Discover more from CheeseburgerGothic
A weekend at Supanova
I had a weekend down coast for Supernova, which was tiring but fun. I was on the writers’ booth with Alan Baxter, Amanda Bridgeman, Maria Lewis and Jeremy Szal, all of whom have books scattered across my ridiculous number of e-readers. So that was cool. It was a hell of a thing watching them work the floor, too. I've only ever been to a couple of Supernovas and I've always gone as an invited guest, so I tend to sit around on my arse and wait for the punters to roll up with old books or new, for a signing and a chat.
Nothing so laid back for these guys. They hit that booth and went to work! It was exhausting just to watch them. Inspiring, but. It didn't make me want to run away and join the Supernova circus, but it did remind me I have all these tools for reaching out to readers—like blogs and Twitter and newsletters and shit—that I should really tend to more often.
I also caught up with Luke Sparke who’s putting together the screen adaptation for Weapons of Choice, which was reason enough for me to take a drive down. And it’s always fun to take a break from the booth and just wander around checking out the floor show.
Supernova has surprised me the same two ways each time I’ve been. The first is the nakedly commercial aspect of it. It really is a giant trade show for nerds and nerd culture, and unabashedly so.
But if it wasn't for the nerds none of it would work, and they come in their thousands. I couldn't say for sure how many of them are also cosplaying their favourite characters from games or movies or even books, but I'd lay money on the barrelhead that it's more than half. And man, some of those costumes. I have to imagine that weeks or possibly even months of work go into them.
It's both amusing and a little worrying to see them outside the Gold Coast convention centre where the con was held. That's two very different cultures mashed up close together right there. I drove up from my hotel early on Sunday morning and had a bit of a wander around the ‘hood, looking for a copy of The Saturday Paper. There were dozens of people in amazing costumery making their way through crowds of school holiday families, hungover party animals, aggressively awful Instagrammers, surfers, beach bums, the whole south coast deal. There were a couple of moments when I worried things might not have gone so well for the nerds, but it was all good. People seemed to appreciate the show.
I decided to stay overnight on the coast, and the organisers kindly booked me a nice hotel room at a resort called QT, for which I was grateful. It rained pretty constantly the first day, but I didn’t really notice because I was inside until quite late. Sunday, however, was spectacular.
It’s a new place, the rooms were big and comfy and the breakfast buffet was very generous. Although after a couple of years of staying home I did find myself staring at it going ‘what next?’
I gotta admit that I found the booth work exhausting, and I wasn't really doing any. I was happy to just sit there and wait for my punters to roll up. Two days of watching the other guys work their mojo was kinda shattering.
It was also a moment of clarity. I realised that I am a long way from being recovered from last year's illness and surgery, and I have a lot of work ahead of me to get over that. I feel like I've aged about 10 years in six months and I look like it too. I've dropped a heap of muscle mass. I've lost a lot of cardio fitness. And I just feel tired all the time. But watching those guys do their thing was kind of inspiring, so I’ve come back with a little more charge in the battery then I took down.
With that, I guess I had better get to work.
Thanks for reading CheeseburgerGothic. You can safely subscribe. It’s free and always will be.