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I am a writer, editor and reviewer based in Perth, Western Australia: my first novel, The Dagger of Dresnia (Book 1 of The Talismans) is published by Satalyte and available from their website as well as Amazon.com and other online outlets. As both writer and editor, I specialise in historical and high or epic fantasy. If you have a manuscript in preparation, don't waste money on editing too early. Instead, let me help with a mini-assessment of your work, based on careful reading of your synopsis and first 20 pages. Then, when you've worked on the manuscript in line with our discussions, I will be happy to do a full edit before you send it off into the big wide world. My fees are very reasonable - for more about my editing work, CLICK HERE

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Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Manchester, UK

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

Places I've lived: Gippsland, Australia

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Places I've lived: Geelong,  Australia

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Places I've lived: Tamworth, NSW

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Sydney Conservatorium - my old school

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Places I've lived: Auckland, NZ

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Places I've Lived: Mount Gambier
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Places I've lived: Adelaide, SA

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Places I've lived: High View, WV

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Places I've lived: Lynton, Devon, UK

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Places I've lived: Braemar, Scotland

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

Places I've lived: Barre, MA, USA

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Places I've Lived: Perth by Night
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Monday, 6 September 2010

A worldcon is a wond'rous thing, God wot!

Aussiecon4, the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, has just ended. An amazing and sometimes overwhelming experience, it has been a once-in-a-lifetime event for me, since the “Worldcon” is only held in Australia about once in a decade. The four held here so far have all been in Melbourne

The event was both exhilarating and frustrating: exhilarating because of the combination of guests from all over the world, a huge array of panel topics and panellists and activities that included kaffeeklatsches with, and readings by, dozens of writers; the opportunity to buy books and other fan-pleasing merchandise from a veritable army of dealers, and the possibility of falling over a favourite author in the bar or in an elevator.

And the frustration? It just wasn't possible to take advantage of even a tenth of the offerings. Several times I found myself sitting in the foyer, poring over the program, unable to make up my mind which panel or kaffeeklatsch to go to and ending up so paralysed that I did none of them, opting instead for the comfort of a hot coffee or a turn about the dealers' room! Nevertheless, I did attend about a dozen panels, four or five kaffeeklatsches and about the same number of readings. Some of my favourite authors, including Glenda Larke, Juliet Marillier and Karen Miller, sat on panels,and I even took part in one myself. It was about YA paranormal romance, which I list among my least favourite sub-genres, while I was overlooked for all the reviewing panels. Obviously the mode of allocating panellists to panels is beyond my comprehension. However, my fellow-panellists – Crisetta McLeod, Amanda Pillar and Tehani Wessely (who is an awesome moderator) - covered up for any deficiencies I might have!

There were glittering social events, too, and. I was lucky enough to be invited to two of them. The first was a fifteenth birthday celebration for HarperCollins's spec-fic imprint, Voyager. No less a personage than George R R Martin himself cut the cake, to the accompaniment of a blaze of exploding torches outside the windows framing the dais in the Crown Entertainment Complex. Mr Martin joked about authors who do not submit their books on time, to the amusement of those of us who have been awaiting the appearance of his long-delayed opus, A Dance with Dragons. (Perhaps next year, in Reno, brethren...) The second event was a pre-Hugo awards party, kindly put on by the Orion imprint of Hachette Livre. This was another stupendous event, in which artist Nick Stathopoulos proudly showed the shining throng his beautifully crafted award statuette. It incorporated elements of Art Nouveau and Aboriginal creation stories, a mix that shouldn't have worked but did, and that right wonderfully.

Later in the evening, the Hugos were presented. There was one Aussie among the winners – artist Sean Tan, a Perthite now living in Melbourne. Tan is highly regarded, not only for his art but also for his writing and his personal popularity as a humble and generous all-round Nice Guy. Aussie editor Jonathan Strahan just missed out on an award, but I hasten to add that to be shortlisted for the Hugos is as prestigious in the SF world as is being shortlisted for the Oscars in the realm of cinema, so we in Aussie fandom are very proud of both these talented men.

I had hoped to catch up with many of the friends I've made online, and indeed I did manage to kaffeeklatsch with some of my fellow webzine workers, not only those on The Specusphere but others including Nyssa Pascoe, Phill Berrie, Crisetta McLeod, Chuck McKenzie, Simon Petrie, Helen Stubbs, Damien Smith, Brendan Carson and Catherine Gunson. I also managed quick schmoozes with many others including Sally Beasley, Sue Bursztynski, Michele Cashmore, Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Edwina Harvey, Judi Hodgkin (a lovely surprise, that, for I hadn't seen ex-WAAPA buddy Judi since 1990!), Heidi Kneale, Dean Laslett, Dave Luckett, Ian McHugh, Nicole Murphy, Ian Nichols, Gillian Polack and Monissa Whiteley. Plus, of course, my dear friends from the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre: Sarah Parker, Andrew Partington, Carol Ryles, Helen Venn and Jessica Vivien. There were, in fact, well over a hundred Perthites among the membership, perhaps more per head of population than any other city in the world!

What's more, I made many new friends and acquaintances, not least my room-mate at the Melbourne Central YHA hostel, Ruth Anne from San Francisco. I also had the opportunity to consult with the London literary agent who had been kind enough to read the opening pages of my trilogy. He was very encouraging and offered me the opportunity to submit again when I've made some improvements.

There is so much to say about Aussiecon4 that I feel I should stop waxing lyrical about it lest I bore you, since only being present at such an event can give a true idea of its wonder and complexity. There will be plenty written about it elsewhere, and I will probably write more myself for The Specusphere. But let me register here my profound thanks to Sue Ann Barber and the rest of the hard-working team who put the con together. It was an amazing achievement!

I return to Perth tomorrow for another round of housesitting, so I should have pictures of some new furry friends to share with you next time!

2 comments:

Jo said...

Interesting blog, glad you enjoyed yourself so much. I was very envious of everyone going.

Curious, what were you pouring over your programme? LOL You had an extraneous U there.

Satima Flavell said...

I guess I was pouring out my angst about not being able to see everything:-(

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