Saturday, September 11, 2010

Late-running Worldcon Update

Thanks to the need to dive straight back into work, I'm about a week behind everyone else on the Worldcon round-ups. The Melbourne get-together for the sci-fi, fantasy and horror community was my first big convention, but more importantly my first chance to meet in the flesh a whole swathe of people I've worked with for months or even years over the Internet.

As a result, I didn't get to go to too many of the panels that were on offer - far too busy chatting - but highlights included the Australian Horror Writers' Association Nightmare Ball and the erotic fiction panel, which threw up enough smut and catchphrases to last a whole bunch of gutter-minded writers for days.

There's a danger with postings like these that they turn into huge lists... but since I can't think of a way to avoid that particular pitfall, I'm just going to jump straight in.

Top names I met for the first time included my co-editor Amanda Pillar (and fellow magazine writer Tom!), Doctor Who scribe Dave Hoskin, AHWA critique group members Marty Young, Mark Farrugia, Jason Crowe, Jules Bathory and Dom Davidson, US editor Jennifer Brozek, Ticonderoga Publications' Russell B Farr and writer Alan Baxter. That's not to mention the large number of writers from Scenes From the Second Storey, which had its launch on the Saturday morning - a big cheer for Paul Haines, Kirstyn McDermott, Andrew J McKiernan, Martin Livings, Trent Jamieson, Stephen Dedman, Robert Hood, Kaaron Warren, Cat Sparks and Felicity Dowker (whose command of innuendo is at least as broad and comprehensive as my own).

With Amanda Pillar at the Nightmare Ball

Felicity Dowker and Alan Baxter

My alter-ego for the evening...

Jason Crowe, sans chaps

Marty Young, outgoing (as in departing. And not shy) President of the AHWA

Jennifer Brozek

The launch of Scenes from the Second Storey: (from left) Paul Haines,
Kaaron Warren, Kirstyn McDermott, Robert Hood, Cat Sparks

Scenes launch: Paul Haines, Kaaron Warren, Kirstyn McDermott

launch: Kirstyn McDermott, Robert Hood

Scenes launch: Andrew J McKiernan, Stephen Dedman, Martin Livings

The con was also an opportunity to see Ian Mond (who I've not seen in at least a year) and Robert Shearman, who I've not seen in even longer - fine fellows both and whom I really should catch up with more often than I do. Perth spec-ficcers Alisa Krasnostein and Shane Jiraiya Cummings were also in attendance, neither of whom I've seen since... oh Swancon 2009, probably.

As well as the launch of Scenes (buy it here!), the con also saw a couple of my stories get into print elsewhere. Sprawl is now available to buy from here, and ASIM issue 46 can be purchased here. It's always nice to have something to spruik...

Which leads us nicely to the Ditmars. While I didn't win the award for which I was nominated (congrats to Peter M Ball for taking that one out), it was great to see Scenes alumni Cat, Robert and Kaaron score one each, and Paul land two gongs to himself. Big congrats to all four of them. For me, the nomination alone ought to open some doors, so I'm pleased with that. Thanks to everyone who turned out to vote!

Meanwhile, one of my goals for the con was to sort out some kind of representation, but either I was looking in the wrong places or all the agents attending were hiding out in secret locations. A little disappointing, but on the flipside I've widened my circle of writerly pals no end, and the mere act of spending time with them has given my creativity a much-needed kick up the arse. I've set myself a number of deadlines for various upcoming publications, kicking off with a story due at the end of the month.

So I should probably get my finger out and start on that.