The best thing about it obviously, is being with people who share strong emotional experiences around the same things I do. I'm still processing some of it, but my little heads up goes to the writers on the Race and British SF panel and somehow manage to press all my buttons. All they did was mention, quite casually really, the immigrant experience trope and also the importance of landscape in British fantasy. Those are very big buttons for me.
When people meet me in the UK, it's not immediately obvious that I've had an immigrant experience. I look and sound like I belong here, but errr... it didn't quite happen like that. Not at all. I arrived in late childhood, completely disorientated and very, very homesick. It was only through British landscape-oriented fantasies, Tolkien, Lewis, Garner, Cooper, that I was able to start building a connection with my... well, even now, I have a hard time uttering the words 'new home'. I'm not sure if it would be an exaggeration to say those books saved my life, but they certainly helped form my identity (in difficult circumstances). So, yes, science-fiction and fantasy are more than just fun to a whole lot of us for a whole lot of reasons. That might be why I'm actually enjoying the heady world of fandom more than anything else at this convention. It's all done by people who care a lot.
On Saturday, I went to a panel talk on Race and British SF with Amal El-Mohtar, Tajinder Hayer, Stephanie Saulter, Russell Smith and Dev Agarwal which I'll probably write more on in a bit.