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threemonkeys

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10:32 am: Connoting - 2
This stuff gets old fast so I suspect it stops here but there are a bunch of other random thoughts to record from Conclave & Conflux.

I did enjoy the Conflux dealers area even if it was a bit cramped. Full marks to Bill Congreve for a calm reaction when I criticised his first years best anthology. He may have been mollified by me buying the second one as well as other books at his recommendation. I spread my custom around quite fairly although I did come away with 10 ASIM issues which might be just a bit over the top. I was also the first person to buy the new Agog from Cat Sparkes - I feel unaccountably good about that.

I have the feeling that the con running guide will need a section of how to calm down people bidding. As it was, Conjunction will be the 2008 natcon with a very comfortable voting margin but not without a lot of nervous energy being expended. I even have a guest idea for them, but perhaps not something to discuss here.

The SFFANZ business meeting was interesting. It was quite surprising to see the personnel changes on the board, but that may help generate more activity. I seem to have publicly committed myself to updating the con running guide. I was going to do that anyway but now there is expectation. I also seem to have become the VP of SFFANZ - like all VP roles more notional than real as far as responsibility goes.

I met so many new people at Conflux that it becomes hard to remember all the names at one time. So hard that I am sure to forget more than a few but here goes some of the new people I chatted with - negothick, Jim Frenkel, jack_ryder, murasaki_1966, ratfan, cassiphone, Ian Nichols, Paul Ewans, Trudi Canavan, Andrew Williams, Trish Crowther, Steve Jackson, austspecfic, Kaaron Warren, Fiona McLennan, chrisbarnes, exp_err, Mark Loney. Not to mention the likes of dalekboy and benpayne who I talked to in the flesh for the first time after encountering online. I'm sure this list is incomplete and it does not even begin to get into all those people I haven't seen since the last con that it was so good to catch up with again - you know who you are and it was so good to see all of you again.

On the meeting people theme, taking money from them seems to be a good way of starting a discussion. I was collecting SFFANZ subs at Conclave and walking up to somebody and saying "do you want to pay me money" seems to break the ice quite well - even when they say no.

Whoever thought of printing the member name on both sides of the badges in big bold lettering deserves a big pat on the back.

I went to a lot of Conflux programme items. Quality varied quite a bit but it was excellent to have plenty of choice. I know there were complaints about the small amount of preparation time, but I suspect that it in the end it was more about getting the right people. I went to a number of author readings and was very surprised to see how few turned up to them. Highlights include the Ray Bradbury interview, worldbuilding, convention running, and Richard Harland not just reading but performing a new story.

The museum was an impressive venue, but getting around it could be a bit tiring. I did find the distance from the hotel to be quite inconvenient because I didn't have the option of retiring for a few minutes to rest and possible dump or collect stuff. Although the bus trip was a good chance to meet people, waiting around for it could be a bit of a pain.

I really don't know why I bothered to take my camera. I only took a handful of photos and most of them were of daleks.

The iconic Kiwi food got handed over to gillpolack and the chocolate fish seemed to disappear rather quickly. I wish I had brought more now. I did get organic chocolate sunmuscats in return - I rather think I got the better of the deal. gillpolack also contrived to find me some heat cream for my sore elbow and knee for which I am most grateful.

I had a look around the Conflux art show. There was so much really fine art on show. I did rather think that the presentation of a lot of it was a bit sterile but then I'm struggling to think how else it could have been done with what was essentially a bunch of reproduction prints. Gotta give the organisers a big pat on the back for attempting it. I also have to applaud the attempt to have a film festival as well. The problem is that it would have taken too long to really do it justice and there was so much on competing against it. I did drop by and caught 4 or 5 short films including Peter Friend's King which got plenty of laughs.

For the most part, I have tried to avoid direct comparison between Conclave and Conflux here. I did enjoy my time at both, but they were so totally different in almost every respect. I will offer this comparison however. In Auckland, at the beginning of the con, the person on the bar had to run and find somebody to help her make a gin and tonic - I kid you not. In Canberra, Grace the barmaid seemed to be an integral part of the con and the bar became a social hub.

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