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Fables and Reflections Online
WA-based fanzine Fables and Reflections has a new website.

The website features cover-art and tables of contents for the first three issues of Fables, details about the zine, places where it's available for purchase, submission guidelines and a links page.

Submissions for Issue 4 close on 15-Feb-03; inquiries to the editor, Lily Chrywenstrom.

(02/12/02)

Broderick is Fictionwise
Damien Broderick continues to make his mark on the ebook medium with a steady stream of original and reprint genre material, including a new edition of The Dreaming Dragons (1980), now officially The Dreaming.

When ebooks began to emerge as a commercial prospect towards the end of the last millennium, the future-focussed Broderick was amongst the first Australian genre authors to take full advantage of the medium.

As a result, ebook publishers Fictionwise currently offer a total of ten Broderick titles, including six short stories and novellas, the "slightly expanded and updated" text of Valencies [a 1983 collaboration with Rory Barnes, originally published by UQP], the retitled and also "slightly updated" The Dreaming "(sans the misleading Dragons suffix)", the non-fiction futurist classic The Spike, and Broderick's most recent novel Transcension. Forthcoming is "the definitive edition of The Judas Mandala [1982], with a new Afterword and the full text of a chapter omitted from the main text in this edition".

04-Dec-02: The revised edition of Valencies was launched in November 2002 under its original working title Against the Empire, but the authors "quickly found this change misled some readers into expecting a rousing space opera in the tradition of 'Doc' Smith or Star Wars," and the published title was reinstated.

(27/11/02)

Family-Oriented and SF-Themed
AlieNation, the Fire and Earth Festival in Perth's Maylands on 1st December, promises "sci-fi family adventure" with "performance, music, puppetry, and special effects ending in a spectacular fireworks finish".

The five year old annual festival returns again to the Maylands Brick Kilns, Swan Bank Road (Opposite Peninsula Golf Course), and the 2002 event commences at 5.30pm with a BBQ community picnic in the parkland surrounding Lake Bungana, adjacent to the Brick Kilns site. Some food and refreshments will be available onsite including "a sausage sizzle, drinks, and ice-cream".

The entertainment, "brought to you by a dedicated group of artists and volunteers from the local community", will take place from around 7.30 – 9.00pm. Phone +61 8 9313 3209 for more information.

(27/11/02)

AntiSF's November Crop
Antipodean SF Issue 55 is out, with seven Australians amongst its ten authors this month.

The Australian stories in Issue 55 are:

In this issue's "Ionospherics" editorial, Ion Newcombe assures us that the NSW drought has not affected the flash fiction at AntiSF.

(26/11/02)

The Doctor in Perth
Arena Arts and Entertainment are presenting Doctor Who: Hellblossom in a season at the Bridge Theatre in Northbridge from 21–23 and 28–30 November, 2002.

The play, written by Ian Wheeler and directed by Simon James, is an original Dr Who story, and the production is timed to coincide with the 39th anniversary of the series' first airing on British television on November 23, 1963. The November 23 audience are invited to come dressed as a Dr Who character, and prizes are offered.

Tickets are $16.50/$13.50; contact +61 8 9228 3336.

(22/11/02)

Williams, Douglass Tour
HarperCollins Australia is touring its big-name local genre authors Sara Douglass and Sean Williams in November/December.

Sean Williams will be promoting the concluding chapter in his Books of The Change, The Storm Weaver and the Sand, on the following schedule:

  • 09-November to 15-November: Sydney
  • 15-November to 18-November: Melbourne
  • 03-December to 07-December: Adelaide

Sara Douglass will be promoting the opening chapter in her historical fantasy trilogy The Troy Game, Hades Daughter, and will be touring "Tasmania, Sydney and Melbourne" in the first two weeks of December.


(18/11/02)

Fantasy Anthology Announced
Peter McNamara and Margaret Winch are collecting stories for a Wakefield Press/Aphelion Publications fantasy anthology with the working title Forever Shores.

Forever Shores is planned to run to approximately 100,000 words and have a print run of about 3,000 copies, and its operating definition of fantasy is "as broad as it can be: namely those stories that editors and publishers run under the title Fantasy". McNamara and Winch's previous anthology was the highly regarded Alien Shores (Aphelion, 1994).

The editors are looking for submissions of between 5,000 and 10,000 words, with "quality . . . the only criteria for story selection". Payment for the first edition will be on a per word basis, and on publication. Second and subsequent editions will be covered by a more complex royalties formula; details available from:
Submissions will close on 01 December, 2002.

(09/11/02)

Writers' Group to Publish Anthology
The Stromatolights, a five-year-old Western Australian writers' group dedicated to speculative fiction, have announced their intention to publish an anthology in April 2003.

The book, to be launched at the Australian National SF Convention in Perth, is tentatively titled Possession. The editors are seeking both fiction and poetry on the theme of "possession" (although Exorcist look-alikes are specifically discouraged), but submissions (which close on 31 December, 2002) are only being accepted from members of the writers' group or members of the stromatolights mailing list.

The Stromatolights Writer's Group was spawned by "a chance conversation between spec-fic writers at the Fremantle Writers' Festival in 1997"; there was a perceived need at the time for a WA based writers' group dedicated solely for speculative fiction writers. The group aims to improve writing through critiques, discussions, workshops and exercises. It is also functions as a social and networking group, disseminates information on writing classes, contests and markets, and manages an active mailing list. Meetings are held on the third Saturday of every month except December, at:

Katherine Susannah Prichard Writers' Centre
11 Old York Road
Greenmount WA

Meetings run from 1.30pm to 4pm, and there is a fee of $3 to cover biscuits and beverages and hire of the centre.

Contacts:

(09/11/02)

Tan in CBCs Again
The Children's Book Council of Australia has recognised the talents of Shaun Tan for the fourth year in succession.

Tan's The Red Tree was made an Honour Book award in the Picture Book category of the 2002 Children's Book Awards. Tan won the same award in 2001 for The Lost Thing, and in 2000 for Memorial. His The Rabbits won Picture Book of the Year in 1999.

The first Australian Children's Book of the Year Award was made in 1946. At that time and until 1952 there was only a single category of award. In 1952 a category for Picture Books was created, followed by a Younger Readers category in 1982, the Eve Pownall Award for Non-Fiction in 1993 and the Early Childhood Award in 2001.

"Western Australian writers such as Elaine Forrestal, Brigid Lowry, Tim Winton and Shaun Tan have had their considerable contributions to Australian children's literature recognised through these awards," said WA's Culture and the Arts Minister Sheila McHale of the CBCs.

Two panels of judges appointed by the Children's Book Council selected the award-winning books. (Eight judges from across Australia judged the four fiction categories and a WA-based panel selected the award winner in the non-fiction category.)

The Red Tree has attracted some controversy about its suitability for children. "It's quite sophisticated," says the author. "It deals with depression and loneliness." The book also won the Patricia Wrightson Award for Children's Books in the 2002 NSW Premier's Awards.

(09/11/02)

Australian Animation Festival
Industry magazine Digital Media World's aeaf 2002, to be held at the Sydney Convention Centre, Darling Harbour, 01 – 04 December 2002, will feature Star Wars: Episode II and Walking with Beasts.

"This is your opportunity to lean the creative and technical secrets behind some of the biggest VFX/Animation projects from Hollywood and around the world," says the PR. "It provides you with an exclusive access pass to the leading personalities in the global VFX and animation industry."

AEAF 2002 includes a Full Day seminar on the creation of the digital cast of Star Wars Episode II: Attack of the Clones ("a complete overview of the pipeline and systems used to produce this landmark in digital filmmaking"), a complete CGI breakdown of the creation of the series of six documentaries that made up Walking With Beasts, assembled from more than 30 hours of computer animation footage incorporated into 1000 special effects shots, plus "LORD OF THE RINGS, GHOST SHIP, SPIDER-MAN", 3 days of seminars and masterclasses, and four evenings of "screenings and networking opportunities."

The Attack of the Clones seminar will be led by Rob Coleman from ILM; other guests include Mike Milne, animation director on Walking with Dinosaurs and Walking with Beasts.

Festival pass $434, Day pass $214, AEAF Awards (Dec 3rd) $77; 15% student discount (see online booking form).

AEAF
PO Box 369
Strawberry Hills NSW 2012
aeaf@dmw.com.au

(09/11/02)

Wynne Whiteford, 1915 – 2002
Victorian author Wynne Whiteford died on 30th September, 2002.

Whiteford passed away in hospital at 9.15pm. He was apparently in no pain, and had slipped in and out of a coma for a couple of days. A wake was held on Friday, 11th October. Cards/condolences can be sent to his long term partner:

Gwayne Naug
3 Stringybark Road
ELTHAM VIC 3095

Bruce Gillespie writes, on the eidolist (04-October-02):

"Wynne N. Whiteford, who died on 30 September, had a long career, the most spectacular part (international motoring journalist, living in New York, London, Sydney and Melbourne over a period of more than twenty years) being pretty much over by the time I met him. He had sold his first SF story in 1934. I first saw his photo in New Worlds magazine in 1960, accompanying an author profile. At that time he was publishing regularly in Ted Carnell's magazines, along with several other Australian writers, such as Lee Harding, David Rome and John Baxter. I met him for the first time at the 1968 Melbourne Conference, my first convention, and found him a remarkably sensible and modest man, especially compared with the brash young fans and writers of the time.

"He remained sensible and modest to the last, and also mentally and physically resilient. Befriended by Paul Collins and Rowena Cory in the mid 1970s, he published his first novel with Cory & Collins when he was sixty-five (Breathing Space Only, 1980). This was followed by several more novels for Cory & Collins, which were later resold by Australian-American agent Cherry Weiner to Ace Books in New York, and were followed by several commissioned by Ace during the 1980s.

"In 1976, his first wife Laurel died, but a year or two later he teamed up with Gwayne Naug, herself a writer, and their partnership continued until his death. In Australia, Wynne's career was overshadowed by that of George Turner, who also became successful only in his sixties and seventies. Wynne was one year older than George, but when George died in 1997, Wynne was still pretty much the same resilient, very fit man we had always known, often attending Nova Mob meetings, conventions and fan meetings. I have seen him walk into a Nova Mob meeting, find that all the comfortable seats were taken, go sit straight down on some small stool that nobody else could fit onto (and that was when he was eighty). He became frail very suddenly during the last three or four years, but was still able to attend fannish end-of-year gatherings in December 2001. Some people who should have known better tended to forget about his contribution to Australian SF, but those of us he befriended regarded him as a great lion of the Australian SF scene."


(31/10/02)

McMullen on Sci Fiction
Sean McMullen's novella "Voice of Steel" was recently published on Sci Fiction, the original fiction section of the Sci-Fi Channel's SCIFI.COM. McMullen is the second Australian to appear on the prestigious and well paying site.

Sci Fiction is currently the highest paying market for SF short fiction in the world, and the site has been very well represented in awards; its editor Ellen Datlow won the 2002 Hugo award for Best Professional Editor. The last Australian work published on Sci Fiction was Terry Dowling's "The Lagan Fishers".

(31/10/02)

Australian SF on SFSite
The October 2002 issue of online magazine SFSite features an interview with Sean McMullen, a review of anthology Agog! Fantastic Fiction and an essay by Caitlin Kiernan on why Australian-made sf TV series Farscape should be saved.
(31/10/02)

2004 Natcon Announced
Conflux, the 43rd Australian National Science Fiction Convention will be held from 23 – 26 April 2004 at the Rydges Lakeside Hotel, Canberra, ACT.

Guests of Honour will include Gregory Benford and Sean McMullen; the Fan Guest of Honour is Canberra-based fan historian Karen Herkes. The planned program, alongside the obligatory "extensive range of activities related to science fiction, fantasy and horror", features a theatre stream (which is calling for original short sf plays), Real Science presentations, extensive "filking" and an Anzac Day Dawn Service at the National War Memorial.

Full membership is $110, with significant concession rates available. Room rates are $135 per night. for further information contact Rose Mitchell (phone 0418 540 160) or write to:

Publicity Manager
Conflux - 43rd Australian Nat. SF Convention
PO Box 903
BELCONNEN ACT 2616

(31/10/02)

Clarion South Writers' Workshop
The US-based Clarion Science Fiction & Fantasy Writers' Workshop, the most highly regarded genre writing workshop in the world, is coming to Queensland.

Clarion South, which will join Clarion West in the intensive six-week workshop tradition of the original, is intended for writers preparing for a professional career in speculative fiction. "This is not a workshop for beginners," says their PR. "It is has been designed to fill a niche for those emerging speculative fiction writers who lack opportunities to meet with their peers and polish their craft."

Clarion has been described as "boot camp" for sf writers. The Clarion experience consists of a six week, live-in "residency". Mornings are devoted to critiquing manuscripts in a workshop setting; afternoons, evenings, and weekends are devoted to individual writing and conferences with the writer-in-residence. Participants produce new work and continuously receive feedback on the structure, style and substance of their writing.

As with the Michigan University format—which has produced writers such as Kim Stanley Robinson, Bruce Sterling, Vonda McIntyre, Octavia Butler, George Alec Effinger and Nalo Hopkinson—six Australian speculative fiction writers will be on-call, and will each teach for one week during the six weeks of the workshop, conducting critique sessions and one-to-one conferences with the participants. Confirmed so far are Lucy Sussex, Terry Dowling and Jack Dann.

This is not the first time a workshop of this kind has been run in Australia (Ursula Le Guin hosted a shorter version in association with Australia's first Worldcon in 1975) but it is the first official Clarion event. Planning has begun for the first workshop, to be run in January and February 2004, somewhere in Queensland. Organisers are looking for people to help organise, fund-raise and spread the word to writers who may not have immediate access to the Australian speculative fiction community. People working behind the scenes to bring Clarion to the Southern Hemisphere include Marianne de Pierres, Grace Dugan and Kate Eltham. The website includes additional information, and a mailing list is available.


(31/10/02)


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