It’s Monday, I’m feeling sleep deprived and have a sore throat from talking too much. I was clearly at a con this weekend. Continuum 6: Future Tense, in fact. And what a great con it was.
I caught up with many friends and finally met for real some people I know quite well online. It’s always good to put a real human fleshy face to the avatar. On Friday afternoon I caught up with Paul Haines and we headed in to the Con to be interviewed for the Radio National “Book Shelf” program. It was a recorded interview and will be broadcast at some future date – I’ll let you know when I find out. I think we came across as vaguely aware of the subject matter. The interview largely focussed on a panel that Paul and I did with Lucy Sussex on the Saturday called Aussie Horror vs Other Horror. We were basically trying to pin down what, if anything, makes Australian horror unique. There was a lot of stuff postulated both at the interview and on the panel and the final answer is this: dunno, really.
There is definitely uniquely Australian horror when it comes to setting, but is there a uniquely Australian horror trope or voice or subject? Or can any Aussie horror be set elsewhere and not lose any of its whack? The wonderful Kim Westwood was also interviewed about the same thing after us, so hopefully the radio wizards will distill two hours of us all crapping on into a coherent and interesting little piece. We’ll see. Leave a comment if you have any thoughts on the subject.
Saturday at the con was great. The first thing I caught was the Guest Of Honour speech by futurist, Mark Pesce. Seriously, Mark is one smart, funny and interesting guy. (Aussies, you’ll have seen him on The New Inventers). He gave a talk about the nature of human development, the increase in communication, the fact that the mobile phone (which he calls “the device”) has already put us beyond the Schwartzchild radius of a new way of being. I’m not explaining this very well, but I’m not Mark Pesce. You should have been there. My brain was vibrating after his talk, by far the highlight of the entire con for me. Later on that day I sat on a panel about Self-Promotion. I really can’t understand why they chose me for that one, but there you go. Some perceived expertise, I guess. Then it was the Aussie Horror panel.
After that things start to get a bit sketchy. Halinka and I went out to dinner in fine company (Paul Haines, Cat Sparks, Felicity Dowker, Christian Tamblyn) and the drinking started. We dropped back in on the con Maskobalo and there were many costumed fans dancing to the Buffy theme tune. More drinking. We went out again and caught up with our good mate Wayne. After that things are hazy, so I’ll move on to Sunday.
Had trouble getting up on Sunday, can’t think why. Had to check out of the hotel by eleven, then went down and caught the other Guest Of Honour speech from Kim Westwood, author of The Daughters Of Moab. She gave an interesting talk on her writing and within it the exploration of identity and sexuality.
I sat in on other interesting bits and pieces and then I got to share a panel table with both Guests Of Honour (Mark Pesce and Kim Westwood) and m1k3y, and we talked about “Ten reasons why the world should/should not end in 2012”. It was a really good panel and I enjoyed the company. I hope I didn’t hog the chat. It’s a subject I’m really interested in. Apart from my general love of religious mythology and ancient history, the Mayan culture was something I researched quite extensively when I was writing RealmShift. It meant I had that rare feeling of being on a panel and feeling like I actually knew what the fuck I was talking about.
Then I had to leg it right after that panel to catch a flight back to Sydney and then drive home in pouring rain. It seems that I always travel home from cons in adverse weather conditions. The rain even delayed our plane for an hour.
But no matter, a great con, great friends, great times. And I got to meet and be on a panel with Mark Pesce! [nerdgasm]
EDIT: Apologies – post-con mush brain alert! I meant Kim Westwood all those times above when I said Kim Wilkins. Sorry Kims! I’ve corrected the post above.