I had a fantastic and satisfyingly exhausting time at Continuum 7 over the long weekend. The panels I saw were entertaining and engaging and Catherynne M. Valente was one of the most gracious and erudite and downright fun-to-be-around Guests of Honour a convention could hope to have. She was also a special guest on The Writer and the Critic podcast that Ian Mond and myself recorded live at the con — it will be available very soon; I just need to get some more sleep before finishing post-production — and one of my team-mates on the Great Debate. Which we won. Immortality for everyone! I also loved the enthusiastic, intelligent and impassioned discussions that took place during almost all of the panels I participated in — among panelists and audiences alike. It’s invigorating and inspiring to be in a room full of people so keen to discuss and debate and contribute. Possibly the highlight of the convention for me was the Dark Delights panel which explored the links between beauty and horror. Kyla Ward performed one of her poems with her usual aplomb and Talie Helene knocked everyone’s socks off with a stunning a cappella rendition of an old ghost ballad. (Talie’s working on an exciting new multi-media project … more details soon.)
Oh, and I won a very pretty Chronos Award for Madigan Mine! Karen Healey‘s Aurealis Award-winning novel, The Guardian of the Dead, was nominated in the same category and I was fortunate enough to meet and have dinner with Karen on the Sunday night. She’s witty and delightful and I’m looking forward to reading her new novel, The Shattering, which is due for release in July. (I was so very good and only purchased that one book at the convention — my To Be Read pile is already structurally unsound!)
The full list of 2011 Chronos Award winners are:
- Best Long Fiction: Madigan Mine, Kirstyn McDermott (Pan MacMillan Australia)
- Best Short Fiction: “Her Gallant Needs”, Paul Haines (Sprawl, Twelfth Planet Press)
- Best Artwork: Australis Imaginarium cover, Shaun Tan (FableCroft Publishing)
- Best Fan Writer: Alexandra Pierce
- Best Fan Written Work: “Review: The Secret Feminist Cabal by Helen Merrick”, Alexandra Pierce
- Best Fan Artwork: Continuum 6 Props, Rachel Holkner
- Best Fan Publication: Live Boxcutters Doctor Who at AussieCon IV, Josh Kinal and John Richards
- Best Achievement: Programming: AussieCon IV, Sue Ann Barber and Grant Watson
I should also remind you that the Conquilt fundraising auction is now up and running on eBay with some impressive early bidding. It’s an amazingly gorgeous quilt — after seeing it on display at Continuum, I’m half-tempted to bid on it myself. Honestly, the photos really don’t do it any justice at all.
I’m already very excited about attending Continuum 8 next year. Not only is the NatCon but it has Kelly Link and Alison Goodman as Guests of Honour. Huzzah!
Finally, on matters unrelated to Continuum, I was interviewed by the Adventures of a Bookonaut blog as part of an ongoing series featuring Australian spec fic authors. The questions were about authors and social media, and I had a lot of fun answering them. Next time you have a few minutes to spare, wander across and have a read. Sean’s blog is a treasure trove of news and reviews and other SF tidbits — well worth following!