The Great Avoidance. How to Avoid Gillian at Continuum 13 (Australian National SF Convention)

My regular guide for the wary. If you avoid me, you will miss my news. There will be news, so avoiding me is a great way of remaining in a state of mildly addled curiosity. If you avoid me, you will also avoid chocolate. I am thus a great aid to dieting. It’s good chocolate, too.

Friday, 5pm | To Be Continued…
This panel is going to be great. Come to listen to Seanan McGuire and Tansy Rayner Roberts and Nathan Farrugia. They know their stuff. Use my bits for your Friday afternoon micronaps so that you have energy for the evening.

Friday, 7pm | 13 Dubious Lessons from History
I already have my list of dubious lessons to explain luridly (or maybe gently, we’ll see). I told one of them to my mother today and she said “You can’t say that! It’s horrible!” This is not deep and respectful and meaningful history (well, mostly not) but there will be a considerable amount of daftness and much anecdotage. You will have material for dinner parties for the next decade, but you may never eat a kebab again. If you really adore your kebabs, then avoid this talk.

Saturday, 11am | Boxed In

This topic is so very important. It’s about labels and tags and not reducing people to being a small part of themselves. It’s a great shame I’m on it and you’ll have to avoid it. Unless you do the micronapping thing again, or use my bits to tweet the wisdom everyone else says.

Saturday, 6pm | The Panels Men Don’t See

Tiptree! And more Tiptree! I am the elderly panellist here, who read Tiptree’s work when it was first published (whatever I could get hold of, anyhow). I’ve forgotten most of what I once knew very well. It informs every fibre of my being and yet, I’ve forgotten. Just as well the other panellists know what they’re talking about.

Sunday, 2pm | Workshop: Writing Other Cultures
This is the stuff people need if they’re going to write about people. Product of years of research and tearing-of-hair. Every time I teach this someone says before we begin “I already know this stuff, I’m just here to keep my friend company.” Every time I teach this, that same person says at the end, “This isn’t what I thought it would be. It’s really useful.” It’s not the easiest workshop I give (which is a second reason to avoid it, the first being because it’s by me), but it cuts through the public rhetoric and gives writers actual tools to get them started.

Sunday, 5pm | Cityscapes : fake cities, real cities, aspirational cities
Cities are characters in my novel. I don’t often say this publicly, so now I have. I can’t think of any reason you should avoid this panel. Not even it being Sunday afternoon and you getting hungry, for I will bring chocolate to all my panels.

Monday, 10:30am | Fantasy Food
I can’t think of better people to be on a fantasy food panel with than Likhain and Cary. I want to see Likhain’s visions of what food can look like, and find out about all the different possibilities of plants I’ve never dreamed existed but that are local.

I’m not doing a good job of scaring you off this time. This means you just have to avoid the auction. Which is sad, for a bunch of us are bringing amazing things for auctioning. I’ve got a set of prints of illustrations from a KJ Taylor novel and each of them is annotated on the back by the writer. And… I might talk about the other things on Twitter, closer to the event.

Right now I’m going to bed, because I want to eat the plate of feminist biscuits on the table. They smell divine and they’re not out for eating at all. In a few weeks I may tell you why I have foodstuffs tempting me, my camera out, and why I have been so very busy I forgot to blog. Or I may not. I may have other things to tell you. Like where I’ll be and when for other conventions, and in Sweden and… there are so many reasons why I’ve been silent. And I can’t tell you much about any of them yet. All I can do is give you events to avoid at Continuum. And I can let you know that some of the things I’ve been working on have been put up for public discussion on my Patreon page. If you’ve got an interest in world building or alternate history, you might want to take a look. The post is open to discussion by anyone, and discussion is open until 25 May.

Update: I’ve decided to keep discussion on the Patreon changes open until 14 June, to allow Continuum folks a chance to have their say. Discussion for the changes to Patreon has happened offline, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still have a say (online or off!).

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