Sn ANATIDAE

Being the 16th page of the SwanCon XV Progress Report 3. Running head reads “Personally, I’m Waiting for the Bribes”. Transcription by Anna Hepworth

Sn ANATIDAE

More Details about WA’s Own Ditmars

The Tin Ducks have gone unmentioned since PR1. We still intend to award them this year (they’ve not been awarded for quite some time), so it’s up to you to nominate and vote for your favourites in the three major categories. The fourth category, and not really a Tin Duck as such, will be Chairobject’s (read Coordinator’s for this Con) Choice.

The categories are as follow:

BEST FANZINE
To be eligible in this category, a fanzine must have been published at least once (we’re being lax here, and may change our minds) in the twelve months prior to the Con and be based in Western Australia. Some examples of eligible fanzines are:

Credo, the Fanzine of Visual SF, published approximately three times a year by Paul Bennett, Robin Pen and Jeremy Reston ($1 or directly from Paul by exchange).

Inconsequential Parallax, published irregularly (approximately quarterly) by Norrelle Harris and Tim Richards ($1 or directly by exchange).

Science Fiction, published three times a year by Van Ikin ($5 cover price).

BEST FAN ARTIST
To be eligible in this category, an artist’s work must have appeared in a fanzine or fan-related publication published in Western Australia in the twelve months prior to the Con. A few of the eligible artists are:

Craig Hilton (published in IP, SwanCon Poster/PRs)
Jeremy Reston (published in Credo, IP, SwanCon PRs)
Yvonne Hintz (published in IP)
Alicia Smith (published in SwanCon PRs)
Toby Gibson (published in Credo)

BEST FAN ARTIST
To be eligible in this category, a writer must have seen print in fanzine or fan-related publication based in Western Australia during the twelve months prior to the Con. The list for this category could extend to pages and need not be limited to writers of fiction – talented reviewers and commentators are eligible.

Only members of the convention are eligible to nominate and vote for the Tin Ducks. All nominations must be received by the 19th January and voting will take place at the Con.

Incidentally, if anyone knows the current whereabouts of the original artwork for the Tin Ducks, please contact the Committee: both we and Rob McGough would very much like to locate it.

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SwanCon XV Progress Report Two (The Program)

Other pages have been/will be done elswhere. Sooo…

Pages 10 and 11 contain “The Program” for the four day convention, Friday to Monday. Each day gets a table of events with one room for panels and such, one room for videos and a third for a fan lounge. Friday consisted mostly of the Fan Dance, Videos and Cocktails. Saturday had RPG Tourney Sessions, Videos, Fitness, Panels, Masquerade and Gothik Dance, Sunday had similar things to Saturday with added Awards (Miss Maud’s), Auction, Business Meeting and a Play Reading. Monday had workshops, Fan Olympics, Fannish Impros and Torturing (the committee) as well as the usual stuff. Each day there was plenty of time for eating.

Then, spread across the bottom of these two pages there is the…

EDITORIAL by Jeremy G Byrne.
This may be a strange place to squeeze in an editorial, but it’s the only one I could find! This Progress Report turned out to be rather fuller than we’d expected. Not that that’s a bad thing – it certainly isn’t – but it means that we actually had to hold back on a couple of snippets of artwork and a few bits of text. Oh well, PR#3 is due out by Christmas, so they won’t go to waste.

Enough chit-chat. What I really wanted to use this space for was to push the idea of reader/member contribution. As Programmer/Editor, I would like to see you-out-there send us-in-here (I’m not quite sure about that one) anything and everything. USE the “Ask what your SwanCon…” sheet on the back of the booking form. Tell us what panels you’d like to see (ther’s plenty of space left in the program, despite apperances). Write something for the Short Story Competition. Suggest a few videos (ther’s a lot of room for those!) Basically, Get Involved. That’s the key to enjoying a Con to it’s full potential, and this one’s going to be enjoyable if it kills me.

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SwanCon XV – Progress Report Three – Page 6 – True Confessions II

Transcribed by Elaine Walker, who has done her best to accurately reproduce all typos.

An Almost-True Story

TRUE CONFESSIONS II:

Some Things Even Your Best Friends Won’t Tell You!

Dear Madame Palm,

One Friday night (last March), most of my friends disappeared.

I was terribly upset and embarrassed and spent nearly a week wondering where they’d gone, what I could possibly have done to offend them, and what it was they wouldn’t tell me.

Anyway, in due course my friends reappeared. They had, they later told me, been to SwanCon 14 and had a wonderful time. When I asked “What’s a SwanCon?”, they were astonished, and it was their turn to be embarrassed.

Okay, I understand that the SwanCon Committee didn’t notify any of the fan clubs that I attend. I understand that the only newspaper article about SwanCon 14 appeared after the event. I understand that the Progress Reports were only sent to those people who’d given the committee a considerable sum of money, their names and addresses and sworn depositions that they didn’t own any John Norman books. But I don’t understand why my friends didn’t tell me!

Name, Address and Sworn Deposition supplied.

Cartoon, fully dark filled square.
Within it are three words. TRIP, THUD and (in a speech bubble) SHIT!
Caption: “Surviving in a Dark Future”

Dear Name,

There is no need to be ashamed of word-of-mouth. Oral advertising can be perfectly effective if used properly. See you at the Con. And please

Tell Your Friends about SwanCon XV.

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Crystal Balls and Other Unlikely Prosthetics IV

Being a transcription from page 5 of the SwanCon XV Program Book. Transcribed by Doug

THE EPIC SERIES CONCLUDES

Crystal Balls and Other Unlikely Prosthetics IV:
(Time to Murder and Create)

by Stephen Dedman

One of the nicest things you can say about the future is that there’s a lot of it. There’s time for war and peace, feasts and famine, plagues and panaceas. There’s room for freedom, and for oppression which would make Inca society seem anarchic. Slavery may reappear (“Equal rights for AIs!”) and work itself may vanish. Heterosex may become illegal in one century and compulsary (twice daily) in another; here a cause for gendercide, there utterly irrelevant . . . or physiologically impossible, or maybe forgotten altogether. As for technology, if man survives, anything that’s possible is almost inevitable. Let us hope we don’t start destroying planets until we no longer need them.

Nothing is permanent – except maybe extinction, and advanced cloning techniques may be able to cure isolated cases of that. Nationalism may become as trivial as soccer, and hopefully less bloody. The love of money and other religions may retreat to the catacombs, or even vanish entirely. English may become the universal language, but don’t become too smug: how easily do you think you could converse with Chaucer or the Pearl Poet?

Even if Time Travel is a one-way street (it probably is, but don’t worry about the speed limits); even if FTL travel is merely a fantasy; even if we are the smartest beings in the Universe . . . we have millions of centuries, and possibly billions of worlds, and they belong us – to science fiction writers, readers and fans.

After all, no-one else seems to want them.

It’s the biggest playground unimaginable: go forth and have fun. Just make sure you’re not late for dinner.

Welcome to

SWANCON XV

(The possibilities are endless)

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SwanCon XV PR2 – Vice is My Life

Page 6 of the SwanCon XV Progress Report Two has a Garfield theme. At the top left there is a small rectangle containing a line drawing of Garfield with the words ‘Vice is My Life’ (this is approximately the heading for the page); while slap bang in the centre, with the words flowing around, is a line drawn grinning Odi staring straight out at the reader.

The running head says ‘Advice?’ and the sub-head ‘(Garfield Knows it Well)’, with by-line ‘by Ann Griffiths’.

The text:

Well, that’s only been since the SwanCon XV Committee decided on a title for my position: Vice Coordinator (note that there’s no hyphen in that title). Basically, I’m a General Factotum. I make sure that Don (the Coordinator) remembers to do things and I help the other committee members if asked. I also have another function, but more on that later.

At the moment, I feel like I’m in the grip of a vice, under pressure to write something witty and intelligent, and failing miserably. It’s enough to drive me to drink the ermined fruit of the vitis. It’s grossly immoral to have created this office before SwanCon’s vicennial. Learn a new word – look it up!

Now, my other function. At each and every meeting of the committee I am required to supply something which can be construed as a vice, providing immoral support to the committee. If you’re curious about what these things are, ask any committee member and watch someone go red. Nowadays the drug scene is taking off in leaps and bounds. For instance, what started as coca leaves was processed to cocaine, was further processed to crack and is now processed to ice. Designer drugs such as Ecstasy have hit the Yuppie market. Unusual vices are rife in the works of science fiction. Wireheading, Tasps and Thionite are but a sample.

Who knows how many more will emerge in the near future?

But enough of this moral turpitude. It’s time for me to go and sample some more vices (I have to road-test them before unleashing them on the members of the committee). I hope that you realise that even reading can be considered a vice, especially if you’re a Moslem and Salmon [sic] Rushdie’s Satanic Verses is the work!

Just Remember: Whatever you do, enjoy yourself.

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GenghisCon 2018 – The Geek Shall Inherit the Earth

by Elaine Walker

This past weekend (19th-21st January 2018) was the most recent GenghisCon, and as has been my wont for quite some time I went. Overall I had a fun weekend, once I got my room sorted out – not the ConCom’s fault, Trinity was doing some refurbishing and it turned out that some of us had been assigned a room that once the first few people went down and opened were without furniture of any type. By the time I arrived they had identified who was affected and they were getting us furnished rooms. My own lack of checking email meant I hadn’t answered the question about t-shirts so I was left with what hadn’t been specifically ordered by colour but I got a navy one. This year they had a ‘premium’ membership you could buy which meant you got guaranteed half a pizza, a t-shirt and a sausage inna bun after the AGM if you wanted one. I ended up not getting the Sausage in a bun but only because I joined some people for dinner that night. But lo, a room was procured and it was furnished. As well as the printed program booklets there was an electronic one as a web page (I think Continuum had used a similar thing a few years ago). So if you want to look at the schedule feel free.

Here is a lesson on the pizza front: if you are ordering more than about 6 pizzas you really really need to give them lots of advance warning. Lots. There was a certain amount of hangriness as we waited for the pizza. But knowing we got specifically half a pizza worth was good, and if you did have specific needs that could be organised in advance as well (for those that checked their emails).

Friday night for me was mostly gaming. After the opening ceremony (needed for safety briefing for insurance purposes) I played an abstract ‘board’ game called Climbers which is an abstract mountain climbing game which gets a little bit brutal. Then because it was Friday night and most of my RPG group was there, the rest turned up and we actually did our usual Traveller game for a few hours. Then back to some boardgaming. Saw an interesting game called Dropmix which is a card/music electronic game, but played something else called Flip Ships in the board game room – think space invaders meets twiddlywinks? We did save the planet.

Saturday I did various RPG related things. I did a D&D one shot, which was my first experience in playing 5th edition D&D, and in fact my first time playing actual D&D (as opposed to all the other role playing systems I’ve played over the years), but I had fun with my bard character, and enjoyed the chance to be creative with vicious mockery.

After that I went to a panel on putting together bug-out bags for the apocalypse (or shorter term catastrophes), had lunch (I’d brought my own but there were food trucks this year which seemed to be popular) and wandered around the trader’s room for a bit, before going to Grant’s Afternoon Tea (this is now a tradition and there were many scones). After that I ended up in the room with the wargamers and mini painters and ended up painting a bit of a mini. A bit space combat, but I was only going to paint it. I started off shaky, but ended up finding a good stance once I worked out taking my glasses off was important). After that was the AGM, and then I went out with a group of friends for a birthday dinner, and then after that more board games, another game of Climbers and one of Vinci.

Sunday was the last day and I largely did things with WABA who had come to show off some things. Captain Sonar is an up to eight player game with two teams running a submarine each. Think of it a bit like battleship, where you’re trying to mine or torpedo the other submarine, but both of them are almost continually moving. And every time you move the ship something breaks so that has to be continually monitored. It was fun.

After lunch we played Crazy Catan which is basically 12 people playing 4 boards of Settlers of Catan, but swapping boards (but not colours) fairly frequently. Dice being controlled centrally, playing with different people on each board (mostly) and having a list of things to accomplish by the end. I got 18 out of 20, but someone got all 20 on the last go. It was an interesting variant.

At this point the auction was still going, and going, and going. They’d brought in Magnus Danger Magnus to do the auctioneering and it started a bit late and kept going a bit late. So the closing ceremony was once that was done, the usual cleanup, and then I went to collapse for a bit (I’d forked out for the room for the final night so that I wouldn’t need to pack the car up and could rest before travelling home) then went out for dinner. I have eaten far too much over the weekend. But I had fun, and probably could have gone to a heap of other things on the schedule if I hadn’t gone to something else. So that’s my little sum up of this year’s GenghisCon. We had over 100 attendees and maybe I’ll see people at next year’s.

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SwanCon XV SF Quiz: the Answers

From page 13 of Progress Report Three, SwanCon XV. Transcribed by Doug Burbidge. The header at the top of the page says

“AS IF WE NEEDED THEM!”

SF QUIZ: THE ANSWERS

By Stephen Dedman

The last Progress Report contained a 42-question quiz intended to fill a few quite (sic) moments between Mastermind and the documentary on Hibbel (also sic) Space and the Mathematics of Cosmic Strings, or perhaps those irritating minutes whilst they introduce you at Stockholm. Here are the answers. Please forgive us.

1. Otho.
2. Vanye.
3. Earth.
4. Rockatansky.
5. Haldeman.
6. Evelyn.
7. Alderaan.
8. Darshiva.
9. Wiggin.
10. Irulan.
11. Tevis.
12. Hastur.
13. Outsiders.
14. Ursa.
15. Tash.
16. Ankh-Morpork.
17. Nodonn.
18. Yolen.
19. Felicity.
20. Unity.
21. Selina.
22. Selig.
23. Trelane.
24. Humperdinck.
25. Egtverchi.
26. Swanick.
27. Tachyon.
28. Amalthea.
29. Reich.
30. Sara.
31. Winter.
32. Ellison.
33. Retardite.
34. Elgin.
35. Griaule.
36. Oankali.
37. Isherwood, or Ish.
38. Ningauble.
39. Gaal.
40. Ogrons.
41. Urscumug.
42. Terminal.

Incidently, the quote is the final line from “The Nine Billion Names of God” by Authur C. Clarke, as if you didn’t know.

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SwanCon XV Science Fiction Quiz

Here’s page 15 from SwanCon XV’s PR2. The page header text says “PITIFULLY EASY! (WHIMPER)”.

SCIENCE FICTION QUIZ

Subtitled “You’ll have to speak up, the acrostics are terrible”, the following mindshatteringly difficult mini-quiz was designed by Stephen Dedman for the SwanCon XV Quiz Night. Sadly, very few tables participated in Stephen’s little test (only two bothered to hand in their answers!), so to give it a chance to reach the audience it deserves, it is here reproduced in full. All questions have one word answers, the first letters of which comprise a quote from a certain famous short story.

1. Lobelia Sackville-Baggins’husband (first name).
2. Morgaine’s travelling companion (CJ Cherryh).
3. Modern name for the planet Fintlewoodlewix.
4. Mad Max’s surname.
5. Author of Mindbridge and All My Sins Remembered (surname).
6. Hero of Glory Road (first name).
7. First planet destroyed by the Death Star.
8. Mallorean Book IV: The Sorceress of ….
9. Ender’s surname.
10. Paul Muad’dib’s wife.
11. Author of Mockingbird and The Man Who Fell To Earth (surname).
12. He Who Is Not To Be Named.
13. Zero-G dwellers of Known Space.
14. Kryptonian villainess of Superman II.
15. Vulture-headed four-armed god of the Calormenes.
16. Location of the Unseen University.
17. Battlemaster of the Tanu.
18. Author of Sister Light, Sister Dark (surname).
19. Deathworld 3.
20. Ship sent to Titan to rescue Ringmaster.
21. Catwoman’s Christian name.
22. Narrator of Dying Inside, David …
23. The Squire of Gothos.
24. Prince of Florin.
25. Alien Antichrist of A Case of Conscience.
26. Author of Vacuum Flowers and In the Drift (surname).
27. Stranded Extra-terrestrial of the Wild Cards series.
28. The name used by The Last Unicorn when in human form.
29. The Demolished Man (surname).
30. Jack Barron’s wife (first name).
31. Locale of The Left Hand of Darkness.
32. Author of “Demon With a Glass Hand” and “Crazy as a Soup Sandwich” (surname).
33. Market name for slow glass.
34. Author of Native Tongue (surname).
35. Lucius Shepherd story: “The Man Who Painted the Dragon …“.
36. Alien Race in Dawn and Adulthood Rites.
37. Protagonist of Earth Abides (first name).
38. Fafhrd’s advisor: … of the Seven Eyes.
39. Biographer of Hari Seldon (first name).
40. Apelike slaves of the Daleks.
41. Primary mythago of Ryhope Wood.
42. The last planet visited by the Liberator.

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Writers’ Workshop — SwanCon 17 July Progress Report

pages 16 & 17 of the SwanCon 17 July 1991 progress report are headed ‘Writers’ Workshop’. They contain 4 paragraphs of information from presenter Philippa Maddern, then three about the practicalities of getting to attend the workshop. At the bottom of page 17 is a ‘special note’. In order:


“Writing fiction is a strange business. One person, generally alone, spends hours of time, thought and emotional energy on producing a whole lot of information about people and places and events that never existed, and in some cases could never exist. If s/he does this well enough, other people – unknown to the writer, related to her/him only through the frail link of ink and paper – will spend hours of time, thought, and emotional energy on reading it. And probably, after all that, the writer and readers will never meet. The readers may never know the difficulties that go in to making a story, and the writer will never know exactly how the readers read what s/he has made.

Writers’ workshops (or at least the sort I plan to run) are designed to overcome this injunction. We, as writers, may never meet the whole of our audience. But we can turn ourselves into critical readers of our own works–internalise the readership, as it were. This is not an easy process. It means learning not just to write, but to read our own works as if they were written by someone else; to see not only the bad points of them (that’s always terrifyingly easy), but also their good qualities. Ernest Hemingway is alleged to have said once that an essential quality of a good writer was “an inbuilt shit detector”. I want this workshop to help writers develop both shit- and gold-detectors in themselves.

To do this, I plan to organise the workshop around the famous Clarion model. Everyone brings a piece of fiction to the workshop; everyone reads everyone else’s fiction; everyone gets an equal chance to comment on any aspect at all of everyone else work; and everyone gets to comment on the comments that have been made on their own writing. The convener (that’s me) chairs the sessions, joins in with the comments, points out virtues in the stories that may have been missed by the other commentators, and sums up important points. The whole aim is for all of us to reach some self-knowledge about our own work, and to recognise some of the pitfalls into which a science fiction writer may most easily disappear.

Why do I feel so strongly about the merits of this approach? It’s because my own writing stems directly from this sort of workshop. In 1975, when the Worldcon was held in Melbourne, Ursula Le Guin ran a Clarion-style workshop for the week before the convention. Of those of us who attended this and subsequent workshops, several have kept publishing science fiction. I know myself that “The Pastseer”, “Confusion Day”, “Things Fall Apart”, “The Subconscious Computer”, and all the other stories that I have spent time, thought and emotional energy on, alone in my study, owe what quality they have to the Reader within me, which those workshops developed.”

Philippa Maddern


The Perth SF&F Writers’ Workshop will be held on the weekend of 18th & 19th of January 1992 at St. Columba’s College, Stirling Highway, Crawley. Our plans have changed, and the workshop will now be a “sleep-over” event, and as such a fee of $20 to $30 will be charged for accommodation and hire of the venue. The Workshop Convener will be Philippa Maddern, and it is likely that Terry Dowling will participate in some or all of the workshop.

Applicants to the Workshop will have to submit an example of written work to the Workshop Convenor and have a second piece ready to be “workshopped”. It’s important to remember that this Writers’ Workshop is not the same as, and will not replace, the very successful “mini-workshop” (or, more properly, writers’ discussion group) which has taken place at SwanCon over the past two years and will feature as part of the Conference at SwanCon 17 next year. Workshop results may be discussed at that session, but otherwise the events are quite separate and distinct.

Please remember that attendance at the Workshop will be based on submission of a recent manuscript to the Workshop Convenor (Ms. Maddern, via the committee) for appraisal, and that numbers will be strictly limited. Interested persons should write to the Festival (PO Box XXX, North Perth, WA, 6005) for further and more up-to-date information.


Special Note
A Science Fiction and Fantasy writers’ group is currently operating in Perth involving a number of people who are associated with the “convention scene”. Meeting are held once every month (usually on the last Saturday in each month), at the private homes of the group members. Anyone interested can write for more information via the Festival at the above address.

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Swancon 16 – Progress Report 3 – Page 3 – “Fantasy and the Real Worlds: A Visitor’s Guide”

Transcribed by Elaine Walker. This is the top half of page 3 of Progress Report 3. All typos reproduced as faithfully as possible.

“Fantasy and the Real Worlds: A Visitor’s Guide.”

“Halflings!” laughed the rider that stood beside Eomer. “Halflings! But they are only a little people in old songs and children’s tales out of the North. Do we walk in legends or on the green earth in the daylight?”

“A man may do both,” said Aragorn. “For not we but those who come after will make the legends of our time. The green earth say you? That is a mighty matter of legend, though you tread it under the light of day!”

J.R.R. Tolkien The Two Towers

All fiction is fantasy. The events described in Song of Kali or Wizard of the Pigeons are no less possible (but possibly less escapist) than those in, say, the latest Sidney Sheldon novel, and the elves of Faerie Tale are much easier to believe in than the human characters (or those of the average TV commercial or porno movie). My favourite fantasy stories are those which show how strange, magical, and interesting the real worlds could be if we paid a little more attention.

Real worlds? Why not real world?

If you think that we live in the same “real world”, listen to an ecologist arguing with an economist sometime. Or imagine the different “real worlds” inhabited by a novelist with leprosy, a Seattle street person, a fiftyish cei li violinist, a civilian war nurse, and a Californian computer programmer. Or the “real world” of an Oxford professor of Medieval Literature during World War II – a “real world” as much like Bilbo Baggins’s as it is like ours (in which the green earth is widely seen as a too-expensive luxury, and daylight is becoming increasingly hazardous).

“Real world” fantasy can offer you the best of all the worlds. And so, we hope, can Swancon 16.

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