Gold Coast Supanova 2016

David and I went to meet Adriana and her partner, John, on Sunday to watch the Superheroes parade, have some brunch, and attend the last day of Supanova. David and I were very excited… we always enjoy spending time with Adriana and John 🙂

I was surprised by the amount of detail in the costumes for the parade. And not just the occasional costume, but all of them! The time spent creating them must be immense. Check out this slideshow for some photos of the parade and preparations:

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During the parade, Christopher Judge waved at David. He’s vowed never to wash his face again. At least now he has an excuse 😉

While we waited for the crowds to dissipate, Adriana, John, David and myself treated ourselves to a breakfast buffet at the Kurrawa Surf Lifesaving Club. It was excellent! After brunch, we wandered off to the Gold Coast Convention Centre for the last day of Supanova 2016.

At Supanova, David and Adriana got themselves into a tight spot:

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and were almost exterminated by a rampaging dalek:

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Is it just me, or does the end of Adriana’s hand glow a little like a dalek’s stalk? Let’s not annoy her, just in case she’s evolving. Maybe dalekism is contagious, and Adriana was bitten.

We all met up at the table where the beautiful Kimberley Clark’s trilogy was selling like batteries at Sexpo. FYI, Kim was ‘tired’, not hungover 😉

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All in all, it was a great day out! Thank you Adriana and Kim for pushing me outside my comfort zone 🙂

 

December 2015 – Christmas greetings and a quick non-meeting roundup

xmas header  Merry Christmas and Happy New Year to you all!

Roundup.
There was no meeting this month.
Our proposed Christmas lunch was postponed due to a number of reasons.
We do intend to have a lunch sometime in January – we can organise the date, time and venue at our January meeting. Apologies if the chopping and changing caused confusion.

Brisbane Supanova:
Congratulations to Kim for all her hard work this year…firstly on finishing her trilogy Battle in the Dark…and then putting in the hard yards and attending <I have lost count> as many cons as she can to promote her books and meet and greet the steadily growing legion of fans.
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Congratulations are also in order on Kim being asked to join one of the panels at Brisbane Supernova. On the panel Kim discussed ‘Creating Kick Ass Characters’ with 3 other authors, Sarah J Maas, Lynette Noni and Melanie Casey.

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Star Wars had a definite resurgence due no doubt to the much anticipated new movie out in December; as can be seen by the number of Star Wars fans at Brisbane Supanova.

 

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Other colourful and much beloved characters…
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Retrospective on the Micro Fiction themes for 2015
Wormholes
Shapeshifting
• Doppelganger
Birthdays
Shadows
Renewal
Dictatorships
Dream Come True…
The Road Not Taken

Next month’s Micro Fiction theme …
For January, there is a choice of themes…the suggestions are below but if you want you can go it alone and select your own topic.
• Zombie Christmas from Planet X
• Heartless Christmas
• Or whatever you have done on Suicide City

Next month’s meeting…
Next meeting: Sunday 10th January on the Gold Coast
Time: 9:30am to 11:30am
Venue: Royal Pines Golf Course – Tees Cafe
Where: The golf course is at Ross St, Benowa; follow the signs to “Golf and Tennis” to find the café.

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Mud Guts the Dragon Slayer

An Ode to Adriana

I’d like to take a moment to draw your attention to one of our members, Adriana – AKA Mud Guts the Dragon Slayer.

When I first joined this group, Adriana identified herself as a ‘reader’… she had no intention of writing, but she’s an avid reader of anything sci-fi/fantasy related. She also does a great job of keeping us organised, and summarising our chaotic meetings. Adriana is insightful and thought-provoking, and – on top of all that – she’s fun to have around. Adriana has a great sense of humour!

For quite a few months now, Adriana has been writing microfiction for our monthly themes. For a ‘reader’, she does great work! Every month, her microfiction engages us and makes us think. Every month, they just get better… more imaginative, more professional.

Keep up the good work, MG the DS! You’re appreciated, and we enjoy seeing you grow as a writer 🙂

You can read all of Adriana’s microfiction here 🙂

Jupiter Ascending (Movie Review)

… Yes, that’s right, this is a movie review… on the internet (queue shock and awe). Now that you’re suitably impressed by my ability to sling words onto your screen at home, on with the movie review. On the whole, Jupiter Rising isn’t a bad move (high praise indeed). In fact, it’s a really, really good movie with some really, really obvious flaws. My feeling is that this movie was originally envisioned as a large, complex world with an impressive sci-fi/fantasy elements…. but then dumbed down to make it more approachable for the modern audience. Sometimes the dumbing down works, but in this case it really, really failed (that’s uber-really).

First the good stuff. The universe building is excellent, ranging from the space craft (creative, almost whimsical), to the costumes and aliens (pulled out all the stops), to even the odd high-brow concept of a new religion. There has clearly been a lot of time, effort, money that has gone into creating something new and innovative. This is the real star of the movie… and more of a reason to watch the movie a couple of times just for this.

Now that all the good stuff is out of the way (phew! so exhausting), in my mind the movie ultimately doesn’t work because of the main female lead, Jupiter Jones (played by Mila Kunis). All the creativity and effort has clearly gone into the universe, with not much left over for this character. She is a cross between Cinderella (rags -> riches -> rags?) and Louis Lane (without the pluck), who ultimately doesn’t make any real decisions. She is trapped by circumstance until the last few minutes of the film.

There is something about her not liking her life, and some extremely mild emotional growth (yah!! no apocalypse, so now she likes life and stuff), but ultimately she is not a character that I bonded with. The movie shoot her out of a cannon; where she bounced from one arm-twisting bad-guy to the next… only to be saved by an often shirtless Channing Tatum.

The acting is quite good (Tatum’s inner conflict works all the way through), and Mila Kunis did a reasonable job of fleshing out her 1-dimensional character. My gut feeling is that Jupiter Jones was intentionally dumbed down to protect the audience from all that exhausting thinking. And this, in my opinion, was a mistake. After all, Star Wars had complex characters in a complex world (and that was in the ‘70s), and nobody complained about all the boring thinking stuff.

Ultimately, I give this movie a C+ for story, but an A+ for the background universe.

Grammar and driving on the wrong side of the road

At our meetings, we often end up chatting about grammar. There seems to be an assumption that grammar changes all the time. I’m not so sure. Words do of course, but not grammar – even going back to Shakespeare, the structure isn’t all that different.

Rules do change for different mediums – readers are much more forgiving of conventions on text or twitter – but not books so much.

One of my favourite books on the subject, I forgot to mention yesterday, was Strunk and White, ‘The Elements of Style’ (EB White of Charlottes Web fame). First written in 1919 and published in 1957. It’s first edition quickly sold 2 million copies. My edition is 1979. It’s 92 pages, great index and an easy read. Excellent advice on active voice and omitting needless words, not explaining too much and loads more.

I read it every now and then, as a reminder, and is my go to book for checking on the rules.

I think grammar and style are like road rules. Apart from police, no one really cares if you go a little over the speed limit or don’t completely stop at a stop sign. But driving on the wrong side of the road … might be a thrilling ride, and mandatory for car chases, it can be a bit of a problem. IMG_4191.JPG

A few thoughts on micro fiction

Micro fiction is a gateway fiction. You start off with a few succinct, well-received tales between 500-1000 words, and before you know it you are desperate to try a short story. Once you have a few short stories behind you, you crave a novel. That’s the hard stuff! You look back on your first micro fiction, and you have mixed feelings. On one hand, you have no regrets… picking up that pen seemed so easy at the time. On the other hand, now you can’t put that pen down. The rest of your life is falling apart around you, but you must have your fiction. You’re an addict.

Here at Scifantor, we set a micro fiction theme every month. There’s no obligation to write a micro fiction for that month’s meeting… the theme exists purely to motivate and inspire. Under no circumstances do we want you to feel like we’re pushers. You don’t have to pick up that pen. You don’t have to move on from our micro fiction themes, on to short stories. That’s your choice, and your’s alone. Scifantor takes no responsibility!

This month’s theme is Werewolves. Why not come and join us at Tee’s Club House, Royal Pines Gold Course, on Sunday at 9:30am. We’re the ones with the shakes, tremors, and pens in hand.