#Conflux9 wrap ups

Banner-eidtThe Con is over, sad but true. Relive those fabulous moments through members’ wrap-ups. Leave a comment with the link to your Conflux 9 blog post and we will add it to this post.

First cab off the rank is Rivqa Rafael who posted on the COSMOS blog:

Zena Shapter had so much to say it’s in two parts:

Cat Sparx took some awesomesauce photos:

Local Guest of Honour and multi-Ditmar-winning Kaaron Warren tells us about refreshed wells here:

Ellen Gregory shares her thoughts on the fantastical experience that was Conflux 9:

And editor extraordinaire Bothersome Words gives us her version of the Con:

World-renowned punster Jasoni Fischerio’s thoughts on Conflux 9:

Double-Ditmar winner Kathleen Jennings:

And Merlin’s cock! It’s Alan Baxter:

Reflections from Maureen on her first con:

Best New Talent (according to the Ditmars voters!), David McDonald:

Local writer (and member of the Canberra Science Fiction Guild), Tim:

Wade of the prehensile ears:

Mark Webb’s thoughts you can find here:

And a wrap-up from Helen Venn:

Lawrie Brown took some great photos:

Day-by-day action from Rick Keuning:

And a lengthy post from Jason Gale:

I even wrote one:

Fabulous con co-chair Donna Hanson gives a behind-the-scenes look at the Con, including the disappearing of body parts…:

The delightful Trudi Canavan has not one, but three posts about Conflux 9:

Dave Versace was so invigorated by Conflux he wrote three posts:

And here’s one from Sue:

Short story competition winner Aidan Walsh:

Conflux 9, as the NATCON for 2013, also provided a venue for the Ditmar Awards.

Ditmars host with the most, Deb Bianchotti’s post is here:

Read SeandBlogonaut‘s summary here:


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.


Conflux 8 Program

Hi Everyone – below is the latest timetable.  It’s all very exciting – just a few days left to go until Conflux.

We’ve had a such good turnout that we’ve had to hire an extra room! Note that readings scheduled for Cook 1 will only be held in that room if the Gallery or Bar is uncomfortably crowded.

Conflux membership includes a catered buffet lunch on Saturday. The theme of the lunch is 1950s and prizes will be given for the best 1950s outfit or the loudest Hawaiian shirt. We need to confirm numbers for catering with Novotel  in advance so please let the Conflux Chair know if you are coming for lunch by Tuesday, and if you have any special dietary requirements.   If you buy your membership on the day and we don’t know you are coming, you may miss out on attending the  lunch. In this event, you will not be charged for Saturday lunch.

You can also download  a pdf version of this Latest Timetable.


Jones – Lecture layout Clarke – lecture layout Cook – workshops, discussions,Cook 1 (near door)                         Cook 2 (near whiteboard) Keelty – Dealers, Craft,  Art, Author in Residence, Gallery, Bar & Café – Readings Chillout and conversation zone
9 am Registration opens Dealers room open
9.10 – 9.50 am

Opening Ceremony  Jack Dann and The Fildenstar

10 am – 11 am What makes fantasy epic?
Rik Lagarto, Sabrina de Souza,Mik Bennett
Evil Overlord panel with Jack Dann as Evil Overlord –
Pat Gallagher, Kaaron Warren, Rob Porteous, Lewis Morley and David Versace
K J Taylor and Tor Roxburgh 
What makes a good fantasy / sf / horror story? Sue Isle,
Ian McHugh, Alan Baxter
11 am – 12 pm Story and Plot Structure in Superhero Comics
Rob Hood, Conor Bendle, Alan Baxter, Lewis Morley
Keri Arthur Guest Spot with Tracey O’Hara Speculative poetry discussion Penelope Cottier, Ross Hamilton, Talie Helene, Frankie Seymour
12 pm  Lunch One Restaurant
1 pm- -2 pm Romance Writers of the Apocalypse Tracey O’Hara,
Nicole Murphy, Jodi Cleghorn
Talk – Theatre of the dead
Patrick Gallagher
How to write prophesies
Gillian Polack, K J Taylor, Sabrina de Souza
Speculative poetry readings
Penelope Cotter, Ross Hamilton, Talie Helene, Frankie Seymour
Author in Residence:Tor Roxburgh
2 pm -3 pm ReadingJack Dann and Adam Browne Trends in apocalyptic & post-apocalyptic writing  – changes since 1950s
Cat Sparks, Jodi Cleghorn, Claire McKenna, Gillian Polack
Comics-history & current trends Mik Bennet, Lewis Morley, Shauna O’Meara, Marilyn Pride The art of scene and mood setting in dark speculative fiction
Alan Baxter, Tracey O’Hara,
Lily Mulholland
Ice your dalek cookie – Karen Herkes and
Donna Hanson
3 pm – 4 pm Conflux Fiction Contest Winners  read their  stories Keith Stevenson Guest Spot Dr Who apocalyptic stories
Lawrie Brown, Alan Chick,
Dawn Meredith,
4 pm – 5 pm How do you write a good non-human romantic lead?
Janeen Webb, Keri Arthur, Tracey O’Hara
CSFG Anthology Readings Is it more important for science in Sci-Fi to be accurate or just believable?  Craig Cormick, Phill Berrie, Rob Porteous Author in Residence
Sue Isle
Gillian Polack and Cat Sparks
5 pm – 6 pm Zombie apocalypse  Simon Petrie, Cat Sparks, Sue Isle How to Build an Android
David Dufty, Crisetta Macleod, Dawn Meredith
Role playing – an Apocalyptic who done it – Karen Herkes Author in Residence
Adam Browne
Karron Warren and Rob Hood
6 pm Meetup in One Bar for Saturday night book launches at Smiths Alternative Bookshop
Saturday Night7 pm onwards Smiths Alternative Bookshop – Five books launches –  launched by Conflux MC Jack Dann:   Jodi Cleghorn – From Stage Door Shadows;
Gillian Polack – Ms Celllophane (e-book);  Craig Cormick – Time Vandals;  Tor Roxburgh – The Light Heart of Stone; Greg Mellor – Wild Chrome
Galaxy Nightclub From 9pm onwards – 1990s dancing –Meetup to be arranged


Jones – Lecture layout ClarkeLecture layout Cook – workshops, discussions,Cook 1 (near door)                         Cook 2 (near whiteboard) Keelty – Dealers, Craft,  Art, Author in Residence, Gallery, Bar & Café – Readings Chillout and conversation zone
9.00  Registration opens Dealers room open
9 am  – 10 am Joss Whedon and the plural of Apocalypse Mik Bennett, Jane Virgo, Tara Ott, Val Toh Using lessons from apocalypses past in your fiction  Ian McHugh Readings
Dawn Meredith and Crisetta McLeod
Writing dialogue workshop
Alan Baxter, Rik Lagarto
Author in Residence:
Jodi Cleghorn
10 am  – 11 am CSFG Anthology Readings Independent publishing and speculative fiction Keri Arthur, Keith Stevenson, Bill Congreve, Simon Petrie, Jodi Cleghorn, Readings
Kaaron Warren and Kimberley Gaal
Death by chocolate
Tara Ott, Mik Bennett
Author in Residence
Craig Cormick
11 am – 12pm Urban Fantasy as Alternate Reality  Keri Arthur, Claire McKenna, Ross Hamilton Pyrotechnicon – From Concept to finished Book –  Adam Browne and Keith Stevenson Readings
Rob Porteous and
Phill Berrie
Imagery: How do you use the things you see in your horror fiction ? Talie Helene, Kaaron Warren, Shauna O’Meara Build your own Volcano
Karen Herkes
12  – 12.20pm Reading  Rob Hood The Adjustable Cosmos (film)  closed

Findenstar Setup

12.20  – 1.15pm  Fildenstar Concert  Fildenstar Concert  Fildenstar Concert Fildenstar Concert Conflux AGM  Exact time & venue to be confirmed.
1.15 – 2.15 pm What makes a good short story? Cat Sparks, Rob Porteous, Crisetta Macleod Australian Apocalypse / Post Apocalypse films  Karen Herkes, Rob Hood, Lewis Morley, Marilyn Pride Pyrotechnicon Booklaunch
Adam Browne and
Keith Stevenson
Author in Residence
K J Taylor
Keri Arthur,
2.15 – 3.15 pm Mashpunk – does steampunk play well with others?
Louise Curtis, Conor Bendle, Marilyn Pride, Rik Lagarto
Science of environmental apocalypse and its potential use in your science fiction
Cat Sparks, Frankie Seymour, Simon Petrie, Phill Berrie
Janeen Webb and
Jodi Cleghorn
Science discussion / workshop – physiology of fear –
Karen Herkes
Author in Residence: Bill Congreve
3.15 – 4.15 pm Christopher Nolan’s Batman trilogy – A retrospective lookConor Bendle, Rob Hood,Mik Bennett Time travel – paradoxes are only the first step  Guy Micklethwait, Gillian Polack, Lawrie Brown, Adam Browne Readings Alan Baxter and Ian McHugh Other entities – Fantasy beyond dragons, fairies, kings and queens K J Taylor
Tor Roxburgh, Lily Mulholland
4.15 – 5.15 pm, YA Fiction – What’s next
Dawn Meredith Tara Ott, Craig Cormick, Conor Bendle
Great Debate – Zombies vs Vampires Jack Dann mediator, Keith Stevenson, Keri Arthur,
Pat Gallagher, Rob Hood, Kimberley Gaal, John Morris
Point of view workshop
Janeen Webb, Kaaron Warren
Pack up room KaffeeklatschJodi Cleghorn and Adam Browne
5.15  – 6.00 pm Closing Ceremony 5 pm Happy hour
6.00 pm Meetup in One Bar for King O’Malleys
6.00 pm onward Dead Dogs Party and dinner at King O’Malleys






Conflux Interview on ArtyFacts program

On Tuesday, Conflux President, Nicole Murphy was interviewed by Evana Ho. It’s going to be played this Saturday between 9am-9.30am on the ArtyFacts show –  http://artsound.fm/programs/#saturday

People can listen live on the ArtSound website –  http://artsound.fm/listen-online/

Let’s spread the word and get people listening 😉



Conflux Incorporated AGM

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 8 is eligible to be a member of Conflux Incorporated. 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

Speakeasy interviews Conflux President – Nicole Murphy

The Australian Writer’s Market blog, Speakeasy, recently interviewed  Nicole Murphy, author and President of Conflux, about the upcoming convention and the Australian SF landscape in general.
I love that we’re the premiere SF writers event in Australia, according to them 🙂



Five book launches at Smiths Alternative Bookshop

On Saturday night,  29 September from 7 pm,  Conflux presents:



Join Conflux MC, mulitiple award winning author and editor Jack Dann at the launch of five new books by writers of fantasy, science fiction and horror:


Wild Chrome – collected stories by Greg Mellor

From Stage Door Shadows – edited by Jodi Cleghorn

Ms Cellophane –  ebook by Gillian Polack

The Light Heart of Stone – by Tor Roxburgh

Time Vandals – by Craig Cormick.


Wild Chrome – collected stories by Greg Mellor

Damien Broderick says:

“This is a tour de force, and by itself is proof that Gregory Mellor is a writer to watch in the way we kept an eye on Ursula K. Le Guin and Brian W. Aldiss and Roger Zelazny when they were setting out, learning to pilot their burning imaginations into the realm of words shaped to ignite the dreams of their readers.”

Greg Mellor is a Canberra-based author published in Cosmos Magazine, Clarkesworld Magazine, Daily Science Fiction, Antipodean SF and Aurealis, as well as small press anthologies in Australia and the United States. Greg holds degrees in astrophysics and technology management. He was a finalist in the Aurealis Awards and is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA) and the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild (CSFG). Wild Chrome is his first collection.


From Stage Door Shadows – edited by Jodi Cleghorn

Twenty-six authors trade Tiny Dancer’s California- blessed lyrics for the shadowed recesses of stages large and small in From Stage Door Shadows, a speculative fiction homage to the darkness just beyond the limelight of the entertainment industry.  The stories re-introduce the women Benny Taupin wrote about and Elton John sang about: blue jean baby, LA lady, the band’s seamstress, the music man’s wife and the girl dancing in the sand, along with a stellar cast of musicians, singers, thespians, fans, managers, dancers, DJs, magicians, talent show contestants, stars and has-beens.  From vaudeville to opera, piano bar and street corner, hotel suite and beauty pageant, From Stage Door Shadows is a backstage pass to where dreams of fame, fortune and fulfillment live and die in a heart- beat.

Featuring stories from Sam Adamson, Joanne Anderton, Cath Barton, Alan Baxter, Jessica Bell, Jodi Cleghorn, Janette Dalgliesh, Rebecca L. Dobbie, J.M. Donellan, Tom Dullemond, Laura Eno, Emma Kerry, Lisamarie Lamb, Len Lambert, S.G. Larner, Clive Martyn, Monica Marier, Andrew J. McKiernan, Laura Meyer, Theresa Milstein, Jennifer Muirhead, Melanie Saward, Graham Storrs, Rus VanWestervelt, Devin Watson and Daniel Wynne.

Jodi Cleghorn is a writer, editor and publisher mining the dark vein of humanity. She is the cofounder of eMergent Publishing and 2010 recipient of the Kris Hembury Encouragement Award for Emerging Artist. http://emergent-publishing.com


Ms Cellophane – e-book by Gillian Polack,

“Life was standing still, waiting for Liz to fall into its trap.”

Elizabeth Smith, recently made redundant, thinks that her life is deadly dull. She feels like cellophane – like people look right through her, like she’s not even there. A simple redecoration job involving a mirror turns her life upside down.  Through ominous horror and an unexpected romance Liz learns to become a whole person – someone who takes up space in the world, and demands to be herself.

Part gentle love story, part bizarre horror tale, but never, ever boring, Ms Cellophane is a revealing look at one woman’s nightmare transforming her reality in unexpectedly amusing ways.

Ms Cellophane, Gillian Polack, Momentum Books  http://momentumbooks.com.au/books/ms-cellophane/

Dr Gillian Polack is a writer, editor, critic and historian. Her latest publication is a novel Ms Cellophane (Momentum, 2012). She edited the Ditmar-finalist anthology Baggage (Eneit Press, 2010) and was awarded the 2010 Best Achievement Ditmar. She is currently completing her second doctorate.


The Light Heart of Stone – by Tor Roxburgh

11-year-old Fox lives in Kelp province where her father is the Indidjiny keeper of the land and sea. When the 84-year-old Oak Companion arrives to test the camp’s children for talent, Fox finds herself wrenched from her family, forcibly adopted into the famous Oak clan, and thrust into the slow culture of the city of Komey. Fox’s adoption should signal a life of bound motherhood, aimed at returning her talent to its rightful owners, but nothing is as it seems. The Companionaris’ ability to grow plants and breed animals is failing, a murderous ambition has been sparked, and there is a stirring of old magic in the air.

Tor Roxburgh is the author of 15 books. She has written non-fiction on family violence, pregnancy and youth homelessness and is the author of 12 teen romances. Her latest book, The Light Heart of Stone, is an epic fantasy novel that explores many contemporary themes. The Australian Broadcasting Commission’s, Prue Bentley, calls it “very Australian”.


Time Vandals – by Craig Cormick

A story of time travel, alternative realities and zombies!!

Imagine that you had a unique set of GENES that allowed you to travel to ALTERNATIVE WORLDS safely – when nobody else could. And imagine that somebody had opened a hole between our world and a very similar world, causing time to have changed. You would be recruited to join a SECRET AGENCY to travel to different world and repair the changes. But would you be prepared for all the things that could cause EVEN BIGGER CHANGES to our world? And who exactly are the TIME VANDALS who are changing time???

Dr Craig Cormick works as a professional science communicator and has published or edited over twenty books in non-fiction, fiction and short-stories. His writing awards include the ACT Book of the Year Award and a Queensland Premier’s Literary Award.










Lee Battersby gives 5 stars to Pyrotechnicon by Adam Browne

    Lee Battersby has given 5 stars to: Pyrotechnicon by Adam Browne

    Lee writes in Goodreads:

I had the very great joy of beta-reading this novel just before it went to final print, and found it an utter delight: frothy, wildly inventive, and unendingly madcap, with a voice the recalls the best adventure writing of the period it purports to portray. It’s a rich confection of a book, with moments that made me cry out in joyful recognition at regular intervals. Reading it was is like watching the bastard child of Voltaire and Dumas get smashed on muscat.

Browne is a unique voice, and a vastly underrated one. This novel will reward readers who love to see words built in layers, who enjoy seeing a vocabulary earn its crust and see narrative spun out of increasingly spiralling levels of absurdity whilst maintaining its internal consistency. It is breathtakingly inventive, and a genuine treat.

It is, simply, too much fun.”

     And Lee is not the only one who rates Pyrotechnicon highly.

Hugo and Nebula award-winning science fiction author, Greg Bear calls it “A rich dessert of a novel, filled with finely crafted wit and adventure — Adam Browne has resurrected Cyrano in fine form. Delightful!’

Jeff Vandermeer — World Fantasy award-winning author of Finch says that ‘The title does not mislead. PYROTECHNICON is a literary cabinet of curiosities filled with lush imagery and exotic notions. A delicious concoction of swashbucklery and delight. Highly recommended.’

     Join Jack Dann, author Adam Browne and coeur de lion publisher Keith Stevenson to celebrate the worldwide launch of PYROTECHNICON: being a TRUE ACCOUNT of CYRANO DE BERGERAC’S further adventures among the STATES and EMPIRES of the STARS at Conflux on 30 September.





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.


Get your Conflux membership before 29 August

Get your Conflux 8 membership in now to save money –  rates up by $20 from 29 August.  Prices include three course buffet lunch on Saturday.