Lyn, Aiden, Blake, and I are off to Swancon next weekend, along with the vast majority of the Western Australian SF community. Lots to do, lots to see, and no money to buy anything with (sigh), but at least I’ll be on some interesting panels.

If you really can’t get enough of my dulcet tones, you can catch me at the following times and locations:

Flash Fiction
Lee Battersby, Martin Livings, Zara Baxter
Friday 10am
When does it work? Why does it so often fail? Why is it so popular? Why do people have such strong feelings about it? Should it have its own awards? Is it a dumping ground for ideas that fail to develop? Or is it simply the perfect form of fiction for an era of multi-tasking and short attention spans?

Horror: The State of the Art
Lee Battersby, Stephen Dedman, Shane Jiraiya Cummings
Sunday 12pm
Where exactly is the Australian horror scene today? Some commentators have pointed to a recent resurgence in the field- is this the sign of more growth to come, or a momentary swell of interest before audience return to reading other genres? What is it that Australian horror has to offer that other nations can’t? An incisive look into one of Australia’s most promising- and oftentimes most neglected- genres.

Critiquing: How Much Feedback is Too Much?
Lee Battersby, Juliet Marillier, Robert Hoge, Satima Flavell Neist
Sunday 5pm
Writer’s Groups (face to face online), manuscript assessment services, mentoring- will they help you to write better? Or will they hurt your confidence, or waste your time?

Dr Who and the Big Finish
Lee Battersby, Stephen Dedman, Rob Shearman, Ian Mond
Monday 11am
Big Finish are a notable producer of Doctor Who audio plays and other media. What is it like working with them? How have things changed with the new series? How does fandom feel about their take on Doctor who? What about their work based on other cult SF properties?

You Gotta Make Way for the Homo Superior
Lee Battersby, Lyn Battersby, Tom Eitelhuber
Monday 11am
David Bowie’s name is synonymous with many trends: rock, art, androgyny, the reinvention of the self. And, of course, science fiction. This panel will look at ways in which Bowie’s music has influenced the culture of the 20/21st centuries. Which writers have been inspired by his lyrics? Who inspired him first?

Keen-eyed observers will note that I appear to be in two places at once on Monday. I’ve notified the programmer, and hopefully by the time we’re all at the Con it’ll be sorted: I don’t want to miss out on either panel, so fingers crossed for some expert tweaking of time and place. I’ll also be presenting an award at Sunday Night’s award ceremonies, so I’ll be enjoying getting frocked up and getting on stage.


On the subject of which (oh, how smooth was that?), the traditional longest-shortlist-in-the-world, the WA SF ‘Tin Duck’ Achievement Awards have been released. You can see the full list here. I’ve several stories up for consideration, so if you enjoyed any of the following during the year, consider giving them a nod:

Father Muerte & The Joy of Warfare (Aurealis 37)
The Time Eater (Dr Who: Destination Prague)
Beached (Daikaiju III)

You’ll also find Lyn’s story Born of Woman, from Daikaiju II on the list. Easily the best flash fiction piece published last year by an Australian, imho, it’s well worth consideration.