Aussiecon4: overall impressions

I really enjoyed this con. I don’t imagine I will ever get to another worldcon, unless NZ wins for 2020 or Australia gets another in the next 15 or so years, so I’m immensely pleased that I can say I’ve been to one. I got to most of the panels I was interested in, and most of them were really worthwhile, so that’s a good result. I also managed to hang out with most of the people I really wanted to, and I met some new people – both those of whom I’m fans and ‘normal’ people, too. I thought the venue was basically great – I liked that there were people from the convention centre itself all over the place, to direct the lost and be security, hanging around. Selfishly, I liked being able to get there from my house in only about half an hour by public transport. And you know the other things I liked? I liked the itty con booklet with the programme in it, and the newsletter Voice of the Echidna which came out I think ten times over the con – what a great idea.

I’ve come away with some things to think about, of course. One of those is how to be a woman, and how to be a feminist, in this sort of community. Fortunately, that’s getting easier. The other thing, which I’d already started thinking about thanks to Merrick’s Cabal, is actually how much of a FAN I am or want to be. I’m not sure I want to be as inextricably involved in the fannish community as some people at the con seemed to be, not least because most of my current friends are not in that community and I wouldn’t want to lose them. Additionally, I don’t think I want to invest the sort of energy or emotion that appears to be required to actually become a FAN. There is no Big Heart Award on the horizon for me, that’s for sure. But – as this con has pointed out – it’s perfectly possible to be on the periphery and still get a lot out of cons, and being a small-f fan, so I think that’s where I’ll stay. Happily.

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