Friday started with Alisa, Tansy and myself walking over to the con and getting our heads around how we could keep a Galactic Suburbia recording to 50 minutes, because we were scheduled to record LIVE as a panel. First time doing it together, and we get an audience! Talk about intimidating. There were about 40 people in the audience, most of whom we didn’t know, so that was simultaneously encouraging and terrifying. We did manage to keep to 50 minutes, mainly because we were ruthless about the news section. It was a lot of fun! And we had matching tshirts courtesy of Finchy. It’ll be up live in the next week or so, once our dear producer gets home, has some sleep, and gets it online.
Next I headed to a reading by Garth Nix, but he was reading a story I’d finished just a few days before and I couldn’t summon enthusiasm. So I ducked out and went to a book launch, which was good to finally put more faces to names.
All of this was a way of killing time before I could go and interview the Foglios, which I was more nervous about than the live recording. I had a chat to young Jake, who gave me some questions to add to my own, and then we waited around… for a while… until Phil came back and we were good to go. The sound quality won’t be great, because we did it in the dealers’ room, and Jake will tell anyone who asks that I giggled too much (I did), but it was a lot of fun to do. It too will be online in the next week or so, once I compress it and get it to the GS producer.
The panel I most enjoyed for the day was on the under-appreciated characters in Lord of the Rings – that is, those whom the narrative underrates. Essentially this boiled down to Eowyn, Sam, and Faramir. The panellists were all excellent, and it was very cool to see other people with the same love of the book as myself. There was a fascinating discussion about the differences between the books and films, and why some of the changes were made, which I really enjoyed – particularly around Faramir and Arwen.
The evening’s entertainment began with a party at Crown for Voyager’s 15th birthday. It was all very swish – Tansy, Alisa and I frocked up in a baby change room/parents’ room we found that had huge cubicles! – and there were ever-so-tasty purple drinks, and little food. Again with the meeting interesting people, hearing interesting news (HarperVoyager to be the international brand), and hanging out with great people. We didn’t stay all that long because we had to hie ourselves back to the con for the awarding of the Ditmars and other Aussie awards, including the inaugural Norma K Hemming Award (the Norma). Reading list: Gene Thieves, by Maria Quinn. Overall we were pleased by the winners, I think – perhaps especially Helen winning the William Atheling Award for criticism, for Cabal.
From the Ditmars we headed back to Terri&Tehani’s apartment, and proceeded to eat a fair bit of junk food, drink some evil mudslides with McD’s softserve icecream thanks to Terri, and make a fair bit of noise. I got to hang out with Rob, meet Trent and Scottish Liz, and generally be with some of my favourite people. It was great… and even when we were told, around midnight, that there were complaints about the noise, it continued to be great, just quieter.