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!

Updated venue information

Hi

Further venue information and a booking reference number has been added to the venue page. It is okay to book now. Don’t wait to reserve your room. You can use your credit card to secure your booking over the phone without charge. Don’t worry if your card is going to expire before Conflux 2013 because you can update it closer to the convention time with the new card number and expiry date.

We don’t have the rooms blocked out. We have to make sure we book them. So if you want the venue to ourselves (and it’s not that big) then book away. We have to share with Qantas, but I’m not picky.

I’ve booked the Embassy Suite because I like to spoil myself.

 

Donna

Our great and glorious poster

Since we have officially launched. We thought you should see the poster the wonderful Grant Gittus did for Conflux 9.

9512 Conflux A3 Poster-3

Our great and glorious header

I hope you like our animated header, courtesy of Grant Gittus. Grant has also created our Conflux 9 poster to be revealed at Conflux 7 next weekend.
Fan artists are often unsung heroes. They do creative design and artwork for events like convention or publications. So we thought that we should give Grant Gittus a bit of a shout out.

Here is some information about Grant.

Grant Gittus works in Melbourne running a small graphic design business. He has illustrated some book covers, interior illustrations and co-authored the children’s book “Biker Baby Learns to Count”, giving him a published output of around 25 words. He has also written and illustrated a picture book which garnered the praise “..the illustrations are dark and forbidding, the text doesn’t make sense. It is hard to imagine who would want to publish this manuscript” from one editor. He hopes one day to learn how to draw properly, so he no longer has to rely on mere sexual attraction for success.

Grant has also hung around the fringes of the SF&F fan community for a number of years, mostly waiting for the court order to be lifted. Along the way, he has designed logos and convention material for AussieCon3, AussieCon4, Conflux3, Conflux4 and Convergence 2.

A big thank you to Grant from Nicole Murphy and Donna Maree Hanson

Accommodation and venue sorted

Nicole and I are happy to announce that we have signed with Rydges Capital Hill, in Barton, ACT, for the Conflux 2013 venue. We will be drafting up material for the venue page, including photos when we have sorted how you guys can make bookings. However, we think it is a fantastic venue with amazing common areas with fountains and palms within the atrium, interesting conference space, with some balconies.

The hotel is three stories high and the conference facilities are on the second floor so no one will have far to go or will have too much of an issue with the elevators. The bar is in the corner of the building and can be a cozy venue or spread out into the spill over area to accommodate a larger group. The cafe suburb of Manuka is about a ten minute walk down the road. There is serviced accommodation next door, for those who prefer it. The synagogue is across the intersection and there’s a Catholic and Anglican church in Manuka. On the foot path, you can see Parliament House, as Rydges Capital Hill borders the parliamentary triangle.

With have an accommodation deal with Rydges, and we think it is an awesome deal. Stay tuned for details of how to book. Basically, for a bed and breakfast deal, a standard room will cost $160 per night. We will post the range of rooms and step up prices shortly. We want you to book those rooms up so we can have the hotel to ourselves, well mostly to ourselves as there is a block of rooms permanently reserved for  our favourite airline. Also, we think Canberra will be busy at that time of year so we want to make sure you can join us.

The rooms are a little dated, but they are large and have an understated elegance about them. As far as we know there are five mobility impaired rooms, standard rooms with a Queen bed and also rooms with a Queen bed and a double bed, which would be suitable for those wanting to share. An extra breakfast in this case will be $24. For an extra $20 per night you can secure a King spa suite, which contains a King bed (no surprise there) and a spare bath. Nicole and I inspected this room type and found them quite spacious (good room party venue). As the building is ellipse in shape, some rooms lean over the atrium area and others face the outer rim of the hotel building. We think it is quite a fascinating design. There are further price upgrades for suites and we’ll let you know though I think Nicole and I are racing to book the Ambassador suite for ourselves. We could have our own little kingdom up there.

Wait till we put the booking details up before you approach the venue. Here is a link to the site so you can have a squiz.

Conflux Natcon 2013 announced!

Welcome to the Conflux Natcon 2013 preliminary website/blog. Here is where Nicole and Donna will keep you up to date with the arrangements for the Natcon in 2013.

Firstly, let us say how excited we are to be organising a Natcon in Canberra again. Our last Natcon was in 2004 at Rydges Lakeside. We will be making big announcements soon, but a few teasers are in order.

We are putting the finishing touches on our venue deal, with a great convention space and reasonable bed and breakfast rates. There are limited rooms so we must make sure we book them all out so we only have to share the hotel with Qantas staff. As soon as we have signed the dotted line and paid the deposit we will let you know what the venue is and the fantastic rates we have negotiated.

Next, we have line up two awesome international guests and we are still working out who our Australian Guest of Honour will be and who our special guest will be. You never know we may even have a local guest. We have an excellent fan guest of honour lined up too. (Nicole and Donna don’t mess around!).

Then we can say that we will have a steampunk themed high tea, which will be a pre con event (in the early afternoon of 25 April, 2013). At present we think the cost of this will be $40 per head and we want you to dress up and get with the theme. This will be a paid event and not covered by the membership to the convention.

An opening cocktail party is definitely on the agenda and this will be included in the membership and how much food and drink we will have will depend on membership numbers.

We are also hoping to have a Regency Gothic banquet ,which will be a replay of the previous Regency Banquet. Again this will be a paid event and we’d love you to dress up for that too, if you are in the mood.  We will let you know the cost in late 2012 when we have costed the menu with the venue.

Of course, you know Nicole and Donna love to dance so there will be a masquerade disco and your old favourite, the DITMAR Award ceremony.

Along with that we expect a great range of panels, readings, kaffeeklatsch, traders room, games room and workshops.