catsparx is coordinating the Bring Peter Watts to Aussiecon campaign. I'm reposting this from her journal:
Many of you will be familiar with this story already but for anyone who isn’t:
Last year Canadian marine biologist and science fiction writer Dr Peter Watts underwent a terrifying ordeal at the hands of over zealous border crossing guards in Port Huron, USA. While leaving the United States on December 8, 2009, he was subject to an exit search, then beaten, maced and arrested when he tried to find out what was going on.
A full account of the incident and what was to follow is up on Tor.com
Or hear him interviewed about his experience, podcast at Starship Sofa
Even though all he did was fail to promptly comply with border guards’ instructions, he narrowly escaped a prison sentence and is now officially a convicted felon and therefore no longer able to attend US conventions.
Peter’s short story ‘The Island’ from The New Space Opera 2, edited by Gardner Dozois and our own Jonathan Strahan has been nominated for a Hugo award. What with Worldcon being on Aussie soil in September this year, I thought it would be a good thing if he could fly out here for both the Hugos and Aussiecon itself.
To that end, with Peter’s permission, I’m conducting a raffle to raise money for his airfare and accommodation. First prize is tuckerisation in his next novel State of Grace. Peter says:
“make sure that all entrants realize that their namesakes will most likely come to a really painful and unpleasant end. And they may not be especially cuddly as characters before then…”
The Aussiecon committee has very kindly donated Peter’s membership. The rest is up to us. If you think the guy deserves a break, how about taking part in the raffle or making a donation?
I’ve never met Peter face-to-face but we’ve been email buddies since I sent him a gushing fan letter after reading his first novel Starfish some years back.
He is well known as an excellent value panelist and would be a fantastic asset to the ‘hard science fiction’ end of the con’s literary stream. He has also consented to participating in Dudcon where he will hand out the Ditmars and generally partake of other silliness as required.
To participate in the State of Grace tuckerisation raffle send AUS $10 via Paypal to firstname.lastname@example.org
Email me privately if you’d prefer to buy a ticket via some other medium: cat at catsparks.net
If you’re not into tuckerisation but would like to sling a few bucks into the pot, that’s awesome too.
Any funds raised surplus to requirements will be donated to a reputable charity of Peter’s choice.
Feel free to re-post this message on your own blog if you consider this to be a worthy project