Vampirefest, or, how I spent World Goth Day

kirstyn mcdermott reading at vampirefest

Yesterday was World Goth Day (appointed by goths, for goths), so it was appropriate that I donned my Nosferatu t-shirt and headed out to the Melbourne Science Fiction Club’s annual mini-con, this year branded Vampirefest!

The mini-con wasn’t all about the Undead: there was a Tardis and a light-sabre and a tricky standee of Dr Who who kept staring at you, no matter where you were standing in the church hall, and a Stormtrooper made an appearance. There were booksellers and fan groups and interest groups and it was all good, especially once the sun started to come through the windows and warm the winter chill – hooray for the coffee pot! No Twilight shirts in the audience that I saw, but there were a few “And then Buffy killed Edward: the end” ones — clearly, this was a gathering of true believers.

I was chuffed at the attention paid to my talk about the evolving nature of the vampire, and how cool was it to see the young readers in the front row showing discernment in their vampire literature. There is hope for the monster yet!

Unfortunately, that message didn’t quite make it through the debate, where my team failed in our bid to overturn the premise that ‘vampires should just lay down and die’. But again, I took heart from the youth vote!

The Dr Who club had the invidious task of opening proceedings with a presentation of vampires depicted in the TV series; they didn’t quite get the attention they deserved due to stalls still being set up and general greeting chit-chat, but I enjoyed the snippets they showed, and found it interesting that the Time Lords had an edict to kill or be killed should they encounter any bloodsuckers. The vampire mythos, it seems, is truly universal!

I utterly failed at the trivia contest, managed to keep my hands in my pockets during the auction, and got to revel (even if she did go on to kick our butt in the debate) in Kirstyn’s first public reading (from behind the vampire balloons!) from her forthcoming Madigan Mine (not a vampire story, but a Gothic one, with blood and obsession and maybe-ghosts).

All in all, a fine day, further enhanced by lunch with a pal from Brissie and after-con drinks with another Queenslander and her gal pals.

World Goth Day

Apparently, May 22 is World Goth Day. I’m not sure what that entails — I thought every day was Halloween for the children of the night. The website suggests it’s about music and shopping. Maybe it’s mainstream appropriation that’s pushing the subculture, or a motivated part thereof, to stand up and be counted, even if it’s better known for slouching in the shadows, content to be, if not revelling in, not understood. But hey, if it means someone’s playing Siouxsie and the Mission and the like, well, I’m all for it. And the good thing is, I can go as I am.