Category Archives: writing

Aussiecon 4 – Day Five

Tomorrow is Day 5, and the last day of the Worldcon. The nasty bug that had been lingering for the first few days now seems to be fading at last, leaving me wishing I had a time machine to do over the first few days again – so many panels and readings and speeches I missed! But I had a great time loitering in the dealers room and spoke to a lot of wise, wonderful, funny, thoughtful, kind people, so actually I can’t complain.

I attended a panel called “Has Hollywood sucked the life out of vampires” which was good fun, and the lovely Kirstyn McDermott gave a shout out for The Opposite of Life, which endeared her to me immensely. 🙂 I was on the next two panels – on in which we discussed how horrific real life can someetimes be, and how that related to horror writing; and then I mediated a panel on the Fifth Season of Dr Who, which mainly meant I hogged the microphone, though occasionally allowed the marvellous panelists George, Rani and Kathryn get a word in edgeways…

Josh and John from Boxcutters interviewed Rob Shearman and Paul Cornell, so there was a table full of charming and funny guys, and it was all recorded for an upcoming episode of Boxcutters, so if you missed it there’s hope for you yet. (Check out Boxcutters on iTunes!)

After dinner, I stayed with some friends to watch the Hugo Awards. Nice to see so much talent being recognised for their efforts, and now I plan to actually read some of the nominees as well as winners…

Tomorrow I have a full day. At 10am I will be on a panel on “The 25 Things I Learned from SF”. Given I haven’t had time to prepare, I’m hoping to think of at least three things.

At 11am I’ll be doing a reading. I plan to read a different part of The Opposite of Life, so if you want to come along but already have the book, at least I’ll be reading out a different bit for a chance. That’ll be followed by a signing session (and many thanks to the Aussiecon program team for putting me in this bit of the program!)

My final panel of the con will be at 2pm, when I will be leading the vampires team in the Zombies vs Vampires smackdown. I don’t know if there’ll be any reasoned debate, but there may be a melee, so that’ll be worth the price of entry, surely.

Aussiecon 4

Today is Day Four of Aussiecon 4, the Australian Worldcon. I started with a nasty cold and while still a bit ill, I’m actually getting a little better each day. Surely this means that, against tradition, I should be in perfect health by Day 5, instead of a total wreck like everyone else.

I’ve done a few panels so far – I had a marvellous time with Bob Kuhn, Alison Croggan and Rob Shearman on a panel about Science Fiction and the Theatre, in which we more or less concluded that the two genres were made for each other and it’s a shame there isn’t more of it. And that there is probably more of it than anyone thinks, it’s just that no-one calls it SF cos they don’t want to frighten off the audience. Ben Ellis, Lally Katz and Robert Reid, Melbourne playwrights who incorporate a lot of SF concepts in their work, got a mention too, as did actor/director Scott Gooding, who was in the audience.

I also went onto a Friday panel on 10 minutes notice discussing whether or not there is an ‘Australian voice’ in SF, and if so, what is it?

Today I’ll be talking about the reason for writing horror when real life surely offers up enough horrors all by itself. It’ll be interesting to see what everyone has to say about it. I’m also doing a Dr Who panel straight afterwards, because my interests are nothing if not eclectic.

On Monday I will be participating in the zombie vs vampire smackdown, which should be fun. I’ll also be doing a reading from The Opposite of Life if you’d care to come along. I’m going to find a passage I haven’t read before, so even if you’ve already read the book, perhaps it will have entertainment value for you.

Either way, if you’re at the con and would like to say hello, please come up and introduce yourself. When not on panels, or attending panels, I’m often in the dealer’s room at the Doc Rat/Pink Iguana table next to Dymocks.

Worldcon – September 2010

For anyone coming to Aussiecon, the Australian Worldcon being held 2-6 September here in my hometown, I’ll be in several panels during the con. I’ve also been given a slot to do a reading and signing!

The confirmed spots are:

Saturday 4th September:
10am –  Rm 217: Science fiction and the theatre
Science fiction and the theatre don’t seem to be the most obvious bedfellows, but science fiction has and continues to be presented on the stage from time to time. Every medium brings its own benefits and drawbacks. What are the challenges that face playwrights when creating science fiction? What can you achieve with the theatre that you can’t achieve in any other media?
Robert Shearman, Alison Croggon, Narrelle M. Harris, Bob Kuhn

Sunday 5th September:

1400 – Rm 204: But this is real!
Why are we attracted to fictional horrors when real life can be so much worse?
Paul Haines, Narrelle M. Harris, Gary Kemble, Chris Lawson, Carrie Vaughn

1500 Rm 212: We are all fairy tales: Doctor Who’s fifth season;
In 2010 Doctor Who returned to the screens with a new writer/producer, a new TARDIS,  a new companion and a new Doctor in the form of Matt Smith. How has Doctor Who’s fifth season differed from the four seasons before it? Has the transition from Russell T Davies to Steven Moffat been a successful one? A critical review of the most significant change in
Doctor Who since it returned to TV.
Kathryn Sullivan, Narrelle M. Harris, George Ivanoff, Rani Graff

Monday 6th September:
1000 Rm 207: 25 things I learned from SF
How much of what you know did you get from science fiction? Chromatophores and Kuiper belts, tesseracts and teratrogens—what Newton dreamt and how anarchy might work—we’ve all received numberless infodumps. What are your favorites? Your most exotic. How has science fiction shaped your life, your worldview, and the cool stuff you spout at parties?
Narrelle M Harris, Priscilla Olson, Jenny Blackford

1100 Rm 207: Reading;
1200 Rm 201: Signing;

1400 Rm 204: Vampire and zombie smackdown
Two kinds of undead, no holds barred.
Participants on the one hand – Scott Edelman, Rob Hood, Chuck McKenzie
On the other – Narrelle M Harris, George R. R. Martin, Faye Ringel

Looking forward to seeing you there!