Back from the West Coast

I’ve been in Perth for the last four days, having a very nice time at the fiftieth National Science Fiction convention. Generally I’m not good with the con-report type things, since I get frustrated by my inability to summarize things, and so come up with glib one-line descriptions like awesome, with too much curry, which, yes, does encapsulate my con experience, but doesn’t really describe it in any adequate manner.

It’s not actually hard to explain why I enjoy Cons. About twenty-five minutes into Amanda Palmer’s Berlkee Music Clinic recording she launches into a description of the life most artists and musicians dream about – something akin to Paris in the twenties where you could wander down to the west bank and step into a bar and immediately be surrounded by like-minded artists and thinkers who are happy to see you. She theorizes that most artists aren’t really interested in money or success so much as the wine moment where you all come together. SF cons, for me, are exactly this experience. Probably because I spend most of the time in a bar. The side-effect of the experience is a general reluctance to try and codify it afterwards, because writing it up means letting the moment slip through your fingers. It means acknowledging that it’s over and the dayjob is back, and your life is once again filled with washing up and noisy neighbours and the demands of paying rent, and the closest your going to get to finding all these people you love in a bar is getting on twitter at an opportune moment when everyone is busy chatting.

So Swancon was awesome, and involved a great deal of curry. Perth seems like a very nice city – at least, the two blocks of it between my hotel and the Con did – and the people where phenomenal and the panels I attended where generally interesting and frequently spawned even more interesting conversations in the bar afterwards. I accumulated too many books, as is my wont, and only drank a little more than I intended to once. The high point, if I need have one, was probably this:

Why yes, that is a shiny new Eclipse 4 sitting on top of my bookhaul from the con, which may very well be the most awesome anthology I’ve ever had the privilege of being in.

  3 comments for “Back from the West Coast

  1. 27/04/2011 at 6:46 PM

    At least you didn't have to torture yourself from afar – would have loved to be at the panels some were tweeting from.

  2. 27/04/2011 at 6:56 PM

    The panels were cool, but the arguments in the bar (and on twitter) that occurred in the aftermath of the panels were often the highlights for me.

  3. Flinthart
    29/04/2011 at 9:25 PM

    I believe I called the Con scene my own 'Moveable Feast'. Which just shows I read more Hemingway than I listen to Amanda Palmer.

    Thanks for being on the menu, comrade.

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