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Panellists

Panellists

Alex Pierce

Alexandra Pierce reads, teaches, blogs, podcasts, cooks, knits, runs, eats, sleeps, and observes the stars. Not necessarily in that order of priority. She is a Christian, a feminist, and an Australian. She can be found at her website, and on the Hugo-winning Galactic Suburbia podcast.

Amanda Bridgeman

Amanda is author of the military space opera ‘Aurora’ series, of which six books have now been released. Her third novel ‘Aurora: Meridian’ was a finalist for the 2014 Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction Novel. Having studied film & television/creative writing at Murdoch University, Amanda earned a BA in Communication Studies. She once lived in London for almost two years, where she dabbled in film and TV extra work.

Amanda Pillar

Amanda Pillar is an award-winning editor and author who lives in Victoria, Australia, with her husband and two cats, Saxon and Lilith. Amanda has had numerous short stories published and has co-edited the fiction anthologies Voices (2008), Grants Pass (2009), The Phantom Queen Awakes (2010), Scenes from the Second Storey (2010), Ishtar (2011) and Damnation and Dames (2012). Her first solo anthology, Bloodstones, was published by Ticonderoga Publications in 2012. The sequel, Bloodlines, was published in October 2015. Amanda’s novel, Graced, was published by Momentum in 2015 and has been followed by Captive, Survivor, and Bitten. In her day job, she’s an archaeologist.

Andrei Seleznev

Andrei Seleznev is a Russian-Australian writer of speculative and literary fiction and poetry. He is based in Melbourne. His work draws influence from magic realism, the post-Soviet diaspora and the immigrant experience. His work has appeared or is forthcoming in Overland, Andromeda Spaceways, Gargouille, and various other publications. When not writing, he is a computational biologist and rock and roll musician.

Ann Poole

Ann has been a filker and a fan for most of her life. She is a harpist, and a singer/songwriter, with one CD under her belt, and another on the way. She has also been known to write poetry, and her first poem was published in the Grieve Anthology 2016. And she still dreams of unicorns…

Bryce Campbell

A monster in stature but a teddy bear of heart. I’m a production designer and maker by training/trade and a huge geek. I love to make things based on the fandoms my friends and I enjoy, using the design and manufacturing techniques learned as part of my job.

Candice

Once upon a time Candice hid behind the sofa at her grandparent’s house, watching Doctor Who with her big brother. Since then she has discovered a variety of fandoms to dive into and love. Currently her greatest love is Korean serials, and she recently went to Korea where she visited palaces and other places that keep turning up in the dramas she watches. She also climbed a lot of mountains and rode a giant penis statue.

Carly Findlay

Carly Findlay is an award winning writer, speaker and appearance activist. She writes on disability issues for publications including ABC, Daily Life and SBS. She was named as one of Australia’s most influential women in the 2014 Australian Financial Review and Westpac 100 Women of Influence Awards. She has appeared on ABC’s You Can’t Ask That and Cyber Hate with Tara Moss, and has been a regular on various ABC radio programs. Carly is currently writing her first book – a memoir. She writes at carlyfindlay.com.au, tweets @carlyfindlay and Facebooks at https://www.facebook.com/Tune.into.Radio.Carly/

Cary Lenehan

Cary has been attending SF Cons since 1979 and has been on the Committee for a WorldCon and several NatCons (Chairing two of these). He now writes fantasy with 2 books and quite a few short stories published and more to come. He has been using a weapons (or all sorts) since 1974 and has qualifications as a sociologist and a horticulturalist (among others).

Cat Sparks

Cat Sparks is a multi-award-winning Australian author, editor and artist whose former employment has included: media monitor, political and archaeological photographer, graphic designer, Fiction Editor of Cosmos Magazine and Manager of Agog! Press. She’s currently finishing a PhD in climate change fiction. Her short story collection The Bride Price was published in 2013. Her debut novel, Lotus Blue, will be published by Talos Press in March, 2017.

Claire Fitzpatrick

Claire Fitzpatrick is a journalist, International Relations theorist, and published author of award-nominated fiction and non-fiction horror essays. She is the founder and editor of Oscillate Wildly Press and currently the Coordinator of the Australian Horror Writers Association Shadows Awards. She pursues research into cosmopolitan governance and the human condition.

Corey J. White

Corey J. White is a writer of science fiction, horror, magical realism, and other, harder-to-define stories. He studied writing at Griffith University and is now based in Melbourne, Australia. His first book, Killing Gravity, is out through Tor.com Publishing. Find him at coreyjwhite.com and on twitter at @cjwhite.

Creatrix Tiara

Creatrix Tiara works with creative arts & media, technology, games, community cultural development, and education to explore ideas around community, identity, liminality, belonging, and social justice. http://creatrixtiara.com

Darren

Geek, genderfluid, slightly evil and all around Loki wannabe, Darren has been part of the roleplaying, geeky and Continuum scene for years now and hopes one day to get more than four photos out of a PAX cosplay.

David Witteveen

I’m a zine-maker, aspiring YA author, and occasional musician. I’ve also self-published a grunge-rock ghost novel THE STRAY SWANS.

Devin Madson

Devin Madson is a fantasy author, vlogger and writing mentor. She lives in the Middle of Nowhere, Australia, with her partner, three kids, a dog called Calliope, an army of kangaroos, flocks of birds and Lily the blue tongue lizard. She is the author of The Vengeance Trilogy and the creator of Storywork, a youtube series about all aspects of writing and publishing.

Dirk Strasser

Dirk Strasser has won a Ditmar for Best Professional Achievement and his short story, “The Doppelgänger Effect”, appeared in the World Fantasy Award-winning anthology, Dreaming Down Under. His fiction – including his fantasy trilogy The Books of Ascension: Zenith, Equinox and Eclipse – has been translated into a number of languages. A collection of his short stories, Stories of the Sand, was recently published. He founded the Aurealis Awards and has co-published and co-edited Aurealis magazine for over 25 years.

Donna Maree Hanson

Donna Maree Hanson is a traditionally and independently published author of fantasy, science fiction and horror. She also writes paranormal romance under the pseudonym of Dani Kristoff. Her dark fantasy series (which some reviewers have called ‘grim dark’), Dragon Wine, was published by Momentum Books (Pan Macmillan digital imprint). Book 1: Shatterwing and Book 2: Skywatcher are out now in digital and print on demand. In April 2015, she was awarded the A. Bertram Chandler Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Australian Science Fiction’ for her work in running science fiction conventions, publishing and broader SF community contribution.

Earl Livings

Earl Livings has published poetry and fiction, both literary and SFF, in Australia and also Britain, Canada, the USA, and Germany. He has a PhD in Creative Writing and taught professional writing and editing for 17 years. His writing focuses on nature, mythology and the sacred and he is currently working on a Dark Ages novel and his next poetry collection.

El Naismith

Ellen Naismith is a graphic designer, project manager and artist – and now author. A science nerd, avid reader and movie lover, Ellen has always been fascinated by strong concepts and characters. On Good Friday of 2013 the idea for Wanderer exploded in her mind as a complete story arc. Compelled to tell the story, Ellen began to write. Four years later she is publishing her medical science fiction novella and its sequel, a full sized novel, with the final book in the trilogy already planned. Ellen lives with her husband and two teenage daughters, oversized ginger cat and assortment of reptiles in the leafy suburb on the outskirts of Melbourne.

Elaine Walker

Elaine lectures in physics and energy studies at Murdoch University in Perth. She enjoys craft, tabletop games, books and signing. She once part-owned an SF Bookstore and is working on the Australian SF Distributed Archive Project

Elizabeth Fitzgerald

Elizabeth Fitzgerald is a freelance editor and owner of Earl Grey Editing. She runs a book blog, was a judge for last year’s Aurealis Award, and just finished her fourth term as the Secretary of the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild. An unabashed roleplayer and reader of romance, her weaknesses are books, loose-leaf tea and silly dogs. She tweets @elizabeth_fitz

Emma Osborne

Emma Osborne is a fiction writer and poet from Melbourne. Her work has appeared in Pseudopod, Apex, QDSF and the Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror. She is a graduate of Clarion West ’16.

Freya Marske

Freya Marske has been writing fannishly for years and has recently begun selling original short stories as well. She is a doctor by day and writer by—well, also by day. By night, she enjoys sleep. She also enjoys defending musical theatre (yes, even Cats), fictional heists and con artists, smushing genres together, any kind of Shakespearean nonsense, manipulative Slytherin heroes, figure skating, and gin.

Geoff Allshorn

Geoff Allshorn has been involved in SF fandom for forty years, since he co-founded Austrek, Melbourne’s Star Trek club, in the mid-1970s. He also founded Spaced Out, a GLBTI SF club, in 1999, and participated in panels at Aussiecon 3 that same year. He has had experience at writing and editing SF newsletters and fanzines, and has been a member of varied SF clubs. His other interests include transhumanism and how this intersects with humanist ideals and real-life activism.

George Ivanoff

George Ivanoff is an author and long-time fan. He collects sonic screwdrivers and obsessively plays POKEMON GO.

Dr Gillian Polack

Dr Gillian Polack is a writer, editor, historian and teacher, with six novels, some short stories and a bunch of other writing to her name. Her latest novel is The Wizardry of Jewish Women. The novels that use the Middle Ages (people always ask for these) are Langue[dot]doc 1305, The Time of the Ghosts, and Illuminations. In her copious spare time she practises sarcasm, cooking, reading and superhero addiction. Her full bio is both long and dull (although she can be rude to people in Old French if required). She brings chocolate to SF conventions to compensate.

Hespa

Park ranger by day and time-poor aspiring writer by night, Hespa collects hobbies and neuroses at a startling rate. A jack of many fandoms, master of none, she will nevertheless attempt to sound like she knows what she’s talking about.

Jack Dann

JACK DANN has written or edited over seventy-five books, including the international bestseller The Memory Cathedral, The Rebel, The Silent, and The Man Who Melted. He is a recipient of the Nebula Award, the World Fantasy Award, the Australian Aurealis Award (three times), the Ditmar Award (four times), the Peter McNamara Achievement Award and also the Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award for Excellence, and the Premios Gilgames de Narrativa Fantastica award. He has also been honoured by the Mark Twain Society (Esteemed Knight). Jack is the managing director of the PS Australia, and his latest anthology Dreaming in the Dark is the first volume in the new line.

Jason Franks

Franks is best known for the The Sixsmiths graphic novel series, a satire about a family of suburban Satanists who have fallen prey to the GFC, and the occult rock’n’roll novel Bloody Waters. His work has been short-listed for Aurealis and Ledger awards. Although he is primarily a writer, Franks has also served penciler on a number of projects. As editor of the Kagemono horror anthologies he has worked with dozens of local and international artists and writers, from established pros to first-time creators. The Sixsmiths volume 2 will be in stores in April, and Franks’ second novel, Faerie Apocalypse, is scheduled for publication in November. He is currently working on Left Hand Path, with artist Paul Abstruse, and a new science fiction-horror-comedy graphic novel, Gourmand Go.

Jason Nahrung

Jason Nahrung is a Ballarat-based journalist, editor and writer. He is the author of four Australian vampire novels and more than 20 short stories. His work-in-progress is a mosaic climate fiction as part of a PhD in creative writing through The University of Queensland.

Jax Jacki Brown

 

Jax Jacki Brown is a disability and LGBTI activist, writer, spoken-word performer, public speaker, disability sexuality educator and workshop designer and facilitator.

Jax is a graduate of Southern Cross University with a Bachelor of Arts in Cultural Studies and Communication, where she focused on disability and LGBTI/queer studies, providing a sound academic framework to affirm and explore her commitment to disability and social justice issues.

Through her presentations at conferences and universities, and her extensive publications, she provides a powerful insight into the reasons why society needs to change, rather than people with disabilities.

Facebook www.facebook.com/jaxfukability, blog http://fukability.blogspot.com.au/ , Twitter @jaxjackibrown

Jessica Walton

Jessica Walton is a picture book author, teacher, parent, daughter of a trans parent, and proud queer disabled activist. Introducing Teddy is her first book, illustrated by the very talented Dougal MacPherson. Jess wrote it to help explain gender identity in a simple, positive way to her young son, after one of her parents came out as transgender. The book started as a Kickstarter project but has now been published around the world and translated into more than ten languages. Jess is currently working on a picture book about an amputee. She lost her leg to cancer aged 9, and has worn a prosthetic leg ever since. Sick of prosthetics that tried to mimic biological limbs, Jess started wearing patterned legs a few years ago. Her current one is covered in green dragon scales. Jess lives in Melbourne with her wife, her two kids, and Archie the cat. Twitter @jesshealywalton

John Samuel

John has attended every Continuum, ran the Chronos Awards for a bit, and tries to help out with anime panels and gaming every so often.

JS Breukelaar

I am the author of the sci-fi novel, ‘American Monster’ (Lazy Fascist Press), listed on the James Tiptree Jr Recommended Reading list and ‘Aletheia’ (Crystal Lake Publishing, March 2017). My collection of weird fiction, ‘No Bunnies’ is also forthcoming from Crystal Lake Publishing, as well as another collection from Omnium Gatherum. I am a columnist and instructor at LitReactor where I teach a sell-out class called “Writing the Weird.” My short fiction has appeared or is forthcoming in Gamut, Lightspeed, Lamplight, Nightmare, Juked, Clarkesworld, Prick of the Spindle, Opium, Go(b)et Magazine, and the anthologies, Welcome to Dystopia (Or Books), Women Writing the Weird, (Dog Horn Press), and others. An ex-pat New Yorker, I live in Sydney with my family, and online at www.thelivingsuitcase.com.

Ju

Ju lives in Melbourne with two of her partners and a rescued pointy dog. She is a force for love and comes with an excess of whimsy. Ju has an ongoing fascination with speculative fiction, pop culture and various media, intersectional feminism and social justice, as well as an aspiration to be owned by cats. If she had spare time she’d read and review more books, and cook more delicious recipes that she collects.

Julia

TV addict. Bibliophile. Geek girl. Music lover. Gamer. Rebel scum. Con Artist. Non Compliant. Self-rescuing princess. Twitter @starrybryte

Kat Clay

Kat Clay is a photographer and writer from Melbourne, Australia. Her weird-noir novella, Double Exposure, was longlisted for the 2016 Davitt Awards. Her fiction traverses noir, horror, fantasy and the weird, exploring topics such as sinister cities, the representation of women in fiction and the macabre. Her non-fiction work has been featured in The Victorian Writer, Literary Traveler and Weird Fiction Review.

Kirstyn McDermott

Kirstyn McDermott is the award-winning author of two novels, Madigan Mine and Perfections, as well as a short fiction collection, Caution: Contains Small Parts. She also produces and co-hosts The Writer and the Critic, a literary discussion podcast. Kirstyn lives in Ballarat where she is currently pursuing a creative PhD at Federation University.

Kyla Ward

Kyla Ward is a Sydney-based créatif who works in many modes. Her novel Prismatic (co-authored as Edwina Grey) won an Aurealis. The Land of Bad Dreams, a collection of dark poetry, received Rhysling nominations. Her short film “Bad Reception” screened at the Vampire Film Festival. Her short fiction has appeared on Gothic.net and in the anthologies Schemers and Hear Me Roar, among many others. She programmed the horror stream for the 2010 Worldcon, played in The Theatre of Blood, likes raptors, swordplay and the Hellfire Club.

Laura Wilkinson

Laura Wilkinson is one half of Parhelia Games, a new rpg company based in Melbourne. A legal aid lawyer, a seeker of justice, a teller of puns, Laura also practices mediation and teaches at Swinburne University.

Laura E. Goodin

American-born writer Laura E. Goodin has been writing professionally for over 30 years. Her stories have appeared in numerous publications, including the Review of Australian Fiction, Michael Moorcock’s New Worlds, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Adbusters, Wet Ink, The Lifted Brow, and Daily Science Fiction, among others, and in several anthologies. Her plays and libretti have been performed on three continents, and her poetry has been performed internationally, both as spoken word and as texts for new musical compositions. Her novels After the Bloodwood Staff and Mud and Glass are available from Odyssey Books. She attended the 2007 Clarion South workshop, and holds a Ph.D. in creative writing from the University of Western Australia.

Leonie

Leonie is the author of the Frontier Trilogy (Hague Publishing) featuring 100kg glow in the dark starcats, invading aliens, and a planet out to catch the unwary. She is also a physiotherapist three days a week and has previously trekked six hundred kilometres with eight camels and several human beings. Her own cat frequently handicaps her ability to use a laptop computer.

Lynelle Howell

Hi, I’m Lynelle and I’m the FFANZ delegate from New Zealand. I’m a long-time fan who’s been involved in convention organisation and awards administration for a long time. I’m interested to see how fandom differs between our two countries and how Australian conventions are run. Come talk to me!

Lyss Wickramsinghe

Lyss Wickramasinghe is a freelance editor and a pop culture nerd. She specialises in world-building and spec-ficiton editing, and is an ambitious cosplayer, if not the most talented one. She has worked as the editor on various published novels, from the Tide 2013 anthology to K J Taylor’s latest series. Slytherpuff, Neutral Good, Team Cap, Team Valour.

Melissa Christie

Melissa currently lives in Canberra and works for the public service. She enjoys SFF escapism, probably for the aforementioned reasons. She lives off coffee, liquor, and a ridiculously large jewellery collection. (Don’t ask her about spreadsheets. Just don’t.)

Melissa Ferguson

Melissa has a degree in biological science and postgraduate qualifications in nutrition. By day she’s a cancer-fighting scientist, by night she writes about Neandertals, cyborgs, cults, enchanted woods, future science, demons, evil scientists and infectious diseases. Melissa loves feminist science fiction and apocalypses. Her current projects involve the plight of cloned Neandertals in a futuristic world. She is represented by Jacinta Di Mase Management

Michael Sisley

Shambling wreckage of a SF teacher and moderator of GS Project

Michelle Goldsmith

Michelle E. Goldsmith is a Melbourne-based author whose writing often inhabits the shady borderlands between genres. She has a BSc (majoring in Zoology/Evolutionary Biology) and a Masters degree in Publishing and Communications. She is currently undertaking a PhD. In her day job she works as an editor, journalist and technical writer. Her short fiction has appeared in various publications both within Australia and overseas, including Gamut, PodCastle and The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror. Her work has been short-listed for both the Aurealis Award and the Ditmar Award.

Narelle M. Harris

Narrelle M Harris is a Melbourne-based writer of crime, horror, fantasy and non-fiction. Her books include Fly By Night, Witch Honour and Witch Faith, vampire books The Opposite of Life and Walking Shadows, and the Holmes/Watson romance The Adventure of the Colonial Boy. Her queer vampire romance, Ravenfall, is due out in 2017. Narrelle also writes traditional Sherlock Holmes stories and erotic romance. Find out more at www.narrellemharris.com

Nathan Cooper

Nathan loves science fiction, science fact, and all the cool times when they come together, in particular space exploration and technology.

Nathan Farrugia

Nathan M Farrugia is the author of the episodic Helix technothriller series and The Fifth Column series. Nathan is known for placing himself in dangerous situations, including climbing rooftops in Russia and being hunted by special forces trackers in the United States. He studies Systema, a little-known martial art and former secret of Russian special forces. Nathan is a former reconnaissance soldier who has trained under USMC, SEAL team, Spetsnaz and Defence Intelligence instructors, and the wilderness and tracking skills of the Chiricahua Apache scouts and Australian Aboriginals.

Nuke

Nuke is the editor and publisher of AntipodeanSF, Australia’s longest running online speculative fiction magazine, regularly issued since January 1998. He has been a zealous reader and occasional writer of SF since his childhood in the 1960s. “Nuke”, lives in the New South Wales North Coast holiday destination of Nambucca Heads, where he is self-employed in IT training, computer support, desktop publishing, editing, writing, and website implementation. He is also the resident tech-head, skeptic, and Vice President of community radio station 2NVR, where he produces a number of shows including The AntipodeanSF Radio Show.

Paul Weimer

Paul Weimer is a podcaster for the Skiffy and Fanty podcast, the SFF audio podcast, a noted SF/F book reviewer and a regular panelist at local cons. He is also an amateur photographer. Paul is the 2017 DUFF winner, here in Australia to build links between North American and Australian fandom.

PRK

PRK is a long time speculative fiction enthusiast who regularly escaped to Middle Earth during primary school. Since then he’s become more omnivorous in his spec-fic reading, enjoying and reviewing works in a wide variety of genres including fantasy, science fiction, horror, cyberpunk and paranormal romance. PRK is an IT Geek by day, which provides him the means to fund his spec-fic habit and devour whatever books he can get his hands on. PRK runs conventions as a hobby, and you’ll usually find him promoting Worldcon at Swancon and Continuum, or online via Twitter: @prkaye

Rivqa Rafael

Rivqa Rafael is a writer and editor based in Sydney. She started writing speculative fiction well before earning degrees in science and writing, although they have probably helped. Her previous gig as subeditor and reviews editor for Cosmos magazine likewise fueled her imagination. Her short fiction has featured in Hear Me Roar (Ticonderoga Publications), Defying Doomsday (Twelfth Planet Press), and elsewhere.

Robert Hood

ROBERT HOOD’s career in the fantasy/horror/SF/crime genres has always embraced weirdness. With over 160 stories published, many re-printed in his four collections to date, he has been called “Australia’s master of dark fantasy” as well as “Aussie horror’s wicked godfather”. His novels include Backstreets and the Shades series, and an epic dark fantasy novel, Fragments of a Broken Land: Valarl Undead. His latest book, Peripheral Visions: The Collected Ghost Stories, was the recipient of the 2015 Australian Shadows Award for Best Collection.

Robert New

According to his wife, Robert has spent too much of his life studying. She has a point as he recently completed a fifth university degree to go with two other tertiary qualifications. Robert has degrees in psychology, sociology, biology and education, all of which inspire his writing. He lives in Melbourne with his wife and two children. He likes writing stories that involve science and that shift the perspective of the reader.

Rose Michael

Born in England, based in Melbourne, Rose Michael is a writer, editor and academic. Her first novel, The Asking Game, was a runner-up for the Vogel award and received an Aurealis honourable mention. Short stories from it were published in Griffith Review, Best Australian Stories and Island, one winning a University of Melbourne postgraduate prize. Her new novel, The Art of Navigation, is coming out in August; a short story from it was shortlisted for a Conjure prize and published last year in the Review of Australian Fiction.

Sam Hawke

Sam Hawke has wanted to write books since first discovering as a child that they didn’t just breed between themselves in libraries. Having contemplated careers as varied as engineer, tax accountant, and zookeeper, Hawke eventually settled on the law. After marrying her jujitsu training partner and traveling to as many countries as possible, Hawke now resides in Canberra raising two small ninjas and two idiot dogs. Her debut novel, City of Lies, is due out with Tor in July 2018.

Sue Paritt

Sue is a fiction writer based in Mornington, Victoria. Her novel Sannah and the Pilgrim, first in a trilogy of a future dystopian Australia was published by Odyssey Books in 2014 and Commended in the FAW Christina Stead Award, 2014. Pia and the Skyman (April 2016) and The Sky Lines Alliance (November 2016) followed. Her current project is Feed thy Enemy, a novel based on her father’s extraordinary experiences as a RAF airman in Naples during 1944 and as a tourist thirty years later. She is seeking a producer for her TV series pilot based on Sannah and the Pilgrim.

Tori

Geek, PC gamer, old school comics fan. Addicted to the MCU movieverse & DCU televerse.

Zen Fletcher

Zen Fletcher likes to cosplay anime boys, visit her favourite film locations, and wear black. By night she literally lights up peoples lives for a living in Melbourne’s musical theatres. By day, she geeks, fans out, and spends to much time on Netflix. She also likes werewolves.