June 20, 2010, Posted by Cat in News 4 Comments

nearly there!

I got the biggest thrill this week when I checked my email and found a message from author Vonda McIntyre. She and I have never met or previously corresponded, but when I was a teenager I utterly adored two of her novels: Dreamsnake and The Exile Waiting. I’ve met so many well-known authors over the years but it’s always such a thrill to connect with one of your own personal heroes. I hope I never loose the capacity for small moments of fangirl squee.

Anyway, Vonda was emailing to offer me one of her beautiful beaded marine creatures as a prize in the Bring Peter Watts to Aussiecon appeal. Behold the mysterious and alluring beaded nudibranch!

It’s a cell phone piccy so you have to click and embiggen to see just how beautiful it is.

But that’s not all. Russell B Farr from Ticonderoga publications has most generously donated four signed hardcovers to the cause:

So if you were umming and ahhing about whether or not to donate, there are now five extra reasons to give it a go. Flick AUS $10 to watts2aussiecon@gmail.com via paypal. You gotta be innit to winnit, as they say in showbiz.

disclaimer: technically speaking, this is not a raffle because Paypal does not allow raffles. I am asking for donations, then randomly posting items to people. Despite appearances, the two events are entirely unrelated…

June 14, 2010, Posted by Cat in News 44 Comments

the bring peter watts to aussiecon campaign

Ok, so here’s my sekrit project

Many of you will be familiar with this story already but for anyone who isn’t:

Last year Canadian marine biologist and science fiction writer Dr Peter Watts underwent a terrifying ordeal at the hands of over zealous border crossing guards in Port Huron, USA. While leaving the United States on December 8, 2009, he was subject to an exit search, then beaten, maced and arrested when he tried to find out what was going on.

A full account of the incident and what was to follow is up on Tor.com

Or hear him interviewed about his experience, podcast at Starship Sofa

Even though all he did was fail to promptly comply with border guards’ instructions, he narrowly escaped a prison sentence and is now officially a convicted felon and therefore no longer able to attend US conventions.

Peter’s short story ‘The Island’ from The New Space Opera 2, edited by Gardner Dozois and our own Jonathan Strahan has been nominated for a Hugo award. What with Worldcon being on Aussie soil in September this year, I thought it would be a good thing if he could fly out here for both the Hugos and Aussiecon itself.

To that end, with Peter’s permission, I am raising money for his airfare and accommodation via tuckerisation in his next novel State of Grace. Peter says:

“make sure that all entrants realize that their namesakes will most likely come to a really painful and unpleasant end.  And they may not be especially cuddly as characters before then…”

The Aussiecon committee has very kindly donated Peter’s membership. The rest is up to us. If you think the guy deserves a break, how about taking part in the raffle or making a donation?

I’ve never met Peter face-to-face but we’ve been email buddies since I sent him a gushing fan letter after reading his first novel Starfish some years back.

He is well known as an excellent value panelist and would be a fantastic asset to the ‘hard science fiction’ end of the con’s literary stream. He has also consented to participating in Dudcon where he will hand out the Ditmars and generally partake of other silliness as required.

To have a chance of being tuckerised in State of Grace send AUS $10 via Paypal to watts2aussiecon@gmail.com

Email me privately if you’d prefer to participate via some other medium: cat at catsparks.net

If you’re not into tuckerisation but would like to sling a few bucks into the pot, that’s awesome too.

Any funds raised surplus to requirements will be donated to a reputable charity of Peter’s choice.

Feel free to re-post this message on your own blog if you consider this to be a worthy project

Thank you!