Continuum this year is also the NatCon, and I will totally be there! Doing… something, to be announced closer to the date!
I’m back! I survived!
So this is my third Continuum in four years, and even in that short time the con has changed quite a bit… for the better. The programming this year was especially excellent, moving into more meaty takes on topics and the “Deep Dive” stream, which was basically two twenty-minute single-person presentations back-to-back, followed by a Q&A.
For panels this year I decided to combine my habit of sketching during the talking with my general desire to take notes/livetweet. I’m not entirely sure the end results are legible in any way, but I’ve included them below, with advanced apologies to all the panelists I attempted to draw…
It’s become something of a tradition that a bunch of us (Rivqa, Elizabeth, Lyss, and Alex) get together to play a tabletop RPG at cons. We started with Elizabeth running Dungeon World at Conflux 12, then Alex with Feng Shui 2 at Continuum 13, and Elizabeth with Monsterhearts at Conflux 13. We also had an out-of-season get-together (minus Alex, who was a piker for reasons I don’t recall) to introduce Rivqa’s daughter to the Wonderful World of TTRPGs, with Elizabeth running another session of Dungeon World.
Anyway, at Continuum 14, I dobbed myself in as GM, with the original intent of running a Changeling: the Dreaming game. Except the actual story I got into my head was designed for D&D, so I switched tracks to a 5e game.
Continuum is Melbourne’s annual fan run speculative fiction and pop culture convention. Continuum celebrates creativity across genres and media. Our aim each year is to provide a regional convention where writers, artists, readers and film/TV buffs of all kinds can get together for a weekend of panel discussions, entertainment, and social fun.
This is Alis’s third Continuum, which she’ll be attending as a panelist for the following panels:
- Out in the Open.
Fan fiction used to be hidden away, subject to takedown notices, and sometimes kept secret from friends and family. Now there are successful mainstream novels about fic writers and readers, and some creators allow writers to earn money from their work. Is this legitimisation or exploitation? What has been gained and what’s been lost in the process?(4pm Sunday)
For whatever reason, winter always seems to be my busy season for Author Appearances™, and this year is no different.
Panel assignments for Continuum have been handed out, so those of you who’re in the area will be able to listen to me ramble at:
- Out in the Open.
Fan fiction used to be hidden away, subject to takedown notices, and sometimes kept secret from friends and family. Now there are successful mainstream novels about fic writers and readers, and some creators allow writers to earn money from their work. Is this legitimisation or exploitation? What has been gained and what’s been lost in the process?(Sunday 10th June @ 4pm)
Continuum is always a lot of fun, and this year is looking to be especially awesome, with some amazing panels (and panelists) lined up. If you’re able to make it down to (or, alternately, live in) Melbourne over the Queen’s Birthday long weekend you should absolutely grab some tickets and go along.
While it’s still a little way away, I’ll also be assisting in a panel on Author Platforms for the CSFG June member’s meeting (20th June). We did one of these two years ago, and it seemed to go down pretty well, so it’ll be interesting to see what has and hasn’t changed in the intervening time (spoiler alert: the social media landscape is very different in this our post-CA/-GDPR world).
The meeting is open to all CSFG members, and if you’re in the area (i.e. Canberra) it’s absolutely worth joining up.
And, finally, to round off a busy authorial month: I’m taking a week off! By which I mean, “I’m taking a week off Day Job to try and finish up the dragon book, which got halfway done last year then put on hold for space demons.” So, yanno. A working holiday.
In other words: it’s gonna be a busy month.
On combating microaggressions at conventions. Notably provides handy lists of potential responses for calling-out or shutting-down gross comments, which are useful for those of us who can freeze up in social situations. Allies of all stripes; this one’s on us. If you hear something, say something! I know it’s hard. I struggle with it too! But just remember it’s much, much harder to be on the receiving end of microaggressions when they occur. Which most of you probably well-know, because intersectionality and all. So, yanno. Be the bystander–or, better, institutionally organised change–you wished someone was for you!
As a disclaimer: I was at the Continuum this post is talking about, though I apparently managed to miss all of the problematic panels and I had the luxury of having a pretty heavily (self) curated experience. Continuum is what I would call a “generally good con”, by which I mean it seems to make a special effort to be diverse and inclusive, although there can occasionally be a… factional split, may be a polite way of putting it, between more conservative, “oldschool” SFF congoers and, um. Everyone else. So yes, there are issues, and I think race is probably one of the areas the con culture in general is weakest in.
Also, as an aside–and for my own “papercutty moment”–it’s amazing what people with mutter to their friends while sitting next to you in panels if they think you’re too busy drawing to pay attention to them…1
- Spoiler alert: painting/sketching is a fidget activity for me. So yes, I am paying attention and yes I can hear you! [↩]
So yeah. Wow. That was Continuum. My first Real Live SFF con and also, terrifyingly, the first con I was speaking as a panellist at. I figured it would be a way to meet people, which it was, but also, holy shit. Speaking in front of roomfuls of people.
We were in the “big room” for both panels (more on which in a bit) and, like, spoiler alert, but for all I fake this confident, jetsetting, rich hipster persona online I am super fucking shy in the real life. So I fumbled through my intros and babbled through the half the points I wanted to make while forgetting the others, but hey. I did it. So yay me. Achievement Unlocked: Panelist.
Anyway, that was only about two hours out of the three days (the con is four, but we had to fly home on Monday, so I missed that day… boo Qantas), so what was I doing for the rest of the time? Going to other people’s panels, of course, because I am a talking heads fucking junkie. And also spamming my Twitter feed with livetweets which, sorry not sorry, because the con was great and y’all should’ve been there.
So Continuum 11 is on in a couple of weeks, and guess who’s going? That’s right, this noob.
- Feathered Dinosaurs, Friday 5 June @ 8 p.m. – 9 p.m.
- Computer Geeks and Computer-Fail in Visual Media, Saturday 6 June @ 10 a.m. – 11 a.m.
It’ll be awesome. And even more awesome is that I will be carrying around with me a deck of these babies:
Are these or are these not the coolest business cards in the universe? They’re so thick you could jimmy locks with them,2 and I was lucky enough to get Kim “NeoGeen” Koskamp to do the little Lain chibi. Which she absolutely knocked out of the fucking park. Unsurprisingly, because Neo has been my visual inspiration for the Wyrdverse since, well. Forever. Seriously, go check out her art. She’s great. And so wonderful to work with. Like, to the point where I don’t even want to give any of these cards out, because they are my precioussssssesssssss~!