Aussiecon4 photos – last post

I was planning to post a lot more about the recent Worldcon, but time slips away like a banana skin in a prat fall. Rather than keep posting things weeks and months after the event (especially as so many others have so ably blogged all about it), I thought I’d just make a last post with some photos. Some of these shots you’ll have seen in previous posts, but they’re all photos that make me smile and give me fond memories of the con. I’d love to credit everyone that took them, but I can’t – I apologise for that. I’ve collected and been sent photos from all over the place, so I’m not sure of the origins of some of them. I know a lot of them were taken by Cat Sparks and several of them were taken by me, some by Felicity Dowker. The others, I don’t know – if it was you, thanks! Please leave a comment and claim credit if you see one of your photos here.

So, a quick photographic wrap of Worldcon 2010 in Melbourne, in vaguely chronological order:

Right before the Con officially opened was the launch of Baggage, a new anthology, at the local Borders. It was a great launch and a brilliant kickoff to a con.

This was my first official engagement, a panel about why Australia is so horrifying. I did laugh when I saw the board outside – apparently my name is Ian.

Here’s that panel. L to R: Andrew McKiernan, me, Kirstyn McDermott, Chuck McKenzie and Will Elliot. That’s a lot of Mcs.

Later that night was the erotic horror reading, with (L to R) Erica Hayes, Stephen Dedman, Kaaron Warren, Felicity Dowker and Paul Haines. This was a real highlight for me, especially Felicity’s lesbian zombie story (read it for yourself in Ticonderoga’s Scary Kisses anthology) and Haines reading his really disgusting and completely awesome Interferers tale (read that in his collection, Slice Of Life.)

Kids making lightsabres. No con is complete without copious Star Wars references.

There was even a real Jedi there! There was also the obligatory overweight StormTrooper wandering around. I like to think of that ubiquitous convention presence as “Star Wars, after the conflict.”

This was the launch of Angela Slatter and Kaaron Warren’s new collections from Ticonderoga. Two great books and a great launch. In the shot is (L to R behind the desk) Kaaron Warren, Angela Slatter, Lisa Hannett (who did the artwork for Angela’s book) and Liz Grzyb of Ticonderoga. In front is the other half of Ticoneroga, Russell Farr, wearing a kilt because he’d been told to frock up for the event.

The Blade Attraction was a panel all about martial arts in spec fic and was a really good laugh. In this shot Sean McMullen is showing how you can make your unfortunate victim (me, in this case) stab themselves with their own knife. Lovely work. It was good fun demonstrating various fighting techniques and talking about all different kinds of unarmed and armed fighting styles.

For example, Katana (Japanese samurai sword) techniques from the Iaido style of swordsmanship. You’ll notice I’m staying safely behind the desk in this instance.

This was a shot taken at the Voyager birthday party, which was all about the drinks and finger food and celebrating 15 years of the Voyager imprint and all the awesome books they’ve published. In this shot are two people I don’t know, and I apologise for not listing their names. Comments please, if you know them. You meet and chat with so many people at a con that it’s hard to keep track even when you are introduced. In fact, at one point, during the Orbit pre-Hugos party, I sat and chatted to this very nice guy for a few minutes and only realised later that it was Cory Doctorow. He’d taken his glasses off and I didn’t recognise him up close. Anyway, in the above shot are (L to R) Unknown, Garth Nix, Robert Hood, unknown and me.

EDIT: Thanks to a comment from Christopher Miles: “The chap on the left of your Voyager party photo is novelist James Bradley.” Thank you!

The Nightmare Ball. A fantastic drunken night of drinking. And partying. Some dancing. Lots of dressing up. And anything else stays unsaid. What happens at Worldcon stays at Worldcon.

This is Gary Kemble, dark fiction writer and journalist as a zombie journalist in one of the standout costumes of the night. He won a prize for it, quite rightly. Check out Gary’s posts about the con on his blog and at the ABC Drum website. He’s done some excellent coverage of the event.

Andrew McKiernan (as Papa Lazarou) in another of my fave costumes of the night. With him in this picture is Dave. (Also known as his partner, Kylie).

EDIT: Andrew actually informs me that that’s not Kylie. My mistake. It is Dave, after all. You’re my wife now!

Paul Haines as some fucked up harlequin, ably made up by Felicity Dowker.

Talking of Felicity’s great makeup, it was her fair hand that turned me into this convincing Joker. Here I am photobombing one of her shots at the Ball. That’s gratitude for you, eh?

Here’s another great shot from after the Ball. Me as the Joker, Chuck McKenzie as the Zombie DJ, Felicity Dowker as a droog from A Clockwork Orange and our sensibly dressed friend Talie Helene. Yes, I did cut the weird guy in red out of this picture. No one seems to know who that dude was…

With a slightly dusty head from the Nightmare Ball, I ran my Write The Fight Right Workshop the following day. I love doing this workshop, helping people understand the realities of fighting so they can write more convincing fight scenes. I think I might be running it again at Swancon in Perth next year. In this shot I’m demonstrating how much more range a kick has than a punch. I’m being very well assisted by Laura Goodin.

There was this novella panel on Sunday. I’ve already written about this in detail in a previous post, but I’m posting this again because I love this picture. I’m sitting next to Robert Silverberg, for fuck’s sake!

Another highlight for me was the Matricarchy of Renok radio play reading. This was enormous fun. Front and centre in this shot are Cat Sparks (as the matriarch) and Jetse De Vries as the manly hero. Both, incidentally, playing roles that could have been written for them.

Here’s a table showing numerous previous Hugo Awards from years gone by. The Hugo Awards night was awesome, from the Orbit pre-Hugos reception party, right through the event itself, to the Hilton bar partying afterwards.

Probably my favourite shot from the con – me holding the Hugo that Peter Watts won for his novellette, The Island. He was kind enough to let me hold it and this pic is my motivation to keep writing. I’ve seen this rocket shaped piece of awesome since I was a kid and always dreamed of winning one. Maybe one day there’ll be a shot like this where it’s actually mine. Aim high.

Talking of Peter Watts, here he is with me, Felicity Dowker (on the left) and Zara Baxter (on the right, no relation). We ended up talking about the Latin name for the common house cat, as you do, and there was confusion as to whether or not is was Felis catus. Naturally, with an iPhone the answers are at your fingertips. And yes, the correct Latin name is Felis catus.

About the last event of the con was the Vampire vs Zombie Smackdown panel. L to R РGeorge R R Martin, Foz Meadows, Narelle Harris, Scott Edelman, Felicity Dowker and Australia’s foremost zombie expert, Chuck McKenzie. As I mentioned previously about this panel, the basic consensus was that vampires are cooler, but zombies would win the war between the two.

That’s about all I can offer for photos. There are none of the fantastic speeches by Guest Of Honour, Kim Stanley Robinson, but they can be found, along with transcripts and recordings of his speeches. Well worth looking those up. Start at Gary Kemble’s blog. So much more happened, and it’s all a sludgy mess of experience in my brain, like a drunken dream. The whole thing was five fantastic days of hanging out with writerly friends, meeting all kinds of fans, making new friends, attending really interesting panels, being inspired the behemoths of the spec fic community just walking around like normal people and all the rest of it.

You can find a lot more photos if you’re interested at Cat Sparks’ flickr album.

I can’t wait for the next one.


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