• Fiona McIntosh: Voyager Author of the Month

    Fiona McIntosh was born and raised in Sussex in the UK, but also spent early childhood years in West Africa. She left a PR career in London to travel and settled in Australia in 1980. She has since roamed the world working for her own travel publishing company, which she runs with her husband. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and twin sons. Her website is at www.fionamcintosh.com.

    Her latest book, The Scrivener's Tale, is a stand-alone and takes us back to the world of Morgravia from her very first series, The Quickening:


    About The Scrivener's Tale:

    In the bookshops and cafes of present-day Paris, ex-psychologist Gabe Figaret is trying to put his shattered life back together. When another doctor, Reynard, asks him to help with a delusional female patient, Gabe is reluctant... until he meets her. At first Gabe thinks the woman, Angelina, is merely terrified of Reynard, but he quickly discovers she is not quite what she seems.

    As his relationship with Angelina deepens, Gabe's life in Paris becomes increasingly unstable. He senses a presence watching and following every move he makes, and yet he finds Angelina increasingly irresistible.

    When Angelina tells Gabe he must kill her and flee to a place she calls Morgravia, he is horrified. But then Angelina shows him that the cathedral he has dreamt about since childhood is real and exists in Morgravia.

    A special 10th Anniversary edition of her first fantasy book, Myrren's Gift, will be released in December!

     

     

Voyager authors at AussieCon – Events

Edited on 24 August with the first half of the program.

Border crossing: YA authors writing for adults and vice versa
Thursday 1500 Room 212
Speculative Fiction is notable for the number of authors who readily cross borders and write for both Adults and Young Adults. Some of our finest practitioners discuss the differences and similarities in writing for these two distinct audiences.
Bec Kavanagh (mod), Marianne de Pierres, Pamela Freeman, Cory Doctorow

Breaking the fourth wall: Supernatural and its audience
Thursday 1500 Room 211
What happens when a television series begins to break down the “fourth wall” that divides the characters from the audience watching them? Supernatural has arguably demolished its wall, leading to an uneasy and uncomfortable relationship between the creators and their fans. What other series are playing directly with their audience in this fashion, and who is doing it well? How do you directly connect with your audience, and is it a good idea to do it at all? How does the current climate of Internet communications and social media affect the distance between the shows
that are made and the viewers who watch them?
Karen Miller, Jeanette Auer, Seanan McGuire

Signing:
Thursday 1700 Rm 201
Peter V Brett

Magic mean streets: The city as a fantasy location
Thursday 1600 Room 210
While some fantasy novels explore vast terrains of forests, mountains and oceans, others choose to remain within the confines of the city. What is the appeal of the fantasy city, how does it contribute to the tone and plot of the fantasy novel, and how much detail do writers need to develop to make their fantasy cities work? A look at the best – and possibly worst – of fantasy city design.
Ellen Kushner, Trudi Canavan, Carol Ryles, Jennifer Fallon

Academic Panel: Destroying the future to save the planet: the environmental politics of SF/F
Thursday 1700 Room P3
SF/F has long dealt with environmental concerns, imagining the future impacts of overpopulation, climate change, peak oil, and water shortages. Contemporary writers talk about the importance of ecological themes in their work.
Tom Moylan (mod), Kim Stanley Robinson, John Clute, Glenda Larke, Jonathan Cowie

Finding the difference: Australian SF vs the rest of the World

Thursday 1700 Room 217
Australia has a strong and vibrant speculative fiction industry and community – but how does it differ from the SF produced in the USA, the UK, or other nations around the world? Is there a unique cultural identity to Australian SF – and if there is, what are the most common elements?
Lucy Sussex, Peter M. Ball, Tehani Wessely, Jack Dann

Signing
Friday 1000
Mary Victoria

Friday 1000 (Room 204)
Galactic Suburbia
Alisa, Alex and Tansy record a “live” episode of their SF discussion
podcast, Galactic Suburbia. On the menu for this episode: regular
segments SF News and What We’ve Been Reading, plus Worldcon gossip and
highlights. Pet Subject: our Favourite Female Heroes of SF/F.
Alisa Krasnostein, Alexandra Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts

Playing in someone else’s sandpit: Franchise writing
Friday 1100 Room 204
With original novels based on entertainment properties such as Star Wars, Doctor Who and Halo regularly hitting the bestsellers lists, media tie-in fiction is big business. It is also a type of fiction that comes with its own rules and expectations. A group of experienced authors of tie-in fiction discuss their own experiences working with someone else’s characters – the challenges, the benefits and the drawbacks.
George Ivanoff, Karen Miller, Paul Cornell, Russell Blackford, Jennifer Fallon

Making a living: Professional writing for speculative fiction authors
Friday 1200 Room 219
For many writers of science fiction and fantasy, the money earned from her or his craft is never enough with which to make a living. What other opportunities are there to earn a sustainable income? A look at ways to earn many as a professional writer outside of the speculative fiction markets.
Cory Doctorow, John Scalzi, George Ivanoff, Jennifer Fallon

Panel
Friday 1200 Room 211
Keeping pace: maintaining momentum in fiction
What keeps the pages turning on a good speculative fiction novel? A panel of authors reveal the tricks and tools they have used – and others they have seen as readers – to keep the momentum of a good story going, and to ensure the reader’s attention. What makes the difference between a tedious bore and an un put-downable narrative rollercoaster?
Peter V. Brett, Carrie Vaughn, Howard Tayler, Jay Lake

Friday 1200 (Room 207)
Non-traditional publishing in YA spec fic
A discussion of the opportunities beyond traditional print-based
publishing and the challenges that lie ahead.
Peta Freestone, Kate Eltham (chair),Tansy Rayner Roberts, Patrick
Nielsen Hayden

Panel
Fri 1300
Foundlings and orphans
The orphaned baby who grows up to become a master wizard. The lonely farmboy who becomes a powerful Jedi. The last son of the planet Krypton, who assumes the mantle of the world’s greatest hero. Foundlings and orphans form a common and powerful theme in popular culture and fiction around the world, but why? What is the origin of this storytelling theme, and why does it appeal to writers and audiences so much?
Faye Ringel, Sarah Parker, Delia Sherman, Gillian Polack, Mary Victoria, Mur Lafferty

A Game of Thrones: bringing the fantasy epic to HBO
Friday 1500 Room P1
A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin’s widely acclaimed fantasy epic, is being brought to the small screen by
HBO Television. In this special presentation, George reveals the development and production of 2011’s must-see TV
event.
George R. R. Martin

The author’s strait-jacket: Switching genres
Friday 1500 Room P3
Becoming a successful author brings with it a strong, enthused fan base of readers, all of whom come with strong expectations. How then does an author try something different? If your readership is clamouring for your next fantasy epic, how do you go about writing something different – science fiction, horror, straight literature? Is it a matter of bringing your existing readers with you, or finding a whole new crowd?
Kim Stanley Robinson, Marianne De Pierres, Melinda Snodgrass, Ian Irvine

Reading
Friday 1500 [30 mins] (Rm 207)
Probably from Power & Majesty!

Reading
Fri 1500
Mary Victoria

Six years on an island: Lost in review
Friday 1700 Room 213
It burst onto screens with one of the most watched series pilots in history, and just got stranger and more intriguing from there. With the conclusion of its sixth and final season Lost has earned a permanent place in the history of television drama. With the story complete, we take a look at one of the past decade’s most intriguing speculative fiction dramas to see how it fared, explain why we like it – and examine what sort of legacy it leaves behind.
Duncan Lay, Michael Capobianco, Priscilla Olson, Ian Mond, Robert Shearman

Girl meets boy meets dragon: Romance in fantasy
Saturday 1000 Room 219
Fantasy and romance have always seemed natural bedfellows. What can romance bring to the fantasy story, and
what do fantasy elements provide to the romance? What are the challenges of writing a story that combines both
genres – neither of which seem to get the critical respect that they deserve? Is there a common element between the
two genres that makes their combination work so effectively?
Tracey O’Hara, Darlene Marshall, Fiona McIntosh, Nicole R. Murphy

How much science should be in YA science fiction?
Saturday 1000 Room 211
How much science is too much for YA readers? How much is not enough? Writers share their thoughts.
Nansi Kunze,Kerrie Dougherty, Jonathan Strahan, Ang Rosin (chair)

Reading from the other shelf: When SF becomes literature
Saturday 1100 Room 213
Some of the best speculative fiction available can’t be found in the science fiction or fantasy sections of the bookshop – you need to go hunting in the “literature” shelves for Attwood, Noon, Palahniuk and Murakami, among others. A
discussion on why authors and publishers choose to be marketed within or without the genre they are writing in, and in some cases refuse to acknowledge genre at all. What makes a book science fiction, and what makes it literature?
John Clute, Rani Graff, Simon Spanton, Jack Dann

Saturday 1100 (Room 211)
Capes and skirts: The plight of female superheroes
Superman has starred in six feature films. Batman has starred in
seven. Wonder Woman has starred in none. The female superhero has been
a constant presence through the history of American comic books, but
yet has never managed to reach the traction of their male
counterparts. Who are the super heroines who succeed? Which ones fail?
Why can’t theyfind as big an audience, and what needs to be done to change that?
Why haven’t we seen a Wonder Woman movie?
Tansy Rayner Roberts, Karen Healey, Peter V. Brett, Seanan McGuire

Panel
Sat 1200
Rm 213: The follow-up: writing the second novel
Everybody focuses on the first novel, that once-in-a-lifetime achievement that takes the aspiring author from idea to execution to publication – but what then? How does the life of the author change once his or her first novel has been published? What are the challenges and difficulties in following it up with a second book?
Peter V. Brett, Fiona McIntosh, Will Elliott

Did the future just arrive?: The e-book and the publishing industry
Saturday 1300 Room P3
After years of slowly growing in popularity and profile, the e-book is now a significant medium for the distribution and sale of science fiction and fantasy. As with all new media, however, the e-book brings with it its own special set of challenges. How can publishers adjust to selling their books online rather than through physical distribution? How has the relationship changed now that readers, authors and publishers can connect more directly online? Where does this leave the brick-and-mortar bookshop?
Cory Doctorow, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, Alisa Krasnostein, Jonathan Strahan

Signing
Sat 1500 Rm 201
Kim Falconer

Panel
Sat 1500
Rm 204: The writer and the audience: online interaction and public personae;
Peter V Brett

Kaffeeklatsche
Sat 1500
Mary Victoria

Finding the right voice: Accents and speech patterns
Saturday 1600 Room 204
When representing different accents and ways of speaking in fiction, some authors choose to add the occasional slang term or flourish while others go to the lengths of writing entire novels in a vernacular accent. How much is too much? Is it worth sacrificing readability for authenticity? Tips, strategies and techniques for accurately representing speech in fiction.
Karen Miller, Jack Dann, Deborah Kalin, Kaaron Warren

Panel:
Saturday 1600
Thinking in trilogies:
The trilogy seems synonymous with the fantasy story. Why is fantasy so closely tied in with the idea of the three-book story? Is it simply a marketing requirement, or are their structural advantages to the form that are not provided by the single novel? A look at the arguments for and against the trilogy, and whether it’s a tradition that’s here for good or due to be retired.
Glenda Larke, Trudi Canavan, Fiona McIntosh, Russell Kirkpatrick, Kim Falconer

Saturday 1700 (Rm 203)
Academic Panel: Fantastic females: reworking feminism in women’s fantasy
Is fantasy the new vanguard of feminist politics in specfic?
Fantasy authors discuss the role of gender issues in their work
Delia Sherman (mod), Catherynne M Valente, Gail Carriger, Alaya Johnson,
Glenda Larke, Tansy Rayner Roberts

Reading
Sun 1000 Rm 219
Peter V Brett

Sandbox vs theme park The design of MMOs
Sunday 1000 Room 210
Through hits such as World of Warcraft, Everquest and EVE Online, the massively multiplayer online (MMO) game has become a significant genre of computer game. Different strategies are used to design these games, however, from the ‘theme park’ technique of giving the players pre-designed missions to complete through to the ‘sandpit’ ideal of giving the players the tools to make the game experience for themselves. We explore what works, what doesn’t, and what the future might hold for gaming’s most innovative and interesting genre.
John Rotenstein, David Cake, Will Elliott

Climate change and Utopia
Sunday 1100 Room P3
In the last thirty years utopia has gone from a nice idea to a survival strategy. In the coming era of climate change
we will not be able to muddle through in our current system, because the bio-physical base of our existence will not
support it. Social change is therefore inevitable; and the work of all the sciences together now suggest an emerging
plan for change in a positive direction, and a resulting sustainable civilization. Enacting that plan will be both the
history of the twenty-first century and the best utopia yet. The talk will explicate this argument.
Kim Stanley Robinson

Sunday 1200 (Room 204)
The case for a female Doctor
He’s transformed from an old man into a young one, so why not from a
man into a woman? Doctor Who remains one of the most imaginative and
open-ended science fiction programmes ever produced, but can the
format extend to include a female Doctor? What other elements of the
series are necessary? Does he/she have to have a TARDIS? Does there
need to be a companion? Must the series be British? An examination of
how far you can stretch the world’s most stretchable science fiction series.
Tansy Rayner Roberts, Carolina Gomez, Kerrie Dougherty,
Catherynne M. Valente, Paul Cornell

Panel
Sun 1500 Rm 211: Crowns and swords: the intertwined worlds of fantasy and monarchyWith so many fantasy novels based in a setting drawn from medieval Europe, it’s no surprise to see so many stories based around monarchies – kings and queens, princes and princesses, tyrannical emperors and long-lost heirs to the throne. How much of fantasy’s appeal is grounded in a monarchic setting, and how can this long-standing tradition of genre be updated or refreshed – or abandoned entirely?
Glenda Larke, Fiona McIntosh, Duncan Lay, Kate Forsyth, Mary Victoria

Kaffeeklatsche
Sun 1200 Rm 201
Kim Falconer

Jack Vance and the Dying Earth
Sunday 1200 Room P3
Since 1945 Jack Vance has authored more than 60 books, captivating readers with such works as The Dying Earth and Lyonesse. What is the secret to Vance’s success, and what influence has he had on subsequent generations of SF writers? What are the must-read texts of his ouevre, and the undiscovered gems that every reader needs to hunt down and read?
Jonathan Strahan, Terry Dowling, George R. R. Martin, Mark Olson

Dreaming down-under, again
Sunday 1400 Room 211
The landmark anthologies Dreaming Down-Under and Dreaming Again punctuate Australian dark fiction. Join the authors, editor and publisher as they discuss how the field has changed in general, and for them personally.
Jenny Blackford, Jack Dann, Jason Nahrung, Stephanie Smith

Creativity: The improbable aircraft
Sunday 1700 Room 213
A discussion about creativity as it applies to science fiction and fantasy in film and novels. A screening of the Academy-Award nominated film The Mysterious Geographic Explorations of Jasper Morello from Mark Shirrefs, a reading from Jack Dann’s bestseller The Memory Cathedral. Mark and Jack will also be discussing their exciting new projects.
Jack Dann, Mark Shirrefs

Taking it on the chin: Authors and reviews
Sunday 1700 Room 204
Sooner or later, every author is going to receive a bad review. Bad reviews hurt, and it’s often hard not to take them personally. How should authors react to negative reviews? How can you tell the difference between a review that’s negative one that’s actually unfair – and what can or should you do about it if it is?
John Berlyne, Jean Johnson, Karen Miller, John Scalzi

The bioethics of terraforming
Monday 1000 Room P1
Let’s say we colonise Mars, and develop the technology to terraform its environment and create a warmer, breathable atmosphere for humans to breathe. Let’s also so that we discover bacterial life on Mars – life that cannot exist if the planet’s atmosphere changes. Do we have a responsibility to leave Mars intact, or simply try to save the bacteria the best we can. What are the bioethics of terraforming worlds?
Kim Stanley Robinson, James Benford, Sam Scheiner, David D. Levine

How we edit
Monday 1000 Room 213
In many ways the editor has one of the most invisible professions in publishing. What exactly is it that an editor does? From the first encounter with an author to the publication of the completed book, we take you step by step through the working life of a professional editor – and how that job can vary from book to book, story to story, and author to author.
Jonathan Strahan, Ellen Datlow, Amanda Pillar, Simon Spanton

Music, movies and speculative fiction
Monday 1100 Room 212
We always know when Darth Vader is on the way, or when James Bond is coming to the rescue. Music forms an integral part of genre cinema, yet is rarely examined or celebrated. What genre movies had the best music? How does Howard Shore compare to John Williams? Do movie soundtracks make good collectibles?
Tee Morris, K. J. Taylor, David D. Levine

Climate change: Possible futures for planet Earth
Monday 1200 Room P1
Climate change is real — there’s no serious question about that, but just about everything else you read about it is open to dispute by serious, knowledgeable people. Is it actually bad? (It’s change, but is change necessarily bad?) It
will cause habitat change, (But how much and how serious?) It will cause changes to the weather. (But for better or for worse?) Assuming it can be stopped or slowed, which approaches are most likely to work? A discussion of what we know, as well as what we don’t.
Kim Stanley Robinson, Sam Scheiner, Sean McMullen, Tiki Swain, Grace Dugan

Dirty feed
Monday 1200 Room 210
Are attempts to censor the web an assault on our freedom or a necessary precaution? As in Australia, so to the world.
Talie Helene, Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Gary Kemble, Cory Doctorow

RPGs, storytelling and authorship
Monday 1200 Room 211
We know Dungeons and Dragons is a game, but is it art? An examination of the storytelling process behind roleplaying games—part creative writing, part performance, and almost entirely disregarded as an artistic work. If it is some kind of cross between the written and performing arts, what can GMs and players learn from those disciplines to make their games even stronger?
Will Elliott, Bob Kuhn, Howard Tayler, Jennifer Brozek

Panel
Monday 1300 (Room 213)
The world of YA spec fic reviewing
Those who know will share their experiences of reviewing YA
Speculative Fiction – and might make some suggestions.
Lili Wilkinson, Ian Nichols, Tansy Rayner Roberts,
Gail Carriger, Megan Burke (chair)

The difficult second album: Middle parts of movie trilogies
Monday 1300 Room 210
2010 is the 30th anniversary of The Empire Strikes Back, the most widely acclaimed of George Lucas’ Star Wars movies, and also – alongside The Godfather Part II – the most respected and popular of all second parts of movie trilogies. A discussion of the challenges faced when you have to start a film in media res, fill it with two or more hours of entertainment, and then end still in the middle of the story. Including such films as The Empire Strikes Back and Back to the Future Part II through to Pirates of the Caribbean: Dead Man’s Chest and The Lord of the Rings: The Two Towers, our panelists examine what works, what doesn’t, and try to discover if there is a roadmap to creating the perfect second installment.
Duncan Lay, David D. Levine, Laurie Mann, Sam Scheiner

A house made from stories: Building the anthology
Monday 1300 Room P3
How does an editor construct the perfect original anthology of science fiction? How do you develop the subject matter
or theme, how do you select and approach the contributors, and how do you tie all of the elements together into a
single cohesive work? A panel of editors reflect on their own experiences to help form a blueprint for the perfect
science fiction anthology.
Ellen Datlow, Robert Silverberg, Alisa Krasnostein, Jonathan Strahan, Jack Dann

Panel:
Monday 1300
Getting edgy: The disreputable protagonist in modern fantasy
While fantasy used to centre around noble and good-hearted heroes, a growing sub-genre of recent years has celebrated a less savoury breed of protagonist. Knights and wizards-in-training are giving way to thieves, assassins, mercenaries and cutthroats. What is the appeal of this form of anti-hero, and what are its origins? How does changing the protagonist alter the kind of story you are able to tell?
Ellen Kushner, Trudi Canavan, Fiona McIntosh, Kim Falconer

Counterfactuals: Science fiction vs historical analysis
Monday 1400 Room P1
What role can alternate history fiction play in historical analysis? By examining the potential after-effects of a
fictionalised course of events, do we gain a fresh and valuable perspective on what actually happened? If so, what
requirements exist for alternate history fiction to achieve this aim? A look at alternate history fiction from two
perspectives: as science fiction readers, and as historians.
Kim Stanley Robinson, Gillian Polack, Dena Taylor, Jonathan Walker

Shadows and hearts: Unpacking paranormal romance
Monday 1500 Room 210
Paranormal romance is perhaps the most successful sub-genre of speculative fiction in the past 20 years, yet it is also one of the most widely dismissed. Is it something new, or a relabelling of a very old genre? What are the key elements to paranormal romance, the tropes and traditions, and the key to its success?
Lucy Sussex, Jeanette Auer, Erica Hayes, Nicole R. Murphy, Ginjer Buchanan

Maybe I am too normal to enjoy this book…
Monday 1500 Room 212
Horror authors share the worst things ever said about their work and discuss the context of the outburst. Audience members are invited to share their own worst “critiques”.
Scott Edelman, Will Elliott, Deborah Biancotti, Rob Hood, Martin Livings

Fantasy cinema after Middle Earth
Monday 1500 Room 213
The Lord of the Rings trilogy was a phenomenal box office hit, and led to a string of big budget fantasy movies – including The Golden Compass, Pan’s Labyrinth, The Spiderwick Chronicles, Eragon and many others. Which films have worked, which haven’t, and what is stopping fantasy cinema from being more of a mainstay of big budget cinema?
K.J. Taylor, Ben Chandler, Paul Poulton

Panel
Mon 1500 Rm 219
Whores and virgins: finding roles for women in fantasy fiction

When developing fantasy fiction based on a historical inspiration, the roles for female characters in these stories would appear to be limited – or are they? What were the possible roles for women in medieval life, and how might that lead to new directions and ideas in fantasy fiction? Rose-Marie Lillian, Darlene Marshall, Jennifer Fallon, Kim Falconer

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11 Responses

  1. This looks great! Can’t wait to listen to some of these panels!

  2. Where did you find out about that? I’m supposed to be on four or five panels (all movie themed – I never heard back about any of the others I signed up for), and I still have no idea when any of them are on.

    • Katie, we’re all getting told over the weekend. Emails have begun to go out. I don’t have mine yet, either, and am looking forward to knowing.

      • Okay, that’s a bit of a relief. I’m rather surprised that they haven’t put me on a single fantasy or literarature related panel, but oh well. I enjoy talking about movies too.

    • I only just got my schedule this morning. I can see you two on it as well so I’m sure both yours is on the way.

      Gillian you’re down for more panels than I can count! Katie, I see you on ‘Fantasy cinema after Middle Earth’, ‘Music, movies and speculative fiction’, ‘When history becomes fantasy: Artistic license and historical cinema’ and ‘3D cinema: Revolution or novelty?’

      Apparently nothings rock solid until we show up on the day, but this is from the schedule they sent me. We’re all going to be very busy!

    • Gillian!

      I would say EEK too. Let me know if you want me to email the schedule for a sneak preview. Seriously. You’re pretty much on everything! 🙂

  3. Jennifer Fallon might now be on the Crowns and Swords one instead of me – stay tuned for confirmation! A rockin’ line-up that would be!

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