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Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Guest Blog - Mary Victoria on Conventions

Here is author Mary Victoria on why she is looking forward to World Con aka Aussie Con4! Yes I did steal her photo from her Facebook mwahahahaha

Take a deep breath… Plunge! Or, why I’m looking forward to Aussiecon4

The wonderful Kim Falconer did this already, and did it better, but I just have to copy her because she’s cool. This is a post about all the things I’m looking forward to at Worldcon, aka Aussiecon 4, in Melbourne this year between the 2nd and 6th of September. And what an experience it will be!

Just a quick glance at the program – available to download from the site, – will give you a glimpse of the jaw-dropping number of panels, readings, signings and ceremonies, as well as assorted shindigs, hoe-downs and hootenannies on offer this year. All are worth sacrificing one’s honour, in-laws and possibly a few Amazon reviewers to attend. The problem remains, how can one choose between these fascinating events? I mean, my reading takes place at the same time as some obscure person named George R. R. Martin unveils his little-known HBO TV series – poor fellow, he’ll be talking to an empty room. ☺

Barring the belated discovery of a Vortex Manipulator (cheap and nasty time-travel, TM) I will reluctantly exercise my powers of discretion and talk about some of the events I am particularly hoping to attend. Alas, I cannot get to GRRM’s rather wonderful-sounding HBO affair – curses! But there are many others I’m looking forward to (I’m only arriving late on the Thursday so will miss a few good ones before then, unfortunately):

Friday 12:00, room 212: Reading by China Mieville. I must see this very talented author in action. Full disclosure: Kim, Gill Polack and I have decided to stalk China and declare our undying love. And get your thoughts out of the gutter, we like him for his mind.

Friday 13:00, room 211: Foundlings and Orphans panel with Faye Ringel, Sarah Parker, Delia Sherman, Gillian Polack, Mur Lafferty and, um, Mary Victoria. Alright, so I’m on this panel. But it’s going to rock! I’ve already heard Gill talk about some wonderful ideas. We’re going to hang those fantasy tropes out to dry!

Friday evening: Voyager party! A chance to rub elbows with amazing Voyager publishers, editors, authors and, well, anyone cool really, cuz they’ll all be there.

Saturday 11:00, room 219: Reading by George R. R. Martin. Yessssssss! I can finally get to hear him!

Saturday 13:00, room 210: From Paintbrush to Screen: creating movie concept art with Bob Eggleton, Shaun Tan, Lewis P. Morley, Marilyn Pride and Frank Victoria. Alright, full disclosure again, I’m married to that last guy. He’s pretty darned interesting. But – hasten to add – this panel looks fantastic, even without the nepotism!

Saturday 15:00, room 201: kaffeeklatsch with Mary Victoria. Damn, another where I’m involved. But this one is uber cool, because I get to meet with a small selection of people who want to talk about my book – wow, readers! I am really looking forward to this.

Saturday 16:00, room 212: Thinking in trilogies panel with Glenda Larke, Trudi Canavan, Fiona McIntosh, Russell Kirkpatrick, Kim Falconer. A super-sounding panel, and an occasion to see my favourite fellow Voyager authors in action!

Saturday 19:00: masquerade. Gotta see this!

Sunday 10:00, room 213: The eternal stories: Myths and legends in YA spec fic with Jenny Blackford, Catherynne M. Valente, Alison Croggan and Helen Lowe. I consider my own books YA-friendly and am obsessed by myths and legends – a perfect fit! Plus fellow kiwi author Helen Lowe rocks!

Sunday 17:00, Room 204: Taking it on the chin: Authors and reviews with John Berlyne, Jean Johnson, Karen Miller, John Scalzi. How should authors react to negative reviews? Great question, and I’m expecting great answers – but I must say I’m particularly looking forward to seeing the infamous and most excellent John Scalzi! Much laughter…

That’s just a shortened selection of what I find interesting, of course. I will try to make it to as many events as I can without going insane(r). I am particularly disappointed at having to miss the ‘Whores and Virgins’ panel with Kim Falconer on Monday afternoon, due to travel plans – but them’s the breaks. It’s going to be a blast. I’m going to take a deep breath, close my eyes, and PLUNGE. 

 Mary Victoria spent her childhood immersed in fantasy novels. A job on Peter Jackson’s Lord of the Rings movies, working with Weta Workshop, brought her to her adoptive home in New Zealand, and rather neatly back to reading and writing fantasy novels.

Now Mary brings us Tymon’s Flight, book one of a beautiful new epic fantasy trilogy of a world set in a tree. The World Tree rises up out of the seething clouds like a green mountain. All creation nestles in its gigantic branches. There is no world besides this one, or so the priests in Argos city would have everyone believe. Tymon is an orphaned boy growing up at the Argos seminary. The Argosian priests have declared science to be a heretical pursuit, and banned travel beyond the confines of the Tree. But Tymon yearns to discover new horizons. When he discovers a foreigner, one of the stigmatised Nurian pilgrims brought to the town every year as slaves, his life changes forever.


  1. Wonderful post, Mary! And I'm so glad you clarified our undying love of Mr. Mieville. Of course it is for his mind! He he he

    Let's go to the Sunday 17:00, Room 204: 'Taking it on the chin' together. I particularly want to hear Karen Miller on this. She's so insightful!

    Not long to go!

  2. Mgh, sorry to do that to you Kim. I realise there's only so far this joke will stretch... so no more from me on the subject... my lips are sealed... sealed I say.. ;)

    Looking forward to Sunday 17:00!

  3. Haha you two are funny >.< So much to see and so many people to meet in the flesh. Can't wait!!

  4. Hey, some fun news: I'm on another panel thanks to Helen Lowe, the 'Writing Strange Lands' one on Monday morning, 10:00 am rm 212 - we'll be exploring the use of 'dominant' vs other cultures in fantasy, and it promises to be very interesting indeed!


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