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Tuesday, 30 October 2012

Aurealis: Subscribe Today

When I decided that I wanted to finally chase my dream of writing one of the things I did was go looking for  Australian Sci-Fi magazines. At first I only found one, Aurealis. I discovered that Aurealis was a highly respected publication that had been running for 20+ years.

I quickly sent of my subscription. It turned out that I subscribed just when the publishers of Aurealis decided that they would change from a print mag to a e-mag. I got two back print copies and was sent a link each month to down load the latest e-mag. This was a stop gap measure until the got a proper subscription system set up.

Well, now they have a proper system, and I'm pleased to be able to subscribe. I've not read a lot of Aurealis, but I can honestly say I've never read a dud story in it once. The stories are always high quality and they are looking to make things even better. With 1000 subscriptions, Aurealis can get accredited as a professional magazine by the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America(SFWA) which will be of great benefit to any Australian writers, like me, who may have a story printed in the e-mag.

So, please take time to take out a 2013 Aurealis subscription for $19.99.  I have, and I'm looking forward to all the great stories to come.

Monday, 29 October 2012

Unicon Freecon day 3 2012

I only made it to the last two hours of the final day of Freecon, but it was a worthwhile two hours.

I came in just as they started a panel talk on over/under population in Sci-Fi. All the talk was either about over population stories or side tracks.

After that we heard from another man who was at the first Sci-Fi convention in 1953. He had some interesting stories about the Movies shown at the first two conventions. After another man from that early era  share his memories of all the characters and personalities that made up the Australian Sci-Fi scene at that time.

The last thing was the announcement of the winners in the short story contest. I did not win. The voting was a point system where you had 120 points and could spread them how you pleased. Give all your points to one story or different amounts to different stories depending on how much you like them. Garry, the host of the Freecon, told me I was allowed to vote for myself. However, there were three, out of the twelve, I really liked, so I spread my points amongst them. I would be interesting to know if I'd put all my points on my story whether it would have won. I'll probably never know.

Sunday, 28 October 2012

Unicon Freecon Day 2 2012

I enjoyed day two, there was a lot of good stuff.

The day started with a bit of a random review of Sci-Fi TV and Movies in 2012 which was interesting but not informative.

Next was a topical discussion on whether Star Trek & Dr Who lead us away or towards reading Sci-Fi. I said towards, others said away and some said they made no difference.

We then had the pleasure of two writers sharing with the group. First was Sam Bowring, who just gave us some random, but very interesting thoughts odd things about fantasy stories. One of these was how in stories on two people have the same name, but in real life we often know a number of people with the same name. If we can keep track of who's who with the same name in life, we should also be able to do the same in stories. Next was Richard Harland, who read from his next book and shares about his love for Steam Punk. All good stuff.

Next those who had passed away in the last twelve months and were significant writers or fans of Sci-Fi were honoured.

We than had writer Zena Shapter read one of her short stories. It was a very good story with a nice twist at the end. It was called 'Trigger', I'm not going to give anything a away.

After this came a writers panel on the question: Is there more to life than writing SF&F? The writers were Sam Bowring, Thoraiya Dyer, Richard Harland, Zena Shapter and Stella Tarakson. Two of the panel answered no. I'm not going to tell you which two.

The last thing I attended was a workshop run by Zena Shapter on how writers can use the web and social media. I was really enjoying this workshop and getting a lot out of it. But, because it started late and I had to leave by 4:30, I missed half of it. Zena said that she runs the workshop a lot, so I'm hoping I'll get a chance to do the whole thing another time.

There was only one down side to the day, numbers. I really felt sorry for Garry, the organiser, because there were so many who said they were coming that just didn't show up. Instead of the expected 50-100 there was only just over 30 people.

I still had a great time and I'm looking forward to getting to the last few hours of day three.

Friday, 26 October 2012

Unicon Freecon Diary 2012 Day One

Unicon Freecon is a free Scifi conference being held at UTS in Sydney, 26-28 October 2012.

At the end of each day, starting today, I'm going to give my reflections on the conference.

Day One, Friday Night.

I must say up front that I enjoyed the first night of Freecon, but it was not what I had expected.

Seeing that it's being run on a University campus, and sponsored by a Uni group, I was expecting a lot of Uni aged people. But it was mostly people my age and older.

Because it's a free conference and I knew there were over fifty people registered I was expecting at least 30-40 people there on the first night. But there were 14.

One of the 14 was a man who was at the first ever Australian Scifi Conference held in Sydney in 1952. What he had to say was very interesting. One thing that he talked about, which blew my mind, was how they seemed to spend as much time fighting over differences if Scifi Ideology as they did in working together to promote there love of it. I didn't even know you could have such divisive views on Scifi, so I learnt something.

We had an open discussion on 'What is Scifi?' with a number of interesting views put forward, but no fights.

There are 12 short stories posted on the conference wall. These are the entrants in the Freecon short story contest. Apart from mine, I found three of them very interesting. One is a very different take on Technology gone wrong. The second is a time travel story with time travel being used in an interesting way that I would not have thought of. The third is a well written story about two people meeting on an asteroid.

I'm looking forward to day two.

Friday, 19 October 2012

On being edited

I've just sent my third, but probably not last, set of revisions for my story 'Crossroads', to Nicole. Nicole is the editor/publisher of In fabula-divino, where the story is going to appear on the 1st of November. I have to say that the whole process has been wonderful.

The initial 'I love your story, here's what you need to change.', and through each set of edits, I have found everything suggested positive and helpful. There have been things I haven't change, there has been things I've changed differently to what was suggested, but mostly, there has been things I've changed exactly as suggested because it has made the story better. The whole process has none nothing but make the story better.

I was proud of the story when I wrote it, I'm even more proud of what it is becoming.
I'm very much looking forward to seeing the finished product out there for everyone to read.

I hope you will.

Monday, 15 October 2012

A weekend of Scifi for free!

I've just received an update on the free SciFi convention being held soon in Sydney, and it's looking great. There's  free be bag (for the first 100), panel groups, authors to meet, special presentations, a short story completion and lots more.

It's call Unicon Freecon, and will be on from 26-28 October at Building Six, University of
Technology, Rooms CB06.06.103 and CB06.06.123.

It's free, so I guess you can just show up. However, seats are limited, so you would be better to register in advance.

You can download a rego form here

You can find out more here

I'm going and I'm excited!

Ups and Downs in Writting

In my short career (if it can be called that) as a writer, I've already learnt that writing is full of ups and downs.

Up: My name in Writer's Digest as one of the winners in their 81st annual competition. There it is seventh place.

Down: Getting my first 'form' rejection letter for a short story I submitted to a Scifi magazine.

Up: My first paid story will be appearing on In fabula-divino on the 1st of November.

Down: Having to waiting until the 1st of November for my first paid story to appear on In fabula-divino.

Up: I've started work on my first long story.

Down: Realizing that if I don't start writing faster I will take a decade to write my first long story.

In the end the ups are great, the downs are not, but it's good to be on the ride.

A bit like life.