Retro Fandom (with Redemption)

Brought to you by the Redemption conrunners, Retro Fandom will look at genre media pre-2000 and its effect on current and future shows. We'll explore the "Golden Age" of British sci-fi in the 1960s and 1970s; the glam, glitz and shoulder pads era of Blake's 7; and the decade of the emerging story arc in the 1990s, focusing on Babylon 5. We'll also be looking forward: considering the remaking of Battlestar Galactica in 2004, and the revival of the hero arc in Da Vinci's Demons.

Retro Fandom will be a chance to share passions, discover new gems, and wallow in undisguised nostalgia. Older fans can share and reassess their fandoms, and all of us can speculate on the exciting new shows and fandoms that owe something to the influence of the old. Join us, for a sometimes light-hearted, and sometimes no-holds-barred, look at the cool, the not-so-cool, and the never-repeated.

Redemption is a fan-run multimedia sci-fi convention, next running in Coventry in 2015: find out more here.


Introduce Your Retro Fandom To The Family
10.00 - 11.15, Room 40
It's confession time: tell us all about your ideal pre-Millenial show for friends, family and fandom. Is it the one you'd be happy to bring home to meet the parents, is it something to enjoy with a partner, or is it that embarrassing friend who, like Bernard in Black Books, is likely never to be invited again? Is it a boxset for a wet Sunday afternoon, a cure for life's ills, or just a suitable candidate for MSTing in the bar at-con? Do you revisit once a year when it appears on Watch or do you still live, breathe - and constantly quote - it?

"Who's Afraid of Joseph Campbell?": the Hero's Journey in sci-fi, historical fiction, fantasy and mythology
11.45 - 1.00, Room 40
Joseph Campbell's definition of the Hero's Journey has been used by screenwriters for generations, in shows including Star Wars, Babylon 5, and Da Vinci's Demons. We'll explore why this model has so much appeal, why and how it is received, and where screenwriters have developed, or subverted, Campbell's original ideas.
Campbell's discussion dates to the 1940s: we'll also consider what kinds of issues and problems arise in screenwriters' continued use of a structure that has, itself, been subject to a great deal of academic discussion, revision and criticism: in particular, for its overtly patriarchal elements. We'll ask whether there's a noticeable development in receiving these elements, and how they are interpreted and adapted. Can the mythology be approached from a modern ironic bent? Are there alternative structurings of mythologies which would work as well, or better, and allow more scope for characters of differing genders, ethnic backgrounds and orientation?

Chaos Costuming the Old Shows
1.30 - 2.45, Room 40
Cosplay has become very elaborate and wonderful these days. However, back in the mists of time, there existed a band of Redemptioners armed with safety pins, scraps of fabric, wigs, glue, sewing machines, and the address of their local Oxfam. These brave souls boldly went and created themselves costumes from Babylon 5, Blakes 7, Doctor Who and others, all in the course of a convention workshop: leading to much fun, and many last-minute entries into the Ruler of the Universe competition. This panel will be look at the most hectic moments of chaos costuming: what works, what doesn't, quick fixes, how to cosplay on a budget. There'll also be an opportunity for a willing volunteer to take part in a cosplay experiment! No extensive sewing skills required: only enthusiasm, and a sense of humour.

Interrogating The Old Shows: Retro Fandoms and Cultural Critique
3.15pm - 4.30pm, Room 40
The passage of time has excused a multitude of sins in design and production values on shows now considered "retro." Can (or should) we do the same with issues of sexual, gender and racial politics that arise, by viewing them in their specific historical and cultural contexts, or should some shows and episodes be deemed unwatchable or too uncomfortable for a new generation of fans?
How do original fans of these shows feel while rewatching them at decades’ distance, how did they inform older fans' own attitudes and experiences, and can they provide grounds for a dialogue between older and younger fans on the "Bad Old Days"? Have we moved forwards or backwards in presenting role models, reflecting tensions and solutions, and making shows less triggery for fans? Can there ever be grounds for simply viewing your old favourite through rose-tinted glasses?
(Note: participants/audience will have opportunity to flag up triggers before discussion begins, and we will endeavour at all points to avoid direct discussion of violence towards women or the LGBT community or racially motivated violence and if such issues arise we will halt discussion to give anyone who wishes chance to leave).

Fight Choreography for Writers
Friday, 5pm, County A
We all hate a badly edited fight scene, whether on screen or on the page. Experienced tie-in and historical novelist, martial artist, and swordsman David A McIntee will lead this roundtable
discussion on creating realistic fight scenes in writing, and for stage and screen combat. We'll look making every fight scene unique, exploring character and motivation via combat styles, achieving perfect pacing, and we'll address the fact that fight scenes are no longer just for the "tough guys".


Military Retro Fandom Top Trumps
3.15 - 4.30
Back in the days before widespread CGI, most alien invasions of Earth and its colonies were repelled in the traditional manner: by brave and dedicated bands of brothers - and sisters - whose chief failing was a necessity to appear on camera several times over in the same scene to give the enemy the illusion of numbers. Top trumps compares the strengths and weaknesses of fictional military organisations including UMIT, SG1, Earthforce and the Colonial Marines, in terms of strategy, weaponry, and who had the coolest uniforms. We'll pay tribute to the greatest commanders and campaigns, see where lessons might have been learnt from alien militaries, and ask the very pertinent and valid question of: Who Would Kick the Most Ass? Feel free to turn up in battle dress (or indeed, dress uniform) to defend the honour of your chosen comrades-in-arms.

Ruler of the Earth Elections
6.45pm - 8.00pm
The Earth is badly in need of some concerted rule to unify its nations; to distribute wealth, privilege and resources fairly; and to convince the Intergalactic Powers to take us seriously - for once. You have either:
a) ... just invaded a small planet a long way from Galactic central: you've run out of fuel and you need to convince the inhabitants to let you stay… in charge.
b) ... asked yourself, "What the hell is that oblong blue box/funny-looking clock/pipe organ doing in the middle of the Palace/workshop/George Washington's office/Vatican Archives?" You and your apprentices/army/dragons now find yourselves unexpectedly in the employment market, and local politics is always demanding.
c) ... always thought Minion was a valid career choice.

... in which case, please join us for the Nine Worlds version of the popular Ruler of the Universe elections which, since 1994, have seen fandom under the thumb of a variety of totally unsuitable leaders: from The Master, to Dominar Rygel XVI, to the Red Dalek. The aim of the game is to form into teams and help any worthy candidates prepare and present a campaign, after which there will be five-minute presentations followed by audience questions and voting. Our experienced policy enforcer and spin doctor will of course be on hand to assist you, any characters from any medium are welcome as candidates, and you don't have to be an experienced roleplayer or cosplayer to take part.
If you don't have a specific character in mind but are interested anyway just turn up and we'll find you one. Collaboration between candidates, joint bids, and political bromances are actively encouraged, however please note: cheating, vote-rigging, bribery, skullduggery, sleaze and assassinations of the opposition will not be tolerated under any circumstances. (Nah, we’re just kidding. Actually cheating, vote-rigging, bribery, skullduggery, sleaze and assassinations of the opposition are *compulsory*.)

What's Redemption?

Redemption is a fan-run multimedia sci-fi convention next running in Coventry in 2015: find out morehere.

Redemption is a senior sibling of cons like Nine Worlds, with an interactive and fan-run nature. Originally a Blake's 7/Babylon 5 event, we soon became a general media con. Courtesy of our fabulous programmer, Steve, and a very enthusiastic membership, we offer workshops and panels on all aspects of genre and non-genre shows, and their related subjects: from science and technology, to history, fantasy, myth, the supernatural, writing, publishing, stage combat skills, as well as gaming, roleplay, and a huge range of practical stuff from knitting to cake making.

In 2015 we are also planning a special celebration of the anniversary of Lewis Carroll's Alice In Wonderland, and possibly a bit of a piratical theme (purely, you understand, for the rum). You'd be hard pressed to find a fandom we're not into: we aim to party as hard as the younger generation, are happy to organise fan weddings at con, have never grown up and never intend to, make the committee sign a pledge to cosplay, and are currently the only convention that gives you the chance to rule the universe.

We're delighted to have been invited to run a retro stream at Nine Worlds, if mildly disconcerted that we've actually got so old that all our favourite shows have come round again as remakes. You can find us on any of the programme items above, and also on a membership table in the dealers’ room. We very much look forward to meeting you, and we'd like to mention nice and early that we also have chocolate and cake.