In my capacity as co-chair of Aussiecon 4 - the World Science Fiction Convention we are holding here in Melbourne in 2010 - I was interviewed on the radio (774 ABC) this morning by Rhys Muldoon.
Here are a few observations in near chronological order:
1. ABC radio rings and I'm in the bedroom, with the family down the far end of the house - which is strangely quiet for a morning. I decide that I have to remember I am only talking to only one person, not an invisible audience of thousands.
2. The first voice I hear is one of the radio people who refers to the worldcon as a "sci-fi" convention, a term that is guaranteed to get my hackles up. Second decision: don't correct them, unless you can turn it into a joke. Third decision: don't try to be funny.
3. Next is the show's producer who wants to know how I should be introduced, ie what's my position. They take this "co-chair" business in their stride. Don't even question it.
4. No matter how much you convince yourself you won't do it (no, no don't even think about it) you end up saying, "Morning Rhys, how are you?" Damn, should have stopped at Rhys.
5. Don't know if I am thankful that Red Symons is on holidays or not.
6. As expected, Rhys (well, we're BFFs now aren't we?) concentrates on sf media. He
brings up "Battlestar Galactica" - the new version - which I say is one of the most political shows currently on television, and good space opera - lots of big things being blown up. Much later I mention Dr Who... Hang on, isn't this supposed to be a literary convention?
7. When's the crazy costume question going to come up?
8. Rhys asks: "What sort of organising do you have to do over the next two years?" And you think: he reckons we're dragging the chain; how much organisation do you need for 3,000 geeks? The nerves are bringing out the paranoia. So I attempt to get back to safe ground and pull the conversation back to the literary side of the convention, and the program: five days of 5 or 6 program streams, running from 9am to 6pm, with extra major events in the evenings. "There's a lot of work to be done," I point out. By this time I think I'm starting to sound rather needy.
9. He actually hasn't mentioned geeks yet. I think I have an answer for that. And I'm still waiting for the costume question.
10. He asks about what I was interested in when I was younger, and Dr Who pops into my head. Hadn't meant to, but we seem to be stuck on television. Mentioning Dr Who I say that my son (once and future BFF) started watching the new Dr Who at about the age I started watching the original. Not sure if Rhys rapidly figures out that makes me rather ancient. But he runs with it okay, and we discuss the Stephen Moffat episode "Blink", which won a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation - Short Form. I mention the Hugos more in hope than expectation.
11. Of course, there's no chance to get any more information out about what the convention's all about, as even I can tell through the nerves that the end is nigh.
12. And that question arrives at last: "So are you going to be dressed up?" "No", I reply, "I think wearing a suit and tie is too much dressing up for me." "Good man," he says. And it's over.
13. In retrospect it's probably lasted about 10 minutes. Felt like two.
14. The family thinks I did well - as they would - and my son is particularly chuffed that he got mentioned on the radio. (It's rather sad that someone my age has to suck up to
his own kids for approval.)
15. I'm exhausted. 16. No mention of geeks, for which I am grateful. Some of my rehearsed lines don't get a run. Maybe next time. And I didn't get to remind Rhys that he'd appeared in the sf television series Farscape. A missed opportunity. One of many.