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Beware the Creeper!

Iain's life as a psychotic crimefighter

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Report on A Conflux

A few people badgered murasaki_1966 at Conflux about when I was going to get back to writing fiction so I thought I'd start with my Conflux report:

At first the decision to host the 3rd Conflux Science Fiction Convention in the "Abos Were Here Before Us, No Bullshit!" exhibit in the National Museum of Australia seemed an odd one. For a start, none of the museum staff seemed to know where it was, but they all agreed it wasn't being used at the moment and we'd be unlikely to run into the general public there.

The non-Euclidean nature of the National Museum of Australia meant that not only were some panellists late for panels, but they would be surprised to find themselves already there.

A source of some contention was the positioning of the accommodation and bar some distance away at the Rydges Lakeside. A shuttle bus was provided but the hardier members of the convention decided to avail themselves of the free flying fox service running from the twentieth floor of the Lakeside to the forecourt of the Museum. A sharp temperature drop unfortunately resulted in several frozen attendees having to be shattered from the line with broomsticks one morning, their fragmented remains slowly thawing in Lake Burley Griffin.

In a surprise break from tradition, bags were banned from the hucksters room, however panniers, howdahs, shipping crates and forklifts were allowed resulting in rather cramped quarters and an inability to purchase more than one book at a time, unless you had the flexibility of the visiting contortionists from Cirque Du Soleil - one of whom still owes me an Ellen Datlow collection.

Museum security was provided by Daleks, Imperial Stormtroopers and other representatives from the Howard Government.


The satellite interviews with Lloyd Alexander, Arthur C Clarke and Ray Bradbury were, by all accounts, fairly successful. Arthur C Clarke, particularly taken with the technology that enabled the connection between Canberra and Sri Lanka, kept mumbling over and over again "Who would have thought of such marvellous technology, it's almost like magic!". The hookups with Isaac Asimov, Robert Sheckley and Octavia Butler were less successful, due to the late unavailability of John Edwards.

The launch of the popular all-Antipodean anthology Agog: Alliterative Anecdotes marred by the unavailability of some of the contributors, who found it difficult to fly directly to Canberra in time for the launch from the Northern Hemisphere.

The discussion with chrisbarnes and zarabee about the legality of bittorrenting comics, leading to zarabee texting DC Comics (under the guise of texting her partner) and me and murasaki_1966 then finding a steaming pile of Infinite Crisis in the middle of the bed. We burnt the sheets and turned the mattress over, but still had to set fire to a tyre to get rid of the stench.

The "What Kind of Cunt is Ben Peek" panel was heavily attended, with the audience split between "Tight" and "Juicy".

The gaming panel revealed many interesting facts about the gaming scene, such as:
  • Nolan Bushnell's seminal video game "Pong" had to be retitled in the UK for obvious reasons. There it was known as "Stench".
  • The GURPS Character Creation process was originally cribbed from diagnostic tests for Asperger's.
  • It is impossible to mount a 400 point Warhammer army inside one's own anus, unless they're Skaven.

The Harry Potter slash panel being cancelled after inordinate interest from Child Protective Services.

deborahbrecommending murasaki_1966 and I spend more time on procreative pursuits with her usual taciturn of phrase.

As I was unable to make it to the mass signing (some annoying leftover business about Kate Forsyth and a restraining order) I tried to obtain an autograph from Ellen Datlow after the Prismatic/Carnies/Australian Horror Award panel. Claiming she had only five minutes before her next panel and an immediate desire for food beforehand, she tried to elude her responsibilities as a guest of honour by making a break for the cafe. Fortunately I was able to intercept her in time, and with a gentle arm twist, remind her of her duties. Unfortunately my pen failed to work, even after guiding Ellen's hand to make the first few letters of her name. But I believe she will remember my name in future and treat my submissions with the attention that is due to them.

People failed to mention my favourite SF TV woman at the panel of the same name, talking about the usual suspects - Buffy, Xena, Jessica Rowe. As no-one seemed especially familiar with the green girl alien from Lost In Space - "Dr Smith, pretty Dr Smith" - I enacted her greatest scene to the audience resulting in an appreciatively stunned silence. An unfortunate waste of green body paint and a bikini.

murasaki_1966 managed to meet her Perth doppelganger llbatt (that's the l part of llbatt by the way) and they discovered in a staggering coincidence that they were each other's invisible friend. My doppelganger was unfortunately executed by the state of Texas several weeks ago - most of the sad details are archived on the site You'veGotTheWrongTwin.com

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Okay, I've finally finished rolling round the floor laughing now....

Brilliant :-) I wish I'd been to that con...


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