Next weekend I’ll be at my very first Science Fiction Convention – Continuum X: Carnival of Lost Souls, in Melbourne. Although I’ve always loved reading Science Fiction, and now writing it, I’ve never been to one, as we’ve always lived in remote, and now rural, Australia.
It’s really interesting when you tell people that you’re going to a Science Fiction Convention. The first thing they do is look at you in a funny way, and then say something like: “Oh..and you’re, you know…is that…are you going to take any pictures?” Which really means: “So, are you going to dress up? And if you do, what kind of weird, kooky costume are you going to wear? I didn’t know you were like THAT.” Most peoples’ image of a Sci-fi convention is the costumes we see on the news, and not the panels, discussions, readings or other stuff that actually goes on.
This is what Continuum’s website actually says: ‘
Am I supposed to dress up? do I have to dress up?
There is a perception that everyone who attends dresses up in outlandish outfits for the entire convention; the truth is, only a small number of people walk around the convention in costumes. It used to be more common twenty years ago, but even then it was only about 5% of the attendees. So long as you have shoes (for health and safety reasons) and clothes (because we don’t want to see your dangly bits) that’s all the dressing up you have to do. But if you have a costume and feel like wearing it, feel free.’
So, for the record, no, I’m not going to be dressing up, and I will be wearing normal clothes that cover all the appropriate bits. (Family and friends, you will be able to look me in the eye afterwards!)
I’ll be part of several panels next weekend, and am moderating one. I’ll be moderating a panel on ‘Insterspecies Interactions’ on Sunday afternoon, participating in one on ‘YA – All Grown Up’ on Sunday morning, and another on ‘Triptych: Gender Stereotypes in Speculative Fiction’ on Monday afternoon. I’ll also be doing a reading on Sunday afternoon, (from Frontier Incursion, and a teaser from Frontier Resistance) and manning a market stall on behalf of both myself and Hague Publishing.
I’m really looking forward to catching a pile of other panels, meeting my fellow panellists, (with whom I’ve only conversed via email) and seeing just how Continuum runs. Next week I hope to do a Continuum post, wrapping up how things went and what it was like, and if I have any good photos, then I’ll post them too!