Finally the schools are back in session and I have time to write my report on Swancon/Natcon 2011, held in Perth WA. They were kind enough to invite me as their guest and I had the most wonderful time. Not only was the hotel all spanking new and special (Hyatt Perth) with the nicest staff I've ever come across but from the con committee to the WA fandom everyone was just so darn lovely! Was there something in the water? I prefer to imagine all Australians are simply like this and it wasn't all because they had to be nice to me - so nobody shatter my illusions...
Also guest starring there was Ellen Datlow, The Editor (she gets caps for her epic status), who was a teacher of mine back at Clarion West in 1996. We had a lot of fun catching up on old times and making new friends from the Australian community. Since neither of us look a day older than we did in 1996 it's hard to believe we've come so far in our careers :P And appearing with us was the delightful Sean Williams - where has he been...oh, in Australia, right... But for you Ausfans from the UK, mark your calendar for June 4, he and Garth Nix are appearing at Hay-on-Wye. (And I'm there on the 3rd as part of How The Light Gets In!). So don't miss us!
We met up with Aussie horror writer Kaaron Warren and went on an exploratory shopping trip around Perth's antique shops (mostly closed due to holiday weekend alas) but we found the most cute and unusual dresses in one of the weirder stores. If you have been at a loss as to what to do with Auntie Edna's embroidered tablecloths or would like to look cute in unique vintage items check out this lady's designs at Unsunkfunk. For the crazy shoe people in you I also attach this link to Robert Tabor's Site though it has nothing to do with Australia - Ellen this link is specially for YOU!
And lest you think it was all clothesmania, frippery and champagne I can confirm reports that weighty discussions were had about the state of publishing, feminism in SF and all that other interesting jazz, not to mention the late night chinwagging and wine swigging that feeds the soul even as it pickles the liver. More about these meat-feast topics in later blog posts however. For today the children are in school and I have to actually write something....oo novel experience!