Archive for sydney

Aurealis Awards head to Canberra

Posted in awards with tags , , on May 7, 2013 by jason nahrung

aurealis awards logoThe organising committee of Canberra’s annual Conflux convention will be running the Aurealis Awards in 2014 and 2015. The awards have gained such stature as a standalone event on the Australian speculative fiction calendar, it’s great to see a group as proficient as Conflux taking up the reins.

This year’s awards are to be announced at a gala event in Sydney on May 18 — everyone’s welcome to join the celebration. Sydney’s SpecFaction have done a stirling job over the past three years; they’ve earned a rest.

The awards are also calling for judges for this year. It’s a great way to get a finger on the pulse of Aussie spec fic and be involved in the community.

Speculative fiction fest in Sydney

Posted in fantasy, horror, news regurgitation, science fiction with tags , , , , on February 6, 2013 by jason nahrung

The New South Wales Writers Centre has released the program for its one-day festival of speculative fiction, curated by Kate Forsyth, and it’s a doozy.

The guest list includes Garth Nix, Marianne de Pierres, John Flanagan, Ian Irvine, Sophie Masson, Kim Wilkins … and more! Russell B Farr is launching a new collection by Juliet Marillier. There are publishers (Random House, Momentum, Ticonderoga and Chimaera, to name a few) talking about getting published, and publishing yourself. That’s a hell of a lot of industry muscle for $80 (non-members).

And yes, a few of us are talking about weird and dark fiction, too.

The festival is on March 16, starting at 10am, with drinks on the verandah at 5pm to wind down. Sounds lovely, doesn’t it!

GenreCon — too much for two days!

Posted in fantasy, horror, science fiction, writing with tags , , , , on October 5, 2012 by jason nahrung

genrecon logoGenreCon has just put its program online, and — ARGH! — I need two of me. Maybe three.

This program really pops my cork: writing stuff such as ‘how to’, villains, and subtext, and then there’s industry stuff like finding the right publisher and life without advances. It’s very cool to see Romance Writers, Sisters in Crime, Conflux and the horror writers hosting ‘community’ events. I keep hearing how damn professional and, ahem, well-oiled a convention machine the RWA is, so it will be great to get an insight into that, and with Conflux hosting the natcon next year (yep, already booked), the timing is right to fly the F&SF flag.

Bottom line, though, is the number of experienced writers, publishers and agents on the program. For an emerging writer such as myself, the osmosis learning will be in overdrive. This is going to be a hoot!

I’m also quite looking forward to publicly picking the brains of Joe Abercrombie at our ‘in conversation’, and talking ‘setting the mood’ in a session on the Sunday. But damn, there’s good stuff on then, too! Too much!

GenreCon for Sydney in November

Posted in fantasy, gothic, horror, travel, writing with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 17, 2012 by jason nahrung

From the Queensland Writers Centre bulletin, a great event for genre writers:

The Australian Writer’s Marketplace is proud to announce GenreCon!

Rydges Paramatta, November 2-4th 2012

GenreCon is a three-day convention for Australian fans and professionals working within the fields of romance, mystery, science fiction, crime, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and more. One part party, one part celebration, one part professional development: GenreCon is the place to be if you’re an aspiring or established writer with a penchant for the types of fiction that get relegated to their own corner of the bookstore. Featuring international guests Joe Abercrombie (Writer, The First Law Trilogy, Best Served Cold, The Heroes), Sarah Wendell (co-founder, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books), and Ginger Clark (Literary Agent, Curtis Brown).

For more information, visit GenreCon.com.au. Early bird rates available to the first 50 registrations.

The event looks to have a strong industry and networking focus, and the ticketing system includes mention of pitching opportunities.

Aurealis Awards celebration: a grand night

Posted in awards with tags , , , , , on May 22, 2011 by jason nahrung

I’m home again after a flying visit to Sydney where the spec fic clan gathered at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney for the 2010 Aurealis Awards, recognising excellence in Aussie spec fic published last year.

There were some extremely strong fields with some diverse entries — on the home front, the good news is that Kirstyn’s Madigan Mine brought home the very attractive trophy for Best Horror Novel. The full list of winners is below. Other highlights included the special awards — the Peter McNamara Convenors Award to Helen Merrick and the (non-AA, Fantastic Queensland-sponsored) Kris Hembury encouragement award to Jodi Cleghorn (the driving force behind 100 Stories for Brisbane) — and a breakthrough SF Novel award for Marianne de Pierres. Rob Hood provided some wonderfully Pythonesque animations to introduce the sections and Garth Nix was a superbly dry-witted and engaging Master of Ceremonies.

Cat Sparks has put her photos from the night up onFlickr

There were several elements that really came together on the night. The first was that Rydges North Sydney, which served pretty much as the awards hotel, was on the same block as the theatre. The second was that the theatre was the right size for the crowd, who dressed up to make the occasion LOOK like an occasion, and that the bonhomie was fostered with a generous cocktail reception I believe largely thanks to sponsor HarperVoyager, who also provided novels in the awards bag. The third was the after party, first with another round of free drinks at the theatre, and then discounted basics at Rydges. The fourth was Rydges itself, where the staff were very accommodating indeed. The buffet breakfast went down a treat this morning, with a few of us lingering till the harried staff really DID have to change over for the lunch crowd. The awards themselves were handled efficiently and respectfully, and the organisers appreciated the fact that folks had come from across the country for this, so the chance to socialise was high on the agenda.

So, as 2 o’clock rolled around last night, the bar having been shut since midnight and the staff preparing the breakfast tables, we closed the curtains on a great night of meeting old friends and making new ones, which often entailed a Facebook face or Twitter name finally resolving in the flesh.

Great venue, deserving winners, awesome company. Well done, Sydney. Book me in for next year!

THE AUREALIS AWARD WINNERS FOR 2010

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through words)
The Keepers, Lian Tanner, Allen & nwin
CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through pictures)
The Boy and the Toy, Sonya Hartnett (writer) & Lucia Masciullo (illustrator), Penguin Viking
YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY
• A Thousand Flowers, Margo Lanagan, Zombies and Unicorns, Allen & Unwin
YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
Guardian of the Dead, Karen Healey, Allen & Unwin
BEST ILLUSTRATED BOOK/ GRAPHIC NOVEL
Changing Ways Book 1, Justin Randall, Gestalt Publishing
BEST COLLECTION
The Girl With No Hands, Angela Slatter, Ticonderoga Publications
BEST ANTHOLOGY
• Wings of Fire, edited by Jonathan Strahan and Marianne S. Jablon, Night Shade Books
HORROR SHORT STORY
• The Fear, Richard Harland, Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears,
Brimstone Press
HORROR NOVEL
Madigan Mine, Kirstyn McDermott, Pan Macmillan
FANTASY SHORT STORY (joint winners)
• The February Dragon, LL Hannett & Angela Slatter, Scary Kisses, Ticonderoga Publications
• Yowie, Thoraiya Dyer, Sprawl, Twelfth Planet Press
FANTASY NOVEL
Power and Majesty, Tansy Rayner Roberts, HarperVoyager (HarperCollins) [Tansy notably won a Ditmar with this novel earlier this year! I reviewed it here.]
SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY
• The Heart of a Mouse, K.J. Bishop, Subterranean Online (Winter 2010)
SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
Transformation Space, Marianne de Pierres, Orbit (Hachette)
PETER MCNAMARA AWARD
• Helen Merrick

Aurealis Award ceremony tickets now on sale

Posted in awards with tags , , on March 12, 2011 by jason nahrung

The Aurealis Awards for Australian speculative fiction will be awarded at a gala ceremony in Sydney on May 21. Tickets are now on sale, with earlybird discounts on offer. The venue looks fab!

Shortlists are due out soon. This will be the first year the awards will be presented in Sydney, following a stint in Brisbane which really saw the awards rise to being a calendar event.

The Jezabels – oh my

Posted in music with tags , on August 11, 2010 by jason nahrung

A concert review from a workmate sent me trawling the interwebs for further info on Sydney outfit The Jezabels and what a rewarding trawl that was. Based on the tunes available at their MySpace, they’re quite remarkable, due in equal measure to some delightful arrangements (think an Interpol or Arcade Fire base but more urgency) and the Kate-Bush/Martha Davis-on-barbed-wire vocals of Hayley Mary. They’ve got two EPs under their belt — an album should be huge — and they’re touring like mad things; one suspects this kind of percussion and singing should fire live.

Aurealis Awards head to Sydney

Posted in awards, writing with tags , , on May 18, 2010 by jason nahrung

After the Brissie gang lifted the Aurealis Awards to a national event in their own right, the baton has been passed to a Sydney group: three cheers and best wishes!

Details are at the Aurealis website.

US gets even closer

Posted in travel with tags , , , , , , on December 19, 2008 by jason nahrung

Exciting news for anyone planning on jumping across the pond in 2009. Delta is going to join the route, giving Virgin and Qantas a run for their money. Or rather, our money :)
Read the article here

Now if only that pesky dollar would give itself a good bit of get up and go…

My favourite cities to visit in the US:
1. New Orleans
2. San Francisco
3. Seattle

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