Tiny Dancer Takes to the Stage at Conflux 8

Jodi Cleghorn of eMergent Publishing writes that the long-awaited fourth Literary Mix Tapes anthology, From Stage Door Shadows (formerly known as “Tiny Dancer”), will launch at Conflux 8 in late September.

From Stage Door Shadows is based on Benny Taupin’s lyrical tribute to California in the 1970s, “Tiny Dancer”. The song appears on Elton John’s fourth studio album, Madman Across the Water and although not a hit at the time of release, went platinum in August last year.

The anthology is a backstage pass to the underbelly of the entertainment industry. The stories re-introduce Taupin’s blue jean baby and LA lady, along with the the seamstress for the band and a myriad of other characters who step out of the carefree Californian sun and onto brooding stages small and grand. The anthology inhabits darkened theaters, vaudeville and concert halls, opera houses, piano bars, dressing rooms, pageants and talent searches, soulless hotel suites and street corners, where dreams of fame, fortune and fulfillment live and die in a heart beat.

Blake Byrnes (EIGHTY NINE) returns as cover artist.

A full table of contents will be released shortly.


The Adjustable Cosmos – animated film

Conflux 8 will be screening The Adjustable Cosmos, a short animated film written by Adam Browne and directed by Adam Duncan, based on Adam Browne’s story ‘Space Operetta’, published in Aurealis #31.

Adjustable Cosmos is a fantastical adventure played out in a jeweled cosmos housed inside a great crystal sphere. A 15th Century Vatican commands Viennese King, Frederick III, to take war to Constantinople. Discovering the stars are much against his victory, his astrologer has a solution: fire a cable heavenward to hook onto the North Star; haul themselves heavenward and rearrange the cosmos! In a wondrous vessel, they travel into the constellations to amend the royal horoscope… Our medieval astronauts catapulted through space, braving the terrors and wonders of the Ptolemaic universe (Ottoman attack ships, a shimmering, bird-covered moon; Faberge constellations tinkling on ormolu rails …) – to reach for the stars.

Watch the  Teaser.  It’s beautifully animated.



Conflux Pre-Con Workshop Timetable Friday 28 September

Check out the timetable  for these great workshops.  You don’t have to be a Conflux Member to join.

Follow the links for  workshop details and the  booking form.




AUTHORS: selling books at Conflux 8

Coming to Conflux 8? Let Nicole Murphy know, and she can tell the bookseller so there will be some of your books on sale (note – the bookseller will only be present on the Saturday).

Email nicole@nicolermurphy.com with the title, publisher and ISBN of all your books by September 4.

If you’ve not yet joined, but are coming don’t worry – you can still let Nicole know. You might also want to contact Conflux chair Jane Virgo on chair@conflux.org.au so she can factor you into the programming.

See you there!


Changes to workshops on Friday

Sorry for the inconvenience, but we’ve had to swap two of the workshops. Jack Dann’s workshop “A Writer’s Guide to Dreaming” has moved back to 3pm, while Karen Herkes’ “Mental Magic” has moved forward to 12pm. If you want to book for any workshop, email workshops@conflux.org.au asap.


A couple of announcements

This is just a quick message to pass on some important announcements about Conflux 5.

First, and most importantly, we need to announce an identity change to our overseas guest. Sharon November, who had been scheduled as our international guest, has had to withdraw due to unavoidable circumstances. We are, of course, sorry to lose Sharon, but we’re very pleased to have arranged instead for Liz Gorinsky to attend in the capacity of overseas guest. Liz is an editor with Tor, in the US, and has worked extensively with both established big-name authors and up-and-coming writers. We’re very much looking forward to her involvement in the Con. You can find out more about Liz on the guests page

We’d also like to bring to your attention that Mark Shirrefs will also be attending Conflux, as a guest, and will be presenting a special screening of his BAFTA- and Oscar-nominated animated specfic short film, ‘The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello’. Mark has considerable experience in writing for TV and the big screen. You can also find out more about Mark on the guests page . There’ll be more about both Mark and Liz in the fourth and final Progress Report, which will be along soon.

Finally (for now), if you’re thinking of putting in an entry for the art show, laying claim to a dealers’ table, or booking for Saturday night’s Banquet, please don’t delay. We’re busy finalising the lists for all of these, so first in best dressed.

That’s it for now. Looking forward to seeing you in – what is it? – less than 20 sleeps now.


Conflux programming update

Some updates on Conflux for you all. For those who don’t know, Conflux will take place in Canberra at the Marque Hotel on October 3 to 6. All things going well, the program will be up on the website Monday of next week. So check www.conflux.org.au at that time to see the fun that will ensue.
In the meantime, bookings are now open for the workshops, and the Prohibition New York dinner. To attend the dinner, you need to book using the form on the website, and need to do so BEFORE the convention – we have to confirm numbers with the chef, so can’t take bookings at the con. To book into a workshop, you need to email workshops@conflux.org.au I’m replying to them as soon as I read them, so if you’ve sent an email and haven’t had a reply, I haven’t seen it and you’re not booked in. Please, send it again.
Workshops are:
Friday October 3
Blogging with Gillian Polack (costs $10)
Caring for Your Collection with April Herzog (free for members)
The Business of Writing Comics with Liz Argall (free for members)
The noble and knightly art of the longsword with Chris Barnes (free for members)
A writer’s guide to dreaming: how to transform thoughts, ideas and dreams into fiction with Jack Dann (costs $55))
Finishing the first draft with Maxine McArthur (free for members)
Mental magic: illusions and tricks of the mind with Karen Herkes (free for members)
Emarketing for authors with Fiona McLennan (free for members)
Creating dynamic characters with Karen Miller (free for members)
Monday October 6 (all free for members)
Dream Magick, an experiential workshop with Margi Curtis and Leigh Blackmore
Grant Writing with Peter Strong
Writing the otherword with Felicity Pulman
Workshop 13 – superstition, with Nicole R Murphy
A day membership of $50 can get you into Friday or Monday of the con, so you can go to the workshop of your choice as well as take in other aspects of the con on that day. To book, email workshops@conflux.org.au Spaces in the workshop are limited to 15 people (except the sword workshop, which goes to 16) and they will go for 2 1/2 hours. And there won’t be any worksheets or notes for anyone not able to attend – sorry, but you have to be present to get the advantage of the expertise of the people involved.


Conflux panel program – round 2

We’ve had some discussions, tossed around a few ideas and here is the next list of possible panels. Feel free to comment, add your own suggestions and if you’re coming, and there’s a panel you just have to be on, let me know. Note that Conflux will have a maximum of four people on a panel, and we want to try to limit people to three or four appearances at the convention, so there are lots of different views shared.

Welcome to the con – how to get the most out of the experience

Where to start – the must-reads

Writing the tie-ins – novels from series

Moving on from mobiles – where to next for technology

Filking 101 – the secret of the great song

Cultural tales – writing ethnicities into your work

What people want – spec fic booksellers tell all

Flying fire – dragons in literature and story

Fans v.2 – how do we grow fandom

Clarion revisted – do structured writing workshops work

AAAARRRRGGGHHHH! – the worst SF and Fantasy in history

Blinded by science – the state of psychological sci fi

Pilots with pms – women in sci fi

Blowing the ship with one shot – fiction of science fiction battles

Levels 1 to 10 – the role of gaming in developing the genre

How to find a hero – avoiding the king-hidden-as-shepherd type clichés

Beach balls and strobes – cheap but effective special effects

It came in a dream – how to generate story ideas

Writing for the end of the world – environmental sci fi

Returning to the world – when you have to go back.

It’s great – the art of the review

Type and photocopy – creating a fanzine

Scary or weird – what is horror

10 things beginning writers get wrong

Prayer and prophet – creating an authentic fictional religion

Keep the hero going – just what does he/she need to reach the end of the story? Looking at food, sleep and so on

Writing disciplines – the impacts of other styles of writing

The dead body – how to kill someone

Young adult fiction – is it real or just marketing

Blogs – the new community

What is fear and what is evil

Gothic romance – the genre

Literature vs film – where does horror belong

What makes a good villain in story and real life

Scientification – the history of fandom

Dr Who – the fans talk

Beasts of Burden – moving around in literature

Space opera – did it ever die

Love, crime and spells – cross-genre work

Scrolling through the story – past, present and future of webpublishing

Cons – why do it

Making you squirm – horror writers read their work

It’s over – what we think of Harry Potter

Authors blogs – good pr or a waste of time

Take me to your leader – who the aliens should talk to

Original versus derived – spec fic movies


Ideas for panels for Conflux 4

We want to do everything we can to make sure that people have an interesting, thought and discussion provoking fun, with new ideas and concepts as well as the old favourites we all know and love. Who said we don’t think big at Conflux? 🙂

Here’s a list of things we’ve thought of so far. Have your say, whether you’re a member or not. Vote for the ideas you like. Suggest the panels you’ve always wanted to see. And if you are coming, and there’s a panel you really want to do, then let us know so we can book you in.
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