Satellite 8

This past weekend was Satellite 8 in Glasgow, which is now an easy trip for us, basically three hours with a change at Edinburgh. It was also my first time going to Scotland, so I was really looking forward to that too.

The covid policy was similar to Eastercon, but with the additional requirement of showing a photo of a covid test taken prior to the event. They also had tests available for those who forgot, I had to ask two people to do so while working reg and they were both happy enough to do so. Masking was about the same level as Eastercon I’d guess, though obviously its a much smaller event. We masked as usual, though basically I’m taking advantage of my my recently acquired-the-hard-way antibodies to enjoy this and Eurocon, before hunkering down again.

We headed up Friday morning and had plenty of time to check in and unpack before opening ceremonies. The convention was at the Crowne Plaza, and our room was way up on the fifteenth floor, with a great view over the River Clyde looking towards the Glasgow Science Centre. The 2024 Worldcon will be at the SEC Glasgow attached to the hotel, so it was very cool to get a feel for the area – which is lovely, overlooking the river with lots of nice outdoor space and very walkable.

Before opening ceremonies I also had time to hang my art, the art show was small but good – several familiar faces including Sara Felix and the appropriatelly themed Phoenix Data Art, plus gorgeous shawls from Esther MacCallum Stewart. I hung eight fans, of which I sold three, not too bad for a small convention.

After opening ceremonies I accidentally ended up in a generation starship talk by Jesper Stage, which luckily turned out to be really interesting. Then John had signed up for an Ops shift, so I joined him for an hour before we went to find dinner, which ended up being an excellent wild board hotdog at the Taphouse, a short walk away. Most people were having fun at the ceilidh and I don’t currently trust my post-covid lung capacity quite enough to attempt that, but there was the con bar and the hotel bar, and with sunset close to ten pm the picnic tables on the river side of the hotel were a lovely place to hang out and chat.

Saturday we got to try the hotel breakfast, which was just an okay hotel buffet but very exciting if you’ve never experienced one with haggis, lorne sausage, and potato scones. No mushrooms though, so slightly on the dry side for me since I don’t like beans. And of course I can’t review a hotel breakfast without reiterating how much I loathe those coffee machines they all have now. A lost battle, I know.

After an ops shift, John ran off to programming and I tried to find some of the scavenger hunt espaciers. There were 42 space pioneer labels, human and otherwise, stuck around the convention space, John managed to find all of them but I ended the weekend nine short, alas. My only programming item for Saturday was a Scottish cheese tasting, which was very good indeed. Six cheeses; one excellent, four pretty great, one which tasted exactly like butter. Oh, and one of them was called Minger – how great is that?

Dinner was back at the Taphouse, with Meg and Esther this time. The food was just okay, either because we didn’t get the special or because they were busy on a Saturday, but the cocktail I had was pretty nice. We got back in time for me to change and head down to karaoke – which was the least covid-safe thing I did all weekend but very fun even for someone like me who does not sing. (I did sing, but only to support John on The Wellerman). The evening ended on Bohemian Rhapsody as performed by the entire room, which is how karaoke should end.

Sunday I had circled some panels but ended up just doing an ops shift, after which Meg promised to find us proper coffee. We found it at a place called Cafe 1000, and next door at Kafeneio we got a freshly baked bougatsa, which was too hot to eat right away so got carried back to the convention. We hung out in green room while John did a shift, then I headed off to a workshop item run by Serena, in which we painted little wooden doors. Two hours was just enough time to get the door to a point where I could see exactly what was missing from it. Still a whole lot of fun!

We had time for a swim before our last dinner in Glasgow, which was at Sano Pizza. Once again I went with a special – mozarella, gorgonzola, honey, and walnut, yum. Then back to the hotel for the dead dog, which in Satellite’s case I guess takes the form of a quiz. It was fun, and we somehow won, but it was very raucous and a bit chaotic, and I was definitely ready for bed by the end of it.

So yeah, my first Satellite; great stuff!


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