Natcon 2012 Rocked Socks

I’m not good at post-con blogs, but I must blog about Natcon 2012 because otherwise I’d fail to acknowledge the fantastic people that are Australian Speculative Fiction. Yes, you know who you are. Everyone who was there. And you folks who couldn’t make it but wanted to. Etc.

Everyone I met was friendly and nice; my hair and hat received a zeppelin of compliments that should ensure their floatation until next June. The hat is safely away in the cupboard. I’m just a little grumpy with it, but haven’t even waved a bread knife at it yet.


No one was too friendly, except the cab driver who took me back to my hotel after midnight on Sunday morning. He was disturbingly enamoured with how deeferent my hair was to the point of being a beet creepy. But he let me out of the cab with all strands, ribbons and other accoutrements intact.

The niceness of con-goers is a special phenomenon, and I could wonder if everyone is nice because they want other people to like them and their work. But I don’t think that’s true, because not everyone creates work. I think a common love of genre is behind the spirit. I’ve heard someone else say it’s because we’re all fans at heart.

I wish I could bottle the convention spirit and spread it through the atmosphere, because it’s a spirit I’ve never found anywhere else. It seems to epitomise the opposite of hostility and war.

Maybe this is what religious people love about their spirituality, but I’ve been to churches and never felt anything akin to the enjoyment of hanging out at a convention.

I have been to literary nights and witnessed aggressive debates, which fell into name-calling and abuse, and to some extent I’d like to see more debate at conventions, without name-calling. Maybe I should attend more panels and debates…

There was a debate or two, wasn’t there? That might be a place for me to start. Scratch that last para.

I’m glad that I’m still making friends on Twitter with people I saw at Natcon, like Nalini Haynes, who I didn’t bump into at the con though I saw her on a panel. Social media is great for that. By the time I see her at the next con it’s very likely we’ll be friends.

There was a slight dissonance, I found, when talking to faces I’d never seen clearly before. I had to remind myself, for example, that Sean Wright had admired my tomatoes a year ago as a Twitterpic; although I’d never seen his face we’d shared many exchanges and I consider him a friend.

There’s not much else to say. I had a top time and got a great idea (The Fairytale Villains and Short Story panels inspired this) which I’ve launched into.

It might be worth noting that I found the best spot in the WHOLE con on Sunday. It was, what I came to think of as, Jo Anderton’s chair by the fire. That girl is a clever cookie.

Enough rambling. I am sooooo sick. And I keep getting sicker. This con lurgy is bad news. Perhaps they are testing biological weapons on us in an attempt to exterminate nerds. What a stagnant world it would be then.

So thanks heaps to the organisers and all the volunteers, and the dear waitress and maître d who worked their arses off to keep the hoard fed, coffeed and boozed.

I can’t wait until the next Natcon, and will drag more GCSpeckies with me if at all possible.

Until then, I’ll see you in the social media sphere.

Helen Stubbs

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11 thoughts on “Natcon 2012 Rocked Socks

      1. It’s the way I spell it, anyhow.

        It came north with many of us and went west and east and is now spread across Australasia. It’s a pig of a virus because it takes a couple of days to revv up, so you think you’re fine. Well, not fine, just not very sick.

    1. This reply might end up in the wrong place. Yes, Gillian, that is exactly how this lurgie took me…seeming mild at first, then worse and worse. Publishing my Natcon blog seemed to trigger the recovery phase.

  1. I was immune to the con lurgy, luckily! It was great to meet you Helen, I’m so glad you popped over and said hello. It is hard to get around all the people… and the panels. Just not enough time. I never managed to say hello to Nalini either… so hard to match names to faces sometimes.

    1. Hi Bren, it was great to meet you, too. We had a jolly chat by the bar. By the way, I enjoyed and shared your link to The Dreams and Fears of Children. Looking forward to catching up with you in the future, my famous friend:)

  2. Sorry to hear you got the Con lurgie. I think I needed a few more days to get around and introduce myself to twitter peeps. I wish I had been more compos mentis, but sleeping at the back packers (and spending late nights at the bar) meant I was struggling to stay awake.

    I echo your recall of the spirit of the convention. I think its what generally happens when you get people together whose focus is to celebrate an recognise.

    1. Hi Sean, I hope you’ve caught up on lost sleep…my backpackers was noisy, too, and I was cold! But it was only one night for me, so I survived quite chirpily.

      1. Much colder at home. I found that with the room full at the back packers, that there was a fairly even heat.

    1. Hi Jen, it was great to meet you, too. I’m intrigued by the north and your haunting creation/interpretation of Australian mythology. I’d like to read more of your work about it. “Wetlands” sounds so good — . In fact I just bought a copy of “Mythic Resonance” from Specusphere because it looks fantastic. Here, if anyone wants to find out more. I stole this from Jen’s blog: “Wetlands is set in the surrounds of a uranium mine. How does such a mine affect the flora and fauna in such a vulnerable ecosystem? I asked. And what could the consequences be?” I can’t wait to find out.

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