I’m Swancon 40’s International Guest of Honor

Swancon being Western Australia’s premier science fiction convention, don’t you know. Yes, next year I will be in Perth, round about Easter-time. It’ll be fun! And if you’re in Australia, you should pop by. I mean, everything in Australia is close to everything else, right?

I made a video for Swancon to show when they announced my IGoHness. Here it is:

I stand by every word, especially the words about the Tim Tams.

28 Comments on “I’m Swancon 40’s International Guest of Honor”

  1. That’s a long trip. Perth is far from everything.

    Watch out for the poisonous critters.

  2. One day, as I was wandering down the cookie isle at Loblaws, lo and behold, what do I see. Tim Tams. Regular and Caramel. Since that fateful day, they have been regular inhabitants of my grocery cart. And it’s all John’s fault for uttering those fateful words, words that I had never heard before – “Tim Tams”.

  3. Oh, hey, since you’re going that way and will be in the immediate neighborhood, if you should find a Boeing 777 in Malaysia colors, could you bring it back with you. They lost one the other day out near Perth and can’t seem to find it.

    Jack Tingle

  4. Neil in Chicago,

    Yes! There’s a smaller convention called Ghengiscon that usually runs over the Australia Day weekend, a one day anime event called Waicon, plus the commercial events like Supanova.

  5. Perth is a bit isolated. We’re about equidistant from Adelaide and Johannesburg. And yes, the Australian component of the search for that Malaysian Airlines plane is largely being conducted out of Perth, because that’s where the infrastructure is on this side of the country.

    That said, the most dangerous critter you’re likely to see outside the zoos here is possibly a red-backed spider, and the most aggressive is likely to be a mozzie. If you stop off at Rottnest for a day trip, you might be able to see a quokka (the small native wallaby variant), or if you’re quiet around the right places in the southern suburbs, you can sometimes see quendas (another small marsupial, this one a kind of bandicoot). For birdlife, there’s magpies (lovely warbling cries), ravens (not-so-lovely carking noise), various parrots and galahs, and if you’re near somewhere with a bit of water in the ground, you’ll see ducks, and probably Egyptian ibises. If you’re near somewhere with permanent water and tourists, you might catch sight of some black swans (the bird emblem of the state, and the reason for the name of the Swan River). But in all cases, if you really want to see exotic Australian wildlife, I’d suggest stopping in at the Perth Zoo (South Perth, just across the river from the main city centre – catch the ferry!).

    Easter is autumn here, and depending on whether Easter next year is early or late in April, you’re looking at temperatures in the 25C – 35C range – higher up in the early end, lower toward the later part of April. As an example, on this Easter Monday morning, the forecast for today is about 23C maximum, with the range for the next seven days being between 22 and 26C. (I’ve no idea what that translates to in F). All sunny, all bright and clear.

  6. Genghiscon is a smaller cheaper con without guests, lots of games and some panels. There is frequently another small 2-3 day convention in September or October but it tends to be very themed and focused and isn’t guaranteed every year. Last two have been based on crime shows, which may not be technically genre the speed at which they get results in CSI means definitely science fiction.

    Do you have a preference for Tim tam flavours for us to make sure there are those there?

  7. Ah Perth. A hip and happening west coast town in the vein of Seattle or Vacouver or San Francisco. in the 1860s.

    You can expect boundless respect if you’re involved in digging things up and sending them overseas. If you’re a creative type … oh dear.

    Look, play it safe and get yourself a hard hat and a hi-vis vest or they may not let you out of the airport.

  8. Nice! And nice video. What tech did you use to record the video, if I may ask?

  9. Dude, they really need to use a more recent picture of you on the web page. You have not looked that young and thin in quite some time.

  10. Now I need to convince my wife to do Easter in Perth. A slightly easier task since we will be living in Japan and away from family.

  11. Very much looking forward to your time as GoH at next year’s con, John. As well as being the 40th Swancon, the event is also doing double duty as the Australian National SF Con for the year.

  12. Glad you are fully aware of the drop bear dangers. You can never be too careful!

  13. We are very excited to have you come over!

    To add to megpie71′s comments…

    You would definitely see a Quokka or hundred at Rottnest (a highly recommended trip) – rdmasters and I visited it just last week or so and were pleased with how the island is coming along. Quokkas are fantastically unconcerned about predators, tourists and traffic (no private cars allowed on the island) They will walk right up to you in the middle of the street. They’re probably keeping the old myth alive of kangaroos selling papers on street corners. This is due to Drop Bears being eradicated on the island many decades ago.

    You would most probably see Ospreys too, and certainly their stacks.

    Fantastic place especially at this time of year for wildlife and a great experience of the Western Australian coastline. Best swimming and snorkelling with some rare really southern coral that’s pink! You won’t find the missing aircraft there though. (It’s a 40 minute ferry trip to the island)

    Penguin Island with its large colony of Fairy Penguins (or Little Blue they’re sometimes called) further down the coast and much closer in is also of great interest with White Breasted Sea Eagles, Ospreys and almost tame Buff Banded Rails – not to mention King’s Skinks about to add entertainment.

    The magpies are not really the birds that originally were called magpies by Europeans, but a highly intelligent social almost butcherbird. Beautiful song…but they can be very protective of their nests. It’s alright, not the season.

    The ibises mentioned are not Egyptian Ibises but Australian White Ibises, that resemble the Sacred Ibis of Egyptian fame. In the right spot you will see Black Swan, Spoonbills, Glossy Ibis and Straw Necked Ibis too, as well as possibly one of the rarest waterfowl in the world, the Freckled Duck, along with Shovellers, Black Duck, Grey Teal,Mountain Duck, Blue Billed Duck, and the weird Duck credited with causing the most Bunyip sightings in the world which is the Musk Duck and its accompanying Sonar Ping. 3 Grebes, coots, and swamphen and moorhen too.

    The Perth Zoo is a super place, and has a great Australian wildlife section.

    Whilst TimTams are an iconic biscuit (not cookie, we call them biscuits in Australia, or more commonly, bikkies) I humbly request you try the Mint Slice biscuit and report your findings.

  14. My suburb of Meadow Springs (in Mandurah) is one of the few suburbs where we actually have to slow down for the Kangaroos. Perth is a beautiful place. Yes, it’s slow, but we prefer to think of it as relaxed. You will find us friendly and inclusive and as you’re coming at Easter the weather tends to be warm without being hot. And, we look for any chance to extend the Tim Tam love. We are rather proud of Tim Tams. Oh, and if you’re coerced into trying Vegemite, the trick is to thinly spread it on buttered bread (or a white knot roll), not heaped onto a teaspoon. That way lies madness.

  15. Nice to see you’re coming to my part of the world.

    1. Drop Bears aren’t a big problem in WA. That’s more of an East Coast issue.
    2. Peel Zoo is better if you want to get Up Close & Personal with the animals, as they have many petting areas. The roos there are quite friendly and will give you a lovely hug.
    3. We require video proof of your attempt at a Tim Tam Slam.
    4. Any random Wallaby, or did you have a particular one in mind? http://www.rugby.com.au/wallabies/TheTeam/WallabiesProfiles.aspx

  16. “Oh, and if you’re coerced into trying Vegemite, the trick is to thinly spread it on buttered bread (or a white knot roll), not heaped onto a teaspoon.”

    Or, as was mentioned in the Opening Ceremony this year, you can simply dab it behind your ears as a drop-bear repellent.

    And don’t get too close to the quokkas, they’ve got a nasty bite on them (if not quite as nasty as the redbacks, dugites, and tiger snakes).

  17. The Eastern States has the Thylarctos plummetus robusta sub species of Drop Bear, rather than our (we like to think) more refined T p elegans which while it rarely takes full grown kangaroos or attacks humans sometimes has a jolly good try.

  18. If you need a coffee guide, let me know. Perth has grown up a little in the past few years and great food and coffee are no longer the surprising discovery that they once were. I hope you enjoy Perth as much as we will enjoy hosting you!

  19. You’re finally coming to Australia and you’re going to… Perth??? (Sorry WAians, I’m required by law to get that in somewhere* :P).

    But seriously, you sure know how to welcome a person home from honeymoon (:D). My first thought on reading this was “Oh, will you look at that, turns out I’m going to Perth next Easter”. My second was (apologies to Floored) “Squuueeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!”, after which my normal dignified, ahem, demeanour resumed.

    *I have in fact been to Perth and other bits of WA on multiple occasions and look forward to returning. I never can get the hang of the mountains and the sea being on the wrong sides so to speak…

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