Saturday, June 30, 2007

Alien Conspiracy Exposed!

The convention gets underway at the
Opening Ceremonies on Friday night

Wellington was the site of this year's national SF convention. The guests of honour included sci-fi and fantasy writer Eric Flint, comics author and artist Dylan Horrocks, cyber punk author Marianne de Pierres, fantasy writer Isobelle Carmody and web comic author Fred Gallagher (aka Piro). Fan GoH was Barbara Clendon of Barbara's Books.

It started out friendly enough...but then things went sour

In what was a major revelation that threatened to destabilise our society, the Convention Conspirators announced to a stunned audience that aliens were in fact real and that they had been invited to the Con. Moments later, each con-goer was joined in the seat next to them by a bubble-eye creature. Although startled, SF/Fantasy fans tend to be open-minded sorts and they extended their hands in friendship. Unfortunately the aliens consider it a major insult to perform this physical act, and some of them responded by vaporising the offending parties. While this put a slight damper on the Con, all was forgiven when the aliens promised to put on a sparkly light show that was guaranteed to dazzle the con-goers. Hmmm...sparklies.

Programming at the con was full of interesting subject matter, ranging from writer's workshops to radio-controlled battle tanks. It offered a good mix from several sub-genres that would appeal to a broad fan base.

Unfortunately, you cannot attend everything, but the events I did attend were very enjoyable. I particularly liked Dylan's mini-workshop on drawing, as it has since gotten me off my arse and I have taken up artistic endeavors again after a long pause. Also of mention were two panels that took me by surprise: Alan Robson's Handle on Heinlein and Geographies of the Imagination presented by Russell Kirkpatrick. I have a renewed interest in picking up some Heinlein after Alan's talk, and I was simply fascinated by the darker side of maps as revealed by Russell. Ross's Across the Tasman was an excellent bridge to learning more about SF/Fantasy fandom goings-on in Oz, and his quiz was (as usual) a good opportunity for all of us finally have a use for all that carefully-accumulated useless knowledge about all things fantastic.

Great costumes--well done!

Special events included a costume contest, where the audience members were also required to wear masks (or be forced to wear a government-provided 'silly mask'...I brought my own). The costumes, though perhaps few in number, were all of very high quality and imaginative. It was also nice to see so many young people in the contest, and at the Con in general. The future generation of Fans...

Some people improvised with newspaper when it came to the masks.
Others killed cows and took their heads, which seemed rather drastic at the time.

Lastly, of most special note was the announcement of the winners of the Sir Julius Vogel Awards. There were many great nominees and the suspense was huge. Unfortunately, I don't have all the information in front of me about who won! But, look for that to be added as an edit to this post very soon.

No comments: