So after lunch yesterday, I got back on time for the readings. In the end, we had to read to each other, because nobody turned up till Narrelle Harris came from her panel, followed by others. I ended up sticking around for a panel on historical realism in fantasy, which was a good, lively discussion of what you use and what you cherry pick from history when you write fantasy. Alison Goodman admitted to cherry picking for her fiction, for good reason. She is currently writing something with a Regency setting and has been researching the period thoroughly. There was a lot of talk about standard mediaeval fantasy. Of course, as the author of a mediaeval fantasy I had an interest in this. My novel was what it was because it was inspired by a mediaeval romance I loved and because that's what I know about, not because I thought this was the market. And I researched, even though it was my own universe.
The two anchor figures were Paul Poulton, an old friend from my Austrek days, who is currently studying history, and a young SCAer. The other author was Jane Routley, who said her novels were not mediaeval.
I enjoyed it very much and it was overflowing with audience, some on the floor.
Last night, looking at the program for today, I suddenly realised I had a panel at 10 this morning! It was on the subject of dark YA. Whatever did I have to say about that?
I was with Richard Harland, Amanda Pillar and a guy called Ander Louis, who has just self published his first YA novel, apparently dark. I haven't yet read Richard's new novel, Song Of The Slums, which is sitting on my cyber bookshelves, but I gather that has some dark in it too. We discussed what you can and can't put in YA or just how far you are willing to go. As my novel isn't especially dark, despite one scene with the Wild Hunt, I wore my teacher librarian hat for this one and stuck to what kids read, what they ask for and some of the truly dark stuff that has turned up on the CBCA short list.
It was an enjoyable panel, with much audience participation, and after that I bought a couple more books from the dealer's room - the Joanne Anderton collection from Fablecroft, which includes the title story, which she had originally in Light Touch Paper, and the Alison Goodman novel originally published in the US and now republished by Lindy Cameron's Clan Destine Press. Yesterday I bought a collection of true crime stories from them, with some of Australia's top crime writers in it, and going for $5!
Then I went to the panel on watching the new Doctor Who, which I enjoyed very much, and followed it up with one on British TV SF and fantasy of the 1980s. Amazing how much there was!
I had lunch with my old friends Kathryn Anderson and Sarah Murray-White, both from my days in media fandom.
After lunch I was on two panels, one on dystopias and finally one on reviewing. I finally got to meet Tsana Dolichva, a book blogger currently studying in Sweden, but home for six weeks, and put a face to a name, and Michelle Goldsmith was with me on the reviewing panel; both have given lovely reviews to Wolfborn, so that was nice. I have actually accepted a story by Michelle for ASIM 60, making it four local pieces so far. I need more!
I've overdone the SF so far and have enough horror fiction for now, so I am having to go for fantasy in the interests of balance.
That was the final panel and we waited a while for the closing ceremony, where it was announced that next year's Continuum will be the Natcon and the GoHs would be, local, Ambelin Kwaymullina, author of The Interrogation Of Ashala Wolf, and, international, Jim Hines, a writer of humorous fantasy who has been published in ASIM and some of whose novels are in my library. The kids enjoy them very much. Nice to see both guests are writers of YA fiction, or at least fiction that teens can enjoy!
After the closing ceremony was over, I went for tea and a bowl of wedges with Helna Binns, a friend from my Austrek days, and we chatted about the new Trek movie - a pleasant end to an enjoyable convention.