It was great running on Good Friday morning: almost no traffic, and almost no people! I ran down to and along the Esplanade – they have a huge bloody river in Perth! And fountains… I don’t remember when there were working fountains in Melbourne. Oh – and that was after waking up at 5.30am Perth time, which my body was insisting was 7.30 for us, despite having gone to sleep at about 2am for us (midnight in Perth). Very confusing… fortunately my ability to doze off again seems to be reappearing.
Hung around with Alisa, Ben and Tehani for a bit of the morning – they were setting up their table to flog their wares (primarily 2012 and Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine – Australia’s pulpiest magazine! (I adore it).
The first panels I went to were about the history of Dr Who – the pre-production stuff, like how Dr Who basically started because the BBC had an opening in their scheduling, and the fact that its producer was the first female producer and the youngest producer to boot, at the BBC. That’s cool. Interesting to hear that it seems like lots of people wanted Dr Who to fail, for a whole range of reasons! It also seems that TV people stuffing around with their programming has been going on for as long as TV has existed (and probably happened/happens in radio, too) – changing series lengths, etc. The soundstage they had to deal with makes it seem remarkable they managed to make anything, frankly, and seems a testament to the actors and the crew. And then – to top it all off, and to drive home what they’d been talking about – the panel did an overview of the first season of Dr Who, which was very cool. Those guys clearly know their Who trivia, which was fun…. It was fascinating to hear about the growth in viewers (up to 10 million for the episodes with the Daleks!), and about the interaction of the actors – and development of the characters, too.
Zara’s talk on “why we love children’s SF” was fantastic – a survey of 900 respondents, asking when they started reading scifi, what they liked as a kid, what they didn’t like, etc. I really must take the time to read The Inter-Galactic Playground. It sounds like a very cool project Zara has got herself involved in! – and gave me a list of books I really ought to chase up, too…
Anyway… then went and had a drink with a few people, then it was the launch of 2012 and Workers’ Paradise, both of which I can highly recommend. After that, another book launch! – Magic Dirt, a collection of Sean Williams’ stuff. Rob nearly choked on the little packets of magic dirt (actually gravel or something similar), and blamed me for it…. Eventually had a bit to eat at the Indian restaurant around the corner at about 9pm, then back to the hotel bar, then nearly went to a room party… but it was too loud and hot, so I bailed and went to bed. It was, after all, midnight.