The Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy scene

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This is my first post as Amazing Stories blogger. I live in Sydney, Australia, and before I start writing about my regular subjects (science, worldbuilding), I’d like to plug the Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy scene in case anyone is planning a trip and would like to come to some local events.

Australia may be a very large country, but it is also quite empty for the most part. With only twenty million people, we have far fewer cons than the US, but there are some that are worth coming to if you’re in the area. Most cons are held in the cooler months.

Australian SF/F writer and/or fan cons:

Conflux

A very nice writer-centric con that is held each year in Canberra usually some time in September/October. While it is only a small city, Canberra hosts an incredible number of SF/F writers. Big names include Kaaron Warren, Ian McHugh

Continuum

Held in Melbourne in June. I’ve not been to this one, but I know people who go every year. I’ve heard that there is quite a large fan contingent present at this con.

SwanCon

Held in Perth over the Easter long weekend. I’ve not been to this one either, but SwanCon can be counted on to have amazing Guests of Honour. Next year: Tamora Pierce and Isobelle Carmody. I’m planning to be there.

Supanova

This is a series of fan cons very different in nature to the previous three. Supanova is a pop culture con, and you’ll find stands with movie and TV merchandise, swords, costumes, comics, games and books. Every second person wears a Pikachu onesie or some other costume. There are a number of these cons around the country (Sydney, Melbourne, Brisbane, Adelaide, Perth, Gold Coast) and they are huge gatherings. Check the website for dates.

Magazines

You can’t visit these, but I thought I’d mention them anyway.

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine

Semipro magazine, appearing in print and electronic form four times a year.

Aurealis

Semipro. Monthly edition with two short stories and fan articles (book/movie/tv reviews, discussion). Electronic only.

parliament houseCosmos

Electronic and print. Can be bought in newsagents. Mostly popular science magazine, but they publish fiction (mostly concept pieces and hard SF). Pro pay.

If you’re visiting Australia and you’re a writer, don’t forget to check out the activities of the various writers’ centres. Every state has one. Some states also have specific SF/F writers’ groups. Check this out with the writers’ centre, because membership, venue and meeting times tend to vary.

One group that deserves a special mention is the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild. While Canberra is not very big, it pulls above its weight in successful SF/F authors and the group boasts several well-published members as well as beginners. The group is a vibrant community of writers. If you’re in Canberra, you’re always welcome. There is usually something on every week.

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