So, I totally should have either brought a camera or bought one. I flew out of Perth for Victoria on Saturday morning. I confess I was a little grumpy because Qantas had changed planes and I found myself sandwiched into a tiny seat. But so it goes. I read some of Daniel Abraham’s The King’s Blood, listened to music and whiled away the three hour flight.

To my great delight I was met at the airport by my dear friend and great pal Jack Dann. We clicked, as we always do, and were chatting away like it had only been five minutes since we saw each other last, and not several years. We jumped in his car and headed down to his gorgeous newly renovated home in Foster. This is where the photos would come in handy. Not for the drive down, not for the dinner we had at the local pub, but for the stunning house with the most perfect library I’ve ever seen, and for the beautiful scenery.

Both Jack and Janeen insist that’s there’s something called “the Prom” just a few miles away. Their home is high on a hill with views over rolling farmland and out to sea – sort of Middle Earth meets Tuscany. It was always, while I was there, bitterly cold and indundated by gale force winds and sleeting rain. I got there at 5pm on Saturday and I don’t think I stepped outside again until I left on Tuesday. That might sound claustrophobic and shut in, but it wasn’t. The company was the best imaginable, the house was gorgeous and got to relax, unwind, chat and just recuperate from the last few months. Rainswept greenery was really all I needed.

What did we do? There was dinner, their wonder beagle Bertie, and lots of talk about books and other stuff. I’ve promised to go back when the weather improves, hopefully with Marianne. Not sure when, but sooner than the last time we did this 17 years ago. If I did nothing else in Melbourne, this alone would make the trip worthwhile.

At noon I hopped on a bus to Melbourne. Got here about three and immediately set myself up in the bar (getting ready for the con) where I tweeted and read and let time pass, before meeting Richard for dinner. We go back 25 years or more, so it was fun to sit and chat and just catch up with what’s happening with each other. I hope I’ll get to see him before heading home again.

And tomorrow? Cindy in the day then Ian and Kirstyn tomorrow evening. The trip progresses! For now, a nightcap perhaps.


I think all of the travel to the US for conventions has terminally distorted my ability to plan and pack for anything else.  It seems my default setting is to prepare for two weeks away from home without access to laundry facilities, and with enough entertainment on my person to cover two 24hr plus transit periods. As I pack for Melbourne – I leave in less than two hours – I’m finding myself more unpacking than packing. Taking things out I won’t need, remembering I can actually buy something I don’t have in Melbourne and so on. It does seem to be keeping the overall size of my packing down.

And of course, I’m going to Melbourne! I’m actually in my slightly anxious pre-departure phase, but I’m looking forward to seeing old friends, spending time in a wonderful city, and attending Continuum next weekend. It should, hopefully, be a wonderful time.

I will try to blog a little from the road, and to podcast if I can, but no promises. If I can’t, do look after the place and I’ll see you back here in a bit.

Continuum 8

Next weekend, June 8-11, I will be attending Continuum 8, the 51st Australian National Science Fiction Convention, in sunny Melbourne, Australia. And, as happens, I will be appearing on some panels over the weekend. Here’s my schedule:

  • The Forgotten Frontier?, Friday 5pm,  with m1k3y and Alexandra Pierce. This one’s about space opera.
  • Masters Of Podcasting, Saturday 10am with Terry Frost, Alisa Krasnostein, and Kirstyn McDermott. We chat about, well, podcasting, I guess.
  • Good Things Come In Small Packages, Saturday 4pm with Stephen Dedman, George Ivanoff, Kelly Link, and Cat Sparks. The art of the story. Writers and editors discuss.
  • What’s It Worth?, Sunday 11am with Alan Baxter, Kate Eltham, Jason Nahrung, and Steven O’Connor. We discuss ebooks. Particularly delighted the other panelists, who actually know something on the subject, will be there. We will likely have a hashtag.
  • Where Has All The Sci-Fi Gone?, Sunday 4pm, with David Golding, Ian Nichols, Michael Pryor, and Cat Sparks. Another panels on the dark age of Australian SF :)

All in all, it should be a great weekend. I’m also ducking over to an event organised by Twefth Planet Press at Embiggen Books on the Saturday evening, which sounds like fun.  I hope to see you all there!