The Hugos

Sep. 6th, 2010 09:34 am
lostcarpark: (Default)

Originally published at James's GUFF Trip. Please leave any comments there.

One of the great honours of being Fan Fund Delegate was being invited to present one of the Hugo Awards.  I've been very excited about it all weekend.

I popped into the rehearsal during the afternoon, where I was briefed on what to do. I made sure I knew how to pronounce all of the names of the nominees.

I was in a programme item until 6, after which I had to rush back to my room to get changed (I wore a black suit, which was fairly formal, but matched it with a tie covered in LEGO minifigs in an effort to not be too serious), and then rush back to the convention centre for the pre-Hugo reception. This was already in full flow, so I had a drink to make sure I was composed (but only one, so I wasn't too composed), and chatted with nominees and presenters (and others lucky enough to have an invite).


The rest behind the cut... )
lostcarpark: (Default)

Originally published at James's GUFF Trip. Please leave any comments there.

Aussiecon day 1 was excellent. A more detailed report will follow soon, but here are the highlights.

In the morning I bump into some people who are panicking over the Hugo award ceremony preparations, so offer to give them a hand. We get that sorted, then collect membership pack from the reg desk and head for breakfast.

I also give a hand in the Fan room setup. I have three tables to work there - the Fan Fund table, the London 2014 table and the New Zealand 2020 table, so stop by there and there's a good chance you'll find me.

Soon it's time for the opening ceremony. I was intending to slip into the back of the room, but I get grabbed and told to sit in the reserved seats in the front row. Then during the ceremony, after the guests of honour are introduced, the fan fund delegates get introduced and asked to sit on the stage, which is a completely unexpected honour - sitting beside Robin Johnson, Shaun Tan and the legendary Kim Stanley Robinson. Chuffed.

The rest behind the cut... )
lostcarpark: (Default)

Originally published at James's GUFF Trip. Please leave any comments there.

The Aussiecon Four Programme is now online, and I have to admit there are some excellent items on it. I'm looking forward to quite a few items, though I already know I won't be able to get to everything I want to. The programme can be found here.

I'm on a total of seven items, which are:

The rest behind the cut... )
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
It's been a while since I've posted anything under this topic, but I've been busy. I guess part of the reason for this is that I've reached the point where there's not a lot to say about GUFF in general terms, and it's getting into the specifics of my trip. It's also hard to comment on the plans I'm making when it could all turn pear shaped when the trip actually starts. However, I feel for that very reason, now is a good time to talk about my intentions. Then I can see how they compare to what actually happens.

Part 8 - Planning

More or less the first thing I did after finding out I was the GUFF delegate was to check out the visa situation, since if there was likely to be any problem getting into the country. Fortunately, providing you're an EU citizen, it's pretty straightforward these days. For Australia, you must apply for a "eVisitor" online. This is free, and is normally granted in about 24 hours. For New Zealand it's even easier, as EU citizens can travel for holidays without a visa.

The next thing was to check I could get the time off work. There were raised eyebrows at me taking my entire year's holidays in a single block, but in the end it was no problem. I wanted to go to Au Contraire before Aussiecon, so a week an New Zealand followed by 3 weeks in Australia seemed a logical breakdown.

I also started talking to as many previous fan fund winners as I could, and got lots of helpful advice. Ang, Sue Ann and James Bacon in particular have been hugely helpful. I also got a number of offers of places to stay during the trip, which was also fantastic.

I felt it would be a good idea to get my main flights booked as soon as I could, so I at least had the main part of the trip nailed down. I looked at lots of options from various airlines. I did toy with the idea of trying to do a round the world trip, but that didn't seem to be practical, and these days it's best not to travel through the US unless necessary, as I really don't want to end up on the wrong side of Homeland Security.

There were some fairly cheap options for flights to Australia, but the tricky part seemed to be the New Zealand leg. In the end, the best deal seemed to be to book with Quantas as a multi-stop trip. While they were a little more expensive for an Australia only journey, they were a lot cheaper than any combination of flights I managed to find. It should also mean that if anything goes wrong with my flight connection, it's the Airline's fault and they have to look after me.

The next step was planning what to do when I get there. I'll go into my plans for the conventions later. For now I'll talk about what I'm doing around them.

Norman Cates, a former DUFF delegate, was very generous in offering to put me up when I arrive in Wellington. Hopefully I'll get to meet some of New Zealand fans in the run up to Au Contraire,

I would have liked to go to lots of places in Australia. Sydney is the obvious choice, though only really for touristy reasons. However, I was advised that the biggest fan community outside Melbourne was Perth, so a stop-over there seemed a must. I also felt it would be nice to catch up with old friends Damien and Juliette as their 2005 trip was one of the things that sparked my interest in GUFF. After that there really wasn't time for any more stop-offs.

Sue Ann suggest I come to the monthly meeting of MUGS, the Melbourne LEGO Users Group, so keen to forge more links between LEGO and SF fans, I readily agreed.

Booking internal flights in Australia was pretty easy, and reasonably cheap. I hope that JetStar are nicer than Ryanair (I think I've flown with Ryanair enough that I doubt anything will surprise me).

One thing I'm quite pleased about is that my flight on the way out is on a 747 (operated by BA - I hope they don't go on strike), while on the way back I'm on a A380 super-jumbo. I haven't been on either before, so getting to experience the two largest passenger planes on the same trip should be interesting.

I've outlined my itinerary below.

Sat 21 Aug: Arrive in Heathrow, depart for Wellington
I've a few hours in Heathrow. Anyone fancy meeting for a pint there?

Mon 23 Aug: Arrive in Wellington

Fri 27 Aug-Mon 29 Aug
Au Contraire

Tue 31 Aug: Depart Wellington, arrive in Melbourne

Thu 2 Sep-Mon 6 Sep
Aussiecon 4

Tue 7 Sep-Wed 8 Sep

Thu 9 Sep-Sun 12 Sep

Sun 12 Seo-Tue 14 Sep

Wed 15 Sep-Sat 18 Sep

Sun 19 Sep
Depart Melbourne

Mon 20 Sep
Arrive Dublin

Hugo Voting

Aug. 1st, 2010 12:56 pm
lostcarpark: (Lego Harry Potter)
After a bit of a frantic rush to get at least a representative proportion of the Hugo material read, I voted in the Hugos last night. I will admit that my voting was not entirely unbiased as there are a number of people I know in the running. They're all very deserving, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed for them.

The toughest ones were the categories where two friends are both in the running. Actually, they weren't tough at all, but apologies to those I had to give second preference votes.

Do us proud.

I think voting closed a few hours ago, so if you haven't voted yet, it's too late.

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