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Aussiecon 4: Day One (Thursday)
So, as briefly mentioned previously, I'm in Melbourne for World Con at the moment, hence the odd date stamps on my journal entries.

I'm not going to go into getting here, as nothing interesting happened. Short flight - very long flight - short flight - shuttle bus ride. The standard travel tale.

I got here earlier enough that I was able to overcome / bypass jet lag by forcing myself to stay up until 8pm local time on the day of my arrival, crashing and sleeping for 11 hours, and waking up at 7am the next morning feeling very well rested and more or less settled on local time. Yay!

The con started today (it's currently 8pm on Thursday evening), but there were only three hours of programming (after the Opening Ceremonies), which surprised me a bit. I didn't go to the opening ceremonies, because I've gone to those twice, at two different cons (Norwescon once, and World Con in L.A.) and didn't find them particularly interesting either time.

I did go to three panels:

Queer representation in speculative fiction: This was pretty interesting. I got the names of a couple of authors to try out, and I was able to recommend Robert Sawyer's Hominids, Humans, Hybrids trilogy. There was also some interesting discussion of how GLBT themes are often used in SF&F to explore gender issues, rather than sexuality/sexual identity/queer issues.

Magic on the mean streets: the city as a fantasy location: I confess, I got bored in this panel. Not that it wasn't interesting, there was just something about the panelists that wasn't very...energetic, to me. Plus, they were talking primarily about cities in a pseudo-medieval (or at least historical) world. I was more interested in an urban fantasy discussion, which this definitely wasn't.

If you wrote it, they wouldn't believe it: The poor panelist for this one got stood up by his three co-panelists, so he was up there alone despite it being his first World Con. I think he held up really well, though. He definitely had some interesting jumping off points for discussion, including breaking "realism" down into plausibility, probability, and causality. I was really interested for the first half the panel, but I guess I only have a certain level of tolerance for academic discussion, because I pulled out a graphic novel and started reading halfway through it. Still, the discussion going on around me was lively.

And that was it for programming, except for one movie was showing, so I packed up, got dinner, and came back to the hotel to chill.


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