Hearing about someone’s creative process has always seemed a bit voyeuristic to me. This does happen a lot at SF cons and is a very enjoyable part of panels. I started off my Sunday morning with just such a panel, on film this time. Scriptwriter Mark Stay and VFX Supervisor Paddy Eason presented how their very own independent British movie was made. The Our Robot Overlords panel was informative and fun and made me want to rush to a cinema right away because I have no idea whether a film like that would ever make in into cinemas in Croatia. And I have a five-year-old who just might love it if it did.
After that I went to listen about Holmes, but failed to be intrigued through no fault of the panel itself. It was just not a good fit for me jonesing to see a kids’ movie with robots. Totally the wrong kind of mood. although I love the character I did not like the panel. I went looking for people whom I could persuade the vote for Nina in the TAFF race. I believe I managed a few and am very glad I did as it turned out alter the race was quite lose.
I spent a lot of time chatting to Jukka Halme, because I like him very much and because I will not be there when he is quite deservedly guest of honour at this year’s Russian Eurocon in St. Petersburg. (I will be at Pyrkon!). And because I think he would make an excellent GUFF candidate. 🙂
I planned to go listen to Seanan McGuire’s GoH speech but was a bit late, talking to friends old and new as well as actively ruining Anglophone fandom by telling tales of non-Anglophone fandoms where women run things. Because what else would I have done? Browsed the Dealer’s Rooms a bit, I found that the very social me really does not feel comfortable having to go into the smallish rooms. But I did get a lot of good advice in number 8 (I think it was) on how to get cheap flights to Spokane. To which I will probably not be able to go anyway, but I loved the advice and am sure to use it in the future.
The V is for Vampire panel was a bit strange. Or maybe I’ve just had enough of the topic. I did notice one thing though – there was no panel touching on anything even remotely connected with vampires (zombies and other panels) where sparkling was not mentioned at least once. Or several times. As I listened to the panel talk, I was reminded of why it was so terrifying to be on the same panel as Charlie Stross – he opens his mouth, and then something so clever comes out that it is difficult for anyone following him to sound even as remotely smart. This panel gave it a good go. It was a shame none of them had seen the Carmilla web series. The novella was mentioned, as it always. I find the web series is not just a whole lot of fun to watch but also a nice take on some of the drawbacks and criticisms people always mention when talking about Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu’s novella. (Still not hearing that name in my head the way the Irish say it, sorry!)
Watching things happen from outside of the Anglophone fandom can be daunting. Coming from a small country stopped being a problem for me when people at Worldcons started pointing out to me that Croatian fandom is quite lively and by no means as small as I had thought it. Still, standards need to be achieved. So it was that I was so very happy to see the head of the BSFA Awards Jury stand up in the middle of a winning speach for the non-fiction award – won by her partner – do proclaim that she had left the room for the counting of the ballots in that category. Made me feel so very less alone: it will be a story I tell members of the SFERA Award Jury, who also sometimes find themselves having to go out for coffee.
I was in awe at how quickly Dysprosium managed to fit in an emergency program item to discuss to bloc voting that got certain people nominated for this year’s Hugos and ramifications thereof. It was an interesting discussion and I learned one thing for sure – no matter what shitstorms develop online and offline, SF fandom consists of mostly very polite and nice people. There was a LOT less cursing than would have been involved at a Croatian con in similar circumstances. I was very impressed. Granted, no Sad Puppies were present. That was the panel I ran to as soon as the most important part of the Eastercon Sunday for me finished: The Fan Funds Auction!
And it was great! With the possible exception of one Rikon Auction, it was the best one I ever attended. Auctions are all about collecting money for the Fan Funds that fund trips for fans, across whichever ocean you’d like. This one was held for TAFF and GUFF. You bring fannish things and people pay outrageous amounts of money for them. In Australia though, where I had experienced my first Fan Funds Auction at Swancon 2013, it’s more about the fun than it is about fannish stuff. I took a risk and brought some non-fannish things, like the Zogettera soap and candies orange peel and Croatian wine. It sold. And all the other things sold incredibly well. And it was the best two hours I spent at Eastercon – all thanks to John Robertson.
I came to the room at the appointed time, with a lot of stuff. Jim Mowatt, who had organized it all with the Eastercon committee, gotten the room and gotten the word out, told me to be there at 18:30. There was no one there but this blonde guy, dressed all in black, whom I did not know and had never seen before. He said he was also told to be there at 18:30. People started popping to leave thing for the auction and I started panicking – 15 minutes till it was time, no Jim, no Kylie, no James – just a whole bunch of stuff, the European Fund Administrator who ran on a dare and the blond Australian dude. Soon there was too much to stuff – as there always seems to be in the end – to lay it out properly and Jim arrived and there was a crowd and we could start. So John did. And a lot of laughter later, the Funds were six hundred pounds richer and we had to leave the room. John, a comedian by trade, was AMAZING! There is no retelling it. I did tape some of it and hopefully I will manage to get my head out of my work this week to send it to Jim Mowatt.
In the meantime, take a look at photos from the Dysprosium Fan Funds Auction taken by Irena Hartmann.
5 thoughts on “Dysprosium: Sunday”
John is one of the two best fan auctioneers I’ve seen. (The other is Melbourne’s Justin Ackroyd.)
Justin is awesome! I had a lot of fun at Conflux in 2013 when he did the auction. Also, he is magic – there is no book he doesn’t know something about. It was a real pleasure watching him do an auction. 🙂
It sounds wonderful! And now I want to know who the Australian dude was…
I’ll be at Continuum, but so far have just the one book for the GUFF bit of the auction. Need more stuff!!!
Gillian, it was John Robertson!
And stuff will be in the mail. 🙂 Some Dr. Who I left with Kylie, but Dysprosium were kind enough to give me a Terry Pratchett calender that they gave out to members for the Aussie auction! 🙂
Wonderful! With any luck, it will be Justin doing the auction and we can see which of the two brilliant auctioneers bring in the most money!