He was guest of honour the last time as well, but cried off close to the date because of too much work (was finishing off The Long Earth at the time I think). This time however the Irish Con will co-incide with the publication of Raising Steam, so I expect he'll pull out all the stops to make this one unless his health deteriorates this time.
Also it should be the world premiere of the much awaited kickstart movie short Troll Bridge, which is scheduled as the finale on the Monday, so even if Terry doesn't make it the convention it ought to be great fun. I went to the last one with Meerkat (Bernard Pearson was guest of honour instead) and we had a great time, although it was at a different hotel in Ennistymon. This one is a Radisson Blu and near Shannon Airport but from the website
looks to be of a similar standard (bar and restaurant-wise).
Because it's much smaller than the UK convention (I think membership is still open at 147, with a limit around 200?) you get to meet lots of people very quickly and easily and many of the organisers/game-runners are the same as for the UK one so the craic is indeed heady... (Chris Boote and Pat Harkin are involved as always)
The only real drawback for people coming over from the UK mainland is that Shannon doesn't appear to have many flights (if at all) running during the winter but you can get over from Dublin Airport OK by train.
This year the housemate's going to go with me provided that his scheduled surgery doesn't clash (we find out when that's likely to be next month
). Here's a link to the convention website