we could all stay but unfortunately they are thin on the ground when you’re also trying to find somewhere which is not too expensive.

We’ve already made some arrangements which should make this situation a little easier:

• A free and regular bus service running from early until well into the night
• Taxi sharing boards if you want to travel outside the bus times/routes
• Cloakrooms to leave your jackets and bags

And we also hope to provide:
• Secure storage for dealers and those who wish to bring costumes
• Changing Rooms
• Locker Rooms
• A ‘quiet room’ where peace and quiet can be found.

I’ve got a medical problem and think I should be in the Cedar Court – what do I do?
Please write to us at accommodation@eightsquaredcon.org and we’ll take this into account when allocating you a room. Any medical information you provide us with is not shared outside those in the committee who specifically need to know. Since July 2012 the Cedar Court has been effectively full except for a few rooms we are holding for those with very strong mobility / medical grounds.

Which hotels have rooms left?
The Midland is also available but only for double or twin rooms, it has about 25 rooms remaining but unfortunately no single rooms remain. It is the most beautiful of the hotels. It’s an old Victorian station hotel, which is absolutely charming. It does have a few steps up or down to some rooms but you can request a room with no steps.

The newly built Jury’s Inn is available. It is completely flat inside. It currently has plenty of availability and offers secure on-line booking. Jury’s is a hotel with plenty of rooms and beds; 112 of their rooms have a double and single bed, 6 rooms have two double beds in and the remaining 70 are double rooms. The room windows are triple glazed and hotel were keen to say that they have had no complaints about noise since they did this. Feel free to request a room on the ‘quiet side’ if you are a very light sleeper.

The Campanile is almost full with only a few rooms left, which by the time you read this, may well be gone. We’ve been impressed by the helpfulness of the hotels and the keenness of the staff through out contact with them and our visits.

So why should I stay in Bradford City Centre?
Because there’s plenty to do! Just across the road from Jury’s Inn is City Park and Centenary Square which has plenty of restaurants and coffee bars. There is also the Impressions Gallery and the National Media Museum, just across the road. There’s the historic Salt’s Mill if you want to stray a little further.

And of course there is curry. The Karachi (Neal Street) was made semi-famous by fish chef Rick Stein. The Kashmir (Morley Street) is also worth a visit. These, along with many others such as Omar Khan’s, are situated around what is known locally as the West End, a student place that also has many bars. The area along Leeds Road has some more restaurant-style venues.

Sian Martin
Hotel Liaison


Walter Jon Williams in Middle Earth – well, New Zealand.

Our Guest of Honour Walter Jon Williams is currently in New Zealand (by way of Hawai’i, on a cruise ship) and is detailing his excursions, observations etc in a very entertaining series of blog posts. Yes, he’s visiting Hobbiton and other Lord of the Rings places but there’s much more besides. Recommended reading.

Walter Jon Williams’ blog


The Wheels on the Con Go Round and Round

As you know, while the Cedar Court has excellent convention space, it has fewer bedrooms than would be ideal for an Eastercon. We are thus using three very good overflow hotels; the Campanile, the Midland and Jury’s. As was announced at our bid session and on our website, we have always intended to supply transport between the main site and the overflows. I’m delighted to announce that we have finalised our arrangements. Local Bradford company Tetley’s  Motor Services will be running regular buses on two routes, one between the Cedar Court and the Campanile, the other between the Cedar Court, Jurys and the Midland. These will be frequent and free to use for all convention members. A minibus will run roughly every fifteen minutes on the Campanile route, from 8.30 in the morning until 1 a.m. For Jurys and the Midland,  two 33-seater buses will run every 15-20 minutes between 8.30 a.m. and noon, and between 8.30 p.m. and 1 a.m, and single 33-seater bus will cover this route every 30 minutes between noon and 8.30 p.m. We will be running a taxi-sharing scheme to help with travel after 1 a.m.

 

Tetley’s provided the bus service for LX in 2009, and have worked closely with us in deciding the new schedule (which should be more frequent than in 2009).  To the best of our knowledge, in 2013 we will not be facing the road-works which disrupted bus travel at LX: we are, however, keeping an eye on this and will make adjustments if any problems do arise.


Infinite Diversity in Infinite Combinations

Progress on EightSquared is gathering pace, as those who’ve already joined up will see from our Progress Report 1 now being emailed and posted. For those of you still checking with diaries, finances and families, here are a few thoughts prompted by my role as Chair.

EightSquared will be the 64th Eastercon. Eight squared, four cubed, two to the – (counts on fingers, consults someone more at ease with Hard Sums) sixth power, to interest mathematicians. In the early days of home computing we had the Commodore 64 and the marvels of the ZX Spectrum with a whole 64 kilobytes of memory. More recently, portable computer memory first became widespread through 64 megabyte datasticks. So far, so good, thematically, for the scientifically inclined.

For those drawn to the fantastic? Chess is played on an eight by eight square and offers every element of epic tales; kings, queens, knights, castles, a struggle for power sacrificing helpless pawns to secure victory, with bishops (or mages) providing supernatural power and inspiration. Old-style fantasy fiction pitched black against white in the eternal struggle between Light and Dark. Modern epics explore chequerboard reality with black and white or good and evil intermingled, with race, gender and belief no longer seen as either/or issues.

Isn’t it fascinating how quickly we can find so many associations with a simple number? There is no single speculative fiction definition of the number 64, just as there is no one definitive form of science fiction or fantasy narrative as our genre comes to the fore in books, films, TV and computer games, from cyber-thrillers to military SF to epic and urban fantasy to steampunk to whatever the next big new thing will be.

Our fascinating and talented Guests of Honour are Walter Jon Williams, Freda Warrington, Anne Sudworth and Edward James. Their work exemplifies the breadth and depth of ideas explored through science fiction and fantasy, through the visual arts and written and spoken words.

Let’s have a convention where all the different perspectives on our beloved genre are accommodated, debated and celebrated, offering everyone the chance to share their enthusiasms and to encounter something new and unimagined. Add your own voice and thoughts to the weekend’s discussions as a programme participant or by suggesting a topic for discussion. All perspectives welcome.

Juliet E McKenna,
Chair, EightSquared Convention