• 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!

     

     

Australian Speculative Fiction Blog Carnival

Apologies for the late-runningness of this Blog Carnival, we have been recovering from our fifteenth birthday party (by which I mean, doing all the work neglected during planning the celebrations). We now feel a  bit old and tired ;). Below are all the fabbity fab blog posts we could round up from around and after (to paraphrase Juan Antonio) the best WorldCon ever. These are just the tip of the iceberg, so if you have more, post below and I will add them.

The Hugo winners – thanks to Tehani
The Ditmar finals list and winners on Locus
Tehani’s AussieCon report
Voyager’s AussieCon thoughts One Two and Three
Global Voyager announcement
Gail Carriger on WorldCon
Longest report ever for AussieCon! From the Spec Fic Writers of Singapore
Peter Brett’s brief blog on his visit to WorldCon and Australia
Trudi Canavan’s AussieCon report
Helen Lowe’s AussieCon report at the Orbit blog
Duncan Lay’s AussieCon report
Kathleen Jenning’s gorgeous AussieCon round up with illustrations!
Tehani’s round up of the open short story markets
On Australian writing …
K J Taylor comes to dinner with fellow Voyager authors
Gillian’s interview with Mary Victoria
Jonathan Strahan makes it safely home (no swine flu this time!)
A Vampire’s AussieCon report
An interview with Jack Dann, Janeen Webb and Yaritji Green by Gillian
A bit of Baggage by Monica Carroll
Eneit’s blog – Baggage blogtour and interviews
Launch of Worlds Next Door report
KJ Taylor pics and post from the Voyager part
Maria Quinn wins the Norma K Hemming Award
Tehani and Alex revisit The Belgariad series by David Eddings
Fiona McIntosh on stand alone novels
Gillian on AussieCon and once more with feeling
Glenda Larke at WorldCon
George R R Martin touches down in Melbourne and reminds people that WorldCon is the Granddaddy of all events!
Alan Baxter’s wrap up
Talking Squid WorldCon update
Books by Canberra Spec Fic Writers
Gary Kemble’s posts on AussiCon
Two amazing trailers talking about A Game of Thrones on HBO posted on the Voyager blog

Not posted strictly within this month’s carnival dates but … taken during the time – Cory Doctorow sings a pirate ditty

 

To submit events for next month’s carnival … click here.

What did Cory ever do to Peter?

Taken by Peter V Brett at our Voyager 15th Birthday Party in Melbourne (during WorldCon) 🙂 and posted on his blog, where we spotted it.

Don’t worry, Cory, there’s worse video of Peter out there anyway ;).

Idea that grow on trees

The World Tree rises up ...

Mary Victoria has been interviewed by the Dominion Post!

World tree myths have been around for centuries, connecting heaven, earth and the underground through tree leaves and roots.

However, Victoria has gone a step further. Not only is her tree the world, the cities and the resources of all in her stories, it’s the lifeblood, the source of all its myths and legends, it is also the reason for being. Read the rest of the article at the Dominion Post.

Full Moon stars by Kim Falconer

Almost Time by Samy Charnine

This full moon is rare and spectacular in that it falls exactly on the Zero Degree Aries Point. Ancient astrologers associated this degree with manifestation, the point where we release our energy out into the world and create something of it. Below are hints on where you might focus your intention over the next few weeks. Read sun sign and ascendant sign if you know it!

RAM: This is the perfect time to put your ideas into action, not as in butting your head against a brick wall but going for what you want with enthusiasm and grace. Sitting still doesn’t feel good right now so find ways to move forward. Hint: You can make the first move.

AUROCHS: Dreams are your oracle now. Listen to them. It is through the poetic streams of unconsciousness that you will glean your greatest inspiration. Hint: Dreams of fire and floods suggest the need to redirect your focus. Dreams of gardens and feasts, on the path!

TWINS: The call of friends, social engagements, parties and community groups turns into a din. Most of the time, it behoves you to respond, but not now. This is a period of introspection, quietude and meditation. Hint: Let your newest plan germinate in silence.

COBRA: The career sector tugs at your sleeve like a child desperate for attention. If it feels like what you do in the world is a struggle, this is the time to pick something new. Hint: It is never too late to start over, especially when it means doing what you love.

LION:  The light of the equinox illuminates more than the full moon. This is a time of insight and inspiration if you take the time to tune into them. Hint: If you are trying to follow someone else’s ideas, stop. You’re the trailblazer. Let others follow you.

CERES: If you have been lifting the ‘burden’ of another it might be time to reconsider your actions. Different people require different experiences to develop and grow. Hint: Don’t deprive yourself of joy—let others help you for a change.

BALENCIA: The full moon brings ah-ha moments when it comes to relationships, business or pleasure, current or past. You will be gasping with realisations. Hint: It isn’t always about cooperation and compromise, if ever. Get to the heart.

SCORPION: The epiphany of this auspicious time has to do with power and your wielding of it. If denied, it turns in on itself. Check for self-judgement. Hint: The nature of your energy is to flow like a stream, from mountain to valley to sea.

ARCHER: This is a time to get out in nature, preferable surrounded by wild animals and/or large bodies of water. (Magpies are just as wild as lions). Rejuvenate, and get your mojo working! Hint: Travel, be it on a plane, meditation or a wonderful novel. Go!

SEA-GOAT: The notion of mother comes to the foreground, yours, you, a mother-like figure or even a character in a book. The feelings evoked are important here, not the situations that triggers them. Hint: Vulnerability isn’t a bad word.

WATER-BEARER: The urge is to break out of tradition and learn something new, develop an idea, teach, study, speak, connect. Kick up dust. Hint: If it doesn’t light you up when you think about it, it’s not worth thinking about.

FISHES: The most important thing to do during this full moon time is tune in to the miracle of being you. Seriously. How amazing is it, to be present in the world? Hint: Self-appreciation is at the core of every other expression of love. It must come first.

Kim Falconer lives in Byron Bay with two black cats. She runs an astrology forum and alternative science site‚ trains with a sword and is working on the second book in the Quantum Encryption trilogy, the follow up to Quantum Enchantment, both of which are set in the world of Gaela, as well as on Earth. The first book in the new series is called Path of the Stray and is out now!

We’re beyond the valley of Excitement and in the city of Awesome!

Galean Stars by Kim Falconer

Image: Lilith (1892), oil painting by British artist John Collier, located in Southport Atkinson Art Gallery

Venus into Scorpio September 9, 2010 to January 7, 2011

Venus usually glides through each sign of the zodiac in about thirty days but for the next four months the planet of love, union and artistic expression will be going back and forth through the sign of the Scorpion! Check the scopes below to see how each sun sign fares.

RAM: Venus in Scorpio activates your 8th sector, awakening issues of trust and risk taking. This is not the conventional promise to be true kind of trust. This transit requires a feeling where the couple believes in each other regardless of any deception or lie. This trust exists on a deeper level, even when there is no tangible basis for it. The mind is its own place, and in itself can make a Heaven of Hell, a Hell of Heaven. ~John Milton

 AUROCHS: Venus awakens the desire for commitment, union and closeness with a like-minded other. These next four months can be used to improve all relationships—ie make them match your heart’s desire. Basic human contact – the meeting of eyes, the exchanging of words – is to the psyche what oxygen is to the brain. If you’re feeling abandoned by the world, interact with anyone you can. ~Martha Beck

 TWINS: Brace for sudden attractions! Visiting the doctor, dentist or even veterinary surgeon may evoke surprising feelings. The once plain and ordinary routine seems imbibed with love. The repercussions can vary between a passing fancy, renewed energy to a full on encounter that can leave more than a few changes in the daily schedule. If you find it in your heart to care for somebody else, you will have succeeded. ~Maya Angelou Continue reading

Fiona McIntosh: Standing Alone

Another trilogy comes to an end ...

And so another big fantasy trilogy reaches its conclusion with the publication of the third volume, King’s Wrath and the Valisar series, which has occupied my life for a couple of years, is now behind me, but there was a time when I was unsure it would ever end.  I was writing King’s Wrath in Tasmania earlier this year and the story just refused to close.  I am a writer who works to no plan and so the tale shapes itself in a most organic style.  And, as if by magic, about 20,000 words out from when it decides that the story must finish, it appears to start narrowing itself down until I find myself in the climactic scenes wondering who will survive and who will perish.  This is how it has been for four series now and so I have learned to trust my instincts and let the book work its own structure out.

As a result of this approach to writing I never set out to leave a story open for more tales.  I rarely have much of an idea where any series will begin, certainly no inclination of where it will end – or even where each volume will close – and when it does finally finish up its book three I’m always surprised at the journey we’ve taken to get there.  So leaving an open ending is truly beyond my ability, given the curious way that I tackle the daily grind of writing.  And yet it seems that if I look at all my trilogies, each lends itself to more story and a couple of them have been all but begging me to go back and add more….particularly Trinity and The Quickening perhaps?  I wonder if readers would agree.

So far I have resisted and to be honest I have not been tempted but just recently I made the bold decision that I was unlikely to write another epic series that took three years to publish.  It feels like a milestone in my career to finally reach this mindset but while the notion of writing three books per story will no longer be my preferred structure, I also realised I wasn’t prepared to give up fantasy.  I found myself at an impasse…but only briefly.  The answer was staring right at me from my bookshelf because my favourite writer – Guy Gavriel Kay – writes most of his tales as standalone volumes.

And so next year I will be writing a standalone adult fantasy and I see no reason why an epic story with all the same qualities that readers have come to expect in my tales, can’t be delivered in one thumping book.  I know it’s not the norm but I like the idea of stepping off the traditional treadmill in terms of structure.  And increasingly I hear from audiences and individual readers that they would be as happy to read a single book as they would a trilogy.  Many have embraced the news of the standalone warmly because they genuinely welcome the idea of not having to wait three years for a story to unfold.  There’s definitely room for both formats in fantasy readers’ lives, of this I’m sure.

In a single volume I realise there won’t be a lot of time or space to build a new world and in order to make it instantly accessible to the readers who have followed me this past decade I have decided to break my own rule and return to the lands of The Quickening.  And as the landscape of that second series of mine is so easy to grasp, newcomers to this next story will also find it just as simple to leap into.

This tale will not pick up where I left volume three – Bridge of Souls.  Instead, it will be a new story in a different era of the empire, with new characters, perhaps new magic…who knows?  I suspect that freshness will make it more invigorating to read and will add a new twist on a series that had its fair share of twisty-turny pathways to its story.

I’m surprised at how excited I am to be returning to Morgravia and Briavel and while I have little more than a thin thread of a storyline idea, I know it has pleased the Voyager team worldwide and I’m delighted that this book will be released across all English speaking markets in 2012 and hopefully beyond into my foreign language markets.

Thanks to all the readers who have read my stories and I hope you will keep travelling with me, this time back into realms we know rather well.

I suppose this begs the question…a return to Pearlis to find out how Herezah and Lazar are getting on, or into Penraven and more of the Valisar legacy and its enchantments?  Well, I guess I’ve learned the lesson never to say never!

Visit Fiona McIntosh’s fabulously revamped website to find out more about her and her books. Fiona’s latest book, King’s Wrath, is now out in bookshops across Australia and New Zealand.