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Night Shade Message Boards » Tambour, Anna » Chickens and donkeys at Conflux 2005 in Canberra « Previous Next »

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AnnaT
Posted on Wednesday, April 27, 2005 - 05:58 am:   

"Raising Poultry Successfully" went to a sf/fantasy con, and enjoyed the attention it got, especially when a prospective reader opened it to "Hen Physiology". It was covered with a laser-print of the cover of Spotted Lily, which added up to the best approximation of the novel that I could do, not having a copy myself.
And four-leggeds had a session all to themselves at this con in the fascinating horse session, "Fact and Fallacies for your Fantasy Bike" run by Kaaren Sutcliffe, Maxine McArthur, and Karen Miller. Being far more lowlife than that, I had to strike a stand for donkeys, and found other peasants like me there, too. As Edwina Harvey subsequently said, "Naturally, an SF con was the last place I expected to discover a fellow donkey enthusiast...wonder if I should go to more 'donkey dos' in the hope of contacting other SF fans?"
There's more enthusiasms than we ever admit. I wonder whether the next con will have a session on Writing Fiction with Medlars that Grabs.
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Vera Nazarian
Posted on Thursday, April 28, 2005 - 08:18 pm:   

*grin*

Sounds Like you ahd a fun convention! Tell us more!

What panels were you on?
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AnnaT
Posted on Friday, April 29, 2005 - 04:06 pm:   

"Humour in speculative fiction--the darker side of light", a terror-inducing topic, but Chuck McKenzie and Stu Barrow made it work.
Thanks to Ben Peek, you can read snapshots of both.
http://www.tabula-rasa.info/Snapshot/ChuckMcKenzie.html
and
http://www.tabula-rasa.info/Snapshot/StuartBarrow.html
Someone said that some panels get hogged by panelists talking about themselves, but I was the only person to wave my books (real and fowl-hearted) around in either session. Chuck never even mentioned his sci-fi comedy "Worlds Apart".

The other session that I was on was "Writing short fiction--from structure to markets".Deborah Biancotti
http://www.tabula-rasa.info/Snapshot/DeborahBiancotti.html
ran it smooth as milk. It was great to meet the other panelists, too: Rjurik Davidson and Kate Eltham.
Again, much modesty there from other panelists, though Rjurik's story "Passing of the Monitaurs" was featuring in SciFiction as we spoke.
http://scifi.com/scifiction/originals/originals_archive/davidson/index.html

And the other panels were also peopled by the modest and the interesting. I didn't see one panel hog, and there was quite a lot of floor interaction invited in most that worked. Last year I thought that questions and comments from the floor could be problematical when there were people who wanted to be panel hogs, but instead were allowed to be floor hogs, but I saw none of that this year.

But I'll ask a question about the thing that fascinates me about these cons. What makes 'fans' go to these things? I find them fascinating. They are the most diverse collection of experts and enthusiasts in just about everything, it seems, and I certainly will never be in another panel where I'm pressed to recommend books. The 'floor' was filled with people who must do nothing else but read, but the crazy thing is that that's wrong. They, many of the ones I spoke to, have much fuller lives than, dare I say it, many fat-arsed white-page fixated writers (myself included). But the details must be pried out of the 'fans' because, well, they're fans (and they don't seem to mind this self-effacing label). Curious.
I went to my first con last year, and this was only my second, so I have to admit that I'm not sure what cons are for, and why people go to them. That said, I did have lots of fun when I stopped being terrified of being with humans, and I could grip a water glass to stop my hands shaking.
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Vera Nazarian
Posted on Friday, May 06, 2005 - 07:44 pm:   

You know, why do fans go to cons is a great question, and I had no idea until I attended a whole bunch. Fans -- or "fen" as they like to be called -- have their own social circles and for the most part, going to cons for them means to hang out with each other. Not to meet authors/media stars or attend panels, or whattever fannish activity we may think. For many fen the parties after the "regular" daytime hours and even the ordinary daily activity of running the con is what's the fun part, the social interaction part.

All the other stuff (including the con guests and program participants) is merely icing on the cake.

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