This is the second installment in a multi-part conference write-up. Part I is here.
But first, a poll!
Saturday morning. I woke up before my morning wake-up call, and made it to breakfast. Feathers Hotel did a pretty good breakfast spread, including pastries and yoghurt, although the fruit was a bit sad. I encountered Otta and Cecilie at breakfast, and together we navigated down past Mordor Cathedral to the central area of the university, and thence to the Foresight Centre (situated in, I believe, the former Liverpool Royal Hospital).
Here, I met the personable Shana Worthen, an enthusiastic and interesting ginger person, Vector magazine’s features editor and involved in both the SF Foundation and the BSFA. From her I learned – to my shock and delight – that the conference would provide lunch daily, in addition to the tea and coffee and biscuits already on tap. Morning registration was full of a wide variety of people, of whom the only other person I recall at this point in time (besides the fact that there was a table selling lots of second-hand books) is Edward James, formerly of medieval history at UCD.
At 1015, we made our way to the Main Hall (on the programme), which on the building plan was actually known as the Gallery. There, Professor Douglas Baird, head of Liverpool’s School of Archaeology, Classics and Egyptology, introduced the conference. A short, balding, broad-shouldered man, he said we were present at a new type of conference, the first of its kind dedicated to Classical receptions in the fantastika. He cracked a few jokes at the expense of university admin, and mentioned “receptions of a slightly more bibulous type,” before handing over to Tony Keen.