Sunday, September 19, 2010

AussieCon 4 or the 68TH Annual Science Fiction Convention

This year WorldCon came to Australia. I almost missed it, but in the end I made it. And I am so glad that I did.

I arrived early in Melbourne on the Thursday--the day WorldCon started. I went down to the Crown Plaza (Party Central) to meet up with fellow Supernatural Undergrounders Carrie Vaughn and Nicole Murphy. We’d arranged a book signing for Nicole and Carrie at the local independent bookstore Rendezvous Romance. Mirna from the store greeted us and we chatted with some of the customers before heading off to lunch as a lovely little cafĂ©.

After lunch we went down to register for the con. The convention centre was huge. Nicole had left early as she had a reading to go to, but Carrie and I registered and got our bag of goodies. There were a few things to have a look at while I waited for Erica Hayes, my roomie for the weekend, to arrive. She was to give a reading that evening which turned out to be quite interesting to say the least. While I waited I ran into another of the Supernatural Underground, Helen Lowe. It was great to meet the SU girls in person.

The weekend was a fabulous whir of panels, readings and socialising. The dealer room had lots of goodies for sale and art to view. I got to catch up with some old friends such as Sofia and Mark from Galaxy Books in Sydney and met several new booksellers as well. Australia is a big country in size, but a small one in population and I was surprised by how many people I knew as I walked around.

One person I was really looking forward to meeting was fantasy legend, George RR Martin. The first time I saw him, I got complete overcome with fan girlishness that I could not even speak. Carrie had given me permission to drop her name should I run into him, given that they live close. I finally got the chance to meet him at the Voyager party on the Friday night.  He was very nice and I held my hand – I was thrilled and refrained from asking THE question (those of you who follow the Song of Ice and Fire know what that question is). It was announce at the party that Voyager UK and Voyager Aus/NZ was teaming up with Eos Books to form a global imprint – Harper Voyager. An exciting piece of news which will be very interesting to watch.

There were a few of “purist” that thought any vampire other than Dracula is was fluffy and rubbish and the only urban fantasy is the type written by Charles De Lindt. And there seemed to be no distinction between urban fantasy and paranormal romance – it was all put in the PR basket unless of cause it was written by De Lindt. But on the whole it was a fabulous and positive experience and most people I met were friendly and open. So check out some on the pics from the con below.

Storm Trooper Alert

My fabulous editor Diana Gill and moi

Me with Jack Dann (center) and friend

Helen Lowe, Me and Erica Hayes

OMG - me and Geroge R.R. Martin

a Panel on Romance and Fantasy - L to R me, Nicole Murphy, Darlene Marshall and Fiona McIntosh
Nightmare Ball costumes- me, Erica Hayes, Helen, Eleni and Alison

Carrie Vaughn, me and Nicole Murphy

Sofia and Mark of Galaxy Books - packing up to go home.

Past Hugo Award statues


nymfaux said...

Sounds like a blast!!!!

Darlene Marshall said...

Thanks for posting the great pix! That's the first one I've seen from the Fantasy and Romance panel.

Merrie Destefano said...

I'm so glad you got to go to the conference, Tracey! And I am continually impressed by what fabulous authors live in Australia. Wow. Your is a country rich in story tellers!

I'm also really excited about Eos becoming Voyager. I can't wait to see what opportunities that will bring to all of the wonderful authors in Aussie.

Wish I could have been there to hang out with you!


Helen Lowe said...

Tracey, It was a blast to see you in person at Worldcon. We must do it again soon! And the HarperVoyager news was exciting--although I confess I will miss "the goddess of the dawn" (Eos) just a little!

Patricia Lynne said...

reading about all these cons really makes me want to go to one! I need to find a list or something and see if there are any close ones I can manage to get to (comic con would be ideal of course) and drag my boyfriend to. lol *evil laughter*

Nicole Murphy said...

Now, Tracey, I think you should be honest about the extent to which you stalked poor George. Also, come clean - have you washed the hand yet?

It was fabulous fun to hang out with fellow PR/UF girls (sorry I didn't get a chance to catch up with you much Helen) and to do what we could to educate people to the great and glorious that is paranormal romance and urban fantasy

Tez Miller said...

He's wearing a hat - so awesome! :-)

Midnyte Reader said...

Wow, sounds like you had an amazing time. Thank you for sharing!

Manda said...

This isn't the first time I've wished I lived in Melbourne. Glad it was a fun time for you!

Tracey O'Hara said...

Nymfaux - it was a fabulous time - especially the Nightmare ball and stalking George.

Darlene - it was a great panel - and a great mix of penalists. You did a great job of moderating.

Tracey O'Hara said...

Merrie - thanks sweetie - and yes there is definately some great story tellers down here. :)

Tracey O'Hara said...

Helen - I agree - we just have a short jump over the ditch. And yes I will always have a special spot in my heart for the Eos name too.

Tracey O'Hara said...

Patrica - Comic Con is a dream of mine. Our cons downunder are tiny compared to the ones in the US

Tracey O'Hara said...

Nicole - it as great to hang out with you too. As always.

Tracey O'Hara said...

Tez - you should see the suspenders :)

Tracey O'Hara said...

Thanks for visiting Midnyte Reader. We did have fun.

Tracey O'Hara said...

Manda - Melbourne is one of my very favorite cities and any excuse to spend some time there is great. :)

Eleni Konstantine said...

Hey Tracey, so glad to catch up with you for a second time this year. And to catch up with Erica too and meet Carrie and Nicole *waving to all*.

And go to the Nightmare ball. If you don't mind, I'm going to copy that piccie.;)

I love your George photo. That is soooo cool.

Of course meeting your editor in person would have been a buzz too.

I really enjoyed the panel on romance and fantasy.

Sharon S. said...

That is great that you guys got to hang together. Maybe next you can suggest a panel to educate people on the difference between PNR and UF . Thanks for posting the pics.

Crystal @ RBtWBC said...

Wow, that looks like a lot of fun. I've noticed whenever storm troopers show up in pics it was a blast. Thanks for sharing! =)