What I Learned at NatCon

Last week I went to NatCon (the Australian national science fiction convention) in Adelaide.  The convention itself was a bit disorganised, but I had a fun time meeting up with my friends from the Clarion workshop.

I had a bit of a wander around Adelaide as well.  There are some fun pig sculptures in Rundle St. Mall.  I also went down to Glenelg, which is nice.


(A warning that any and all statements may greatly diverge from the established body of lore commonly referred to as "reality.")

What I Learned At NatCon

Various definitions of steampunk –
    * Retrofuturism.
    * Victorian-era cyberpunk.
    * A way to safely indulge nostalgia for a time when decent, white men ruled the world and everybody else knew their place.
    * Loving the machine, but hating the factory.
    * A fashion style for people who are too old to be goths.
    * A poor substitute for monkpunk.

We were promised bases on Mars and got the Internet instead.

The mathematical credentials of men who wear cloaks is open to speculation (see below).

All numbers great than 12 should be abolished.

It’s a good idea to tell people in advance if you want to give them to give a presentation.

Even if you have interesting speakers, panels that consist of people arguing about genre definitions are not interesting.

My own cultural and gender biases have led me to conclude that the people in costume at Australian SF conventions (bearded individuals in faux Victoriana) are not nearly as attractive as the people in costume at Japanese SF conventions (Japanese girls dressed as anime characters).

All about the differing adhesive qualities of blood and vomit.  (Fortunately this information was gleaned secondhand).

Most computer illustration programs do not yet have a "Draw Everything" button.

It’s time to throw off the shackles of feminist-controlled science fiction and finally write the kind of stories that men want to read.

Publishers may not necessarily be overwhelmed with joy when they receive a book about a teenaged vampire wizard codebreaking detective. (But you are not allowed to steal my idea for The Dracula Merlin Code Files).

Quantum Writing Secrets! (By applying the inverse of Heisenberg’s Uncertainty Principle it is possible to derive a mathematically optimum plot for your novel).

I can remember when guests of honor used to be arrogant curmudgeons that demanded an extra room for their stationery and an endless supply of pan-galactic gargle blasters.  Julie Czerneda was far too friendly, enthusiastic and encouraging to be a proper guest of honor.

I don’t want to read any more fiction with "Schrodinger" in the title.  (Well, maybe I could be tempted to look at a Schrodingerpunk anthology).

Even if the planet is doomed, we may still have the chance to build some funky-looking buildings before global disaster strikes.

The philosophical underpinnings behind Prince of Tennis erotic fan fiction (One Racket!  One Destiny!)

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