Aussiecon 4 – Day Five

Tomorrow is Day 5, and the last day of the Worldcon. The nasty bug that had been lingering for the first few days now seems to be fading at last, leaving me wishing I had a time machine to do over the first few days again – so many panels and readings and speeches I missed! But I had a great time loitering in the dealers room and spoke to a lot of wise, wonderful, funny, thoughtful, kind people, so actually I can’t complain.

I attended a panel called “Has Hollywood sucked the life out of vampires” which was good fun, and the lovely Kirstyn McDermott gave a shout out for The Opposite of Life, which endeared her to me immensely. 🙂 I was on the next two panels – on in which we discussed how horrific real life can someetimes be, and how that related to horror writing; and then I mediated a panel on the Fifth Season of Dr Who, which mainly meant I hogged the microphone, though occasionally allowed the marvellous panelists George, Rani and Kathryn get a word in edgeways…

Josh and John from Boxcutters interviewed Rob Shearman and Paul Cornell, so there was a table full of charming and funny guys, and it was all recorded for an upcoming episode of Boxcutters, so if you missed it there’s hope for you yet. (Check out Boxcutters on iTunes!)

After dinner, I stayed with some friends to watch the Hugo Awards. Nice to see so much talent being recognised for their efforts, and now I plan to actually read some of the nominees as well as winners…

Tomorrow I have a full day. At 10am I will be on a panel on “The 25 Things I Learned from SF”. Given I haven’t had time to prepare, I’m hoping to think of at least three things.

At 11am I’ll be doing a reading. I plan to read a different part of The Opposite of Life, so if you want to come along but already have the book, at least I’ll be reading out a different bit for a chance. That’ll be followed by a signing session (and many thanks to the Aussiecon program team for putting me in this bit of the program!)

My final panel of the con will be at 2pm, when I will be leading the vampires team in the Zombies vs Vampires smackdown. I don’t know if there’ll be any reasoned debate, but there may be a melee, so that’ll be worth the price of entry, surely.

Aussiecon 4

Today is Day Four of Aussiecon 4, the Australian Worldcon. I started with a nasty cold and while still a bit ill, I’m actually getting a little better each day. Surely this means that, against tradition, I should be in perfect health by Day 5, instead of a total wreck like everyone else.

I’ve done a few panels so far – I had a marvellous time with Bob Kuhn, Alison Croggan and Rob Shearman on a panel about Science Fiction and the Theatre, in which we more or less concluded that the two genres were made for each other and it’s a shame there isn’t more of it. And that there is probably more of it than anyone thinks, it’s just that no-one calls it SF cos they don’t want to frighten off the audience. Ben Ellis, Lally Katz and Robert Reid, Melbourne playwrights who incorporate a lot of SF concepts in their work, got a mention too, as did actor/director Scott Gooding, who was in the audience.

I also went onto a Friday panel on 10 minutes notice discussing whether or not there is an ‘Australian voice’ in SF, and if so, what is it?

Today I’ll be talking about the reason for writing horror when real life surely offers up enough horrors all by itself. It’ll be interesting to see what everyone has to say about it. I’m also doing a Dr Who panel straight afterwards, because my interests are nothing if not eclectic.

On Monday I will be participating in the zombie vs vampire smackdown, which should be fun. I’ll also be doing a reading from The Opposite of Life if you’d care to come along. I’m going to find a passage I haven’t read before, so even if you’ve already read the book, perhaps it will have entertainment value for you.

Either way, if you’re at the con and would like to say hello, please come up and introduce yourself. When not on panels, or attending panels, I’m often in the dealer’s room at the Doc Rat/Pink Iguana table next to Dymocks.

Words are like oxygen

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