Category Archives: geekhood

Living in Nine Worlds

comicstrip_frock               nineworldsqueue

The unstoppable force in agenting known as Juliet Mushens tweeted on the last day of Nine Worlds Geekfest 2014

Please can I live here.

I can really get alongside this remark, just like everything else I heard from @mushenka. Because I wanted to live there. This was despite a wobbly start. Deep in conversation about the things half an hour at Nine Worlds had made a priority – was Servalan’s buzzcut hairstyle too much in the last season, like, rule the galaxy and destroy Blake’s Seven … Six … Five, but keep looking good, babe – I made a large gesture and caught the tray of a passing waiter. Coffee and napkins cascaded down the back of the woman sitting behind me. I expected annoyance, but she was so nice, even when I lifted her shirt to mop her back with a napkin and check for first-degree burns.


By the time I’d made a comment on one of the Geek Feminism panels about aligning with cupcakes which to be honest could have done with more thought, I realized what it was about this convention.

It was an offence-free zone.

 Tracks, more than I can mention – Oh, well, I can, Creative Writing, Future Tech, Skepticism, Social Gaming, Geek Feminism, Comics, Cosplay, mingled in the bizarre Edwardian vibe of the hotel, passed on the staircases. I went to the Buffy Sing-a-long where the Whedon love was practically tattooed onto everyone’s forehead (sorry it ran late, I know that was one of the few issues) but the cos’s were from every fandom going.

And the queues …

It all happened for me in the queue for the next cup of tea. I had problems with two characters in my book who are IT programmers, met Mel (all best for the four panels at World Con!) who shared the home life of two IT programmers, including The Zone. Sorted. Talked to Gareth Powell, learned more about writing than I think he realizes, for over 30 minutes despite his imminent pulmonary collapse.

I want to live in a place I can turn up in a retro frock unrelated to any track except, possibly, comics and dressmaking and people say, “I like your frock,” Simples.




Otaku tattoo yo


The last time I spoke to a Japanese tattooist working outside Tokyo he said inking was still connected – not for the customers but for some of the neighbouring shops – with the yakuza. For otaku (geeks) to ink their geekhood on the skin is Yo, but YO.

But for a culture where Hokusai was drawing manga (man-ga or to randomly wander around, drawing-wise) at the same time as The Great Wave Off Kanagawa, it’s worth bearing in mind that the best-known japanese saying in the West:

Deru kui wa utareru.

“The nail that sticks up will be hammered down,” may mean more to us than to the average Japanese nowadays. After all, the best-known western saying in Japan is probably:

Mind the gap.

The cultural relevance of that one runs out pretty quick.