Change of Plans
Ok, possibly not Queen's Birthday weekend, for reasons which will become obvious in due course. The new dates for Au Contraire 2013 will be confirmed soon. In better news, our new website is on track to be launched at unCONventional.
Announcing Au Contraire 2013!
Sorry for the extended wait! We can now confirm that Au Contraire 2013, the 34th NZ National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention, will be taking place over Queen's Birthday weekend next year, from Friday 31 May to Sun 2 June. We'll be returning to the Quality Hotel on Cuba St. Stop by our room party at unCONventional, and stay tuned for our new website!
Stay tuned for updates. Could be a few months, though.
It's all over, and I think we managed to run a pretty decent con - thanks to all you members. The concom put a lot of work in to making Au Contraire happen, but if we hadn't been lucky enough to have a fantastic crowd of helpful and well-behaved attendees (along with some amazing hotel staff), it wouldn't have run anywhere near as smoothly. We'd particularly like to thank all our panelists and volunteers for their efforts - we appreciated it immensely.
Hopefully we'll see a lot of you again next year in Auckland for ConText, the 32nd NZ NatCon - and if all goes well, a whole lot more for the 2020 WorldCon! For those of you going on to AussieCon 4, have fun...
Almost Con Time!
Less than 24 hours to go before the con starts! And we're more or less on track to be ready for it. We look forward to seeing you all there. NB online bookings for events that require booking has now closed, so you'll have to see the registration desk to sign up.
If you weren't able to register in advance, you're in luck - probably. We will be offering door sales, but may close them at any time during the convention if we decide the venue capacity is being pushed too much. Cash only.
Don't forget to sign up for events that need bookings (scroll to the bottom of the programme for a list). These include the Carter Observatory visit, Weta Cave trip, and Horse Trekking. Also, fill in the entry form if you plan to take part in the Masquerade!
We'll be taking down the online registration form at midnight on Friday (the 20th), so make sure you register before then! At this stage, we haven't decided whether or not to offer door sales. Check back closer to the time if you can't manage to register in advance. But Friday is certainly your last chance to book a hotel room in the convention zones.
The programme is getting close to final. New developments include Drawfest on Friday for all you budding (or expert) artists, and a video conference with Raymond E. Feist! And don't forget to sign up for events that need to be booked.
Great news! For a limited time only, you have the chance to own cool stuff with the Au Contraire logo on it. Classy stainless steel drink bottles, and a range of t-shirts in black or green. Pre-order now, so we know how many of each to get. Seriously, asap would be good.
More tweaks to the programme, and we're not quite finished yet. Do check out the links at the bottom of the events page for items that require advance signups. Some events are already almost full...
New Zealand GoH
We're pleased to announce an additional Guest of Honour - Elizabeth Knox! Our New Zealand GoH is an exceptionally talented writer whose work has been well-received by both genre fans and the mainstream literary establishment. Elizabeth will be attending the Friday and Saturday of the convention.
In less happy news, Jennifer Fallon deeply regrets that for reasons beyond her control she will be unable to make it to Au Contraire this year. She will still be attending AussieCon 4, for those of you who can make it across the ditch, and hopes to attend a Kiwi con in the near future. But we do have some good news for writers - Russell Kirkpatrick will also be doing a workshop at the con.
The programme continues to be refined, though it's not final yet. Note that some events are limited numbers and/or require advance booking. And it's not too late to volunteer to help out with the convention!
We've decided not to issue any further Progress Reports; this web site will be updated frequently over the next couple of months, and in the internet age, PRs no longer effectively serve their original purpose as primary source of information on planning for a con.
And finally, a reminder you've only got about a month left to get your drabble and filk competition entries in...
Our first draft of a programme is now online! Bear in mind that this is only provisional, and will change in both timing and lineup of events. We're still looking for more panelists, so let us know if you see anything you'd like to be involved in and we'll see if we have room for you. And though the programme is already quite full, we're still open to ideas for other events (especially if you're willing to run them!).
The nominees for the 2010 SJV Awards have been announced - check them out! All members of Au Contraire (including supporting members) are eligible to vote, and the awards will be presented at the con on the Sunday evening.
We apologise for the lack of updates this year; we've been somewhat distracted by, amongst other things, an unexpected house move. Rest assured planning for the con has been continuing apace.
Rapier Wit #1
As a special Christmas Eve treat, here's the first official Au Contraire podcast! Listen to the first installment of Rapier Wit here (mp3, 9.3MB). And remember, the deadline for the short story competition is coming up at the end of January, so get those stories finished. Stay tuned for a website update in next month, with more detail on events we have planned.
Progress Report 2
Our second progress report has been released - download the pdf (673 KB). With this report, we're pleased to announce our Guests of Honour - Sean Williams, the multiple-award-winning Australian author, and Fan GoH Paul Mannering of Brokensea Audio. We've also made some updates to this website, including a form to fill in if you're interested in volunteering to help out with the con.
In other news, no bids for the 2011 NatCon were presented at ConScription. Since Au Contraire will be taking place realtively late in the year, anyone interested in bidding for 2011 should contact SFFANZ. Go on, you know you want to! 8)
Progress Report 1
The convention's first progress report is out now - download the pdf (422 KB). The main news is that our first two competitions are open - an art competition for the Au Contraire 2010 calendar, and the short story competition. We have a very special prize for the story competition - the best entries will be included in an anthology of NZ speculative fiction to be published by Random Static Press. The deadlines for these competitions are August this year and January next year respectively, so don't put off entering too long!
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