FANDOMEDIA: HUNGER SATIATED

GENERAL IMPRESSIONS

You can’t possibly not know that Luscious was Guest of Honour at Fandomedia: Hunger this last weekend, where she shared the stage with Marianne de Pierres and Elaine Kemp.

I had a blast throughout the weekend, party because my wife was receiving the patronage and attention that her brilliant, unique work deserves; and partly because my entire workload for the weekend consisted of 2 (count them, 2) panels, which is just about unheard of for me when it comes to covnentions. In the end I ended up on 3, but’s that’s par for my course πŸ™‚

This was also the first time Aiden and Blake attended a Con, and the boys took to it like little nerdy ducks to a big nerdy pond: gaming, watching panels, hanging with guests, having their books signed… and all in a manner so well-behaved and mature that other guests were asking us could we please make sure to bring them with us to the next event we attend! In particular, I was bowled over with pride when Rob Masters & Alicia Smith, who take their games very seriously, invited the boys to game with them at any time, and issued an open invitation to join them at Genghiscon next year for a session. R&L would not have taken any inappropriate behaviour at their table, and I’m still a smiling Bonus Dad at the impression the boys made upon them.

I was also overwhelmed with pride for Lyn, who handled all the attention with aplomb and professionalism. My darling wife is cursed with a combination of claustrophobia, lack of self-belief, and shyness, yet she carried herself through the convention with grace and elegance, and the 80-plus members of the Con showed her what she and her work means to them in a constant outpouring of respect and affection which moved me on a number of occasions. Lyn is a wonderful, loving woman; a unique and talented artist; and far more popular than she thinks she is; and it all crystallised this weekend. It was wonderful to sit back and watch it happen.

I was saddened to hear convention organiser Ju Whitehead announce that this was to be the last Fandomedia. The “2nd Perth Con” concept has become firmly established since the first Borderlands in 2001, and Fandomedia has been easily the best 2 years of the run. Ju did mention to me, on the sly, the project to which she is going to be devoting her time, and it’s exciting, but I’ll have a soft spot for the 2 conventions to which she attached her name: they were fun, inclusive, and most importantly in a crowded con landscape, different. As of next year, John Parker (organiser of Wasteland in 2004) will gather up the reins with Night Lands. It’ll be a good con: John knows what he’s doing. I’ll look foward to it. But these last 2 cons have been a highlight for me, and I’ll miss the tone Ju brought to the event.

HIGHLIGHTS

In no particular order, a set of highlights and moments from my Con experience this time round:

  • Aiden and Blake. Their behaviour was brilliant, their excitement at being at a Con (and having a hotel room to themselves with the run of the facilities) was infectious, the grace with which they withdrew when ‘adult time’ events such as room parties were deemed off limits was amazingly mature, and their interactions with fellow guests was a breathy combination of happiness and respect which made me proud. We gave them some money to spend at the Con, and they had enough left over that we took them to the Royal Show on Monday, so they made out like bandits, the lucky little buggers.
  • Watching my darling wife get an understanding of just how much respect and affection is held for her by the SF scene.
  • Being so tired and bleary after the room party on the first night that I spent the next day thinking Purrdence was Possbert and vice versa. Some people are happy drunks, some are angry drunks. Me, I’m a subtle drunk…
  • Dragons! Two boys, $10 dollars of raffle tickets at 50 cents a pop….. In the end we took three of the 6″ high dragon statuettes home with us, re-drew one, and gifted the other to a grateful Buoy Wonder, who spent the whole raffle sitting behind me whimpering “I want a dragon” every time we won another one. So happy about my act of generosity towards him was Alistair that he immediately named his new dragon….. Steve πŸ™‚
  • Oh, and Lyn got one as part of her Guest of Honour sponsors package, so now I have to build TWO shelves…
  • Conversing with Alisa Krasonstein and Lily Chrywenstrom on the subject of women SF writers, and perhaps showing a side to me that they hadn’t seen before.
  • The long and winding conversation I shared with Grant Watson that meandered across three days, a bunch of different locations, and reinforced to me why Grant is right at the apex of people to whom I accord the greatest respect and feelings of friendship. We also made progress on a project involving certain television monstersmumblmumblemumblemumbleas soon as he manages to get it all set up.
  • Spending time with Michael “Froggy” Dawson, convener of Swancon 2007, and enjoying his company immensely, especially watching him become increasingly weirded out by the Triffboys’ unending-mosquito-conversaionalist act at the Con after-party.
  • Seeing the boys explain the phrases “Release The Bloodworms!” and “Doodle… finger… worm” to a packed room, and watching as they sloooowly took over everyone’s consciousness’. Also, the creation of Grant’s new alterego, Dave Doodlefingerworm.
  • Getting to see Eastern Staters Stu Barrow, Marianne de Pierres and Rowena Lindquist on my patch for a change. Heck, just getting to see them.
  • Lyn’s reaction at seeing her first ever proper girl-to-girl kiss at a rather drunken and raucous room party. Being real glad the boys were in their room, stuffing their faces with junk food and watching cartoons.
  • Shotgunning chartreuse and discovering how damn good it is, especially when held under the tongue for 5 or 6 seconds. Burny burny burny, but goooood burny!
  • Doing a panel on the subject of ‘Ambition’ with Ju’s partner Kaneda, and discovering more about him in 5 minutes than I’d learned in 2 years! A complex life, and a shining drive that gave me a real insight into what motivates him.
  • Stephen Dedman coming to the realisation that between us, Grant Watson and I can lay claim to disliking almost all SF television ever produced. I mean, we told you πŸ™‚

Song of the moment: I Can’t Read Tin Machine

THANKS ARE IN ORDER

Both ears and the tail to Grant Watson, who, on the weekend, delivered on his threat to hand me a CD containing the best work of David Bowie post-1987.

I’m loving it. I love the Bowie take on electronica on tracks like Little Wonder (one of only 2 tracks from Grant’s selection with which I was previously familiar), The Heart’s Filthy Lesson, and Hello Spaceboy. And when he goes gentle and gives rein to the deep purr that his voice has become, the results are truly wonderful. Grant notes (How can you not love this boy? He puts together a party tape and provides liner notes!) Strangers When We Meet as his second favourite Bowie track ever, and it’s immediately become one of mine as well: what a beautiful, haunting, lonely song it is. And I had forgotten just how much I liked The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell in the years since I heard it on JJJ.

Grant’s put together 15 songs covering the decade between the 1st Tin Machine album and Hours, and I cheerfully declare my previous perception of Bowie as having gone into decline during that period to be erroneous and in the past: the CD is fabulous, and I’m loving the sound he’s been pursuing. Many thanks to Grantypoo for re-educating me.

Song of the Moment: The Pretty Things Are Going to Hell David Bowie

BECAUSE I KNOW YOU CARE

Played 10, 25 points, one game clear of the top of the table. I can smell the Championship already πŸ™‚

OH, IN THE INTERESTS OF FAIRNESS, I SUPPOSE…..

The West Coast Eagles beat the Sydney Swans to win the AFL Grand Final on Saturday. Um, hooray?

And I’m told the Brisbane Broncos beat the Melbourne Storm to win the NRL Grand Final on Sunday. Um, um?

WRITERY BITS

OOOOOHHHHHH, SHINNNYYYYYYYY.

The new KA Bedford novel is out. And the cover is soooooooo coooooollllllllll.

Envyenvyenvyenvyenvyenvyenvy……..

DELIVERED!

The Time Eater, to Steven Saville for inclusion in the upcoming anthology Doctor Who: Destination Prague.

To paraphrase Edmund Blackadder– A massive rollercoaster of a 4000-word short story full of Troughton, Jamie, beings made from electricity, and a hot Sontaran thrown in for good measure.

Okay, maybe that didn’t sound quite like I planned….

NEXT!

The extension of The Memory of Breathing to turn it into a feature length script, finish and turn in The Metawhore’s Love Story to Dirk Flinthart for Canterbury 2100, and returning to work on my second novel, The Corpse-Rat King.

It’s all good in writer-boy world πŸ™‚

Song of the moment: Little Wonder David Bowie

CLARION ATTENDEES ANNOUNCED

Well, we’ve known about one for a while, but congratulations to everyone who will be attending Clarion South in January of 2007. I look forward to making you cry like kicked infants πŸ™‚

The good news for me, as a tutor, is that, with the exception of Lyn and Jessica Vivien, I’m completely unfamiliar with the people on the list. This means I can come to them free of expectations and accept their work for what it is, rather than I what I feel it should be. I’m really looking froward to getting to Queensland, meeting everybody, and getting stuck into the fun business of hard-core writing geekery.

The full list of attendees:

Lyn Battersby (our house)
Elizabeth Adkins (VIC)
Peter Ball (QLD)
Alessio Besciani (VIC)
Daniel Braum (USA)
Michele Cashmore (QLD)
Melaina Faranda (NSW)
Jason Fischer (SA)
Laura Gooden (NSW)
Chris Green (VIC)
Michael Greenhut (USA)
Jess Irwin (NSW)
Chris Lynch (QLD)
Ben Maulbeck (USA)
Richard Pitchforth (QLD)
Angela Slatter QLD)
Jason Stokes (ACT)
Jessica Vivien (WA)