Where to Find Me in Melbourne This Coming Weekend

So on Wednesday morning I’m going to be running away to Melbourne for a week. It’s nothing personal against Brisbane – I quite like the place, really – but Melbourne has this habit of kidnapping many of my favourite people in the world and forcing them to, like, live there in the land of good coffee and weather that occasionally acknowledges there are four seasons rather than switching from “hot” to “cold” at some randomly appointed times in the middle of Autumn and Spring. Since a couple of those people are crazy enough to say things like “come stay with us, any time,” I’m taking them at their word and spending a few days inhabiting their spare room.

And then, on Friday, I’ll be heading off to Continuum for a weekend of writer-nerdery and beer.

All of which is really just a set-up for the obligatory “these are the panels I’ll be on at Continuum” post, in case there’s anyone reading this who is interested.

And so, in approximate order:

I Don’t Get It! (Friday 21:00; Venue: Pelham Room): There are certain works of science fiction, fantasy, and horror that all of fandom seems to love…except me. What are these so-called classics? Why don’t I share the love? Is it possible that a lot of people like these things just because they know a lot of people like these things? Who’s missing the point, here – everyone else, or me? Participants: Peter M. BallDeborah BiancottiIan NicholsPatrick O’DuffyAlan Stewart

The Big Bad – Fairy Tale Villains (Saturday 11:00; Venue: Pelham Room): Without them there wouldn’t be any fairytales, and some still haunt us into adulthood. Why do they endure and how do you keep them fresh, relevant and scary? Participants: Peter M. BallNalini HaynesMargo LanaganAngela Slatter

We Want Your Brainz (Sunday 11:00; Venue: Pelam Room): Zombies have taken over in the last 5 years or so and have gone mainstream, but their lore is still being written. How have they changed since the 1970s and what does the explosion of them now say about our present psyche? Could it be a pandemic as recent writers have postulated? And will they ever become sparkly? Participants: Peter M. BallStephen DedmanFelicity DowkerKelly LinkDavid McDonald

Revenge of the Nerds: Fandom in TV and Film (Sunday 15:00; Venue: Lincoln Room): The Big Bang TheoryOutlandCommunityFanboysPaul… After years of being stereotyped bit-parts, suddenly there are a plethora of TV shows and films putting geeks in the spotlight. The new breed of fan characters have individual personalities, interests and character development – but have they escaped the old stereotypes, or has going mainstream just given them a wider audience of mockers? Participants: Peter M. BallCheryse DurrantBen McKenzie

Build it and They Will Come (Sunday 20:00; Venue: Pelham Room): Like any fictional world, the best roleplaying settings have personalities as complex and individual as their characters. Whether it comes from a rulebook, out your head or a combination of both, as a GM how do you imbue your world with life? Participants: Hespa Peter M. BallPatrick O’DuffyDarren Sanderson

It’s an interesting grab-bag of topics, including a lot of stuff I’m passionate about (or, as one of my workmates put it, this is the con that’s probably going to ’cause me to go on blood pressure medication). Fortunately, many of the truly dangerous topics seem to have had some quite interesting discussion via email beforehand, which gives me confidence that I’ll make it through without threatening anyone with death by mind-laser.

That said, Big Bang Theory is problematic as fuck, and I’m sick to death of geeks themselves embracing the archetypes represented as emblematic, so there’s pretty good odds I’ll start swearing about something over the course of the convention.

When not in panels, there’s pretty good odds I can be found in the bar or lingering around the closest source of coffee. The full program is online if you want to stalk track down people who are not me. And, by me, I mean, Kelly Link is at this con, people, and you should totally go bask in her brilliance whenever possible. 

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