Day Zero: Destination Adelaide

About planes, the Tiptree, the Kitschies, music, movies, and a nightclub.

On Tuesday 26 February, I departed for Adelaide. I was travelling light, cabin baggage only. Access to free wifi varied quite a bit, and I spent most of the first two legs of the journey sleeping and reading. When I did have wifi, I was most often in email-discussion with my colleagues on the Tiptree jury as we reached the final phase of selection. Congratulations to Caitlin R. Kiernan (The Drowning Girl) and Kiini Ibura Salaam (Ancient Ancient) for their well-deserved win! Congrats also to the authors who made the honour list: Elizabeth Bear, Roz Kaveney, M.J. Locke, Kim Stanley Robinson, Karin Tidbeck, Ankaret Wells, and Lesley Wheeler. You can check out all the works at

When I landed in Dubai, I checked my twitter and discovered a surge in mentions. Redemption in Indigo had won The Golden Tentacle (Best Debut) at the Kitschies. Thank you so much to the Kitschies judges! May I take this opportunity to draw to your attention the Kitschies playlist. This was my contribution:

Kitschies playlist

Between Dubai and Adelaide I was mostly awake, so I caught up on some movies. Beasts of the Southern Wild was the first I saw. I loved it as a filmwatcher and a storyteller, and I did cry even though I’d been warned about ‘the scene that will make you cry’. I also watched two tai chi movies, a bit silly in plot but great in fight choreography.

On arrival in Adelaide late on Thursday 28 February, I smugly sauntered past baggage claim with my carry-on and handbag and was greeted by Adelaide Writers’ Week volunteer Sophie Byrne. I expected to come across as a shambling, incoherent, jetlagged wreck, but she was kind, reassuring and restful. She took me to my hotel and gently suggested that I do a quick unpack, enjoy a shower and change, and then think about heading back out with her to the Barrio. Which I did!

The Barrio was delightfully surreal. I never managed to see it in the daytime, but to my blurred and bleary vision it was an accretion of found objects, an assemblage of post-apocalyptic salvage. There I found Sean Williams, the delightful human being who got me hooked on Tim Tams in San Diego, increased the dosage to a full box in Toronto, and thus gradually lured me to Australia. After all too brief a time, the jetlag, as expected, came down upon me like a mighty hammer, so off I went for my first proper sleep since Monday night.

Next, Day One of the Writers’ Week!