• 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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Fundraiser for the injured animals of the Victorian bushfires

HarperCollins/Voyager authors Kim Falconer and Alison Goodman have both generously donated prizes to Astrid Cooper’s fundraiser for the injured animals of the Victorian bushfires, with funds going to the RSPCA and the Vic wildlife rescue. Astrid writes for Specusphere and is also a published author. If you have the opportunity, it would be wonderful if you could take part in her raffle. There are lots and lots of fantastic prizes up for grabs, including a tarot reading by Kim Falconer, the chance to win her book, The Spell of Rosette, the possibility of winning a first edition, hardback copy of Eon: Dragoneye Reborn (US release of The Two Pearls of Wisdom), fantasy novel by Alison Goodman, signed by the author or to winan Eon: Dragoneye Reborn t-shirt (large size) and Eon: Dragoneye Reborn poster signed by Alison Goodman.

After all our discussion about sentience, I’m sure there are many sf/f readers who feel strongly about caring for the animals affected by this disaster, and this is a great opportunity to do so.

Click here to go to Astrid’s website and take part in the raffle.

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Hie thee to a radio!

Late breaking news: Ron Serdiuk of Pulp Fiction has said that he heard from Radio National’s Bookshow late yesterday. Their piece on Alison Goodman’s THE TWO PEARLS OF WISDOM and Adrian Bedford’s TIME MACHINES REPAIRED WHILE-U-WAIT (both Aurealis winners) goes to air on today’s show, broadcasting between 10-11am … and hopefully there will be a podcast of the show in case you don’t get to tune in now.

Lynne Green: Starstruck at the Aurealis Awards

Fantastic Queensland should be very proud. The running of the Aurealis Awards showed how an awards ceremony can be both sophisticated and fun. The awards were everything you expect from such occasions: beautiful women in fabulous frocks (too many gorgeous women to name names), dashingly handsome men (Sean Williams suits up nicely), and civilised drinks at a posh venue.

Then again, it had all the unique twists you would expect from a community event of SF writers. Some of the attendees were wearing eye-catching items of clothing; a black kilt – and I have to give an honourable mention the pair of very nice legs so revealed; enviable purple, velvet cloaks that glowed like gems, pink shoelaces for breast cancer awareness; and Simon Higgins was sporting a rather swish coat. There were Star Trek jokes flying all over the place, and that pun is very much intended. Whenever someone was announced as a winner, the audience was just as thrilled as the award recipient, which is a most delightful experience.
However, you can probably get all this information from other sources. So I will share my personal impressions of the function.

My biggest thrill was meeting with people who had just been virtual acquaintances; hello Trudi, Angela and Kathleen! Trudi had her book launch before the ceremony, and was also one of the presenters on the night. Because I know that Trudi is a mad knitter, I was expecting someone more mumsy and not such a glorious glamour puss. I was able to recognise Angela because of her hair and glasses; she is attending Clarion at time of writing and looked wonderful for a woman under the stress of continuous creativity. Kathleen recognised me from my Facebook photo. I have been requested to put up a right-side-up photo on Facebook to make recognition easier in the future.

As well, I was able to meet up with Natalie, one of my fellow judges. Unfortunately, I didn’t catch up with the other two judges attending the ceremony. That was disappointing, as we had worked well as a team and I was hoping to chat with such perceptive, cooperative and charming people.

To be truthful, I was star struck on the night. At one point I was standing next to Jack Dann, and I couldn’t make my mouth open to say ‘hi’. I felt the same when I saw Sean Williams, even though I give him cheek on Facebook – I’ve been known to make fun of his love of baked goods – I felt too shy to go up and chat. I was stunned when I spoke with Trudi, even though Trudi is as nice and approachable a person as you could ever meet.

Everyone talks about a ‘Golden Age’ or era for Science Fiction or Fantasy or Horror. For me, Australia is going through a ‘Golden Age’, and I am so lucky to meet with SF Australian authors, who are among the best writers in the world. Proof was provided last night, with stellar names accepting or presenting awards. I was walking with the stars.

So, my highlights of the night: Alison and Simon as presenters, because they were relaxed and had fun; watching the winners struggle up and down the stairs, because they weren’t expecting to win and so sat up the back; the sudden intake of breath from the couple behind me as the husband was announced as a winner; mixing with ‘the SF community’, though they are more like a family.

So, if you get a chance to attend the awards in the future, do go. I relished the opportunity to see the hardworking writers and illustrators receive their well-deserved recognition. All the nominees were of the utter, soaring, pinnacle of Australian talent, and they all deserved to win. I still feel like I’m gleaming with stardust.

(And thank you to my husband, who is painfully shy and loathes crowds, for attending with me. (((Hugs))) sweetheart.)

Lynne Green writes under her own name, as the Voyager Science Queen, and under the pen name of Lynne Lumsden Green for everything else. Though she already has a B. Sc. in zoology, she is currently studying Creative Writing at the University of the Sunshine Coast. Her long term goal is to become a respected writer and academic in the fields of Fantasy, Popular Science Fact, and Science Fiction. Her favourite authors are Diana Wynne Jones, Isaac Asimov, Neil Gaiman, and all of the Voyager authors, with Terry Pratchett as her personal hero. Recently, Lynne has had some quiet success with her short stories, and hopes this will lead to her ultimate domination the world.

So, who won an Aurealis on 24 Jan?

Learn more about the Aurealis Awards

And the results are in … 2008 Aurealis Awards

What a spectacular night it was! Apologies for how late this entry is, but your awards correspondent was busy flying to and from Brisbane for much of the weekend 🙂 and then distracted by Australia Day.

The full list of winners:

best science fiction novel: K A Bedford, Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait, Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing

best science fiction short story: Simon Brown, ‘The Empire’, Dreaming Again, Harper/Voyager

best fantasy novel:Alison Goodman, The Two Pearls of Wisdom, HarperCollins

best fantasy short story: Cat Sparks, ‘Sammarynda Deep’, Paper Cities, Senses 5 Press

best horror novel: John Harwood, The Seance, Jonathan Cape (Random House Australia)

best horror short story: Kirstyn McDermott, ‘Painlessness’, Greatest Uncommon Denominator (GUD), #2

best anthology: Jonathan Strahan (editor), The Starry Rift, Viking Children’s Books

best collection: Sean Williams & Russell B Farr (editor), Magic Dirt: The Best of Sean Williams, Ticonderoga Publications

best illustated book/graphic novel: Shaun Tan, Tales From Outer Suburbia, Allen & Unwin

best young adult novel: Melina Marchetta, Finnikin of the Rock, Viking Penguin

best young adult short story: Trent Jamieson, ‘Cracks’, Shiny, #2

best children’s novel: Emily Rodda, The Wizard of Rondo, Omnibus Books

best children’s illustrated work/picture book: Richard Harland & Laura Peterson (illustrator), Escape!, Under Siege, Race to the Ruins, The Heavy Crown, The Wolf Kingdom series, Omnibus Books

Peter McNamara Convenors’ Award for Excellence: Jack Dann

I also strongly recommend reading the judge’s reports – the link to each category’s report is here, as it gives a further insight into the process.

There will be more blogging to come on the weekend, but for now, we’re extremely proud of Jack, Simon and Alison, and congratulations to all the winners, and shortlisted authors, because you really are all fantastic. Alison Goodman was also co-host of the night alongside a very amusing Simon Higgins and looked gorgeous in red. Stephanie Smith (Voyager Publisher) was there (and almost impossible to extricate from the post-Awards party so we could go to dinner! And lovely Voyager authors Karen Miller and Kim Westwood, who were both judges in the awards, also took part in the weekend.

The awards were fantastic (it was my first one) – there was a great slideshow in the background introducing each category – and the intro for the hosts was especially clever! There were also vids of the convenors talking about their experience of judging the awards and their feelings towards spec fiction in general – and I was very amused by Beau from Pulp Fiction when he was talking about how he got roped into the awards!! (Working with Ron must have that effect!)

Of course we were tremendously proud of Jack being awarded the Peter McNamara Convenor’s Award – and forced Jack to open his ribbon-wrapped box before dinner so we could admire the award (which is very snappy looking and made of concave glass – Jack promised not to break it now that he knew what it was). Melina Marchetta’s speech was particularly moving — Finnikin of the Rock is her first move into speculative fiction and she talked about the process of writing it, and what she called her ‘ten year mini-break’ from writing!

And as mentioned above, Alison Goodman looked gorgeous and -was- gorgeous, even when Simon Higgins was trying to give her ideas to make the sequel to The Two Pearls of Wisdom better, involving enterprising ideas if ever I heard them! And her acceptance speech for her award was very funny – she was lost for words.

Stephanie and I had dinner with Jack Dann, Karen Miller, Kim Westwood, Cathie Tasker (who judged the fantasy novel award) and her partnet, Alan, as well as writer Angela Slatter and her fellow Clarion South classmate, Lisa, and upcoming Voyager author, Will Elliott. We had a good time, although both Karen and I were suffering from early starts, having flown in from Sydney that morning. I got to quiz Karen on Empress of Mijak (amazing book), and there being four Aurealis judges at the table, we had a good chat about the whole process, too.

Anyway, there’s plenty more to blog on from the weekend, so keep an eye on the Voyager blog this week!

And one more thing to add – a link to Cat Sparks Flickr photo album of the night – Cat‘s short story ‘Sammarynda Deep’ won the Aurealis for the short fantasy category.

Aurealis Awards finalists announced!

See below for categories including our fantastic HarperVoyager authors – and congratulations to Karen, Kim, Jack, Alison, Margo, Sean and Simon!

best science fiction novel
K A Bedford, Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait, Edge Science Fiction and Fantasy Publishing
Marianne de Pierres, Chaos Space, Book Two of the Sentients of Orion, Orbit
Simon Haynes, Hal Spacejock: No Free Lunch, Fremantle Arts Centre Press
Kim Westwood, The Daughters of Moab, HarperVoyager
Sean Williams, Earth Ascendant, Astropolis Book Two, Orbit

best science fiction short story
Simon Brown, ‘The Empire’, Dreaming Again, HarperVoyager
Nathan Burrage, ‘Black and Bitter, Thanks’, The Workers’ Paradise, Ticonderoga Publications
Trent Jamieson, ‘Delivery’, Cosmos, #21
Margo Lanagan, ‘The Fifth Star in the Southern Cross’, Dreaming Again, HarperVoyager
Tansy Rayner Roberts, ‘Fleshy’, 2012, Twelfth Planet Press

best fantasy novel
Alison Goodman, The Two Pearls of Wisdom, HarperCollins
Sylvia Kelso, Amberlight, Juno Books
Margo Lanagan, Tender Morsels, Allen & Unwin
Juliet Marillier, Heir to Sevenwaters, Macmillan Australia
Karen Miller, The Riven Kingdom, Godspeaker Book Two, HarperVoyager

best fantasy short story
Thoraiya Dyer, ‘Night Heron’s Curse’, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, #37
Karen Maric, ‘The Last Deflowerer’, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, #32
Angela Slatter, ‘Dresses, Three’, Shimmer, Vol 2 #4
Cat Sparks, ‘Sammarynda Deep’, Paper Cities,
Senses 5 Press
Kim Westwood, ‘Nightship’, Dreaming Again, HarperVoyager

best anthology
Bill Congreve & Michelle Marquardt (editors), The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Science Fiction, Fourth Annual Volume, MirrorDanse Books
Jack Dann (editor), Dreaming Again, HarperVoyager
Jonathan Strahan (editor), The Starry Rift, Viking Children’s Books

The following titles are listed for HarperCollins Children’s books:

best young adult long fiction
Isobelle Carmody, The Stone Key, Obernewtyn Chronicles, Volume Five, Penguin/Viking
David Cornish, Lamplighter, Monster Blood Tattoo Book Two, Omnibus Books
Alison Goodman, The Two Pearls of Wisdom, HarperCollins
Melina Marchetta, Finnikin of the Rock, Penguin/Viking
Sean Williams, The Changeling, The Changeling series
book one, Angus & Robertson

best children’s (8-12 years) long fiction
Simon Higgins, Moonshadow, Eye of the Beast,
Random House Australia
Sophie Masson, Thomas Trew and the Island of Ghosts, Hodder Children’s
Emily Rodda, The Wizard of Rondo, Omnibus Books
Carole Wilkinson, Dragon Dawn, Black Dog Books
Sean Williams, The Changeling and The Dust Devils,
The Changeling series books one and two,
Angus & Robertson

Congratulations to all the shortlisted authors, it takes amazing writing to get here. And the rest of the shortlisted works are below. What a spectacular list all around!

best horror novel
Jack Dann, The Economy of Light, PS Publishing
Nick Gadd, Ghostlines, Scribe Publications
John Harwood, The Séance, Jonathan Cape

best collection
Robert Hood, Creeping in Reptile Flesh, Altair Australia Books
Sean Williams & Russell B Farr (editor), Magic Dirt: The Best of Sean Williams, Ticonderoga Publications

best illustrated book/graphic novel
Steve Hunt & David Richardson, The Cloudchasers,
ABC Books
Shaun Tan, Tales from Outer Suburbia, Allen & Unwin
Colin Thompson, The Floods Family Files, Random House Australia
Julie Watts, The Art of Graeme Base, Penguin/Viking

best young adult short fiction
Deborah Biancotti, ‘The Tailor of Time’, Clockwork Phoenix, Norilana Books
Dirk Flinthart, ‘This Is Not My Story’, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, #37
Trent Jamieson, ‘Cracks’, Shiny, #2
Kevin MacLean, ‘Eye of the Beholder’, Misspelled,
DAW Books

best children’s (8-12 years) illustrated work/picture book
Anna Fienberg, Barbara Fienberg & Kim Gamble, Tashi and the Phoenix, Allen & Unwin
Richard Harland & Laura Peterson (illustrator), Escape!, Under Siege, Race to the Ruins, The Heavy Crown, The Wolf Kingdom series, Omnibus Books
Ian Irvine & David Cornish (illustrator), Thorn Castle, Giant’s Lair, Black Crypt, Wizardry Crag, The Sorcerer’s Tower series, Omnibus Books
Sally Morgan with Ezekiel, Ambelin and Blaze Kwaymullina & Adam Hill (illustrator), Curly and the Fent, Random House Australia
Richard Tulloch & Terry Denton (illustrator), Twisted Tales, Random House Australia