Festival of The Imagination 1996 – December 1995 Newsletter – Page 4 – Jack Dann Biography

Transcribed by Elaine Walker. Any typographical errors have been carefully preserved.

Jack Dann

Jack Dann, a Special Guest at the Festival of the Imagination 1996, is the author or editor of over thirty-five books, including the novels Junction, Starhiker, and The Man Who Melted. Dann’s work has been compared to Jorge Luis Borges, Roald Dahl, Lewis Carroll, Castaneda, J. G. Ballard, and Philip K. Dick. Philip K. Dick, author of the stories from which the films Blade Runner and Total Recall were made, wrote that “Junction is where Ursula Le Guin’s Lathe Of Heaven and Tony Boucher’s ‘The Quest for Saint Aquin’ meet … and yet it’s an entirely new novel … I may very well be basing some of my future work on Junction.” Best selling author Marion Zimmer Bradley called Starhiker “a superb book … it will not give up all its delights, all its perfections, on one reading.” Library Journal has called Dann “… a true poet who can create pictures with a few perfect words.” Roger Zelazny thinks he is a reality magician and Best Sellers has said that “Jack Dann is a mind-warlock whose magicks will confound, disorient, shock, and delight.” The Washington Post Book World compared his novel The Man Who Melted with Ingmar Bergman’s film The Seventh Seal.

His short stories have appeared in Omni and Playboy and other major magazines and anthologies. He is the editor of the anthology Wandering Stars, one of the most acclaimed anthologies of the 1970’s, and several other well-known anthologies such as More Wandering Stars. He also edits the multi-volume Magic Tales fantasy series with Gardner Dozois and is a consulting editor for Tor Books. He has been a finalist for the Nebula Award eleven times and a World Fantasy Award finalist three times. He has also been a finalist for the British Science Fiction Award, and is a recipient of the Premios Gilgames de Narrativa Fantastica award.

High Steel, a novel co-authored with Jack C. Haldeman II, has been published in hardcover by Tor Books to rave reviews. British critic John Clute called it “a predator … a cat with blazing eyes gorging on the good meat of genre. It is most highly recommended.” A sequel entitled Ghost Dance is in progress.

Dann’s major historical novel about Leonardo da Vinci–entitled The Memory Cathedral–will be published in hardcover by Bantam Books in December, 1995. Morgan Llwelyn called it “a book to cherish, a validation of the novelists art and fully worthy of its extraordinary subject”, Lucius Shepard thought it was “an absolute triumph”, and Kirkus Reviews called it “An impressive accomplishment.” Dann is currently working on The Silent, a new novel about the Civil War, which will also be published by Bantam.

As part of its Bibliographies Of Modern Authors Series, The Borgo Press has published an annotated bibliography & guide entitled The Work Of Jack Dann. A second edition is in the works. Dann is also listed in Contemporary Authors and the Contemporary Authors Autobiography Series; The International Authors And Writers Who’s Who; Personalities Of America; Men Of Achievement; Who’s Who In Writers, Editors And Poets, United States and Canada; Dictionary Of International Biography; and the Directory Of Distinguished Americans.

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Festival of the Imagination 1996 July 1995 Newsletter – Bruce Sterling

Page 3:

Bruce Sterling


Sean McMullen

When I open a magazine and see Bruce Sterling’s name in the contents list I go to that story first. Whenever he has a new book published I buy it, unseen and unreviewed. Okay, this might sound like the blind dedication of a devoted fan, but that’s not really the case. Because I work full time as well as writing SF, I have no time to waste reading stories that turn out to be turkeys, and I have found that Bruce Sterling never produces a turkey. His writing is entertaining, imaginative and perceptive, yet easy reading as well, and working through his collected works could be a pretty good course on writing science fiction.

I have been asked to do a piece on “The A to Z of Bruce Sterling’s writing”, so let’s start with the obvious bits first, like Does Bruce Sterling = Cyberpunk? Well, it’s partly true, but there is a lot more on the left hand side of the equation than most people realize. Sterling was certainly one of the dominant influences in cyberpunk’s development, yet he is also a scholar, science populariser and prophet of the Age of Networked Information — there is a lot more to his science fiction than cyberpunk. Apart from winning the John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 1989, he has had 15 Hugo and Nebula nominations — that’s over seven times more than all Australian authors have ever notched up.

Sterling’s first story, “Man-Made Self” was published in 1976, the year that he graduated with a BA in journalism. He was then 22 years old. The following year he sold his first novel, Involution Ocean, which is set aboard a ship on a dust sea on a waterless planet. In 1980 his second novel, The Artificial Kid appeared; a fast-paced, high-tech, martial arts harbinger of the cyberpunk movement which was then just stirring into life (although William Gibson’s benchmark cyberpunk story, “Johnny Mnemonic” was still a year in the future). After a string of successful short stories his novel Schismatrix was published in 1985, chronicling the transformation of the human race as part of his Shaper/Mechanist saga. Around this time Sterling changed his approach to writing from literary fantasist to literary technologist. His SF now featured much sharper, harder detail, and was even more firmly based on both known science and informed speculation.

Even in fantastic settings his increased emphasis on detail and scholarship is apparent. Whether it is the distant past or the future, Sterling’s writing has a way of putting you right there in the time and place. His short story “Dinner in Audoghast”, published in 1985, is set in a medieval Islamic city in the Western Sahara, and is crammed with rich detail that brings the lost city to life. This was also the year that he edited Mirrorshades: The Cyberpunk Anthology, providing in the preface one of the most clear, concise overviews of the nature of cyberpunk that one is likely to find. The fiction itself is mostly slick, paced very fast, yet founded on a sharp-edged, streetwise culture of the future. For contrast, his 1987 story “Flowers of Edo” (nominated for both the Hugo and Nebula Awards) is set in Nineteenth Century Japan during the transition from feudal state to industrial superpower. True to the promise of Hisaki Yasuda’s cover art, the young heroes chase and battle a demon living within the wires of the new electricity network while the city burns around them.

Islands in the Net won Sterling the John W. Campbell Memorial Award in 1989, and is a convincing statement of his vision of the near-future. It is both a thriller in a futuristic setting and an odyssey through a near-future global society dominated by information and communication. Traditional political institutions are being forced to adjust to the fact that national boundaries no longer really matter, yet there are still concentrations of political power wielding the very traditional weapons of intrigue and terrorism. Overall it is a convincing statement of where we might be going in the century to come, and Sterling’s future world genuinely has a lot going for it.

1989 also saw the publication of Crystal Express, featuring 12 of his best short fiction works. If anyone ever ever wanted a crash course in writing SF in the late 20th Century, this collection would have to be required reading. Seven of the twelve stories are his Hugo or Nebula nominees to that time, and five are Shaper/Mechanist stories. In 1990 Sterling’s story “Dori Bangs” collected both Hugo and Nebula nominations. The sharp-edged and stylish yet sensitive story is a study in fate and determinism: where would we be if the pivotal decisions of our lives had turned out better, and would it have made much difference at all? Note also that I said sensitive. Anyone can turn out technogrunge thrillers, but there is a lot of thought behind what Sterling writes. To me, Sterling is about as good a role model as any aspiring SF author can hope to find. His imagination is backed up by his scholarship and attention to detail, and all of Sterling’s settings are realized down to a very fine level on both the technical and social level.

When William Gibson was in Australia in 1994 I asked him what it was like to collaborate with Sterling on their Nebula nominee novel, The Difference Engine (1990). Gibson replied that in his opinion Sterling had done enough research for three or four books, yet wanted to leave it at one. The Difference Engine is set in an alternate Nineteenth Century, one in which the Babbage difference engine was brought to perfection and by the 1850s became as much a cornerstone of industry, politics and society as the steam engine. Again, the prospect of national barriers crumbling before an onslaught of computer control and freely flowing information is raised, along with logic bombs and even a hint of mechanical AI in the future.

Sterling has been said to be one of the most globally orientated of the American SF authors, and his 1992 collection Globalhead demonstrates this at least as effectively as Islands in the Net. Here we see his well-researched views of English, Russian/Soviet, Indian, Islamic, European, and even American culture. One of my favorites is “Hollywood Kremlin” (originally in Fantasy & Science Fiction, October 1990), which is an accurate statement of how the Cold War was really won by the west.

It was during the writing of The Difference Engine that Sterling and Gibson increasingly found themselves invited along to scientific and technical conferences and meetings. Through their SF they had become identified as gurus of the real world’s version of cyberspace and global networking. It had taken barely a decade for technology to at least partially catch up. To some degree the readers of Neuromancer and Islands in the Net (ranging from hackers to systems administrators to company executives) liked much of what they saw, and decided that most of the technology was already good enough to support the networked-cyberspace of SF literature. Sterling’s non-fiction book The Hacker Crackdown: Law and Order on the Electronic Frontier (1992) is not just a collection of horror stories of electronic intrusion, but an informed attempt to map out the immediate future of our new electronic infrastructure. In his column in The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction Sterling ranges over wider scientific and technical topics and issues, but in just the same readable and entertaining way.

I have just finished reading Heavy Weather, his most recent book, and the future setting has a lot in common with Islands in the net. Here Sterling warns that the greenhouse effect is not about gradual increases in temperature, while the sea gently laps a little higher with each tide, it is about large-scale atmospheric instability and catastrophic storms. This is, of course, in line with current climatic model predictions, but he also postulates a Twenty First Century where disease control, civil order and general prosperity are by no means assured, even in industrially advanced nations. Well, I don’t like it, but I have to agree. The Twentieth Century is probably as good as it’s going to get for us, and we made it that way by spending up big on the resource and environmental credit card. The Twenty First Century is going to be a big lesson on living within our means.

Back in May 1985 I bought the latest Asimov’s magazine, saw the fantasy-style cover with Bruce Sterling’s name on it and thought “Damn, is nobody proof against the lure of the fantasy boom?” Well, that story was “Dinner in Audoghast”, it was not fantasy, it was not even cyberpunk, yet it was fantastically good. Anyone who can write as well as that just has to be worth meeting, and when I found out that Sterling was to be the GoH at the 1996 National SF Convention in Perth I booked my tickets at once. If you have read his work, you will not be able to stay away either. If you have not, keep reading …

Recommended Reading section likely way out of date. Google for it.

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Festival of the Imagination 1996 – April 1995 Newsletter, a few more details (2 of 2)

Following on from our summary page about the 1996 Festival of the Imagination newsletter from April 1995, and our ‘few more details’ (1 of 2), comes our final post on this document. Here, page 6 is transcribed, covering a couple of interesting topics, showing how things have changed some.


Festival Table – April 13th-17th, 1995

The festival will have a table in the hucksters room at Swancon ’95 over the coming Easter break. We will have memberships and T-shirts on sale, and will be more than willing to supply you with information about the festival. Come along, talk to the committee, register your interest or just find out more about the con.

Festival Launch Parth – April 16th, 1995

A party will be held to celebrate the launch of the festival at Swancon ’95. The party will be located in the fan lounge on Sunday night from 8PM onwards; some free drinks will be supplied with eats, but BYO for a good time. All are welcome.

Pit Bash – Late May, 1995

A gaming competition will be held in late May, probably in conjunction with the Gamer’s Guild at the SWY. Titled: “World Championship of Champions”, it will be a single round elimination tournament played with the Champion rules system. Character generation rules will apply, and are: No power frame-works, no powers marked “stop”, and no mercy. You can register your interest at the Festival ’96 table at Swancon ’95, phone the contact numbers or write to the convention address. Small charge will apply, based on costs. There is a player table limit based on venue size.

Freeform – Late August, 1995

A freeform will be held on a Saturday in late August, in a city venue catering for twenty to twenty five players. Written by Stefen Brazil, the basis for the scenario will be the Illuminati books. A small fee will be charged based on costs. To register your interest, contact us either at the convention address or just come and talk to us at our table at Swancon ’95. There will be more details in our July newsletter.


The Festival of the Imagination 1996, at its essence, will be a celebration of creativity. As such, it will strive to encourage the creative spirit, particularly in the fields of art and writing. There will be two competitions run in the months leading up to the convention, open to any Australian entrants, whether members of the convention or not; however, entries must be previously unpublished. The winners will be announced at the convention itself.

Firstly, there is the short story competition. To be eligible to enter, a piece of writing must be of 5000 words or less, and do remember that this is a speculative fiction convention, although stories may be of any genre. The art competition is more difficult to define, but again, work of a speculative nature will probably be more appropriate than other forms of art.

There will be more details on these competitions, including prizes, in further newsletters. If you are interested in entering, please write to the convention address for more information.

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Festival of the Imagination 1996 – April 1995 Newsletter, a few more details (1 of 2)

Some months back, we did a partial post about the April 1995 newsletter for the 1996 Festival of the Imagination (see here). This post transcribes the fifth page of that newsletter, a later post will cover page six, and then we will call it *done*.

The Philosophy

The Festival of the Imagination is conceived as interactive. Everyone has an opinion, every person at the festival is a valued contributor to the continuous and lively debate. We aim to explore the length and breadth of science fiction and fantasy discourse in every medium, from hard science to high fantasy, from pulp to cult to classic, from the informed to the insane, from the sublime to the ridiculous, from the academic to the alcoholic. The program will comprise authoritative presentations, open discussions and participatory entertainments. The intended structure is of a casual, discursive approach in the mornings, giving way to a more intense interaction over the course of the afternoon and early evening, then ceremonies and formal celebrations in the later evening, before sliding into an informal, social atmosphere well into the night (remember to book that hotel room early!).

An integral part of the program will be celebrating one hundred years of science fiction cinema. Being the centenary of film SF – plus horror and fantasy – it is ideal that the Festival explore the history and attributes of cinema fantastique and its relationship to the literature and other mediums. Keep an eye on this aspect of the Festival as it develops. More than fifty items have already been proposed for the Festival, and several of these are currently in preparation in the form of debates, presentations, impromptus and performances, but you can read more about those in future newsletters.

Gaming will be treated as an off-shoot of the general program rather than as an exclusive set of items. Gaming is largely considered entertainment (even by ardent players) and it will be taken in this light for the program philosophy. Gaming for spectators, as well as for participants, will be emphasised as this aspect of the program develops. To date, there are several formal events proposed, but of course the festival is most amenable to offers of further gaming excess. And on top of all that, you can check out the video program, as it peruses the new, the rare, the novel, the bizarre, the original and the down-right inexplicable, as it endeavours to support the program content, as well as being a vestibule of enlightenment in its own right.

The Hotel and Perth

The Kings Perth Hotel is a three star establishment located in the city centre only 200 metres from the Hay Street Mall and only minutes walking distance to the Swan River and the cycle walkway to Perth’s scenic Kings Park. Facilities in the Hotel include a roof-top pool, restaurant, coffee shop, bar, self service laundry, newsagent and gift shop. The Kings has ample undercover parking and seeks to provide the best value for money in Perth.

With an ideal climate, Perth is a very modern but relaxed city. You will find it has few of the pressures of modern city living, and its compact commercial heart is bordered by parks and the Swan river. Convenient to the hotel is the central shopping district, open for both Saturday and Sunday trading; with several major department stores and a huge range of smaller speciality stores, you’ll be able to enjoy casual shopping or find that urgent last minute purchase. While the city centre itself is well supplied with restaurants, food halls and cafes, the place to eat at night is definitely Northbridge. One of the most colourful areas of central Perth, it boasts a huge variety of pavement cafes, superb restaurants, colonial bars, nightclubs, markets and food. All cuisines, familiar and some not so familiar, are available – your palate won’t be neglected or abused here.

For more details on our wonderful state, where the men are men, the women are women, the quokkas are quokkas and the entrepreneurs are in prison, you can write to the WA Tourist Centre …

.. and we’ll leave the last bit of the address out. This was a surprisingly commercially oriented bit of writing – not quite the style we would see elsewhere in these kinds of documents [Ed]

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Swancon 22 – Festive Happenings

Synopsis by Elaine Walker

Festive happenings is the programme booklet for Swancon 22 giving the schedule of the events, any screenings and synopses of panels. I shall be including a small selection of panels from each day. All typos reproduced as faithfully as possible

The cover page had the title (festive happenings) with each letter in a little box and the year in Roman numerals (MCMXCVII) bracketed by parallel double ended arrows, horizontal and vertical.

Page 2 had the map of the venue on it giving information on where the registration was, the main panel rooms (City Lights, Panorama North and Panorama South), the fan lounge, general purpose rooms (mostly gaming I think) and Banksia Room which was where any video screenings were. And of course the stairs, labelled clearly as being ‘downstairs to the bar’.

Pages 3-4 were Friday.
There was a schedule giving the events in each panel room at the top of page 3, then a list of panels. It should be noted that dinner was usually one and a half hours and lunch an hour. I think most people were eating at the hotel so that made it easier.

7:30pm Going Home Again Book Launch. Event
Howard Waldrop our Guest of Honour, reads “Scientifiction”, original to his new collection, Going Home Again. Once the reading is through we will move to the City Lights room for the launch party.

8:30pm Big Guns in Space. Panel
Need I say more, is space opera eternal, what will develop when war reaches space?
Danny Heap, Dave Luckett, Rob Masters, Sean Williams

There was an Illuminati tournament that evening, and various items being screened.

Pages 4-8 were Saturday.

Page 5 contained the schedule, and the panel lists were before and after that.

Selected panels:
11:00am SF Rock & Roll. Panel
Is Buddy Holly “more popular than God” in SF publishig? “Do Ya, Do Ya Wanna, Wanna Dance?”
David Cake, Russell B. Farr, Howard Waldrop, Sean Williams

2:30pm Women in Medieval Literature. Discussion
Discussion on the portrayal of women in Medieval Fantasy. Did they exist, or could they have existed in the way they are portrayed in this genre?
Gina Goddard, Emma Hawks, Jenny Smith

3:30pm I can’t believe I read that. Discussion
We’ve all done it, we read a book and it’s so bad that you had to finish it to make sure it is as bad as you thought it was, or, even worse, you enjoyed it.
Sally Beasley, Stephen Dedman, Rob Masters, Leece Smith

7:30pm The Great Debate – “The Anti-hero has murdered the Hero”. Event
The audience decides the winner.
Sue Ackermann, Gina Goddard, Grant Stone, David Luckett, Ian Nichols, Grant Watson, Julian Ackermann

9:30pm Bad SF Monsters of the recent past. Panel
There are lots of them out there, why do we like them so much. A panel of monster junkies discuss why we should all watch them.
Danny Heap, Robin Pen, Howard Waldrop

Saturday also had the Market Day in Panorama North until dinner.

Today’s video was brought to us by Simon Oxwell, entitled ‘TechnoGeek’. I’m fairly sure some of the “pm”s on page 7 were meant to be “am”s.

Pages 9-12 were Sunday.

Selected panels:
9:00am Rumble in the Hong Kong Bronx. Presentation
Hong Kong has the third largest movie industry in the world and Jackie Chain is arguably the biggest action star in the world. Come find out why this industry is influencing the American market and what makes their films so much fun!
Warning this panel is rated MA, Violent scenes.
David Yeates

1:00pm Shaggy God Stories-and the man behind the curtain. Panel
Science fiction and fantasy comments and critiques on the real world religions.
Stephen Dedman, Nick Evans, Sean Williams

3:00pm Do it yourself Conspiracy
Yes everyone is out to get you. Watch and participate as a conspiracy is created before you very eyes.
David Cake, Danny Heap, John Parker, Robin Pen, Sean Williams

Schedule was on page 10.

In an interesting scheduling choice the Masquerade was scheduled to start during the dinner hour. Though the judging not till 6:30pm. Possibly people grabbed food afterwards, or during the fireworks.

8:30pm Danny and Robin let down their… Discussion
Danny Heap and Robin Pen do what they do best, have a couple of drinks and bullshit on about anything and everything.
Danny Heap, Robin Pen

The main specified gaming on Sunday was the Magic tournament [which I think I entered but didn’t place in – ed.]

The video stream on Sunday was John Samuel presents ‘Not all Dubs are Evil’

Pages 12-15 were Monday

10:00am The Auction. Event
Come bid for the rare, strange and common. These auctions are like no other.

11:00am Mini Quiz. Competition
Cone test your knowledge in the mini SF&F quiz. Questions ranging from the easy to the hard to the impossible.
Grant Watson, David Yeates

2:30pm Interurban Queen: the best alternate universe story in this world. Panel
Howard Waldrop and others discuss R.A. Lafferty’s brilliant story and pose the question, “What is the best alternate universe story”?
Howard Waldrop, Jack Dann, Russell B. Farr, Grant Stone

3:00pm Glorantha. Panel
A panel of people rave about their favourite Fantasy universe.
David Cake & friends

Thank you to everyone who appears on any programme item, has helped suggest any item, or helped in any way with the programme in general. Special thanks to the following: Robin Pen, Dave Cake, David Yeates, Danny Heap, Sean Williams and Martin Livings.

The main gaming for Monday was a Free Form in Panorama North.

For the video for Monday Grant Watson presents ‘Anarchy in the UK’

The following people deserve thanks: Grant Watson, Simon Oxwell, John Samuel, David Gunn, David Yeates, Anna Hepworth, Elizabeth Trump, Brian Trump, Rick Jakins, Geoff Tilley, Scott Barkla, Jump Point, Mike Groeneweg, Guy Dyson, Russell B. Farr, Tom Edge, Craig Greenbank, Ian Oxwell, Andrew Bailey and Rebecca Bradley.


This booklet contains almost everything you’ll need to know about the events of this convention: what’s on, who’s on it, where is it, what is it? Plus some other stuff you may find useful such as

Things to say to guests:
“Hi, I’m a huge fan of your work. Can I buy you a drink?”
Things to say to the committee:
“Hi, great con. Can I buy you an extremely alcoholic drink?”

In order to facilitate this, we have arranged with the Metro Inn, “happy hours” during the dinner break each night, cheap drinks so you can buy all of us one. Just make sure your badge is prominently displayed.

Finally if you have any queries, see the Registration Table. If they can’t help you, they will know how to find a committee member who can. They’ll know all about the breakfast and lunch deals with the Metro Inn, gossip, and the capital of Washington State.


The back page contains the wording (in comic sans):

all details correct at time of press. the convention accepts no liability for any inconvenience caused by any subsequent deviation from this programme…

caveat emptor

programme booklet for SwanCon 22
The Festival of the Imagination 1997

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In which our intrepid explorers visit the Battye

Two weeks ago, Doug Burbidge and myself (Anna Hepworth) trekked in to the State Library to explore SwanCon related holdings in the Battye library. Between the two of us, we have been amassing quite a stash of items to check, and then provide to the Battye. As the catalogue details (here) are a little sketchy, we thought making a quick record might be of use.

There no items in the Battye collection for years 1976 through 1985; 1987 & 88; and 1990-92.

year Con Wot they had Wot we added # items
1986 SC11 souvenir book (44pp) (nothing) 1
1989 SC14 Progress Report 1* (nothing) 1
1993 SC18 Progress Report 3 (nothing) 1
1994 ConFusion souvenir book (A4, 36pp) (nothing) 1
1995 SC95 souvenir book (A4, 28pp) Folded advertising flyer 2
1996 SC21 (nothing) Programme Book (A5, saddle stapled) 1
1997 SC22 Progress Report 5 Programme Book “Festive Happenings”
Progress Report 2
Progress Report 4
1998 SC23 PRs 1 through 6;
5 booklets that collectively make up the con/souvenir book**
A5 leaflet
Wrap Up Report
Tin Duck Nomination form
1999 SC24 Progress reports 2 & 3 (nothing) 2
2000 SC2000 Progress report (unnumbered, assumed #1) PR2
“Muppets from space” flyer
2 * A5 flyers
Nominations form
Programme book
2001 SC26 (nothing) (nothing) 0
2002 SC27 (nothing) Programme book
Tin Duck nomination form
Ditmar nomination form
Tin Duck voting form
Art show regs and rego
2003 SC28 (nothing) (nothing) 0
2004 SC29 (nothing) PR0
“The SwanCon Channel”
2005 SCXXX (nothing) Program book 1
2006 SC31 (nothing) PR0
Official Programme
2007 SC32 PR0 Convention Book 2
2008 SC33 Con/souvenir book A5 flyer 2
2009 SC34 PR1
Con book
(nothing) 3
2010 SC35 (nothing) Program Guide
Souvenir book
‘Retcon’ bid leaflet
2011 SC36/NatCon50 (nothing) 3 flyers (2 A5, 1 A4) 3
2012 SC37 (nothing) A5 flyer
program (A5)
Large print program (A4)

There were no holdings for 2013 forward. We didn’t have good sets of those materials to hand, as we already had quite a lot to work through–we’ll work on those another time.

There is a Swancon 5 poster in a separate Battye catalog entry. There is also some Chronopolis material in a separate entry — presumably they didn’t realise that Chronopolis was an instance of Swancon.

* We here at This! are jealous, as we apparently don’t have a copy in our archive
** not sure if credit for this should go to Simon Oxwell, for making sure everything was correctly supplied to the Battye.

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swancon 22 – PR4 – pages 11 onwards

Pages 11 and 12 cover the fascinating topics of ‘panels’ and ‘video’. It would appear that the author of the latter had *slightly more* to say on their topic, as the former has enough white space for another of the indescribable doodles that grace the pages of this progress report.


Time catches up to all of us. Yes, the convention is almost upon us once again. The Programming Committee is working hard to create a varied and interesting programme that hopefully not too many people will complain about, after all, somebody always complains. Even if their complaining is about too much to do. There will be a mix of the usual events, panels, talks and such, along with some new ideas.

Here are several items of note, that may grab your interest, R.A. Lafferty’s “Interurban Queen” alternate universe panel, “Physicist free” world building, book launch (Going Home Again – Howard’s new book from Eidolon Publications), Mythology presentation and discussion, a few gaming panels, Science Fiction Rock’n’Roll (will never die), Readings from our main Guests (Howard’s readings are legendary in the SF convention world and really should not be missed), Rubber Suit monsters, The Great Debate, Comics, Anime, Star Trek, B5, the Zombie panel and so much more that it will melt your brain, well at least mine.

Now that I’ve told you what’s going to happen, I can fill you in on the format. We have three main rooms, two will be used for programming events, panels and such one will be used for gaming, free-forming, the Market day and anything else we can think of to keep it in use. All the major Guest events will occur in the Main programming room. We also have a Fan lounge, a video room and four small rooms, which can be accessed during the Con if people want to hold small discussions or on the spot games (Nuclear War).



The first order of business is to introduce the victims..er…volunteers who are the Video Committee. We are Simon Oxwell, John Samuel, and Grant Watson.

This year’s Video Committee have decided to shamelessly copy the format of last year’s programme. Each of the Committee members will hold a screening of personal favourites one night from midnight to dawn. Currently the themes are expected to be:

Night Perpetrator Theme
Friday Simon Technogeek
Saturday John The Inevitable Anime
Sunday Grant Cult British Television

It is rumoured that feature items of the theme nights will be Tron, the final episodes of El Hazzard: The Magnificent World, and The Prisoner. Of course, these rumours are vigorously denied and have no substance whatsoever.

The practice of “Morning Cartoons will also be stolen from last year’s programme. In a sadistic move ordered by the chief programming guru David Yeates (We deny all responsibility), the Banana Splits will be shown each morning at 7:00 AM.

Continuing the fine old practice of plagiarism, an alternate video room will be available for free form programming. So if you miss something, or have something you want to show this can be arranged.

Mystery Science Theatre 3000 will be making an appearance, probably several appearances. Other feature items to look out for will include items related to panels or panels with a video theme (including a possible “Not All Dubs Are Evil” panel).

If you ask really nicely, we might just screen “Neverwhere”. Maybe.

The last three pages (13, 14, and the back cover) consist of 13) a short blurb entitled ‘meetings at the moon’, with the white space at the bottom cleverly disguised with a doodle of what may or may not be a 4 armed alien; 14. a list of current members (including a number of the usual suspects) and BC) a half page that acted as the front for posting and a half page of information about the committee, the associates of the committee, a link to the webpage [remember, this was 1996], and a little bit of administrative gumph. The gumph includes “Thank you to Rachel R for internal artwork.”

meetings at the moon

As you may know, we’ve been holding informal meetings at the Moon Cafe in Northbridge, on the last Tuesday of every month. Attendance has been fair, but I would like to encourage more people to attend. Why? Because it’s a lot of fun, catching up with other Con goers, and most of the committee usually attends. We also like to hear your opinions on events at the Con and what you would like to see happen. Remember, Mondays and Tuesdays are cheap pasta nights at the Moon. If you’ve never attended a Con and want to find out what all the fuss is about come along and meet people who know.

Remember we try to make these social evenings, so come along and have some fun. The address, for those of you who haven’t been there before, is 323 William Street Northbridge, just up from the corner of Newcastle Street.

The next meeting at the Moon will occur on the 26th of November. People will be there from 6:30pm till about 10:30pm or later depending on how much fun we’re having. Other days at the Moon Tue 10th December, Mon 30th December and the 14th of January.

Remember the more you put into the convention, the more you will get out of it. If you have ideas for panel, events, etc and you are unable to come along to the Moon, contact me or forever hold your peace. You can talk to me about any part of programming by calling men on (XX) XXX-XXX, or by emailing me at yeates@[domain omitted].

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swancon 22 – PR4 – pages 7 to 10


being page 7

Well it’s only three months from the con and gaming looks likely to be the best we have had for a long time (boast, boast). To date both the Magic™ and Battletech™ tournaments are being organised, along with two freeforms. Many thanks to Len Henderson, Mark Suaddaby and Derek Bazen respectively.

I am still on the look out for four (4) experienced Dungeons & Dragons DM’s to help run the D & D tournament, which should take about 6 (six) hours of your time. So if you can help, call me or turn up at the next gaming meeting.

Also we are still looking for people to work like slaves on the following projects:- Railbaron Tournament, Illumanati: New World Order Tournament, Vampire: The Eternal Struggle Tournament and two more Freeforms. These events shouldn’t take up more than 5 hours at the con, so if you can spare the time and effort you too can have your name in the progress report and earn my undying gratitude.

Onto a related subject, Gaming subcommitee. I would like to have a representative from every gaming club on the Gaming subcommitee. This way we can get feedback from clubs on the gaming program, and deliver events and items that will be of interest. I will endeavour to conact the clubs personally in the next few weeks, but feel free to phone me before I phone you (it will make life so much easier, and world peace will ensue).

Other events, yet to be confirmed as they come to me second hand from Russell, are a Gurps Super game: Conventional Weapons, run by Elaine Kemp, and a Villians and Vigilantes game being run by one of our Guests, Stephen Dedman. Also, rumour has it, that our very own Stefen will produce another stunning freeform. I will be checking into these rumours and bring you the results in our next Progress report.

The gaming report concludes with details of the next gaming meeting, and contact details for the gaming coordinator: physical address, phone number and email address, but not name. An amusing oversight.

Social Stuff

being three short paragraphs on page 8. (Between pages 7 and 8 is the inevitable foldalope. This may or may not be identical to foldalopes from previous SwanCon 22 PRs, but this transcriber is too lazy to check)

Room Parties

W all know how successful these are. As happened last year, we will be supplying Rom Party Boxes to those who hold an open party. And open party is one that is advertised on the events board so that anyone who wishes can attend. I am in the process of drumming up lots of goodies to give way…It will be a fine day if I can match the greatness of Swancon 21’s boxes.

Market Day

Due to space restrictions, we are not able to have a Huxsters Room, so-to-speak. Instead, on the Sunday, we will have a Market Day. A day when all those who wish to sell their wears will be gathered, in typical market fashion, to do so. Save your money for this as we are hoping to get some new stalls in. More info in the next progress report. If you want to sell something and need some space, please contact me and I will arrange it.


Well, what can I say about this little beauty? Due to the fact that last years auction went way over time, I ask those who want to auction lots of items to try and group them together so they can be sold as a set. We have one day less than last years and we want to fit as much excitement in as we can. I have never done this before, so any help will be greatly appreciated.

Transcribers note: ‘me’ is not identified on this page. It is a reasonable hypothesis that the text can be attributed to Avril Garner, listed on the back page as ‘Social Programming’.

Page 9 has a very short bio for Lucy Sussex, and the short story competition rules; page 10 has a short blurb on the Masquerade, with a small doodle filling the bottom 1/3 of the page.

Lucy Sussex

Lucy Sussex was born in New Zealand in 1957, and works as a researcher and also a freelance author and editor. She has published widely, writing anything from reviews and literary criticism to horror and detective stories. She also is a literary archaeologist, rediscovering and republishing the nineteenth-century Australian crime writers Mary Fortune and Ellen Davitt. Her short story, ‘My Lady Tongue’ won a 1988 Ditmar.

In 1994 she was a judge for the international Tiptree award, which honours speculative fiction exploring notions of gender. She has edited four anthologies, three science fiction, and one crime. In 1996 She’s Fantastical, which she co-edited, was shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award. Lucy has written three novels for children or young adults, The Peace Garden (1989), Deersnake (1994), and Black Ice (forthcoming). Her adult novel The Scarlet Rider was published by Forge in the US in 1996.


We now have a dated stapled down. Sunday, January 26. However, the staple is removable and this could change!! You know how it goes with these thing… Unfortunately, no one has come forward with any suggestions as to a theme. I will gladly accept any suggestions and, if I don’t the theme will be whatever suits the mood I am in when the time comes to decide… You have been warned!

The Costume Competition will be held in a gong show type setting. However, we can not have a competition if we do not have contestants. I know you are anxious to have more of a show than last year, so please phone, email or write to me to let me know if you would like to participate.

The prizes we have are one free membership to Swancon 23 and whatever else I can drum up for nothing, will be up for grabs for the best costumes.

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swancon 22 – PR4 – pages 3 to 6

Focus On Sean Williams

being the numbered pages 3 and 4

In the last PR, we promised to provide indepth info on one of our guests in this edition. Rather than say it ourselves, and maybe make some of it up, we decided to get the info from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. Without further ado, we give you:

BIO – accurate 26.8.96

Sean Williams was born in Whyalla in 1967, and, after a life spent mostly moving house, currently occupies a granny flat directly under the flight-path of Adelaide International Airport.

An avid reader of speculative fiction since an early age, he has been writing full-time for the last seven years. His first publication was in the horror small press [Esoteric Order of Dagon #2] in 1991. Since then, his short fiction has appeared in Aboriginal SF (the first Austalian fiction to do so), Aurealis, Bloodsongs, Eidolon (where he holds the record for the most number of stories in consecutive issues –eight to date) and The Leading Edge, as well as the anthologies Alien Shores, Intimate Armageddons, The Lottery, The Oxford Book of Australian Ghost Stories, and Terror Australis. He has won a prize in the Writers of the Future Contest, been recommended by Year’s Best Horror & Fantasy and Year’s Best Science Fiction anthologies and been nominated for several Ditmar Awards (but never won). Doorway to Eternity, a collection of two short stories and one novelette, was published by MirrorDanse Books in 1994.

‘Not just an unusually fine storyteller, (but) also phenomenally prolific,’ wrote US author and WOTF judge Dave Wolverton in 1993. ‘Sean Williams shows shows every sign of becoming the next successful writer to break out from Down Under.’

On the novel front, he is co-author with Shane Dix of the Cogal series — a series based on an Australian RPG being developed by Ascendancy Gaming. The first book, The Unknown Soldier, was published by Aphelion Publications in 1995 and prompted Locus reviewer Russell Letson to think ‘of Niven modified by Bester, or, better yet, of Iain Banks’s similarly layered Against A Dark Background’. ‘The reader looking for a rousing military SF adventure,’ said Eidolon, ‘won’t find better.’

His first solo novel, Metal Fatigue, was published by HarperCollins Australia in June of 1996. Again, Locus’ response was favourable, this time from Gary Wolfe: ‘Metal Fatigue begins as a postholocaust noir thriller, turns into a high-tech police procedural with espionage overtones, and culminates in a special effects blowout with a variety of cyberwarriors battling it out on a very symbolic rusty bridge … As a thriller, the novel works out its SF components with unusual detail; as an SF text, it develops its thriller elements with consideralbe efficiency and breakneck pacing … Williams shows enough verve at plotting and action writing that it’s a safe bet he’ll turn into another of Australia’s impressive sequence of major SF discoveries.’

After a six-month hiatus following the death of his father, he has recommenced writing full-time and is currently working on several novel-length projects. One, The Dying Light, is the second and concluding volume of the Cogal series and is due from Aphelion in 1997. Another, The Thin Red Line (working title only), will be his second solo book: a crime/SF novel set in a near-future world based on several of his short stories — the same stories that once prompted Russell B Farr to remark, in print, that the author was a ‘Bastard!’

Apart from writing, he works in a CD shop, smokes too much and doesn’t get out enough (which is just one reason of many why he’s looking forward to coming to Perth in 1997).

page 5 is adverts for Howard Waldrop’s books Custer’s Last Jump (put out by the convention committee) and Going Home Again (published by Eidolon publications).

page 6 is ‘hotel stuff’, and gives a basic run down of the benefits of a hotel room, as well as the costs associated, and how to go about getting one (hint: don’t talk to the committee)

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swancon 22 – PR4 – cover to page 2

The SwanCon 22 Progress Report 4 is a 16 pages + foldalope, A5, folded 80 GSM bond white paper booklet. The cover has a repeated motif diagonally across the front cover – we suspect that it was the logo, but the rest of the SwanCon 22 materials are inconveniently in the file out of reach. This motif is on a hatched grey background that covers the middle, say 3 fifths of the page; at the bottom of this section it has the text “If you can read this then you’re a bit close” (given the large size of the font, I’m guessing this was played for laughs).

Other than that, the front cover contains basic con info – name of con, location and dates. Likewise, the inside front cover contains pretty much the same information that has been seen before – guests, how to contact the committee, room rates (which differed between ‘Normal’ and ‘Skyshow night’ if you were in either a Riverview or Skyline room), membership rates. Also, a couple of very short notices:

  • There is a $5 discount on full membership with a purchase from A Touch of Strange bookshop in Subiaco, or from Valhalla in Wellington Street Perth
  • LATE NEWS!!!! The next SwanCon freeform will be held on December 1, details yet to be finalised – please call Avril on XXX XXXX if you are interested


Being page 2 of the booklet, but only because the cover appears to be page 0. This section covers nearly 3/4ths of the page, but there is a left hand column with what can best be described as a couple of doodles in the left hand margin


This is the penultimate progress report, the second last thing we’re going to say about the convention – until it happens, of course. And it’s only two months away, which isn’t long at all.

In this report you can read about many neat pre-convention events we’ve got planned; what’s happening at the con; and more on who you can meet there. All this action packed reading in your letterbox for free.

Speaking of free, if you buy a full membership before the first of January 1997, you will go into a draw to win a copy of the convention fundraising chapbook, Custer’s Last Jump, signed by all the contributors and valued at $17.50, and one of only 27. So avoid the last minute post Christmas panic and join now.

We realise that some people were mailed 2 or more copies of the last PR. This is one of the side effects of our present mailing list databases. But if you did receive extras, try giving them to friends and help spread the word on what will be a fun event.

Rustle B Farr (Ed: That is not a typo. At least, not on our part.)

At the bottom of the page, there is a short paragraph, entitled “Exciting News!”

The souvenir book is looking like quite an item, featuring a chapter from a one of Howard Waldrop’s forthcoming novels, either The Moon World or I, John Mandeville (details to be finalised); RA Lafferty’s 1970 story “Interurban Queen” will be reprinted; Sean Williams has promised if not an original then a rarity; Lucy Sussex has promised some original stuff featuring African voodoo; plus much, much more…

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