Category Archives: Uncategorized

Head on over to the Conflux main site for all the Conflux 9 news

What? You’re still here? You’re missing out on all the Conflux 9 news – head on over to the main Conflux site: http://conflux.org.au/

Go on, right now!

Conflux Incorporated Annual General Meeting

The 2012 Annual General Meeting of Conflux Incorporated will take place on Sunday, September 30 at 12.20pm (lunchtime) at Novotel Canberra (exact venue of meeting to be determined).

The business of the meeting is to table audited accounts and the president’s report and to elect a new executive for the coming year.

Anyone who is a member of Conflux 9 as of the AGM is eligible to be a member of Conflux Incorporated for this meeting. To do so, you simply need to attend the AGM or inform Conflux Inc president Nicole Murphy via president.conflux@gmail.com.

For more information about Conflux Incorporated, email president.conflux@gmail.com

The deal with supporting memberships

So, how many times have you looked at the ‘supporting memberships’ part of a convention membership form and wondered what it meant?

Probably none, but I’m going to tell you anyway 🙂

There’s a few ideas behind the supporting memberships. Some conventions use them to get people to sign up at a cheaper price with the promise that they can pay later but at the early-bird price. It gets money into the account, and also names to help you start programming. Some conventions see it as a way of building community, knowing who is out there supporting the convention but unable to attend. Generally, all supporting memberships get you access to all the convention publications, including the con book.

At Conflux 9 however, the $30 you spend on a supporting membership gets you more than just the publications. If you become a supporting member, you can:

  • Enter the short story competition, with a first prize of $500 (entries close August 31)
  • Get access to the livestreaming of interviews and some panels/events from Conflux 9
  • Vote in the 2013 Ditmar Awards AND the 2014 Ditmar Awards

So as you can see, a supporting membership at Conflux 9 offers a lot of value.

Regarding the livestreaming – we’re planning on doing interviews with our guests, and if we can show some aspects of the convention for those who love Conflux and want to be part but can’t attend. We love our Conflux family – the fabulous people who have attended Conflux in the past and want to come back again, and we’re going to do everything we can to make those who can’t come to Canberra feel like they’re taking part.

So sign up for your supporting membership now, to get the fullness of the benefits. Membership form is here.

GUFF race on to bring European fan to Conflux 9/NATCON 2013

Do you love speculative fiction, live in Europe and yearn to come to Conflux? Know any fabulous SF fans on the Continent who would make the 2013 NATCON something extra special? Well, here’s your chance to nominate for the 2013 GUFF ballot and win a trip Down Under.

What’s that I hear you ask? GUFF is the ‘Going Under Fan Fund’, which is a trust fund to assist one Northern Hemisphere speculative fiction fan travel to the bottom of the world every second year to immerse themselves in some antipodean fun. The following year sees the fund send a ‘Southerner’ to Europe in a reverse race.

If you’re interested or you know someone who should be, head on over to the website of last year’s GUFF winner for more information http://guff.lostcarpark.com/news/20120821/guff-2013-call-nominations – nominations close 11 October, so you had better get busy nominating!

Help make Conflux as inclusive as possible

The committee has been discussing what we can do to ensure we make Conflux 9 accessible to as many people as possible. There’s going to be restrictions on what we can do, based on money and the fact we’re just volunteers. But we’d hate to miss something that we could have done simply because we didn’t know.

There’s certain things we’ve already been thinking of. For example, Rydges Capital Hill has some specially designed rooms for the mobility impaired – if you want to book them, you’ll need to contact the hotel direct but you can still get them at the convention rate. As well, there are a number of regular rooms that are right on the convention floor, making them a good choice if you have some mobility issues. Mention that you’d like one of these rooms when book online. 

We’ve checked out the hotel and insured that all the areas – bar, restaurant, convention floor – are accessible in wheelchairs. We’re also aware that we need to ensure that if we have platforms that panels and such are taking place on, they will need ramps to be accessible and we’re going to look into whether the hotel has hearing loops and what is involved in making them work.

As well, we can organise to have the con book and/or program published in large print for those with sight disabilities. Just let us know a month out, so we can do the printing.

And we’re talking about possibilities to make attending the convention more accessible for those with financial hardship. 

So now I put the question to you all – what are the things we should be aware of to make Conflux a convention that is welcoming and accessible for as many people as possible? I’ve spoken a bit about some issues facing the disabled, but maybe there’s people with other issues that we should consider in order to make their convention going experience as positive as possible.

So share your thoughts. Please.

Winner – Conflux One Year To Go competition

We had some fabulous entries for the competition to win free membership and one night’s accommodation at the con hotel. Donna and I, along with the committee, had a great time in deciding.

It turned out the winning entry was the first we recieved. When we read it, Donna said, “Gonna be hard to beat” and it turned out it couldn’t be 🙂

So congrats to Martin Livings, from Perth. Here’s Martin’s winning entry:

Conflux, to put it concisely,
I’m aimed towards quite imprecisely.
But con funds are gone,
on Genre and Swan.
A freebie would entice me nicely!

Want to book your accommodation?

Here’s the link – http://www.rydges.com/cwp/Conflux2013

Just 12 months to go!

Today marks just twelve months until the opening ceremony of Conflux 9, the 52nd Australian Natcon.

To celebrate, Conflux 9 co-chairs Donna Maree Hanson and Nicole Murphy are giving away a great prize. One lucky person will win a membership to Conflux 9 and one night’s accommodation at Rydges Capital Hill, the venue of the convention. Includes buffet breakfast for two.

To enter, in 25 words or less tell us why you MUST come to Conflux 9. Entries must be sent to confluxcomp@gmail.com before midnight May 9. Donna and Nicole will choose their favourite.

Donna and Nicole hope to see everyone at Rydges in a year!

Interview with Marc Gascoigne-Editor Guest of Honour

First of all, Marc, congratulations on the World Fantasy Award gong.

 How did it feel to get nominated for Angry Robot Books? It is a big nod from the international industry isn’t it?

And the win, how fantastic was that? What were your thoughts when you heard that you had won?

Exactly that, such an honour. It was, well, amazing, as my rather sweary Tweets and Facebook posts celebrating the news made clear. I hadn’t expected anything like it for AR – yes, it’s been such a lot of work getting AR off the ground for all of us involved in the imprint, but frankly it’s authors who should win awards, such as our Lauren Beukes taking the Arthur C Clarke Award in 2011. The danger is that it’ll go my head and I’ll start demand to be carried to and from editorial meetings in some kind of bejewelled palanquin affair.

It was shame I couldn’t be there in person to collect the, um, delightful melted silver head of HP Lovecraft that is the award, but I rather like the idea of Angry Robot types being sinister, shadowy figures plotting away behind the scenes. The committee were kind enough to mail it to me and it takes pride of place in the AR office, next to some voodoo chickens and a head-hunter brain fork Kaaron Warren sent us from Fiji.

Since your win, you have announced a new young adult imprint for Angry Robot Books, Strange Chemistry. How did this new imprint come about? (Is there a particular gap in the market you are aiming for?)

We have always had a younger SF/fantasy market in our sights. With its fresh take on stories and packaging, Angry Robot appeals particularly for younger or would-be younger readers, more 20s/30s than 40s/50s. But at the younger end there is plentiful crossover with the new approaches to SF settings that some definite YA fiction employ. In short, some of our readers are already enjoying YA, some teen readers are already enjoying Angry Robot titles, and we think our approach will suit YA too.

Under new editor Amanda Rutter, previously a very dedicated and clever blogger, Strange Chemistry is taking shape rapidly, with five books out between Sept and Nov 12, and a full programme hard on its heels. All are somewhere on the fantasy-science fiction-supernatural axis, but other than that the only thing that unites them really is that they’re rattling good reads.

You also mentioned that you had another imprint on the horizon. Can you give us any hints about that?

It’s no real secret that we advertised for a crime fiction editor a few months ago. We’ve just appointed someone rather special to head it, and will be announcing the whole thing any day now, just as soon as we’ve stopped having fist fights over what to call it.

It’s a pretty tough market for publishing at the moment. Launching new imprints seems counter intuitive in such an environment. What do you know that the rest of us don’t?

In short, people will always want stories. Right now, we’re in a period in which no one is quite certain what will end up being the vehicle to carry those stories, but other than that it’s business as usual. In some ways we’ve been helped by starting now, I would argue – no legacy of doing things a different, more traditional way that has had to be unpicked. Ebooks and audio as standard. Simultaneous releases in the US, UK and worldwide wherever possible. It seems so sensible, frankly.

Marc you are guest of honour for the Australian National Science Fiction Convention (Conflux 9) in 2013. Have you been to Australia before?

I haven’t – not been further from the UK than the US or Italy, in fact. I’m very excited about the trip, and I hope to spend perhaps a week seeing more of what sounds like such a beautiful country. And more of Canberra if I have to as well.

You have a few Australian authors in the Angry Robot Books publishing list. Will you be looking for a few more?

I am definitely not being held at gunpoint nor being pressured in any way when I say that we would be delighted to publish more authors from Australia, to join Kaaron, Jo and Trent. These days the world is so much smaller thanks to the internet, authors can come from anywhere. All you need is to be bloody great. Simple.

 

Thanks for giving us the interview Marc. We are looking forward to having you down under.

Congrats to Marc Gascoigne!

Nicole and I are really excited by the news that Conflux 9 guest Marc Gascoigne has won the World Fantasy Special Award (professional) this morning in San Diego.

Angry Robot Books is one of the most interesting publishers in the business at the moment – not just in terms of who they are publishing (such as another Conflux 9 guest Kaaron Warren) but also in how they’re approaching the industry at the moment.

In fact, there’s going to be an interview with Marc going up here in a week or two – there’s exciting things happening at Angry Robot and we’re looking forward to talking to Marc about it.

Until then – Congratulations Marc!