The latest from GeyserCon 2019

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Kaaron Warren's FOUND OBJECTS workshop

posted Feb 14, 2019, 11:56 PM by Grace Bridges

Every object tells a story. Some we know, such as the family heirlooms, or the items we’ve bought or received ourselves. Others we can imagine.

In this workshop we’ll take a road trip to the op shops of Rotorua to find items to work with, with the intention of developing character, plot and history for a short story or longer piece.

We will discuss techniques for building a story from a single moment of inspiration, and enjoy imagining the past and future of our objects and the people who possess them.

This workshop begins at 9am on Saturday 1st June at GeyserCon, then moves offsite.

What stories could YOU make out of random objects - maybe something you find in one of these pictures?

Interview with Kaaron Warren

posted Feb 14, 2019, 11:40 PM by Grace Bridges   [ updated Feb 14, 2019, 11:57 PM ]

Kaaron Warren, a multi-award-winning Australian author of science fiction, fantasy and horror, is a Guest of Honour at GeyserCon in Rotorua. 

With 5 novels to her name, over 100 short-fiction publications and 7 short story collections, Kaaron is an internationally-recognised name among readers of dark fiction. Her work has won a Shirley Jackson Award, Australian Shadows Awards, Ditmar Awards and Aurealis Awards. Kaaron’s novel Tide of Stone has recently been listed for the Locus Awards. Kaaron has been a guest of honour at Conflux (Canberra’s Speculative Fiction Convention), Baltimore World Fantasy Convention 2018 and StokerCon 2019 .

During GeyserCon, Kaaron will take a small group offsite to discover ways into story through found objects. 
Kaaron will also be discussing feminism and crime and punishment in science fiction and fantasy. You’ll have the opportunity to get to know her better during a kaffeeklatch (an informal chat session) or by listening to her guest of honour talk. 

Today, we’ll talk to Kaaron about her writing process. 


What are you writing now? Where did your inspiration for this story come from?

I’m working on a short story inspired by the destruction of a series of government housing accommodation towers in my city. These were close to town, so people had easy access to transport, shopping and services; all the things that make such a space a big seller in the market. At the moment, there are massive piles of rubble. Every time I go past I’m struck by the fact that in those piles are people’s lives and memories. Tenants grew up in these apartments, and brought up their children, and made and lost and made friendships, made and lost and made careers. Now it’s all rubble, to be used in other buildings or in landfill.
Every time I go past, I wonder about the ghosts caught there.
That’s what I’m writing about.

What’s your favourite world or universe you’ve developed as a writer, and why do you enjoy it so much?

I’ve created so many worlds, this is a tricky question! The world of The Grinding House, set in a future time when a disease called Spurs melds the bones together, is one of my favourites and one I’d like to re-visit. I liked writing about the end of the world and the people who are the last survivors, but doing it from a simple, domestic angle. It’s a deeply creepy story and a terrifying world, one I’m glad doesn’t exist, but I really enjoyed exploring it.

Your literary career spans many years. How have you developed as a writer during this time?

We all change as people over time, regardless of what job we do. Sometimes I read my early stories and wonder about the person who wrote them, because they seem so distant from who I am now.
I still find writing difficult. I don’t think it’s got any easier over the years; in some ways it’s harder, because there are expectations of other people and of myself.
I’ve learned much over the years from reading, from critiquing, from being edited. Do I listen to any of it? Probably not. I still write from the gut and see where it leads me.


Would you like to share an excerpt of your work?

   Heading back to the bottle shop, he saw that someone had wheeled an old piano into the courtyard by the library, hoping to liven up the dull shopping precinct. They’d painted it with flowers, and the words play me. Wearing the borrowed suit, in this assumed identity, Shawn felt as if he would be able to play. That he could sit at the seat and make beautiful music. If he looked like himself no one would take him seriously for a second, but as he approached the piano people began to gather. An attractive woman bent over the keys, looking at him sidelong as if asking him for a song. He thought that if he could play she would stand close, put her hand on his shoulder and ask him to perform some kind of love song. Another, whose high ponytail made her look a bit like his late wife, stretched her fingers out at him.
   “Go on, mate,” the drunk from the supermarket who’d abused him said, “give us a tune,” and for a moment, Shawn thought he could. He sat down, contemplating the keys. There was a crackling, like someone opening a packet of chips at the theatre, and he shshshshshed loudly, making a joke, hoping for a laugh. A crowd gathered but they were odd, all of them, dank in smell and opaque, like looking through smoky glass. One appeared to have burns on one side; she was almost naked but seemed barely bothered. He didn’t look too hard at any of them, standing too close and pressing him, some of them with palms out prayerfully. He sat at the piano and the crowd closed in. He took a deep breath, as if waiting for something magical to happen. As if he would be able to play.
   He couldn’t. It didn’t. He plunked, as anyone who can’t play the piano will do. He was the same with the guitar, useless, although he’d buy them from the second hand shop all the time, every time someone pinched one.
   “Sorry, folks,” he said, but no one laughed or even responded. 

What’s your favourite feedback from a fan?
All feedback is lovely, but recently at the World Fantasy Convention, a writer told me that one of the stories that inspired him to be a writer was “The Grinding House”, the novella I mentioned above in the question about favourite worlds. I love that I’ve inspired another writer, because I was inspired myself by writers.


Interview with Alan Baxter

posted Jan 13, 2019, 8:17 PM by Grace Bridges


Alan Baxtera multi-award-winning British-Australian author of dark fiction, is a Guest of Honour at GeyserCon in Rotorua. Eileen Mueller interviewed him for GeyserCon...

GEYSERCON: With 7 novels, 2 novellas and a short story collection to his name (plus a further 5 novels co-written with David Wood), over 80 short fiction publications , a non-fiction book, and more than 20 years as a black belt in Kung Fu, Alan has vast experience to draw from.

You write supernatural thrillers, dark fantasy and urban horror. What is it that draws you to dark fiction and how do you maintain an upbeat attitude when working with dark material?

ALAN: I find dark stuff and horror to be the most honest in terms of fiction. It doesn’t shy away from the full experience. In stories we’re dealing with extreme circumstances and a lot of the time that seems sanitised to me when in fact it would be a lot darker in reality. I try to follow that darker path and stay true to the events in the story. Staying upbeat is easy because I get it all out on the page!

GEYSERCON: How did you meet David Wood and decide to team up for your two collaborative series The Jake Crowley Adventures and Sam Aston Investigations? What strengths do you each bring to the table? Do you have any fun anecdotes you’d like to share?

ALAN: We’ve known each other over a decade, since the early days of indie publishing. When Dave set up Gryphonwood Press and moved into publishing other writers, he took on my first duology, Realmshift and Magesign. We subsequently talked a lot about working together as he writes mainly action adventure thrillers and I write mainly dark fantasy and horror thrillers. We thought our two styles would combine well and it seems we were right! There aren’t really any anecdotes – we just talk a lot about the stories we want to tell and then get the work done! Dave is an excellent plotter, so we tend to talk in detail about the story, then Dave writes a very detailed outline. Following that, I write the first draft of the book from that outline (though we often revise it as we go along) and then we pass the book back and forth polishing it up until we’re happy with it. Finding someone to collaborate with is not easy, but Dave and I seem to work very well together.

GEYSERCON: It’s said that you write, you fight and you kick ass! How do you find a balance in life with a family, dogs, Kung Fu instruction and a motorbike that’s begging to be taken out for a ride?

ALAN: The bike tends to be the one that’s left out. I don’t get out for a ride nearly as often as I’d like. The kung fu school takes priority as that has classes at fixed times. Outside those hours my wife and I share parenting responsibilities and while one looks after our son, the other works. I write and she paints. It’s a good system, but it’s taken us a long time and a lot of hard work to build our lives this way.

GEYSERCON: You’re a black belt and Kung Fu instructor. How does your fighting experience inform your writing? What are the common mistakes writers make in fight scenes? Can you tell us a little about Write the Fight Right.

ALAN: The most common mistake is writing a fight scene like a transcribed movie fight. They never work well. Write The Fight Right is a response to exactly that. After running a workshop several times to help people pen better fight scenes, I put together the book to summarise all the main points. It’s a very short book, more like a long essay, but hopefully captures most of what someone needs to start getting realistic and visceral fights onto the page.

GEYSERCON: What’s your favourite world or universe you’ve developed as a writer, and why do you enjoy it so much?

ALAN: Most of my stuff is set in the real world, with secret worlds intertwined. I love to play in that sandbox and have magical or mystical environments hidden within the world we know. Or think we know!

GEYSERCON: If you were stuck on a desert island and could bring one of your characters with you, who would it be? Why?

ALAN: Maybe Silhouette from the Alex Caine Series as she’s a shape shifter. She could turn into a dolphin and take us home. Or Isiah, actually, from The Balance, as he can simply teleport.

GEYSERCON: How do you celebrate when you finish a novel?

ALAN: I enjoy a few drams of a good single malt scotch. I also celebrate that way whenever I sell a story or a book to a publisher. And again when said publication comes out. I just like to drink scotch, if I’m honest.


  1. Would you like to share an excerpt of your work?

ALAN: Sure. Here’s the opening section of my latest novel, Devouring Dark:

Matt McLeod knew the old adage, that light is supposed to push away the darkness. But he also knew it wasn’t true. Light sits on top, like a film of oil on water. The dark is still there underneath, deep, permanent, waiting. And usually it’s enough, that surface skein of brightness, to keep a soul from the yawning black abyss below. But once the cracks appear, the fall is inevitable. And the darkness devours.

Knowing this truth, Matt often wondered how long he had left. Though he was convinced time was largely irrelevant. He was already falling, had been for years. How much damage he could do on the way down, who he could take with him, those were better concerns.

He killed the engine of his battered old car and silence descended. The dashboard glow winked out leaving him in inky shadow, just the streetlights refracting through raindrops on the windscreen for company. Cold and wet, a classic London night. The alley across the quiet road glistened, like a throat ready to swallow. Sullivan would be along any time now.

Matt rolled a short, thin joint, just a sprinkling of weed to take the edge off. He didn’t particularly enjoy being stoned any more, but the process hurt a little less if he was buzzing. Not really high, that would dull his reactions too much. It was a balancing act, like everything in life. Just enough self-medication, but not so much as to cease being what they call a fully functioning adult. Whatever the fuck that really meant.

The bluish smoke drifted lazily around Matt’s head as he watched the alley, and then there Sullivan was, entering from the other end, parkland gloomy and dripping behind the silhouette of his bulk. Shit, but he was a big bastard. Not that size really mattered, muscles being no match for the dark.

Matt drew deeply of the spliff and it singed his fingers as it crackled away to almost nothing. Pressing the tiny roach into the car’s ashtray, he readied himself, then opened the door and stepped out. The cold and persistent drizzle bit instantly through his warm comfort and only on leaving did he realise how safe and embracing the car had been. Another metaphor for life right there. He headed across the street for the alley, aiming to meet his target halfway down.

John Sullivan, thirty-nine, single, worked by day as a used car salesman—which made him a scumbag already—but his extracurricular activity was of far more interest to Matt. And why Matt was here. Sullivan paid no attention to anything as he trudged through the rain, hiding under a flat cap, hunched in a trench coat. Large industrial bins lined one side of the alley, various detritus, rubbish bags, broken bottles, littered and glistened among the puddles on the rough asphalt underfoot. Sullivan tramped through it all. When Sullivan was in the shadows just over halfway along, Matt stepped from the eyes of the street into the privacy of this ignored corner of the city.

“Mr. John Sullivan.” Matt’s voice was strong, not showing the nerves that rippled through him.

The man paused, looked up quickly, a moment of shock passing over his face before he settled back to his default of belligerent bastard. “What? Who are you?”

“I’m your comeuppance, old son.”

GEYSERCON: What’s your favourite feedback from a fan?

ALAN: I heard once from a mother of a mostly non-verbal son. She said that he loves my books and whenever he’s read a new one he insists she reads it next, then they talk about it in depth. She wrote to me to say “thank you for the conversations”. That’s magic right there. I can’t imagine anything better than directly affecting lives like that.

GEYSERCON: What are you writing now? When will it be ready?

ALAN: Well, a completed new novel manuscript is out with my agent right now, so wish me luck with that! In the meantime, I’ve started on a new book which I hope I’ll have a solid first draft of by mid-year, and Dave and I will start the next Jake Crowley Adventure sometime soon and that should be finished by the second half of 2019 too. Always busy!


The Perfect New Year's Gift for Writers and Fans

posted Jan 13, 2019, 7:27 PM by Grace Bridges

Happy 2019! It's GEYSERCON Year!

Oh, wait - it's not 2019 yet? The time machine must be malfunctioning! But hey, why not get a sneak peek at the new year's news?

Are you thinking about a gift for a writer or fan you know (maybe yourself)? 

How about GeyserCon membership?

You'll be providing an opportunity to attend sessions on topics all around genre writing and fandom. Take yourself or a friend to a new level, meet people who love what you love, and perhaps get a book signed by one of our Guests of Honour! 

Your recipient will know that you put plenty of personal thought into selecting the gift of GeyserCon because this convention is coming together to be one of the best.

GeyserCon is the 40th National Science Fiction & Fantasy Convention, and unlike the massive commercial events, it's a place for grassroots fandoms and the writing community to enjoy each other's company while having meaningful discussions on the state of the art in New Zealand and around the world. We have an amazing line-up of guests and presenters, awesome panels, the chance to put your questions to professional writers, along with events like interactive role-playing games, the Sir Julius Vogel Awards, arts and crafts sessions, the Young Writers' Day Out, the costume competition, and so much more.

Also, Rotorua offers the very best in off-site activities for you to enjoy around GeyserCon events.


Guests of Honour (L-R)
Laura Van Arendonk Baugh, Alan Baxter, Kaaron Warren, Alena Van Arendonk

Here are just a few of the programme items you can look forward to:

High Fantasy Futures

Eileen Mueller (moderator); joins panellists Laura VanArendonk Baugh, David Hair, Mark Johnson, and Dan Rabarts, to discuss the latest trends in high fantasy fiction. Are dragons still the thing? Why are elves so popular? And what’s the deal with the monarchy?

Found Objects - Kaaron Warren

This highly original workshop by Guest of Honour Kaaron Warren takes a small group offsite to discover ways into story through found objects. There is a small fee for this workshop.

GeyserCon Book Expo - LOBBY

The GeyserCon Book Expo will be open on all four days for purchasing books and merchandise. Atlantis Books is our official convention bookseller (consignment details coming soon). Eftpos will be available, although guests are encouraged to use cash for some items. Please support our Guests of Honour by buying and reading their work. If you haven’t already managed to get your book signed, bring it along to the Totara Room where Author Book Signings will be held in conjunction with the SpecFicNZ Meet-Up.

Radio-play STAR WRECK

STAR WRECK is a hilarious spoofy radio-play, written and directed by Paul Mannering. One of the best-loved items on our national convention programme. Join in the fun. No experience necessary! Be brave! Auditions on Friday 31 May, 9:30pm in the Lobby Niche, and also on Saturday (just check with Paul). Rehearsals will be held on Saturday 5:00-6:00pm and Sunday 1:00-2:00pm in Cascade. Final performance in the Pōhutu Lounge at the Closing Ceremony.

Check out the full programme at www.geysercon.nz/programme!

GeyserCon Welcomes Guest of Honour Alan Baxter

posted Dec 26, 2018, 5:54 PM by Grace Bridges   [ updated Dec 26, 2018, 6:47 PM ]

Due to circumstances outside everyone’s control, Jonathan Maberry is now unable to attend GeyserCon. We hope to see at him at a future New Zealand convention.

We’re very pleased to announce that award-winning Australian author and martial arts expert Alan Baxter has graciously agreed to be our Guest of Honour, alongside Kaaron Warren, Laura VanArendonk Baugh and Alena Van Arendonk. 

Alan Baxter is a multi-award-winning British-Australian author who writes supernatural thrillers, dark fantasy, and urban horror. He rides a motorcycle and loves his dogs. He also teaches Kung Fu. He lives among dairy paddocks on the beautiful south coast of NSW, Australia, with his wife, son, and two crazy dogs. He is the author of the dark supernatural thriller trilogy, BoundObsidian and Abduction (The Alex Caine Series) and the dark supernatural duology, RealmShift and MageSign (The Balance 1 and 2). He has also authored the horror noir novel, Hidden City, the cosmic horror novella, The Book Club, and the supernatural noir novella, Manifest Recall. His latest novel is Devouring Dark, an urban horror thriller. As well as novels, Alan has had around 80 short fiction publications in journals and anthologies in Australia, the US, the UK, France, Germany and Japan. His short fiction has appeared in The Magazine of Fantasy & Science Fiction, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Daily Science Fiction, and many others, and around thirty anthologies, including the Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror on several occasions. His award-winning first collected volume of short fiction, Crow Shine, is out now. At times, Alan collaborates with US action/adventure bestselling author, David Wood. Together they have co-authored the horror novella, Dark Rite, action thrillers in The Jake Crowley Adventures, Blood Codex and Anubis Key, and the Sam Aston Investigationsgiant monster thrillers Primordial and Overlord. Alan has been a five-time finalist in the Aurealis Awards, a five-time finalist in the Australian Shadows Awards and a six-time finalist in the Ditmar Awards. He won the 2015 Australian Shadows Award for Best Short Story (“Shadows of the Lonely Dead”), the 2016 Australian Shadows Paul Haines Award For Long Fiction (“In Vaulted Halls Entombed”), and the 2017 Australian Shadows Award for Best Collection (Crow Shine), and is a past winner of the AHWA Short Story Competition (“It’s Always the Children Who Suffer”). Read extracts from his novels and novellas, and find free short stories at his website – www.warriorscribe.com – or find him on Twitter @AlanBaxter and Facebook, and feel free to tell him what you think. About anything.

Please check out the updated programme at www.geysercon.nz/programme.

And don't forget the competitions are still open until January 15th! We're looking for fiction, poetry and artwork, and you can find the details at www.geysercon.nz/competitions. We'd love to have an entry from you if you haven't sent yours in already!

Ava Fairhall's Fantasy Maps

posted Dec 1, 2018, 3:00 PM by Grace Bridges

Ava Fairhall, a writer, artist, and cartographer, will be presenting a session on Mapping Fantasy Worlds at GeyserCon in Rotorua.

GEYSERCON: Hi Ava! Thanks for stopping by and thanks so much for contributing to our national convention. We can’t wait to meet you! 
Thank you for the opportunity to participate! It’ll be my first convention, so I’m rather excited.

GEYSERCON: We’re sure everyone asks you this, but how important is realism? After all, it’s fantasy, right? So if the world is conjured from our imagination, do rivers really have to flow down to the sea, and why can’t we plonk a desert in the middle of a forest if we want to?
The geography of your world is completely up to you, and you can put your features anywhere, with one caveat – there has to be a reason why. When we look at a map, we have a rough expectation of what to find based on our current understanding of the world around us. That rivers will run from high points (mountain ranges) to low points (the sea), because that’s the way gravity works. So if you’re creating a world where this doesn’t happen, the reader will want to know why. 
Why? Because that’s where stories begin. If there’s a desert in a forest, was it caused by a blast of magic? A toxic chemical spill? Or tiny invading sand aliens who are attempting to conquer the planet? SFF stories contain elements of things we know, and things we don’t. By including realistic elements you give the reader a comfortable place to start getting to know your world. Too much strangeness gets confusing and may give the reader an impression of inconsistency or sloppiness Our Earth also contains plenty of strange geographical features

GEYSERCON: Which comes first? The map or the world? Do you recommend writing the story and developing the fantasy world’s geography through the narrative, or is it better to start with the map and develop the story from there?  
I’ve always had the story come to me before the map because the characters introduce themselves before I learn where they live, but that’s not true for everyone. It doesn’t matter which comes first. Story ideas can come from anywhere, and a map is one of them. There are pros and cons to both sides.
If the story comes first, you may never feel the need to generate a map at all, or if you do, the map may only grow as far as far as the story needs it. This allows you to focus on the story and not get side-tracked down the rabbit hole of world-building and researching how long it might take for a horse to travel 300 miles so you can make sure your ancient ruin is in the right place. You get to explore the undiscovered parts in other stories without being too constrained by what’s been written. On the other hand, drawing the map around the world can make a story feel incomplete and disconnected from the world around it. If you later fill in one of your voids with a significant feature, it may leave readers wondering how people in other parts of the map never heard of it. It can also mean some geographical elements won’t make sense.

If the map comes first, you know why Clan Furgle hasn’t heard of the City of Coloured Glass, and can put a treacherous mountain range in between to isolate them, and then incorporate the myth of a terrible fate befalling any who cross the mountains. The landscape is all decided in advance and shapes your story instead of the other way around. The trouble with maps coming first is that it can lead to overbuilding the world, and before you know it, you have 17 Star Systems, 89 planets and 304 moons, when your story takes place around on a research ship that jumps between two planets and a moon. The world might feel complete, but you’re only ever going to use 5% of it, and the time taken to build your world could have been spent writing.

GEYSERCON: A lot of classic SFF stories have included maps, many with very different styles and designs. Do you have a favourite and why?
(For reference, here is a good blogpost, which lists some examples. https://www.hodderscape.co.uk/quiz-identify-fantasy-novel-maps/)
Any time a book has a map, I’m halfway sold already. Treasure maps were probably the first thing that caught my imagination as a child – something precious and hidden to find. Who hid it and why? When I first read Tolkien, CS Lewis, and Terry Brooks, I tracked the progress of the characters through the landscape. I’ve stared for hours at maps of Greyhawk, Ankh-Morepork and Redania, Temeria and the Skellige Isles (usually looking for quests) wondering how places got their names, why this place is a ruin, or been thrilled to finally locate the place mentioned in the story.
Do I have a favourite style? No. Each map is a unique extension of a story, a world to explore and tells a story of their own, and that’s what I love about them. Each style reflects the world they portray, and thus there’s something to love in each one.
I will say, however, that maps with hidden places, ruins, unexplored territory, dangerous or forbidden zones, and unusual features in an ordinary landscape are things I love on a map. 

GEYSERCON: Can you give us a little hint about what you might talk about at GeyserCon? (Don’t tell them too much!)
It’ll be a broad overview of how I make maps, and the things I’ve learned along the way. The things that make the process faster, and pitfalls to be aware of. What you’ll want to give to an artist who you’ve commissioned (or bribed) to make you a map, and what to think about if you’re drawing your own. As well as preparing maps for print, and considerations to think about before you draw your map.

GEYSERCON: And finally, as both a creator and consumer of SFF, what do you hope to get out of the convention for yourself? 
The biggest thrill for me will be having the opportunity to meet other writers and learn about the worlds they’re creating. I plan to go as many workshops as I can, although I’m having a lot of conflicts choosing which ones.

Ava Fairhall
Ava Fairhall with her map of Dragon Realm designed for Eileen Mueller’s Riders of Fire fantasy series.

Paul Mannering Presents : Star Wreck. A radioplay mash-up.

posted Nov 19, 2018, 8:58 PM by Kura Carpenter   [ updated Nov 19, 2018, 10:19 PM ]

Star Wreck An Original Paul Mannering Radio Play, only at GeyserCon 2019
Over recent years, our New Zealand national conventions have seen
a new tradition, wherein award-winning author Paul Mannering writes and directs a radio-play spoof on a SFF fandom which is then performed by members of convention. A casting call is made the convention’s opening ceremony, a couple of secret-squirrel rehearsals are held throughout the programme, and the radioplay is performed live at the closing ceremony. In 2016, at Au Contraire 3, Mannering gave us the side-splitting Death Star Noir, and 2017 there was Word of the Things, an irreverent mash up of current events, Game of Thrones and LotR. Both hilariously funny and wickedly sharp. And we’re delighted to announce that for GeyserCon 2019, Paul has penned us an original spoof called Star Wreck, based on a popular fandom. We invited Paul to give us the skinny on his new work.

GEYSERCON: So Star Wreck. Are you bit of a Trekkie then? What can you tell us about the play? And who is your favourite captain?

Paul Mannering
PAUL: I’m one of those fandom-fluid people who enjoy both Star Trek and Star Wars. I’m not a Trekkie, or a Warrie (?) a Wookie? Or even a Jedi. I just love Sci-Fi in all its forms.

PAUL:  Star Wreck was originally a concept I came up with about 10 years ago. I wrote the first outline draft with my son, Ash, who has a wickedly creative bent. The idea with the various parodies has been to make them instantly recognisable to fans, but also make them completely insane. I like to include nods to aspects of the fandom that are enshrined in popular culture and make fun of ourselves (as fans) as well. Star Wreck is focused on ST:OS. So it is a parody of the original series, with some elements of newer ST Universe included. It’s also a bit of a 4th Wall Breaker – so there are parts where characters address the audience or make reference to being in a production directly to the audience and each other (kinda like Deadpool).

Star Wreck: Radio Play, GeyserCon 2019

GEYSERCON: The radio play has become a bit of a community-building coup, with everyone clamouring to join in ‒ no experience necessary. Was it a conscious decision on your part to create a vehicle which would help to connect members of our community or was it just a happy coincidence? How many cast members will you require this time?

PAUL:  The first production, I was just relieved that anyone showed up at all! It was quite nerve wracking when we held the first auditions – basically if you showed up, you got a copy of the script and a part. Since then, the community has embraced this event and performances have been stellar. In my experience, sci-fi fans, especially in a smaller country like ours, are close knit and like to support and get involved in interactive experiences around their various fandoms.

PAUL:  The [Star Wreck] cast runs to at least 6 for this script. The usual lead characters from ST:OS, plus some aliens and supporting. Also, if someone has an Alsatian dog that they can bring to be part of the cast, I have a speaking part for a large dog.

GEYSERCON: What’s the biggest challenge in putting together an amateur show like this? And the best part of being the director?

PAUL:  Judging what other people will find funny is the hardest part. Something may sound hysterical in my head – but I worry about offending someone. The fan community is diverse and we all come from different cultural backgrounds, so it’s important to avoid crossing the line between parody and discrimination. The actors and audience are always fantastic. People work very hard to put on a great performance and its why we keep making new shows.

2016, at Au Contraire 3, the side-splitting Death Star Noir

GEYSERCON: What about sound effects? You’re also director of BrokenSea productions, so perhaps you have something exciting in store for us?

PAUL:  Sound Effects (SFX) are a key element of every show we do. I put together a file of specific sound effects for each production. Instead of making foley like an old school radio play, we use recorded sounds and music. In future, it would be great to get a foley team on board and have them stomp on gravel, stab watermelons, click coconut shells, and wave sheet metal live.

GEYSERCON: Thanks, Paul. We can’t wait to hear Star Wreck live. Just one last question ‒ we see you’re interviewing our Guest of Honour, New York Times bestseller and four times Bram Stoker winner, Jonathan Maberry in an ‘in conversation’ session on Saturday 1 June. Of course, you’ll be preparing questions which will give us some insight into Jonathan’s incredibly varied career, but we wondered if there was a particular question you hope to ask him for yourself?

PAUL:  Jonathan Maberry is amazing. He has had best-seller success with his zombie fiction. He has written terrific techno-thrillers and is up there with Stephen King and Lee Child in terms of awesome characters and action-driven plots. I am looking forward to embarrassing myself in a complete fanboy meltdown when we have our chat.

PAUL: The one question I hope to be able to ask is if he has ever considered adult adoption, and if so, I would like to offer myself as a candidate for adoption.

GEYSERCON: Only time will tell, Paul, we'll find out together come Queen's Birthday weekend and GeyserCon 2019! So don't forget to go to our Register Page, so you don't miss out :)

Star Wreck: Radio Play, GeyserCon 2019

We are online!

posted Feb 3, 2018, 6:19 AM by Grace Bridges

Today the website has gone live along with our social media accounts at Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. Watch this space for more news soon! 

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