• 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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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

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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

Sneak Peek: Sara Douglass

Not at AussieCon4? Don’t worry, we’ve got something nice to take your mind of it … a whole series of somethings in fact … here’s the first: a sneak peek at Sara Douglass’s new book The Devil’s Diadem.

Maeb Langtofte That Was, Her Testimony

In the name of our Saviour, the heavenly Lord Jesu, and of his beloved mother, the blessed Virgin Mary, greetings. Pray hear this testimony from your humble servant, Maeb Langtofte that was, on the eve of her dying. May sweet Jesu and his Holy Mother forgive my sins, and let me pass in peace, and forgive me the manner of my passing.
My faithful servant and priest Owain of Crickhoel writes down these words and in some places will speak for me when I no longer have the breath. Brother Owain has taken my confession and offered me Godly advice these past thirty years. He has been a good and faithful friend to me and I pray that his reward in the next life will reflect this.

Read on

Hip hip hooray: hardbacks for Voyager’s birthday!

Finally we can share with you the five beautiful hardbacks we are releasing for Voyager’s 15th Birthday. Raymond Feist’s Magician, Robin Hobb’s Assassin’s Apprentice, Sara Douglass’ Battleaxe, George R R Martin’s A Game of Thrones and Kylie Chan’s White Tiger have all been reworked into amazing Collector’s Editions. Here they are, in all their glory!

The five special edition Voyager 15 Collector’s Editions

Beautiful hardbacks, embellished covers, a ribbon marker and a new introduction to Voyager from Publishing Director Jane Johnson – a must have for any Voyager fan.

They are available EXCLUSIVELY at Dymocks now at the great price of $32.99. Go and check them out for yourself!

P.S. As you all know Kylie Chan and George R R Martin are appearing at WorldCon – why not take your Collector’s Edition along to get signed?

Do you love Voyager? Are you looking forward to WorldCon? Have you invited all your friends to join our Facebook fan page? Let us know by commenting below and we’ll randomly pick a lucky winner who will receive a complete set of our 15th Birthday Hardbacks! (Australian residents only). Competition ends on 30 Sept 2010.

THIS COMPETITION IS NOW CLOSED.

Happy 15th birthday Voyager!

Intergalactic spacefood of the best sort

As many of you would know, we’re celebrating Voyager’s 15th birthday throughout 2010! It’s a very special year for Australian and international speculative fiction … and an even bigger bonus that WorldCon is in Melbourne this year.

Above is a picture of just the top of the spectacular cake that freelance editor Kylie Mason made for the HarperCollins Annual Sales Conference. We’re sad to say that we were so eager to *eat* the cake that no one captured its full glory … but you can probably imagine what it was like … given it fed about 100 people (to be fair, most of us had second helpings so it could well have fed more!). Thank you, Kylie, for this superb culinary contribution to Universal Masterchef!

Also as part of our 15th birthday celebrations, Voyager authors are talking about the moment their first Voyager book was published … Sara Douglass on Battleaxe, Glenda Larke on The Aware, Kim Falconer on The Spell of Rosette … and many more to come. Go and visit the Voyager 15 website to read all their contributions.

The Infinity Gate is out!

Click here to read an extract from The Infinity Gate

Gender in Speculative Fiction Part II: Early Works by Kim Falconer

Lilith (1892) by John Collier - one of the most potent and misunderstood faces of the feminine

After contemplating gender roles in speculative fiction, I thought it might be interesting to look at portrayals of women in earlier literature. How much has changed in the last five thousand years?

In classical times, many female protagonists were touched by the gods or divine themselves. Some were ‘virgin goddesses,’ a term having nothing to do with sexual innocents (they often had many lovers and offspring). Here ‘virgin’ means intact, self-contained—no need for the auspice of a man. Examples include the Egyptian Neith who says, I am all that has been, that is, and that will be. No mortal yet has been able to lift the veil that covers me. She reminds me of Tracey O’Hara’s Antoinette Petrescu, or Traci Harding’s Tory Alexander, at least until they ‘fall’.

The motive of female characters, ancient or contemporary, is often love. Stephenie Myer’s Bella Swan falls, of course, just like her two thousand year old predecessor, Psyche in Lucius Apuleius’ Metamorphoses. Psyche, much like Bella, is young, beautiful, despondent, clumsy and suicidal. She complains (and cries) a lot, needs rescuing and falls for an immortal. Aphrodite is jealous and sets her a series of impossibly tasks. She fails each one until aid comes unbidden and is saved from death, finally, by Eros. It’s a beautiful story though, not so much romantically but spiritually. This redemptive/divine aspect of love is echoed in Tanith Lee’s character Jane who initially has the same despondency (over her perfect ‘man’) though she grows from her experience, possibly much more so than either Bella or Psyche. Jane’s love becomes a spiritual awakening, a connection with the divine.

The Sumerian story of Inanna and her dark sister Ereshkigal is about psychological transformation. It is one of the oldest narratives—surviving thousands of years in buried coniform text. Inanna finds herself face to face with the queen of the underworld, not unlike Rosette’s first encounter with Kreshkali in the catacombs beneath Los Loma. This is the image of feminine initiation. In both cases the meeting leads to dire events and eventually to individuation and self-awareness.

The ancient Greek Medusa portrays yet another face of the feminine—one seen as the embodiment of evil. But she was not always so! A daughter of sea titans, Medusa was once extremely wise and beautiful. Men found her enchanting and came to ask her ‘favour’ but she was devoted to Athena and ignored them. When raped by Poseidon, she was turned into a monster with dragon wings and snakes for hair. Medusa embodies the outrage of subjugated women. She is angry and poisonous. Any man who ‘sees’ her is literally petrified. This portrayal of the dark feminine is echoed in Sara Douglass’ Ariadne and her decedents. These ‘evil’ women may not find peace or redemption save in death, but they certainly know how to move a story forward!

The fabric of the many-worlds is starting to unravel ...

Who are your favourite female characters? Do you see roots of their personalities in literary works of the past? Amazons? Healers? Leaders? Seers? Wanderers? Lovers? Mothers? Comments most welcome.

Kim Falconer is the author of the Quantum Enchantment trilogy, which starts with The Spell of Rosette, continues with Arrows of Time and will conclude come February with Strange Attractors … until it all begins again with The Quantum Encryption series in October 2010.