Each year, Melbourne plays host to a speculative fiction / pop culture convention called Continuum. This year’s convention, Conintuum 9, will take place on 7–10 June at the Ether conference venue in the Melbourne CBD. You should all come along! Let me tell you why.
Continuum is rather unique. There’s nothing else quite like it here in Melbourne. In terms of spec fic and pop culture, there are the big regular events such as Armageddon and Supanova. But these events are expos rather than conventions and the focus tends to be towards film, television and comics. There are a huge number of stalls with shops, clubs and groups displaying their wares; there are a few talks and presentations from their multitude of guests; and there are long lines for autographs and photos. And there are thousands of people.
Continuum, on the other hand, is a convention rather than an expo. While there is usually a small dealers room, the focus of the event is on talks and panel discussions. These conventions cover various media as well as literary spec fic, but their guests of honour are usually authors. And these conventions are small. While Supanova is likely to have thousands of people trouping through each day, you’re only looking at a couple of hundred for Continuum. Apart from creating a more intimate atmosphere, this also allows for greater interaction between the attendees and the guests of honour. You don’t have to wait hours in an autograph queue. If you want your photo taken with a guest, you just approach and ask. And best of all, you can actually engage the guests in conversation. Which brings me to this year’s guests…
International guest of honour is US author, NK Jemisin. Her novels include The Inheritance Trilogy (The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms, The Broken Kingdoms and The Kingdom of Gods) and The Dreamblood Duet (The Killing Moon and The Shadowed Sun). She’s also had numerous short stories in publications such as Clarkesworld, Postscripts, Strange Horizons, and Baen’s Universe. Her work has been nominated for the Hugo (twice), the Nebula (twice), and the World Fantasy Award; shortlisted for the Crawford, the Gemmell Morningstar, and the Tiptree; and she has won a Locus Award for Best First Novel as well as the Romantic Times Reviewer’s Choice Award. NK is also a counseling psychologist, video gamer, anti-oppression activist, and blogger. Check out her website.
Australian guest of honour is multi-award winning author/editor/publisher Paul Collins. Paul has written well over a hundred books including the Earthborn Wars trilogy, the Jelindal Chronicles (Drangonlinks, Dragonsight, Dragonfang and WarDragon ) and his latest series, The Maximus Black Files (Mole Hunt, Dyson’s Drop and the forthcoming Il Kendra). As an editor he has put together numerous anthologies including Metaworlds, Dreamworlds and the recent Children’s Book Council of Australia Notable book Trust Me Too. Somehow, between all his writing and editing, he also manages to run Ford Street Publishing which has released books such as Sean McMullen’s Changing Yesterday, The Key to Starveldt by Foz Meadows and my Gamers series (Gamers’ Quest, Gamers’ Challenge and the soon to be released Gamers’ Rebellion). Check out Paul’s website and the Ford Street Publishing website.
But there is more to Continuum that just the official guests. There are always a plethora of authors in attendance, appearing on panels, doing readings and generally chatting and mingling. At this year’s event, you’re likely to bump into people such as Trudi Canavan (The Black Magician trilogy), Narrelle M Harris (Walking Shadows), Sue Bursztynski (Wolfborn), Richard Harland (Worldshaker) or Kirstyn McDermott (Madigan Mine).
This year happens to be the 50th anniversary of a little television series called Doctor Who. So, of course, Continuum 9 will be marking the occasion with a number of panels devoted to this particular series. So that’s another great reason to come along. 🙂
I’ve been to every Continuum so far and I’ll certainly be at Continuum 9. I’m slated to do a reading, launch Gamers’ Rebellion and appear on a host of panels, including “Melbourne’s YA Novellists” and “So You Want To Get Published”. Can’t wait!
For more info on Continuum 9, check out their website. Hope to see you there.
Catch ya later, George
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