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Maybe I've been holding off on this post, because I just didn't want Loncon to end.

Though by the fifth day [livejournal.com profile] murasaki_1966 and I were just exhausted.

the last two days of Loncon and the last week in London )

Farewell England, we've had a great time.
jack_ryder: (Default)
And so we enter the downhill run - energywise, rather than qualitywise.

The first panel I got to on Sunday was:
Read more... )
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Not quite the full day I would have liked, but out of the three events I attended two were highlights:
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We had a slow start to the morning and managed to get to ExCel in time for the 11 o'clock sessions.
Read more... )
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So we determined the first rule of Loncon at the ExCel Centre pretty early on - get off at the next station.

We arrived early enough to the registration queue to still resemble our photo IDs by the time we reached the desk.

After indulging in a simulation of coffee we split up to attend our different panels. My first panel was
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The ExCel centre is big. Really, really big. You might think the Empire State Building lying on its side is big. And you'd be right. But it doesn't change how big the ExCel centre is - it's just not as big as the Empire State Building lying on its side.

Too scared to find a panel now - I might never be able to return to coffee.

(have made contact with some of the Australian contingent - Ben Peek, Tansy Rayner, Laura Goodin, Lewis Morley & Marian and now [livejournal.com profile] electricant has just shown up - so we are now coordinating.)
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My first full day at Worldcon and the day of my trial by fire - would I be forged by the experience or would I run screaming around the halls smelling unsettlingly of bacon?

We found our way easily to the con, now that we knew the right tram stop. Knowing the right tram stop is like supporting the right AFL team in Melbourne - it can add immeasurably to your experience of the city. At first the stop was not prepossessing . It was outside the World Trade Centre and police station, with suits and uniforms but nary a fannish cladding in sight. But LO! - just behind the police station was a footbridge that lead us straight to our destination!


The first panel of the day was Shaun Tan's presentation of The Lost Thing the computer animated adaptation of his book. The Lost Thing is absolutely, mind bogglingly magnificent - I was so glad to finally see it after missing it at the Sydney Film Festival. It's due out on DVD from Madman in November and I can't wait to get my own copy. It goes without saying that Shaun is an artistic visionary and it's wonderful to have a film that captures his elusive aesthetic so perfectly. Definitely the highlight of the con so far.

[livejournal.com profile] kaaronwarren and Angela Slatter's book launch was great (with additional FREE! HAIGHS! CHOCOLATE!.) I have to pick up Angela's book as soon as she read out her Selkie story. [livejournal.com profile] punkrocker1991 is a publishing (and launching) dynamo. I have to stock up on some Ticonderoga Press books before the con's over.

Launching Dead Sea Fruit and The Girl with No Hands

Kaaron and Angela

Then it came to my baptism of fire - The Lovecraft Dilemma panel with Rob Hood and Paul Poulton. I'd met Paul the day before and caught up with Rob at the book launch, only to find myself thrust into the moderator's role - so it went from being my first time on a con panel to my first time moderating a panel at Worlcon. My jeans are being washed even as I type this. I spent far too much of the panel wrestling with the technology then effectively moderating it - and once the clips were actually visible in the correct aspect ratio, they were too reminiscent of the stygian depths of the Lovecraftian viewpoint to be clearly visible to the audience. Paul and Rob both got some interesting points in (especially as radio being a more effective adapter of Lovecraft than cinema) and I was able to show the Night Stalker clip I wanted. And I got some kind of achievement ribbon for relying on tech too much - so the panel kind of shambled into success.

The Lovecraft Dilemma

(the inevitable fate of all those who immerse themselves in Lovecraft's legacy)


We had an hour before Shaun Tan's Guest of Honour speech, so [livejournal.com profile] murasaki_1966 , [livejournal.com profile] ferkster and I trekked over to the "near by" food court in the basement of Crown Casino.

Shaun Tan's speech was excellent, no surprises there, and he gave a wonderful overview of his artistic progression, from drawing dinosaurs at the age of 6 to the magic and wonder of "The Lost Thing". I found out I might still have the Aurealis that was his first published work.

I hopped next door to George RR Martin's talk on the production of HBO's Game of Thrones. He was unable to show clips (which I kind of expected) but went into some detail about the difficulty of writing for television (after the failure of The Armageddon Rag, he laboured in the tv script mines for a decade) and the specific issues about adapting Game of Thrones. I really can't wait till the HBO series starts - Martin appears to be very happy with it so far.

The last panel of the day was Rob Hood and Robin Pen's Evil Robots panel. Rob was much more dextrous with the av then I was and chose a good selection of clips. Robin added colour commentary and I think the audience would have happily sat through more of it, but it had to be drawn to a close.

Then it was off to dinner with my gaming friends, Melissa and Fraser. Stewart and Warren from Perth came along, and we interrupted dinner to check the Ditmar results, as Stewart's partner, Helen Merrick was nominated for the William Atheling Jr award.

So (belated) congratulations to Helen, but especially [livejournal.com profile] catsparx , Rob Hood , [livejournal.com profile] kaaronwarren and [livejournal.com profile] gillpolack for winning their categories!

And now - off to day 3 of Worldcon
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Phew, we got here.

Mind you the problems didn't start until after we arrived in Melbourne.

We were on a tight schedule - met up with [livejournal.com profile] iwoolf (who was on an earlier flight - unfortunately with Tiger) and Mark (no lj) and [livejournal.com profile] alanbaxter who were on our flight.

The flight was uneventful - [livejournal.com profile] murasaki_1966 and I played Carcassone on the iPhone - which worked well as a travel game.

Our arrival in Melbourne was uneventful (bit of a wait for our second suitcase, but nothing traumatising.) Ran into my friends Cyberkev and Ann from Brisbane (the day was very much like that once we had arrived at Sydney Airport)

And then we went to the Medina Apartments, where we had stayed a couple of years ago when we saw Ian McKellen in King Lear. It was a good location close to the Melbourne Convention Centre - and therefore Worldcon. We were looking forward to dumping our bags and heading off to the launch of gillpolack 's anthology Baggage and on to Worldcon.

Who knew there were two Medina Apartments in Flinders Street?

The one we had stayed at last time (close to the con) and the one we had actually booked ourselves into (between Russell and Exhibition Sts - not close to the con.)

Crap.

Our bloody stuff up

So we missed the Baggage launch - made it to the registration desk (only to find my name - quelle surprise - misspelt on my badge.) Got that corrected, made it to the opening ceremony and on to the first panel (meeting up with [livejournal.com profile] ferkster in the process) on Humour in SF

The balancing act of speculative fiction comedy

(from left to right: Tee Morris, Howard Taylor and Richard Harland)

A highlight was Howard Taylor's line that "steampunk is what happened when goths discovered the colour brown".

A short stint in the Dealers Room where an initial, tentative purchase from the ubiquitous Justin Ackroyd revealed that I had left my debit card at home. I still had a credit card - I was still able to pay for the books (Halting State by Charles Stross and Just Behind You by Ramsay Campbell) but I would not be able get cash out whilst I was in Melbourne.

Fortunately I was intending to stay close to [livejournal.com profile] murasaki_1966 during Worldcon anyway.

I met up with [livejournal.com profile] kylaw and we attended a panel on the Necronomicon, with a wonderful presentation by Leigh Blackmore (ending in Cthulhoid dildos!) and informed commentary from Talie Helene (who told us there are two types of death metal bands - crazy and vegans) and Danny Lovecraft, and uninformed commentary from [livejournal.com profile] chuckmck1

In search of the Necronomicon

(from left: Talie Helene - turning away from the camera, Danny Lovecraft, the irrepressible Chuck McKenzie and Leigh Blackmore)

We managed to assemble a dinner posse (including [livejournal.com profile] ferkster, [livejournal.com profile] jblum, [livejournal.com profile] kylaw and [livejournal.com profile] iwoolf) and went in search of the fabled Automatic cafe.

Which we found after much back tracking (it was right next to Crown Casino, but we couldn't see the name of it from the promenade side. We were halfway to the Arts Centre before [livejournal.com profile] murasaki_1966 checked the address on the iphone.)

Food was consumed and bodies were wearied - so we dragged ourselves back to our (distant) apartment, where I typed up this chronicle of events.

And that was the story of Worldcon Day 1.

Stay tuned for Day 2 where your humble scribe has his first panel. Can he get through it without losing his laptop, breaking a lectern, spontaneously combusting or inciting a riot?

Answers tomorrow!
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jack_ryder: (Default)
Unfortunately my proposed board game panel didn't get up but I am on two movie panels:


Fri 1200 Rm 210: The Lovecraft dilemma; or how to represent the indescribable in cinema

- with Rob Hood and Paul Polton



Sun 1100 Rm 213: Hey boy, hey boy: the innovative world of low budget SF cinema

- with Robin Pen and Grant Watson (aka [livejournal.com profile] angriest  )


Hope to see some of you there.

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