November 19th, 2010


Natcon50 Call for Academic Papers

In case you have not seen it elsewhere, we've released our call for academic papers for presentation at Swancon Thirty Six:

Call for Papers:

Natcon Fifty | Swancon Thirty Six Academic Program

21-25 April 2011, Hyatt Hotel, Adelaide Tce, Perth

Future Imperfect

What, if anything, can sf teach us about the future? It has become commonplace to argue that we are living in science-fictional times. If sf is our present, what comes next?

For many, sf has ceased to be a genre; it is a mode of awareness. It helps us to understand our rapidly changing world. It anticipates the fluidity of the future and the nature of evolution. Sometimes it inspires us to take action and challenge our reality. As the world of tomorrow becomes the world of today, does sf occupy a role of prediction, or does its strength lie in its extrapolative ability? Or the critical, often dystopian lens it offers to our present?

Future Imperfect explores the complex relation of sf futures to our contemporary critical, political and scientific understandings. Are there lessons for our scientists, politicians, policy makers, and activists in these science-fictional visions? What do we, as readers, take away from our readings of these potential futures, perfect or imperfect?

Topics of interest include (but are not limited to):

* Sustainability
* Climate change science
* Gender, Race, and Class politics
* Evolution
* Science literacy
* Forecasting / futures scenarios

Sessions will be 30 minutes in length, with 20 minute papers and 10 minutes for questions.

The Academic Program is part of the 50th Australian National Science Fiction Convention, and the 36th annual Western Australian science fiction and fantasy convention. For more information, visit the conference website at:

Abstracts of no more than 200 words should be submitted to the conveners by Friday, 31st December 2010 to :

Please include the following in the body of your email (no attachments please) :

* title of paper;
* name / affiliation;
* email address
* 200 word abstract;
* short biographical statement (50 words)
* A/V requirements

Andrew Cameron & Helen Merrick

Natcon Fifty | Swancon Thirty Six Academic Program Conveners


Freecon, Sydney

I did a bit of a plug on Twitter yesterday and was going to tell you today that if you're in Sydney you could head down to the Bankstown City Library and check out Matthew Chrulew and Thoraiya Dyer who are both out and about promoting their new Twelfth Planet Press book - The Company Articles of Edward Teach/The Angaelian Apocalypse.

In Garry Dalrymple's "Nearly Live from Freecon" email he informs that they both read excerpts tonight:

Matt Chrulew, read from his story about Alien visitation / Religious End times and how these events brought changes to the lives and outlooks of a formerly tight group of twenties something friends who find themselves at the sharp edge of changes to their world.

Thoraiya Dyer read from her story, which she had considered to be ‘Adult’ due to it’s content, but which is being promoted as ‘YA’. In this story a boy and a girl find themselves transposed into the bodies and living the lives of real pirates, as a consequence of a costume party dress up.     Each is resisting taking the path parents have laid out for them, and the reluctant med student is brought face to face with ‘good old days’ disease and the reluctant law student is brought to view the excesses and cruelties of an entirely lawless society.

I think they're going to be round for the rest of the weekend though if you are heading down over the weekend.

And I should say that yes, Thoraiya's story has some VERY racy content in it but I don't think that moves into Adult rating. But others may disagree.