Monday 28 March 2016

Mancunicon Eastercon - Monday

The last day of the Mancunicon Eastercon started (after the traditional mushroom-rich breakfast) with a panel on The Deeper the Grief, the Closer to Life?, or “the cheerful panel”, about grief, death, and other forms of loss.  Grief is due to loss; death is the most common loss, but you can be grief-stricken over the loss of a pet, some much loved artefact, or separation from a person or place, or even in anticipation of loss, especially due to slow dying and dementia.  The loss is a loss of a part of yourself, and you have to restructure yourself. Hence rituals for death: funerals, wakes, provide community support.  Revenge is a plot device to avoid dealing with grief.  The classic five stages of grief are: denial, anger, bargaining, depression, acceptance.  SF tries to deny death with immortality or time travel, but this can lead to grief due to the inability to die.  Death is a subtext of all the new Doctor Who.  Much of Tolkien is the world grieving for a lost way of life. Authors can feel loss on finishing writing a book: leaving all those characters behind.

Then our final item was Farah Mendlesohn in conversation with Guest of Honour Dave Clements.  This covered his professional life in astronomy, and his fannish life in conrunning.

We debated whether to stay for a final item, but decided instead to hit the road and drive home.

So, another Easter, another con.  As ever, this one was full of fun, interest, cleverness, and unexpected information.  Next year, in Birmingham!

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