We had a pre-con event on Thursday evening; a Hangman's Tour of the Old Melbourne Gaol arranged and performed by Heath Miller. I was kind of afraid it would be a bit cheesey, but I was very wrong. It was a little creepy, but mostly it was about getting the information across and a bit of imagining what it was like being imprisoned. (Not nice, by the way, really not nice.) Terrific tour, highly recommended. It also gave a good chunk of the committee a chance to meet our Guests of Honour Chelsea Quinn Yarbro and Narrelle M. Harris. There was a bit of discussion about the set up the next day as we had limited time to get everything in place before the doors opened. Much sleeplessness resulted.
Our fears proved unfounded and we were able to set up a little early and in record time and then it was all on! Most of the daytime events during the weekend are a blur, but oh my god, the committee. There has never been a committee like the C5 committee. Every person on it knew what to do, where to be, who to talk to. It ran like clockwork, which for a steampunk con was appropriately fortunate.
The Introduction to Con Going panel was brief, but I hope we said a few useful things for the first-timers. The Opening was also brief, but then things really got going with Richard Harland's Worldshaker launch. Jack Dann again hitting the mark with his sales pitch and Richard gave a terrific reading. Then cocktails and talking, (so much talking!) until Thank Cthulu You're Here. George Ivanoff ably wrangled Narrelle Harris, Danny Oz, Scott Pollard and Paul Poulton in theatre sports. I acted as a last minute stand-in judge, but I'm afraid I was enjoying the show so much I didn't contribute any actual funnies. Early to bed, but then so much more brain-churning that there again wasn't much actual sleep. Which did not set me up too well for
First in the door at 8am so the Dealers could finish setting up, then running around chatting, fixing, addressing, whatever needed to be done. The Dollhouse panel with M1k3y and Heath was a hoot. I hope the audience had as much fun as we did talking about the inherent Godishness of Joss Whedon and arguing the finer points of Eliza Dushku's acting chops.
More fetching and carrying and just a little panicking before my reading in the afternoon. Heath and I concocted a genius plan where he would take half my slot to read a story originally written for the conbook, but deemed inappropriate for print (by me - I'm such a prude). This meant I only had to read half as much as I thought. Everybody wins! The readings went well. I really enjoyed Gillian Polack's and Lucy Sussex's readings too. Vindictive dart throwing and books on the rampage. What's not to like?
After that it was all about preparations for the Maskobalo. Hespa and our tech guys - Mikee's Mikes and The Hairy Dude did an OUTSTANDING job with the sound and lighting. Combined with Guttermonkey's props and all the lanterns we could muster the space had a terrific ambience even before it was filled with costumes. And boy, howdy. I could go on and on, but I will wait until there are photos and then link, because really you have to see.
I especially have to mention DJ Omega who generously and skillfully kept us on the dance floor almost without pause. You have seen nothing until you have seen thirty people in steampunk outfits bouncing around to the Monkey Magic theme.
There was still a good crowd at midnight keen to carry on, so it was up to the Coccoon Bar. Excellent conversations were had and it was verrrry late early before I got back to my room.
For those keeping tally, by this point I had had less than 10 hours sleep in the last 36. Caffeine and adrenaline, my friends, caffeine and adrenaline. Sunday is a total blur. I know I spent money in the Dealer's room, because I have a beautiful shiny pile of books to read. I caught some of the Steampunk Fashion panel and felt quite underdressed. Cass and Omega went all out and looked gorgeous. The Closing Ceremony went well, I think. After getting out quite efficiently we attempted a Dead Dog party, but I think we were all too dead. Ah, well.
Thank you again to everyone who attended, the fabulous committee, our generous and fascinating Guests of Honour and to you for reading this far.