Though I've been a Terry Pratchett reader for a while (though in recent years I haven't even come close to keeping up with reading all the great novels he's produced) I've never been to a Discworld convention until the third Nullus Anxietas, held in Penrith over the weekend 8-10 April 2011. (had heard some good things about the first two Nullus Anxietas cons though, but they were in Melbourne.)
In a nutshell - it's been a *long* time since I've had so much fun at a convention, and it felt really great that everyone was there to do the same thing. There were loads of excellent hall costumes - I cant remember the last time I attended a convention and saw so many people dressed up in some really great costumes.
The overall vibe was very friendly, and while I thought I was attending as a spectator, I soon got into the theme of things, having got killed three times by a member of the assasinsguild. (Don't worry, I soon got the hang of it and was wreaking my revenge)..
I was there primarily to fly the Andromeda Spaceways Inflight magazine flag by personing the ASIM table with Simon Petrie, but we were also both gently coaxed into doing a 2-part writers workshop, as well as giving a talk about Andromeda Spaceways. As our 50th issue had been published only a few weeks before the convention we felt we had a bit to crow about.
The con-kit was lovingly designed - you didn't just get a name tag, you got your discworld passport, and the program book was an exquisite work of art..
Sir Terry was in good form. The convention had organised 4 autograph sessions with him - you received a session number in your con kit, along with a set of rules that were very reasonable - only 1 item per person, for instance, and if Sir Terry got tired before you'd reached the head of the queue, well, that was just the way it went.
He didn't get tired. He made sure every last person on every queue got an autograph and a stamp, and even a photo and quick chat if they wanted it. I'd been at a signing he did at Galaxy Bookshop in Sydney years before, had been right down the end of the line then too, and when I'd commented I'd thought he'd leave before I got a chance to get my book signed back then, he'd explained that he felt it was his duty to his fans to make sure no one who'd queued to meet him was turned away. Clearly he still keeps those high ideals.
I wish every can could be that fresh and inspiring!
A big CONGRATULATIONS to the Nullus Anxietas committee and volunteers on a job well done!