Oct 31, 2012

Upcoming audio interviews

Rowena72dpijoe_abercrombie

 

I have a couple more interviews in the works which will feature on the Galactic Chat Podcast:

  1. Rowena Cory Daniells author of the recently released Outcast Chronicles
  2. Joe Abercrombie author of Red Country and other gritty fantasy works

The interview with Rowena is in post production.  The interview with Joe Abercrombie is arranged.

If there’s any particular questions you’d like to ask Mr Abercrombie et me know in the comments.


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Angela Slatter on The Drawing Room

booksBannerThe British Fantasy Award winning author Dr Angela Slatter (pronounced Slayter) recently featured on Radio National Drive talking about writing fantasy.

Go here for the link to the specific segment


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Writerly Update

As I have mentioned before one of the great outcomes of attending workshops is connecting with people.  As a result of attending a recent workshop I was invited to join a diverse and experienced writers group.

So yesterday I travelled three hours to meet with my group.

It was my turn to submit a work and have it critiqued.  Now, the story had been workshopped already and it’s gone through 2 major redrafts.  I was thinking that it was in fairly good shape.

And to some extent it was.  I am very proud of the work done so far, although there seemed to be a niggling feeling, an intuition that something was missing.

And that my readers is the benefit of having a group of people who bring diverse talent and experience to the table.  They were able to tease out and articulate options for fine turning the story into something that I can say “Yes I have done my best on this.”

So once more unto the breach…

I am giving myself a month to redraft and then I will start submitting.  I think I have to state a deadline or the result will be for me to continually tinker with the story.  I want memorable and believable characters, something that will immerse the reader.  Something that will hopefully standout.  It’s worth just a little more effort.


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Oct 29, 2012

Joss Whedon on the Zomney apocalypse

I don’t care for the fanfare surrounding American politics, the song and dance goes on for far too long.  I am interested in the end result – being that it has such an effect internationally.

I am also more liberal and favour the democrats at least in theory.  So when you get one of my fave directors, making a campaign add spoof (it is a spoof right?) taking the mickey out of the Republicans with an added dash of pop culture reference, I just had to share this with you.


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Oct 28, 2012

Der Autor und der Kritiker episode 24

PD*3141165That they would be able to review six books in one podcast was always going to be a tall order, so splitting their eBook extravaganza into a 2 part podcast was a good idea.

In this episode, which must bring them nearly to their second anniversary, Kirstyn and Mondy cover Angelfall by Susan Ee, Anticopernicus by Adam Roberts and The Dark Wife by Sarah Diemer.

Next podcast they will feature The Black God’s War by Moses Siregar III, The Silence of Medair by Andrea K Höst, Paintwork by Tim Maughan.

I would have liked them to take a good look at Tor Roxburgh’s Light Heart of Stone, because it’s a really inventive, Australian work that I think falls under the guidelines above (though perhaps because it’s also a print publication it doesn’t – still its published by it’s author).

I am sure they had mountains of recommendations anyway.

Enjoy the podcast.  Download it here or play below:


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Oct 27, 2012

E-Book Revolution Mini-Podcast: Inteview with James Alan Gardner

EbookReolutionLogoEm Craven from Ebook Revolution Blog has another of her interviews with Fantasy authors who will be attending the World Fantasy Convention in a week or so.

Please check out her interview with James Alan Gardner.

James is a Canadian science fiction author with a Bachelor and Masters degree in Applied Mathematics (yeah, he knows what he's talking about!). He has published science fiction short stories in a range of periodicals, including The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction and Amazing Stories. In 1989, his short story "The Children of Creche" was awarded the Grand Prize in the Writers of the Future contest.

[Read On]

 

 
You can download the file direct here

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Submission Call: Year’s Best YA speculative fiction

 
tppheader4-copyThis is more for authors and publishers but you should know and be excited about Twelfth Planet Presses plans below:
 
Twelfth Planet Press announces a new Year’s Best reprint series, the Year’s Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction.
 
Editors Alisa Krasnostein and Tehani Wessely are now reading internationally for the inaugural anthology, and are seeking Young Adult speculative fiction first published in 2013 for consideration.
 
Our goal is to uncover the best young adult short fiction of the year published in the anthologies dedicated to the form, the occasional special edition of a magazine, and individual pieces appearing in otherwise “adult” anthologies and magazines, and bring them together in one accessible collection. So many young readers are avidly reading speculative fiction in novel form; we want to introduce them to the delight that can be found in the short story as well.
 

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eBook Review–Ms Cellophane by Gillian Polack

wpid-9781743340455_Ms-Cellophane_cover

Ms Cellophane, published by Momentum, is a digital reissuing of Polack’s previously titled Life through Cellophane published by Eneit Press in 2009.

It’s the tale of Elizabeth, a newly redundant public servant, who is finally free of an overbearing and underworking psychopath of a boss.  Or so she thinks.

It’s a inward looking tale of a woman's self discovery.  Redundancy gives her the time and space to find the person buried by life and work traumas.

It’s a tale of a mirror with its own unnerving and at times unpleasant agenda.

Kaaron Warren described it as “part gentle love story and part bizarre horror tale”.  I think if forced, I’d be inclined to categorize it under general fiction as opposed to genre fiction.

There were elements of romance and a blossoming relationship but it’s not a central focus for me and so I’ll respectfully disagree with Kaaron.  For me its more a drama than a romance.  On the charge of bizarre horror tale I’ll quote one of the characters on the situation surrounding the mirror:

”if this were a horror tale we would know its[the mirror’s] parameters”

So for me the horror elements of the book are a little too nebulous and understated for it to fit wholly under horror.  It sits on the boundary, perhaps unnerving magical realism might be worth chucking in here.  Personally the more horrific part of the tale is the treatment of Elizabeth by her boss, all the more horrific because situations like this do occur.

Ultimately it’s a good read.  I think Polack’s mix of perspectives; first person diarised accounts, juxtaposed with third person narrative gives us a very real sense of Elizabeth’s inner thoughts while not becoming overbearing.  The novel takes awhile to pick up pace as we get to know Elizabeth but by the end we are treated to an edge of your seat mystery.

You’ll appreciate the work if you have ever had the fortune(misfortune?) to work for a government department and you enjoy a work that is focussed on a personal journey.  The fantastical elements straddle that border between genre and literature so that if you are coming from either camp you won’t have an issue.


awwc2012_thumb[1]This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012.  Please check out this page for more great writing from Australian women.

 

 


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Oct 26, 2012

Aurealis Subscriptions–Get one now, especially if you are an Aussie Writer

unclesamI have fond memories of Aurealis, back when it was a print magazine and one of those rare finds on my newsagent bookshelf in the early 90’s.  The digital revolution has happened and it now comes to our email inbox 10 months of the year, full of up to date news and new stories by Aussie authors.

Now I have been hanging out for them to sort out the subscriptions under the new digital production schedule and they have, with some interesting and positive outcomes for Australian Writers.

Aurealis are attempting to get 1000 subscribers by the end of 2013 which will:

  1. enable them to offer 5 cents a word for stories (pro rates)
  2. qualify them as a pro market which will then
  3. allow writers published in Aurealis to get publication credits towards membership of the SFWA

Additionally if you sign-up before the 30th of October (as I just have) you’ll get not only the 10 standard issues for 2013 but this years last issue as well.

How much you ask?

$19.99 but wait, there’s more

If you are some one who submits work to Aurealis, being a subscriber also gets your stories placed at the front of the Readers’ queue and fast-tracked.

How’s them apples?

Go here and sign-up now your country needs you.


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Oct 25, 2012

Spineless Wonders November Gig

For those Adelaide folks or those coming to Adelaide you might want to catch an evening at The Wheatsheaf Hotel. Stories penned by award winning authors and performed by talented actors.

See the info below:

spineless presents nov 2012

You can find out more here


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Oct 24, 2012

Some links with a bit of crunch

Okay so today I resolved to start another story.  More or less to keep the practice up.  I am reworking an old folktale Iron Hans by the Grimms (or at least recorded by them).  I’d never heard of it before.  It’s ostensibly about little boys growing up to  be a good man etc.  I will be subverting it a little.  At the moment I think its probably going to morph into a novella or at least a long short story.

But along the way I got way laid by a migraine and some crunchy discussions that might be worthy of you reading. Both have  a feminist slant to them. The first is by Tansy called :

Cheesecake Fantasy and Other Good Causes

October 24th, 2012

Fantasy, as a genre, is often embarrassing. I like to tell myself that it’s not as bad as it used to be, in the days when Gor novels were sold unironically, and almost every book cover had some kind of gross, bizarre representation of the “female” form in chainmail/fur bikinis, regardless of the contents of the book itself. (Worse of course was when the books did reflect the art, but for every awful sexist fantasy novel you could almost guarantee the cover would be twice as bad) [read on]

The next is some commentary on the The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 23 by Pornokitch:

 

New Releases: The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror 23

This year's edition of The Mammoth Book of Best New Horror contains some good stories, with tales by Joan Aiken, Ramsey Campbell, Christopher Fowler, Mark Samuels, Alison Littlewood, Paul Kane, Gemma Files and many others.

If you're looking for a book of good horror stories, there you go. This book does what it says on the tin. I'd read a few of these in their original publications, and it is good to see them all in one place. And for a good price. Etc.

Where the book gets a little more controversial (and therefore fun to review), is in its introduction. Editor Stephen Jones begins the book with a lengthy summary of the year in horror. For the most part, this is pretty dry. It is, after all, a survey, and the poor man has a lot to get through. Still, there's some cool stuff in here: auction prices for Universal Movie posters, for example, and a shout out to Stories of the Apocalypse (woo!). 

However, there are also some more provocative inclusions. Since I don't have my own Mammoth Book in which to respond, I figured I'd crack out a review instead.

After some deliberation, my issues with Mr. Jones' introduction fall into two broad categories:

1) He's using a professional platform to air personal grievances. Don't get me wrong, if I had something like Best New Horror at my fingertips, I'd be tempted to sneak in the occasional "hi mom" as well. But this isn't the place to settle old scores.

2) I disagree with his interpretation of events. Mr. Jones has the right to his opinion - he just can't let it colour what is set up as an authoritative review of the year in horror.  

2b) I've also got a big problem with his opinion.

[Read on]

And with that I bid you good night.


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Oct 23, 2012

House Keeping – Review Index

owlThose with a keen eye ill note that I have added a review index page for 2012.  It’s fairly simple at this stage, being basically a filtered list of my archive showing only book reviews. 

I have plans to edit it later in the week to make title and author clearer.  Feel free to be opinionated in the comments about how you would like it to be organised i.e. chronological, alphabetical?


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Oct 21, 2012

Trucksong from Twelfth Planet Press

 

tppheader4-copyTwelfth Planet Press has acquired Trucksong by debut novelist Andrew Macrae, to be published in September next year.

To give you the lowdown:

In a post-apocalyptic Australian landscape dominated by free-wheeling cyborgs, a young man goes in search of his lost lover who has been kidnapped by a rogue AI truck – the Brumby King.

Along the way, he teams with Sinnerman, an independent truck with its own reasons for hating the Brumby King.

Before his final confrontation with the brumbies, he must learn more about the broken-down world and his own place in it, and face his worst fears.

This genre-bending work of literary biopunk mixes the mad fun of Mad Max II with the idiosyncratic testimony of works like Peter Carey’s True History of the Kelly Gang or Irvine Welsh’s Trainspotting.

Hell Yeah!

 


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Writerly Update plus resources

 

owlFirst an update on me and my writing.  Some readers may remember that I attended a Workshop run by Lisa L. Hannett, at the South Australian Writers centre.  It was a a good decision for a number of reasons:

  1. Lisa is good at what she does
  2. Fear of social failure ie not having something to show the workshop, really works for me
  3. It introduced me to a couple of folks with who I clicked
  4. I may have a writing group (if they’ll have me)
  5. I have a finished and increasingly polished story that I will send out to be joyfully rejected by the Short Fiction market

So a post apocalyptic/realist horror (groan) tale tentatively called Of Sorrow and Loss may be on its way to a paying outlet near you (on its way and likely coming back, but hey, rejections are par for the course).

So remembering the wise words of a fave short fiction author of mine, Peter M Ball, who incidentally wrote a piece for Lisa Hannett’s blog called Know Your Rights. I am setting out with best intentions, to treat this writing in a business like fashion. To manage my submissions formally with a database tracking submissions and noting down what rights I have sold.  I may have to write 15-20 stories before one gets published but it’s the mind-set that counts.

So to help with that process I looked up a nifty piece of software created by Simon Haynes, author of the Hal Spacejock sci-fi comedy series and professional programmer.

It’s called Sonar3 (get it navies use sonar to track subs, authors send out submissions, ah forgeddit).  It’s free and fairly intuitive to use.  It was written specifically for the Speculative Fiction Short Story market but it has some application beyond that (tracking non-fiction articles etc).

Go here and check it out.

If you’re in the novel writing business it’s also worth checking out yWriter5 another free bit of software that provides much the same sort of facility as Scriviner. With less time required to upskill oneself and costing nothing.


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The Undeading

A very clever and that incorporates the pop culture Zombie ccraze and a very simple health message. Enjoy.

 

H/T @Cacotopos


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Shine Light out soon

shine-lightShine Light third volume in Marianne de Pierres’ Young Adult series is released on November 1st.

If you’re quick you can snag a pre-order from Booktopia today for $14.95 and if you put SALE in the coupon section that's all you’ll pay. Take a look around because you can chuck any number of books on that order and pay no postage –see here for links to the Science Fiction and Fantasy Bargains.

 


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Oct 20, 2012

Interview with fantasy author Elaine Isaak

EbookReolutionLogoEm Craven provides us with another podcast interview with this year’s World Fantasy Con’s attendees.  This particular podcast interview is with Elaine Isaak:

Elaine Isaak is the author of The Singer's Crown, The Bastard Queen and Eunuch's Heirs and numerous short fiction. At the beginning of her career she attended the Odyssey Speculative Fiction Workshop.  In response to having two children around when she first began sending The Singer's Crown to publishers, she wrote faster and as of 2012 has  just finished her thirteenth novel. You can find out more about Elaine here.

[Read on]

You can subscribe to Emily’s podcasts here. You can download the podcast here.  Or you can play it below:

 


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Great News for Rowena Cory Daniells’ Fans

 

A couple of news items for Rowena’s fans:Rowena72dpi

  • I have just finished editing and interview i did recently for Galactic Chat, so keep your eyes peeled and your ears open.
  • Rowena has the rights back to her now out of print first T’En trilogy.  She will be releasing it herself under the series title Fall of Fair Isle – see her website for the new covers designed by Daryl of R&D Studios
  • She’s hard at work on the fourth book in the King Rolen’s Kin Trilogy

 


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Oct 19, 2012

Book Review–Exile (Book 2 of the Outcast Chronicles) by Rowena Cory Daniells

exile_250x384

Exile is the second book of the Outcast Chronicles, the first I reviewed here

The Outcast Chronicles are a prequel to Daniells’ 1999 sell-out series The Shadow Kingdom (called The Last T’en Trilogy in the US).

Whereas the Shadow Kingdom was an intimate fantasy tale, the Outcast Chronicles is a political power fantasy that is mature, confronting and damn near impossible to put down.

Exile is carefully crafted to background readers who have the misfortune to only have discovered book 2 in the series. I do, however, implore you to pick up Besieged. You’ll appreciate the additional build up of tension, and exploration of character.

The final pages of Besieged left us at the outskirts of the Celestial City with the forces of King Charald breaching the walls.  With Exile, readers will be relieved to note, the T’En are able to hold off the attack and there is an uneasy cessation to the fighting as King Charald seeks their surrender. 

Imoshen is elected Causare of the T’En, more through Brotherhood division than popular sentiment and seeks to gain precious time for her people who are spread out and surrounded by the Mieren (humans) settlements. 

King Charald wants to wipe the T’En from his kingdom.  Imoshen must save what she can to lead them into exile.  Can she hold her divided people together while their enemy contemplates genocide?  Can King Charald hold his Kingdom together with traitorous, barons nipping at his heals?

Exile is tightly written and rarely lets up the pace.  Any breaks in the pacing are filled with rich scenes of character development  that allow Daniells to entice you into caring deeply for her darlings.  Only when you have fallen in love with them does she apply the pressure, turning Exile into a page turner of exquisite torture.

But it doesn’t stop at the excellent display of craft. The exploration of gender and sexuality in Exile is a mature look not only at the possibility of real female political power but at the destructive culture that can develop in male only institutions.

Some of the treatment of Brotherhood members by their own organisations has echoes of the real life abuse and bastardisation that occurs  in organisations such as the military. 

It was a discomforting read for me as a male, because it turned a critical eye to issues that we might like to handle with humour or not talk about at all.  Nonetheless it’s the fact that Daniells doesn’t shy away that makes the book and the series not only enjoyable fiction but a creation of something with substance.

I’d like to see a book from the series win the Norma K Hemming Award.

If you’re tired of the standard fantasy tale.  If you would like a fantasy with depth and colour, pick up the outcast chronicles.  All three titles were released this year so you will be treated to the rare delight of being able to pick up all the books in what I am sure will become your favourite trilogy.

This book was provided by the Author at no cost to me.


awwc2012_thumb[1]This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012.  Please check out this page for more great writing from Australian women.

 

 


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Apex Magazine Subscription Drive

The good folks at Apex Publications, who produce among other things, Apex Magazine and the wonderful series of World SF Anthologies that recognize that Science Fiction exists outside the continental US are running their  annual subscription drive for Apex Magazine.

The drive will run for one month October 15 to November 15.  During which time you will be able to purchase 12 month subscriptions at a discounted price of $17.95(checkout the Apex Site or Weightless Books).  Those who are all Kindled up can also purchase monthly subs of the magazine through Amazon.

But Wait there’s more order know and you’ll get a complimentary set of steak knives, autographed by some has been sports personality…not not really what you will get if you sign up in that time is:

  • a free ebook (one of the volumes of The Book of Apex),
  • plus be entered into a raffle for the chance to win great prizes, such as: Apex books, ebooks formatting, and signed books from authors like Maurice Broaddus, Cherie Priest, Seanan McGuire, and Ellen Datlow.
  • The first 40 people to subscribe will get a signed Apex Magazine sampler. For full details, visit the Apex blog.

What in the World is Apex Magazine?

Apex Magazine, released on the first Tuesday of every month, is a digital e-zine of professional science fiction, fantasy, and horror. The current editor is Lynne M. Thomas, 2011 and 2012 Hugo Award winner.

Apex Magazine prides itself in publishing a combination of genre luminaries and bright new talents, and was nominated in 2012 for the Hugo for Best Semiprozine.


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Booktopia Clearance Sale–Science Fiction and Fantasy

No free postage on this sale - but then a flat $6.50 is alright when you can use it to ship as many books as you like.

There is actually free shipping until midnight of the 21st of October.  Just type the word SALE into the appropriate area on the order form.

There are some bargains to be had, especially if you are looking to fill out your collections. 

the-nameless-dayYou can peruse the fantasy titles in total here (about125 books).  A large number of the titles are under $2.  Authors include: Sara Douglas, Karen Miller, Glenda Larke, KJ Taylor, Mary Victoria, Russell Kirkpatrick, Will Elliot, Juliet Marillier, Nicole Murphy, Gail Carriger, Clive Barker and Joe Abercrombie.

 

 

 

diamond-dogs-turquoise-daysThe Science Fiction titles are similarly packed with well known authors, although they are not discounted as heavily.  Go here to peruse for yourself.  Some of the names you will recognise are: Nancy Kress, Arthur C Clarke, Sean Williams, Dan Simmons, Tim Powers, Douglas Adams and Alistair Reynolds

 


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Oct 17, 2012

Book Review - The Rogue (Traitor Spy Trilogy #2) by Trudi Canavan

rogue

The Rogue picks up from where The Ambassadors Mission finished.  There’s some backgrounding for those readers who might be coming in at book two instead of book one.  In essence though, it’s your standard book two with a continuation of the overarching plot and some interesting subplots thrown in to increase the tension.

The Rogue is characterised by uncomplicated prose, a focus on relationships, adventure and as I have mentioned in the review of book one - magic that serves to enhance the narrative rather than be a complicated feature that needs considerable exposition.

In The Rogue Skellin is still at large.  Lord Lorkin is still under house arrest among the Sachakan Traitors and Dannyl, the Guild Ambassador is concentrating on searching for the answers to fill the holes in Guild History. The series seems to be building to a conflict, though at this stage I can’t quite work out whether its going to between the Sachakans and the Kyralians or if the hints that Canavan has dropped about Skellin’s people will feature more.

What impressed me about The Rogue was Canavan’s continual positive portrayal of same sex relationships.  It would have been easy to continue on just featuring the tension between Dannyl, Tayend and Acharti and left it at that. But Canavan went further than that and by books end we have three times as many same sex relationships featured than heterosexual. Its refreshing to see that the series is so widely well received.

I’d recommend Traitor Spy Series series as a gateway book into the fantasy genre as a whole and as an example of an author who can deliver positive representations of same sex relationships in what is generally a masculine centric and conservative field.

If you are a veteran reader of the field you may find the prose too uncomplicated, and the fantasy elements not particularly new , then again I think that Canavan’s exploration of gender roles and of sexuality are something worthy of reflection  I eagerly await the conclusion of book three.

I reviewed The Ambassadors Mission here.

I interviewed Trudi Canavan for Galactic Chat here.

I note that Booktopia have The Rogue and The Ambassadors Mission significantly discounted here

This book was provided by the author at no cost to myself.


awwc2012_thumb[1]This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012.  Please check out this page for more great writing from Australian women.

 

 


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E-Book Revolution interviews Ian Tregillis

EbookReolutionLogoEm Craven has dedicated herself to fitting in as many mini podcasts with guests of World Fantasy Con, as she can before she jets off to the convention herself (have I mentioned green-with-envy, me that is?).

She was able to get some air time with Ian Tregillis’ whose Bitter Seeds I reviewed last month.

 

Here’s a snippet of the show notes:

Today's World Fantasy author is Ian Tregillis. In 2005, Ian attended the Clarion Writers' Workshop. After Clarion, and thanks to Walter Jon Williams, he was welcomed into New Mexico's disproportionately large community of professional science fiction and fantasy writers.

Although he often feels like a minor league batboy inexplicably mistaken for a professional baseball player, he has shared critiques with, and worked alongside, a long list of New Mexico writers including WJW, Daniel Abraham, Melinda Snodgrass, S. M. Stirling, Ty Franck, Victor MIlán, Sage Walker, and George R. R. Martin.

[Read on]

You can download the podcast here or play in the player below:

You can subscribe to Ebook Revolution by going here


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Oct 16, 2012

Small Press Book Deals

Just a short note to let you know that Damnation and Dames by Ticonderoga is currently discounted at $24.00 on Indiebooksonline.

damnation--dames---ed-grzyb--pillar-web

Damnation and Dames is 324 pages of paranormal noir featuring the writing talents of:

  • Lindsy Anderson, Chris Bauer, Alan Baxter, Felicity Dowker, Jay Caselberg, M.L.D. Curelas, Karen Dent, Dirk Flinthart, Lisa L. Hannett, Angela Slatter, Donna Maree Hanson, Rob Hood, Joseph L Kellogg, Pete Kempshall, Chris Large, Penelope Love, Nicole Murphy, and Brian G. Ross

 

 

 

          nnew-ceres-nights-coverTwelfth Planet Press and FableCroft Publishing have a special deal for all books purchased for the remainder of 2012.

          You can buy any book or book combo from either press and add the acclaimed New Ceres Nights anthology to your order for just $10.00 (including postage). New Ceres Nights features stories from:

          Dirk Flinthart, Thoraiya Dyer, J C Hay, Aliette de Bodard, Kaaron Warren,Stephen Dedman, Matthew Farrer, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Sue Isle, Martin Livings, Sylvia Kelso, Lee Battersby, and Angela Slatter


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            Oct 15, 2012

            Fablecroft Giveaway - To Spin a Darker Stair

            stair

            Fablecroft have a Goodreads Giveaway going for To Spin a Darker Stair featuring the writings of Catherynne M. Valente  Faith Mudge and the artistic talent of Kathleen Jennings.

            To enter in the Giveaway you can go here.

            If you are impatient and flush with moola you can go here and purchase a copy.

             

             


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            Galactic Suburbia 70–The Gillard issues smackdown edition.

            Galactic-Suburbia-CakeThis week the women of Galactic Suburbia discuss the glorious speech that our current female Prime Minister delivered to the Opposition leader who has a long and recorded history of disparaging women and impeding women’s rights. 

            What ever you may think of the current government ( I didn’t vote Labor, but think things would be infinitely worse under the Liberals) it was a speech a long time coming.  It was like that moment in every Disney feel good movie about overcoming bullies, that the protagonist pushes back.  It gave me shivers in that way a really good delivery of King Henry’s Speech does.

            But on with the show you can play it below:

            Or download it here


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            Oct 14, 2012

            E-Book Revolution Mini Podcasts - Laura Anne Gilman

             

            EbookReolutionLogoEmily Craven of the E-Book Revolution blog is heading to the Northern Hemisphere shortly to enjoy the wonder that is the World Fantasy Convention. 

            As part of the lead up to the Convention she is doing some sort interviews with authors likely to be in attendance.  So without further ado please check out the interview with Laura Anne Gilman.

            Over the next four weeks E-Book Revolution Podcast is going to diverge into the realms of fantasy authors and writing in the lead up to the World Fantasy Convention in Toronto. For those listeners who are unaware I am a fantasy author and early this year I was awarded a grant by the South Australian Government to attend the convention.

            Today's World Fantasy author is Laura Anne Gilman. Laura Anne is the author of the popular Cosa Nostradamus novels for Luna, and the award-nominated The Vineart War trilogy from Pocket, as well as the story collection Dragon Virus.

            [Read on for detailed show notes]

            You can subscribe to the podcast here

            You can download directly from here

            You can stream from the player below:

             

             

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            Australian Winner of the WSFA Small Press Award – 2012

             

            washingThe Washington Science Fiction Association Small Press Award is bestowed upon works of imaginative literature published in English, that do not exceed 20,000 words and that are published by a small press.  The award is announced each October at Capclave, the association’s convention.

            This year the winner is The Patrician by Tansy Rayner Roberts, published by Twelfth Planet Press.  It’s the second time that the the combined brains of Alisa Krasnostein and Tansy Rayner Roberts have taken home the award, winning previously in 2010 with the Nancy Napoleon story Siren Beat.

            Please join me in congratulating Alisa & Tansy

            If you want to check out the awards process go here.

            If you would like to purchase the stories you can get them in paperback and ebook form below:

            Love and Romanpunk EBook (epub) (featuring the Patrician) – $5.95

            Siren Beat (single) – $1.99 US via Smashwords


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            Oct 13, 2012

            Book Review–The Rest is Weight by Jennifer Mills

            the-rest-is-weightThe Rest is Weight is a short story collection by award winning, poet and novelist, Jennifer Mills. 

            I first came across Mill’s work at a reading in Alice Springs. Mills had just launched The Diamond Anchor and was the guest at a local poetry night.  It was there that I picked up a copy of Treading Earth, a chap book of her poetry.  This book contains one of my favourite poems to date, Mowing

            Mills displays a great talent for succinctly capturing; people, place and emotion. I had appreciated it in her poetry and in Gone.  It was most evident to me, however in this collection.

            The stories are diverse in tone, character and place.  With any collection of short stories I often find reading them in one sitting quite difficult.  You’d think it would be easier but I do often enjoy the feeling of being immersed in a novel and that doesn’t happen with short stories generally for obvious reasons.  Not so with The Rest is Weight, I read it in 2 days, without interruption from other reading work.  Mills continually captured my attention and compelled me to read.

            This is an achievement because when I say the work is diverse I mean it.  The first story Look Down with Me is a snapshot of Australia’s dark history of race relations and it pulls no punches.  It would sit equally well in a horror anthology and has elements that I find amongst the best purveyors of the weird and dark in fantasy circles.

            Indeed their are a number of pieces that play in that borderland between reality and fantasy, pieces that stop short of dipping into the fantastical but leave you second guessing yourself, like movement caught in peripheral vision. Reason and Demolition are two such examples.  The former is about a ministerial assistant who sees things on the return from visiting an aboriginal community, the later about the possibility of a Fox Spirit living in an ancient townhouse marked for demolition by the Chinese Government.

            Then there are pieces that are slices of Australian life, relationships brought to life.  The Capital of Missing Persons, Hello Satan and The Opposite of Peace.

            Mills facility for voicing the perspective of the untouchables of Australian society, the mentally ill, the homeless and the imprisoned is evident with The Shipping Views, Plain Indians and Crow Season.

            I don’t generally read Australian literature, because none of it captures Australia for me.  Not so with Mills, her Australia is my Australia - authentic and despite her being from the East Coast originally, I perceive a view from the centre looking out.

            There’s something for every reader in this book, Mills holds the diverse content together with refined prose and precise, evocative imagery.


            awwc2012_thumb[1]This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2012.  Please check out this page for more great writing from Australian women.

             

             


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            Oct 12, 2012

            Meet the Author–Sean Williams

            sean_profile1Emily Craven, from The Ebook Revolution Blog is hosting a Meet the Author Webinar this coming Tuesday with Australian Sci-Fi Novelist Sean Williams.

            Date: Tuesday 16th of October 2012
            Time: 7:30pm (Australian Central Time)

            You need to register for the webinar here.  You’ll also be invited to think of some questions to ask Sean.

            Be quick as there are a limited number of spaces.


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            Oct 10, 2012

            Book Release–Balanced in an Angel’s Eye

            Winterbourne Publishing have launched Balanced in an Angel’s Eye, Shaune Lafferty Webb’s, second book.  I reviewed the first, Bus Stop in a Strange Loop here.

            Balanced in an Angel’s Eye is:

            a stand-alone fantasy/SF mix, Webb depicts a city caught in an eternal war for balance, a stone’s throw from our own world, and more entwined with us than we suspect. Like Bus Stop on a Strange Loop, it is an absorbing, slow-burn read, especially as the main character Hael struggles to cope on our dark and gritty Earth.

            Try the preview below

            You can purchase it through Winterbourne in print or ebook form here.


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            Oct 8, 2012

            Book Review–Flight 404 / The Hunt for Red Leicester by Simon Petrie

            404

            Flight 404/ The Hunt for Red Leicester is a new release from Peggy Bright Books.  A science fiction novella double, it’s a curious mix that showcases the divergent talents of Simon Petrie.

            Flight 404 is a serious and compelling tale of a transgender pilot, sent to lend help to a search and rescue mission.  Her ship’s trajectory takes her back to the home world she escaped.  She must solve a mystery, and face relationships long abandoned.

            I am tempted to label it hard sci-fi with heart, but it does contain some hand-wavium around faster than light travel (for the purists out there). It gets “harder” around the limitations on communications and in system travel.

            Sufficed to say, space is dangerous and big but the real danger always seems to have humanity involved.

            I really enjoyed this story, felt that that the character was an honest and positive representation of a transgender person and I was captive to the mystery and story right until the end. 

            More in this vein Mr Petrie please.

            The Hunt for Red Leicester is cheese to Flight 404’s chalk. It’s science fiction comedy along the same lines as Douglas Adams or Simon Haynes. 

            Our hero Gordon Mamon has awoken, bound and gagged in the ladies toilet on the Space Hotel/ Space Elevator Skyward 270. Oh and there’s a dead Cheese magnate, Lord Havmurthy in one of the cubicles.  It’s up to Mamon to solve the case as hotel police are preoccupied.  There’s a solid plot that the comedy hangs off and the puns are groan worthy. I loved it.  A perfect counterbalance to the heavier tale told in Flight 404.

            You mileage may vary, but I felt that the length of this piece was spot on.  Short enough to appreciate the humour and not grow tired of it.  If more of this writing is your thing Simon also has a separate collection titled The Gordon Mamon Casebook.

            These novellas were provided free of charge by the author.


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            Oct 7, 2012

            eBook Review–Pyrotechnicon by Adam Browne

            pyro

            Pyrotechnicon is the debut novel of Adam Browne, Aurealis Award winning short fiction author.

            As the extended subtitle informs the reader, it’s the further adventurers of Cyrano de Bergerac.

            Why does that name sound familiar?  Perhaps you have stumbled upon the the performance of Gérard Depardieu in the 1990 film version of the play based on Cyrano’s life, or indeed the 2008 stage play featuring Kevin Kline. These dear readers are about the historical figure.

            Browne’s work harks back to the writings of the man himself. A freethinker, and rationalist most relevant to speculative fiction readers for his works, The Other World: or the States and Empires of the Moon and The States and Empires of the Sun published toward the end of the seventeenth century.  They were  forerunners of what came to be science fiction and formed part of the literature that fed writers such as Swift and Poe.

            The style, true to the works of Cyrano, therefore, is one that is a little more verbose than many readers would be accustomed to.  To give you an inkling:

            Chapter the Zeroth: Dawn

            Le 28 juillet de l’an 1655

            Dear Reader:

            My nose surfaced first, rising from slow waves of sleep, from darkness into darkness.

            The hour was early. My feet were cold.

            I heard a baker’s horse clopping through the Toulouse streets, and a costermonger’s soft singing as he prepared his stall. Then a ragged clatter of footsteps, and the laughter and drunken shouts of revellers leaving a tavern after a long night. I heard one of them spewing into the gutter, and by the grunts forced out of him as he heaved — the shapes of them, as it were, the grunted consonants, the bowely vowels — I knew the fellow for a Gascon.

            It is not then a book which one runs through at breakneck pace.  No. One must stroll through the language, appreciate the artistry, the wit and the absurdity. It is a book in which the tale matters less than the manner of its telling.  One might even venture to call it art, if one does not care about being considered pretentious.

            For those who must know, who cling to plot like a drowning rat; it is the story of the rescue of Cyrano’s love Roxanne from the sinister billiard table attired Master of Secrets. Do you need to know more?

            My ePub version was illustrated, featuring works inked by Brown himself, which only add to its verisimilitude as a text from a bygone era.

            Lovers of Baron Munchausen, Terry Gilliam movies in general and French wine will enjoy this book. It is also one that I think demands rereading, that may improve with further tasting.

            The novel was provided by the publisher at no cost to myself


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            Oct 6, 2012

            Gear up for Eclipse Online

            Eclipse-Logo2-310x200In a matter of days Nightshade will be releasing (firing up?) Eclipse Online, the successor to the wonderful and ground breaking set of anthologies by renowned rambler (listen to the Coode Street Podcast) and editor Jonathan Strahan.

            The stories that you previously would have paid good money to read in a wonderful bound edition are now being provided Free…yes free, online.

            Nightshade have teased us with the following press release

            On Monday October 8th we'll launch Eclipse Online with the awesome, "The Contrary Gardener" by the fantastic Christopher Rowe.

            Christopher Rowe has published more than twenty short stories, and been a finalist for the Hugo, Nebula, World Fantasy, and Theodore Sturgeon Awards. His work has been frequently reprinted, translated into a half-dozen languages around the world, and praised by the New York Times Book Review. His story "Another Word For Map is Faith" made the long list in the 2007 Best American Short Stories volume, and his early fiction was collected in a chapbook,Bittersweet Creek and Other Stories, by Small Beer Press.

            His Forgotten Realms novel,Sandstorm, was published in 2010 by Wizards of the Coast. He is currently pursuing an MFA in writing at the Bluegrass Writers Studio of Eastern Kentucky University and is hard at work on Sarah Across America, a new novel about maps, megafauna, and other obsessions. He lives in a hundred-year-old house in Lexington, Kentucky, with his wife, novelist Gwenda Bond, and their pets.

            I suspect that you will be able to purchase formatted versions for your Kindle/Kobo/eReader at some stage in the future.

            But yeah thanks Nightshade and Jonathan


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            Angela Slatter first Aussie to win a BFA

            a-book-of-horrorsA belated congratulations to Brisbane author Dr Angela Slatter (pronounced Slayter) for winning a British Fantasy Award for her short fiction The Coffin-Maker's Daughter.

            You can find the story in Stephen Jones’ anthology, A book of Horrors.

            Dr Slatter was overjoyed at the win, resorting to womble-esque dancing to celebrate.  And why wouldn’t one considering the calibre of previous winners, notably Neil Gaiman and Stephen King.

            Regular readers will remember that Dr Slatter has a co-written work with Dr Lisa Hannett called Midnight & Moonshine coming out from Ticonderoga next month.


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