I didn’t have the energy to blog electronically during the con. Instead, I kept paper notes (outrageous, I know)…
My Aussiecon4 actually started on the Wednesday, when I hosted a full contingent of Strahans, the Tansy/Finchy mob, Tehani+baby Max, Alisa, Kathryn, and Alan. Half of them arrived at my place from the airport, so apparently having food and beverages on hand was welcome! I rather suspect that the supermarket over my fence was a very large drawcard, too. At any rate it was a marvellous way to start the weekend’s madness, with the people I was most looking forward to seeing.
Thursday started fairly early, heading to the apartments where all but the Strahans were staying to help the crew get boxes into two taxis and thence to the dealers’ room. An early highlight was heading up the escalator as Mondy and Rob Shearman were heading down – so I turned around, obviously, to catch up with them. I hadn’t seen either since Swancon 08, and it was great to see both the first day. Another highlight was helping Alisa, Tehani, and Terri (whom I finally met) in the dealers room, when Tansy’s eldest made a friend to play hide-n-seek with… who turned out to be the daughter of the Girl Genius creators! Minor fangirl moment there.
I flashed my newbie credentials by heading to the opening ceremony, which I quite enjoyed. As I walked in Holst’s Jupiter was blaring, which was a good sign. Someone had put a fair amount of work into a quite awesome series of film clips, which was basically Mad Max with spectacular bits of other movies thrown in and some clever voice-overs. Perhaps my favourite contrast was Hugo Weaving as Elrond, Agent Smith, and his Priscilla character. However, if as the voice-over suggested we’re really relying on Mel Gibson-as-Mad Max to save us all, I think we’re in trouble.
Heading back to the dealers room, I noticed that the Foglios had not brought a whole lot of hardcopy Girl Genius books and they were going fast. Tansy egged me on until I finally went around and bought myself one, complete with personalised sketch of Maxim (I heart Jagerkin) and autographs. Good thing I got one when I did (and one for Alisa’s sailor too), since they sold out in two hours….
Aside from hanging around the Twelfth Planet Press table gossiping, I also went to a panel on motherhood in SF&fantasy. There was some very thorough discussion of representations of motherhood in those genres, both in book and film, especially about the lack of women who manage to do both mothering and adventuring. I particularly liked the discussion of the problematic nature of Ripley and Sarah Connor. Reading list from this panel: Gwyneth Jones, Life; Pat Murphy, The Wild Girls; Eye of the Beholder, by someone whose name I didn’t catch.
The evening’s entertainment started with a book launch for Helen Merrick’s book The Secret Feminist Cabal, which I promise I will get around to reviewing soon. I’d met Helen earlier in the day – another fangirl moment! – so it was great to see the number of people who turned up to congratulate her on such an important work on feminisms and fandom. Plus, she signed the book I’d been carting around all day. ☺
Dinner was with a bunch of people, including Jake Flinthart. At 10, Jake Flinthart is an even bigger fan of Girl Genius than me, so we had a lovely time arguing about our favourite characters and where the plot is heading. I did make everyone walk a little bit too far for dinner, although to be fair their hotels and the convention itself is at the crappy end of town when it comes to food.
Marvellous day! I met heaps of other people, put faces to names, and generally exhausted myself.
Just a quick update before I head back in for an exciting second day at Aussiecon4.
My absolute highlights were two very exciting fangirl moments: firstly, I met Helen Merrick, author of the brilliant Secret Feminist Cabal which I really must get around to reviewing. The other came when a little girl introduced herself to a friend’s daughter, and that girl’s parents came along to check everything was ok. Those parents were Phil and Kaja Foglio, creators of Girl Genius! Whom I had emailed about interviewing and was nervous as all get out about introducing myself to! So that was great, and relaxed, and I’m really looking forward to interviewing them now.
I also had a couple of people mention that they knew me from Galactic Suburbia, which was… overwhelming…
Speaking of which, must be off – we’re recording a live episode this morning!