This is going to be short and incomplete, because I’m pretty tired and have a lot to do. But I couldn’t let this weekend pass without a mention. Conflux is always a great con – it’s my favourite on the Australian scene – and this year was no exception, despite the shortened program. As Conflux 9 next year is also the 52nd Australian NatCon (National Science Fiction Convention) and as it’s in April, this Conflux was programmed over only two days instead of the usual three or four. But it certainly didn’t suffer for that.

9am Saturday opened with the inimitable Jack Dann doing his usual schtick as MC. Jack’s a great guy and really got things moving, and he kept his energy and enthusiasm throughout the weekend. Aussie SF is lucky to have him. The two day programme was packed with loads of interesting panels and all had great speakers and interesting, engaging crowds. My favourite panel environment is one where the audience have a level of participation that engages and moves the panel along, instead of distracting it or hogging time. Almost every panel I was part of or in the audience for was just like that. I really enjoyed the ones I sat in on, so thanks to my fellow panelists. This year I was on panels with Ian McHugh, Sue Isle, Rob Hood, Lewis Morley, Tracey O’Hara, Lily Mulholland and Rik Lagarto. I also did a workshop on Friday and a reading on Sunday with Ian McHugh. So thanks to you all for making it so much fun.

Highlights of the con for me included music from the awesome duet, The Fildenstar, (watch out for more about them on here soon), Keith Stevenson’s guest of honour speech (though I think I’m a little more optimistic about the changing role of editing and publishing than he is!), the massed launch on Saturday night (which included From Stage Door Shadows, which has my story, Fear Is The Sin, in it) and the launch of Adam Browne’s new novel, Pyrotechnicon. That was possibly the best book launch I’ve ever attended. The novel is published by Coeur De Lion, of which GoH Keith Stevenson is the head honcho. The launch consisted of Keith in full fancy dress and Keith, Adam Browne and Jack Dann enacting a scene from the book. Truly wonderful!

Here’s a shot (stolen from from Claire McKenna) showing Adam on the left and publisher, Keith Stevenson, on the right. I can’t find a shot with all three, sadly. If you have one, please comment and let me know.

And while I say that these things were highlights, the whole con was an absolute success. Top respect to Jane Virgo and the team for doing such a tremendous job. Here’s to next April and Conflux 9, NatCon!