Supanova Sydney 2011

Here is the post I have been promising for nearly a month, a quick write up on the epicness that was Supanova – The Pop Culture Expo.

During the week leading up to the event we had decided it would probably be best to do a day trip, which meant an early start to avoid the queues had been made two hours earlier. After alleviating the grouchiness and absent-mindedness with copious amounts of coffee, and after a very eventful car trip with two of most clueless navigators I have ever driven with, we somehow made it to Olympic Park on time to be confronted with this:

The line was moving surprisingly fast

After clawing our way through the queue, swapping tickets for stamps (and other favours…), we finally made our way inside only to be confronted by this amazing sight:

This is just the main hall, there were so many hidden gems.

The main hall was crowded, very crowded. There was just a stream of people moving from stall to stall, and it was hard to spend any time at a particular stall before the flow of people picked you up and swept you to the next one. That said the people there were amazing, so kind, so courteous and so generous with their time. People had obviously put so much time and effort into their costumes and it was so much fun meeting them all and getting some great photos:

The Silence

Final Fantasy X: Auron

For me, one of the biggest thrills was getting to meet some fantastic writers whose books I love reading and who just happened to have stalls at Supanova. I had a great chat to Alison Goodman about changing the name of her book Two Pearls of Wisdom to Eon, and the excitement of having both Eon and the sequel Eona on the New York Times Bestsellers list at the same time (she was kind enough to sign both books for me).

I talked to Kevin J. Anderson about what it’s like writing with his wife Rebecca Moesta (who I also talked with), and what we can expect from latest book in the Dune series: Sisterhood of Dune. I asked Jennifer Fallon if she had any insight as to why Australian fantasy writers are doing so well at the moment, to which she replied that Australian fantasy has always been strong and that the recent success of a few Australian authors has generated a lot of interest in other Australian authors. I also chatted to Marianne De Pierres who has won multiple Aurelis Awards for her sci-fi series Parrish Plessis, talking about the future of writing and how the e-book revolution has completely changed the business models for writers and created new rules for how to build an image and a presence within the current market.

Supanova was a fantastic event, it was the first time I had been to a pop culture convention and I can tell you that it will not be my last. If there are any conventions happening close to you then I highly recommend you go there and experience it first hand. It is a celebration of everything geek and something that really helps paint us geeks in a good light. I will be back next year in costume, and I will be saving my dollars for a trip to the U.S. next year so I can attend the San Diego Comic-Con. I will leave you with some more picture from the day, hopefully it will inspire you to attend your first convention.

The Legend of the 3DS and How I Came to be Known as Killer of Thor

Well its official, I am now the proud owner of a portable gaming console, the wonderful Nintendo 3DS. I have held out and held out and held out, but my friend made me an offer that I just couldn’t refuse.

Yeah you know those big posts I was promising, well instead of writing and reading I was actual playing Legend of Zelda: Ocarina of Time 3D and Pokemon White which Alaisdair included in the sale. He also included Nintendogs complete with his own puppy named Thor which he had not deleted. I tried playing with him, but he was malnourished and dehydrated so I did what I thought was best and traded him in for Final Fantasy XII: Revenant Wings and Chrono-Trigger. It’s ok, Thor has just gone for a holiday up north to a new farm where he can chase rabbits to his hearts content. You will be missed Thor, but not by me.

Talk about gaming nostalgia with OoT. It looks good on the 3DS, really good. I remember back when I first played this on the N64 and I thought graphics would never get better that this, well its 13 years on and the new facelift has done wonders, I think this is the game that Nintendo wished they could have made if they had have had the technology. The only thing is, I dont remember getting through it so quick, I haven’t spent much time on it and I am already Adult Link in possession of the Master Sword. The 3D has been done very well here, but I find myself playing the game in 2D for the most part and switching to 3D for the cutscenes. Time will tell for whether or not I keep using the 3D functionality.

Pokemon… where to start… I haven’t played Pokemon since I borrowed my friends Gameboy well over 10 years ago, and I have to say that I dont think much has changed. Sure there are another 150 pokemon to catch, but its still the same formula of catch some pokemon, level up, go to the next town and fight the gym leader so you can get the gym badge, rinse and repeat. There is some story in there about pokemon having the right to be free vs. the trainers bringing out the best in pokemon, but it just seems really uninspired. I’ll probably finish it and trade it in for the next big game, but then again I may not make it that far.

I haven’t played Final Fantasy or Chrono-Trigger yet. I would normally have tried both out by now but with all the books I’m reading, all the movies I’m watching, and all the stories I’m writing, I find it hard to concentrate on more than 2 games at a time now. My poor PS3 is sitting there feeling slightly neglected now that the new toy is in town. And as for the Wii… well… once the new Zelda comes out and I finish it, I dare say you will be making a trip back to EB Games so you can be sent to the farm up north where you will meet up with Thor.