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 second. 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 green 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.
Amongst the things covered in Issue Two was a note from an Echidna in the UK (apparently some people who couldn’t make it to the Convention were still contributing, though they also appeared to think they were in Montreal, so either they, or I, were confused. I’m willing to believe it’s me).
There were some Key program changes, due to some people either having to leave early, or not being able to attend the convention at all. Directions to program updates were provided.
Information on the Masquerade (and how it differs to the local definition, being a theatrical performance, not a party) was given.
There was much information on food, including cheap coffee and pizza, a link to a livejournal community being used for restaurant reviews by congoers as well as reports on the Montreal Thank You reception.
There was information on WiFi for the desperate and poor, and complaints from the editorial staff that even paying for it they apparently could only get limited time and had to use rolling credit cards to get 24 hour access.
There was some plugging of various things a fanzine meet, Regency Dancing, Fan Funds, Legacy pins, and bid voting parties. So just the usual stuff there. And of course the usual pleading for volunteers (with some potential bribing with books).
Membership numbers: At close of reg on Thursday, there were 1334 pre-registered attending members on site. There were also 49 new attending members and 51 Thursday day memberships, for a total of 1,434 warm bodies on site.
Now for some of the little incidental pieces that I found amusing enough to want to copy out:
A Linguist Writes
Part of the Australian stereotype is the infamous “G’day.” It’s something we can’t deny. We do say “G’day”. From the first words between two lovers in the morning, to a chance encounter on the street: “G’day.” As much as I hate the Australian stereotype portrayed overseas, I cannot deny using this greeting. “So, how do you say it?” I hear you ask:
First of all, you must remember that it is a contraction of the more formal “good day.” Where some cultures run words together, Australians apply that to whole sentences. Speak to an Australian on a Friday, and they may encourage you to, “Aveagoodweekend.” So let’s break “G’day.” into its component parts.
G: Looking at how “G’day” is in its written form, people tend to pronounce it with a hard “gee” sound. Thinking of it as a contraction of good may have you believing that a softer “goo” is correct. Both are wrong. It is a guttural “grrr,” produced in the back of the throat. A soft growl, with almost no hint at the original word “good.”
Day: There are many local variations on the pronunciation of “day.” the under-educated city “diy;” the country “da-ay” drawl. The most natural reasuts are with a short, soft “d,” followed be a long soft “a,” and almost no “y,” giving something like: daaay.
“Grrrdaaay.” Finally the lip and jaw movement. Quite simply, there is none. The upper and lower jaw are parted just enough to separate the teeth, but not enough to be able to pass your tongue through. The lips only just part, and there is a slight curl while uttering the growl. The sound is produced nasally. It should be uttered quickly, as if it were only one syllable. Imagine a thousand and one house-flies trying to crawl into your mouth. Australians tend to speak with their mouths closed. Grrdaay. “G’day.”
With practice, remembering what I’ve written above, you will be able to give an almost convincing Aussie “G’day.”
Fun Echidna Facts #1
A young echidna is called a puggle and is smaller than a jellybean. Monotremes have no nipples so the puggle sucks on oozy patches of skin.
Cosmos Limerick #2
Captain James Tiberius Kirk
used to wear a black thong with red needlework,
when he was cruising the bars,
down by the canals of Mars,
it was an unsavoury psychological quirk.
Sirius Cybernetics Customer Information
Apparently the escalators all change speed when empty. Is it (a) to save energy and do their little bit for the planet, or (b) to generate Comedy Moments when unwary fans step on them?
– thanks to Doug Spencer
Half Nymph Half Biscuit
The story of Echidna is a sad story indeed. Born with the unusual genetic condition of being half woman and half serpent, she has been picked on all her life. Some people just ignore her and pretend that she doesn’t exist. What’s with that? After all, no-one would say that Poseidon doesn’t exist.
Echidna has also been subject to racial discrimination. Unlike her siblings the Titans, who were gods, or the Cyclopes, blacksmiths to the Olympians, Echidna has never been accepted. She and her children have been attacked and sometimes killed because of how they look and their beliefs*.
Join the cult of Echidna today at www.echidna_was_misunderstood.com (if it ever existed it does not now)
*Belief 1: Humans are tasty
Belief 2: Humans are tasty
– Marianne Cain
this issue was produced by an Antiantipodean late night candleburning Alison Scott, with help from bleary-eyed Flick and an army of worldwide contributors. And no help from iTunes 10, which verily doth suck mightily. Masthead and punk echidna by Sue Mason. We’re following #Aus4 and #worldcon on Twitter and Flickr.