Two more sleeps!

Conflux 13 is nearly upon us! The con bags are packed, our international GOH has just landed in the country and we’re just about ready to rock’n’roll. A few useful tips

  • Parking. The ACT Government-owned car parks out at Brindabella Park are $10 per day compared to the airport car parks at $22. You might have to get there early on Friday, but the other days should be good.
  • Groceries: There is a Woolworths and a CostCo (but you need to be a member to shop here) at Majura Park, which is on the other side of the airport from Vibe. Head for the giant Ikea sign, but turn right into Majura park instead of left into Ikea.
  • Food at Vibe: keep your con badge on, because it will get you a 10% discount on food & coffee at the hotel.
  • Buses: The Vibe Hotel shuttle will do a pickup at the Jolimont Centre each day of the con at 9am. Space is limited, though. The number 11 Bus goes out to the airport on weekdays and weekends. You can download the route 11 timetable on the Transport Canberra website.

Parking at Vibe

Public Transport to Vibe

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Pre-register for Conflux 13 workshops

Have you checked out our Workshops Page to see what workshops are on offer this year at Conflux 13?

All our workshops are free with your Conflux 13 membership*, with the exception of Gillian Polack’s Questions of Culture, for which there is a $20 charge.

If you see something that tickles your fancy, don’t forget to register for it! You can do this by signing up at registration at Conflux, or if you’re super keen and definitely don’t want to miss out, drop us a line at confluxchair@gmail.com.

*For day memberships, you are able to attend all workshops on the day of your membership (with the exception of Questions of Culture with Gillian Polack, which has an additional charge of $20.)

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Progress Report

The first (and only) Progress Report for Conflux 13 Grimm Tales is now available on the PR Page.

Get all the news and final information on preparations for the convention there (or by clicking on this link).

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Draft program is up!

Our draft program is now up on our Program page. There are still a few gaps we have left to fill, and some stuff may move around between now and September. But, please, have a look & let us know if there’s anything we’ve missed you’re dying to get on the schedule.

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Conflux 12 Accommodation

For Conflux 12, Novotel are offering discounted pre-booked accommodation until 30 September 2016. Novotel are offering for a minimum of 2 night stay:

Standard King Room $199 – with breakfast $219
Executive King Room $229 – with breakfast $249

To take advantage please call the reservation team on 02 6245 5000 and quote CON011016 when booking. Note this number cannot be used for other bookings.

Also note you can not use the code when making online reservations, only bookings by telephone..

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Progress Report 1

At last, having overcome ordeals as indescribable as they are lamentable, the first Conflux 12 Progress Report is now available.

Past and current Conflux members should already have received a copy via email. If you think you should have and didn’t, please let us know at confluxchair@gmail.com

These and future reports are available from the Progress Reports page.

The next PR is due out on 15 June 2016.

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CONFLUX 12 CONVENTION

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SCIENCE FICTION – FANTASY- HORROR – AND MORE

  • Guest of Honour:  Alan Baxter
  • Special Guest: David Farland and Meri Amber and 
  • MC: Sean Williams 

Friday 30 September to Monday 3 October 2016

At Novotel Canberra, Civic Centre ACT

Presentations, workshops, drama, pitching sessions, banquet, panel discussions, social and other great activities.

To register: WWW.TRYBOOKING.COM

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Special Event: The Cabinet of Oddities

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What a fantastic event on Sunday night!  Conflux 11 is really pleased to be hosting “Cabinet of Oddities” in conjunction with the Australian Flute Festival – NEW Speculative Fiction and NEW Australian music from a very impressive line-up of Authors. Artist and Composers.  (Thank you to Dr Laura E. Goodin for organising this event.)

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About Graham Joyce

Last week, the terrible news came through that Graham, so full of life, such a funny funny guy, had died of cancer.

Graham was the international guest of honour at Conflux 4, the first convention I chaired in 2007, and inviting him was the idea of Deb Biancotti and Kaaron Warren. I didn’t really have a guest I was dying to have, and after I read up on him I decided he’d be a perfect fit with the lineup of guests I had (which included Kaaron, Garth Nix, Simon Brown and Jonathan Strahan – the addition of Kevin J Anderson and Rebecca Moesta came later in the piece).

Graham graciously accepted the invitation, and arrangements were made. I remembered almost too late he’d need a visa, but that was organised and he arrived. I picked Graham up at the airport and took him to the hotel (Rydges Lakeside – I know some of you are shuddering right now – terrible venue). Graham instantly charmed me and set me at ease. He did that for everyone throughout the weekend.

One of the first things Graham said to me – “Trudi Canavan will be here, right?” His daughter was a massive Trudi fan and he’d been tasked with getting her autograph. It was the only thing that he HAD to do at Conflux. Otherwise, he was going to be all about the fun.

And he was. He made Canberra reviewer Colin Steele’s day by having lunch with him (Colin was a massive fan). He had lunch with a group of us Canberra folk at Gillian Polack’s house the day before the con, and that was a hoot! And at the con itself, he was open and available and funny.

I remember one time, I finally had a few minutes to sit (doesn’t happen often when you’re chairing a con). I went to bar and there was Graham, and Garth Nix, and there were some other folks but I can’t remember who. Anyway, the conversation turned to the fact after Conflux, Graham was going to stay with a family member who lived on a property between the Snowy Mountains and the South Coast. What followed was the typical Aussie ribbing about all the horrid creatures he was going to meet out there (I don’t think we resorted to a drop bear – we were writers, we can make the real horrific enough – hell, who needs a drop bear when there’s huntsman to scare the bejeezus out of you?) and Graham was having a rip-roaring time. We were laughing so much we were crying.

At the con, I bought one of Graham’s books and finally read him and realised not only was he and amazing human being, he was one of the most stunning writers I’ve ever come across.

So I can’t decide what I’m more devastated about – that we’ll never have another Graham Joyce book, or that Graham’s laughter will never be heard again.

My thoughts, and the thoughts of the extended Conflux family, go to Graham’s wife and children, his family and friends.

Nicole Murphy
President, Conflux Inc

Here are Graham’s answers to the questions posed to all our guests that year as part of our Progress Reports (our theme for the con was heroes):

Who are your real-life heroes?
The trouble with real-life heroes is they all turn out to have feet of clay, like the rest of us. Many years ago I paid a fat little barefoot Indian guru a week’s wages for a mantra. He had this beautiful and transcendent smile. The idea was that you paid for this mantra and you would end up with a similar smile. Later I found out that he was barefoot because he lived in deep-pile carpet in a luxury fortress in Switzerland, where he kept a dozen Rolls Royces and ate chikken tikka even though he was supposed to be a vegan. Well, you would smile, wouldn’t you? But if I have to name one it would be Oliver
Cromwell. Another would be Nelson Mandella. Then there’s Grace O’Malley, the Elizabethan pirate queen. But no-one can transcend their own humanity, and heroes are really about mythology, not humanity.

Who is more fun to write – villains or heroes? 
Well, I like the idea of heroes who turn out to be villains and villains who turn out to be heroes.

Heroes or heroines?
Heroines. They photograph better in the leather kilt.

Do you have a favorite fictional hero?
Yes. Dr Strange. Much more interesting than Spiderman and the rest.

What makes a hero come alive on the page?
Their frailties. If they are invulnerable or untouchable the outcome is secure. The bigger the heroic flaw or weakness, the more the outcome hangs in the balance.

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Why I created the Conflux Writer’s Day

By Nicole Murphy
Convenor, Conflux Writer’s Day

A couple of conversations have made it clear that some people don’t quite get the Conflux Writer’s Day. So let me attempt to explain…

My day job (yes, this is important) is as a professional conference organiser. The company I work for specialises in academic conferences. At these, you have a mix of keynote speakers (chosen by the committee) and concurrent presentations. The concurrents are chosen after a blind review process. They’re called concurrents because they run concurrently in the program. The keynotes don’t have to compete with anyone else.

The concurrent presentations are quite short – between 10-20 minutes – and are designed to present the latest research. Generally, each is done by one person (although occasionally two or three will present). It’s an overload of information.

My specialty is working with these speakers and running the process to pull these presentations together. It’s something I really enjoy.

Now, I happen to believe that writers need to get as much information from as many different sources as possible when deciding on things like career development. Everyone’s journey is unique, and if you get caught up with thinking that one person’s way is the only way to do things, you’ll damage yourself because you CAN’T have someone else’s career.

And what’s a good way to give writers a lot of information, I thought? The format of an academic conference would work really well.

And lo, the Conflux Writer’s Day was born.

Some of the presenters will have the opportunity for Q&A at the end of their presentations. Some are doing almost all their presentations that way. Some are going to have audience involvement.

But mostly, you’ll be sitting and writing copious notes and having your brain expanded and perhaps even a little overwhelmed by all the information being flung at you. You’ll have morning and afternoon tea and lunch (all fully catered) to take a breather and chat to people.

At 5pm, you’ll be exhausted but buzzing with everything that’s just happened. You’ll need a few days, maybe even weeks for it all to sink in but I’m confident that everyone that attends the Conflux Writer’s Day will find it one of the most valuable experiences of their writing career.

If you’ve not registered yet, don’t miss out! http://conflux.org.au/conflux-writers-day-2/registration/

NOTE: This is probably going to be the only Conflux Writer’s Day ever run, so if you don’t come this time, you’ll miss out – maybe forever!

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