My decision to attend was a little last minute. I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to get away, even though I do like trying to get to at least one convention each year.
However, due to my very kind wife I was able to free up some time, so Saturday morning I flew down to Melbourne to attend the Con.
I had a great time, it was fantastic to sit in on some interesting panels, attend a couple of book launches (and snag a very limited edition of Kirstyn McDermott’s Perfections) and catch up with lots of people. Some highlights included:
- Catching up with my fellow Galactic Chat podcasters Sean Wright, Helen Stubbs, Alex Pierce and David McDonald. And then winning a Ditmar with them!
- Catching up with writers like Jason, Kirstyn, Jodi, Ellen, Sean and many others and hearing about where everyone is up to with their writing, getting some advance intelligence on what might be coming next and generally talking shop.
- Having lunch on Saturday with Tess, who was new to the convention scene and with whom I had an absolutely delightful conversation about her writing ambitions.
- Attending the launch of Kirstyn McDermott’s book Perfections, which had previously been released as an e-book but was in print for the first time. Unfortunately, the batch of books Kirstyn had just picked up from the printer had the last page missing, however Kirstyn turned disaster into a marketing triumph by promising new copies for anyone who purchased the book, as well as personally writing a little vignette ending in each book purchased (and renaming it “Imperfections“). It was a great reaction to what would have been a very stressful situation, and my copy of Imperfections is now sitting proudly on the book shelf.
- Attending several panels where people talked about their own experience engaging with speculative fiction from a range of different perspectives than my own, including different religious beliefs, different sexualities, different disabilities and different mental states.
- Two fantastic guest of honour speeches by Ambelin Kwaymullina and Jim C. Hines. Unfortunately due to my early departure I wasn’t able to hear Danny Oz and Sharon Moseley speak on the Monday.
- Some great meals and some great bar discussions on a wide range of topics.
- In between sessions and programs having some time to write and edit some of my work in the hotel room.
I had a great time, and I know the party kicked on after my departure (unfortunately I had to head back to Sydney Monday morning and missed most of the Monday program).
Thanks to everyone who I had a chance to speak with over the weekend, and to anyone I missed out on talking to there is always next time!