I’ve never successfully managed a con report that did the con any justice, & this will be no exception.
But I do want to list some of the highlights of a busy Melbourne weekend:
* Best highlight ever #1: after not really thinking through the consequence of volunteering for a book signing, I ended up signing during the same hour as Robert Silverberg and Kim Stanley Robinson. This caused me quite a lot of trepidation leading up to the event, but in the end I was saved by some good friends and sympathetic strangers. Damien Warman found me in the corridor and escorted me straight to the room where two vast queues of people were forming — and lead me to my table even though it made him late for a business meeting. This was an awesome kindness.
* Best highlight ever #2: And there, at the front of the queue, holding his elbows out wide to make it look like a bigger queue than it was, was good friend Chuck McKenzie standing faithfully and alone, proudly holding aloft an unsigned copy of A Book of Endings. Perhaps the only copy of A Book of Endings that hadn’t, to that point, been actually signed. Thank the gods for Chuck McKenzie.
* I signed one or maybe two other things, including a copy of Sprawl for someone asking about engineering SF (I wasn’t able to help much, I don’t think), & had another half-hour filled with friends dropping by. And then finally fled to the bar which was, alas, mostly pretty empty.
* Had some great food with some fab people: Greek with Ellen, Kaaron, Rani, Paul, Caroline & Chris; dumplings with Kim; drinks with — well, a lot of people. Also tried out Movida & Cumulus with the bf, on advice from friends. Both were fab. And some cool Melbourne bars: Gin Palace (*love*) and Madame Brussells (*want*) in particular. Plus back to the launch site of A Book of Endings, Cabinet bar, for a re-visit with the goodly Lady Lara.
* This makes it sound like I did a lot more drinking than I actually did — & the next highlight won’t help that impression — but in fact I’m pleased to say I’ve discovered how to exist with my absent gallbladder, & that is by drinking little *alcohol* & lots of soda water. Even when the Hilton is charging over $3 for said soda water.
* None of us shall mention THAT night staying up until 2am (having discovered the pleasures of ‘organic tonic’ … with the occasional gin in it) & learning about the difference between boys and girls (something to do with the way they sweat, ‘pparently. Good. To. Know.).
* Baggage was launched to much applause by Gillian Polack & Jack Dann & Janeen Webb, with several of us signing what felt like a hundred copies, & me accidentally losing the copy Tessa Kum had signed for me in a stack of to-be-sold books. Which was a small problem for me, but a larger one for Tessa, given what she’d *actually* written in that copy. We found it, luckily, & Sir Tessa’s reputation was saved.
* Strange Horizons had a tea party. With real tea. That was awesomeness.
* Was on a marvellous panel with Lucy Sussex, Claire Briarley, Andrew Butler, Lezli Robyn about Great Women in SF. Also did some fun exploring of horror taboos with Jason Nahrung, Cat Valente, Richard Harland. And talked reviews with Martin Livings and Stephen Dedman.
* Came home to get back into the two big writing projects of the moment with re-invigorated optimism: the novel & the story suite. Looking forward to new writing adventures and a new day job.
* That last bit slipped out.