I lived the first 24 years of my life in Australia; Western Australia to be exact. Since then, the longest time I have spent in Oz was about 7 months or so, which I have done a couple of times.
I have lived, all told, about 29 years in Malaysia (18 months of that in Borneo); almost 7 years in Vienna, Austria; and two years in Tunis, Tunisia.
That’s no less than 4 continents and a very large island… So where is home?
Well, I think I found out when the West Australian Science Fiction Foundation (WASFF) invited me to be a guest at the next Swancon 2008 (which in 2008 also happens to be the Australian National Convention for science fiction and fantasy).
Quite frankly, I’m delighted to be invited to be a guest at any sff convention, but the idea that my home town issued the invitation just bowled me over.
It is especially meaningful on a number of levels:
- W.A. is where I grew up. It is “home” in that special way that no other place can ever be.
- They invited me in a year when Swancon is also a national convention.
- Swancon was the first sff con I ever went to, back in 2003. I attended knowing no one, in trepidation, thinking I would be out of place, or lonesome, or something. I was made welcome, met some fantastic people, was made to feel as if I belonged. I realised right then that I was a con junkie. If I had the money I’d go to one every couple of months…
- Because I am from West Australia, the invitation seemed to be an acknowledgment to a local “made good”, a tribute from the home team. [They may not have meant it, but that’s how it feels…don’t disabuse me, will you?]
So you folk from W.A., I am looking forward to being a guest at Swancon. Very much. Thank you for the invite. I can’t wait for Easter March 20-24! Besides, I get to meet Ken Macleod and Paul Cornell.
How cool is that?