These recordings were made at Contact: Swancon 2009, and are made available with the permission of the panellists. Opinions stated are the opinions of the panellists at the time, and may not resemble the opinion of WASFF or the Swancon 2009 Organising Committee.

This recordings are copyright, and are licensed under the Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-No Derivative Works 2.5 Australia License.

When attributing these recordings, they must be appropriately cited with the name(s) of the panellist(s) being quoted, the panel name, Contact: Swancon 2009, and the URL of the panel page containing the recording.

Title Description Recordings
A Brief History of Time Travel

Who writes about it well? What are the theories? Why can't I kill my grandmother? What are the Trousers of Time? (diagrams required)

Apollo 11 Turns 40, But Did It Happen At All?

July 2009 is the 40th anniversary of the Apollo moon landing. In preparation for increased media coverage and renewed speculation, Paul Talbot will make a presentation on the various claims that the mission was a hoax.

Battlestar Galactica

Battlestar Galactica's final episodes screened in Australia on March 21st. How well did it end? How did everything tie together? Was it a satisfactory ending, or should it have gone differently? What key moments defined each season, both for the characters and the audience's perception of them?

Note - this panel will contain spoilers up to and including the ...

Fandom, Boobs, and the Internet: Big sister is watching you

"This should be a better world," a friend of mine said. "A more honest one, where sex isn't shameful or degrading. I wish this was the kind of world where say, 'Wow, I'd like to touch your breasts,' and people would understand that it's not a way of reducing you to a set of nipples and ignoring the rest of you, but rather a way of saying that ...

Global Warming: Spike vs Precipice

Will we hit an ecotastrophe before we hit an information explosion?

Can we hold off the global warming "collapse" long enough to have the explosion of technologies that would come with the spike around to fix it. (I am specifically thinking about nanotech as a "fix" solution, since it is so useful as a "carbon squestering" ...

Guest of Honour Speech - Richard Morgan

Join Richard Morgan, International Guest of Honour, as he talks about his books and writing.

Guest of Honour Speech - Trudi Canavan

Join Trudi Canavan, National Guest of Honour, as she talks about her books and writing.

How does technology create society?

Good science fiction is not just about gadgets and technology, but how technology changes people and society. Technology has a life-cycle from emerging to established, and show-don't-tell writing can reveal how far along a technology has come. How has society has been altered? Who has it? Who can afford it? How has the technology affected crime, romance, ...

I Am The Night: A History of the Caped Crusader

More than 70 years of comics, eight feature films, two movie serials, countless television shows - the Batman is one of the most iconic and effective pop culture heroes of the past century.

Why is the character so effective? What is the core appeal? Does Batman exist as a simple vigilante fantasy, or are there deeper themes at work? An examination of Batman ...

Making the grade

The Ultimate Guide to Modern Writers of Science Fiction and Fantasy is a comprehensive list of 2000 writers working in the field today. Just how tough is it to make the grade in today's spec fic marketplace? Is it all about talent, luck, who you know, geographic advantage or plain old psychotic persistence? Discuss.

Religion in Fantasy

As an important part of many human lives, it is unsurprising that fantasy worlds often contain religions or spiritual belief structures. Whilst some of these are based quite closely on existing religions, many vary widely, with regularly incarnate deities, incredibly accurate prophecies or capricious deities playing board games with human souls. To what ...

Safe Spaces at Cons

Every one thinks of conventions as safe spaces where they can just hang out and be. This is not always true. Our panellists will talk about creating safe spaces, maintaining safe spaces, safe spaces at conventions and the unspoken rules of safe spaces at cons.

Includes discussions of the "Open Source Boob Project", room parties and conventions we'...

Sexuality in Speculative fiction

To what degree is sexuality important in speculative fiction? Is it key to the telling of the story or the setting of the world? Is it just there to add a little spice or is the speculative fiction just a back drop for romance? From openly sexual characters to monastic orders, our panellists examine the importance of sexuality in speculative fiction.

Adult ...

So why the hell do you want to be a writer anyway?

Three per cent of writers ever manage to make a living out of it. 3 out of 5000 unsolicited manuscripts submitted to publishers make it across the line. However, Clarions, universities and community colleges are churning out more wannabe writers than ever, despite troubled times in the publishing industry and the collapse of traditional venues for short ...

Sorcerers and Storytellers

The astonishing crossover between magic in fantasy fiction, and magic as practiced by real occult practitioners. Some modern magicians work spells from Lovecrafts Necronomicon (despite knowing it doesn't exist), or embrace the cosmology of Michael Moorcock. Gods and monsters from 20th century fiction are being used for the same magical purposes as ancient ...

Strong Women in New Who, the Whedonverse, and SFF

Round Table Discussion

Strong women who look good and kick arse - but are they lacking in agency? Has 'strong' become the new sexy? And what do they think 'strong' means anyway? Is it all for the male gaze, or is this a step forward for the representation of women? Why does being physically violent equal sexy?

The 17th annual Doctor Who panel

In 1985 BBC Controller Michael Grade ordered long-running SF drama Doctor Who off the air for the first time in 22 seasons. It returned in 1986, its season truncated and its viewing figures shattered. The following year the series returned for its 24th season with a new time slot, a new script editor, new writers and a brand-new Doctor in Sylvester McCoy.

A ...

The Future of the Future

Science fiction used to be easy. In the 21st century, surrounded by computers, with satellites massed in orbit around the Earth, medical advances leaping forward, robotic probes on Mars, and technological breakthroughs being announced every week, what is the point of science fiction any more?

Is there a need for fiction about the future if we're already ...

What's hot in Fantasy?

Over the years, fantasy has varied from stand-alone novels to trilogies, to 5 book trilogies, to 10 or more book series. Topics have varied even more so, including elves and dwarves; farmer's sons or daughters who are prophesied to save the world; young thieves who find themselves caught up in world changing events; telepathic companions; magic; mysteries ...

What's New in SFF for Kids & YA

Have you explored 'The Starry Rift'? Taken part in 'The Hunger Games'? Had a look at 'Shiny?' If not, then this is the panel for you. Ranging from picture books for the youngest 'readers' to the most challenging young adult novels, our panellists will survey the new books scene, recommend some outstanding titles and offer suggestions about where to find more ...

Women characters in comics

Historically, comic books and graphic novels published in the English-speaking world have been overwhelmingly directed at a male readership. In North America the superhero genre has spent decades with an effective stranglehold over the medium, with only the recent explosion of imported manga titles showing any difference. Recent attempts by publishers such ...

Writing Fantasy - Tips & Techniques

A panel where published fantasy authors provide an overview of their major "do's" and "don'ts" for writing in the genre along with various tips and techniques for crafting stories

Writing Horror - Tips & Techniques

A panel where published horror authors provide an overview of their major "do's" and "don'ts" for writing in the genre along with various tips and techniques for crafting stories.

Writing SF - Tips & Techniques

A panel where published science fiction authors provide an overview of their major "do's" and "don'ts" for writing in the genre along with various tips and techniques for crafting stories.


admin login