The Baggage launch was lovely, though Mr Dann and I got up to a great deal of mischief during the signings. I hadn't actually thought I would need to give a speech at the launch. Honestly. I helped make sandwiches, and people who make sandwiches don't give speeches. Which is crazy thinking, since I've always maintained that the people who make sandwiches should *always* give speeches, especially if they're the editor of the book being launched. The key role of second sandwich assistant is not the whole of my life, after all.
And all those wonderful writers sat there and smiled - they know me too well. And there were a large number of equally wonderful writers in attendance. The writing community is just warm and generous and entirely made of awesome. And Sharyn Lilley is all that and with bells on. Baggage is off to a fine start in the world. Also, three different people who had head starts on the book told me that they can't see Federation Square without Tessa's story overshadowing it.
After the launch I had just time to get my program details and special timetable before I raced off to my academic paper. I was the first, because of my 4 pm panel. The poor organisers! There was a roomful of people and then I toddled in, just at the last minute. And I had to leave before the lady after me got to her questions, too, which felt really rude.
The reason I made a dash for it was that I had finally discovered what M next to my name meant: I was moderating that 4 pm panel. Even leaving so abruptly, I was already running short of time.
I hied to the green room (via about 20 other rooms with the wrong numbering) to find my panellists, only to find them unaccountably absent. I went to the room the panel was in and found James Shields waiting patiently. He's a nice bloke. Able to deal with Gillians in states of confusion. Alan Baxter was the other panellist and all was good. Alan can deal with me in a state of confusion very easily. He hides his amusement well.
You know, I rather suspect either of the others should have been moderator. You see...um...by this time Evil Gillian had appeared. I didn't expect her to emerge at my very first World SF Convention. I especially didn't expect her to emerge at my very first panel at my very first World SF Convention. But then, who could have predicted that I would be the moderator for my very first panel at my very first World SF Convention? Anyhow, the upshot of Evil Gillian emerging is that everyone present agreed that we shall spread the word about Harold Holt being taken by a Chinese minisub, until the story achieves mythic status. It didn't take nearly as much persuasion as I expected.
I also forgot to tell everyone present that it was my very first panel at my very first World SF Convention and that I hadn't had time to read the Moderator's guidelines. As long as the guidelines didn't say that it was not OK for Alan Baxter and myself to threaten each other with bodily harm, I may not have strayed too badly. May not. Really. Truly. I guess I'll know when I turn up to my next panel and find everyone studiously pretending I'm not there.
I want to start a list of Cool People that I have met. Except I shan't. I shall leave it to your imagination. The conversations with these mysterious cool people ranged from Indigenous copyright through the naming of exotic matter in my time travel novel through Rosh Hashanah arrangements to the joys of 1930s Australian SF.
My big question is whether I should quash Evil Gillian and save myself from embarrassment before a sophisticated international crowd, or whether I should give into the inevitable and just have fun. Bribery will be accepted.