Daily Archives: June 14th, 2007

NatCon #4 (and last, fear not)

Monday.

Started off away from the con – had ‘coffee’ with the lovely Alison and Kate. We were meant to go to Brunetti’s in the city, but they were closed. So we wandered to Burke St, and sat in a cafe for 15 min or so having ordered coffee and not getting any love; then we left and went to Laurent (I want to go there a lot), and I had a delicious chocolate and almond croissant. And a hot chocolate.

Then, back to the con.

And then to lunch. Took the gang (it really felt a bit like a gang by that time) to Deli France, and it finally proved that Melbourne really is the Food Capital.

Then back to the con. And sitting in the lobby, to be in a convenient place to see people signing out of the hotel. Rachel was good and went to the closing ceremony, but I never did hear if it was worthwhile.

Lots of sitting, lots of talking… me gaining review copies of stuff to read, particularly for LastShortStory.

I left at about 4pm, because J was going to be home at about 4.30 or so and he was a bit sick. It was hard to leave. Good friends in three days? Crazy, but true.

Thus endeth my first convention.

NatCon #3

Sunday.

I skipped on the earliest panel, feeling a bit guilty because surely that’s what the con is meant to be about? – but then I spent time with Alisa and Tansy et al, and it was ok. (At least, I think that’s what I did… maybe that was the morning I read? I dunno; I forget.) I did go to the panel “Science fiction and Fantasy in the School Curriculum” – which was sort of interesting, except that the main person on the panel was a bit of a twit. I got quite annoyed by him. Particularly when he was saying things like: “All due respect to my fellow educators…[insert insulting comment here].” Very annoying. Oh, and then there were the “only geeks who get beaten up at lunch read scifi/fantasy at school” comments.

Anyway, after listening to how people use/have used the genres in curriculum – and a few kids whinge about how creative writing never gets taught (a. some would say it can’t be taught; b. yes many of us don’t know how to teach it because it’s not a prereq to become an English teacher and that is not a bad thing about us; and c. … whatever) – I decided to have my say. I asked, basically, why we should include it. I understand the desire to get kids to enjoy your likes – heck, that’s why I teach history – but why were they getting so het up about it? Cath Ortlieb gave me a good answer… Ian got all huffy under the collar. Which was pretty funny. And then, because it was that time and because I had made my point, I left with Rachel to go to Cassiphone’s book launch. I won a book! And, in fact, I won Splashdance Silver, which I already own but got signed, so that’s very “ooooh.” Oh, and chocolate. Lovely. Lost Shimmaron looks like it will be a very entertaining series; I liked the mermaids in Seacastle.

Back to the con… and to an hour of movie trailers! Much fun! It’s great watching trailers with like-minded people. Yay Transformers.

For the rest of the afternoon, I stooged around. Went to a little bit of a “Create your own Space Opera” panel hosted by Paul Kidd (two space squid make a double decapod…). Missed the apocalypse panel. Went to dinner at a very dodgy cafe with Alisa, Ben and Rachel… and then went to the Orb #7 launch and the preliminary screening of The Liminal. A very funny (sometimes deliberate, sometimes not) film made on a shoe string. Most of the cast was there, which was nice. And then there was Renaldo, First Sheep in Space. Which was quite funny, although I imagine funnier if you know the fans involved. I particularly liked him starring in Violence of the Lambs, and Baa Wars.

NatCon #2 redux

The good vs evil panel was good (see how I’m picking up almost from where I left off?), and Tansy provided a good moderator – and even got a few words in edgewise, despite efforts to the contrary.

I stayed in the room afterwards, and listened to Gill Pollack talk about food and how it is important in world-building, and give some interestin foody anecdotes. She also threw chocolate at/to the crowd, but since I had already received a few of her choc beetles I declined. I did try the grains of paradise, which are/were supposed to be an aphrodisiac… no dice.

I was then thinking of staying on for a talk on new stuff in alternative history, but given who the speaker was I left. Rather quickly. Enough said about that… I then hung out with all my new-found pals, went and had dinner at a Japanese restaurant in China Town (go figure), and made it back for the free booze and nibbles at the launch of Dark Space (which I’m looking forward to; I think I managed to get named second reviewer for ASif!) and The Darkness Within (eh; not so much). And then – the Ditmars! which apparently recognise “excellence in science fiction, fantasy and horror by Australians” in the previous calendar year. GirlieJones won herself three!! Including Best New Talent! Ah, vote rigging, so much fun… but seriously, it was great; the look on her face was priceless (each time!), and they were of course well deserved.

Finally, it was off to my very first Room Party, hosted by Cat Sparks and Rob Hood, to launch Daikaju #2 – very exciting. As were the drinks: champagne with blue curacao and a lolly dinosaur. Excellent!

And then home, and to bed.