• 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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UnConventional & the full Sir Julius Vogel Awards Wrap-up

Via Mary Victoria’s own site: http://maryvictoria.net/

Well, now that I’m home and have emerged from under a pile of unanswered email and unwashed laundry (or is it the reverse?) I can finally give you the promised Con report.

This was my first real experience of a New Zealand fantasy and science fiction convention and I must say, it was lovely. The panel discussions were engaging, the company excellent (of course) and the turn-out and interest high. We could barely all fit into the main hall when everyone gathered together. I’m happy to report that NZ fandom is alive, kicking, and often fetchingly dressed in steampunk finery.

I arrived on Saturday after a short delay to my flight, just in time for my first panel, ‘Women in SFF.’ Trudi Canavan, Helen Lowe, Lyn McConchie and I yakked for an hour or so on subjects ranging from how to define strength of character to the vexed issue of chainmail bikinis… I could see some audience members gazing at us quizzically, perhaps asking themselves what we had against chainmail bikinis. I mean, all the vital bits are covered, right?

Saturday evening was about unwinding a little, catching up with friends and a sumptuous Indian dinner! I didn’t make it to the zombie ball but did dodge many of the undead on my way to bed.

     Sunday dawned uncomfortably early (and perhaps may be termed a Dawn of the Dead without inviting too much heckling…) with a 9am panel on the subject of ‘Armageddon as Allegory.’ I took one look at the faces of my fellow panelists gathered in the cafe – Darusha Wehm, Simon Petrie, Beaulah Pragg and Phil Simpson – and thought, “yes, I know exactly how you feel.” But despite our need for sleep and largely due to the valient efforts of Simon as panel chair, we actually came up with a game plan for the discussion! It turned into a fantastic one – I think my favourite panel of the lot. We talked about the different approaches to ‘end of world’ scenarios in fantasy and science fiction, collective responsability vs. the mechanism of a Dark Lord and other interesting subjects.

By two o’clock, it was time to head back to the trenches at a ‘Geography in SFF’ panel with Russell Kirkpatrick, Trudi Canavan, Stephen Minchin and myself debating the merits of fantasy maps. Trudi and Russell both had some slides to show of maps in their own books, as well as some older efforts. The audience seemed passionate on the subject, with most falling in the ‘we love maps’ category but a vocal minority standing up for themselves in the opposite camp. We talked physical geography, geography as an influence on society and finally mental or idea maps… we could have gone on for twice as long, I think.

But all good things come to an end and thereafter it was signing and reading time. I read from ‘Samiha’s Song’ and Alma Alexander’s ‘River’ for a very appreciative audience sitting in leather armchairs. That’s the way to do it.

Sunday evening rolled around and it was time for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards. These were presented with great flair – Kiwis have style! – by the Con organisers, Trudi Canavan and Helen Lowe. Trudi was channeling some great 1940′s Jessica Rabbit style with her cropped jacket and black gloves. As for me, I arrived at the ceremony somewhat flummoxed as I’d just heard my daughter was running a 40 degree fever (she has since recovered, never fear.) I had all the maternal angst and distraction going, therefore, and was totally unprepared when they announced ‘Samiha’s Song’ had won Best Novel…

Well, I’m afraid I lost it. I managed to say something resembling ‘thank you’ when collecting the statue but waterworks were threatening. In order to avoid general embarrassment I hightailed it back to my chair as soon as possible – only to have to come forward again to collect Frank’s award for artwork!

So if I look a little odd in these photos, forgive me. But it was an absolute joy to congratulate my fellow winners. They are, from left to right, below:

Kevin Berry for New Talent, and after Trudi, Lee Murray for Best YA Novel, yours truly for Best Novel (Adult) and Alicia Ponder for Best Short Story. (For some reason Anna Caro wasn’t in this photo with us but I was stoked to see her and Cassie Hart take away the award for Best Collection for ‘Tales For Canterbury’.)

The full list of all winners including fan categories can be found on the SFFANZ website.

So there we are! I’m home now, with a convalescing daughter and two spiky awards. I can’t tell you how happy and proud this makes me… the ‘Chronicles of the Tree’ were a NZ endeavour, very much inspired by the vegetation and landscape in New Zealand, so it’s doubly satisfying for me to strike a chord with Kiwi readers.

As to the artist who won a well-deserved award for his artwork on ‘Oracle’s Fire’ – he was suitably appreciative. I think he found the button to turn the award on, too. He looks evil in this photo – Frank, have you discovered a way to end the world, again?

Via Mary’s own site: http://maryvictoria.net/ Check it Out!

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David Gemmell Awards 2012

Three Voyager titles have been nominated in the David Gemmell Awards! Prince of Thorns by Mark Lawrence is up for the Morningstar Award ( Best debut of 2011 ) & the covers for both Journey by Night by Aaron Briggs & Oracle’s Fire by Frank Victoria are up for the Ravenheart Award ( best cover art of 2011 ) Congratulations to all our authors & artists!

Vote for Prince of Thorns here:
http://www.gemmellaward.com/page/the-morningstar-award

and vote for either Journey by Night or Oracle’s Fire here:
http://www.gemmellaward.com/page/the-ravenheart-award

 

The Sir Julius Vogel Awards

If you love Mary Victoria’s amazing Chronicles of the Tree series as much as we do, be sure to nominate  them for New Zealand’s premier Spec Fiction award, the Sir Julius Vogel Award! Head over to Mary’s site for all the details: http://maryvictoria.net/?p=3693The Chronicles of the Tree

The David Gemmell RAVENHEART Award Poll is open!

The David Gemmell RAVENHEART Award Poll is open!  Head here  and be sure to vote for one of the beautiful HarperCollins Australia covers by Gregory Bridges, Aaron Briggs & Frank Victoria:

From top left, World's End by Gregory Bridges, Journey by Night by Aaron Briggs, Road to the Soul by Aaron Briggs, Samiha's Song by Frank Victoria & Oracle's Fire by Frank Victoria

The Dictionary of the Tree

Image from the Dictionary

I’ve mentioned it before a few times, but I thought it deserved its own post! Our author of the month Mary Victoria has created an online glossary for her world in the Chronicles of the Tree series. She’s up to ‘S’ so far but there are loads of great entries, with many having beautiful illuminated manuscript images. You should definitely check it out if you haven’t already.

 I have no idea if its actually true, but I remember someone telling me in high school at “eskimos have over 100 words for snow” because it its such an important part of their physical and cultural landscape. So thats part of what Mary has done, except obviously her world is centred around living in a tree the size of a continent!

  The ramification of such a specialised world-environment is to give a writer ( and reader ) complete freedom to create an entirely unique culture, which I’ve always found exciting, and Mary’s concepts of Sap, Hardwood, Fringes & Hell are fantastic.

Ever since Tolkien and Herbert ( Dune ) I’ve had a fascination with fantasy glossaries. I’ve always thought they help immerse the reader into the world of the book, by providing back stories and extra info that fleshes out the motivations of the world, and I feel their loss every time there isn’t one. (Its my only legitimate excuse to flip to the end of a book straight away!) Does everyone else love them as much as I do? Do some people not like them and prefer to come up with their own backstories, pronounciations and family trees?
The Chronicles of the Tree

Today’s post is brought to you by the letter ‘A’ and Bob Kuhn reads Oracle’s Fire!

                                                          Bob Kuhn    Oracle's Fire
 
Listen to the phenomenal Bob Kuhn read an except from Mary Victoria’s new book Oracle’s Fire! Click here to download.
If you haven’t already, check out Mary Victoria’s awesome website. Her Dictionary of the Tree is fantastic ( I’ve always been a sucker for fantasy glossaries and appendixes ever since Tolkien ) too;  hours of distraction in there! Start with A is for Argos . She’s up to “P” so far, so be sure to keep checking for new updates!

Mary Victoria’s Chronicles of the Tree glossary

I was just in a Voyager meeting today where I espoused my love for the fantasy glossary. It must be the neat control freak in me that demands my fantasy be categorised and referenced! Mary Victoria has created a fantastic online glossary on her website: http://maryvictoria.net/?page_id=462 which takes the form of an “A-Z” of her Chronicles of the Tree series. There’s tonnes of other great stuff there, including some beautiful artwork!

The Chronicles of the Tree

Book 3 in the series, Oracle’s Fire is out in 3 weeks!

Oracle's Fire