Friday, 3 September 2010

Worldcon - day 2

Today was almost my first full day at Aussiecon. I had intended being there for the first panel of the morning but I do like my sleep. As it was I only missed the first 30 minutes of the Galactic Suburbia podcast recording. I'll just have to download the podcast next week and listen to the full show. What I did see was pretty good though. Galactic Suburbia is a weekly SF news, events and book review podcast with slight emphasis on feminist issues. I've met a couple of the woman on the podcast over the last couple of days and only confirms my suspicion that people in SF are just nice people.

Alisa, Alex and Tansy.

Speaking of good people. The thing at the top of my list of things to do today was John Scalzi's book signing. Straight after Galactic Suburbia I dutifully joined the queue for John (as opposed to the queue for the john). We were only allowed two books at at time. I had six and a chapbook so I had to go around 3 times. The length of the queue had me doubting I could get around the queue more than once in the allotted hour. In the end though, no worries.
I'm a regular reader of John's blog and he comes across as a nice guy. After today I am pretty sure that what you see is what you get. John is a good guy and a gentleman. I wonder how he and other pros put up with the teeming hordes. All those fans with an entitlement complex. So far this weekend the only people I've seen with any sort of attitude have been one or two of the fans. I can't say it enough. John is a legend. Even if he did slightly, ever so slightly, poke a hole in the title page of The Ghost Brigades as he was signing it. And speaking of signing, each inscription was personalised and funny. Awesome job John. God, I'm gushing like a fan boy. Like a fan boy? I must admit those long leather trench coats half the other fan boys are wearing (Matrix anyone?) are starting to look real good now.

As you can see above the queue for Scalzi was enormous. Counting me, who stepped out of line to take this picture, there were three of us. See how glum John looks for the meagre turn out. Okay, okay not really. We were the last fans left in the queue and John very kindly posed that way for me. Told you, good guy.

Apparently by mutilating my book John has increased its value. He is helpfully noting where he holed the page for future reference.

Just because I just can't get enough Scalzi, immediately after the signing with John I attended a panel with uber geek Cory Doctorow, George Ivanof and John Scalzi. I swear I'm not stalking you John. It was way too presumptuous of me to attend this panel considering the stage of my career I am at, Making a living: Professional writing for speculative fiction authors. But how often am I going to be able to attend a panel with Scalzi and Doctorow on it at the same time? Still, they covered a lot of ground and it was informative, entertaining and fascinating. I loved Cory getting off topic and going off on one of his DRM rants.

Cory Doctorow

It is just one thing after another at Worldcon. As soon as the last panel finished I raced into the book signing room again with my copy of Perdido Street Station clutched in my sweaty hand to join the queue for China Mieville. China's queue was even longer than Scalzi's. I'm glad I only had one Mieville book to sign because I doubt I would be able go around twice this time in an hour. That and Mieville writes door stoppers. I doubt I could carry more than one. As it was I was able to go around twice. The second time just to get a photo with China. As I told him, if it ain't on my blog it didn't happen.

The Mieville queue was quite long. You really don't have that long to wait. Once you get chatting with someone else time flies. The queues for the book signings are good places to meet people. Lets face it it doesn't matter how some people look we're all here for the same thing. We're all fans. For that reason we all have at least one thing in common. These are my people. There is something comforting in that. In the Mieville queue I was pretty much close to dead last so it may have taken close to an hour to get to the table. I think I must have stepped through some time portal because it really didn't seem to take the best part of an hour.

For what it is worth I think his book The City & The City, a Hugo finalist this year, is my pick for the best novel. It is an amazing read. I'm not the only one that think this way. In a later panel, the Mystery panel - I'll get to that later, TC & TC was mentioned and you could even hear the enthusiasm in the voices of seasoned pros when they talk about it.

Room 201, where all the book signings take place, is also the fan lounge and coffee area and it is where the Kaffeeklatsches also take place. The picture below is a couple of Kaffeeklatsches in session and beyond that is part of the dealers room.

Finally there was enough of a break in the program, as far as I was concerned, to go for lunch. So it was over to Crown Casino again. I should go for a gamble one of these days. But no, it is safer just going for a feed. I've said it before, but books are my crack. The last thing I need to do is start losing money at the tables. And hey, with a kid on the way I have to show at least some responsibility. Gambling is boring anyway. This time lunch was a crappy pork sandwich. Nothing really wrong with it. Too big if anything. The iced coffee was pretty good though.

This post is getting too long. I think I'll stop here and write up the afternoon's panels in the next post. Stay tuned.


  1. Ha! That's me standing above the horns in the Scalzi line, I did the smart thing and sat off to the side until the line was down to the end before getting my four books signed. Have to agree, the guy was super nice and totally cool with the geeking out fans.

  2. Hey Jebus.

    I was thinking what horns?... ah those horns. I kept running into the dude with the viking helmet everyday after that. He was another bloke that confirmed what I now think is a truism that sci-fi people are nice people. Actually every time I queued in autograph queues the people I chatted with were pretty cool.