So, yes” Nine Worlds 2015 is accomplished and (despite some wobbly organisation on occasion) has proved a worthy successor to the previous two. For sheer scope of content and clientele, I think it’s just about my favourite convention going. I love the cosplay, which is plentiful and colourful and frankly a joy to behold. I love the variety of tracks and the variety of subjects covered within track. I got involved with the books and the Dr Who business, but there was also a wide range of stuff on Whedon, creative writing, films, comics and the like – way too much for me to see all the things I wanted to see. Which is preferable to the alternative.
The hotel was… ah, you know, there’s no plastering over this one. The hotel as a structure was fine, though the turnout meant the rooms were a bit on the small side for the number of punters. The service was shockingly poor. It’s been said elsewhere in greater detail, and the hotel has claimed this is because some sort of nebulous difficulty inherent in 9W punters, but my personal experience was that, no, it was slow and unwilling and below the standard you’d expect from an international hotel.
It might have been the lack of space that meant we were short some vendors this year, too – there was a nice sunday market of geeky goods, but other than that only Forbidden Planet and a games stockist had a permanent presence. Possibly if the venue changes to somewhere a bit more spacious for 2016 there might be a full-time vendor presence throughout.
But those were the only downsides, frankly. I did some panels, I saw some panels, I signed a pleasing number of books (Children of Time sold out at FP!) and met a very large number of old friends (and made some new ones including a very pleasant lady giving out chocolate cake in the “Only a Moment” queue (I believe Claire?) – please let me know if it was you, because that was very welcome). There was, as well as the aforementioned Only a Moment (Paul Cornell doing his usual bang-up job of hosting, with contestants Zen Cho, Joe Abercrombie, Marcus Gipps, Emma Vieceli and a late entry, new writer Chele Cooke who acquitted herself admirably (and was also dressed as the Winter Soldier, for an additional layer of awesome).
Nine Words 2016 is definitely going to be a thing, and I can highly recommend the experience, to experienced con-goers and especially to people looking to try a large convention but maybe a little worried about the reception they might receive – it’s a tremendously friendly con, including special welcome events for newbies.