Continuum, Quilts and Chronos Awards

I had a fantastic and satisfyingly exhausting time at Continuum 7 over the long weekend. The panels I saw were entertaining and engaging and Catherynne M. Valente was one of the most gracious and erudite and downright fun-to-be-around Guests of Honour a convention could hope to have. She was also a special guest on The Writer and the Critic podcast that Ian Mond and myself recorded live at the con — it will be available very soon; I just need to get some more sleep before finishing post-production — and one of my team-mates on the Great Debate. Which we won. Immortality for everyone! I also loved the enthusiastic, intelligent and impassioned discussions that took place during almost all of the panels I participated in — among panelists and audiences alike. It’s invigorating and inspiring to be in a room full of people so keen to discuss and debate and contribute. Possibly the highlight of the convention for me was the Dark Delights panel which explored the links between beauty and horror. Kyla Ward performed one of her poems with her usual aplomb and Talie Helene knocked everyone’s socks off with a stunning a cappella rendition of an old ghost ballad. (Talie’s working on an exciting new multi-media project … more details soon.)

Chronos Award 2011

Oh, and I won a very pretty Chronos Award for Madigan Mine! Karen Healey‘s Aurealis Award-winning novel, The Guardian of the Dead, was nominated in the same category and I was fortunate enough to meet and have dinner with Karen on the Sunday night. She’s witty and delightful and I’m looking forward to reading her new novel, The Shattering, which is due for release in July. (I was so very good and only purchased that one book at the convention — my To Be Read pile is already structurally unsound!)

The full list of 2011 Chronos Award winners are:

  • Best Long Fiction: Madigan Mine, Kirstyn McDermott (Pan MacMillan Australia)
  • Best Short Fiction: “Her Gallant Needs”, Paul Haines (Sprawl, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Best Artwork: Australis Imaginarium cover, Shaun Tan (FableCroft Publishing)
  • Best Fan Writer: Alexandra Pierce
  • Best Fan Written Work: “Review: The Secret Feminist Cabal by Helen Merrick”, Alexandra Pierce
  • Best Fan Artwork: Continuum 6 Props, Rachel Holkner
  • Best Fan Publication: Live Boxcutters Doctor Who at AussieCon IV, Josh Kinal and John Richards
  • Best Achievement: Programming: AussieCon IV, Sue Ann Barber and Grant Watson

I should also remind you that the Conquilt fundraising auction is now up and running on eBay with some impressive early bidding. It’s an amazingly gorgeous quilt — after seeing it on display at Continuum, I’m half-tempted to bid on it myself. Honestly, the photos really don’t do it any justice at all.

I’m already very excited about attending Continuum 8 next year. Not only is the NatCon but it has Kelly Link and Alison Goodman as Guests of Honour. Huzzah!

Finally, on matters unrelated to Continuum, I was interviewed by the Adventures of a Bookonaut blog as part of an ongoing series featuring Australian spec fic authors. The questions were about authors and social media, and I had a lot of fun answering them. Next time you have a few minutes to spare, wander across and have a read. Sean’s blog is a treasure trove of news and reviews and other SF tidbits — well worth following!


Conquilt Fundraising Auction for Continuum!


Conquilt is a record of nearly one hundred of the attending authors, editors, publishers and illustrators to Aussiecon 4, the 68th World Science Fiction Convention held in Melbourne Australia in September 2010. Signatures (and the odd sketch) were collected throughout the convention and assembled into this colourful quilt by Rachel Holkner and award-winning quilter Jeanette Holkner, based on the pattern ‘Tribble Trouble’ by Martha Thompson. It measures 152 cm x 192 cm with a 5cm diameter rod pocket on the back for easy display..

Conquilt will be on display throughout Continuum 7. There will be an auction launch at 8.45pm on Friday 10 June in the Earth Room, so if you’re in Melbourne, you can come in and see it for yourself! The quilt will be auctioned on eBay beginning at 9pm on Friday 10 June 2011 and ending on 20 June. The exact URL will be posted on the official Conquilt page, or you can search simply eBay for “conquilt”.

All funds raised by this auction will benefit Continuum, Melbourne’s own annual Speculative Fiction and Pop Culture Convention.

I was lucky enough to be asked to sign one of the panels and feel very honoured to be included among such speculative fiction luminaries. Just look at all these amazingly talented folks who’ve put pen to fabric:

Alan Baxter    Alastair Reynolds    Alisa Krasnostein    Alison Croggon    Amanda Pillar   Andrew J. McKiernan    Angie Rega    Bill Congreve    Bob Eggleton   Carrie Vaughn    Cat Sparks    Catherynne M. Valente    Charles Stross   China Mieville    Chris Miles (an associate of H. I. Larry)    Chuck McKenzie   Cory Doctorow    Deborah Biancotti    Delia Sherman    Dirk Flinthart    Duncan Lay    Fiona McIntosh    Foz Meadows    Gail Carriger   Garth Nix    George Ivanoff    George R. R. Martin    Gillian Polack   Glenda Larke    Grace Duggan    Howard Tayler    Ian Irvine    Ian Nichols   Jane Routley    Jason Nahrung    Jay Lake    Jean Johnson    Jenner   Jennifer Fallon    Jetse de Vries    John Scalzi    Jonathan Strahan    Juliet Marillier    K. A. Bedford    K. J. Taylor    Kaaron Warren    Kaja Foglio    Karen Haber    Karen Healey     Kate Elliot    Kate Paulk    Kathleen Jennings    Keith Stevenson    Kim Stanley Robinson    Kirstyn McDermott    Kyla Ward    Lara Morgan    Leanne Hall    Lisa L. Hannett    Lucy Sussex    Marianne de Pierres    Mary Victoria    Matthew Hughes    Michael Pryor    Michelle Marquardt    Narrelle M. Harris    Nick Stathopoulos    Nicole R. Murphy    Paul Collins    Paul Cornell    Paul Haines    Peter M. Ball    Peter V. Brett    Phil Foglio   Richard Harland    Rjurik Davidson    Rob Shearman    Robert Hood    Robert Silverberg   Russell B. Farr    Russell Blackford    Russell Kirkpatrick    Seanan McGuire    Shane Jiraya Cummings    Shaun Tan    Sue Bursztynski    Tansy Rayner Roberts    Tehani Wessely    Tracey O’Hara    Trent Jamieson    Trudi Canavan

Just quietly, I think that’s going to be one hotly contested auction!

Writers on Rafts!

Writers on Rafts is an initiative of Queensland Writers Centre and author Rebecca Sparrow to raise money for the Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal.

Enter Writers on Rafts to win fabulous prizes donated by more than 150 Australian  authors, including Kate Morton, Morris Gleitzman, Di Morrissey, Nick Earls, Tara Moss, Mem Fox, John Birmingham, Jessica Rudd, PM Newton and many more. You could win an author visit to your school or book club, or a manuscript assessment from a top literary
agent or publisher. You could be immortalised in print with a character named after you, or read your way through a stack of signed books.

Prizes are available in four categories. To enter, simply choose the categories you’d like to enter and follow the links to purchase a ticket.

Purchase as many tickets as you like, in as many categories as you want!

Every ticket is one chance to win for a lucky person in every state and territory.

Every dollar goes directly to the Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal to help victims of the Queensland floods.

The QWC’s goal is to raise $20,000 through Writers On Rafts.

Writers on Rafts

Aurealis Awards Signed Spec Fic Auctions!

Some of the biggest names in Australian speculative fiction have cleared out their cupboards and the contents are being sold on eBay!

Where else can you buy an original print from Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld or a bundle of autographed fantasy, science fiction or horror novels from a huge list of Aussie authors including; Sara Douglass, Ian Irvine, Sean Williams and Shane Dix, Traci Harding, Karen Miller, Stephen Irwin, Nathan Burrage, Richard Harland, Marianne De Pierres, Angela Slatter, Kate Forsyth, Isabel Merlin, Sophie Masson, Jack Dann, Kaaron Warren, Shane Jiraiya Cummings and Kirstyn McDermott?

The autographed books are being auctioned off in five book bundles. For a complete description of the contents of each bundle or to bid on one of these great items refer to the list of eBay item numbers below and make sure you place your bid by 25 November 2010, when the auctions end.

Aurealis Awards

The auction is being held by SpecFaction NSW Inc., hosts of the 2010 Aurealis Awards. Funds raised will go towards holding the awards night and helping create a range of NSW based events and activities for readers and writers of speculative fiction. SpecFaction NSW is a not for profit group. For more information on the 2010 Aurealis Awards go to