A very late post on the October 2022 Conflux 16 Speculative Fiction Convention held in Canberra. Aside from being an invited panelist for 4 seperate panels, I ran my first Dealers Table for the four days and officially launched Bluebells.
I was also an invited panellist on 4 panels – each exciting to engage with an audience and discuss the theme in question with other likeminded writers.
“Queering Fiction” was a wonderful discussion about how authors create characters with a LGBTQI identity – or how authors like Sam Hawke create an entire world where sexuality is fluid and accepted.
“Re-imagining Horror in a Pandemic” was a great lineup of panelists discussing how the pandemic affected them as writers but also how the wider public changed perceptions and fear became a driver of society. For horror writers, fear is the driver of a story. Many ideas were exchanged on whether horror writing would become more or less popular and certainly Fantasy seemed to be the main genre read during pandemic lockdowns.
“Including Disability in Fiction” was such an important panel that like the queer community, characters with disabilities are often absent, stereotyped or in the background of a storyline. This panel explored what writers living with disabilities experience and want to see more of in fiction and from their own writing.
“Climate Change: Past and Future” was a fascinating panel exploring the emergence and importance of climate fiction in publishing scene. Discussions ranged from the emergence of man-induced climate change to the reality of how climate change is affecting everyday existence and how that has seen the explosion of dystopian fiction. An important comment by Cat Sparks was that perhaps we should be focusing in our writing of turning the current climate crisis around and sending a message of hope in doing so.
The last event was a live 5 minute reading session with Kaaron Warren. I read an excerpt from Bluebells when Peter first meets Nicolas de Laon on the frontlines in Belgium.