Sunday, September 12, 2010

Au Contraire - NZ Sci-Fi convention

Two weeks ago saw the New Zealand Science Fiction convention come to Wellington. I attended mainly for the writing workshops but also to attend the launch of "A Foreign Country - New Zealand Speculative Fiction" which contains my own story "Miramar is Possum Free".

I was very impressed by the writing workshops - particularly Sean Williams' Collaboration workshop where we imagined what Anakin Skywalker's lost twin sister would have been like. Between me and Susan Kornfield (who got 2nd place in the Au Contraire short story comp, and who's excellent story "Dreams of a Salamander Nation" is in the Foreign Country book) dreamed up a fiesty character called Pan.

Pan turned up later during the Flash Fiction session, taken by Riply Patton (who's fascinating story "Fear of the sky" won 1st prize, and is also in the book) - the task was to write a drabble - being a story in exactly 100 words. By this stage, Pan had stopped being a Star Wars character, but was already on her way to prison:

“Go on,” said Pan.
Phil wasn’t sure. It was a long way down and the melon would make a lot of mess when it hit.
“Quick, do it now,” urged Pan, “there’s a cop coming.” She gave him that saucy look; Phil let the melon go.
The cop twisted in mid-air, fired its laser and vapourised the melon. It floated up to Pan and Phil.
“She did it,” shouted Phil.
The cop swivelled. “Vandalism, 5 years,” it grated. It fired a catch-net at Pan and flew off with her cursing and spitting.
Damn, thought Phil, I’ll never get laid now. '

Anyway - count the words - 100 exactly....

Other great writing sessions included World building with NZ author Russell Kirkpatrick, How to get published in New Zealand with Tim Jones, Nicole Murphy on characterisation and Jeena Murphy on finishing that final draft....

All in all, it was a great weekend (including the Saurday evening non-sci-fi diversion of the Beervana NZ Festival).

Now, I am inspired to get my butt in gear, finish my latest short story and send it somewhere to get published - thanks to a couple of great weblinks I discovered at the con.

And that Pan girl - she just won't get out of my head. Could I do, say, 100 drabbles charting her life and times - 100 stories, 100 pages, 10,000 words... how hard could it be?

1 comment:

  1. I really enjoyed the giant, mutant possums and the immigrant labour hired to hunt them :-) Do you know if a whole reading was recorded for the radio interview?