ASFF Member Update

At the ASFF AGM held by Zoom in February 2021, several committee members stepped down and not many stepped up. The committee is currently in caretaker mode while we investigate a number of matters including the legalities of operating with only two executive members. The committee also seeks expressions of interest for the unfilled positions.


(Vacant) President

Louise Sampson, Membership Officer

Carey Handfield, Treasurer & Public Officer

(Vacant) Administrative Secretary

Gillian Polack, General Committee Member

Ion Newcombe, General Committee Member / Website Manager

James Allen, General Committee Member / Chandler Award

Cath Ortlieb, General Committee Member

Delegated Responsibilities:

(Vacant) Norma K. Hemming Award Administrator

(Vacant) Writing Competition Administrator

If you have any enquiries please contact: <>

Posted on behalf of:

Louise Zedda-Sampson
Membership Officer
Executive Committee
Australian Science Fiction Foundation


Carey Handfield
Treasurer & Public Officer
Executive Committee
Australian Science Fiction Foundation

Conflux 2021 “Visions of Time” is the Australian National Convention

Conflux is back again in 2021 with “Visions of Time” and this year it’s also the Aussie national spec fic convention!

Conflux is Canberra’s annual speculative fiction convention for both established writers and artists and those seeking a foundation in the industry.

As we adapt to the mad (Max) world that is our new formal, Conflux will spend three days over the weekend of October 2-4 2021 exploring the future of the speculative fiction industry.

(Dr.) Who will be there you ask? This year’s guest of honour is John Birmingham, author of He Died with a Felafel in His Hand and the Axis of Time trilogy, and our International guest of honour is multi-award winning Helen Marshall, known for her psychological suspense, horror and the dark fantastic.

Since Conflux 2021 is also the Australian National Science Fiction Convention it will include the Ditmar Award, which recognises achievement in Australian science fiction (including fantasy and horror) and science fiction fandom.

More information and memberships now available at the Conflux 2021 website <>.

Genrecon 2021 – Virtual & Premium – February

Featuring a smorgasbord of leading names in Australian and international genre fiction across a spectacular line up of panels, workshops and special events, GenreCon is Queensland’s leading conference for genre writers. Find your tribe and join us as we celebrate all things Genre!

In 2021, GenreCon is going virtual for an action-packed day of amazing Live Streamed sessions on Saturday February 27, and a workshop night on Friday February 26.

More information at: <>.

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ASFF Announces the A. Bertram Chandler Award 2020

It is with great pleasure that the Australian Science Fiction Foundation announces the A. Bertram Chandler Award for 2020 goes to Dr Gillian Polack.

Gillian first encountered fandom in 1979 at a Melbourne University Science Fiction Association meeting. As so many do, she immediately gravitated towards their library. She later became more active and attended her first convention in Canberra. Gillian has been a Canberra fan since 2002 and was on the Conflux committee for seven years, organizing historical banquets, being part of the small team running the Conflux online minicon for several years, as well as convening and judging the short story competition. She was a co-convenor of Flycon, the first international online Science Fiction convention and was the GUFF winner in 2014, attending the 72nd Worldcon in London. She published her trip report, Gillian’s Book of Lists.

Gillian instituted the popular historical banquets at Conflux where she researched and tested recipes with the help of fellow fans. At Aussiecon 4 she was awarded the Best Achievement Ditmar for the Conflux Southern Gothic banquet along with her team and produced a related recipe book Five Historical Feasts, (Conflux/Eneit Press, 2011). She has introduced people to historical and science fiction inspired food and many fans have had their first (and possibly last) interaction with the joys of dehydrated portable soup at one of her panels. At the 2017 Worldcon in Helsinki, she introduced many con goers to Australian bush tucker and her home-made Medlar liquor is a wondrous delight that has been known to make an appearance at room parties.

Many conventions and fanzines have turned to Gillian for assistance when needing material to complete their publication in a short timeframe such as Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Steam Engine Time, various Continuum con books and Worldcon con books or to sub-edit Australian Speculative Fiction when Donna Hanson was out of commission. Other publications include SFSignals, Wisconsin Chronicles, Strange Horizons and SF World along with reviews for Horrorscope, ASIF and SF Commentary. She has also published multiple short stories and novels for which she has been nominated for Ditmars and been listed in the Years best listings by Ellen Datlow and Gardner Dozois. She is the editor of the Baggage anthology (2010) and co-editor of Masques, (2009). She spent four years judging the Aurealis awards. Recently she won the 2020 Best Novel Ditmar award for her book, The Year of the Fruit Cake.

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Writing NSW – Online: Writing Speculative Fiction, with Eugen Bacon

This online workshop explores fundamentals of writing speculative fiction across ‘genres’ of fantasy, science fiction, horror and the paranormal and cross-genre writing. Online: Writing Speculative Fiction with Eugen Bacon, includes writing exercises and the opportunity to give and receive peer feedback. Find out more via the Writing NSW website.

Online: Writing Speculative Fiction

Ditmar 2020 Winners Announced

The winners of the Ditmar Awards 2020 were announced during an online ceremony on Saturday September 19. Congratulations to all of the winners!

Best Novel

  • “The Year of the Fruit Cake”, Gillian Polack, IFWG Publishing Australia.

Best Short Fiction

  • “Whom My Soul Loves”, Rivqa Rafael, in Strange Horizons, 11 November 2019.

Best Collected Work

  • “Collision”, J.S. Breukelaar, Meerkat Press

Best Fan Writer

  • Elizabeth Fitzgerald, for reviews in “Skiffy and Fanty”.

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium


  • “Be The Serpent” podcast, Alexandra Rowland, Jennifer Mace and Freya Marske.
  • “SF Commentary”, Bruce Gillespie.

Best New Talent

  • Freya Marske

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Grant Watson, reviews on “FictionMachine”.

Conflux & CSFG 2020 Short Story Competition Extended

Get Writing!

We want your stories of 4000 words or under, in any speculative fiction genre, on the theme, “Apocalypse”. The competition is open to all Australian residents and members of either the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild or Conflux 16. Entry is $5, unless you are a member of the CSFG or Conflux 16 or you are aged 16 or under, in which case it is free!

The winning stories will be published online as part of our October 2020 activities.


First prize is $200 and a 2021 Conflux 16 membership! Second prize is $50 and a discounted Conflux 16 membership, and third prize is $25 and a discounted Conflux 16 membership.

Stories should be written in English, suitable for a general audience (ie, no gratuitous violence or erotica), and, of course, your own original, unpublished work.

Please submit them in the following format: RTF, double spaced, courier font, with the story title in the top right header.

Make the first page of your document a cover sheet that includes your name, contact details and story title (we’ll remove this before we give it to the judges). YOUR NAME MUST NOT APPEAR ON ANY OF THE OTHER PAGES OF THE STORY.

Get it to us through before midnight on Friday 16 October 2020.

Entry Fees
Fees can be paid by direct deposit:
BSB 083-004
A/C 79-147-4332
Conflux Incorporated
Please put reference: 2020Short.

Ditmar 2020 Voting Extended to September 6

Voting for the Australian Ditmar Award is now open until September 6 2020.

Convention members for Continuum 19, Swancon 20/21 and Swancon 2019 are welcome to vote.

2020 Ditmar Award Ballot released; voting now open

The Ditmar subcommittee are pleased to announce that voting for the Australian SF (“Ditmar”) Award for 2020 is now open, and will remain open until one minute before midnight Perth time on Sunday, 6th of September, 2020 (ie. 11.59pm, GMT+8).

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Hugo Award Winners Announced at CoNZealand

For the first time ever, the awards were presented in a virtual ceremony as part of CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon).

Arkady Martine’s debut novel, A Memory Called Empire, which explores the links between language, culture and interplanetary politics, has won the Hugo Award for the Best Novel.

This Is How You Lose the Time War, a time travelling spy love story, by Amal El-Mohtar and Max Gladstone won in the Best Novella category, and Emergency Skin, set on a post-apocalyptic Earth, by N.K. Jemisin for the Best Novelette.

S.L. Huang’s As the Last I May Know won the Hugo for the Best Short Story and the Expanse, by James S. A. Corey won the Best Series category.

Jeannette Ng’s 2019 John W. Campbell Award Acceptance Speech, which led to the award’s name being changed, received a Hugo for Best Related Work.

The Astounding Award for Best New Writer was awarded to R.F. Kuang.

LaGuardia, written by Nnedi Okorafor and illustrated by Tana Ford and James Devlin won the Hugo Award for best Best Graphic Story or Comic.

Good Omens, written by Neil Gaiman and directed by Douglas Mackinnon; and The Good Place, written by Daniel Schofield and directed by Valeria Migliassi; picked up a Hugo each for Best Dramatic Presentation, Long Form and Short Form respectively.

The Hugo Awards are the most prestigious accolades in the science fiction and fantasy genre. They have been presented at Worldcons since 1953. The physical award is in the shape of a rocket ship mounted on a base designed specifically for that year’s awards.

This year’s bases were designed by New Zealand artist John Flower and feature a paua shell koru swirl and the Matariki star cluster.

All winners are listed below:

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Sir Julius Vogel Award Winners Announced At CoNZealand

The 2020 Sir Julius Vogel Awards have been presented at CoNZealand, the 78th World Science Fiction Convention (Worldcon).

The Awards recognise excellence and achievement by New Zealanders, both amateur and professional, in the science fiction, fantasy and horror genres. They are usually presented at New Zealand’s National Science Fiction Convention which this year, is hosted as part of CoNZealand.

Voting was open to members of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand (SFFANZ) and members of CoNZealand.

A closed, in-person ceremony was held in Wellington on July 26, and streamed as part of CoNZealand’s programme.

SFFANZ president John Toon said, “It’s always a pleasure and an honour to showcase some of the best contemporary New Zealand science fiction and fantasy, and especially so this year, with the eyes of international fandom on us. On behalf of SFFANZ, hearty congratulations to all this year’s Sir Julius Vogel Award winners and nominees.”

SFFANZ congratulate all the winners and nominees and look forward to honouring more of New Zealand’s talent in 2021. A full list of winners is below.

For further information, please contact <>.

2020 Sir Julius Vogel Award winners below:

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