• 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!

     

     

Getting lost in fandom by Bevan McGuiness

Swancon 2010. All the glitz, all the glamour, all the fun.

Once again, I found myself awake and driving down a deserted freeway way too early on Good Friday, heading for Swancon. At least this time I knew what to expect – or thought I did at least. I mean, this was my third Con, in a row. I’m an old hand at this, I know how Cons work.

Of course, as soon as I get there I register, pick up my registration package and go straight for the rules of the Convention. I was not disappointed. Over the years I have been to far too many conferences and various meetings and they never have cool rules like Swancon and 2010 did not let me down, there it was: rule 6 – “nudity is not a costume”.

I love Swancon.

After the rules, it was into the panels. Straight into the chance to enjoy the open slather that is fandom. There were parasites – horrible little beasties that see us as walking buffets – steampunk – is it just an aesthetic or is it more a way of life, now that was a heated exchange! – and of course horror – just what is it that makes us want to get scared? And what scares us today, is it sparkly vampires or nanotech gone mad?

Having discovered the joy of podcast novels – www.podiobooks.com – I was keen to hear and meet Scott Sigler. He also did not disappoint, but still there is always that curious dichotomy between what lies within and what is the public persona. Meeting the lively, hyped up Scott, I was left with the eternal question – so how did this (he asks, pointing at the book ‘Contagious’) come out of that (pointing at the amusing, articulate Scott)?

Ah the mysteries of writing.

There were also the panels devoted to fans’ exploration of the world that so fascinates them – NASA, Spaceflight, Anime – where the always articulate and intelligent observers of the world gather to discuss (at an intellectual level that puts most conferences to shame) areas where art and science meet. I had never before considered the sociological impact of Anime. As a panel I had imagined would be just for fun, I came away very thoughtful.

But of course, there were those there where we could simply embrace our fandom and revel in the geekiness that lured us here in the first place. It is a world where Jedi training and writing a live action fight scene lie beside Science fiction B movies, Iron Brain – geek endurance, Buffy, Xena, Geek Japan, Astroboy and a sing along devoted to our favourite TV themes – oh how the list goes on.

On top of all that, there is the gaming, the art show, the Masquerade ball and catching up with everyone from previous Cons. As always, Swancon did not disappoint – more fun than you could poke a lightsabre (or a broadsword, or wand, or cool steam-powered gear-driven thingy that goes ping) at.

Bevan McGuinness is the author of The Awakening, The First Weapon and The Way of Purity, the three books that make up the Triumvirate.  He attended SwanCon over the Easter long weekend. Bevan lives in Perth and is working on a new fantasy trilogy to be published by Voyager  at the end of the year.

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8 Responses

  1. Hi Bevan,

    Thanks for the post! It’s great to hear about the Con, particularly the sociological impact of Anime. I’d love know your thoughts on the topic, if you have the time.

    Was a little disappointed with rule #6, though good to keep in mind if I attend next year.

    Cheers,
    Kim

    • Hi Kim
      a lot of discussion centered about the inaccessibility of the storylines and the nature of the aesthetics. It made me wonder about what the structure of story and aesthetic reveals of a culture. That led me to think abot the value of cross-cultural communication using culturaly significant story and art … and so on. I am not familiar enough with anime in all its glory, but I was wondering whether the storylines follow the Hero’s Quest as so much western literature does and if not, what is the Japanese equivalent if there is one …
      It is an interesting area of speculation.
      regards
      Bevan

  2. Kim,

    Nudity is not a *costume*. There’s nothing about it being a room party requirement though… hee hee hee!

    Glad you had a great con, Bevan! This is an awesome writeup!

  3. Interview with Sigler (damn, I should have asked him your question!) features at http://www.tokenskeptic.org. 🙂

  4. Honestly? Fandom scares me and I’m not sure if I want one of my own so badly any more.

    That said, I’m still dying to go to WorldCon this year. Will I see you there, Monsier McGuiness?

    • Fandom – an interesting phenomenon to be sure. Trying to describe Swancon to my friends who have never experienced fandom is difficult. But fun.
      No, I won’t be ay WorldCon, gotta keep my second job and boss (who pays me lots more than writing) happy

      Bevan

  5. Great write-up, Bevan. Sorry I didn’t see you again after the opening (that Scott Sigler could sell sand to the Berbers – he had me dying to go out and self publish some novels,pronto!)but I hope to see you at Worldcon. If not – well roll on Swancon 2011!

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