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Saturday, June 08, 2013

Continuum Day 1

Yesterday I arrived late for Continuum, because I spend Friday nights with my mother, then take her for lunch. Friday nights are sacred to the family, so I missed the opening night of the con as well, including the Chronos awards. Probably just as well, as I didn't win and would have had to smile at whoever did(still don't know), but it was nice to be shortlisted and I want to thank whoever did vote for  me and put me on the shortlist. Yesterday morning Mum and I went out just for coffee and cake in her local shopping centre, at a delightful restaurant called The Goat House due to the fact that a goatherd discovered coffee. Then I headed for town.

Continuum takes place every year at the Ether part of the Swanston hotel. I remember when this small conference centre used to be an Asian food court - how things change! I like Continuum and have gone to every one since the beginning; it was a follow up to Aussiecon 3, where I worked on the children's program, and the idea was to train up a new generation of con organisers.

I was on two panels, one on the heroines of YA and the other on the YA writers of Melbourne. Today I have only a reading, assuming anyone turns up(people mostly don't, but you never know). I arrived a litte before the launch of George Ivanoff's new novel, Gamer's Rebellion, which I will be reviewing here as soon as I finish it(nearly finished) and wandered into the dealer's room, where my novel was on Justin Ackroyd's table, so I gave him some bookmarks and more to Chuck McKenzie of Notions Unlimited bookshop, who had some copies of Crime Time on his. (Chuck sold lots of copies of Wolfborn when he was running a Dymock's).

A man near Justin's table made my day by telling me he had just finished Wolfborn and loved it, after his teenage daughter had said,"Dad, you've got to read this!"

Happy sigh!

I had a chat with the folk at the horror fiction table, which was nice, and was asked about ASIM submissions.

The panels went well. I was on the first one with two Amandas - Elliott and Pillar - and David Witteveen. Richard Harland as well, though he came a bit late. Only a few people admitted to reading YA fiction, but when we asked, "Who has read this or that series?" we got most hands up, and there was much discussion. Michael Pryor was in the audience to hear me say one of my favourite YA heroines was his character Caroline in the Laws Of Magic series, who is intelligent, attractive and kickass. Of course, I also like JKR's Hermione, who doesn't need to kick ass, as she uses her brain.

I rushed off for a belated lunch at the Australia Food Court before returning to my next panel, which I did with Paul Collins, Michael Pryor, George Ivanoff and a lady called Amie Kaufmann, whom I had met once before, at Flinders Street station, where she admired my fannish t shirt and told me about her forthcoming novel(not yet available in Oz). Paul was moderating and when the question of "Melbourne influence" came up, I was the only one who could say I had had some Melbourne settings, even if only in my short fiction. There was a lively, if irrelevant, discussion, of what education publishers will censor. I also mentioned a scene in Wolfborn, stolen from Petronius's Satyricon, in which a werewolf, about to change to wolf shape, urinates around his clothes to hide them. I offered to remove it if necessary, but my publisher said it was fine. The audience had a chuckle over that.

Soon after, we were shooed out so that the evening's Maskobalo could be set up, so some of us went upstairs to the bar, then went down the street for dinner at a Greek restaurant, where I chatted wit writer and fellow Year 8 teacher Steve Cameron. We ended up talking teacher shop all through the meal! Steve said we should add it to our PD hours. ;-)

I didn't go back for the Maskobalo, which is good to look at, but far too noisy for my taste. An evening at home was nice.

Back to the con today, ths time for more hours, though I won't be there for long after my reading at five - home to my family, as Sunday is another family evening.
More tonight!


Lan said...

I love these posts of yours. They're so detailed I feel like I'm there with you. Sounds like you had a good time. I can't wait for the day when someone tells me they love my book!

Sue Bursztynski said...

Glad you enjoyed the post, Lan! Maybe you'll consider coming next year, since you live in Melbourne? As for my little bit of ego boo, you do have to actually have a book out to get it ;-) as your pan is to self publish, what are you waiting for? (g)

JKG said...

It's nice to read about a con - and to know that somewhere real cons are still happening. I spent a recent weekend at Supanova in Sydney because a friend asked me and while it was in many ways fabulous - I loved having a friend to go with - I felt very very old. I'm absolutely sure friend got awfully tired of hearing 'In my day....' S'funny - I remember when I was the new breed of fan and now I'm so old I feel like a dinosaur.

Sue Bursztynski said...

Welcome to my blog, JKG. Well, I'm an old-style fan too, and we used to have small conventions with one GoH and an art show. And we all came in hall costumes. These cons do still happen, though the art shows are few and far between and the hall costumes likewise and the masquerades are mostly replaced by a costume party, the Maskobalo. But the spirit is still there, even in a Supanova - no art shows, but the hall costumes are there and the masquerades we used to have are there too, in the form of Cosplay. If you like Terry Pratchett, keep an eye out for the next Nullas Anxietas - those are very old-style cons.