The 48th Australian National SF Convention
The Holiday Inn, Hindley St,
June 5 — 8, 2009
Conjecture is the 48th Australian National SF Convention, and the first to be held in South Australia for 24 years (the last was Advention in 1985). The National SF Conventions (or “Natcons”, as they are affectionately known), give Science Fiction, Fantasy and Horror fans a chance to get together, socialise, attend panels on a variety of topics, meet the Guest of Honour, and party with like-minded people.
The theme for the convention, loosely stated, is “Does the audience shape SF, or does SF shape its audience”.
Guests of Honor
Guests of Honour are an important part of the Natcons – they give fans a chance to get to know the people whose work they read, listen to or watch. Guests get to give speeches, appear on panels, sign autographs, and generally help make it fun for everyone involved. For Conjecture we’re fortunate to have award-winning author Julie E. Czerneda as the Guest of Honour, and you can expect more announcements to come.
The Ditmars are the Australian SF awards, voted on by attendees of the Natcon (both full and supporting memberships are included) and awarded at a special event during the convention.
Program & Events
While there is always a strong social component to Natcons, there are also constant events for attendees to take part in. Events will include tours (visitors to Adelaide really need to try the wineries and visit Haighs for chocolate), while the panels and talks will cover a range of topics, from the practical (typical panels cover publishing, writing and art), to the esoteric, and with an awful lot of ground in between.
One of the many events you can be sure of, though, is the traditional Adelaide “Breakfast at the Pancake Kitchen” on the last day of the convention. But, try as some of us might, it looks like the trip to buy Pie Floaters, Frog Cakes and Deep-fried Mars Bars is going to have to be an “unofficial” part of the weekend.
Dealers & Book Launches
The dealers area will feature professional and fan-run stalls selling a variety of SF paraphernalia, typically covering books, art, comics and collectibles.
The Natcons are run by volunteer fans, with the committee changing each year based on the winning bid from interested parties. While the committees may be affiliated with local SF bodies, they are not affiliated with a national body. Thus each convention takes its own flavour. The conventions are run as a non-profit, with any profits accidentally raised being donated to charity or to help support other activities run by fans (such as fan funds which help people to travel to major conventions, and any future fan-run conventions that may need some capital). Costs are therefore quite low, with a strong focus on socialising, making friends, and having a good time.