Au Contraire

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Friday

L-SpaceThe Throne RoomThe PanopticonThe LabThe Zocalo
10amDrawfestThe artists' room! Check out a wide range of Kiwi art and meet the artists behind it, or try your hand at creating some of your own in a supportive environment. Everyone is welcome, from absolute beginners to professionals. As well as space to draw and interact with your peers, there'll be assorted workshops, games, and competitions (including a 48 hour comic competition), and life drawing sessions featuring models in SF/F costumes. The main events will be on the Friday, but drawfest will continue all weekend.GamingDedicated space set aside for board and card gaming; bring your own games, or check out our library; we expect to have popular titles on offer like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Dixit, Carcassonne, Munchkin, and many others. There'll be beginners sessions for those who'd like to learn something new, and the opportunity for more seasoned players to meet up for a challenge.
11am
12pm
1pmLunchVideo: Judge MintyA remarkable Judge Dredd fan film that stays truer to the comics than the recent Dredd movie, shown with the kind permission of 2000 AD and Rebellion.Lunch
2pmLARP: The DiscardedFan GoH Anna Klein and fiance present a live action roleplaying game of mutants on a spaceship. Advance signup required!
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DrawfestThe artists' room! Check out a wide range of Kiwi art and meet the artists behind it, or try your hand at creating some of your own in a supportive environment. Everyone is welcome, from absolute beginners to professionals. As well as space to draw and interact with your peers, there'll be assorted workshops, games, and competitions (including a 48 hour comic competition), and life drawing sessions featuring models in SF/F costumes. The main events will be on the Friday, but drawfest will continue all weekend.Bookbinding WorkshopRobyn from Athena Bookbinding will be teaching a class in making hand bound codices. Called 'Nag Hammadi codices' they are based on codices from the 2nd Cenutry AD found in 1945 outside of the town Nag Hammadi. All materials are supplied in a pack costing $10. Numbers are limited; advance signup is recommended.
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RPG: The Truth is Out ThereMore cattle have turned up dead with inexplicable injuries, which always attracts the conspiracy theorists and other crazies. It's up to a deputy from the Alamosa County Sheriff's Department to figure out the truth while dealing with the Ufologists and a journalist who have their own theories and are only too keen to help. Numbers are limited; advance signup is recommended.
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GamingDedicated space set aside for board and card gaming; bring your own games, or check out our library; we expect to have popular titles on offer like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Dixit, Carcassonne, Munchkin, and many others. There'll be beginners sessions for those who'd like to learn something new, and the opportunity for more seasoned players to meet up for a challenge.
3pm
4pm
5pmAdaptation WorkshopAdapting fiction for other media with Doug Van Belle.
6pmBook Launch: RegenerationThe official launch of Regeneration: New Zealand Speculative Fiction II, featuring the best entries from the AC2013 writing competition and other works. Many of the authors will be present and able to sign copies.
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DinnerVideo: InkTrapped between dreams and nightmares, a father fights to recover his soul and his daughter in this dark modern fairy tale.DinnerMarket Setup
7pmCON 101If you've never been to a fan-run SF/F convention before, come along to CON 101 at 7pm Friday and learn what it's all about.
8pmOpening CeremonyThe convention officially opens. Introduction to the GoHs and ConCom and general welcome to the con.RPG: The Long DryWelcome to the island of Hcunanzamon, home to exotic wonders and technological marvels. You and your mysterious companions are here on a mission of the utmost importance, but time is of the essence. For the Long Dry approaches, and you need to be away from the island before then or remain trapped for the next four months. Numbers are limited; advance signup is recommended.
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9pmFilkingEvery night after the main programming is over, filkers gather to sing into the wee small hours.
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First Night MixerAn opportunity to get to know some of your fellow con attendees. Prizes to be won!Ideas and Image InspirationSee how combining beautiful artwork with interesting questions can spark ideas. A fun hour for authors to meet, chat, and get inspired. Lead by Beaulah Pragg, author of the YA science fantasy novel The Silver Hawk. Beaulah teaches creative writing to children and adults in Christchurch.The Floating MarketA swap meet for all kinds of SF/F merchandise, new or used, professional or fan-produced, including books, games, videos, toys, models, etc. Table space is free to members, and there will also be commercial dealers in attendance. Unlike the rest of the convention, this event is open to the general public at no charge. Book a table.
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10pmRocky Horror Audience ParticipationFishnet time!
11pmMarket Cleanout

Saturday

L-SpaceThe Throne RoomThe PanopticonThe LabShuttlecraft 353The Zocalo
9amThe Decision to Self PublishIs self-publishing right for you? Authors today have more options than ever to get their words into readers' hands. But how do you know which path to pursue? And how does it all work, anyway? This workshop would be best suited to authors with complete manuscripts who are curious about their options in the current marketplace. Darusha Wehm has successfully self-published four novels, and has had her work traditionally published.Open Access - Faster Spaceships?How will the open access movement change the course of scientific development for humanity? Join panelist Dr. Wylie-van Eerd to discuss how science is communicated and disseminated among professionals, how the publishing industry works, what might change in the near future and how that might affect You! Reading: The Next GenerationWho wants a multimedia reading experience, and how do you make a good one?DrawfestThe artists' room! Check out a wide range of Kiwi art and meet the artists behind it, or try your hand at creating some of your own in a supportive environment. Everyone is welcome, from absolute beginners to professionals. As well as space to draw and interact with your peers, there'll be assorted workshops, games, and competitions (including a 48 hour comic competition), and life drawing sessions featuring models in SF/F costumes. The main events will be on the Friday, but drawfest will continue all weekend.Fan Gathering: AnimeMeet with other anime fans for casual discussion.GamingDedicated space set aside for board and card gaming; bring your own games, or check out our library; we expect to have popular titles on offer like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Dixit, Carcassonne, Munchkin, and many others. There'll be beginners sessions for those who'd like to learn something new, and the opportunity for more seasoned players to meet up for a challenge.
10amNon-Normative Bodies in SF/FA discussion on how speculative fiction depicts disabled bodies, fat bodies, gender-diverse bodies and other real world deviations from the assumed default.LARP 101Ever heard about Live Action Roleplaying, and what it's all about? Come find out what it is, what's only myth, how it works and why it's fun! A candid talk on the hobby, with chances for questions and may include practical exercises!From Real Science to a Rich SF WorldWorldbuilding in science fiction can seem a daunting task. In this session Grace explains how she took a simple concept, literally picked a star and constructed a planetary system based on scientific fact while frequently crossing into the fantastical. You’ll hear all about the Avenir Eclectia collaborative project that grew from this, its science and background, and have the chance to join in yourself!Fan Gathering: Doctor WhoMeet with other Doctor Who fans for casual discussion.
11amBuying the Perfect BoardgameWhat to look for when buying games.Charity AuctionA chance to obtain some interesting items of SF/F memorabilia. Proceeds from the auction will be donated to the convention's primary charity, the Wellington Women's Refuge.
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Psychology and the Writer (Two types of crazy)A discussion of psychological and counselling theory and how to use it to create rich, real characters and stories. Narrative therapy and the power of stories, personality types, conflict resolution, and relationship dynamics are wonderful tools not just for the counsellor or therapist, but also for the writer who wants to bring texture and depth to their work. Time will be taken to apply what we learn to work in progress, so you may want to come with a story in mind.Fan Gathering: StargateMeet with other Stargate fans for casual discussion.
12pmVideo Games as LiteratureVideo games CAN be art, and they can also be works of genre fiction worth paying attention to.Speed FilkingCome up with a new filk song within 45 minutes! Participants will be given a well known song from a hat, and will work in teams of 2 to create a filk based on that song. The subject of the filk is completely up to the participants; no singing ability required.
1pmLunchVideo: Blender ShortsElephants Dream, Big Buck Bunny, Sintel, and Tears of Steel - four short films made using Blender, an open source 3D software package (the same one used to create the Au Contraire logo, though the people behind the films actually know what they're doing).Lunch
2pmShort Fiction Editing WorkshopImprove your short story writing skills.In MemoriamA time to remember the notable SF writers who have died over the last year. Come and talk to us about your memories of them and listen to some readings from their works.Whedon's WomenJoss Whedon is notable for putting strong female characters in his shows. Why do we like them and what makes them great? Does he get anything wrong?DrawfestThe artists' room! Check out a wide range of Kiwi art and meet the artists behind it, or try your hand at creating some of your own in a supportive environment. Everyone is welcome, from absolute beginners to professionals. As well as space to draw and interact with your peers, there'll be assorted workshops, games, and competitions (including a 48 hour comic competition), and life drawing sessions featuring models in SF/F costumes. The main events will be on the Friday, but drawfest will continue all weekend.Fan Gathering: Game of Thrones/aSoIaFMeet with other fans of Game of Thrones and A Song of Ice and Fire for casual discussion.GamingDedicated space set aside for board and card gaming; bring your own games, or check out our library; we expect to have popular titles on offer like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Dixit, Carcassonne, Munchkin, and many others. There'll be beginners sessions for those who'd like to learn something new, and the opportunity for more seasoned players to meet up for a challenge.
3pmPolishing & Submitting Short FictionThe final stages of writing a short story.50 Years of Doctor WhoA celebration of the 50th anniversary of the British phenomenon. What's the secret of its success?Alien AttractionMel did a thesis on human sexual attraction, and now she looks at how that might apply to alien species.Fan Gathering: Joss WhedonMeet with other fans of Buffy, Firefly, and other Joss creations for casual discussion.
4pmLiterary WhiningCommon complaints from writers and editors about job pitfalls - with Lyn McConchie and others.Introduction to LovecraftWho is H.P. Lovecraft? What is a Cthulhu? Where is the Miskatonic University and why do you never want to study there? Learn all about one the most influential horror writers of the 20th century and his works from an expert.Weta PresentationLearn a bit about what the special effects team behind The Hobbit and many other SF/F films have been up to recently!Speculative Fiction Poetry WorkshopSpeculative poetry covers science fiction, fantasy, and horror poetry, and strays into related fields like magic realism and surrealism. What makes a speculative poem work? How can you edit your poems to improve them? And what are the markets - and awards - for speculative poetry? Come along prepared to listen, talk, and write. Numbers are limited; advance signup is recommended.
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5pmThe Peripherals of WritingLyn McConchie on contract clauses, dealing with editors, finding publishers, stern warnings, etc.Jennifer Fallon GoH SpeechJennifer Fallon talks about her history, how she got into writing, some of the pitfalls, and where the industry is headed today, and answers audience questions.CrowdfundingKickstarter, Indigogo, and PledgeMe are crowdfunding websites helping fund all sorts of interesting-to-geeks projects. What are the pros and cons in putting your hard-earned money into projects that don't exist yet, and what potential does the future hold?
6pmBook Launch: Daisy ChainsJenner Lichtwark, who writes as JL O'Rourke, launches her latest young adult vampire novel Daisy Chains.DinnerVideos: SJV NomineesSamples of the works nominated for Best Dramatic Presentation of 2012 - trailers for The Hobbit: An Unexpected Journey, and two episodes from season two of The Almighty Johnsons.Dinner
7pm
8pmMasquerade EntrantsMasquerade & Filk ConcertSaturday night's event is the big opportunity for costumers to show off their work on stage. Other performances are also welcome! The Masquerade will be followed by a Filk concert, featuring the Cousins of Mercy and friends.
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Eclipse Phase: The Research Station of DoomA post-apocalyptic game of transhuman conspiracy and horror. Your group is sent to investigate a research station that's gone quiet, and things go from bad to worse. A game in the Eclipse Phase setting, but using new World of Darkness rules. No experience needed. Numbers are limited; advance signup is recommended.
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GamingDedicated space set aside for board and card gaming; bring your own games, or check out our library; we expect to have popular titles on offer like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Dixit, Carcassonne, Munchkin, and many others. There'll be beginners sessions for those who'd like to learn something new, and the opportunity for more seasoned players to meet up for a challenge.
9pm
10pmFilkingEvery night after the main programming is over, filkers gather to sing into the wee small hours.Video: Time RiftA semi-canon Doctor Who fan film starring DW novelist Jon Blum as the Seventh Doctor, the events of which are later referenced in the official DW novel Vampire Science.LARP: The BellYou wake up with your memories fracturing around you. You're going somewhere, and there's something wrong, and you know these people here with you, or maybe you only think you do. All you really know for sure is that you can hear this Bell. A science fiction suspense live roleplaying game. Advance signup required!
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11pm

Sunday

L-SpaceThe Throne RoomThe PanopticonThe LabShuttlecraft 353The Zocalo
9amIndie Publishing 101Today, it's easier than ever to become a publisher, but the options and technicalities can seem overwhelming at first. Grace got into the business 6 years ago and learned by trial and error, and has now published 26 titles in print and ebook. A crash course touching on getting started, acquisitions, edits, formatting, typesetting, cover design, marketing, global distribution, printing, and ebooks.Terraforming and HumanoformingThe science and ethics of making other planets habitable for humanity, or vice versa.Fanfiction - Why We Need to Change the CultureMaree Pavletich presents a lecture on the changing state of fanfiction.DrawfestThe artists' room! Check out a wide range of Kiwi art and meet the artists behind it, or try your hand at creating some of your own in a supportive environment. Everyone is welcome, from absolute beginners to professionals. As well as space to draw and interact with your peers, there'll be assorted workshops, games, and competitions (including a 48 hour comic competition), and life drawing sessions featuring models in SF/F costumes. The main events will be on the Friday, but drawfest will continue all weekend.Fan Gathering: Star TrekMeet with other Star Trek fans for casual discussion.GamingDedicated space set aside for board and card gaming; bring your own games, or check out our library; we expect to have popular titles on offer like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Dixit, Carcassonne, Munchkin, and many others. There'll be beginners sessions for those who'd like to learn something new, and the opportunity for more seasoned players to meet up for a challenge.
10amTrends in Short SF/F & HShort fiction is a rapidly changing market. Long gone are the days when print anthologies and magazines were the only place to get your stories published. Join some of the heavyweights of New Zealand's short fiction writing market to learn how the rise of the ezine, podcast, and social media have changed the short fiction landscape, and how you can tap into the power of new media streams to get your work out there.NZ in 2020: Yes or No?At Au Contraire 2010, a proposal was made for a New Zealand WorldCon bid. The idea has been discussed over the last couple of years; now it's time to make a firm decision one way or the other.
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Tie-ins, Shared Worlds, and FanficOur panel discuss the advantages and disadvantages of writing about worlds and characters created by other people, from the perspectives of writers and readers.Fan Gathering: Star WarsMeet with other Star Wars fans for casual discussion.
11amSF/F for KidsHow young is too young to introduce your kids to Scifi, and which books/shows are the best way to do it?SFFANZ AGMThe Annual General Meeting of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand.
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The Cthulhu Mythos in Popular CultureLovecraft's creations have reached their tentacles far beyond his original stories, and turn up in many facets of geek culture, and even some aspect of mainstream popular culture. How has an obscure weird fiction phenomen ended up spawning films, music, roleplaying games, plushies, jewellery... and the rest. Come and discuss why the Cthulhu mythos has entrenched itself so deeply and diversely.Phillip Mann Writing WorkshopThe workshop will concentrate on stimulating the imagination and sharpening writing skills. We will concentrate on very short fiction (150 - 200 words). An opening line will be given: this to be developed in the workshop. Details will be handed out on the Saturday. Advance signup required!
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12pmMedieval Warfare: Fantasy and RealityMany fantasy novels and films feature battles, but are they anything like historical combat? Two members of the Society for Creative Anachronism (Peter of Darton and Luan an Fael) will explore the myths and misconceptions about medieval warfare using historic texts, accurate reproductions of weapons, and personal experience. This panel will be a chance to ask questions about pre-industrial warfare, examine weapons and clothing, and maybe incorporate some new (or old) ideas into your stories, RPG, or film.The Three Sins of Working AuthorsWhat are the three deadly sins of publishing and why should they matter to you? An invitation to consider your weak points as a professional and limit them as best you can! The three sins will be introduced and then discussion with the room will be opened.WerewolfA team game of deduction, bluffing, and manipulation. Players sit in a circle and attempt to identify the wolves among them. They vote to remove suspicious players from the game, while the wolves themselves slowly pick off players in secret. No experience needed.
1pmLunchVideo: The Call of CthulhuLovecraft's most famous story brought richly to life in the style of a classic 1920s silent movie, with a haunting original symphonic score. Courtesy of the H.P. Lovecraft Historical Society.Lunch
2pmSpeculative Poetry ReadingSpeculative poetry, comprising science fiction, horror, fantasy, and magic realism, has been around for a very long time, at least since Grendel was a lad-monster. It continues to attract new generations of poets. Hear four speculative poets from New Zealand and Australia present their new worlds in verse. Featuring P.S. Cottier, Janis Freegard, Tim Jones, and Harvey Molloy.Characterisation and DialogueJennifer Fallon presents a master class lecture on writing characters, with audience participation.The QuizHow's your knowledge when you don't have Google to back you up? Find out at the world-famous-at-NatCon NatCon Quiz! In teams of up to five, test your knowledge of science fiction, fantasy, and a few other things thrown in for good measure. Bring your thinking caps, but no magic hats allowed...DrawfestThe artists' room! Check out a wide range of Kiwi art and meet the artists behind it, or try your hand at creating some of your own in a supportive environment. Everyone is welcome, from absolute beginners to professionals. As well as space to draw and interact with your peers, there'll be assorted workshops, games, and competitions (including a 48 hour comic competition), and life drawing sessions featuring models in SF/F costumes. The main events will be on the Friday, but drawfest will continue all weekend.RPG: Out of Leftfield FMSee, there was this prize that Out of Leftfield FM was giving away, a trip to an in-progress hotel somewhere that's apparently cold. and isolated. Well, one of your mates (or possibly you) won the trip out of the blue... how could anything POSSIBLY go wrong? Don't forget your thermals! Numbers are limited; advance signup is recommended.
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GamingDedicated space set aside for board and card gaming; bring your own games, or check out our library; we expect to have popular titles on offer like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Dixit, Carcassonne, Munchkin, and many others. There'll be beginners sessions for those who'd like to learn something new, and the opportunity for more seasoned players to meet up for a challenge.
3pmBook Launch: The Factory WorldThe Factory World is Wellington author Joe Ryan's first novel. An unsettling cross between Cormac McCarthy's The Road and The Wizard of Oz, Philippa Ballantine describes this as "an intricate puzzle box of a story", while Simon Litten called it "weird and intriguing... strange and disturbing". Launch! Signing! Coffee!
4pmScience Fiction and Climate ChangeScience fiction addresses change, and climate change has been addressed by science fiction writers from New Zealand and overseas. Who's writing speculative fiction about climate change? What are they saying? What are the opportunities for new writing in this field? Hear about our favourite examples, and tell us about yours.With Tim Jones and Harvey Molloy.SpecFicNZ MeetupA social gathering for writers.Audience Participation CultsMovies! They're not just for watching any more. Since the Rocky Horror Picture Show made it popular, talking and acting back to films has become an artform in itself, as we see in the huge fanbase of Mystery Science Theatre 3000 and its successor Rifftrax. But what possesses people to go and chant along to their favourite films - or, in the case of The Room, least favourite? What makes a movie good for audience participation?
5pmEye of Argon Group ReadingTake turns reading out loud from what may well be the worst fantasy novel ever published. How far can you get with a straight face?SpecFicNZ AGMThe Annual General Meeting of SpecFicNZ, New Zealand's science fiction and fantasy writers' organisation.
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Anna Klein FGoH SpeechAnna Klein, founder of NZ's original LARP convention, talks about her life and interests, as well as the development of larp culture in New Zealand, and answers questions from the audience.
6pmDinnerVideos: Star Trek Continues & Starship FarragutTwo professional quality Star Trek fan films - Star Trek Continues: Pilgrim Of Eternity picks up the Enterprise's five year mission where the original series left off, with Kirk, Spock, and co recast, while Starship Farragut: The Price of Anything introduces a whole new ship and crew.Dinner
7pmCocktail PartyThe end approaches... mingle with the rest of the attendees and sample SF-themed cocktails specially prepared for Au Contraire from the cash bar. Formal dress or costume preferred.
8pmThe Sir Julius Vogel AwardsNew Zealand's awards for professional and fan achievements in the fields of SF/F, named after the former Prime Minister who also wrote NZ's most well known early SF novel.
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GamingDedicated space set aside for board and card gaming; bring your own games, or check out our library; we expect to have popular titles on offer like Settlers of Catan, Ticket to Ride, Dixit, Carcassonne, Munchkin, and many others. There'll be beginners sessions for those who'd like to learn something new, and the opportunity for more seasoned players to meet up for a challenge.
9pmClosing CeremonyAfter the Awards, we vote on bids for the 2015 National SF/F Convention, the con is wrapped up, prizes are given out, and the baton passed on to the 2014 NatCon.
10pmHebetudinous Harshini PartyAka the Dead Dog Party. The con is officially over, but feel free to hang around and have another cocktail.FilkingEvery night after the main programming is over, filkers gather to sing into the wee small hours.
11pm
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