• 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!

     

     

Gaela Stars March 30 – April 5 by Kim Falconer

Full Moon in Libra Times:

Sydney – Tuesday 13.27
L.A. – Monday -18.27
New York– Monday 21.27
London – Tuesday 2.27

RAM: The full moon propels your life forward in ways that enhance public standing. It may be a quagmire for intimate relationships though, so take time to check if any loved ones are still around when you land on your feet. If not, pick up the phone. There is always something left to love. ~Gabriel Garcia Marquez

AUROCHS: Sensitivity to certain foods s is a sure sign that something isn’t quite right. Aside from food combinations, you might want to ponder where it is you feel upset by a new routine at work or in the home. Tranquillity and appetite are restored when you draw the line. The pen is mightier than the sword if the sword is very short, and the pen is very sharp. ~Terry Pratchett

TWINS: Standing on the verge of a love affair is like looking into an abyss. You can’t see the bottom and you certainly can’t visualise the other side. (Is there another side?) Consider the merits of trust by taking a deep breath and letting go. The greater risk here is turning away. The essence of romance is uncertainty. ~Oscar Wilde

COBRA: This full moon falls into your family sector, stirring the nest like a kid with a stick. If you have parents or elderly relations, you’ll be drawn into their involvements as well as those of any children or siblings. The trick is to offer support while staying clear and grounded in the moment. The rule is, jam tomorrow and jam yesterday – but never jam today.~ Lewis Carroll

LION: If you haven’t had your car, bicycle or bus tickets checked, this week could get interesting. All communications, networking and travel is liable to detours and unexpected disruption. Your best approach is philosophical; it won’t fix the flat tire but it’ll give you a sense of peace. It is good to have an end to journey toward, but it is the journey that matters in the end.~Ursula K. Le Guin

CERES: Missing, lost or misplaced items are driving you nuts right now though the more you focus on retrieving them, the further away they slip. Like searching for an obscure word in the recesses of your personal vocabulary, it only returns when you stop looking. Take a break! The mind can make a heaven out of hell and a hell out of heaven. John Milton

BALENCIA: Your moods may swing this full moon, fluctuating between compassion and accusation. It’s okay. To ebb and flow like the tides is your personal right. By doing so, you allow treasures to wash up on shore. I love the swirl and swing of words as they tangle with human emotions. ~James Michener

SCORPION: A struggle between your personal needs and those of the group are highlighted during the full moon, putting your natural leadership skills to a test. Like the pied piper, the question isn’t so much ‘will they follow’ but ‘where are you taking them?’ If your actions inspire others to dream more, learn more, do more and become more, you are a leader. ~John Quincy Adams

ARCHER: A blow to the ego may have you churning up dust, ready to charge. Take a breath. It’s not necessary to mow down every obstacle in your path, even though you probably can. To avoid injuries, consider what you really want and adjust accordingly. A creative man is motivated by the desire to achieve, not by the desire to beat others. ~Ayn Rand

SEA-GOAT: You may cruise through this week while those around you reach critical mass. This might be the closest you’ve ever been to spontaneous human combustion. As loved ones rage, consider what you’re missing. Passion is passion. It’s the excitement between the tedious spaces, and it doesn’t matter where it’s directed… the saddest people are the ones who don’t care deeply about anything at all. ~Nicholas Sparks

WATER-BEARER: Sakura-jima is nothing compared to the emotion evoked by doing finances with a partner this week. A more creative pursuit might be something along the lines of light-hearted fun. Let us toast to animal pleasures, to escapism, to rain on the roof and instant coffee, to unemployment insurance and library cards, to absinthe and good-hearted landlords, to music and warm bodies . . . the “good life”, whatever it is and wherever it happens to be. ~Hunter S. Thompsond

FISHES: Brace for in-laws, out laws, public, private and dogmatic laws! Some of these will be more interesting to deal with than others. The trick is to detach from anything restricting your natural exuberance while maintaining the engagement necessary for credibility. We have to dare to be ourselves, however frightening or strange that self may prove to be. ~Mary Sarton

Enter Kim's website

Kim Falconer lives in Byron Bay with two gorgeous black cats. She runs an astrology forum and alternative science site‚ trains with a sword and is working on the Quantum Encryption trilogy, the follow up to Quantum Enchantment.

The physics of fantasy …

…Or how to build an Argosian dirigible.

As a child I lived for a time in Toronto, Canada. One of my fondest memories of that city was the science museum, a fabulous labyrinthine place equipped with displays a kid could actually touch. Oh, the buttons that whirred and the physics that stirred! If I’d had the brains to become a quantum theorist I might have credited those exhibits with inspiring it all. (As it was, even high school pre-calc defeated me, my early dreams dashed on the hard harsh blackboard of life. Those freaky imaginary numbers. The sneeringly rational ones. Those two ultimate snobs, sine and cosine. All Greek to me, thank you Pythagoras.)

But the display that pleased me most was far from the interactive brain-teasers, atop a long escalator filled with sounds of recorded birdsong (the 70’s: a time of bamboo and disembodied tweeting. No social media pun intended.) There some thoughtful person had created a three dimensional replica of a Heath Robinson machine, a proper model complete with a jaunty little gentleman working an intricate contraption that either served up a spoonful of peas or fried an egg – I’m not sure which, though I did spend a great deal of time observing that gentleman and his wonderful invention. If you have never heard of Heath Robinson you are in for a treat. Google him.

It was not exactly how in engineering terms the peas got to the spoon, or the egg to the plate, or whatever it was, that fascinated me, though that was part of the charm. It was the fact that the egg, or the peas, took an inordinately roundabout route to do what they were supposed to do and get where they were supposed to go – a brilliantly complex, fussy, over-engineered monstrosity masquerading as something one might need in real life. A simple task was done in ten times the number of steps normally required: sheer genius.

And so a love of fantasy, and of all things needless and without practicality, was born.

One of the many satisfying things about creating a fantasy world is being given carte blanche to imagine the gadgets and contraptions which might form a part of everyday life there. These things naturally have a basis in ‘reality’ as it is presented in the story. People living in a gigantic tree surrounded on every side by a precipitous drop would invent a means of air-travel, whether it was the taming of great birds, hang-gliders or simply hot air ballooning. But fantasy worlds and fantasy dirigibles are not bound entirely by questions of engineering, or even efficiency. It was not enough to have the Argosians harness Tree-ether and launch their floating ships into the skies. This was a people in the grip of ancient ideas and superstitions: they distrusted science. They used only certain approved forms of air-travel. Their ruling priestly classes paid a great deal of lip-service to the idea of the Natural Law, while in secret making use of forgotten technologies as they saw fit. A dirigible was not supposed to travel faster than weather dictated. Sails were acceptable, but steam-driven propellers were not. Ether jets might be used for direction change and special air-currents harnessed for speed, but the idea of a machine that flouted such concerns and went without the wind would stir up a deep uneasiness in the Argosian soul. Somewhere deep down a collective memory existed, the confused sense that when one allowed a machine to do just anything, one was inevitably trafficking with demons.

So an Argosian dirigible might be described as being built of overlapping sections of hardwood, called clinkers. It possesses a great many ether-balloons, including spare sets to replace those that might be damaged during a flight. It may be steered with long poles if small, or nudged about with ether-jets when large. It uses sails and parachute-like screens to advance or lose speed. Some fantastical contraptions have been observed far to the north which employ pedal-driven propellers. But an Argosian dirigible is also built of ideas. It runs on superstition and uses religion as fuel. It is at the mercy of wind and weather, an entirely inefficient means of transport that takes ten times more effort and energy to move about than a streamlined Zepplin. Practicality is not the main concern of these magnificent, soaring, cumbersome vehicles.

For to begin with, at least, Argosians did not believe in speed for the sake of it. They did not think that the final destination was the only motivation for the journey. They remembered, unconsciously, deep down and buried under a heap of superstition, that the faster you go, the more likely you are to leave a piece of your soul behind.

Times change, of course.

Tymon’s Flight by Mary Victoria will be published in August 2010. In the meantime, keep up with Mary at her blog.

Gaela horoscopes from Kim Falconer

 Your stars for the week beginning 23 March from author of the Quantum Enchantment trilogy Kim Falconer!

RAM: As the sun beams its equinox warmth, the sky whispers ‘anything is possible.’ Confidence, hope and a call to adventure puts a smile on your face this week. Get on with it! It is often said that before you die your life passes before your eyes. It is in fact true. It’s called living.’ ~Terry Pratchett

AUROCHS: The imagination is your greatest ally this week–use it, nurture it, serve it up a three course meal. The more you respect your inner voice, the sweeter the outer one sings. ‘After all, you put a lot into creating a universe and everything that goes with it, and it seems a shame to use it only once.’ ~Terry Brooks

TWINS: An open mind and fresh start with friends brings you to certain realisations this week. The trick, the challenge even, is to see people as themselves, not as yourself. Once you get the hang of it, it’s a whole new world! ‘Because you’re not what I would have you be, I blind myself to who, in truth, you are.’ ~Madeleine L’Engle

COBRA: An inheritance comes your way. It’s not necessarily a treasure chest full of Aztec gold or Tahitian pearls. It might be words of an ancestor, a long lost letter or a revelation about the past. Appreciation brings enlightenment. ‘One curious thing about growing up is that you don’t only move forward in time; you move backwards as well, as pieces of your parents’ and grandparents’ lives come to you.‘ ~Philip Pullman

LION: Sometimes you might be tempted to do things out of duty or a sense of obligation. It seems like it is the ‘right’ thing to do. The short answer is, don’t. If it feels like a ‘should’, reassess. Ask why you are making yourself someone else and let the answer be your guide. ‘People rarely succeed unless they have fun in what they are doing.‘ ~Dale Carnegie

CERES: Questions come up this week and you have a chance to start fresh on a road previously blocked. The way is clear and the guide at the crossroad is inside your heart. ‘Very few beings really seek knowledge in this world. Mortal or immortal, few really ASK. On the contrary, they try to wring from the unknown the answers they have already shaped in their own minds. ~Anne Rice

BALENCIA: The equinox brings a pause before the change of seasons and in that sliver of time you have a chance to put a new order in place. For it to succeed, for your ideas and plans and desires to move forward, you must be true to yourself. Nothing more or less matters at all. ‘Argue with anything else, but don’t argue with your own nature.‘ ~Philip Pullman

SCORPION: Things that suited you in the past may have become ingrained habits –routine. At the turn of the seasons, it is time to evaluate their purpose. Do they still serve you well? ‘A child-like man is not a man whose development has been arrested; on the contrary, he is a man who has given himself a chance of continuing to develop long after most adults have muffled themselves in the cocoon of middle-aged habit and convention.’  ~Aldous Huxley

ARCHER: At the turn of the wheel, the seasons change and so do your opportunities. The question is, are you really aiming for your heart’s desire, or settling for second choice? Go for broke. Go for the bull’s eye. Go for what you really want and you’ll never regret it. ‘There is only one real sin and that is to persuade oneself that the second best is anything but second best.’ ~Doris Lessing

SEA-GOAT: After a season of focus, perseverance and hard work, after ritual routine so well executed you can do it blindfolded, it is time to take a break. Relax, exhale, give yourself permission to recline. There’s nothing out there that cannot wait for you. ‘A little nonsense now and then is relished by the wisest people.’ ~Roald Dahl

WATER-BEARER: It is possible that you were not ready until now to take this next step, to reach for this level and to live this bigger life. Instead of feeling like a late bloomer see it as being right on time. ‘I had to live this long, have the experiences I’ve had, to create what I do. I knew I wanted to write for years, but I had to be ready so I wouldn’t blow it.’ ~Terry Goodkind

FISHES: Change is in the air and a certain level of anxiety accompanies the exhilaration. As comfort, remember that when you move, you always take yourself with you. ‘Never make your home in a place. Make a home for yourself inside your own head. You’ll find what you need to furnish it – memory, friends you can trust, love of learning, and other such things. That way it will go with you wherever you journey.’ ~Tad Williams

Enter Kim's website

Kim Falconer lives in Byron Bay with two gorgeous black cats. She runs an astrology forum and alternative science site‚ trains with a sword and is working on the Quantum Encryption trilogy, the follow up to Quantum Enchantment.

Gaela stars by Kim Falconer

Your weekly horoscope, taken from the Gaela stars of Kim Falconer’s Quantum Enchantment trilogy.

RAM: The New Moon in Pisces rises in your 12th house of unconscious desires and lucid dreams – the landscape of imagination. Meld down the boundaries of separation through love, sharing and service. Set your mind free. It is above all by the imagination that we achieve perception and compassion and hope. ~ Ursula K. Le Guin

AUROCHS: The feeling of belonging to a group of like minded others is essential for some, and a lot of fun for the rest. Which are you? Participate in your own collective, yes. Let it define the nature of your being, not a chance! I never know where I am going, though. That is part of what makes it so wonderful. And after all, who does? ~Tanith Lee

TWINS: This New Moon has you thinking a lot about your public image and general relationship to society. To boost your confidence, think of the ways you are serving others, just by being yourself! Call it my little gesture toward social conscience, but I like to think I’m teaching a certain number of people to read. Now that sounds pretentious! ~David Eddings

COBRA: This is a supportive time for travel, exploration and general risk taking of all kinds. Like the Fool in the deck of Tarot, you can waltz right off the cliff and land in a pot of gold. Just remember: It does not do to leave a live dragon out of your calculations, if you live near him. ~JRR Tolkien

LION: Curiosity has you poking your nose in everybody’s business . Why this? Who that? Not him? This may reflect a fundamental desire to have more going on in your life, or simply be the drive to self educate. If you know the difference, it will be easier to choose the more fulfilling path. The answers you get from literature depend on the questions you pose. ~Margaret Atwood

CERES: This week is all about relationships. There is much to learn about yourself! To be safe, consider any ‘other’ your perfect full length twenty four hour one size fits all mirror. Not in a Rel? Ha?Is that what you tell yourself? I have a shelf of comfort books, which I read when the world closes in on me, or something untoward happens. ~Anne McCaffrey

BALENCIA: This week may feel a little frustrating if you measure the distance between where you are now and where you want to be. Basically, just don’t. It is much more fruitful to spend time musing on all that you have achieved and all that you have yet to experience. Any human anywhere will blossom in a hundred unexpected talents and capacities simply by being given the opportunity to do so. ~Doris Lessing

SCORPION: After a very long time of being focused, responsible (able to respond) capable, fully functional and grown up, the universe asks one more thing of you: Play! Humanity has advanced, when it has advanced, not because it has been sober, responsible, and cautious, but because it has been playful, rebellious, and immature. ~Tom Robbins

ARCHER: Usually your energy is so fired up that the most supportive gift is a bevy of cheerleaders to wave you on to the finish line. By contrast, this New Moon would like to explore some of the more internal aspects of your life. Today is the day you can do something great. Don’t let anyone tell you that TV and a large bag of Cheetos isn’t something great. ~Unknown

SEA-GOAT: You may find that in the past you’ve used intellectual pursuits as a shield against various banes such as boredom or confronting relationships. If so, be prepared this week to talk your way out of one, or the other. Remember: An intellectual is a person who’s found one thing that’s more interesting than sex. ~Aldous Huxley

WATER-BEARER: This New Moon may bring into focus the state of your affairs, financial, romantic and otherwise. The key is to not get hung up on appearances. How you feel right here, right now at ground zero says a lot more than your bank account or your lover. Hint: A rich man is nothing but a poor man with money. ~W. C. Fields

FISHES: There are so many planets in the sign of the Fishes right now, emphasising some of your more brilliant, sensitive and endearing qualities. For example, the knack for recycling. In this month of celebrations and birthday reverie, consider that not all things need improvement and not all wonders are new. There is no harm in repeating a good thing. ~Plato

Enter Kim's website

Kim Falconer lives in Byron Bay with two gorgeous black cats. She runs an astrology forum and alternative science site‚ trains with a sword and is working on the Quantum Encryption trilogy, the follow up to Quantum Enchantment.

Voyager 15

Here are the top fifteen bestselling Voyager books from 1995 until 2010. Spanning two centuries and now two decades, you’ll find the classics of fantasy below.

Which one is your favourite?
Which one did you read first?
Have you read them all, and if not, which one do you want to read next?
Do these fifteen deserve to be our top sellers of the last two decades?
Which books will be the top sellers over the next fifteen years?

Keep an eye on the Voyager 15 website for your chance to win all fifteen of these classics!

By all that’s unholy ….

We’ve raved about this book for months and now it’s time to start sharing …

Read chapter one of Unholy Ghosts (click below)  and if you want to read more tell us why!

Click here to read Chapter One!