Melbourne Gets its Geek On

Aussiecon 4 co-chair Perry Middlemiss

Aussiecon 4 co-chair Perry Middlemiss

Yesterday Aussiecon4 kicked off its program of science fiction and fantasy events with a bang. The 68th World Science Fiction Convention (also known as Wolrdcon) brings in guests from around the globe but the event has been put together almost entirely by volunteers.

Co-chair of Aussiecon Perry Middlemiss has been working to bring the event to Melbourne for years. He told the Wheeler Centre, “It started as an idea back in 2002 and we had to go through a long bidding process in Australia, Europe and the US. We’d go to other conventions around the world and throw information sessions and parties - it’s been a lot of work.”

Hugo Award nominee China Mieville

Hugo Award nominee China Mieville

The packed Aussiecon 4 program runs until Monday with talks, workshops, film premieres, masquerade balls and the some stellar guests. Today’s guest of honour is Shaun Tan and Saturday sees sci-fi legend Kim Stanley Robinson deliver keynote address.

But for many fans the big event is the Hugo Awards, science fiction’s biggest awards voted for by the fans themselves. To help them make their decision, all the books in the running are available as e-books. The awards are announced on Sunday night. While some are tipping China Mieville for the win, Middlemiss is keeping tight-lipped. “The awards are sitting in my room unopened but I can’t say yet.”