The program for Continuum 8: Craftonomicon, the 2012 Australian National SF Convention in Melbourne from 8-11 June is now online and available to download.  I’m on several panels, one of which starts at 10pm at night!  I’ll have flown out at 6:30am that morning to get there so I’m imagining I’ll need some caffeine to survive that one.  Panels I’m sitting on are:

Writing Different Genders, Sexualities And Cultures – Friday 6pm  Our fearless authors delve into the ethics, issues and techniques for writing characters who are different. We’ll discuss how to work with unfamiliar, alien or just plain diverse perspectives and we’ll delve into the dangers and satisfactions of writing from another point of view. Finally, we’ll examine some of the reactions to ‘other’ writing and ask what motivates a writer to keep working with genders, sexualities and cultures that are not their own.

In Defence Of Romance – Friday 10pm  Paranormal romance, or romance in general, is often dismissed as bodice-ripping fluff. But these are stories for and about women, written by women. They can be more than a guilty pleasure, exploring important issues. Do they have a duty to? Why aren’t novels written by and for men called dudelit and treated to the same derision? Are the cover designs doing the genre a disservice?

Take The Pebble From My Hand, Grasshopper – Saturday 9am  When starting out on any path it’s always good to have someone you can ask for advice. Writing is no different and there are many people willing to help. Our panellists discuss how to find a mentor, the benefits of having one and the rewards of being a mentor.

The Future Is Now – Saturday 2pm eBooks, iDevices, apps etc are changing how we write and read. What’s out there, what’s worth using, and is all this technology a help or a hindrance? And where to from here?

Playing God – A Guide For Beginners – Saturday 3pm Building a new world for your fiction can be fun and exciting. But where do you start, what should you avoid and what makes it a living, breathing, believable world?

Writing Storyworlds – New Versus Existing – Saturday 6pm A discussion of the processes involved in creating convincing storyworlds from scratch compared with writing  material for existing storyworlds such as Doctor Who, Highlander and Dan Dare

Continuum’s “Enchantment Under the Sea” Maskobalo, Saturday 9 June 2012: Photo op and costume awards at 8:00pm, dancefloor opens at 8:30pm. Costume Parade Take a turn 20,000 leagues below, and follow the undercurrents to a hidden realm of secrets and wonder, of sunken treasure and swelling tides, merfolk and kraken. Lose yourself in the siren-song of Maskobalo on this night of enchantment under the sea.

Readings – Sunday 4pm FARADAY room. Ask a manuscript assessor Q&A

If you’re coming to Continuum 8 I’d love you to find me and say “Hello”.  I’ll be a long way from home so some friendly faces will always be welcomed!