Given that Conflux is apparently this weekend (yikes, where did the month go?), it seems portentous to have stumbled across this list of Hot Tips for Writers At Conferences…
Oh no. It’s That Time of the Year again, the time when… (looks around nervously) … things happen.
I formatted a book! Wyrdverse: Tales of the Wyrd is an anthology of short stories from the, well. Wyrdverse. These aren’t new—you may have previously read them on my website—they’re just now… collated better.
Wyrdverse is currently available super-cheap from Amazon, although if you’d like to snag yourself a free copy you can do so from the princely sum of your email address, by signing up to my book news mailing list.
Oh, and because the whole purpose of this exercise was to practice using Indesign, a print version of the book (in all its extensive, 80-page glory) should be available sometime in the next few weeks. So… keep an eye out for that.
Speaking of awesome books you should buy (or, rather, back) right now, Crossed Genres’ Resist Fascism speculative fiction anthology is in the final days of its Kickstarter. From the official description:
RESIST. ANY WAY YOU CAN.
The world is in turmoil. The world is always in turmoil, but in recent years, people have seen violence and hatred become proud instead of ashamed. What meager rights we’ve fought for are being deliberately eroded. And the vulnerable have any help stripped away. All of this is happening openly and without fear of reprisal. And the worst perpetrators are some of the largest governments of the world.
Resisting the spread of fascism is as important now as it was 75 years ago. And there are many effective ways to resist.
For full disclosure, friend-and-all-round-awesome-person Rivqa has a story in this anthology, and I have read it and it is boss. So if you, too, would like to read a boss story about found family and Jewish jujitsu IN SPACE, then you should go smash that pledge button, as the kids on teh YouTubes say.
Knit robots, build spaceships, and shape the future.
Extraordinary short stories about gender, artificial intelligence and the art of building something new. Mother of Invention features the work of Seanan McGuire, Ambelin Kwaymullina, Nisi Shawl, John Chu, Justina Robson and more.
Awesome? Yes. So what are you waiting for? Buy like a hundred copies and you’re set for presents to give out to all your friends, enemies, and loved ones at every birthday, anniversary, and culturally appropriate religious celebration for the indefinite future. Let’s all knit a softer, warmer robotic future together.
Finally… Thing #5.
Conflux! It’s coming, and I will be there. You can even come hear me blather on about narrative in the panel Play to write: what tabletop and video games can teach writers of fiction. And by “me” I mean “Rivqa and Elizabeth“, and by “blather” I mean “make interesting and intelligent points while trying to ignore their drooling co-panellist (i.e. me).”
Sound great? Of course it does! See you there.
- … I know, I know. ^
Yikes. Only a week until Conflux 13? Where did that go?
For my sins, this year I will be appearing on four panels. They’re gonna be great. Y’all should come see them.
- Magic systems in SF fiction: Friday, 29 September @ 10am.
- Remembering Terry Pratchett: Saturday, 30 September @ 10am.
- Reinventing the myth: Monday, 2 October @ 10:00am.
- Wonderful, wide, weird, cruel & cool (worldbuilding): Monday, 2 October @ 1:30pm.
Or, actually. you should come see all of them except the Pratchett panel. Because I am totally, 100% going to cry in that and it’s going to be awkward for everyone. And by “awkward” I mean “amazing”. It’s going to be amazing. So come along!
So, holy shit, where did the year go? Apparently “somewhere else”, meaning Conflux season is hurtling towards us, fast.
Conflux, for the uninitiated, is Canberra’s local specfic (sci-fi, fantasy, horror, and associated genres) convention and, unlike its sister-cons, e.g. Continuum, Conflux’s main Thing is that it tends to be more focused on the writing and craft side of things than the fannish side. Which isn’t to say there aren’t plenty of fannish things to do and see–there totally always are–so much as that it’s also The Writer Con, meaning there’s always a pretty strong programming track for craft and publishing.
Anyway. Confux’s program has gone up, so this is the part where I pretend I do some kind of scheduling and/or planning for where I’m going and what I’m seeing. Neat.
(…this badly photographed pile of awesome stuff!)
So yeah. I survived my second year of Conflux; go me!
Special big shout-outs this year to:
- Elizabeth, for babysitting me and letting me crash her Dungeon World game1
- Alex, for listening to me rant about Marxism, Evil Ernie, and pro wrestling
- Rivqa, for WoW squeeing and letting me hijack her Ancillary Justice panel with my this-book-is-really-about-the-American-War-of-Independence/-Civil-War conspiracy theory
- and Elanor, for sharing my love of Paul McGann’s Doctor and rage over Children of Earth.
I didn’t end up going to very many panels this year, mostly because I kept getting sidetracked by ranting at people in the bar (lots of ranting… lots and lots of ranting). On the other hand, I did get to do a workshop on the Friday where I had to create a YA character and book plot on the fly while being live critiqued by a panel of teenagers, and that was kind of traumatising, not gonna lie, so I pretty much needed the rest of the three days to recover.
Since it wouldn’t be a Conflux without a book haul, you can find the full list at GoodReads. I’m super-jazzed about Tansy Rayner Roberts‘ Mocklore books and Kaaron Warren‘s The Grief Hole in particular (and also super-jazzed that I got them signed). Tansy’s one of those people I secretly stalk online and absolutely fail at talking to in real life because I’m too busy dying of squee, while I fell in love with Kaaron’s writing after the last Conflux because ohmigod Australian female horror writer gimmie gimmie gimmie.
My other discovery this year was Meri Amber, who’s both adorable and writes adorable geek-pop you should totally go and listen to. She’s also the one who sold me my single most expensive purchase of the con: a set of metal rainbow Level Up Dice. Because seriously nothing says “beware the DM” like when she destroys your dining table by rolling her razor-sharp, heavy-as-shit, candy-coloured metal dice across it.
Metal was actually a bit of a theme of the con, I guess. Poor Zoltan, the Elf Bard with the power of METAL!. We hardly knew ye. (Also, I’m kinda glad you got killed off halfway through because holy shit was my voice wrecked from death growling the next day. Good thing I had no panels on the Saturday!)
— alex but spooky (@euchrid) October 3, 2016
Oh, and next year? Next year, we’re getting ribbons.
- Even if she did kill me. Twice. ^
So this morning I ran my car into a wall in the carpark, got covered in dirt by a man blowing leaves, and then nearly got run down when I misjudged the traffic lights.
“What a terrible morning, Alis!” you say. To which I reply, No! It is a great morning! A fantastic morning! And why? Because today is my last day in the office for like a month. Woohoo!
Except my month off is not a holiday, at least not for the first couple of weeks. Because yes, that’s right, it’s con season, so it’s time to put in some appearances. Which is a thing I do now. I know, right?
- Using grammar wot’s bad konstruktivlee, Sunday 4th October @ 1:30pm
- Messing with mythology, Sunday 4th October @ 4:30pm
- Food in fiction, Monday 5th October @ 10:00am
- Real Vampires, Monday 5th October @ 3:30pm
You can also find me shilling other people’s books on behalf of the CSFG in the dealer’s room Saturday 3rd from 11am, so feel free to drop by and say hi. And also buy some books from our rad local authors, because the only thing more awesome than buying books is buying books from locals. True story.
See you there!
- Note: Don’t heckle. The other panellists don’t deserve it. ^