For your convenience here are all my Continuum posts in one neat little list. Enjoy!
After a lovely dinner with the SuperNOVA crew, I lingered for the C8 launch and discovered that the Guests of Honour were rather exciting, Kelly Link and Alison Goodman, with the Fan GoH being Sue Ann Barber. So, that gives us all something to look forward to!
After that I went and sat in:
In the style of…
Just what would The Matrix look like in the style of a Jane Austen novel? Or Lord of the Rings as a sitcom? High-speed, high-silliness, competitive improvisation.
Danny Oz, Steve Cameron, Alice Clarke, Terry Frost, David Innes, Peter Marz, Heath Miller
I thought I was going to damage myself laughing at one point, it was absolutely hilarious. Improv, when done well, is one of my favourite things and this was done well. My particular favourite was X Men in the style of Iron Chef, with a cook off between Magneto and Cyclops.
After that, a few of us took Cat Valente to a local pub for some drinks, and then a few of us spent some time in one of the committee member’s room discussing a interesting range of subjects, all the way from purity rings to Hey Hey It’s Saturday.
The next day I was getting extremely nervous as I was moderating a panel for the first time, and it wasn’t any ordinary panel.
Goodbye Sarah Jane
For a whole generation of Doctor Who fans, she defined what a Companion should be. Join us as we share our favourite moments, discuss what made Sarah Jane Smith so memorable and say goodbye to the incomparable Elisabeth Sladen.
David McDonald, Ben McKenzie, Danny Oz, Candice Schilder
This was something I didn’t want to get wrong, because I knew not only was it important to me, but to a lot of others. In the end though, my nerves were misplaced as an excellent team on the panel made it a breeze to moderate, and it turned out to be a lovely time of celebrating a life well lived, with tears and laughter and lots of audience participation.
I then took a long, leisurely lunch with my friends from SuperNOVA and enjoyed being able to relax in the knowledge that it was all over as far as places I HAD to be from here on in.
After the closing ceremony, the last lingering remnants retired to the bar for drinks and I did head out to the dead dog party, but I was so exhausted I was happy to get home and to bed pretty early.
All in all it was an amazing couple of days and the organisers should be very proud of themselves. The GoHs were excellent, very accessible and with lots of useful and fascinating things to say. It was probably more fan than writer orientated than Swancon was, but I still picked a lot of things that will improve my writing and made some useful contacts. Most importantly, though, I got to spend time with old friends and meet a whole heap of new ones.
Oh, and I have decided I have to go to Conflux now, I can’t wait any longer than that for my Con fix!
Yes, terrible joke, but I am suffering from sleep deprivation. Yesterday was a lot of fun, I managed to get to some panels and FINALLY a masquerade.
First up I went to:
How to Sex Your Vampire
Are female vampires inevitably more monstrous than their male counterparts? Do male vampires represent anxieties about homosexuality? Come and explore how ideologies of gender and sexuality have shaped the depiction of Western literature’s most popular fantasy monster.
Jason Nahrung, Narrelle Harris, Peter Marz
I went more because I knew one of the panellists than from any real interest in the subject, but it turned into a very wide ranging discussion and it was definitely worthwhile.
I was very keen to catch the next one:
Fantasy Wildlife – Beyond the Basics Workshop
What do you use – or create – when you’re sick of dragons and unicorns? An audience participation workshop hosted by our esteemed Guests of Honour.
Dave Freer, Catherynne M. Valente
It wasn’t quite what I expected, but it was fascinating to see the different approaches between the two writers, with David Freer preferring a “rational” approach to fantastic creatures (How could a winged horse fly and still obey the laws of aerodynamics?) while Cat seemed more happy to not have to explain everything.
In some ways it was a sci fi vs fantasy approach, but the consensus seemed to be that whichever approach you picked didn’t matter so much, just that you be consistent and above all do it well.
After that, I had made the mistake of offering whatever assistance was required by the organisers, so I spent the dinner break helping set up for the “Maskobalo”. The guy who did the design had done an amazing job, there was a TARDIS, the DJ console was a TARDIS console, there was a wardrobe filled with coats leading to a lamppost and a Mad Hatter’s tea party. All I did was the heavy lifting at his beck and call.
The ball was fun, but I don’t dance so it wasn’t really my scene. I did get literally dragged onto the dance floor by one young lady, and forced to dance for a little bit…the first time in years. Was terrifying.
When that was over, the London Worldcon bid invited everyone to their room for drinks, but after a few noise warnings from the hotel most of us headed to the bar. I had the unique experience of having my biceps squeezed (and told I was as hot as China Meiville, whatever that means haha) and a drink spilt on me by an Aurealis winner, and a fascinating disucssion about philosophy (Kant in particular) with a Canberrite.
It was rather late (or should I say early) when I got home, so Is truggled to be back in time for my morning panel. It ended up going rather well, Steve Cameron did a great job of organising it (even had a powerpoint presentation) and Bruce Gillespie knows his stuff. It turns out Steve and I know a lot of people in common so we had a good chat.
After an excellent lunch with the SuperNOVA crew, I went to:
Money, Money, Money
Is it possible to make a living out of writing?
Is it always about the money? Is there a balance between money and creativity?
Jack Dann, Narrelle Harris, George Ivanoff, Meg Mundell, Steve Rossiter
I am certainly not writing to make money (haha), but I wanted to attend at least one panel with Jack Dann. I am glad I went, it was informative, entertaining and I walked a way with a heap of knowledge that is actually relevant to what I am wanting to do.
So, now I am going to chill for a while, and mingle and drink coffee!
Just a quick update of how Continuum is going so far. I am doing this from a dilapidated net kiosk, so you will have to forgive me if it isn’t a work of art, and for any spelling errors with names.
Last night didn’t get off the the best of starts. With my panel starting at 7pm I had planned on arriving about 6pm so I could meet my fellow panelists. Due to some unforeseen circumstances and horrendous traffic, I walked in 6:55pm! Fortunately, it was all very casual, and when really well. Danny and Hespa were in fine form and it really just flowed. We had about 25 there I think, though I am not sure how many were only first time goers!
After that, I watched Jack Dann and Richard Harland compete to see who was the craziest at the launch of “Liberator”, which made for a very entertaining time. I think Richard won after he managed to get a surprising amount of his body into a small wastepaper basket.
Then it was time for the Chronos Awards. I had planned on tweeting it award by award, but Alex (of Galactic Suburbia fame) gave a demonstration of how its done, beating me to the punch each time…even when she won her awards and had to get up the front and back! I soon admitted defeat (plus I realised that getting people’s twandles right is a required part of the process).
The winners were:
Best Long Fiction: Madigan Mine, Kirstyn McDermott (Pan MacMillan Australia)
Best Short Fiction: “Her Gallant Needs”, Paul Haines (Sprawl,Twelfth Planet Press)
Best Artwork: Australis Imaginarium cover, Shaun Tan (FableCroft Publishing)
Best Fan Writer: Alexandra Pierce
Best Fan Written Work: “Review: The Secret Feminist Cabal by Helen Merrick”, Alexandra Pierce
Best Fan Artwork: Continuum 6 Props, Rachel Holkner
Best Fan Publication: Live Boxcutters Doctor Who at AussieCon IV, Josh Kinal and John Richards
Best Achievement: Programming: AussieCon IV, Sue Ann Barber and Grant Watson
All very deserving winners, and great to see the strong SuperNOVA representation.
There was a chance to admire Rachel Holkner’s sterling work on the Conquilt (who can’t be praised enough!), and we then had the presentation of the A. Betram Chandler award. If you hadn’t been at Swancon, the run down of Paul Collin’s illustrious career would have been most informative.
Speaking of Paul Collins, there was then the launch of his latest book, with Sean McMullen.
As I had an airport dropoff early the next morning, I decided it was time to call it a night.
This morning, we had another Con101 panel. There was only a few people compared to the Friday one, but it was still enjoyable.
I got into Cat Valente’s GoH speech just as she started reading her piece, “13 Ways of Looking at Space Time”. I wasn’t familiar with it, and I have to say it blew me away as I have never heard anything like it. I am still processing it so, to be honest, I can’t even say whether I actually liked it or not because it was just so different than anything I have come across. Really brilliant.
She came across as interesting and entertaining during the Q and A session afterwards, and I am now determined to check out some of her writing.
By that point I was starving, so together with some of the SuperNOVA crew I went and grabbed some lunch across the road.
So far I am having a brilliant time, made some new friends and caught with some old ones.
And…that’s it for now 🙂 I will try and update again tomorrow, and hopefully be able to rave about the panels I am heading to this afternoon.