Swancon 17: Waiting for the Cappuccino Muse: Terry Dowling

Here’s page 7 of the Festival of the Imagination 1992 souvenir book.

Waiting for the Cappuccino Muse

Terry Dowling

Born in Sydney in 1947, Terry Dowling is the only writer to have won eight [count ’em folks, eight!] Australian Science Fiction “Ditmar” Awards for fiction. A musician, songwriter and communications instructor, he is science fiction and fantasy reviewer for The Australian, was senior editor of The Essential Ellison and, with Harlan Ellison, is presently co-editing Down Deep, an anthology dealing with the mythical nature of the Australian landscape.

His stories have appeared in Omega Science Digest, The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Men’s Journal Quarterly, Aphelion Science Fiction, Aurealis, Australian Short Stories, Eidolon, and Strange Plasma, and in the anthologies Urban Fantasies, Matilda at the Speed of Light, and Glass Reptile Breakout.

His first collection, Rynosseros, received both local and international acclaim. According to Faren Miller of Locus it is “a marvellous book … Rynosseros places Dowling among the masters of the field.” His second collection of linked stories, Wormwood, was published in March 1991 by Aphelion Publications to even greater acclaim than its predecessor. Blue Tyson, a second collection of Tom Rynosseros stories, is due from Aphelion in May 1992.

Dowling has a Master of Arts (1st Class Honours) in English Literature from the University of Sydney; has won the William Atheling Award for Criticism; and as a musician and songwriter appeared for more than six years on ABC-TV’s Mr Squiggle and Friends.

However, Terry’s first love remains his writing, which he practices religiously at a secret coffee located somewhere in Sydney. Terry is perpetually seated where he can hear the dulcet tones of the cappuccino machine, without which we may never have heard his tales told.

Posted in Con books, Conventions | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

SwanCon 17 – Progress Report January 1992 – Orion advert

Page 14 of the SwanCon 17 January 1992 progress report was a full page advert for ‘Orion’. The top three-quarters of the page are the text reproduced below; the bottom quarter contains a graphic element consisting of the word ‘Orion’ in a large, bold font, above a faux-perspective grid (makes the editors think of TRON). Below that are contact details for JJ Adamson/Editor, of South Australia.

Your transcriber would like to reiterate a general policy against ALL CAPS; examples of such have not been reproduced.

A new venture from a desktop publisher, realising a life-long interest in science fiction and fantasy…

Published quarterly, or as material permits, ORION is planned as a high-quality illustrated book of around of around 150pp: large format, with computer graphics, half tone art, compacted type, book-bound in astonishing covers. A lot of reading for your dollar!

The first volume is complete but we are very interested in seeing your work for future issues. Naturally, submissions should be previously unpublished. Send a SASE for submission guidelines. ORION is semi-pro, with a combination of cash-reimbursement for one-time rights for brief material, and payment in one or more copies for longer pieces.

In the premier issue is a fine collection of fiction:

The City in the Storm, a novel by Robert Moore. Set in the Twenty Fifth Century in a region of space which has been taboo for over a decade after the implosion of a neutron star. The colony world of Emeraldia ceased to transmit…the warship Bellona, sent to investigate, vanished… Years later a space-faring rogue braves the forbidden zone to learn the fate of both and finds himself in the midst of a ‘Gothic horror’ in the ruins of the colony. (SF)

Fall of the Dark God by James Treece. A false god is born out of the sky and under the grinding tyranny of fear one man alone defies the wrath of the Great God Sho’tan (SF&F)

The Titan by Ron Lind. Lemurian ‘new spears’ ravage the Arctic land of Conalore. The chalice containing the sacred waters of Falmane has been returned from a distant isle, but the magical promise that should have saved Conalore turns to horror. (F)

Runes from the Ice by Kathy Williams. Chris Ryan is caught between the distant past and a forbidding future. It is feared that he is a victim of a strange hereditary condition, but Carmody, the psychic, is convinced the boy is the key to survival. (F)

Turn down an Empty Glass by Michelle Goddard. Many centuries in our own future, archaeologists search for the remains of the first intelligence to rise in our galaxy, a race which vanished without trace, leaving behind an intriguing secret. (SF)

Dark Encounter by Geoff Conrad. Extra-terrestrial contact in the jungles of Vietnam. An ‘Australian war story’ with a tremendous difference! (SF)

The pricetag of ORION will be in the region of $17.95, but please send no money now. A SASE will enter you to the mailing list. We hope to publish in June 1992, and in April/May will be seeking firm reservations or subscriptions before we go to press. To begin with, ORION is for subscription only; bookstore participation is not being sought at this time. This and all other collections under the ORION label are recommended for mature readers aged 16 years and over. Material is now being solicited for future issues, but please SASE for submission guidelines first. We would like to publish regularly, so top quality fiction and art submissions are very welcome. Ever effort will be made to respond personally, and quickly.

A bit of follow up indicated that this particular endeavour didn’t actually get published.

Posted in Books, Fan production, fanzines, Progress reports, SwanCon | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Swancon 17 – November report – The Perth SF&F Writers’ Workshop

Page 13 of the PR starts with “New stuff in the Non-Anime Video Stream”, and then goes on to:

The Perth SF&F Writers’ Workshop

The Perth SF&F Writers’ Workshop will be held on the weekend of 18th and 19th of January 1992 at St. Columba’s College, Stirling Highway, Crawley. The workshop will be a “sleep-over” event, and as such a fee of $20 to $30 will be charged for accommodation and hire of the venue (meals will be taken away from the venue and will be paid for by the individual attendees).

The Workshop Convener will be Dr. Philippa Maddern assisted by Lucy Sussex. Terry Dowling (a Principal Guest at the SwanCon 17 Convention) will participate in some of the Workshop. Philippa and Lucy will also appear as guests at SwanCon.

Applicants must submit an example of written work to the Workshop Convener. This piece may be used at the workshop, so be prepared to have it discussed, dissected and critically evaluated. It’s important to remember that the Writers’ Workshop is not the same as the very successful “mini-workshop”/writers’ discussion group which has taken place at SwanCon over the past two years and which will feature as part of the Conference at SwanCon 17. 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 (Dr. Maddern) for appraisal, and that numbers will be strictly limited. Interested persons should submit a manuscript to Dr. Philippa Maddern c/o the History Department, University of Western Australia, Crawley, 6009. Any enquiries, including questions about payment, should be directed to The Festival of the Imagination, PO Box XXX, North Perth 6006.

Posted in Conventions, Progress reports | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Swancon 17 – Westrek and JAFWA

The SwanCon 17 July 1991 progress report has two unnumbered pages between pages 8 and 9. The first of these is a full page advert for the WA Star Trek Fan Club – Westrek (probably not going any more), while the second is a full page advert for JAFWA (Japanese Anime Fans of Western Australia – still going somewhere last I heard)

While as ever, we the transcribers are committed to faithfully transcribing all the typos we can bring ourselves to duplicate, there is no such dedication to replicating idiosyncratic layouts from before the dawn of HTML formatting. Ditto replicating out of date phone numbers and opening hours.

The first page is in a box, with a logo of the TOS enterprise above the outline of a map of Western Australia in the top left.

P.O. Box XXX, Bentley 6102, W.A.



In its various forms then Westrek is the club for you.

We meet at the Lapidary and Rock Hunting Hall, 31-25 Gladstone Road Riverdale on the last Friday of every month. The Meeting starts at 8:00pm.

A $2.00 door fee for non-members is charged, to help cover refreshment and hall costs. Door prizes can be won every month.


For more Information
Call Ray Raspa on XXX XXXX
or write to us at PO Box XXX, Bentley WA 6102

The other page had no box around it but a large picture from the Dirty Pair Anime left centre, and bottom right several characters from Ranma 1/2 (Gemma, P-chan and Shampoo in their animal forms)

JAFWA Presents




Saturdays X:XXpm to X:XXpm
XX Brampton Road, Wembly Downs
Phone Tom on XXX-XXXX*

*This is not where JAFWA is now. A google is likely to give you current location better than a post that may go out of date. So if that link doesn’t work please google.

Posted in Progress reports, SwanCon, WA Fan clubs | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SwanCon 17 – Souvenir book – Imaginings: A Preface

page 3 of the beautiful SwanCon 17 Souvenir Book is titled ‘Imaginings: A Preface’, written by Jeremy G Byrne, Programme Book Co-Editor. It starts with an epigraph attributed to ‘The Welcome Mat’:

“And all I see as I look through these years
Is ten thousand people with the same ideas

I don’t believe in half measures. It strikes me as particularly pointless to expend time and energy on a project if one doesn’t intends that it be the best it can. That philosophy has driven us, in the development of The Festival of the Imagination, to strive for something a little different. We could have chosen to simply organise and run a good convention; that would have sufficed. Instead, we chose to attempt far more. We planned a series of events to accompany the convention, and we planned far more development of the individual components that went to make up a “standard” convention than had been attempted before, at least in the small world of WA SF Cons. Whether this will be perceived as entirely successful remained to be seen, but the indications as of this writing are that things have gone well. How true that turns out to be is in many ways dependent on you, for only if the Festival has been worthwhile for its attendees will it have accomplished anything.

The symbolism of the cover of this book might not be apparent to some, and perhaps begs explanation. The choice of design was very deliberate. The colours we picked are green and gold; their connection to the Australian theme of the Conference is obvious, and is intended to be so. We feel that Australia has a strong endemic science fiction, currently in ascendancy, and that this should be recognised. This is neither parochial nor particularly patriotic; it’s simply recognising talent and quality where it exists. You’ll notice a dominant Australian content to this book; not simply science fictional, but local. It’s time, we feel, that more attention be shown it.

The choice of cover stock included consideration of the fact that it is recycled paper. Environmental consciousness is a facet of modern life, whether one is fanatical or indifferent. We live on the crest of a wave that’s sweeping into the future, and little things like this are constant reminders. How much attention was paid even five years ago to the use of recycled paper? Now, for example, certain local government departments are preparing to convert exclusively to its use, despite a cost disadvantage. Our choice is perhaps a token gesture (especially considering the terrible toll the production of this book alone has taken on the world’s paper supplies), but important nevertheless.

The illustration we have used as the centrepiece for the cover is of the floating city from Hiyao Miyasaki’s stunningly beautiful Tenku no Shiro: Laputa (“Laputa: Castle in the Sky”), and so has an obvious connection with the visual subgenre features at SwanCon 17, which is Japanese Animation or Anime. Yet it is far more appropriate than simply that for a couple of reasons. Firstly, Laputa is not a Japanese invention, but is taken directly from Jonathan Swift’s Gulliver’s Travels, a classic piece of early science fiction (albeit heavily political and pointed social commentary besides). The idea of a utopian city which travels the globe, hovering above the oceans, suspended by the “magic” of magnetism and reachable only by air or during the brief periods when it descends to the surface is a marvellously imaginative and compelling one, and thus appropriate to a Convention which seeks to promote “the imagination”. Secondly though, the development of the story in Miyasaki’s film includes the crumbling, the decay of this flying island to little more than the citadel above the vast lodestone at its heart, tenuously held together by the roots of a gigantic tree. This magical place is dying, rapidly passing beyond salvation, desperately in need of renewal.

Perhaps the allusion is cynical. Perhaps it’s not really justified. Certainly it is pessimistic, but it does contain the seed of optimism. The tiny sprout on the back cover, the final word in this book if you will, is perhaps a better expression of our feelings. Criticism, even “constructive” criticism, is often simply damaging if unaccompanied by suggestion and contribution. It’s not my intention to be smugly critical in a po-faced and self-serious manner, nor to hijack a Festival publication for a swathe of trite and egoistic blathering, but more to try to promote reflection. The quote that opens this piece may seem just a little despairing, but its’ not meant simply to damn. Imagination and reflection are keys to both creation and renewal, and we’ve tried to foster both through the Festival. I feel (platitudinously, perhaps) that hope springs eternal and, with careful nurturing, so will achievement. Perhaps this Festival will have contributed to that hope. If so, it will have been enough.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Swancon 17 – November report – Dreamers in the Net (Part 2)

Pages 20-21 of this progress report have to do with one of the Cyberpunk RPGs being run at the convention – Dreamers in the Net. Page 21 contains the advert with the title Dreamers in the Net in very big letters and then the tagline was “In Cyberspace, Everyone can hear you Dream. It is apparently a FANTASY ROLEPLAYING ADVENTURE for a group of five players of ALL LEVELS OF EXPERIENCE using a SYSTEMLESS RPG ORGANISATION incorporating elements of CYBERPUNK II. To be run during PARSEC, written by Stefan Brazil with ideas from the PARSEC committee. The preceding page has the second of a faux newspaper article, the first having been produced in the July progress report, giving background to the adventure.

The Urban Outback by Gerry Cornell

Part 2: Virtually Alone.
This asphalt desert recedes towards an infinitely distant horizon. The sky is a deep purple, heavy with ominously black banks of cloud, and the quality of its crimson light is almost carnal. Tendrils of actinic white flicker down to kiss the ground far, far away, and each brief flash raises a puff of fluorescent violet that, at this huge distance, could be the passing of a mountain. Before us is the “piece”. My companion, never quite satisfied with his art, hovers at its four metre peak, sharpening the emerald spines with a fingertip. I am uncharacteristically awed. Worldly sophistication fails me in the presence of this object d’impossible. I know it is not alive, but its writhing is primally disturbing. The child-like faces that peer out from amongst the twisted steel girders, distorted street-signs, neon advertising and twisting ropes of slick, grey-green flesh are blank, dull-eyed, uncomprehending. I know its name because it whispers it over and over in the weirdly echoing silence of this place, its voice saying nightmare and city and anger and pain in a rugged undercurrent of sibilants just at the edge of sound. Its name is its message and its ultimate pathos. Its name is “Home”.

Gabrielle Julian Robinson is a naïve artist. His work, while lavishly presented and poignantly emotive, is quite often cliched and overdone. He constantly refers to his roots in the pre-Closure US Urban tribalism of the late 1980s, with its youth art of graffito, its “bombing”, rap music and linguistic exclusivity. Yet it’s a false affinity, for their world and his are far apart, and in my conversations with this strangely talented and strangely lost young man, I came to feel he beautifully illustrated, far more in what he was than in what he produced, much that is wrong with our society of today.

Gabrielle works four hours a night in his elder sister’s Coffee-Sushi Bar, sweeping floors, cleaning tables, finding taxis for the drunks. In his room, amongst the paraphernalia of inner-city youth of thirty years ago and half the Earth away, are a Kaeida Scope™ virtual visualisation system with its pre-beta copy of Autodesk Japan’s incredible Nu-Reality II real-world modeling package with professionally customized Materials Palette, four SonyZai VR suits, an NEC Hyperlink® ultra-high speed, satellite-based Net-portal, and an experimental holo-store subsystem which can hold a billion of his worlds within its palm-sized case. These items carry a street value of over six hundred and twenty thousand yen. Gabrielle earns less than A¥35 a night, on average. Who pays?

Coming out of the world of “Home”, Gabrielle and I share a Coke and a chat while he reads the Net. Casually, as though it were something he might do every afternoon, he shows me a hack-line via Greece that penetrates the Desert Wall. I watch a cable-TV broadcast in what was once Syria, read some electronic mail from the offices of a textile trader in North Africa to a colleague in Baghdad, and catch a snippet of Arabic news about riots in Old Cairo. Suddenly we are speaking with a Wandering Jew – a woman who calls herself Rachel Bein – but she’s far too cautious to say much about the present-day fate of her former country folk, and I learn nothing new. Gabrielle boasts that he has cut TAPE to a secret Old South African system in Azania and seen documentation relating to a CRS-like virus being developed in the late 1990s as a bioweapon in the Inter-Racial war, but it’s quite possible he’s merely recounting something he’s read in the speculative press. The world flashes by on his giant wall-panel and I am drunk with it.

The truth of the matter is that Gabrielle and hundreds like him are part of the great technological mousecage Australia. They are experimental animals; cheap R&D tools for the huge Japanese and Taiwanese TechnoCorps. This last year, Gabrielle has lost two friends to VR and Net accidents. Three more have suffered significant damage to their vision or hearing. Another is in hospital in a deep coma and Gabrielle himself suffers pre-Parkinsonian symptoms as a result of an experimental cortical-tap that simply didn’t work. Yet he will not stop; he’s got nothing else to live for.

We often ask the question: Would we be better without Japan and without the huge inrush of Hong Kong money at the end of last century? Would we be better if America still existed as we new her, or if Fortress Europe cared? The answer isn’t clear, but I can’t say I think so. It’s been said that failure to shift our economy into the post-industrial world did this to us. It’s been claimed we sold what we had and never made what we could have. It’s been charged that we were lazy, that we were over governed, that we were ripe for the plucking. I look at Gabrielle and others like him, and I think I see the truth. We were simply alone; self-interested and unwilling to involve ourselves with the world. And now we’ve lost our chance. Our euro-Australian middle class is generally unemployed, unemployable, unhappy and ignored in their inner-city housing units. Our youth are aimless, barely able to raise a cry of protest, so deep is their despondency. We are a colony that’s no longer even a nice place to visit, and we’ve got to live here. This is our Home.

16 – The Cityscape Dec 10 2019

Posted in Progress reports, SwanCon | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Swancon 17 – July 1991 Progress Report – Dreamers in the Net (part I)

Being page 13 of the SwanCon 17 July 1991 Progress Report. Part II will be posted in the near future.

This page features a faux newspaper clipping about ‘The Urban Outback’ (which requires a bit of a content warning for being icky – this is cyberpunk after all). It includes two columns of text, part of an advert that encourages the reader to “Come … New America” and mentions “PanAm Tours Christmas Special”. The bottom quarter of the page includes the details of the “Dreamers in the Net” tournament.

The Urban Outback by Gerry Cornell

Part 1: All God’s Children?
Roger Castumis was a fourth generation Australian. He lived with his seventy year old grandmother, his father – for six years a bedridden cripple following an industrial accident – and his five year old brother Yiani, a congenital CRS sufferer. Roger’s meagre income, gained principally from selling his body in the streets and Jolt in the Vinyl Clubs of Colworth Avenue, barely kept hunger at bay and the bailiffs from their door. At half-past eleven on Tuesday Night, Roger’s body washed up on the foreshore at Lindsay, a single massive wound obliterating his face and his severed left thumb jammed down his throat. To anyone familiar with Polis’ social underbelly, Roger’s death means one thing: he had fallen foul of the drug culture he had been forced to serve.

Sixty five percent of the urban unemployed between the ages of fifteen and thirty five are regular or occasional users of the opiate-derived drugs that include Cocaine, Crack, Morphine, Jolt, Endo and Heroin. Ninety Six percent of all raw and processed opium that entered Polis in the past three years came from poppies grown under the Sun that warms the roofs of the great cathedrals of the South American Apostolic Union. Estimates of the value of this enormously stable commodity exceed A¥600million per annum, and it can hardly be doubted that a percentage of this money ends up in the coffers of the Papal See in Rio DeJaniro.

Last year alone over seven hundred missionaries from the Apostolic Union entered this state, and government and corporate funding has helped establish no less than eighteen hundred Urban Missions in Polis itself in the last four years. We are constantly being told of the good works of the Liberation Catholic missionaries in our community, amongst the poor and the homeless. No doubt most of these men and women are fine people, dedicated to their faith and those they serve, but their leadership in Rio, and our government in Canberra, have a different set of priorities.

Tonight, Yiani will sleep in a cot in the Mission of the Immaculate Conception in Argrave Place. He will cry for his brother, but Roger will not come. We live in a world where the cross and the needle are made in the same Brazilian factory, and it’s difficult to discern the will of God in this cold truth of political expediency.

108 – The Cityscape – Dec 03 2019

The world is in a mess. The Soviet Empire has Shattered like a Glas Goblin,
The USA has closed its borders during a period of radical economic change,
Fortress Europe grinds away by itself 
while Post-Second Cultural Revolution China dies noisily.
The New Nationalist Australian government has sold itself to the Japanese
and the Multi-Function Polises sprawl across the coastal landscape.
In Polis, the biggest of them all, it’s cold, it rains all the time, everyone’s sick
and it’s Christmas time again. 

Dreamers in the Net is a roleplaying tournament for everyone. Inexperienced newcomer or hardened gaming wizard, this strange world of 2019 will challenge, surprise, perhaps bewilder, but above all entertain.

Posted in Progress reports, SwanCon | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

SwanCon 17: July 1991 PR – PARSEC

Pages 12 through 15 of the SwanCon 17 July 1991 progress report are a detailed presentation on ‘PARSEC – The Perth and Regional Simulation Entertainments Convention’. This post attempts to transcribe the text, and summarise the visual elements, which might get Rather Long. Page 13 contains Part I of the ‘Dreamers in the Net’ touting will be in a separate post, as will Part II, which features in November 1991 progress report. All typos and most formatting idiosyncrasies faithfully transcribed, but we draw the line at all caps; we’ve replaced those with genuine heading styles.


At SwanCon 17 gaming will feature 24-hour access to a large, single venue in the Main Programming Facility (ie. not a Hotel Suite), and will have organised, exclusive use of the Main Programming rooms for the period from 10:00pm through 8:00am. We’ll have programmed items throughout the daylight hours and a number of “gaming” events which will appeal to a wider-than-normal audience.

A strong possibility exists, at this stage, that there will be a Gaming Guest for SwanCon 17. Paul Kidd, game designer (and “Furry Fandom” afficionado) will quite possibly attend the Con. Nothing is definite at this stage, but we’re hoping.

Panels, Presentations and Discussions –

See Conference Programme. Note that all such events will be “Anecdote Free” (except The Anecdote Panel), and anyone who forgets this rule will be gonged.

Tournaments, Competitions & Demonstrations –

There will be three Major tournaments (Roleplaying-related) and several Minor competitions (principally board-game related). Prizes are under negotiation.

The “Rail Baron” Tournament
To the left of the text advertising this tournament there is a line drawing of a train in rather odd perspective
This long-running, highly regarded event will occur again next year and will hold a prominent place at PARSEC. The perpetual trophy, that Amazing, Magical Growing Train, will be awarded to the winner, providing it can be found in time! Anyone knowing the whereabouts of this important part of WA Fannish tradition, please contact the committee.

Ancients Wargaming Demonstration
The Napoleonic Wargaming Society will be holding a demonstration session of Ancients Wargaming. This is sure to be fascinating and informative.

Miniature Figure Painting Competition
We will be holding a Figure Painting Competition and display at SwanCon 17. Categories will include Fantasy (single), Fantasy (Group), SF (Single), SF (Group) and Best Overall. Details and prizes in later Progress Reports, but start painting now!

The “Warhammer 40,000” Tournament
This ever-popular game of a strong and distant future will be featured prominently at SwanCon 17. Please Note: this will be a strictly Bring Your Own Figures event.

The “Star-Fleet Battles” Tournament
To the right of this section, is a solid silhouette of a Klingon Bird of Prey, all of 2cm across
This tournament, now three years old and growing ever more popular, will be held again in 1992. A shield with the winner’s name inscribed and some monetary prize yet to be determined will be awarded to the winner.

p13 – this consists entirely of information on ‘Dreamers in the Net’, which will be featured in a future post

p14 – The majority of this page is taken up by a black rectangle with text and line drawings in relief. Text includes:

In the tradition of Indiana Jones & Errol Flynn and Tim Powers’ “on Stranger Tides” comes …

PARSEC and The Festival of the Imagination present
Blood Magic
A LACE & STEEL Adventure

The Seventeenth Century Will Never Be The Same

Blood Magic is a Fantasy roleplaying tournament adventure for a group of Five experienced players
Based on the Lace & Steel system designed by Paul Kidd.

This white-on-black text (and some more nearly unreadably small below) surrounds a rapier with the basket hilt at the top of the image and the point nearly to the bottom of the space; this is crossed by a many petalled rose with leaf and long stem

The last 3-4cm of the page have

Written for the Featured System “LACE & STEEL”, Blood Magic will be a fabulous romp through the world of 1610, from Eastern Europe to the New World, with the fell of Tim Powers’ On Stranger Tides and all the courtly intrigue you could want.

The Tournament will require organised groups of 4-6 players, and may be partially games-mastered by its inventor, Paul Kidd (see above).

p15 – starts continuing on with the details from page 12

“The Tendered Tournament”
The third role-playing tournament to be run at the convention will use the “Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Second Edition” rules, and will use a module designed by the winner of a design competition open to all Australians. The competition will be promoted as widely as possible throughout the country and closes on Friday October 4, 1991. The winner will receive a $50.00 cash prize, have his or her module used as the Official AD&D Tournament Module at the Con, and will be awarded free membership to help “DM” the module. Guidelines as follows:

System: Advanced Dungeons and Dragons, Second Edition. (Some slight deviation from these rules is acceptable, but must be exhaustively explained in the “Notes to the DM” section).
Characters: Party of 5-7, of 4th to 7th level (your choice on exact figures). Characters must be pre-generated and included in the module.
Time: Two sessions of 4-5 hours (the sessions must be clearly distinct and self-contained – suitable for Tournament Play).
Presentation: Texts must be typed or printed with wide margins. Availability in computer form (IBM, Macintosh, Amiga) is an advantage. All maps must be provided in a form which is usable without modification; neat and well-ruled with wide margins; preferably with all writing, labelling etc. on a separate sheet or overlay.
Style: Emphasis on thinking and roleplaying is encouraged, but past-paced and enjoyable play is essential

All manuscripts etc. must be include Name, Address, Phone Number, and Age, and must be disposable (ie. no submission will be returned). The Con reserves the right not to award a prize (in which case we’ll have to design the module ourselves!)

FREEFORM: Shadows on the Sun –

Murder, mayhem and mystery in the Court of the Sun King. Based on the works of Alexander Dumas, this Freeform will last for five hours and will be an intense total-involvement event testing wit, organisation, deductive skill and role-playing ability. Participants will probably be costumed. Freeforms are a new feature of SwanCons, similar to Live Rolesplaying, which has been around for many years. SwanCon 16 featured a new style, brought to us from the Sydney Conventions: The Freeform. Emphasis is on acting, self-motivation and autonomous effort. It’s fun, highly involving and a perfect way to “get away from it all” at a Con. Try it at 17.

Beer and Pretzels

Because programmed gaming events can be a bore at times, because variety is the spice of life, because the social events might not live up to their promise, and just because you feel like it, the Convention will offer facilities for casual gaming in a semi-organised environment. Thus: “Beer and Pretzels”. Every night of the Convention, half of the Main Gaming Area in the convention facility will be devoted to casual gaming with nibbles and drinks available at very reasonable prices. Games to be made available will include:

Shogun, Cosmic Encounter, Titan, Blood Bowl, Diplomacy

The Sunday Night of “Beer and Pretzels” will be a theme evening; “Silly Old Games”. It will feature demonstration games of such ancient and hoary classics as “Boot Hill” “Metamorphosis Alpha”, “Tunnels and Trolls” etc.

Posted in Conventions, Progress reports, SwanCon | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

The Festival of the Imagination Progress Report January 1992 p15

I think this is the last page of this progress report that needs transcribing, so I’m going to do at least part of it so we can cross it off. Page 15 is an ad for a thing called ORION. A brief google does not turn up any sign of its actual existence, but it’s an interesting look at what was being attempted at the time.

A new venture from a desktop publisher, realising a life-long interest in science fiction and fantasy…

Published quarterly, or as material permits, ORION is planned as a high-quality illustrated book of around 150pp: large format, with computer graphics, half tone art, compacted type, book-bound in astonishing covers. A lot of reading for your dollar!

The first volume is complete but we are very interested in seeing your work for future issues. […] ORION is semi-pro, with a combination of cash-reimbursement for one-time rights for brief material, and payment in one or more copies for longer pieces.

In the premier issue is a fine collection of fiction:

blah blah blah

The pricetag of ORION will be in the region of $17.95, but please send no money now. A SASE will enter you to the mailing list. We hope to publish in June 1992, and in April/May will be seeking firm reservations or subscriptions before we go to press. […]


JJ Adamson/Editor, PO Box XXX   Brighton   SA   5XXX

Posted in Progress reports, SwanCon | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

SwanCon 17: Progress Report July 1991, p19

page 19 of the Swancon 17 July 1991 progress report has two text sections, being ‘Education Seminar: Science Fiction in Education’ and ‘The Short Story Competition’. As ever, all typos faithfully reproduced, including the completely bewildering dating system in use for the summary of the either upcoming or post-dated Education Seminar.

Education Seminar

Science Fiction in Education

Seminar 1992

The Festival organisers are currently engaged in the planning of a Seminar on Teaching Science Fiction and Fantasy, aimed specifically at professional educators. It’s our intention to hold a one-day seminar on December 4th 1990 at the Ascot Inn (the best venue we’ve come across in WA). It will comprise a series of presentations, discussions and lectures coordinated by professional educators and will be open to the general teaching community. The organisers will be commissioning professionals to produce Teachers’ Notes and other relevant literature for use by the Seminar attendees. This material will be published and presented in as professional a manner as possible, allowing it to be used by the attending teachers on return to the classroom, and will comprise a very important part of the event itself.

Advertising of the Seminar will take place in Ministry of Education publications and we’ll probably also advertise by some form of direct mailing to the target audience. It should be noted that the Seminar will be funded and run as an event totally separate from the SwanCon 17 component of the Festival, and is likely to provide extra funds for the Con itself. Due to the fact that the event is still in the planning stage, all of the above information is subject to change. For further information on the Seminar, contact Richard Scriven or Mark Bivens

The Short Story Competition

The short story competition traditionally associated with SwanCon may be run slightly differently next year. As a separate Festival Event, it is hoped that the competition will be run as a State-Wide Competition through the Secondary School system (much like the Young Writers’ Competition). It’s envisaged that entries will be divided into two divisions (Secondary – for High School Students of years 8 through 10 – and Open – for all persons from year 11 upwards, including University Students and people no longer in the eco nation system) or perhaps three (separating the year 11 and 12 students from the others in the Open Category), with prizes being awarded in each. Commercial sponsorship or grant funding be sought, to provide money for advertising, administration and prizes.

Details are yet to be resolved, except the Open Division, which is currently accepting entries:

Genre Fiction up to 8,000 words, any subject. Post to the Festival Address.

Posted in Progress reports | Tagged , , | Leave a comment