Continuum 15: Other Worlds (@continuum_con #con15): General Report

 

I recently had the pleasure to attend Continuum 15: Other Worlds (#Con15), or the 58th National Australian Speculative Fiction Convention, in Melbourne. Due to work and family commitments and limited public transport options, I only participated in ten sessions over two days (June 8-9). However, these were highly informative and entertaining.

According to its official website, Continuum is Melbourne’s annual fan-run speculative fiction and pop culture convention. Aiming to “provide a regional convention where writers, artists, readers and film/TV buffs of all kinds can get together for a weekend of panel discussions, entertainment, and social fun”, the event typically includes an Art Exhibition and presentations of “just about every award possible”, including the Ditmar Awards, AHWA’s Shadows Awards and the Norma K. Hemming Award (also see here). Other activities include the Great Book Swap (for the Indigenous Literary Foundation), manuscript assessment opportunities, book launches, costume parade and contest, fan fund auction, trivia, karaoke, etc.

According to Continuum Chair Belle McQuattie, this year’s theme “Other Words” can be interpreted in many different ways. In Belle’s wonderful words: “Other planets, galaxies, countries. Other races, cultures, genders, languages. The ways we as a society ‘other’ those people who are ‘different’. This year, we have set out to explore as many of these facets as we can. We want to celebrate the amazing diversity found in our community. We also want to highlight the ways we can do better.

For me, it’s an awesome opportunity to learn from others – the books they write and read, how they discuss and debate issues of (non-)literary significance, how they perceive and conduct themselves in this community, and how they endeavour to make a difference in their own lives and those of others. These are refreshing and often challenging, and are highly beneficial to people like me who works day in, day out at a home office. i.e. Without mirrors, we’ll never know what we look like.

I also want to highlight the Great Book Swap, where I donated two and purchased six books! What a great way to make book buying a socially significant and useful habit, rather than self-indulgence! These books are listed below. I hope to be able to read and review them soon.

  • The Taste of Blue Light (2017) by Lydia Ruffles
  • It’s All Fun and Games (2016) by Dave Barrett
  • Antarctica (1997) by Kim Stanley Robinson.
  • “His Dark Materials” trilogy (under U.S. title “The Golden Compass”) by Philip Pullman: Northern Lights (1995), The Subtle Knife (1997) and The Amber Spyglass (2000).

 

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