Barring unforeseen changes, I’ll participating in the following program items at Conflux:
SECRET TIME LORDS: Most Time Lords apparently perished in the Great Time War. Ah, but did they? Our panellists speculate on Time Lords hidden amongst us. 6pm Friday, Forest Room 2.
EDITING ANTHOLOGIES – TIPS FOR THE UNINITIATED: 11am Saturday, Forest Room 3.
PITCH SESSION (by advance booking only) – midday, location unknown!
BOOK LAUNCH – PHANTAZEIN EDITED BY TEHANI WESSELY: 5pm Saturday, Conflux Registration area.
THE DOCTOR’S JOURNEY – REVIEWING THE 11TH DOCTOR’S TRAVELS: Yes, we know there’s some debate about the numbering with John Hurt’s War Doctor, but we’re sticking with the published designations. 4.30am Sunday, Board Room 3.
CROWD FUNDED PUBLISHING – ROUND TABLE DISCUSSION: 10am Monday, Forest Room 3.
THE SPOKEN JOURNEY: Podcasts, talking books, radio, audio journals: in a multi-media environment the writing market includes audio presentations. This panel explores audio as a medium and issues in accessibility, technology and performance. 1pm Monday, Forest Room 3.
I hope to also attend both guest of honour speeches, but the rest of the time, I’ll be hanging out in the dealer room! See you there?
Image from http://jinleephd.com/2013/06/29/23-why-should-you-write-young-adult-literature/
At Continuum X on the June long weekend, I had the privilege of moderating a panel called “YA: all grown up”, which featured Guest of Honour Ambelin Kwaymullina, and other YA writers Amie Kaufman, Leonie Rogers and Sue Bursztynski as panellists. We had a chat by email beforehand, so kind of knew the sort of things we wanted to talk about, but of course, you never know where the conversation will go. With such intelligent and well-read panellists, it went all sorts of great places!
We talked about why YA was both important and popular, with readers of all ages, with the panel suggesting that YA is important because “the young matter more” (Ambelin), and that it’s popular for reasons such as the fact it share qualities with genre fiction, the writing is pared back, and YA stories tend to be more diverse that adult-oriented fiction. The reasons why our panellists wrote YA were discussed, and we challenged the idea that YA was “easier” than adult fiction, to write or read, although it’s often shorter and more to-the-point!
Recommendations from the panel for quality YA:
Tehani said (though it would change on any given day) that top reads for her are: Laini Taylor (the Daughter of Smoke and Bone series), Liar by Justine Larbalestier and recommends Awards lists such as the Aurealis Awards, CBCA Older Readers, Inky Awards and various Premier’s literary awards.
Amie suggests Shadow and Bone by Leigh Bardugo and Legend by Marie Liu.
Ambelin says to pick what you love and don’t worry about where it comes from in the bookstore. Read something you wouldn’t normally read – diverse and different perspective and challenge you and make you smarter.
Sue recommends anything by Melina Marchetta and Michael Pryor’s Laws of Magic series.
Leonie seconds Ambelin’s words, and adds Terry Pratchett’s The Wee Free Men, Brandon Sanderson’s Rithmatist books, and Bonnie’s story, a blonde’s guide to mathematics by Janis Hill.
I’d like to thank the panellists for being so darn awesome and smart, and for making the hour-long discussion absolutely fly by!
Please note that the notes I took were definitely on the run, and my memory is always suspect. Hopefully I’ve not misrepresented or misremembered anything here – I welcome comments from audience members and the panellists if I’ve got it wrong or missed anything super important!
I’ll only be at Continuum X on Saturday and Sunday, but it’s going to be a busy couple of days! At this point, I’ll be hanging in the Dealer Room for most of the time during the day, except when enpanelled. And my panels look like this:
4pm Saturday – Book Launch: Guardian
Join the FableCroft Publishing team to officially launch Jo Anderton’s new Veiled Worlds novel, Guardian. Prizes, treats and special launch prices available!
Tehani Wessely, Jo Anderton, Tansy Rayner Roberts
6pm Saturday – Getting Involved In Awards
From Aurealis to Ditmars to Hugos, there are a wide range of Australian and international speculative fiction awards ad almost as many ways to participate in them. Our panellists discuss the awards they’ve participated in, and how you too can get involved.
PRK, Tehani Wessely, Justin Ackroyd, Alex Pierce
10am Sunday – Young Adult – All Grown Up
Is YA fiction just fiction with YA heroes? What is YA, what makes it good, what differentiates it from adult or “new adult” fiction?
Tehani Wessely, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Amie Kaufman, Leonie Rogers, Sue Bursztynski
2pm Sunday – The Crowdfunding Experience
Sites like Kickstarter and Pozible allow ambitious creators to fund projects through small contributions from vast numbers of curious consumers. When it works, it often works spectacularly – but projects can fail just as spectacularly. A look at pros and cons of the crowdfunding business model by creators who have tried it.
Tehani Wessely, Josh Vann, Laura Wilkinson, Ben McKenzie, Paul Nicholas
4pm Sunday –
Ever wondered how that story got chosen – or rejected? Our panel of editors will
read out the openings of a few SF stories complete with realtime analysis, explaining at what point they would decide to keep or dump a story and why. explain why some stories make it through and others don’t.
Cat Sparks, Tehani Wessely, Jack Dann, Sue Bursztynski, Amanda Pillar
5pm Sunday – Punching Above Their Weight: Small Press in Australia
They take chances. They go where no big press dares. They publish new writers and artists and veterans alike. They publish SF, fantasy, horror, humour, YA, children’s books, themed anthologies. Big press publishes FFT – fat fantasy trilogies. How and why can Australia’s vibrant small press do things large ones can’t?
Sue Bursztynski, Paul Collins, Edwina Harvey, Simon Petrie, Tehani Wessely
8pm Sunday – The Awards
Other than all that (more panels than I’ve EVER been on at a convention, I think!) I’ll hoping catch a few friends for dinner and see everyone in the Dealer Room!
(Photo via Cat’s camera but pretty sure Alan Baxter took it!)
Swancon Thirty Six | Natcon Fifty is over. Actually, it finished on Monday, but I’ve needed a couple of days to become almost human again! Tuesday also saw us have a major car breakdown which meant Dirk Flinthart and I spent three and a half hours on the side of the Kwinana Freeway instead of enjoying the company of kids and friends on a lovely Rockingham beachfront, but anyway! Helen Merrick came to the rescue, taking kids home and then bringing food once we eventually MADE it home (after the most interesting tow truck ride ever!). Terri Sellen then provided more rescue, taking the Flinthart to meet his evening flight. I have good friends!
(Photo at pre-awards party by Cat Sparks) But Swancon, yes. It was a bit of a blur. We worked so hard in the lead up to the con, and during, that it was hard to actually enjoy it! Too busy I guess. Having said that, I’m glad I picked up people at the airport because it meant a little quiet conversation time. I enjoyed the guest luncheon on Thursday for the same reason, the room party in Terri’s room Friday night, and being the holder of the glow sticks for the Orbit | Gollancz sponsored pre-Ditmars cocktail party. All for the same reason – I got to chat with people. When I eventually spent some time on the TPP/FC table in the Dealer Room (which was as great as I wanted it to be!) I got to have more conversations, and if I didn’t get much time hanging out in the bar with peeps, I did still manage a few snatched minutes here and there. It was a very busy con, but it makes it worthwhile to know that the vast majority of people attending really did enjoy it!
I’ve rounded up as many con reports as I could below. Email me at fablecroft at gmail dot com to let me know of those I’ve missed or which are posted after! Happy to add them
Some entries may be friend locked, so my apologies if you can’t access those.
Ellen Datlow (photo by Cat Sparks):
On the Romance Writers Stream:
On the EduStream and more:
Resources from the EduStream here.
Nicole R Murphy:
Damian Warman on the Peter McNamara Award:
Ditmar, Tin Duck and Special Award winners:
The Chungs (many more to come!)
Beyond the Trapdoor
Natcon Committee and Guests
Tin Duck and Ditmar Winners
From Wednesday September 1 to Monday September 6, I was in Melbourne for the fourth Australian Worldcon, Aussiecon 4. This was a great chance to meet authors and people in spec fic from all over the world, including long-time online friends and many others. FableCroft had a strong presence in the Dealer Room (thanks to Alisa over at Twelfth Planet Press who permitted us space on her beautifully presented table, as well as access to her EFTPOS machine!) and I got the chance to meet and catch up with almost a full quotient of FableCroft authors! Both Worlds Next Door and Australis Imaginarium sold well and it was lots of fun to talk to people about them and show them off.
* Giving Shaun Tan his contributor copy of Australis Imaginarium and having him admire it very much! Well done Amanda Rainey for a cover design that really did his artwork justice.
* Getting authors to sign their stories in a special copy of Worlds Next Door.
* Hearing Dirk Flinthart recount how he read his Worlds Next Door story (“The Best Dog in the World”) to a very appreciative audience, only to end up in tears himself – twice! (A number of other people also said they may have choked up when reading it themselves – it’s a good story )
* Being on a panel about writing the difference in Australian SF with Peter M Ball and Narrelle Harris and being able to recommend fantastic Australian short and long fiction to a mostly international audience.
It was such a busy but fabulous five days, and one I’m so glad I got to – hope to make it to another Worldcon one year! For now though, I’ll look forward to Swancon36/Natcon50 in Perth at Easter, the Aurealis Awards in Sydney sometime next year, and hopefully Conflux in Canberra late 2011!
Alisa and Tehani behind the TPP/FableCroft table
(this photo courtesy of George Ivanoff)