• 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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Fallon Friday: Music that Inspired the Tide Lords

Every time I do an interview, someone invariably asks what inspires me. My rather glib answer is usually: “I am inspired by everything, because that way, everything is tax deductible”. *grin*

In the case of the Tide Lords, however, there are a few other non-deductible of sources of inspiration I can pinpoint, and some of them are songs.

I was reminded of this when I discovered Meat Loaf’s 1977 overwrought Bat Out of Hell album in my iTunes files and found myself singing along with the epic (did Meat Loaf do anything other than epic?) Paradise by the Dashboard Light, which the Amazon staff reviewer refers to as a “breathless nookie-quest”.

Nookie-quests not withstanding, the lyrics from the very end of that rather long and really quite absurd song, always struck a chord with me…

I couldn’t take it any longer, lord I was crazed
And when the feeling came upon me like a tidal wave
I started swearing to my God and on my mother’s grave
That I would love you to the end of time
I swore that I would love you to the end of time!

So now I’m praying for the end of time, to hurry up and arrive
’Cause if I gotta spend another minute with you
I don’t think that I can really survive
I’ll never break my promise or forget my vow
But God only knows what I can do right now
I’m praying for the end of time
It’s all that I can do
Praying for the end of time, so I can end my time with you

I always thought the idea of being stuck with someone you can’t stand until the end of time because of a thoughtless promise was, besides being quite a scary notion, fodder for a really interesting plot.

As a consequence, much of the series deals with the shifting relationships between my immortals and how they deal with the idea of being stuck with each other until the end of time.

And I’m pretty sure that means my remastered copy of Bat out of Hell is now tax deductible, too:)

Find out more about the Tide Lords series at Jennifer Fallon’s website and read her blog. Jennifer Fallon is the author of thirteen novels published by Voyager plus she writes Stargate tie-ins with Sonny Whitelaw. She’s now at work on her next series.

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Kim Harrison and Vicki Pettersson beaming in

Here are videos of two of our favourite dark Voyager authors – thanks to our cousins over at Eos books. Yes, they both do like to wear black and yes, they both do have hair with a decidedly copper tint. And yes, they both write butt-kicking fantastic heroines.

Phwoar Hunter, says I.

 

Kim Westwood: How Nightship came to be

It began with a phrase.

I’d been wandering through the opulence that is Harrods, in London, marvelling and discomforted at the same time. I arrived at a massive four-poster bed. The counterpane was scattered with fox pelts, a cowhide slung over one carved wooden end like a throw rug. Who’d sleep easy, here?

“On my bed a dead cow and a slaughter of foxes.”

The image remained, the phrase repeating in my mind, but I did nothing with it. Then back home in the cosiness that is my Canberra living room, I watched a documentary on SBS. The full context of that program has faded now, but one image remains: grainy footage of a woman shrouded, kneeling in a field, her punishment a stoning to the death.

I sat down to write.

The London phrase expanded into a paragraph. I saw my protagonist for the first time in my mind’s eye. I heard the Nightship; I felt its depth and darkness. My inner gyro fixed in Australia: the eastern seaboard, now flooded, a network of canals extending across the old state borders, the epicentre of events taking place in a much-changed Sydney. The Nightships loomed, great hulking juggernauts, monsters of industry and the symbols of their owners’ power.

Enter the Iron Families.

I unhitched the terms ‘man’, ‘woman’, ‘girl’ and ‘boy’ from assumed ground, and made them social positions linked to lifetime occupations. To be a ‘man’ was to wield the Families’ power. Regardless of the individual’s perceived sex at birth, if they were an Iron Family member, then from the onset of adulthood—the raw age of thirteen—they were accorded the epithet of ‘man’. ‘Woman’, was a title applied only to those undamaged few who could conceive. As for ‘girls’ and ‘boys’, they were an entirely different thing, and the source of my protagonist’s suffering, intermixed with small, hard-won freedoms.

As with all my stories, I felt let for a time into another world, a scribe for what went on there. The story played out to its end and then I honed it, whittling the bones until done. Nightship had emerged, behemoth, from the fog.

Stay tuned for the novel.

Go to the Terra Incognita SF site to listen to or download a podcast of Kim Westwood reading her Aurealis-shortlisted story, ‘Nightship’.

‘Nightship’ was published in Dreaming Again, edited by Jack Dann.

Kim Westwood is the author of The Daughters of Moab, an Aurealis finalist for the Best Science Fiction Novel. Click here for a full biography and a list of Kim’s published short stories.

The latest updates to the Reviews page …

… are now up:

Hammer of God…in 60 Seconds – an interview with Karen Miller about the Godspeaker trilogy, over at Tor.com – with extremely interesting insights into the themes of the book: ‘The basic idea of the trilogy arose out of Miller’s interest in religion, and the impact of religion on ordinary people, and how it can be used as a terrible weapon or a gift of solace in hard times.’

And don’t forget Karen Miller’s alter ego with Niki Bruce’s review of Witches Incorporated, beautifully entitled Wands at 20 paces:’ … a joyful story of friendship, romance and adventure. It’s beautifully written with action from start to finish and endearing characters.’

The Nile (click for full review) have a dream review up for The Gene Thieves: ‘This is a chronicle of where science, malice, heroism and passion may one day take us. Recommended unreservedly.’

Drop by the blog tomorrow to read Kim Westwood’s piece on ‘Nightship’, the Aurealis-shortlisted story she wrote for Dreaming Again.

Swancon is on right now

http://twitter.com/Swancon

http://2009.swancon.com.au/

If you’re in Perth, then make sure you get down there to see people like Richard Morgan, Trudi Canavan, Theresa Anns (from HarperCollins!), Rob Masters and Alicia Smith.

Have a good Easter break

white-rabbit


Begin at the beginning and go on till you come to the end: then stop.

Lewis Carroll, Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland. Said by the King to the White Rabbit, and good advice for any reader or writer.

To all our authors, readers, commenters, and anyone who loves the wonderland of fantasy, have a fantastic Easter break! And enjoy your Easter eggs. And if you don’t, send them to us.

Put YOUR questions to fantasy legend Raymond Feist

rides-a-dread-legion

http://www.bookgeeks.co.uk/2009/04/06/put-your-questions-to-fantasy-legend-raymond-feist/

UK site BookGeeks are running an interview next week with Raymond E Feist. They are offering readers the opportunity to suggest questions to ask Raymond – and will pass on as many as possible to him to answer. The deadline is 6:30 am (GMT) on Thursday 9th April, so click the link above for the form to send a question!