Natcon/Continuum X

This was the tenth Victorian Science Fiction Convention in the Continuum series. It was also the 2014 Australian Science Fiction National Convention which hosts the national awards. Apart from the technical and annoying problem of not having a central screen in the big room which left the audience and the presenters relying on two small screens to either side during the plenary sessions, I enjoyed yet another Continuum.

My enjoyment of this con was greatly enhanced by three factors:

Jim C Hines[1] The Guests of Honours were all lovely people – Danny OZ and Sharon Mosely, Ambelin Kwaymullina, and Jim C Hines (photo – hamming it up for the Kaffe Klatsch with non-alcoholic Ginger beer). The Australian Science Fiction Foundation also awarded the A Bertram Chandler award for contributions to Australian SF to Danny Oz. He was so gob smacked!

Continuum X[2] It was the tenth Continuum, and after talking with one of the event organisers and sending her a photo of all my T-shirts, they realised that there were people out there, like me, who had been supporting the con since the beginning. I have never actually been on a panel or ‘done’ anything, but I have paid my money and come along to every single one of them. Because of me they decided to reward us. I have never been rewarded for things like that before, and I’m thrilled both at getting the badge, but also at making it happen for other people.

[3] AND I launched my very own novel! NIL BY MOUTH is now available from Amazon or direct from the publisher –

I had an absolute ball. People were soo kind and encouraging and actually seemed to like it. George Ivanoff, an author I really admire, was asked to present it, and he genuinely seemed to love it. The people in the pictures are in order: George, Me, Stephen Ormsby (publisher). Photos were taken for me by Jean Weber (who also set up my web site).

LynC book launch LynC book launch

Apart from those three things, I got to spend time with lots of my friends, although – as usual – not as much as I’d have liked. I spent far too much at both the auction and in the dealer’s room. I would have spent more on food, except Paul Collins very generously shouted me a meal when the place we found ourselves at wouldn’t take credit card for the small amount I wanted to eat. I’d had a very large afternoon tea on that day – a High Tea at the Windsor, compliments of David Russell – and only needed a small amount of food to have my medication with, but by this time I was down to a few dollars in cash.

One of the things Jim C Hines and I share is our diabetes, but unlike me, he has a terrible time controlling his BGL at cons, and I’m at my best there. I really enjoyed the small amount of time I was able to snatch with him. I didn’t really get to any panels till after my launch, which wasn’t till the Monday morning, but those I did get to – apart from the technical hitch I’ve already mentioned – were well prepared, and ranged from the hilarious to the seriously esoteric and interesting.

I have, as usual, already signed up for next year.

I will only say one thing about the actual awards ceremony – not the results – there are plenty of places for you to get those, but about something which I think should go down in fannish legend.

There were over 300 eligible works for the Short Story category of the Chronos Awards, only one of which received more than the minimum number of nominations (4). This was George Ivanoff’s story “Fairy Pie”. It was really hard to get hold of, and in an anthology with a pink cover featuring two little girls in party dress. This did not fill me with a great desire to read, quite the opposite, in fact. I was surprised. All the stories were of a high quality, and George’s was not girly at all, being the story of an ogre with a penchant for fairy pie. I did actually vote for it, but the great voting public decided with a choice of only one story or ‘No Award’ to give it to ‘No Award’. George as one of the MCs for the award ceremony (the other was Narelle Harris – another great Australian Author) had the task of handling this slap in the face. He and Narelle came up with a brilliant expose of the useless ‘No Award’ failing to make the ceremony because he was in hospital in Barcelona suffering from acute sunburn. What could have been very awkward became the running joke of the night. They were brilliant and George was so magnanimous in defeat.

And this is the guy who loved my book and enthusiastically presented it!! I just can’t get over it.