How to Avoid Gillian at Conflux in 2018

Saturday 29 September
1.30 pm Workshop, Writing the Other
This builds on old research and new research and is going to be very handy for any writer who wants aliens, cultures other than their own, or non-derivative characters in their work. It’s also handy for non-writers who want to understand what writers do, but the focus will be on the needs of writers. The workshop always has its own supply of chocolate hidden in my handbag, but don’t let that persuade you. Also don’t let the fact that I’m not teaching this anywhere else in Canberra in 2018 (and that I taught earlier versions in Uppsala and Merimbula, before I had the big knowledge breakthrough thing that one gets with research) persuade you. Just avoid me.

3.45 pm Encoding culture into our SFF – my talk on the subject I’m working on and… I might step on some toes. In fact, I shall almost definitely step on toes. Avoid. I’ve travelled a rocky research road since Helsinki’s paper and this is where I bring it into sharp focus. And step on toes. Probably.

5.45 pm launch of Mountains of the Mind. That collection. Including stories that I wrote as a teenager and ones that I wrote over 50. “Your writing is quite different in the first half,” readers keep telling me. . The good news Is that I’ve decided not to bring the smelly old daisywheel printouts that gave us the older stories. The better news is that the amazing Ambelin Kwaymullina is launching my book. It’s so tough: avoiding me means you miss Ambelin.


9.30am Unconventional hero’s journey
In avoiding me, you miss this amazingly witty group of people: Rob Porteous, Dave Versace, Simon Petrie, Abigail Nathan. So that you won’t notice this sad truth, focus on the PhD ratio per panellist. Or wonder how I dare talk about the hero’s journey given the things I said about Campbells’ work quite recently and very publicly. I wasn’t rude or dismissive: I was analytical. Really.

2.30 pm Guff and other fan funds – a presentation
Donna Hanson will do all the cool things. I get to explain the whole Doctor side of it. David Tennant and David Tennant and… David Tennant. At least, that’s my understanding.

3.45 pm Fan fund auction.
Look, I know this means being in the same room as me but… I know some of the stuff we have for the auction this year. Honestly, squint when I come into view. Hide under a chair. Put someone decently burly in front of you so you can’t see me. Don’t miss the auction.


11.45 am Book Love Fest – All the Books. Mine are only five minutes. That’s when you need a cuppa, obviously.

1.30 pm Unconventional writing – what is the right or wrong of being a writer?
You don’t want to miss Ion Newcombe, Katie Taylor or Paula Boer on this subject. You could get someone to grab some of my chocolates and munch them whenever I speak?

I’ll also be in the dealer’s room, helping out on tables. Lots of my books will be round. Mountains of the Mind, Masques, and all the Book View Cafe ones, for starters, plus maybe a copy of The Middle Ages Unlocked. Maybe. Train your eyes to look for other books. There will be so many good books there that this will be dreamily easy.

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