Aussiecon 4, Voice of the Echidna, Issue 3 – Friday Afternoon (synopsis)

Transcribed by Elaine Walker

The Voice of the Echidna was the daily (sometimes twice daily) newsletter of Aussiecon 4. I appear to have obtained or at least retained the first three issues, of which this is the third. I am not going to type the entire thing out but I shall put in the key points and highlights. It was an A4 double-sided sheet on pale yellow paper, with a logo of an Echidna with the stars of the Southern Cross superimposed on it. Link is to wayback archive with all of the newsletters.

This newsletter started out mainly with advisories, indicating that there was no free water, that there was some secret coding for the Plenary rooms (P1 was doors 5 and 6,  P2 doors 7 and 8 and P3 doors 9 and 10.)

The various listing of the Australian Awards which were being given at a Ceremony that night, which contained the Ditmars, the Inaugural Norma K Hemming Award, the Chandler Award and the Peter McNamara Achievement Award (I seem to remember going to this. I even dressed up. I believe briefly the Best Fannish Cat was revived as a category for the Ditmars)

Some other awards from NASFiC – the Chesleys – were announced. (This is the Big convention that takes place in North America when WorldCon isn’t in the USA. Feel free to go to the link above if you want to know what they were.)

Announcements regarding Kaffeeklatsches, Fan Fund Auctions (which was shortly after this went to press and it’s far too late to worry about it now) and Site Selection closing times were also given.

The Hospitality Events for the evening were given. These included:

  • UK and Ireland & Continuum 7 (Corporate Left)
  • Texas in 2013 &amp New Zealand in 2020 – the Kiwis are the designated Russians (Corporate Right)
  • Chicago in 2012 (Bridge 1)
  • CSFG (Bridge 2)

I seem to remember going to this. Food was pretty good

Speaking of Food. Some more advisories for food places at the convention were given and a recommendation. Given that the Melbourne food scene is variable I won’t give specifics since there is no guarantee they are still there. I am fairly sure the Nepalese one is already gone.

I will not bore you with the WSFS Preliminary report. You’re interested in what the proposals were? Follow the link to the full newsletter.

There were people looking for car shares and so forth after the convention, so the newsletter was publishing stuff like that for fans to share costs and so forth and link up with like minded travel companions.

And apparently a note that they had been told that while photography was permitted in the MCEC during the day when people were around, attempting to take pictures of the empty architecture at night results in the descent of the security staff to forbid it. Most illogical!

And now some excerpts of bits of writing people did for the newsletter.

Previously on…

Have you had adventures this past week? We’d like to know about them:


Just south-west of Melbourne, a couple of hours drive along the Great Ocean Road, is a place called the Otway Fly. It’s along a narrow, twisting road through the hills back into untouched Australian rainforest. There I had the opportunity to walk along a steel walkway that leads out from the hillside far from the ground below and that soars into the treetops. It’s glorious. There’s only one problem.

I’m afraid of heights.

I’m also stubborn: if the husband is going, I’m going. So I gird my loins and out I step. And here’s where the science fiction, courtesy of Frank Herbert’s Dune, comes in: it’s adulterated but still effective.

Fear is the mind-killer. I will face my fear and let it pass through me, and when it is gone only I will remain.

I run the chant over and over as the steel creaks and sways underfoot. Thankfully it’s still winter, so hordes of children aren’t bouncing along beside us.

By the time we’ve walked the entire circuit, I’m almost calm about my distance from the ground. I’m able to pause, admire the ferns growing from the branches and the sunlight on the moss. I’m even able to take some photos.

I’m still grateful to be able to take that last slow step onto solid ground, but the exhilaration of having faced one thing and conquered it lasts all the way back up the hill.


Cosmos Limerick #3

Chasing alien creatures in space
Ripley certainly keeps up the pace,
showing courage and flair
and a great deal of care –
you can tell that I think she’s an ace!

This issue was produced by Fran Dowd, with the assistance of Flick, Ang, Tim-Tams, Sue-Ann, Steve, Flat Whites, mrgazpacho, and the promise of Cheese Twisties…
Masthead by Sue Mason. We’re following #Aus4 and #worldcon on Twitter and Flickr.

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