Narrative Transport. The official Michael Pryor website.
  • Archives
  • May3rd

    Speculate 18

    Posted in: Articles

     

    R to L, Elizabeth Flux, Me, Alison Arnold, Amie Kaufman, Michael Earl

    It was an honour, being asked to be one of the guest writers at the very first Speculate Festival, held on Saturday 28 April 2018, and such was the wave of enthusiasm at the end of that inspirational, exhilarating day that I thought I’d record a few impressions of from a guest’s point of view.

    Speculate was what I’d call a boutique festival. A couple of hundred attendees, eighteen speakers, a band and a bookshop. The day had a single program stream, but so thoughtful were the organisers that the subject of each session was entertaining and enlightening for everyone.

    Speculate positioned itself as a festival ‘writers of speculative fiction from any and all backgrounds’ and that carefully considered raison d’être neatly set it apart from other festivals. Yes, it happily accommodated spec fic readers, but the shout out to those who want to write in this supremely rewarding area was welcome.

    And what a roll call of guests! Alison Arnold, Trudi Canavan, Michael Earp, Elizabeth Flux, Alison Goodman, Laura E Goodin, Amie Kaufman, Jay Kristoff, Earl Livings, Andrew McDonald, Ben McKenzie, Sean McMullen, Rose Michael, Brooke Maggs, Mark Smith, Dirk Strasser and Maize Wallin.

    And me. I was there too.

    This line-up enabled the organisers to schedule thought-provoking and engrossing sessions about language, location, the history and state of play in speculative fiction and even a hugely entertaining and highly musical spontaneous role playing game.

    I’d like to commend the organisers and the volunteers on the way the day ran. I’ve been to many, many festivals and conferences, and Speculate was a model of seamless, smooth running. I’m sure there were hiccups behind the scenes, but all the guests and the audience were oblivious to that. Our experience was first class.

    While flinging out the kudos, I need to say that the way we were handled, as guests, was outstanding. In the run up to the festival, we were kept in the loop and up to speed at all times, and left in no doubt as to our role and our responsibilities as presenters. The green room facilities were top flight – those cupcakes! – and the lunch was both timely and delicious. I’d hold up the arrangements here as a model for other festivals to follow.

    What else? The social media coverage was excellent, allowing people who weren’t there to share some of the flavour of the day. The venue worked exceedingly well – compact enough to encourage mingling, but spread out enough to allow those looking for a nook with a little privacy to discuss the wonders they’d just seen.

    I could start naming names to thank those responsible for the experience, but the trouble is that I’d miss someone out and you’re ALL deserving of praise. I must, however, give virtual bouquets to Joel Martin, Ian Laking, Alex Fairhill, Luke Manly, Rachelle Dekker, Ophelia, Isabella, Zoe, Melissa, Edna, Ed, Simone, David, Brett and Shanei plus anyone else I’ve shamefully neglected to mention.

    Speculate Festival was a splendid day, magnificently organised and implemented. Long may it continue.

    Share it:

  • July18th

    Here ’tis, my mwfMelbourne Writers’ Festival appearance log. For more details, click on the links. See you there!

    Who’s Your Doctor? Thu 28th Aug 12.30pm
    Workshop: World Building Wed 27th Aug 11.15am
    A Brief History of Robots Tue 26th Aug 10.00am
    Do You Remember the First Time? Mon 25th Aug 7.30pm

     

    Share it:

  • July24th

    And here’s my Melbourne Writers’ Festival schedule:

    • Sunday 26 Aug 2012 3.00 pm – World Creation: How to Write Fantasy the Professional Way (workshop)
    • Monday 27 Aug 2012 11.15 am – A Beginner’s Guide to Steampunk
    • Wednesday 29 Aug 2012 10.00 am – 10 Futures
    • Thursday 30 Aug 2012 at 01.45 pm – Getting Started & Write Across Victoria

    For bookings and more details, go to the MWF website.

    Needless to say, I’m looking forward to it.

    Share it:

  • June25th

    Had a great day today at Rowville Secondary College’s two campuses, talking to Year Sevens. Thanks to the generous and welcoming library staff, too.

    Share it:

  • May31st

    Here’s what I’m up to for Continuum (7 – 11 June):

    • Workshop: 10 Ways to Improve Your Story – Friday 14:00 until 15:30
    • Turning The Gears: Steampunk Craft – Friday 18:00 until 19:00
    • The End Of The World Is Just The Beginning – Saturday 10:00 until 11:00
    • Playing God – A Guide For Beginners – Saturday 15:00 until 16:00
    • Where Has All The Sci-Fi Gone? – Sunday 16:00 until 17:00
    • Steampunk Squalor – Sunday 18:00 until 19:00
    • Readings – Monday 10:00 until Moday 11:00
    • Beyond Paranormal Romance In YA Speculative Fiction – Monday 15:00 until 16:00

    In between times, I’ll be hanging around , chatting, drinking coffee and suchlike. See you there!

    Share it:

  • May21st

    Last Thursday, I chatted with David MacLean on Radio 3CR’s ‘Published or Not’. This program is always a delight for authors, for the presenters prepare thoroughly – by reading the book at issue, for a start. David’s interview was excellent, extremely attentive to detail and he certainly made me think about what I’d been up to when I wrote the book. If you missed the interview, it can be downloaded from the 3CR podcast page.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

    Share it:

  • May20th

    On Friday 18th May I was lucky enough to be part of the Sydney Writers’ Festival ‘Writer Overnighter’ at the Powerhouse Museum, and what fun it was. I’d never been to the Powerhouse before – a sad gap in my vast store of museum love – so I was nearly as excited as the fifty or so young people who came along for a night of Steam power!food, activities, talks, demonstrations and exploration, with the bonus of being able to choose their own special place to sleep in a museum. The whole museum was alive with magnificent steam power, with so much whirring, rocking, rotating, hissing and clanking that it was a Steampunk writer’s dream come true.

    So much fun was packed into our time there, from steam-driven balloons to excited ping pong balls to steam-driven ice cream makers. When my turn came, I was able to explain why history is so useful to a Fantasy writer before going on to demonstrate how Steampunk is such a sublime blending of history and imagination. After that, of course, we all got down to write and I was staggered at the creative outpourings from everyone there. In a short time, we had imagined enough explorers, scientists, engineers and spies to populate a thousand Steampunk stories, and all of them had elaborate Steampunk vehicles, ranging from submarines to pogo sticks. I don’t care how well reinforced that old turbine room was, I think we were only a handful of ideas away from blowing the roof off. Read More | Comments

    Share it:

  • May15th

     

    I’ll be at Supanova Sydney 15 – 17  June. Drop in to the author table and have a chat!

     

    Share it:

  • May9th

    I’ve been asked to be part of a fun ‘Night at the Museum’ experience at Sydney’s Powerhouse Museum next week. It’s a chance for young readers to sleep overnight in a real, proper museum place, as well as enjoying a range of sensational activities. I’ll be running writing workshops, as well as just running around wide-eyed at all the exciting exhibits. I’m keenly looking forward to the steam displays, which are a great love of mine.

    Plenty of places left, but bookings are essential. More info here.

     

    Share it:

  • April25th

    I’ve had a hectic – but rewarding – time lately. It’s been Supanova season and I was chuffed to be asked to be part of the program in Melbourne and the Gold Coast. I visited Supanova last year and I loved the mad whirl of creativity and playfulness that was on display. This year was the same, but more so, particularly as I was able to get a glimpse of the vast enterprise that lies behind the scenes.

    It’s the crowd of excited visitors that make a show like Supanova what it is. They make the days a riotous panoply of wonder with their ingenious and dazzling costuming skills. Sitting on the author signing stand with people like Richard Harland, Brandon Sanderson, Kylie Chan, Keri Arthur, Trent Jamieson, Alison Croggon, Bevan McGuiness, Marc McBride and Ian Irvine, I was able to take in the passing parade of glory. Read More | Comments

    Share it: