• 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!

     

     

HarperVoyager sponsor 2010 Aurealis Awards

 

SpecFaction NSW Inc, the new organiser of the Aurealis Awards, is delighted to announce that HarperVoyager will be the exclusive sponsor of the 2010 awards presented in May next year.

Awards Co-convenor Nathan Burrage said, “The Aurealis Awards are Australia’s premier awards for Speculative Fiction and we’re delighted to be working with one of Australia’s top publishers, HarperVoyager, to present them for the first time in Sydney.”

“SpecFaction is a not for profit organisation and all our members are volunteers. Without the support of a sponsor like HarperVoyager, we could not hope to host the awards.”

HarperVoyager publish some of Australia’s biggest names in Speculative Fiction.

Stephanie Smith, Associate Publisher of HarperVoyager, said “HarperVoyager is delighted to be the sponsor of the Aurealis Awards in 2011. The awards have been instrumental in the development of the speculative fiction genre in Australia and are a source of pride for the genre community. Many Voyager authors have won, or been shortlisted for, the Aurealis Awards over the past 15 years, including such bestselling authors as Sara Douglass, Glenda Larke, Jennifer Fallon and Kylie Chan. Voyager’s enthusiasm for the genre and our commitment to seeing it grow and expand is as strong as ever.”

The Aurealis Awards, Australia’s premier awards for genre fiction, are for works of speculative fiction written by an Australian citizen, or permanent resident, and published for the first time between 1 November 2009 and 31 December 2010.

Entries close on Friday 31 December 2010. Finalists will be announced in late March 2011 and winners will receive their awards at a gala evening ceremony held in Sydney on Saturday the 21st of May 2011.

All entries are read by an independent panel of judges.  As with past awards, sponsorship arrangements do not influence the judging process.

For more information on the Aurealis Awards, or how to enter, please visit www.aurealisawards.com

File under awesome: Aurealis Awards Auction!

 

Some of the biggest names in Australian speculative fiction have cleared out their cupboards and the contents are being sold on Ebay! 

Our friends over at the Aurealis Awards are holding the auction and we think it is one of the coolest collections you’re likely to find on the interweb so start your bidding.

Where else can you buy an original print from Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld or a bundle of autographed fantasy, science fiction or horror novels from a huge list of Aussie authors including; Sara Douglass, Ian Irvine, Sean Williams and Shane Dix, Traci Harding, Karen Miller, Stephen Irwin, Nathan Burrage, Richard Harland, Marianne De Pierres, Angela Slatter, Kate Forsyth, Isabel Merlin, Sophie Masson, Jack Dann, Kaaron Warren, Shane Jiraiya Cummings and Kirstyn McDermott? The autographed books are being auctioned off in five book bundles.

For a complete description of the contents of each bundle, or to bid on one of these great items, click on the links below and make sure you place your bid between 16 and 25 November, 2010. ­

Signed short story collections

New and signed fantasy novels

New and signed fantasy novels for all ages

New and signed science fiction novels

New and signed dark fantasy, horror, and historical novels

Print from Scott Westerfeld’s novel, “Leviathan”, signed by the artist

 The auction is being held by SpecFaction NSW Inc., hosts of the 2010 Aurealis Awards. Funds raised will go towards holding the awards night and helping create a range of NSW based events and activities for readers and writers of speculative fiction. SpecFaction NSW is a not for profit group.

For more information on the 2010 Aurealis Awards go to www.aurealisawards.com

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

Judging the Aurealis Awards – Lynne Green

As the Aurealis Awards are coming up in just two weekend’s time – Saturday 24 January, to be precise – I thought it might be nice to hear something from one of the judges. Lynne is one of my colleagues from the Fantasy Short Story judging panel as well as a writer herself (her full bio is at the end of this post) and she kindly agreed to write about the judging for that category. Fear not, nothing is revealed … you’ll have to wait two weeks for that!

How do you become a judge? For anything?

I stumbled into judging through my university studies. One of my lecturers was a judge for the Aurealis Awards, and she suggested that being a judge was good for your own writing. You got to see everything in one area, and so would have a very good idea of what was current in that genre. As well, you were able to see what was good and bad in other people’s work, which would make you more critical of your own prose.

So, I offered to be a judge. I wasn’t expecting to be accepted, as I hadn’t been a judge before. It was exciting – and flattering – to discover I was considered knowledgeable enough to be selected for a judging panel. This year, there was even more competition for places on the judging panels. It is an honour to be selected.

Being a judge means several things, both good and bad at the same time. It means you get to read a lot, and you don’t have to pay for the privilege. Doesn’t that sound like heaven? However, you have to read everything, and by a certain date. You can’t skip the bad and the awful, as they deserve as much consideration as the well-written and original stories. Every item means a lot to their author, particularly if they have thought enough of it to nominate it for an Aurealis.

You have to read critically, which is very different for reading for enjoyment. Sometimes, it gets to the point that you can’t turn off that little critic, and even sitting down to read for entertainment becomes an exercise in grammar, voice, verisimilitude, plot, characterisation and setting, and everything else you have to consider when reading a piece for the judging. Even watching television can flip the switch, and you’ll be picking plot holes in your favourite movie without realising it. That is when it is time to give it a rest for a day or two.

As a judge, you can’t favour your favourite types of writing. If you recognise a friend, you have to switch off that recognition. I’m always scared that I will go harder on anyone I know, so that I won’t be accused of favouritism.

I’ve enjoyed the challenge of reading work that I may never have read otherwise. My breadth and depth of knowledge has been tested. I’m amazed at how original, innovative and exciting, how talented, Australian authors are.

While I am reading my way through the nominations, I fill out a spreadsheet. This spreadsheet is supplied by the convenor of the judging panel, and contains a list of the virtues we are to consider for judging. This way, nobody gets lost among the many fine entries, and great stuff I read at the start of the year isn’t forgotten before the end of the year. I reread all the best entries, while trying to study for my end-of-year exams.

At this point, the real judging occurs. Everyone on your panel suggests a shortlist. Now, I have been very lucky with my panels. The teamwork needed to come up with a shortlist has always been superb. Often, the same titles will appear on everyone’s suggested shortlist, though not in the same order.

And there is the shortlist. So…who wins? This year, the spreadsheet system was priceless. Each judge’s nominations were tallied, with each nomination weighted for where it fell in the individual shortlists. The story that received the most points was the outright winner.

This is a very fair system. By having a panel of judges, it cuts down on possibility of subjective choices. I must admit, knowing that the other judges had chosen the same stories as I favoured was a relief. It meant that I had been making consistent choices, which can be hard when you are reading over a period of months.
I always tried to spend one day a week working on my readings and updating the spreadsheet. Towards the end of the judging period, I wasn’t as diligent as I had been (due to university commitments), and I had to make up the work in larger time blocks. If I am selected to be a judge next year, I will again put aside a set amount of time each week. Letting the readings build up might be a tragic mistake…particularly near the end of the judging period when the scattered showers of nominations became a deluge.

Even though being a judge is time consuming, it is very rewarding. At the end of the year, I always sit back and feel I’ve made a real contribution to the writing community. Who knows, maybe we’ve been lucky enough to encourage some talented people, and reward them for their efforts with the recognition they deserve.

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.

See the Aurealis shortlist

Learn more about the Aurealis Awards

There are still tickets available for the ceremony, which is in Brisbane on Saturday evening, 24 January – it’s a good excuse for a long weekend break, as it’s also the Australia Day long weekend so Monday is a public holiday! AND The State Library of Queensland has a fantastic expo on video gaming called GAME ON.

The fairytale: Angela Slatter interviewed

There’s a great interview with Angela Slatter here, talking about the Aurealis Awards and Dreaming Again. Angela’s story ‘The Jacaranda Wife’ appears in Dreaming Again, edited by Jack Dann and published by Voyager in July 08. Her story ‘Dresses Three’ has been shortlisted for the Aurealis Fantasy Short Story Award. In the article, Angela talks about growing into her writing, and the origin of some of her stories.

The Aurealis Awards take place on January 24, visit the Aurealis website for information on tickets.

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

Aurealis praise for Voyager authors

The Daughters of Moab

The Daughters of Moab

It’s lovely to see the kind of praise Voyager authors are getting – ranging from magazines as new and happening as Black to the prestigious Aurealis Magazine. At the Aurealis website you can see Keith Stevenson’s glowing review of Kim Westwood’s debut novel, The Daughters of Moab. ‘This is the best debut novel I have seen in many years, which comes as no surprise to those of us who have followed Kim’s short story writing career.’ Keith really gets this book.

Find out more about Kim Westwood

On the same page is a review for the wonderful Dreaming Again anthology, edited by

Dreaming Again

Dreaming Again

Jack Dann, ‘I’ve just looked over the table of contents again and if I were to list the stories that I found really enjoyable, the tales that raised the stakes even from established writers with nothing more to prove, we’d be here for a long time … If you have been swithering over purchasing a copy, then swither no more.’
Totally agree, and I’m very pleased to say that several authors from the Clarion South Writers Workshop (many of whom featured in Dreaming Again) are writing some upcoming blog posts for us.

Visit editor (and writer) Jack Dann’s website

Little Brother

Little Brother

And … a review for a book that Harper Voyager will be releasing in January in Australia (which means it will in stores in December), that lots of us have read and really enjoyed. ‘I was going to review this in the special YA section that takes up the second half of this issue’s column, but Little Brother is a book that should be read by everyone and my copy has gone straight into the hands of my thirteen year old son. I suggest you do the same.’

I think Keith has hit on the key thing about this book – it really is relevant to all ages and people, and extremely enjoyable. Most of Team Voyager has read it – based on each other’s recommendations – and it’s short and pacey enough to get through in a day. And it will really leave you thinking … a review will be appearing in an upcoming edition of The Captain’s Log.

Visit the Little Brother website and download the free book

Click here to go to the Aurealis Online sf/horror Review Column for the full text of the reviews + plenty more

Whilst we’re at Aurealis: don’t forget – nominations for the Aurealis Awards CLOSE next Friday (Hallowe’en). Nominate works before time runs out!