Speculative fiction ain't fully my thing. Nor fantasy. Not yet. They might be if there were more hours in the day, and at some point in the future I might want to make them more my thing, but for the time-being I'm happy doing what it is I do - whatever that is. However, recently heard about Conflux and, seeing that I'd never heard its name before, thought I should find out and share.
Conflux is an annual Speculative Fiction conference held in Canberra and, from what I gather, has grown from a rich history of 50+ Science Fiction conferences. It's got all you'd expect to find at a literary conference - guest speakers, discussion panels, workshops, author readings, book signings, wining, dining and networking - and more...
Under the 7 FAQs at the Conflux website, I thought this an interesting, if not telling inclusion:
What is the Weapons Policy?
No weapons are to be brought to, worn or carried at any time during the convention (including water pistols, real or replica guns, swords or knives), unless approved as part of an official event. Only the convention organisers may approve such weapons and their participation in any event.
What are they expecting? Or rather, who are they expecting?
Tracked down some answers at Talie Helene's spot, where it's revealed on a promo video that dress-up banquets have featured for the last five conventions - Medieval, Regency Gothic, 1920s New York, Southern Gothic, On board the Graf Zeppelin (hmm). There's a Conflux Cookbook, written by Dr Gillian Polack, to celebrate these. Talie tells more about her time at this year's banquet (and describes a bizarre conversation she had) close to this spot.
Weapons? Why wouldn't you bring a sword to a Medieval feast? Although might be a little awkward on a Graf Zeppelin hydrogen airship.
Alan Baxter was a guest at this year's Conflux (with or without weaponry), and you can get a flavour of workshops by looking at his schedule here and his report (with pics) here.
Reckon I've sold myself on this now. Will be signing up before long.