• Fiona McIntosh: Voyager Author of the Month

    Fiona McIntosh was born and raised in Sussex in the UK, but also spent early childhood years in West Africa. She left a PR career in London to travel and settled in Australia in 1980. She has since roamed the world working for her own travel publishing company, which she runs with her husband. She lives in Adelaide with her husband and twin sons. Her website is at www.fionamcintosh.com.

    Her latest book, The Scrivener's Tale, is a stand-alone and takes us back to the world of Morgravia from her very first series, The Quickening:

    About The Scrivener's Tale:

    In the bookshops and cafes of present-day Paris, ex-psychologist Gabe Figaret is trying to put his shattered life back together. When another doctor, Reynard, asks him to help with a delusional female patient, Gabe is reluctant... until he meets her. At first Gabe thinks the woman, Angelina, is merely terrified of Reynard, but he quickly discovers she is not quite what she seems.

    As his relationship with Angelina deepens, Gabe's life in Paris becomes increasingly unstable. He senses a presence watching and following every move he makes, and yet he finds Angelina increasingly irresistible.

    When Angelina tells Gabe he must kill her and flee to a place she calls Morgravia, he is horrified. But then Angelina shows him that the cathedral he has dreamt about since childhood is real and exists in Morgravia.

    A special 10th Anniversary edition of her first fantasy book, Myrren's Gift, will be released in December!



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Why you should get Conned: Glenda Larke blogs on Worldcon/Denvention

I have just returned from the Science Fiction Worldcon in Denver, and what a wonderful experience it was. What? Too expensive for you as an Australian, you say?

Well, in 2010, it won’t be. Because Worldcon is coming to Melbourne, and if you buy a membership soon it will still be relatively cheap, and you have plenty of time to suss out cheap airline tickets. Can’t afford the con hotel? Never mind, I’ve met con attendees staying in the YMCA or local Backpackers, even someone camping in a tent.

Is it worth it? Of course! For anyone who loves reading or writing sf/f. Period.

Here are some of my highlights from Denvention 2008…

Who could resist a panel that included Connie Willis, George R.R. Martin and Lois McMaster Bujold and (if I remember correctly) Larry Niven, all talking about how they started reading SF and what their early influences were? Or one with Joe Haldeman, Connie Willis and Mike Resnick? The title of that one was: “The Best Convention Panel Ever”, but they spent most of their time talking about “The Worst Convention Panel Ever”, and similar disasters instead. It was a laugh a minute. Then there was the panel on “Making a Living Telling Lies” with Jo Walton, Jay Lake and Connie Willis. Wow.

Joe Haldeman to the left, Connie Willis and Mike Resnick on the right

Joe Haldeman to the left, Connie Willis and Mike Resnick on the right

So the first reason to go to a con is simply for listening to the greats of sf/f talking about what they do best – writing – and their influences. Once you arrive at a con, you can even book to attend a kaffeeklatch, where your favourite author will chat for an hour or so with a small group of eight or nine fans. Yep, close up and personal.

The second reason is for information. Are you a budding writer and want to know about agents and what impresses them and how to find one? Or are you a fan and want to listen to Brandon Sanderson talk about the last Wheel of Time novel? Or are you just interested and want to learn about the reality of space drives? Or a world without fossil fuels? Or the future of libraries? Horses in fantasy? There were panels in Denver on all those things. Our own Karen Miller was on that last one.

The third reason is to participate, if you are so inclined. You can volunteer to man one of the desks, or help organise the con beforehand (even decide who you want speaking on what panels!) and one hundred and one other things that need doing. Or you can be on one of the panels if you have specific expertise, or if you are a published writer, or if you know something about the genre and its writers. Want to talk about, say, writers groups, or why you like long fantasies, or Robert Jordan’s body of work – you may have a chance.

The fourth reason is to party. Every night. Cheaply. And find yourself chatting to, say, Robert Silverberg, or an editor from Orbit Books, or a fan from Finland, or a publisher from Israel – in fact, just about anyone.

The fifth reason is to attend the Hugo Awards. Fantastic, especially as I knew quite a few of the nominees. There were three West Australians on the ballot this year, vying for five of the Hugos! How good is that??

For me, meeting people is the highlight. And now I am going to name-drop like mad – but bear in mind that this is all part of the stimulus of a Worldcon. These folk aren’t passing royalty dismissing you with a limp handshake, they are people interested in the same thing that you are, they are people who love talking about the same things you do. You can sit at the feet (metaphorically) of the greats of science fiction and be entertained and informed. You can learn such a lot!

I shared a panel with Robert J.Sawyer; I found myself chatting to Elizabeth Moon about snakes and the environment; with Carol Berg about how to deal with a noisy husband when you want to write; with Kate Elliott about her new novel and her husband’s job as a forensic anthropologist; with Phyllis Eisenstein about collecting books, and with writer David Coe about covers. Donna Hanson and I were taken out to dinner (with Gary K.Wolfe and Amelia Beamer of Locus Magazine, novelist Kate Elliott and academic Farah Mendlesohn), by David Hartwell of Tor/Forge Books, who had just won a Hugo for Best Professional Editor (Long Form). He serenaded us by singing “Teen Angel” and “Love Potion Number Nine” – a long standing tradition which occurs every year, it appears. How cool is that?

So – start saving. I will see you at Aussiecon 4, in Melbourne, September 2nd-6th, 2010. The guests will be Kim Stanley Robinson, Robin Johnson and Shaun Tan. Don’t miss it – it won’t come around again for at least another ten years. See you there!

Visit Glenda’s website and blog
Visit the Aussiecon website


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