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The convention isn't going to be short on things to do. Don't forget to eat and sleep!


Warning: this is draft programme only! The timing of events is subject to change, as is the actual lineup of events. We will be running events that aren't listed here yet, and some of the events on this version of timetable will probably be dropped altogether before the final version. And we still need volunteers! If you're interested in being involved in any of the events, either already scheduled or new ideas, please do get in touch and we'll see if we can fit you in.

NB some events are limited numbers or otherwise require prebooking; see the event descriptions for booking forms. A few events may require additional payment to cover costs, primarily those involving a trip away from the con venue.

 Open timetable in new window


Room 3Room 2Room 1BoardroomCon SuiteDining RoomLoungeOther
10am Extreme Cosplay Drawfest Writing Workshop: Juliet Marillier on Voice Board Games
12pm Lunchtime Movie Just Writing
1pm Lunch break Lunch break
2pm Extreme Cosplay Drawfest Radio Play Workshop Writing Workshop: Sean Williams on Collaboration Board Games
4pm Writing Workshop: Ripley Patton on Flash Fiction Kaffeeklatsch: Elizabeth Knox
5pm Radio Play Performance - all welcome
6pm Dinner Break/Setup Book Launch: A Foreign Country Dinner Break Dinnertime Movie Dinner Break
7pm CON 101
8pm Opening Ceremony
9pm Dance Party with DJ Sean Williams Chill space/bar Fan Funds RPG: Birthday Quest Filking Movie Board Games
10pm Future Sex


Room 3Room 2Room 1BoardroomCon SuiteDining RoomLoungeOther
9am Stargate Science Just Writing Board Games
10am Shows Cut Off in their Prime Writing Good Filks The 80s in 8-bits: The Home Computer Revolution Writing Workshop: Russell Kirkpatrick on Worldbuilding Kaffeeklatsch: Patrick Nielsen Hayden Floating Market Setup
11am Debate YA Fiction Rocky Panel Floating Market
12pm Charity Auction Elizabeth's GOH Speech Drawing A Crowd Getting published in NZ - Tim Jones
1pm Lunch Break Lunchtime Video Lunch Break
2pm Comic Books/Manga How to Read SF Geek Crafting Writing Workshop: The Story Tree - Peter Friend Reading & Signing: Elizabeth Knox Floating Market Packup
3pm Doctor Who Panel The Quiz Fanfic Cliches Reading & Signing: Russell Kirkpatrick Board Games
4pm Queer SF Costuming Techniques Kaffeeklatsch: Juliet Marillier
5pm Instant Crossovers Sean's GOH Speech Making Amateur Videos Just Writing
6pm Setup SpecFicNZ Launch Dinnertime Movie Dinner Break
7pm Raymond Feist Videoconference Dinner Break/Setup RPG: The House Carter Observatory Trip
8pm The Masquerade Masquerade Contestant Waiting Room Filking Movie Board Games
10pm The Rocky Horror Picture Show Reading & Signing: Sean Williams Movie


Room 3Room 2Room 1BoardroomCon SuiteDining RoomLoungeOther
9am Star Trek Worldcon: What to Expect Fanfic Just Writing Board Games
10am Joss Whedon is My Master Now Myth and Fairytales in Fantasy How to Run a Con Fast Writing, Revision, and the Muse Kaffeeklatsch: Russell Kirkpatrick
11am Anime for SF Fans SFFANZ AGM FanVid Screening/Talk Writing Workshop: Nicole Murphy on Characterisation
12pm Tea Leaves & Entrails Modellenary
1pm Lunchtime Video Lunch Break, SJV Votes Due!
2pm Live MST3K Exobiology - musings from a biologist Religion and Faith in SF From First Draft to Final Version Kaffeeklatsch: Jay Lake Board Games
3pm Love my Fandom SF Poetry: Bigger Than You Think Computer Games Blurbs: sell your story in twenty words or less Reading & Signing: Juliet Marillier & Jay Lake
4pm Kiwi SF Patrick Nielsen Hayden Q&A Cosplay Culture Just Writing Kaffeeklatsch: Sean Williams
5pm Paul Mannering FGoH Speech The Art of Reviewing Speed Filking
6pm Dinner Break/Setup Dinner Break Dinnertime Movie Dinner Break
7pm Cocktail Party
8pm Sir Julius Vogel Awards Movie Board Games
9pm Closing Ceremony & 2012 NatCon Voting
10pm Comatose Cat Party Filking Movie


10am Te Papa (national museum) visit - meet hotel foyer
1pm Horse Trekking - meet hotel foyer
2pm Weta Cave trip - meet hotel foyer
2pm Post-con Pub Crawl - meet hotel foyer

Event Info

CON 101
Never been to a con before? Learn what it's all about and how to get the most out of the weekend, and get to know a few of your fellow attendees. Ask any questions you may have, and hear some amusing anecdotes from past cons.
Extreme Cosplay
The making of a costume, star to finish, from scratch! Watch a crack team of cosplayers work against the clock to produce a ready-to-wear costume to be auctioned off later in the weekend. Plus an exhibition of some previously- made costumes. There'll be some space to work on your own costumes too, but you'll need to bring your own materials and equipment.
Just Writing
Space for writers to work.
An open art workshop where you can pick up tips, or just have fun drawing with others. All ages and skill levels are welcome! Come have a drawesome experience! Prizes for the best art done on the day.
Book Launch: A Foreign Country
Random Static launch their new speculative fiction anthology, featuring a number of winners from the Au Contraire short story competition.
Opening Ceremony
The con officially begins! Meet the concom and Guests of Honour, and learn important Stuff You Need To Know.
Fan Funds
Maree Pavletich, John Hertz, James Shields, and Norman Cates will be loosely moderated by Flick from the League of Fan Funds as they tell stories of their trips and explain the the why and the how of the funds that send fans to other parts of the world.
Future Sex
What could the future hold for sex, and how will that affect society? Virtual reality, lifelike androids, meeting other sentient species? Are we all going to be like Jack Harkness in the future?
A low-key Saturday morning group discussion of the Stargate universe (not to be confuseed with Stargate: Universe!).
Join in a group discussion on cool and interesting recent developments in real world science.
Shows Cut Off in their Prime
Too often, SF/F TV shows are cancelled abruptly, leaving stories unfinished. A discussion on what should have been.
Writing Good Filks
A panel/workshop on how to give old songs an SF/F twist.
The 80s in 8-bits: The Home Computer Revolution
Many of us today got our first taste of computing on machines like the Apple II, Sinclair ZX81, Commodore Vic-20, or Atari 400. From the late 1970s through to early 1990s hundreds of manufacturers produced thousands of models, all unique with their very own capabilities, programming languages and software. For the past 15 years Andrew Stephen has been collecting computers from this golden age of personal computing. Drawing from over 150 computers in his personal collection, Andrew will present a personal account of the machines and the personal computer revolution.
Rocky Horror Panel
A discussion on the cult classic film and it’s followers. The perfect prelude to this evening’s screening.
YA Fiction
Sean Williams, Elizabeth Knox, and Kathy Sullivan discuss writing for young adults.
Chaired by Nicole Murphy, 2 teams of 3 will debate a topic chosen by them from a list of options. Registration to participate in the debate will open Friday evening for an 11am Saturday debate and is first-in, first served. Possible topics include: “Fantasy is greater than science fiction,” “The book is always better than the movie,” and “The evil overlord is more interesting than the sword-wielding hero.”
Elizabeth Knox
Interview and Q&A with our NZ GoH!
Drawing a Crowd
Learn how to better reach your intended audience as an artist, through the use of different art websites and techniques. The presentation is focused on visual artists, but will include material of interest to anyone with something to promote online.
Comics & Manga
There's more to comics than guys in spandex throwing cars at each other. Learn what's worth reading!
How to Read SF
The sentence "He turned on his left side." can only mean one thing if you read it in a mainstream novel. If you read it in a science fiction novel it might mean something completely different. Science fiction has its own language and a structure that some people simply can't come to terms with. Let's explore how this works...
Doctor Who
Group discussion on everyone's favourite Time Lord - what do we think of Matt Smith?
Geek Crafting
An hour for people to bring along any crafty projects (knitting, crochet, beadwork, embroidery) to work on or show off. Some materials (yarn and crochet hooks/knitting needles) will be available for beginners or those who haven't brought along their own projects and who want to do something with their hands. Co-ordinators will be on hand to provide instruction.
The Quiz
Test your knowledge of the SF/F genre, from the classics to today's hits.
Religion and Faith in SF
A panel discussion of depictions of religion and faith in SFF literature, featuring James Shields, Russell Kirkpatrick, Lynne Jamneck, and chaired by John Hertz.
Queer SF
Discussion on depictions of non-heterosexual characters in SF/F.
Costuming Techniques
A discussion on the practical side of cosplay. Technical skills including metal work, different sewing techniques, sculpting, casting, and other various "crap into other crap" tips and tricks! Questions encouraged :)
Instant Crossovers
How good are your improv skills? The challenge is to draw two names from various well-known shows, movies, or books, and make up a story that involves both of them. On the spot.
Sean Williams
Our international GoH speaks!
Making Amateur Videos
How technology has made it easier than ever to make your own zero-budget epic, and why technology alone can't stop it being terrible.
SpecFicNZ Launch
The official launch for NZ's new SF/F writers' organisation.
Raymond Feist Videoconference
Meet the author of the Riftwar Cycle via a video linkup, hosted by HarperCollins. Signed books will be on sale.
The Rocky Horror Picture Show
With audience participation, of course! Get out your fishnets for the late-night movie screening.
Star Trek
Group discussion on the Enterprise(s) and crews. The reboot - triumph or travesty?
Worldcon: What to Expect
Heading across the ditch to AussieCon 4 after Au Contraire? Learn about what they've got planned, and what past WorldCons have been like.
Group discussion on fanfiction: what do you read? Why do you read it? Do you bother to watch the canon first? How do you feel about spoilers?
Joss Whedon is My Master Now
A panel discussing Dollhouse, Firefly, Buffy, and the other creations of the architect of some of the best SF/F TV ever produced.
Myth and Fairytales in Fantasy
Juliet Marillier, Ripley Patton and Kathy Sullivan discuss the use of myth and fairy tale in fantasy.
How to Run a Con
Learn from the experts - those poor bastards who've already done it.
Anime for SF Fans
Comparisons of western SF and anime - which anime shows might be worth checking out?
SFFANZ Business Session
The annual general meeting of SFFANZ will take place at 11am on Sunday. Voting for the SFFANZ board, and discussion of all matters to do with NZ's fan community.
50 minutes of fanvids – in the “clips set to music” sense – picked to showcase the way vids can change your understanding of the source material. Some will be funny; some will be very serious indeed.
Tea Leaves & Entrails
Predicting our future - what are our lives going to be like over the next few decades?
Pictionary with Plasticine!
Live MST3K
The cult TV show Mystery Science Theater 3000 comes to rampaging life! Watch our team of highly-trained comedians provide hilarious running commentary on a notoriously bad sci-fi TV show. Parental guidance and a note from a qualified psychiatrist recommended.
Exobiology - musings from a biologist
What sort of life could evolve on other worlds?
Fanfic Cliches
Robust discussion of the literary merits of Aliens Who Make Them Do It, hurt/comfort, marriages of convenience, Person X Woke Up Gay, genderswap, mpreg, and the other weird and wonderful tropes that fanfiction throws at us.
Love My Fandom
Hear our panel of experts talk about their own little corners of fandom, and about what makes them love them so much. WARNING: this may be expressed via interpretive dance.
SF Poetry: Bigger Than You Think
Tim Jones, co-editor of "Voyagers: Science Fiction Poetry from New Zealand", and poets Janis Freegard and Harvey Molloy discuss SF and speculative poetry - what it is, what attracts them to it, and why New Zealanders, including some of our most famous poets, have written a surprising amount of it. We'll also talk about the international dimension of SF poetry - including the SF Poetry Association and the Rhysling Awards.
Computer Games
Our panelists discuss where computer gaming is at today, and what developments are likely or desirable in the future.
Kiwi SF
An intro to SF/F originating in the land of the long white cloud.
Patrick Nielsen Hayden Q&A
Tim Jones interviews Tor Books' senior editor and manager of fantasy and SF, Patrick Nielsen Hayden, followed by questions from the audience.
Cosplay Culture
An interactive panel on the non-technical side of cosplay. Public perceptions, why people cosplay, cosplay etiquette and who gets to say what that etiquette may be, and cultural differences between different costume elements and environments are but a few of the tidbits on the menu.
Paul Mannering
Our Fan GoH speaks!
The Art of Reviewing
What does a reader want to see in a review? Why is a review different from the blurb on the back of the book? Love their opinions or loath their opinions, reviewers perform an important function. Let's find out what that function is and how the reviewers go about doing it.
Speed Filking
Write a filk in under an hour.
Cocktail Party
Try out the delicious SF-themed cocktails specially prepared for Au Contraire from the cash bar, while listening to beautiful live music from Asni the Harper.
The Sir Julius Vogel Awards
New Zealand's awards ceremony for the SF community, recognising both fan and professional achievements. Formal dress appreciated.
Comatose Cat Party
The con is officially over, but you don’t have to go home just yet. Hang out and have another cocktail.
Roleplaying, board, and card games will be taking place all through the weekend. Learn to play something new in a causual session, or compete against the experts.
There'll be many opportunites to get together with likeminded fen to sing or listen to SF-based tunes. Classics like "Murderous Toy" and "Banned from Argo", or write your own (there'll be a workshop on that subject).
Video Screenings
Watch both fan-made productions and classics and rarities from film and television.
Small group chats with various GoHs and attendees of note. Limited numbers – book at the registration desk.
Post-con Pub Crawl
"The first glass of New Zealand beer that I drank convinced me that I really had come to the ends of the Earth. But that was many years ago and today the situation is much improved. A serious scientific investigation of the baseline and any improvement will take place in certain carefully selected Wellington establishments on the Monday after Au Contraire closes for business. Anyone wishing to provide input to the analysis should meet in the hotel foyer. We'll walk out and crawl back, suitably refreshed. Kneepads not provided." - Alan and Simon

Planned itinerary:
  1. 2.30pm Southern Cross - 39 Abel Smith St
  2. 3.00pm JJ Murphys - 123 Cuba St
  3. 3.30pm 3C Bar - Cnr Victoria St and Chews Lane
  4. 4.00pm D4 - 143 Featherston st
  5. 5.00pm Foxglove - North Queens wharf
  6. 5.30pm Macs Brewery Bar and Restaurant - Taranaki St Wharf
  7. 6.00pm Hashigo zaki cult beer bar - 25 Taranaki St
  8. 7.30pm The Malthouse - 48 Courtenay Place

See also:

The 31st New Zealand National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention

Fri 27 to Sun 29 August 2010 at the Quality Hotel, Wellington

With the support of Creative New Zealand

With the support of Creative New Zealand