Regency Banquet a highlight of #Conflux9

The Conflux 9 Regency Banquet was held on Saturday night in the ballroom of the Rydges Capital Hill in Canberra.

With entertainment from Earthly Delights, the nearly 70 ball-goers minueted and reeled their way through a delightful evening.

While the dancing and costumes were charming, the undoubted highlight of the evening was the sumptuous Regency feast* prepared by the hotel’s chefs according to recipes created by Conflux’s own Gillian Polack.

Ball guests feasted on three incredible courses:

First Course

  • A pretty dish of eggs
  • Chicken forced with caper sauce
  • White mushroom fricassee
  • Mashed parsnips
  • Tomatoes
  • French beans
  • Almond cheesecakes
  • Brentford rolls

Second Course

  • Roast sirloin with mustard sauce
  • Salad with salad cream
  • Green peas soup
  • Savoury vegetables
  • Broccoli

Third Course

  • Burnt almonds
  • Ginger drops
  • Rice cake with raspberry cream
  • Almond jumbles
  • Moonshine pudding
  • Royal cake
  • Apricot ice cream

The recipes can be found in Five Historical Feasts by Gillian Polack, available from CSFG Publishing.

* Your correspondent, dear readers, is still feeling fabulously full from feasting. If you should hear no more from me, it is because I have expired. Do not be sad, dear readers, for I shall have died quite content.

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Conflux media release – National science fiction writing festival set to blast off in Canberra

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The 52nd Australian National Science Fiction Convention (NATCON) will be held in Canberra from 25-28 April 2013 at the Rydges Capital Hill hotel. As well as being the 2013 NATCON, the convention is the 9th Conflux, the annual Canberra speculative fiction convention.

Set to be the biggest sci-fi writing festival held this year, the event will feature workshops, panel sessions with Australian and international guests, a Regency-themed banquet, a masquerade disco and a steampunk high tea.

Conference co-chairs Donna Hanson and Nicole Murphy said the NATCON was coming to Canberra in 2013 to help the national capital celebrate its centenary. We pitched for NATCON to come to Canberra back in 2011. We are so excited it is almost here – some of the guests of honour have never appeared in Australia before and we can’t wait to hear what they have to say about the future of speculative fiction.

While the main focus of the conference is on writing, we welcome any fan of science fiction or fantasy. We’re thrilled that many of the participants are readers and fans. We’ve worked hard to make the program as inclusive as possible and we hope that we’ll see a lot of new faces at this year’s convention.

Not only will the panels and workshops be interesting, diverse and fun, but convention members also have the chance to express their creative side with a steampunk-themed high tea and a masquerade disco with the theme of “angels, junk, steam”.

The social events are a fabulous opportunity to get out your Edwardian or Regency costume (we just know you’ve got one in the back of your cupboard) and have a little fun as we celebrate the diversity of the Australian science and speculative fiction community.

We are also having a Regency Gothic banquet on the Friday night of the convention, which will feature authentic Regency-era food. The menu was prepared by local historian, Dr Gillian Polack.

For more information about the conference, to view the program and to register to attend, visit the website: www.conflux.org.au

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Guest of Honour shortlisted for Aurealis Awards

kaaron1Conflux 9 Guest of Honour Kaaron Warren has been shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards with her science fiction short story “The Lighthouse Keepers’ Club” (Exotic Gothic 4, PS Publishing) and her horror short story “Sky” (Through Splintered Walls, Twelfth Planet Press). Through Splintered Walls was also shortlisted in the Collection category.

Congratulations to Kaaron and other Conflux 9 panellists and members shortlisted for the awards, which will be announced at a gala ceremony in Sydney on 18 May 2013. For more information about the Aurealis Awards and for a full list of finalists, visit www.aurealisawards.org

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Conflux’s Kaaron Warren recommended by Locus

Locus Magazine has included Conflux 9 Special Guest Kaaron Warren in its 2012 Recommended Reading List.

Karen’s novella ‘Sky’ (which appeared in her four-story collection Through Splintered Wallsis featured in the list, which reads like a veritable ‘who’s who’ of speculative fiction.

You can find out more about Kaaron on the Guests page.

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Locus recommends Conflux 9 international guest of honour

verdigrisLocus Magazine has included Conflux 9 International Guest of Honour Nalo Hopkinson in its 2012 Recommended Reading List.

Nalo’s young adult novel The Chaos and her short story ‘The Easthound’ feature on the list alongside an absolute swag of the best speculative stories on the planet (and possibly off the planet too).

Don’t forget to pre-order Nalo’s books so you can collect them at Conflux.

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2013 Fan Fund of Australia and New Zealand nominations now open

Nominations are now open for the 2013 Fan Fund of Australia and New Zealand (FFANZ).

FFANZ in 2013 will send one New Zealand science fiction fan from New Zealand to the 2013 Australian Natcon, Conflux 9, in Canberra from 25-28 April.

Prospective candidates have until 10 February 2013 to file the documents required to have their name placed in nomination and added to the ballot.

The ballots will be published and distributed in late February, with voting to run from 28 February – 12 March 2013.

Candidates should file the following documents:

  1. A brief letter stating one’s intent to run for FFANZ 2013.
  2. A nominator and a seconder, preferably a nominator from New Zealand and a seconder from Australia.
  3. A 100 word or less platform statement specifying the candidate’s reasons for running and qualifications for becoming the 2013 FFANZ delegate.

The duties of the winning candidate will be as follows:

  • Travel to Australia and attend Conflux 9, the 52nd Australian Natcon, in Canberra from 25-28 April.
  •  Visit and get to know as many Australian Science Fiction fans as time will permit.
  • Become the New Zealand FFANZ administrator until a replacement administrator is found, normally this happens when the administrator role is handed over to the succeeding Aussie-bound delegate (in 2015 if a race is run every year).
  • Raise funds and maintain an account to be used by the next NZ delegate(s) in 2015.
  • Promote connections between Australian and New Zealand fandom by a trip report or other means.

Send required documents to janlb@orcon.net.nz for New Zealand fans or celestialcobbler@hotmail.com for Australian fans.

More information about being a fan fund delegate can be found at http://ffanz.sf.org.nz/qanda.htm or http://ozfanfunds.com/

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Conflux 9 art show – entries open

Entries are open for the Conflux 9/Natcon 2013 art show. Details on the Art Show page.

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Advertising and dealers opportunities for Conflux 9 closing fast

Have YOU booked your Conflux 9 ad space or dealers table? Better get in quick. The deadline for booking advertising in the con book and the last PR is February 1 (this Friday) – after that, all you can do is book inserts in the con bags.

The dealers room is filling fast – there’s only a couple of tables left and after that, you’re only option to sell at Conflux will be the market day, so if you want to come along, make sure you don’t miss out and get your bookings in now!

Click here for more information or email the President: president dot conflux at gmail dot com

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Coming to the Steampunk High Tea? Nothing to wear?

Steampunk outfit

So, you’ve signed up for the Steampunk High Tea at 3pm on Thursday, 25 April 2013. It’s just over three months away (gasp!) and you haven’t got your costume sorted. The Con’s interview with Richard Harland (in PR #4) might have given you some thoughts, but now it’s time to get serious and start work on your masterpiece. You can re-use all or parts of your costume for the Junkyard Cathedral party on Saturday, 27 April, so this is a great investment of your time (not to mention productive procrastination from that WIP that’s causing so much writerly angst).

If you’re like me and need a little more stimulation to get the costume ideas flowing, here are some links worth investigating (and I’ve included text, imagery and videos to ensure those of you who like visual stimulation best!):

Explore the Wikipedia ‘Steampunk’ entry

Feast your eyes upon the Google Images for ‘Steampunk’

Visit Kinetic Steam Works (US organisation making steam-powered kinetic art)

Marvel at the US Edwardian Ball photo gallery

Check out the SF Station steampunk photo gallery

Like the Steampunk Australia Facebook page

Go on the Steampunk Cruise the week before Conflux!

Check out Threadbanger’s steampunk outfit tutorials for men and for women on their YouTube channel

Pin everything from this steampunk outfits board on Pinterest

Read Steampunk Magazine

Join the crafty cats at Steam Fashion on LiveJournal

Geek out at Brass Goggles

That should be plenty of inspiration to get you started. Please feel free to add relevant links in the comments section below. You can never have too many prompts (or opportunities for productive procrastination)!

Photo credit: Alexander Schlesier (www.steampunker.de) [CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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Pitching opportunity Conflux 9

Pitching session with Marc Gascoigne

Managing Director and Publisher of Angry Robot Books

Do you have a completed speculative fiction manuscript?

Would you like to pitch your novel to Angry Robot Books’s Marc Gascoigne?

Conflux 9 is providing the opportunity for 10 to 15 debut and previously published authors with the opportunity to pitch their novels to Marc Gascoigne in April 2013 as part of the Australian National Science Fiction Convention to be held in Canberra from 25 April to 28 April 2013. This is a professional development opportunity to have your novel manuscript in front of an editor.

What do you have to do?

Ensure your MS is as good as it can be. Send the first 30 pages of your MS in standard format RTF or DOC file and a maximum two page synopsis (that is, summary of characters, plot and your intentions/inspiration, in that order) to conflux9@gmail.com during the submission period and using the subject line AngryRobotPitch.

It may pay for you to check out some of Angry Robot’s publications beforehand to ensure your work is what they might be looking for. Here is a link to their submissions page for more information. http://angryrobotbooks.com/submissions/

If you are already member of Conflux 9 you don’t have to do anything more than wait.

If you aren’t a member of Conflux 9, then join up. The minimum requirement is for entering is a $30 supporting membership.

To attend the pitching workshop during Conflux 9 you need to be attending Conflux on the day of the workshop and a full attending membership is preferred. Those who win a place and cannot attend Conflux 9 will have to give up their place to those the next in line.

What is the process?

The manuscripts will be assessed by two readers and a final list of up to fifteen decided. The authors of these manuscripts will be invited to a preparatory workshop and then to the pitching session.

A two-hour workshop on how to pitch novels will be presented by author, Rowena Cory Daniels. This will be followed by a one-on-one pitching session with editor Marc Gascoigne for 5 minutes.

When will this take place?

Submissions will be open from 1 January to 31 January 2013. The entries will be read during February 2013. The announcement of the shortlisted authors will be made during March. The top ten synopses will be sent to Marc Gascoigne in early April.

And then what?

Marc Gascoigne may invite authors to send him manuscripts for consideration. However, there is no guarantee he will do so. Conflux 9 and Marc Gascoigne do not provide any guarantees that authors who are selected to pitch novels will be invited to submit a full manuscript. All decisions are final and discussion will not be entered into.

Marc will be available during Conflux 9 for any member to talk to, either during general events or in the bar.

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