Tag Archives: panels

My MidAmeriCon II Schedule – it’s Worldcon Time!

I have been so caught up with the Aussie Snapshot that I forgot how close Worldcon is! *freaks out a little*

I am delighted to have been invited to be on a few panels, and I have no doubt I will have a blast when not doing programming.

If you are at the con, and want to catch up, please don’t hesitate to get in touch. And, I am always happy to be approached at a convention, in fact I am far too shy to approach people so that works way better for me!


Australian SF
Thursday 16:00 – 17:00, 2210 (Kansas City Convention Center)

Australian SF is largely Anglophone, and often considered part of the Anglo-American tradition. Yet, because of Australia’s physical isolation, the development of the book and literary trade here has been very different and Australian writing has a distinct flavour. It has also been heavily influenced by Aborigines, and there is a growing body of speculative fiction published and written by Aboriginal writers. We discuss the SF works coming from Australia.

Ms Clare McDonald-Sims, Mr David McDonald, Mr Jonathan Strahan, Miss Amanda Bridgeman

Writing Tie-Ins
Friday 19:00 – 20:00, 2208 (Kansas City Convention Center)

Tie-ins aren’t novelizations, and they’re not adaptations. So, what are they and what purpose do they serve? Moreover, what effect might they have on the source material? Panelists discuss tie-ins and how they affect the universe that they are set in.

David Boop, Jason Heller, Christopher Kastensmidt, Mr David McDonald

The Build-A-World Game Show
Friday 21:00 – 22:00, 2503A (Kansas City Convention Center)

The Build-a-World Game Show is a live action worldbuilding game designed and run by Monica Valentinelli. Two teams of panelists compete to build a fantastic world in under an hour for fun and prizes. The Build-a-World Game Show incorporates audience participation, takes place in three rounds, and results in a fan-voted winner!

Ms. Monica Valentinelli, Tex Thompson, Mr David McDonald, Martha Wells, Catherine Lundoff

Dialog in Game of Thrones: Great Storytelling through Ordinary Conversations
Saturday 16:00 – 17:00, 2207 (Kansas City Convention Center)

A single word can convey pages of subtext when it’s the right word. The Game of Thrones television series does an exceptional job of using dialog to convey character, mood, historical context, themes, narrative arcs, and more within some of the simplest (and yet most revealing) conversations. Panelsts discuss some of their favorite moments of dialog from the series and the impact that these exchanges have on the characters and viewers alike.

Charlaine Harris, Erin Underwood, Mr David McDonald, Toni L. P. Kelner

Continuum XII – Stranger than Fiction

If you’re in Melbourne this weekend, you should come and check out Continuum XII – Melbourne’s very own spec fic convention. From the website:

Continuum is an annual fan run speculative fiction and pop culture convention. From sci-fi to epic fantasy and everything in between, Continuum 12 will celebrate the theme “Stranger Than Fiction”. Continuum runs every year on the Queen’s Birthday long weekend. In 2016 the convention will be held between June 10-13.

Run by fans for fans, Continuum features a great line up of writers and creative artists in the heart of Australia’s most artistic city, Melbourne. The guests of honor at the next convention will be Queenie Chan and Kylie Chan.

Friday night is gold coin donation if you want to get a cheap taste, but be warned–it’s unlikely you can stop at one night!

I will be there all weekend, and I am on a number of panels (see below). Hope to see you there!

Friday, June 10
Continuum 101
Tesla, 7:30pm – 8pm
Tags: Panel

New to Continuum? Come chat to Continuum veterans about what to expect and how to get the most out of your convention

Batman vs. Superman
Tesla, 10pm – 11pm
Tags: Panel, Movies

Enjoyed by some, reviled by others, and with a Rotten Tomatoes score only 2% higher than Green Lantern, BvS has had a rather mixed reception. What happened? Is Batfleck a worthy successor and just how badass is Wonder Woman? Warning: SPOILERS (Duh)

Saturday, June 11
Books That Changed My Life
Granger, 10am – 11am
Tags: Panel

Join us for a discussion of works that had a profound effect on the panellists’ lives.

Religion vs. Science vs. Philosophy
Tesla, 2pm – 3pm

Most future works tend to avoid the issue, but can they co-exist? Does religion have a place in the far future and can different ideologies truly co-exist?

Sunday, June 12
Building a Dramatic Fight Scene
Curie, 5pm – 6pm

How do you write a great fight scene? What does it take to make it believable? Come hear some practical tips and watch your moves and techniques demonstrated by some experienced fighters

Monday, June 13
The Author is a Jerk!
Granger, 1pm – 2pm
Tags: Panel

How do the personal opinions and actions of an author affect the reception of their work and do we really care? Should an author’s personal and professional lives remain separate or should we boycott problematic authors?

My Continuum X Schedule

It’s hard to believe, but tomorrow Continuun X starts! I am on commitee (my excuse for being very absent here of late) so it feels like there has been a mad rush to get everything ready, but the time for preparation is over and the fun begins soon.

What is ContinuumX? From the website:

Continuum is an annual Melbourne speculative fiction and pop culture fan convention celebrating creativity across genre and media. From hard-edge science fiction to high-flown fantasy, comic books to film noir, high culture to sub-culture… we sink our teeth into it all! Continuum is run on a not-for-profit basis and all revenue goes towards venue and equipment hire, transport and accommodation for our guests, and other convention specific expenses. The Continuum Foundation supports Continuum conventions and we are grateful for their support.

Continuum 10 will take place on the Queen’s Birthday Weekend, June 6 — 9, 2014. Our guests of honour this year are Jim C. Hines and Ambelin Kwaymullina. Supporting them will be a wide range of other speakers and panellists in a fabulous line up of panels, presentations and special events.

Continuum 10 is also proud to be host convention for the 53rd Australian National Science Fiction Convention for 2014.

I may be biased, but I think we have an awesome program, with something for everyone. You can check it out here.

My schedule is below, but you will also find me at most of the book launches, running around doing errands…or in the bar. Come and say hello!

Friday, 6 June

Continuum 101
The Haunted House, 6pm – 6:30pm
Hespa, David McDonald, Fran la Fontaine
Everything you wanted to know about fan conventions and con-going – an ideal starting point for anyone relatively new to conventions. Learn the secrets from those who have been around long enough to know better.

Continuum 101 – Getting To Know You
The Haunted House, 6:30pm – 7pm
Hespa, David McDonald, Fran la Fontaine
A quick round of ice-breaker games to introduce you to your fellow newbies and your Continuum 101 hosts.

Spicks & Speckulations
The Haunted House/The Big Top/The Hall of Mirrors 8pm
George Ivanoff, Jim C. Hines, Narrelle Harris, Kirstyn McDermott, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Danny Oz, David McDonald
Inspired by the ABC music game show, our two teams of “experts” go head-to-head as their spec fic and music knowledge is tested to its (possibly quite limited) limits. Who will prevail? How silly will this get? We suspect quite silly.

Saturday, 7 June

Continuum 101
The Hall of Mirrors, 11am – 11:30am
Hespa, David McDonald, Fran la Fontaine
Everything you wanted to know about fan conventions and con-going – an ideal starting point for anyone relatively new to conventions. Learn the secrets from those who have been around long enough to know better.

Monday, 9 June

In Conversation: DUFF Delegate Juanita Coulson
The Hall of Mirrors, 11am – 11:30am
David McDonald, Juanita Coulson
Juanita Coulson joins us all the way from America to talk about being a writer, the changing face of American fandom since the 1950s, and filking.

Feedback Panel
The Haunted House 3pm
Julia Svaganovic,, Liz Barr, Amanda Elliott, David McDonald, PRK
The con’s nearly over! What did you like? What did you hate? This is your chance to chat directly with the CX and C11 committee and help make the next Continuum even better.

Fake Geek Pride
The Big Top 4pm
Jim C. Hines, Alex Matti, David McDonald, Kirsty Sculler
Many fans see fandom as a welcoming home to all, but sagas like the “fake geek girl” furore are starkly at odds with this rosy picture. Where does the idea of non-judgemental fandom come from and how much truth is in it really?

Continuum 9: Contraindicators Report

Wow, it’s hard to believe that it has been almost two weeks since the Con! I haven’t had time to experience too much post con emo – I’ve been sent all over Victoria for work, hence the lateness of this report.

This Con was a bit of a different experience for me. I had an amazing time, but I didn’t spend quite as much time socialising as I normally would. Being on the Committee was really rewarding, and something I would love to do again, but it meant that I spent a lot of time doing behind the scenes things. Of course, it meant I spent way less money at the bar!


On Friday I did the usual welcome to convention going panel, Continuum 101 and then hung around to do a Meet and Greet for people who were new to the scene. Was quite nice, and I met a very interesting couple who had recently been to ComicCon and seemed to like the idea of a smaller, more welcoming convention. Hopefully they will return!

Then it was off to the Opening Ceremony, which featured a very cool video of different spec fic films, set to a catchy song by a local group. I am going to have to chase them up, I think. Apparently, the song is about Tram 86 – it’s called  “Northcote So Hungover” and is by the Bedroom Philosopher. Steph gave us a great introduction to the Convention and we were off and running.

Cleverly, they had organised the Chronos Awards Ceremony to follow straight after. While it wasn’t a seamless transition, there was still a sizeable crowd. As usual, Mondy and Kirstyn did a great job of hosting, and it was perhaps the quickest awards ceremony I have ever been to! The winners were:

Best Long Fiction 2012
“Salvage” by Jason Nahrung (Twelfth Planet Press)

Best Short Fiction 2012
“The Mornington Ride” by Jason Nahrung in Epilogue, edited by Tehani Wessely (FableCroft Publishing)

Best Fan Writer 2012
Nalini Haynes

Best Fan Written Work 2012
Reviewing New Who series by David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely

Best Fan Artist 2012
Dick Jenssen

Best Fan Artwork 2012
“The Entellechy” by Dick Jenssen, cover art for Interstellar Ramjet Scoop for ANZAPA 267 edited by Bill Wright

Best Fan Publication 2012
Viewing Clutter by George Ivanoff

Best Achievement 2012
Continuum 8: Craftonomicon (51st Australian National SF Convention) Program by Julia Svaganovic, Emma Hespa Mann, and Caitlin Noble

I was relieved that we beat No Award to take away the Chronos for Best Fan Written Work. I was really honoured to be able to accept it on behalf of Tehani and Tansy, it’s been a massive privilege working with them. I also was able to thank Lynne Thomas, Jo Anderton and Kathleen Jennings who have all contributed at different stages.And, what a lovely trophy!

Our Chronos Award

Our Chronos Award

However, I want it on record that I actually offered Tehani the trophy, but she said no!

The Snapshot lost in the Achievement category, but it was hard to be too disappointment given who we were up against – the Continuum 8 team did an amazing job and deserved to be recognised for a wonderful Con. Congratulations to all the winners!


Saturday did not get off to the best of starts, with some car trouble meaning I missed my first my first two panels! Very embarrassing, but by the sounds of things I was barely missed and they went off extremely well.

I spent a bit of time on the rego desk, and generally trying to be useful, plus squeezing in a bit of socialising. Sadly, I missed N.K. Jemisin’s amazing GoH speech, but you can read it here. Once you’ve done so (and trust me, you should), you will understand why everyone is tlaking about it, and why some troglodytes feel so threatened by it.

I went along to the book launch of George Ivanoff’s “Gamer’s Rebellion”. George is a great guy (and the coolest jacket of the weekend, which is saying something. It was painted in a TARDIS design) so I was delighted to see how many people turned up to support him as he officially achieved trilogy status. Narelle Harris was a wonderful launcher, too.

Standing room only at the Launch of Gamer's Rebellion

Standing room only at the Launch of Gamer’s Rebellion

After dinner there was a bit of setup and then the Maskabolo. Because I am not much of dancer I volunteered to man the door and check IDs and field questions from bemused hotel patrons as to what was going on! There were some amazing costumes, from Margo Lanagan inspired selkies to the God of Thunder himself.

The DJ did a great job, and I was very jealous of his iPad mixing desk app – I wish I’d had that back in my community radio days! Every one seemed to be having a great deal of fun, and I did the wallflower thing and hung around until very late. While there wasn’t enough alcohol in the hotel to get me on the dance floor, I still enjoyed myself thoroughly.


I was pretty nervous on Sunday, as I had arranged to interview Nora (N.K. Jemisin) for Galactic Chat. I’d never used the equipment before, and this was my first interview for the podcast, so I was really worried that something would go wrong, or that I would stuff it up. But, everything went smoothly and any shortcomings as interviewer were more than compensated for by Nora being such a wonderful interviewee. You can hear it here.

With that out of the way, I could relax a bit and spent some time on the rego desk. Soon, it was time for the launch of Kirstyn McDermott’s new collection, “Caution: Contains Small Parts“. KIrstyn is one of Australia’s leading horror writers (Madigan Mine is one of my all time favourites), and if the excerpt is anything to go by this will be a very scary, and brilliant, collection!

Then it was off to my next panel, Deeper Than Swords. I knew it was going to be a good panel when our moderator, Darrren, turned up wearing chainmail. This was a tough one because everyone is scared of spoilers, which I think impacted the numbers. We ended up asking the audience where they were up, and deciding to limit discussion to anything up to the latest episode of the TV show. We still managed to have a great discussion, touching on topics like the difference between the books and shows, the changes that come about because of the difference in medium, and the way that the exposure from and success of the TV has changed the makeup of the fandom of the series.

Tehani and I with our trophy!

Tehani and I with our trophy!

I had initially asked be taken off a few panels because of the extra commitments from being on the committee, but I ended up back on one of them:

Zombies Go Mainstream
Panellists: Gareth Hodges, David McDonald, Adrian Melchiori, Darren Sanderson

Walking Dead, I Am Legend, World War Z… Much like superheroes, zombies have lurched, groaning, into the public eye. Where do they come from, what is their appeal today and whose brains will they seek out next? And what about their origins in Vodoun?

I’m really glad that I was part of this one! We had a really enthusiastic and interactive audience, some great panelists (and me), and a wide ranging and fascinating discussion. One of the things I found really interesting was the idea that the zombie is one of the few modern horror archetypes (along with giant radioactive monsters), with most being pre 1900s (the Werewolf, the Vampire, Frankenstein’s Monster). We talked about what these archetypes represent, and how the Zombie reflected the fear of becoming a faceless member of the crowd and losing identity. We also talked about why zombie stories might appeal to the genre crowd so much, and made a long list of recommended reading and viewing. The only thing I found difficult was that I have never had people listen quite so raptly to things I was saying, and it was disconcerting! lol

And, then, of course it was time for more socialising!


Monday I took some friends out to the airport, so I didn’t get to the Con until lunchtime and before I knew it, it was time for my final panel, Tolkien v Jackson.

I felt rather boringly under-dressed for this one. Richard and Kathryn sported steampunk hats that I immediately coveted, and Paul was a picture of sartorial elegance. And, their discussion was just as sparkling, ranging from the Bakshi adaptations to the madness (and excellence) of Nicol Williamson’s audio reading. There was some spirited debate about the merits of the Hobbit movie and whether it lived up to Peter Jackson’s LOTR movies. One of the highlights was when we got Lewis Morley (who was in the audience) talking about his experiences working on the movies.  We should have had him on the panel!

I had another interview scheduled for the afternoon, but I think I will let you wait and see who. It’s going to be worth the wait!

The end of a Con is always a little melancholy, so after the Closing Ceremony the Committee, and a few others, retired to the bar for an unofficial Dead Dog Party and spent some time reflecting on what I think was a pretty successful Con.

There were so many positives to look back on. The Chair, Stephanie Lai, had a very clear vision for the Con and everyone bought into it. I think that everyone could see the really strong social justice theme that ran through the Con, and the programming team created a programme stream that reflected this. I was really proud to be associated with it, and to have played some small part in helping organise it.

As always, the choice of guests played a huge role in how the Con went. Both Nora and Paul were extremely accessible and involved, and went above and beyond in their roles as Guests of Honour. Nora’s speech helped set the tone for the whole event, and is still being talked about around the world. Add a great turnout of awesome people, a wonderful crowd, exceptional panelists and a huge range of panels and you ended up with an incredible convention.

There are few things they may have to be looked at in the future, mainly concerning the venue. The hotel staff were exceptional and did everything possible to make us feel welcome but I think this con was almost too big for it, with a lot of very packed rooms. But, next year is the Natcon and will be at a different hotel anyway.

All in all, another great Con. Next on my list – Worldcon!


Continuum 9: Contraindicators

I am starting to get very excited – Continuum starts tomorrow! If you don’t know what Continuum is, the short answer is that it is going to be four days of hanging out with awesome people who love speculative fiction. The long answer is:

Continuum is an annual Melbourne speculative fiction and pop culture fan convention celebrating creativity across genre and media. From hard-edge science fiction to high-flown fantasy, comic books to film noir, high culture to sub-culture… we sink our teeth into it all! Continuum is run on a not-for-profit basis and all revenue goes towards venue and equipment hire, transport and accommodation for our guests, and other convention specific expenses. The Continuum conventions are supported by the Continuum Foundation and we are grateful for their support.

Continuum 9 will take place on the Queen’s Birthday Weekend, June 7 — 10, 2013. Our guests of honour this year are N.K. Jemisin and Paul Collins. Supporting them will be a wide range of other speakers and panellists in a fabulous line up of panels, presentations and special events.

Check out the website here. With tomorrow night being gold coin donation entry, there is no reason not to check it out.

I am going to have an action packed time, I am on the committee and have a number of panels. If you want to say hello, my schedule is below, or you’ll see me wandering around with a dazed look on my face. Or, I will be spending a fair bit of time on the registration desk. It’s going to be an awesome convention, we have wonderful guests and the programming has something for everyone. See you there!

Continuum 101
From Friday 18:30 until Friday 19:00 (30 Minutes)
Panellists: Hespa , Nicole Canal, David McDonald, Brendan Podger

Everything you wanted to know about fan conventions and con-going – an ideal starting point for anyone new or relatively new to conventions. Learn the secrets from those who have been around long enough to know better.

Venue: Harmony Room

Meet and Greet
From Friday 19:00 until Friday 19:30 (30 Minutes)
Panellists: Nicole Canal, David McDonald

If you’re new to Continuum, or just feeling social, come along and meet some people!


Reboots and Retcons
From Saturday 10:00 until Saturday 11:00 (60 Minutes)
Panellists: Lucy Baker, Nicole Canal, George Ivanoff, David McDonald

/Reboot/: to trash all known series history and just start over. /Retcon/ (retroactive continuity): to “discover” new events from series history that supposedly always happened. Some consider rebooting and retconning simply helpful ways of freshening up a mature comics, TV, or film series. Others consider them big frickin cheats. Discuss.

Venue:Fire Room

Continuum 101
From Saturday 11:00 until Saturday 11:30 (30 Minutes)
Panellists: Hespa , Nicole Canal, David McDonald, Brendan Podger

Everything you wanted to know about fan conventions and con-going – an ideal starting point for anyone relatively new to conventions. Learn the secrets from those who have been around long enough to know better.

Venue:Fire Room

Deeper Than Swords
From Sunday 19:00 until Sunday 20:00 (60 Minutes)
Panellists: David McDonald, Ben McKenzie, Jane Routley, Darren Sanderson

The Panel of Ice and Fire! Is the TV series gratuitous in its portrayal of sex and violence? Has Tyrion become too unsympathetic? Is there a divide between those who watch the series without reading the novels? Are we holding our breath for the next book?

Venue:Earth Room

Tolkien v Jackson
From Monday 14:00 until Monday 15:00 (60 Minutes)
Panellists: Kathryn Andersen, Richard Harland, David McDonald, Paul Poulton

From the animated Hobbit to the Peter Jackson and 48 frames per second, a discussion of films based on the books of J.R.R. Tolkien.

Venue:Fire Room

Chicon is Coming!

I am currently in a state of overwhelming excitement, because in just a few weeks I will be in Chicago for WorldCon! There are a few reasons why I am a quivering mess. firstly, I have never been overseas before, so this is all new to me (I know – sad, right). With each step, like applying for a passport (oh my God does anyone ever get a good picture?) or organising flights, it is hitting home that soon I will be in a foreign city. It was meant to be a longer holiday, but unfortunately some things came up and it will now only be just over a week. But, that is still a week in another country!

Secondly, I will get to hang out with the amazing folk of the Brotherhood Without Banners, the George R.R. Martin fan group. Some of them I get to see every few months, some I last saw at AussieCon and some I have been talking to for almost a decade but have never met in the flesh. I am sure most readers understand that you can have deep and abiding friendships with people from the internet, and will see why I am so thrilled that I will finally get to meet them. Plus, I will get to hang out with George!

Thirdly, unlike AussieCon (which was brilliant), I am going to Chicon as a writer, with all the added excitement this brings. I’ve had so much fun at that conventions I have been to, and gotten so much out of them, that I can only imagine what ChiCon will be like. I am looking forward to the socialising and the talking writing with other authors and the making of  new friends and connections. There will be great panels and lots to learn. I know I will be exhausted by the end of it, but it will be more than worth it.

And finally, as someone very much at the beginning of my career I was really not expecting a chance to be involved in the programme itself, and was quite happy to be part of the audience. But, I’m delighted to be on a few panels, and more than a little nervous. There are some names there that I really look up to and I feel a little out of my depth. But, it will be an adventure and if you are there, feel free to come along and say hello!

And, now back to counting down the days…

(this program is still subject to change)

Fri Aug 31 12:00:pm Fri Aug 31 1:30:pm Tolkien in Technicolor
Buckingham From the aborted Beatles concept of The Lord of the Rings to the forthcoming Hobbit trilogy of Peter Jackson, a discussion of films based on the books of J.R.R. Tolkien.
Barry Lyn-Waitsman David McDonald Norman Cates The Wombat Toni Lay
Sat Sep 1 1:30:pm Sat Sep 1 3:00:pm Effective Habits for Aspiring Authors
Columbus CD A nuts-and-bolts panel discussing work habits for the aspiring professional author. How to organize, prioritize, set goals, avoid distractions, and make valuable networking connections in the industry. The panel will also discuss mistakes to avoid.
Brad Aiken Brad R. Torgersen Cecilia Tan David McDonald Lillian Cauldwell
Sat Sep 1 6:00:pm Sat Sep 1 7:30:pm Doctor Who: Is It Still a Kid’s Show?
Buckingham Has the “kids show” gotten more grown up with the last three Doctors? Was it an adult show even before the original cancellation? When, and how, did the transition happen, if it did?
David McDonald Kerri-Ellen Kelly Lynne M. Thomas Michael Lee Ryan K. Johnson
Sun Sep 2 6:00:pm Sun Sep 2 7:30:pm Have Sonic Lipstick Will Travel
Haymarket Celebrating the great Sarah Jane Smith, as a Companion and on her own.
Anna Sheehan David McDonald Ryan K. Johnson Stephanie Grace
Mon Sep 3 10:30:am Mon Sep 3 12:00:pm Getting the Most Out of Writing Groups
Columbus EF There are all kinds of writing groups for all kinds of writers. What should you look for and what rules should you follow to get the most out of the experience? How do you handle conflicting suggestions and how do you comment on others’ writing effectively?
Bill Shunn David McDonald Derek Kunsken Sarah Stegall Tim Susman

Continuum Program

With only a week to go I am starting to get very excited about Natcon! As usual, the organisers have done an incredible job and the program looks amazing.

For those interested, my schedule looks like this:

Daikaiju Go Heavenly!

From Friday 17:00 until Friday 18:00 (60 Minutes)
Dirk Flinthart, David McDonald, Cat Sparks

What if the gods were daikaiju? Could Buddha beat Jesus, could Loki outwit Allah? Is anyone strong enough to defeat Thor and his mighty Hammer? Jade Emperor, Kali, Ganesh. Which deity will reign supreme, or will king of the daikaiju Godzilla crush them all?

Venues: Argyle Room, Lincoln Room

Continuum 101

From Friday 20:30 until Friday 21:00 (30 Minutes)
Hespa , David McDonald, Sarah Lee Parker

Everything you wanted to know about fan conventions and con-going – an ideal starting point for anyone relatively new to conventions. Learn the secrets from those who have been around long enough to know better.

Venues: Pelham Room

New Faiths For New Worlds

From Saturday 10:00 until Saturday 11:00 (60 Minutes)
Alan Baxter, Jenny Blackford, Russell Blackford, David McDonald

Love it or hate it, religion plays a huge role in our society. When creating a new society from scratch, what part will religion play? How do you create a convincing set of beliefs, and what are the pitfalls you need to avoid?

Venues: Lincoln Room

Fans And Faith

From Saturday 11:00 until Saturday 12:00 (60 Minutes)
Avril Hannah-Jones, David McDonald, Ian Mond, Alexandra Pierce

Religion often frowns upon science fiction and fantasy, and fandom can be quite critical of religion. So how do our panellists reconcile their passion for SF/F/H and their faith?

Venues: Faraday Room

Winter Is Coming

From Saturday 14:00 until Saturday 15:00 (60 Minutes)
Kelly Link, David McDonald, Ben McKenzie, Mick Mihalic, Jules Wilkinson

As the second season of the TV adaptation draws to a close, join us for a discussion of George R. R. Martin’s A Song of Ice and Fire series in all its forms.

Venues: Argyle Room

Readings – Fablecroft Hour

From Saturday 15:00 until Saturday 16:00 (60 Minutes)
Including: Joanne Anderton, Steve Cameron, Dirk Flinthart, David McDonald

Venues: Faraday Room

We Want Your Brainz

From Sunday 11:00 until Sunday 12:00 (60 Minutes)
Peter M. Ball, Stephen Dedman, Felicity Dowker, Kelly Link, David McDonald

Zombies have taken over in the last 5 years or so and have gone mainstream, but their lore is still being written. How have they changed since the 1970s and what does the explosion of them now say about our present psyche? Could it be a pandemic as recent writers have postulated? And will they ever become sparkly?

Venues: Pelham Room

The Newbie’s Guide To Writing

From Sunday 15:00 until Sunday 16:00 (60 Minutes)
Steve Cameron, David McDonald, Travis McKenzie, Amanda Pillar, Jane Routley

New to writing? Not sure what to expect? Our panellists discuss critiquing, dealing with rejection, and everything else they wish they’d known when they’d started.

Venues: Pelham Room

Not only am I thrilled with the panels I am, but with the people I get to do them with! And, my first ever reading – how nerve wracking!

Hope to see you there. 🙂

Continuum 7 – The End

After a lovely dinner with the SuperNOVA crew, I lingered for the C8 launch and discovered that the Guests of Honour were rather exciting, Kelly Link and Alison Goodman, with the Fan GoH being Sue Ann Barber. So, that gives us all something to look forward to!

After that I went and sat in:

In the style of…
Just what would The Matrix look like in the style of a Jane Austen novel? Or Lord of the Rings as a sitcom? High-speed, high-silliness, competitive improvisation.
Danny Oz, Steve Cameron, Alice Clarke, Terry Frost, David Innes, Peter Marz, Heath Miller

I thought I was going to damage myself laughing at one point, it was absolutely hilarious. Improv, when done well, is one of my favourite things and this was done well. My particular favourite was X Men in the style of Iron Chef, with a cook off between Magneto and Cyclops.

After that, a few of us took Cat Valente to a local pub for some drinks, and then a few of us spent some time in one of the committee member’s room discussing a interesting range of subjects, all the way from purity rings to Hey Hey It’s Saturday.

The next day I was getting extremely nervous as I was moderating a panel for the first time, and it wasn’t any ordinary panel.

Goodbye Sarah Jane
For a whole generation of Doctor Who fans, she defined what a Companion should be. Join us as we share our favourite moments, discuss what made Sarah Jane Smith so memorable and say goodbye to the incomparable Elisabeth Sladen.
David McDonald, Ben McKenzie, Danny Oz, Candice Schilder

This was something I didn’t want to get wrong, because I knew not only was it important to me, but to a lot of others. In the end though, my nerves were misplaced as an excellent team on the panel made it a breeze to moderate, and it turned out to be a lovely time of celebrating a life well lived, with tears and laughter and lots of audience participation.

I then took a long, leisurely lunch with my friends from SuperNOVA and enjoyed being able to relax in the knowledge that it was all over as far as places I HAD to be from here on in.

After the closing ceremony, the last lingering remnants retired to the bar for drinks and I did head out to the dead dog party, but I was so exhausted I was happy to get home and to bed pretty early.

All in all it was an amazing couple of days and the organisers should be very proud of themselves. The GoHs were excellent, very accessible and with lots of useful and fascinating things to say. It was probably more fan than writer orientated than Swancon was, but I still picked a lot of things that will improve my writing and made some useful contacts.  Most importantly, though, I got to spend time with old friends and meet a whole heap of new ones.

Oh, and I have decided I have to go to Conflux now, I can’t wait any longer than that for my Con fix!

Continuum 7 – My Con…wait for it…”con”tinues

Yes, terrible joke, but I am suffering from sleep deprivation. Yesterday was a lot of fun, I managed to get to some panels and FINALLY a masquerade.

First up I went to:

How to Sex Your Vampire

Are female vampires inevitably more monstrous than their male counterparts? Do male vampires represent anxieties about homosexuality? Come and explore how ideologies of gender and sexuality have shaped the depiction of Western literature’s most popular fantasy monster.

Jason Nahrung, Narrelle Harris, Peter Marz

I went more because I knew one of the panellists than from any real interest in the subject, but it turned into a very wide ranging discussion and it was definitely worthwhile.

I was very keen to catch the next one:

Fantasy Wildlife – Beyond the Basics Workshop

What do you use – or create – when you’re sick of dragons and unicorns? An audience participation workshop hosted by our esteemed Guests of Honour.

Dave Freer, Catherynne M. Valente

It wasn’t quite what I expected, but it was fascinating to see the different approaches between the two writers, with David Freer preferring a “rational” approach to fantastic creatures (How could a winged horse fly and still obey the laws of aerodynamics?) while Cat seemed more happy to not have to explain everything.

In some ways it was a sci fi vs fantasy approach, but the consensus seemed to be that whichever approach you picked didn’t matter so much, just that you be consistent and above all do it well.

After that, I had made the mistake of offering whatever assistance was required by the organisers, so I spent the dinner break helping set up for the “Maskobalo”. The guy who did the design had done an amazing job, there was a TARDIS, the DJ console was a TARDIS console, there was a wardrobe filled with coats leading to a lamppost and a Mad Hatter’s tea party. All I did was the heavy lifting at his beck and call.

The ball was fun, but I don’t dance so it wasn’t really my scene. I did get literally dragged onto the dance floor by one young lady, and forced to dance for a little bit…the first time in years. Was terrifying.

When that was over, the London Worldcon bid invited everyone to their room for drinks, but after a few noise warnings from the hotel most of us headed to the bar. I had the unique experience of having my biceps squeezed (and told I was as hot as China Meiville, whatever that means haha) and a drink spilt on me by an Aurealis winner, and a fascinating disucssion about philosophy (Kant in particular) with a Canberrite.

It was rather late (or should I say early) when I got home, so Is truggled to be back in time for my morning panel. It ended up going rather well, Steve Cameron did a great job of organising it (even had a powerpoint presentation) and Bruce Gillespie knows his stuff. It turns out Steve and I know a lot of people in common so we had a good chat.

After an excellent lunch with the SuperNOVA crew, I went to:

Money, Money, Money

Is it possible to make a living out of writing?

Is it always about the money? Is there a balance between money and creativity?

Jack Dann, Narrelle Harris, George Ivanoff, Meg Mundell, Steve Rossiter

I am certainly  not writing to make money (haha), but I wanted to attend at least one panel with Jack Dann. I am glad I went, it was informative, entertaining and I walked a way with a heap of knowledge that is actually relevant to what I am wanting to do.

So, now I am going to chill for a while, and mingle and drink coffee!