Okay, this blog post is a month late, but apparently I'm in the mood today. I don't have a detailed memory so I'll be relying on the con book & twitter to jog my memory. So here we go.
Continuum is the Melbourne speculative fiction convention and was held this year betwen 5-8 June. I attended Continuum X last year, as it was hosting the NatCon, and decided to return this year as the Australian Guest of Honour was Tansy Rayner Roberts who I've had the privilege of getting to know over the last year or two. The International Guest of Honour was Canadian YA author R.J. Anderson (who I'd never heard of but definitely know of now *winks*).
I was coming to this convention already quite relaxed after visiting family. I was prepared to thoroughly enjoy myself. I did. :D
I spent most of Friday afternoon loitering around the foyer and the dealers room, saying hello to friends and pondering what I wanted to attend for the weekend. The first scheduled event I went to was the Opening Ceremony, followed by the Great Debate. The topic was "Time Travel is Terrible and No One Should Do It". After much confusion as to who was negative (pro time travel) and who was affirmative (anti time travel), they got on with it. Some people had clearly prepared very well. Others simply ranted amusingly. Poor R.J. hadn't realised it was a formal debate. The negatives (unprepared but entertaining) were declared the victors. I'm not so convinced. :P After that, I wandered off into the wilds of Melbourne for burgers with a large group. A nice, entertaining but relaxed start to the con.
I started Saturday morning reasonably early, determined to consume some of the excellent programming.
I started off listening to Margo Lanagan and Tansy Rayner Roberts discuss messy emotions in science fiction, whether that be domesticity or romance. Having two people only on the panel, who obviously know each other well made for a lovely chat to listen to. They talked gender, male/female friendship where they don't end up together and the mating habits of anglerfish. Blame Margo.
I made sure to get a good seat of R.J. Anderson's guest of honour speech. She had me riveted from the moment she mentioned her father reading Tolkien and Narnia to her. I can relate! It was one of my first attempts to properly tweet an event. I think I did okay. The speech has been posted at http://www.rj-anderson.com/continuum-11-goh-speech-the-whole-story/
. It was a very moving, personal and hopeful speech. Combining both the bible and The Princess Bride to make a single point made my day and I was almost in tears as she quoted Puddleglum. I really enjoyed the chance to meet R.J. and I plan to try her books soon.
A quick break for lunch and it was the much anticipated (by me) live recording of Galactic Suburbia!. Obviously you can listen to the discussion at http://galactisuburbia.podbean.com/e/episode-121-6-june-2015-live-fro-melbourne/
. I must say though, being able to see Alisa's WTF? face? HILARIOUS!
I seem to have been well scheduled (well, not purposely) as I tended to get an hour break inbetween panels that I wanted to see, which allowed me to wander off and have a little quiet time in my room, recharging my phone and such. But still, soon enough I was off to the Phryne Fisher panel, having fallen in love with the show only about a month before the con. Most of the panel had also read the books, which lead to some interesting dicussion about the differences in characterisation. I was very pleased that there was at least one panellist who had only watched the show like me, though.
Saturday ended with Mexican for dinner and then a retreat to a hotel room with Alex, Alisa, Tehani, Katherine, and later Tansy & R.J. In fact Sunday night was spent the same way. Highlights included an hilarious renactment of the 2014 Hugo Award ceremony and the revelation that Alisa's Hogwarts House was possibly not what she thought it was. ;)
My Sunday started a little later with a panel on the many adaptations of Sherlock Holmes. I found out about a lot of books and TV shows that I'd never heard of. I did feel a little uncomfortable at one point when discussion verged on Steven Moffat bashing (I'm a wee bit sensitive on that topic) but it was quickly hauled back on the topic of perhaps the original fandom.
Next up was Tansy's Guest of Honour Speech, the text of which can be found at http://www.sfsignal.com/archives/2015/06/guest-post-tansy-rayner-roberts-fantasy-female-writers-politics-influence/
It was very Tansy. Thoughtful, intelligent and in the end very positive. Female Fantasy writers have always been here, so lets talk about them!
After lunch I popped by The Writer & The Critic podcast recording for more Tansy & RJ, with added Krstyn & Mondy hilarity. Also, bonus hecklers up the back. ;) I've not read either of the books, but I seem to enjoy books discussion just for themselves, even if I'm not interested in the book.
My evening started with Cranky Ladies of History panel. I toddled off, eager to hear more about some of the ladies who wrote the stories and the ladies who inspired the stories in an anthology that I crowdfunded and fell in love with again when I read it. The world needs more Chinese lady pirates. My evening's entertainment rounded off with SFQI - which was chaotic, but perhaps not as disasterous as I may have expected, though I'm not sure I knew the answers to any questions. The rest of the audience did, though, and in fact often tried to answer before the contestants!
Monday was my Doctor Who day with two panels. One on who the show has changed people's lives and another on the Companions. I can listen to people talk about Doctor Who all day. Alas, very soon I was off to the airport with Tehani (we were on the same flight, bizarrely) and back home to the utter freezing cold that is Canberra right now.
I thoroughly enjoyed the whole weekend. The programming was utterly excellent and the con committee should be very proud of the job they did.