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

Transcribed by Elaine Walker. We thought we only had the first three of these, but trawling through another box has uncovered the next two issues of this newsletter so I shall continue to summarise their contents, including excerpts of bits I thought were interesting or amusing, starting with that of the Friday Evening. As per usual the constellation of the Southern Cross with the image of an Echidna drawn behind it is in the top left corner. This is an A4 sheet, double sided, printed in black on lavender coloured paper.

Awarded at Aussiecon 4

Prometheus Award 2010

Dani Kollin & Eytan Kollin, The Unincorporated Man

Slow News Day

Note on newsletter distribution: you may have noticed that the newsletters are coming out in small batches. This is because we have an incredibly slow device of production. Please be patient, more copies will arrive! We’ve been asked for a second floor distribution point: there is one already in Room 201. It can’t be outside, as it gets tidied away…

You can also point your electronic device of choice at the Aussiecon 4 website and read the PDF!

Even Slower News

In 1999 I arranged to have books shipped to A3. Unfortunately the shipper sent them by sea freight rather than the agreed on air freight. They arrived after A3 and have been in care of Justin Ackroyd/Slow Glass Books. Much has been sold, but the remaining inventory is now at Justin’s table. It only took 11 years for the books to make it to an Aussie Worldcon.

Michael Walsh, Old Earth Books

There were several reviews: the Tim Burton Exhibition which was going on at the ACMI in Federation Square at the time (which this transcriber did manage to get to eventually) was positively reviewed by Rebecca Tinkham and Kevin Hewell. On the food front there was a review of the Il Tempo bar café bruschetteria by Jan van’t Ent. There was also some spruiking of Meteor Incorporated, which is an Australian fund set up to establish a location for the storage of and access to collections of books, magazines, fanzines and related memorabilia whose owners can no longer house them. And a mention of LiveCon, Brendan Ragan’s program for making convention programs available via various devices. Which was actually used for the Aussiecon 4 program for those that wanted it.

Common Problem

“The main problem with e-books is getting the buggers signed.” If anyone has a solution, please let us know. (Actually we at ASFDAP would be interested if you do)

Not A Lot of People Know…

The long beaked echidnas have tiny spines on their tongues that help capture their prey.

Vogon Wanted #4

There once was a cop named Klaatu
Who arrived here to much ballyhoo
His robot named Gort
Could destroy all it sought
But decided ‘barada niktoo’

There were details from awards given at other locations; the Seiun and the Sidewise Awards. Feel free to go to the pdf version if you want to see them all listed.

Wanted, Party Animal

The Newsletter would appreciate it if people would behave in a stupid and entertaining fashion, and then tell us about it. In fact you can even just tell us about it without actually doing anything embarrassing if you like…

Some more information on when the free trams were running, the weather and the availability of the video of the Preliminary Business Meeting.

“Leatherette seats don’t lend themselves to writing in the nude.”
Robert Silverberg, in conversation with Kim Stanley Robinson (Friday 1100)

Rotsler Award

A Rotsler Award exhibit has been mounted on a computer in the Exhibit Hall (Room 202), near the Fan Gallery. You can click on things to see drawings by each of the winners and Rotsler himself, and read about the Award. The display is a version of the Award website ( that works without web access. If it isn’t up when you get there, double-click the Rotsler icon on the screen.

–John Hertz

(As of the date this was transcribed the site does appear to exist still)

Shaun Tan

As his GoH speech, Shaun Tan gave an illustrated presentation about himself as an artist, or rather about the person behind the artist.

It started with young Shaun’s ability to draw, from a small child first holding a pencil and not realising how unusual it was that others could recognise what he was drawing. Living in Perth, he was influenced less by other artists than by TV and movies, as well as by his father’s architectural work. He tried writing stories too, but his first publication was the artwork he sent with a story to Aurealis: not knowing anything about publishing, he’d simply folded the illustration into a standard envelope.

Tan’s sense of art developed without any formal arts education. Still, he realised that SF has a strong illustrative tradition and the process of summarising a story caught his imagination. In time, this developed into unconnected work: the image as its own story, and sometimes the reverse process of stories being written to match his illustrations.

His first professional sale as a student led to the realisation that he might be able to make a living as a full time artist. Shaun Tan’s interest in illustrated stories got him involved in children’s literature and educational publications, particularly attempts to attract reluctant readers.

Tan likes to keep a foot in many worlds, crossing over between comics, illustrations, fine arts, and everything in between. As he said, you have to learn how the real world works before you can draw a believable fantasy world. Finding himself with a Master of Arts degree, he started a range of different projects, of which The Rabbits by John Marsden was the first to take off. Tan didn’t like the story much to begin with, but by distorting the illustrations to show not-quite rabbits in not-quite Australia, he turned it into an engagingly mysterious and confrontational tale.

Another happy tale was Tan’s The Lost Thing, a rather autobiographical character collecting bottlecaps on the beach and running into a lost alien thing that combined elements of both a hermit crab and a stray animal, all somewhat deformed. While the story took about a year of work, the ensuing animated movie took five people over nine years to complete. Tan described it as a wonderful learning experience for an artist who likes interesting challenges.

Jan van’t Ent

This issue was produced by Steve Davies, with the assistance of Flick, Jan and the internet. Also large quantities of espresso. Thousands of filler items died to make up this issue. From now on, it’s all fresh news or stuff we made up.
Masthead by Sue Mason. We’re following #Aus4 and #worldcon on Twitter and Flickr.

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