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Archives > Speculative Fiction - aka What Planet Are You From?

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message 1: by Kora (new)

Kora (koraj) | 61 comments If anyone is going to AussieCon 4 (which this Sydneysider is not privy to), would you be so kind as to share your experience and make us jealous? :)

Also, is anyone attending anything other events whilst those big name authors are in the country e.g. author signings at Galaxy Books?

message 2: by Anna (new)

Anna | 10 comments I can't go, either. But if anyone is interested, I've just put up as ebooks my Shannah Jay fantasy novels, published by Pan Australia in the 1980s. You can find them at Smashwords.

Happy reading!

message 3: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda K wrote: "If anyone is going to AussieCon 4 (which this Sydneysider is not privy to), would you be so kind as to share your experience and make us jealous? :)

Also, is anyone attending anything other even..."

I would have loved to go to this convention. It must be Huge! But I only just discovered it was on a couple of weeks ago. That's a big reason I want to start advertising these great writer's events on this site and give people a bit more notice etc. Here is the website if anyone wants to check it out:
And here is the list of guest authors - very impressive:
K if you have any details or links for other events/author signings can you post them here. I'm sure people would be interested.

message 4: by Adele (last edited Sep 02, 2010 10:56PM) (new)

Adele (turtil) | 169 comments I’m confused about Aussiecon4. I’ve known about it for a few years now and been looking forward to making a day of it. But it looks to me that General public just can't "turn up" on the day (which is what I wanted to do). Or is this just like a Trade Expo, where only people of the industry can attend? or do you have to join this all exlcusive membership thingy? if so $95!!!!! i'm lucky i'm not unemployed anymore if that's the case!

message 5: by Mandapanda (last edited Sep 02, 2010 11:09PM) (new)

Mandapanda I know $95 sounds a lot but I think this event is much much more than just a writing event. Personally I would pay it. I didn't realise you couldn't turn up on the day but then I haven't looked into it in detail since I can't go. Here is a description of AussieCon4 which might explain why it's so worthwhile for a lot of science and scifi buffs:

We know that a Worldcon is the convention of the World Science Fiction Society, and that Aussiecon 4 is the 68th version, but it's more than that. Worldcon is the annual distillation of every aspect of the Science Fiction and Fantasy universe brought together for one week in one place.

Just as the stars of the Southern Cross glitter above Australia, the stars of the SF&F world will glitter in Melbourne. Rocket scientists and rookie writers will sit side by side as NASA presents the latest wonders from the Hubble telescope. World-renowned authors will autograph books for fans, and for each other, because they're fans, too. Agents and publishing houses big and small will be at Aussiecon 4 looking for new writers, and new writers will be there trying to get noticed.

Seeking knowledge? Worldcon Programs overflow with panel discussions. Authors and publishers discuss writing, top scientists explain everything about how the world operates, and they'll get together to explain how to build a planet for your next novel. Masqueraders detail how to make a skirt glow with alien light. You'll find panels on every imaginable subject, and a few unimaginable ones, too !

Fans even make up their own panels at Birds of a Feather meetings, and the musically inclined strum tunes at the mysteriously-named Filk sessions.

message 6: by Adele (new)

Adele (turtil) | 169 comments ok you have twisted my arm on the point(like that wasn't hard to do). i think we can turn up on the day, i'm just really confused by the website that's all. Having a look at the Authors, i could get a few books signed(that's if i can carry them all!! lol)

i've decided i'm going to try tomorrow. i'm on a budget, saving up for a house so i'll have to talk to my partner first and look at the finances. i still think $95 is a lot of money. but if i go really early and make a day out of it. i'm sure it won't be that bad.

message 7: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Im so jealous you can go! You'll have to give us some feedback. Would you like to borrow my Mr Spock costume. ;D

message 8: by Kora (new)

Kora (koraj) | 61 comments Adele, I hope you have heaps of fun at the con! Let us know how you go :)

Mandy, I only know of author signings at Galaxy Bookshop in Sydney:

Peter V Brett - Wednesday 8 September 5:30pm
Alastair Reynolds - Thursday 9 September 5:30pm
George R R Martin - Monday 13 September 12.30pm

message 9: by Adele (new)

Adele (turtil) | 169 comments i'm so devistated,i can't go. :o( i'd scraped enough money to go. but i'm too sick to go :o( woke up this morning feeling horrible.

message 10: by Colleen (new)

Colleen O'grady | 36 comments educate a new chum...what is aussiecon 4 before I google it

message 11: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Colleen wrote: "educate a new chum...what is aussiecon 4 before I google it"

Every year there is a huge World Science Fiction Convention held in a different city. This year Australia is hosting and they're calling it "AussieCon". I've forgotten what the 4 is but if you go back to message #3 there is a link to the home page.

message 12: by Colleen (new)

Colleen O'grady | 36 comments okay Mandy thankl you and it sounds like fun, but am unable to make it

message 13: by Mandapanda (last edited Sep 21, 2010 04:25PM) (new)

Mandapanda Chimera Publications has launched a collection of Classic Australian Science Fiction. Check out the book trailer on You Tube.

These books can be purchased directly from the Aurealis website by clicking on 'find out more' next to each book.

message 14: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Here are some online Australian Scifi magazines/blogs etc that have been recommended by Aussie Readers members.

Andromeda Spaceway Inflight Magazine is the biggest selling local speculative fiction magazine.

Cosmos magazine
is a Aust science mag that contains short stories, which tend to win a lot of awards. is a free online Australian speculative fiction magazine. is a Scifi/Fantasy website by Harpers Collinss Publishers Antipodean SF is an online speculative fiction magazine that specialises in flash fiction but also has plenty of book reviews and other stuff.

Most Australian authors of speculative fiction hang around on facebook.

Hope this helps feed your SciFi/Fantasy addiction!

message 15: by [deleted user] (new)

When I'm looking for an escape from reality. 'Seculative fiction' is were I turn to first. I'm always on the look out for new authors. My reading tastes have changed over the years, now I demand a little more character development which can often be lacking in SciFi/Fantasy. I'm looking forward to dicussing what people are reading and recommending.

Thanks for the links Mandy. I'm looking forward to the opportunity to browse through them. :)

message 16: by Jaye (new)

Jaye Patrick | 15 comments Mandy wrote: "Colleen wrote: "educate a new chum...what is aussiecon 4 before I google it"

Every year there is a huge World Science Fiction Convention held in a different city. This year Australia is hosting ..."

The four means it is the fourth time the WorldCon has been held in Australia. This is the second one I've been to. A lot of fun.

message 17: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Jaye wrote: "This is the second one I've been to. A lot of fun..."

I'm so jealous. I would have loved to go!

message 21: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Any fans of Max Barry, Australian speculative fiction author, he is on the First Tuesday Book Club tomorrow (Tuesday) night if you're interested in hearing his viewpoints (See the FTBC thread for books being reviewed). I'll post links to the show in the same thread after it's aired.:)

message 22: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Here are some unpcoming Specfic conventions for end 2010 to 2011. Pack your bags!

SYDNEY FREECON 19 November – 21 November. Bankstown City Library. Sydney’s only annual Free Entry event where a wide range of Science Fiction and Fantasy themes and topics are discussed. The program of each Freecon is designed to be of interest to SF&F Readers, Viewers and Writers.

NULLUS ANXIETUS 3 – THE THIRD AUSTRALIAN DISCWORLD CONVENTION - featuring Terry Pratchett. 8–10 April, 2011. Venue: Panthers World of Entertainment, Mulgoa Road, Penrith, NSW. An excellent long weekend filled with fun, entertaining performances, fun, interesting discussions and wonderful people (and more fun). (Warning: May contain Terry Pratchett.)

SWANCON Thirty Six | NATCON Fifty. 21-25 April, 2011. Hyatt Hotel, Adelaide Tce, Perth, WA. Swancon Thirty Six | Natcon Fifty is all about fandom, and the fans. We’re holding a party in your honour – all you have to do is show up and have fun.

CONTINUUM 7 will be held 10-13 June, 2011. Guest of honour will be fantasy author, ROBERT RANKIN. Memberships will be launched at Aussiecon 4, and will be available from their website

RENOVATION is the Worldcon in Reno, Nevada, USA August 17-21, 2011. GoH's: Tim Powers, Ellen Asher, fantasy artist Boris Vallejo/ Venue: Reno-Sparks Conventioin Centre & The Atlantis Hotel main venues. See for more details.

CONFLUX 7. Friday 30 September to Monday 3 October 2011. Marque Hotel, 102 Northbourne Avenue, Canberra, ACT.

message 23: by Mandapanda (last edited Nov 22, 2010 06:27PM) (new)

Mandapanda The highly recommended and highly rated (4 1/2 stars from Bookseller & Publisher) urban fantasy Managing Death will be released in a couple of weeks. Brisbane author Trent Jamieson will be signing copies and mingling at a Dymocks Gold Booklovers Evening in Brisbane on the 24th of November (next wednesday) from 6pm.

Managing Death (Death Works, #2) by Trent Jamieson

message 24: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Some new Aussie Releases in Speculative Fiction:

Sprawl by Alisa Krasnostein

Legends of Australian Fantasy
Legends of Australian Fantasy by Jack Dann
Soul's Reckoning
Soul's Reckoning (Broken Well Book 3) by Sam Bowring

Urban Fantasy
Bleed by Peter M. Ball

Young Adult Specfic
The Ruby Talisman
The Ruby Talisman by Belinda Murrell
Wolfborn by Sue Bursztynski

message 25: by Gerry (last edited Dec 02, 2010 02:39AM) (new)

Gerry Huntman (gezza) | 75 comments Humbly, I add my YA Specfic novel, just published a week or so ago - Guardian of the Sky Realms. At this stage, published in US, but the online distributors are quickly picking it up - has got it.

... and author's page:


message 26: by [deleted user] (new)

Congratulations Gerry. Of course you are welcome to post it here. I love the cover. Is it available as an ebook?

message 27: by Gerry (new)

Gerry Huntman (gezza) | 75 comments It will be available in Kindle in a few days, pdf in about a week. I think Kobo, Nook, Adobe Reader etc will appear in coming weeks. Appreciate the personal welcome.

message 28: by Gerry (new)

Gerry Huntman (gezza) | 75 comments Gail "cyborg" wrote: "Congratulations Gerry. Of course you are welcome to post it here. I love the cover. Is it available as an ebook?"

Gerry wrote: "It will be available in Kindle in a few days, pdf in about a week. I think Kobo, Nook, Adobe Reader etc will appear in coming weeks. Appreciate the personal welcome."

Just found out it is available now on Kindle in and :)

message 29: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Alley (traceya) | 485 comments I don't think I've actually posted here the books and short stories I've written so before Slade's Destiny is released Dec 17 maybe I should tell you about the stuff I already have out there.
All fantasy, epic but not dark, YA appropriate but written for adults. It's two of a trilogy called the Witchcraft Wars, basically about the ambitions of a dark sorceress, armed with a new and deadly type of magic called witchcraft who plans to plunge the Kingdoms of Kaynos into a brutal war of conquest to achieve her ambitions. Ranged against her are a rogue's gallery of characters, most of whom don't like or trust each other but have to work together and in the middle of it all is Slade and Ursula, Crown Prince turned druid and Princess of the Blood respectively, who are trying to save their kidnapped father, High King Erich of Vestland.

Novels in ebook or paperback
Erich's Plea (The Witchcraft Wars, #1) by Tracey Alley Ursula's Quest (The Witchcraft Wars, #2) by Tracey Alley

Short stories are background info on the characters from the two novels. Ebook only
A Very Hairy Adventure (Kaynos History Tales) by Tracey Alley An Unholy Encounter (Kaynos History Tales) by Tracey Alley

Also write poetry, have an anthology called Reflections: A Modern Anthology available in ebook only. Plus there's my blog here, my website and I'm on Facebook and Twitter... whew, that's everything for now folks. Hope I've posted in the right place :0

message 30: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Thanks for that Tracey. Your books look fantastic and I hope Slade's Destiny is enormously successful!!:D

message 31: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Alley (traceya) | 485 comments Thanks Mandy, I'm hoping so too. Put a lot of work into all of them but this one will be my favourite

message 32: by Mandapanda (last edited Dec 13, 2010 01:56PM) (new)

Mandapanda Calling all Zombie Fans! There is a great competition over at the Horrorscope website (Aussie Dark Fiction blog): Christmas Competition: Pitch a Zombie TV Show!

"What we're looking for is your suggestion of a zombie-related book, short story or graphic novel that you think could be successfully adapted for TV, and - just as importantly - why you think it'd be a sure-fire winner. Be sure to mention whether you envision the production as a series, miniseries or telemovie, and feel free to suggest such details as cast, crew, scriptwriter, location, etcetera.

The suggestion that most appeals to us here at NecroScope will score an awesome prize-pack (too late for Christmas Day, but that's slow zombies for you), comprising a selection of zombie-related books, DVDs, comics, and other gruesome offcuts."

Looks like a lot of fun! Read more about rules and prizes here.

message 33: by Mandapanda (last edited Dec 29, 2010 04:47PM) (new)

Mandapanda Interesting article from The Age newspaper about why Scifi and Fantasy deserve a better rap:

"Often dismissed as low-brow, science fiction and fantasy deserve a far better rap, argues Louise Schwartzkoff.

Barely five minutes into the first class on my first day at university and already I have blown it. As part of the preliminary chit-chat, the tutor asks about our favourite books. Others list serious tomes by serious authors: Michael Ondaatje, Umberto Eco, James Joyce.

I pluck one at random from a long list and name a book with a spaceship on its cover. It is as though I have confessed to eating my own earwax. I can see them wondering where I stash my Star Trek memorabilia.

Another year, another English class and the book, Ursula Le Guin's The Dispossessed, appears on the set reading list. To my delight (OK, smug self-satisfaction), the doubters zip through the story of Shevek, a brilliant physicist from the planet Anarres, a place where organised anarchy is the only system of government. In lectures and tutorials, we babble about dystopias and science fiction's potential for social commentary." Read more.


Speculative Fiction is certainly a popular favourite among Aussie Readers group members. So far 27.5% of respondents voted for Scifi/Fantasy in our "What's your favourite genre?" poll.

message 34: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda From the Horrorscope website:

HorrorScope's 2010 Recommended Reading List

"Every year, HorrorScope's team of reviewers (and a select group of friends in the industry) compile a Recommended Reading List of work published that year. In previous years, we've cast a wide net, but for the 2010 list, we focussed exclusively on Australian work. Our focus is more honed this year, too, with only horror and dark fantasy works in our sights." See the list here!

message 35: by Tracey (new)

Tracey Alley (traceya) | 485 comments Hi,
Just wanted to let everyone know that because I've been stuck in hospital I haven't had a chance to finish all the edits for Slade's Destiny, the final of the Witchcraft Wars series. I still have several weeks in hospital so it will be slow going but I will get the book out there asap.
Thanks for those who've been patient - pardon the pun

message 36: by Mandapanda (last edited Jan 05, 2011 03:59PM) (new)

Mandapanda Great blog entry from Chuck McKenzie who is the Manager of Dymocks Southland (Aust) and involved in many other blogs etc to do with Specfic.

The (Genre) Bookselling Year in Review: 2010
...or at least one individual bookseller's take on it.

"I should note first of all that the lists below pertain only to the individual store that I manage - Dymocks Southland, Australia - and are not intended to provide an overview of genre fiction sales across the Australian bookselling industry, or even across the Dymocks bookselling chain. Indeed, results are almost certain to vary wildly elsewhere, largely because Dymocks Southland actually specialises (insofar as any general bookshop may be said to 'specialise' in anything) in speculative fiction. Our combined SF and Fantasy section has trebled in size over the past three years, with an accompanying and sustained rise in sales from that category, while the tiny Horror/Paranormal Romance display we installed two years ago has now grown to six times its original size. More recent additions of dedicated Manga, Graphic Novel and Media Tie-In displays also continue to contribute strong sales.

In what proved to be the third difficult year in a row for Australian booksellers, sales of speculative fiction in general assisted us in trading strongly. Sales of SF and Fantasy combined were consistently greater than those of General Fiction, despite the latter category taking up significantly more display space. Sales of Horror and Paranormal Romance, on a per-metre of shelf-space basis, outsold SF&F by a whopping 70%. Media Tie-Ins, such as Doctor Who, Star Wars and Assassin's Creed titles, contributed strongly though less spectacularly, but both Manga and Graphic Novels outsold even Horror and Paranormal by around 20% (when averaged out over the year) despite only being set up in the final quarter of the year, and taking up a fraction of the display space.

Of course, sales results have also been affected throughout the year by such things as the strong Christmas trade in 'gift' items (such as Graphic Novels), in-store signings (Peter V. Brett, Bob Franklin, etc) and related promotions (Halloween, International Zombie Awareness Month, Manga Month, etc), the release of various 'big' titles (such as the latest Vampire Academy, Wheel of Time, and Peter F. Hamilton books), as well as dedicated handselling of specific titles by our staff, all of whom are passionate about various speculative genres.

And so, on with the lists..." Read more!

Great Aussie Speculative Fiction mentioned in this article include:
Under Stones by Bob Franklin Madigan Mine by Kirstyn McDermott Grants Pass by Jennifer Brozek Aspen Portal by James Beckingham Alone by James Phelan Behemoth (Leviathan, #2) by Scott Westerfeld The Wounded Guardian by Duncan Lay RealmShift by Alan Baxter Slice of Life by Paul Haines Macabre A Journey Through Australia's Darkest Fears  by Angela Challis

message 37: by Gerry (new)

Gerry Huntman (gezza) | 75 comments Well what do you know! I have always believed that genre readers are the mainstay of booksales, online or otherwise. Yes, a handful of titles captures the general reader (sports stars, politician memoirs etc) but at the end of the day, who is willing to buy books week in and week out - in my view, as long as the specfic is decent quality, it will be bought from the bookshelves.
Thanks for the link.


message 38: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess  | 3068 comments I like some types of Science fiction, but not others.

I cant stand the stereo-type: aliens, spaceships, outerspace stuff, but there are books in the genre that I love. Books like Uglies and Artemis Fowl ect...

message 39: by Gerry (new)

Gerry Huntman (gezza) | 75 comments Folks, just submitted 3 fantasy short stories I published in 2010 to Ticonderoga Publishing's Year's Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy - I was honoured to be asked to submit. Wish me luck!

message 40: by Brenda, Aussie Authors Queen (new)

Brenda | 68419 comments Mod
Certainly do, Gerry!!

message 41: by [deleted user] (new)

Absolutely, best of luck Gerry.

message 42: by Gerry (new)

Gerry Huntman (gezza) | 75 comments thanks folks. Only time will tell now!

message 43: by Mandapanda (new)

Mandapanda Good luck Gerry! Let us know how you get on.:)

message 44: by Gerry (new)

Gerry Huntman (gezza) | 75 comments will do - I believe I will know late Feb, early Mar (I also submitted those, plus a few more short stories, as well as my YA Novel, to the Aurealis Awards, which will be short listed a month later) - a busy time!

thanks for best wishes

message 45: by ★ Jess (new)

★ Jess  | 3068 comments Good luck Gerry!

*BTW, I stand correct. I Am Number Four is science fiction about aliens, and I love it!

message 46: by Carmel (new)

Carmel (CarmelF) | 5479 comments Gerry, sending you loads of luck for your stories in the awards, I'm sure you'll do fabulously!!!

Jessica, better watch those aliens don't come back to bite you on the bum!!!LOL

message 47: by Gerry (new)

Gerry Huntman (gezza) | 75 comments cheers Carmel! I need it. I am competing with some very very big names.

message 48: by [deleted user] (new)

Those big names had to be small at one time Gerry.

message 49: by Carmel (new)

Carmel (CarmelF) | 5479 comments Well Gerry, all the better for you that you're up against some stiff competition. Just goes to show the respect they have to include you and if you win, wow wouldn't that be extra special!! Good luck!!!

message 50: by Gerry (new)

Gerry Huntman (gezza) | 75 comments thanks to you all :)

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