Special Guests

Special Guests

No Discworld Convention is complete without special guests, and so we are proud to announce that the following wonderful people will be appearing in person or virtually at Nullus Anxietas 9!

In Person Guests

Tansy Rayner Roberts

Tansy Rayner RobertsTansy is a Tasmanian author of many science fiction and fantasy books, including the following series: Teacup Magic, Castle Charming, Creature Court, and Sparks & Philtres. She also writes cosy crime under the gnome-de-plum Livia Day. Her latest novel is Time of the Cat, a comedy about time-travel and talking cats! Her highly popular essay collection Pratchett's Women is now being followed up with regular articles on Pratchett's Men in the new online magazine Speculative Insight. Tansy survived COVID lockdowns (and home schooling!) thanks to books, tea, and cake. Visit Tansy's website here.

Pratchat Podcast - Ben McKenzie and Elizabeth Flux

Elizabeth Flux and Ben McKenzie with their Ditmar Award for Pratchat

Pratchat is a monthly Terry Pratchett and Discworld book club podcast where Ben and Elizabeth read and discuss one of Pratchett's books or short stories with a special guest - and not just the Discworld ones! Now in its seventh year, Pratchat has been nominated for the Ditmar Award for "Best Fan Publication in Any Medium" three times, winning in 2023. Guests are notable writers, actors, comedians and more, including Amie Kaufman, Caimh (C.K.) McDonnell, Garth Nix and the late and much missed Cal Wilson (GNU), as well as Pratchett biographer Marc Burrows, and recently Gabrielle Kent and Rhianna Pratchett. Visit the Pratchat website here.

Ben is a performer, writer, game designer and teacher based in Melbourne, Australia. He's best known for the time travel radio comedy Night Terrace, and of course Pratchat. Ben is a "slashie", working various arts jobs - he teaches comedy writing and podcasting (among other things), presents and narrates educational videos, wrote the award-winning VR game Table of Tales: The Crooked Crown, and has designed non-digital games of all sorts, from the tabletop to city streets. His favourite dinosaur is Stegosaurus, and his favourite element is helium. Visit Ben's website here.

Elizabeth is a freelance writer with a focus on film and pop culture, previous editor of Voiceworks magazine, and current Arts Editor for The Age, Melbourne's major broadsheet newspaper. She has been published in Film Ink, Metro, Junkee, The Lifted Brow, Spook and Kill Your Darlings. She is also very fast with a pune, or play on words. One might say her brain is in constant... flux. Visit Elizabeth's website here.

Pat and Jan Harkin

Pat and Jan Harkin Doctors Pat and Jan are long-time fans - and friends - of Terry Pratchett. They are regulars at Discworld Conventions all over the world, with Pat acting as the Discworld Auctioneer at many of these events. In 2022, they were asked to seek out The Quest for the Keys, a story by Terry that had been serialised in the local papers in the 1980s, but nobody knew exactly where. During the search, they discovered several children's stories attributed to Patrick Kearns, but seemed very much in Terry's style - which they were! These stories were published in A Stroke of the Pen in 2023, a final collection of Terry's works that hadn't seen print in over 35 years. During the COVID lockdowns, Pat took up baking, and got back in touch with old school friends via Zoom. Jan did some gardening, played a lot of escape room games, and both of them managed to attend their daughter's lockdown wedding with a 12-person ceremony and a virtual reception.

Karen J Carlisle

Karen J CarlisleKaren is a writer and illustrator of Victorian mystery, steampunk, fantasy, and cosy(ish) murder mysteries with a twist. She graduated in 1986 with a Bachelor of Applied Science, and lives in Adelaide with her family and the ghost of her ancient Devon Rex cat. Karen first fell in love with science fiction when she saw Doctor Who and has long-term affairs with fantasy fiction, (tabletop) role-playing, gardening, historical re-creation and steampunk. She's had articles published in Australian Realms Roleplaying Magazine. Her short stories have appeared in the 2013 Australian Literature Review, featured in the 2016 Adelaide Fringe exhibition, A Trail of Tales, and published in the Where's Holmes? and Deadsteam anthology series. She writes full-time and can often be found plotting fantastical adventures or co-writing the occasional musical ditty. Karen has always loved dark chocolate and rarely refuses a cup of tea. She is not keen on South Australian summers. Visit Karen's website here.

Steamkittens - Leigh Hyland

Steamkittens - Leigh HylandCosplayer dressed as Sergeant Angua; Photography by SteamkittensSteamkittens has spent a decade redefining Australian cosplay photography with his extraordinary talent. He has travelled across the country, attending conventions one by one, and gradually built a reputation for his approach to coloured lights that revolutionised the cosplay scene. Despite facing a progressive neuro condition for the majority of this time, his passion for bringing cosplays to life through photography remains unwavering.

From humble beginnings photographing animals at a rescue shelter (which inspired the name), Steamkittens has become a sought-after photographer at conventions. Whether drawing large queues at events like PAX (in his famous corner), regional cons around the country or serving as the resident cosplay photographer for Supanova over the past five years, where his presence is highly anticipated.

He discovered Discworld via a housemate in the 90's and while he has a particular fondness for all the Watch novels his favourite book is actually The Truth.

See his portfolio here

Virtual Guests

Sir Terry Pratchett

Sir Terry PratchettWe all know who he is, right? Although Terry met the tall figure with the bones and scythe in March 2015, he is with us all in spirit. We wouldn't be here otherwise. Read more about Sir Terry here.

Rob Wilkins

Rob WilkinsRob worked with Terry Pratchett for more than twenty years, first as his personal assistant, and later as his business manager. He now, in partnership with Terry's daughter Rhianna, manages the Pratchett literary estate and Terry's production company, Narrativia. His official biography of Terry, A Life With Footnotes, has won both Hugo and Locus Awards. At the Australian Discworld Convention in 2011, a pair of Rob's pyjamas sold at the charity auction for over $1500.

Stephen Briggs

Stephen BriggsStephen has collaborated with Terry Pratchett on many projects over several decades. This began when he was the first person to adapt Discworld books for the stage, back in the 1990s. Stephen has also (co-)authored Discworld maps, diaries, companions, cookbooks and more. He continues to act and direct with the Studio Theatre Club in Oxford, with a new dramatization of Witches Abroad coming in November 2024. During COVID lockdowns, Stephen posted videos of himself reading snippets of Pratchett's work to social media - over 250 of them - and refreshed his mental health by spending time in his garden. Visit Stephen's website here.

Colin Smythe

Colin SmytheColin published Terry's very first novel, The Carpet People in 1971, and has been working with him ever since, becoming Terry's agent just as Discworld was getting started. Although he's now retired as Terry's agent, that has not meant that there is nothing for him to do. In the last few years, he's had his hand in both of Terry's biographies (written by Marc Burrows and Rob Wilkins respectively), and was spurred to find The Quest for the Keys which was brought to Colin's attention by Chris Lawrence, who had cut the episodes out of a local paper decades before. Colin tasked Pat and Jan Harkin to do some digging at the British Library, and the results became A Stroke of the Pen, published in 2023. Visit Colin's website here.

Professor Ian Stewart

Professor Ian StewartIan is Emeritus Professor of Mathematics at the University of Warwick and a Fellow of the Royal Society. He has five honorary doctorates and is an honorary wizard of Unseen University. His more than 130 books include Professor Stewart's Cabinet of Mathematical Curiosities and the four-volume series The Science of Discworld with Terry Pratchett and Jack Cohen. His SF novels include the trilogy Wheelers, Heaven, and Oracle (with Jack Cohen), The Living Labyrinth and Rock Star (with Tim Poston), Jack of All Trades, and most recently Loophole. His awards include the Royal Society's Faraday Medal, the Chancellor's Medal of the University of Warwick, the Lewis Thomas Prize, and the Bloody Stupid Johnson Award for Innovative Uses of Mathematics. During COVID lockdown, Ian and his wife went walking, did jigsaw puzzles, and cancelled foreign trips. Visit Ian's website here.

Marc Burrows

Marc BurrowsMarc is a comedian, musician, and journalist from the UK. His 2020 biography The Magic of Terry Pratchett won the Locus Award for best non-fiction. He's since collaborated with the estate of Sir Terry to turn the book into a one-man stand-up show, which debuted at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe in 2023 to rave reviews and sell-out performances and is now touring the UK. He has also written books about David Bowie and Marc Bolan's friendship, the cult Welsh rock band Manic Street Preachers, and is currently working on one about Nirvana. He wants to write a new album for his band, Before Victoria, but he is too tired. Marc spent lockdown promoting his book (which was released in July of 2020), avoiding the world, crying at Schitt's Creek and writing. Between the bouts of existential dread it was, weirdly, quite a happy time. Visit Marc's website here.

Good Omens: The Musical - Vicki Larnach, Jim Hare, Jay James Moody

Vicki LarnarchJim HareJay James MoodyVicki, Jim and Jay have been working for over a decade to bring Good Omens: The Musical - based on the novel by Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman - to the stage. In early 2024, they met with Neil in Sydney to discuss the work's progress. Visit Good Omens: The Musical website here.

Vicki is a composer, playwright and music producer, whose solo chill out albums Lumia, Gardens in the Snow, Levitate, and children's album Leave It To Us are streamed worldwide. Her new works in development include an audio musical - Tickets Please - a comedy/drama about performing artists; and The Water Code - an Australian historic fantasy play with music.

Jim is a multi-award winning filmmaker and writer with extensive TV and film credits, including The Matrix and The Great Gatsby. He has collaborated with comedy greats such as Carl Barron, Wayne Brady, Jason Alexander and Kitty Flanagan.

Jay is an award-winning actor, director, writer and producer. He was founder and Artistic Director of Sydney's acclaimed boutique company Squabbalogic, was a co-founder of the prestigious Hayes Theatre Co, and is the recipient of a Mike Walsh Fellowship.

Discworld Monthly / Better Than a Poke in the Eye / Llamedos Holiday Camp - Jason and Rachel Anthony-Rowlands

Jason and Rachel Anthony-RowlandsJason is a senior software engineer working in South Wales. He started Discworld Monthly - the premiere e-newsletter about all things Terry Pratchett - almost by accident and acted as editor for over 26 years.

Rachel is a designer, event organiser, social media manager, and cheerleader of those who need that kind of boost. She joined Jason in writing and editing Discworld Monthly in 2013.

In 2023, they expanded their coverage to include other authors, and rebranded as Better Than a Poke In The Eye - because Terry had said exactly that about Discworld Monthly. Visit the Better Than a Poke in the Eye website here.

In addition to this, they run the Llamedos Holiday Camp, a Discworld Convention in Wales, which started life as an April Fools' Day joke but became real due to popular demand. Whilst some might say it's #NotACult, it has gained cult status as the event to go to, raising over £15,000 for charity. Visit the Llamedos Holiday Camp website here.

Jason and Rachel survived the pandemic by playing board games, working from home, and producing 28 hours of live Discworld TV as "Llamedos On The Clacks".

The Ineffable Con - Bethany and Rachael Windsor

Bethany Windsor, dressed as Madame Tracy from Good OmensRachael Windsor, dressed as War from Good OmensThe Ineffable Con run conventions, online parties and re-watches for fans of Good Omens by Sir Terry Pratchett and Neil Gaiman. Since 2019, they have raised over £40,000 for Alzheimer's Research UK. Visit The Ineffable Con Website here.

Rachael was given her first Terry Pratchett books for her eighth birthday, and has been a fan ever since. Good Omens introduced her to Neil Gaiman a few years later, and a whole new trove of fantasy worlds. She's been part of the Tolkien, Harry Potter and Star Trek fandoms, organising fan clubs and conventions for many years.

A self-described heathen, Bethany dived headfirst into fandom with Good Omens, writing fan fiction, attending her first convention (The Ineffable Con in 2019), and doing her first cosplay! She then joined Rachael in co-chairing The Ineffable Con since its second iteration. Her day job also requires her to organise large meetings often, though none so fun as this one.