Dec 31, 2013

End of 2013

Here it is.  The obligatory end of year post where I inflict my reflections on you.  This post will be a mixture of the personal and the professional( is my blogging professional?).  First up:


Number of books read


Number of manuscripts read


Gender Breakdown

Female 25 (46%)


Male 22 (41%)


Mixed 7 (13%)

Genre Break down

Non-Fic    2


SpecFic 43


Crime 5


Comics 2


Poetry 1


SF Erotic Fiction 1

Nationality/ Ethnicity  





3 ( 2 Single author, 1 anthology)


1 (anthology)

International Non Anglophone

2 (Int. journal, anthology)

International Anglophone

1 (collection)



Australian Aboriginal


First things first, the number of works read is significantly down on the two previous years. I blame (ironically) having to manage and run a library.  About 7 hours a week were eaten up in commuting, not to mention that I did take over the helm at Galactic Chat and with the help of the dedicated team of roving interviewers managed to put out a show a week from mid year on.  But more on that later.  I suspect I will read more and work less next year.

I read only 7 more books after my October gender audit and while I still managed to read more women overall(53% when I take out mixed collections), it was still shy of the 60/40 split I aim for.

My genre breakdown as you would expect from a SpecFic reviewer is heavily weighted in favour of that genre.  I don’t expect that this will change too much.

Nationality/Ethnicity was an attempt to dig down into how diverse me reading is.  As you would expect the largest grouping is Australian authors (13 of which would be women) skewed by the Australian Women Writers Challenge.  The next biggest grouping being American authors, shows I think, the dominance of that market in publishing.  There might have been one or two traditionally published review books in my Australian authors but I suspect most SpecFic being published traditionally is coming in from the US.  The UK books would be mostly Crime, with some Young Adult fantasy.

Thanks to Charles Tan I discovered the wonderful Filipino writing community.  His tireless efforts in getting hard copies out and Flipreads’ forging ahead to make digital distribution inroads led me to discover some really great speculative fiction writers.  I now have several books to continue on with next year. 

Thanks also to Joelyn Alexandra for bringing a number of works with her from the Singaporean community in 2012, some more will feature in my reading list next year as well. 

What I would like to do next year is to incorporate some extra diversity in the form of QUILTBAG fiction.  There’s been a smattering of stories throughout some of the collections that I have read this year but would really like to challenge myself with some different perspectives and longer works.  I have enjoyed work from Benjanun Sriduangkaew (see Silent Bridge, Pale Cascade) and JY Yang.  Feel free to suggest QUILTBAG writers, collections, stories in the comments.



I started the year with some grand plans to run the Adventures of Bookonaut Podcast and managed to create 5 Episodes.  They are worth checking out here.  But then the opportunity came along to take on the Galactic Chat Podcast previously run by the award winning team that brings you Galactic Suburbia.  I had been a heavy contributor to the show (hence my desire to create my own podcast) and when Tansy and Alisa looked at their schedules they decided to offer the show running to me instead of closing it down.

I found out how hard (even with help) producing a podcast is.  Never forget the often silent behind the scenes work that goes into the free content you listen to.  That being said I wouldn’t change it for the world.

Relaunching in June with the prelaunch special interview with NK Jemisin it has been a good year.  Our achievements were:

  1. 22 Interviews in 6 months (almost an interview a week)
  2. Gender breakdown of 17 female and 5 male authors
  3. Nationality breakdown of 19 Australian(1 POC), 3 International (two POC included)
  4. Site visits quadrupled from 11652 at the start of 2012 to 44586 as of today
  5. Episode hits increased from 1493 to 3732 in the same period
  6. Our top 5 most downloaded episodes(bearing in mind some have been live longer) were
    1. Margo Lanagan and Rochita Loenen-Ruiz who tie on 192 downloads
    2. Julia Rios
    3. Kathleen Jennings
    4. NK Jemisin
    5. Stephen Ormsby

You can peruse our selection of interviews below, just clik on the icon in the top right hand corner to  see all the interviews.



I surprised myself this year by becoming a published poet.  A big thanks must go to Jodi Cleghorn and Adam Byatt who initiated the Post-It Note Poetry Event in February.  It was they and the subsequent formation of the Post It Note Poetry Society that saw me develop the confidence to start submitting first to non paying venues and then on to paying gigs.  My thanks to my fellow society members for their wise words and shoulders to cry on.

My tally this year was:

  • 2 poems hosted at The Glass Coin (non-paying curated site)
  • 1 poem published at Adelaide INDAILY magazine ( paid in stock)
  • 1 poem accepted for publication in March 2014 Tincture Journal (paid publication)
  • 1 poem accepted for Speculative Fiction Anthology published in 2014

I am probably forgetting things but looking back over the year there’s good reason I was feeling a bit knackered come the Christmas Holidays.  I think I can mark this year off as a success.

Thanks for reading and see you next year.

Dec 27, 2013

Capaldi with a dash of Musketeer

Seems Mr Capaldi is getting a bit of work. He stars as Cardinal Richelieu in the BBC's new drama The Musketeers.  It also makes me think that he could have played a very good Master (see photo below).




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Australian Women Writers Challenge 2014

awwbadge_2014 This is my entry post for the challenge above. This is a continuation of my efforts to combat gender bias in reviewing, because of the nature of the book business and subconscious cultural bias I think a systematic and directed approach is needed. 

I completed 2013’s challenge here.  And for 2014 I created the Franklin Plus personal challenge of 15 books read and reviewed. For more information about the challenge go here. But for a quick overview:

The 2014 Australian Women Writers Challenge was set up to help overcome gender bias in the reviewing of books by Australian women. The challenge encourages avid readers and book bloggers, male and female, Australian and non-Australian, to read and review books by Australian women throughout the year. You don’t have to be a writer to sign up. You can choose to read and review, or read only. (Suggestions for what makes a good review can be found here.)

The challenge will run from Jan 1 – Dec 31, 2014. You can sign up at any time.

This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013.  Please check out this page for more great writing from Australian women..

Australian Poetry at Strange Horizons

While I am thinking poetry and speculative fiction please take a gander at Jenny Blackford’s Power Men at Strange Horizons.  I think this is a really good poem a great blend of Australian/ Mythic/Speculative concepts.

Power Men

By Jenny Blackford

16 December 2013

They stand so stiff, so steely-bright,
frozen on their straight tracks from hill to hill—
sharp-pointed skeletons of ancient geometric trolls
or bunyips, caught by too-sudden sunrise
while striding straight-legged over roads and scrub and creeks.

. . . [read on]

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Book Review - The Year of the Ladybird by Graham Joyce


I have been hanging out for The Year of the Ladybird since I heard Graham Joyce taking about it on an episode of the Coode Street Podcast (Episode 171).  Since that episode aired over a year ago I have been collecting Graham Joyce books whenever I have the chance.  Now, being a reviewer, lots of the books that I buy for myself end up on the “personal” to be read pile rather than the “reviewing” to be read pile.  Consequently I haven’t read any Graham Joyce but The Year of the Ladybird.  I did start on Some Kind of Fairy Tale but felt myself falling into the book and had other work calling me.

The Year of the Ladybird was purchased as part of a leaving gift from my job as a Librarian and as such I decided to splurge and get the hardback edition in all its orange/red glory. So was it money well spent by my colleagues?

In short, yes.

While I didn’t find The Year of the Ladybird nearly as captivating as the first few pages of Some Kind of Fairy Tale, Joyce has that rare talent for captivating and engaging storytelling.  I didn’t feel an overt emotional connection with the characters.  Some authors (Daniells, Wilkins, Lanagan) are excellent at the ability to toy with reader emotion.  I felt Joyce a little more tempered in this story, sure there’s one particular scene where the protagonist David isn’t sure if he’s involved in some sort of serious criminal activity but for the most part I think that this book’s strength was the recreation of time and place for the reader.

The Year of the Ladybird is set in the mid seventies, in a time of political turmoil with the rise of neo-fascism in England.  It’s summer and England is in the midst of a drought.  The protagonist David Barwise has returned to the seaside town of Skegness to work at a holiday camp.  Away from home and the life his mother and stepfather want for him, David sets about enjoying the freedom of growing into a young man. His choice of Skegness is not random though, he was brought there by his father while still a young boy and much of the novel is David picking away at the obscured memories of this time.  David keeps seeing an apparition of a man in a blue suit accompanied by a small boy.  The reader is not sure if these visions are the results of the pressure of new experiences or the pressure of being involved with unsavoury and violent characters.

I think Joyce captured the uncertainty of youth, a nostalgia for the past and the drive in all of us to uncover unknown or obscured history.  He has a very light touch and I devoured this within two sittings without realising I was thoroughly immersed. By which I mean it was good. A book that settled around me while I wasn’t watching and led me gently to its conclusion.



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Dec 17, 2013

The Australian Women Writers challenge completed

Well the end of the year is coming around fast and so its time again to write a series of end of year posts. I participated in the Challenge again this year reading between 14-16 books by Australian women ( I say between, as one below is a collection featuring 50% Australian content) if you include the two unpublished manuscripts I am reading.  Still 14 books reviewed makes me happy.

Please enjoy if you haven’t already my reviews for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013.


Book Review – Little Bit Long Time by Ali Cobby Eckermann
Book Review – King Breaker by Rowena Cory Daniells
Book Review – Blood of Whisperers by Devin Madson
Book Review – Black Sun Light My Way by Jo Spurrier
eBook Review–Aurora: Darwin by Amanda Bridgeman
eBook Review–Charlotte’s Army by Patty Jansen
Book Review: To Spin a Darker Stair
eBook Review – Shifting Reality by Patty Jansen
Book Review – Winter be My shield by Jo Spurrier
Erotic Romance for Men - Guns, Zombies or ...
eBook Review – Asymmetry by Thoraiya Dyer
Book Review - River of Bones by Jodi Cleghorn
Book Review – The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth
eBook Review–Through Splintered Walls by Kaaron Warren

awwbadge_2013[4]This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013.  Please check out this page for more great writing from Australian women..






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Dec 16, 2013

DVD Review: Ripper Street Episode 2 – In My Protection

ripper-streetOne of my criticisms on viewing the pilot was that Ripper Street appeared to be a bit of a sausagefest * with the only women present being “damned whores and God’s police”.  I am pleased to report that while Episode 2 still contains a good deal of Bratwurst we do begin to see a little more of the variety of Victorian England.  The episode also shies away from what I thought was going to be the overall story arc, that of the Ripper case.  It seems at this point, that it’s destined to be background material.

In this episode a Toymaker is found beaten to death.  The Whitechapel Vigilance Committee ( a historical actuality) apprehends the alleged culprit, a teen by the name of Gower and delivers him to the Police.  The young Gower is made an example of my the justice system and is sentenced to hang.  The boy’s lawyer and confidante of Reid’s wife, convinces inspector Reid to dig a little deeper.  What Reid finds is a  gang of “Street Arabs” (homeless children) run by a vicious Fagan like character by the name of Carmichael; played by Joe Gilgun. We are also introduced to the proprietor of a Jewish Orphanage, a Mrs Goren played by Lucy Cohu.  This is a brutal episode that casts some light on the realities of living in the Victorian East End and hints at the reality of anti-Semitism in England.

Torchwood fans will be happy to see Lucy Cohu (she played Captain Jack’s daughter in Torchwood: Children of Earth) as Mrs Goren.  She plays an understated role, but does broaden our understanding of the diverse makeup of London of the time. She is a Secular Jew, providing care in an age of reforming God-botherers.  I also sense a connection here between Goren and Reid.  He seems more comfortable with her, for example, than his own wife. 

On that note we get a deeper understanding of Reid’s relationship with his wife.  She finds a confidante in the reforming Lawyer that defends Gower, someone whom she can talk to about her daughter, who I presume at this stage is either dead or missing.  Inspector Reid is a wall of stoic fortitude on that front.  They seem quite distanced from each other by grief.

Joe Gilgun, is another rising star that plays the viciously evil Carmichael.  You may remember him as Rudy from Misfits or Woody from This is England.  For a wiry scrap of a man he delivers one of the most fearsome characters I have seen on screen for a while.

So in summary; a good(if slightly violent) episode that begins to solidify the show’s identity and one that I think reveals the overall arc that will tie the season together ie the mystery surrounding the Reid’s daughter.

Episode one was reviewed here.  I am watching the standard DVD version.

* It occurred to me that some readers may not understand the term.  It indicates an overabundance of men, with more men getting speaking parts/screen time.

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Dec 14, 2013

Gender Bias in Publishing? Not us says Allen and Unwin


So apparently Allen and Unwin got a bit of stick for their advertising this year in regard to gender bias.  Well according to the self described rant at Things Made From Letters.  The post troubles me for a number of reasons.  And strikes me as another post from a publishing house (or publishing house insiders)AU-IN-STYLE  that’s less than professional or perhaps a little unwise.  I did a search for criticism and found nothing on Google, nor Twitter. If you can find what The Onions at Things Made from Letters were talking about in regard to criticism then let me know.

Anyway here is the advert, or one that may have caused the issue.  You will notice not one book by a woman.  So how do our Onions(and at this point I did wonder Onions—> Onion –> Satire) respond to this charge?  With a calm explanation of the process that led to the claim?  Well let’s see.

We’ve recently been taken to task for showing gender bias in some of our advertising. If it weren’t so funny it would be kind of sad.

Oh dear.  Interesting way of opening; casting disparaging comments about your critics as if there were no issue (one could argue that this tone begins with the title but I’ll pretend that the question was asked with sincerity.  We’ll move on shall we?

When we prepared our Christmas publishing program this year, and the promotion schedule to support it, never did it occur to any of us that it favoured male writers or subjects. The really silly thing is, if we’d undertaken a similar campaign last year the so-called bias would have had women writers and subjects holding the balance.

This paragraph says volumes ( and again I look over my shoulder and wonder if I am being poe’d.)  The bit that I think is most enlightening is never did it occur to any of us that it favoured male writers or subjects. Indicating that there’s no belief nor understanding that humans no matter how smart, liberal, or educated are subject to biases and that a raft of these are subconscious or implicit. Indicating that Allen and Unwin don’t have anything in place to try and screen or at least get them to reflect on possible biases they might have on an individual level or as an institution.

Then there’s another attempt to ridicule their detractors.  They are not just funny this time but silly ie The really silly thing is. If I was being really hard core I’d even suggest that the use of silly as a descriptor is gendered, as in silly girls.  But not knowing the gender of those who complained we’ll let that slide.

The rest of the paragraph implies a point without directly making it.  That the gender of writers published each year is dependant on the books that they receive or that sell well and that “if we’d undertaken a similar campaign last year the so-called bias would have had women writers and subjects holding the balance.”  Note the use of so-called (methinks they are pretty sure they aren’t biased) but note also the if.  If they had done it last year the situation would have been reversed.

If you had, Allen and Unwin, but you didn’t and so the point is moot.  What would have been better here is some stats and a look at what actually was run as the campaign last year.  Less of the dismissive “down your nose” attitude that, dare I say, might lead detractors to think you really don’t think there is a problem.

To say that gender doesn’t enter our thinking about anything here at Allen & Unwin is a serious understatement. We are a company overrun by women. Of the senior management team only 10% are men.

Not sure what this is meant to suggest.  That women can’t have biases against women (nor against certain genres now that we are thinking about it) that we don’t absorb attitudes to others from the culture we grow up in? 

Allen & Unwin does not take on a book simply because it’s by a man. Neither do we consider one book over another because the gender balance needs to be redressed. We take on a book because of the quality of the writing. Period.

I would hope they don't take a book on because of the author’s gender and I think those days are long gone ie blatant sexism.  But “The Onions” have already indicated that at Allen and Unwin there’s no concept of implicit or subconscious bias. 

I would hope that they take on a book because of its quality, marketability or both.  I want A&U to make money so they can keep publishing some of my favourite writers.  I note the veiled dig at tokenism with comments about redressing the balance.  Thing is, if no one at A&U is contemplating whether or not, at any of the many doors a work has to pass through to get published, that there might be subconscious bias operating, then… well you are going to have your publishing skewed by bias, gender or otherwise.

Allen & Unwin has a long and proud tradition of publishing feminist polemics, humorous takes on the state of gender politics and of showcasing the writing of some of this country’s best writers: Michelle de Kretser, Kate Morton, Danielle Wood, Kerry Greenwood, Marion Halligan, Charlotte Wood, Kate Grenville, Maureen McCarthy, Ann Fienberg, Margot Lanagan, Kathryn Heyman, Marele Day to name but a few (and they’re just some of the novelists).

You’re  lucky you included Margo in that list.  But hey, this is more like it, here’s some evidence.  I’d still like to see some navel gazing, some contemplation about other issues raised.  There’s also the point that, presented in isolation, these names might be meaningless.  How many male novelists by comparison.  How many books by has-been sports stars?

Should further evidence be required, it bares pointing out that Allen & Unwin proudly and very successfully published Kerry-Anne Walsh’s Stalking of Julia Gillard earlier this year. Hardly the actions of a publisher with anti-female gender bias.

The further evidence required would be stats of books published over time and a thoughtful interrogation of these stats.  What we don’t need in this discussion is off the cuff defensive rants.  We need a serious investigation/consideration from the people who have the information ie publishers.  I note here  the phrase anti-female gender bias, which again belies the authors’ fixation on conscious or blatant bias.  It seems quite obvious to me, as they say in the the second paragraph… they never thought, because you can’t think about something you are not aware exists. I doubt there is a conscious anti-female gender bias at Allen and Unwin or any other publisher (though I have heard of some stories around gender and Science Fiction authors).  Here is where I think the article in all its misguided glory should have halted.

But no.

The last line is a doosie:

It shames us all that Australian culture and politics have driven some people to this kind of petty griping. Thoughts?

It shames us all?  What a distasteful start to a sentence, to group us all together, to attempt to “force team”* your reader into feeling shame.  And I don’t understand the slight against Australian Culture and politics.  Is it a swipe at the Julia Gillard’s standing up against blatant misogyny (surely not, for as they say they published the stalking of Julia Gillard)? Surely the fact that we are talking about gender bias is good?

Are we really all just jumping at shadows with petty gripping?  Were there no women published by Allen & Unwin in 2013 that could have been stuck on that banner? So hang on, lets see; funny, silly and petty. I get the feeling that A&U doesn’t think much of its detractors. 

My thoughts?

Funny as in odd, silly and petty- pretty much sums up what I think of the article.

If Allen and Unwin were really concerned about putting the claims of gender bias to bed, they’d take the issue seriously. They’d not throw a tanty.  I know Allen and Unwin publish female writers, all my Allen and Unwin books are by women authors.  Gender bias in publishing, reviewing and the wider culture is a serious and complex problem and one that not only publishers are responsible for addressing. 

The issue deserves more than this.


* A concept taken from Gavin DeBecker’s A Gift of Fear – I bit of linguistic sleight of hand to imply that (in this case) the author and reader are part of the same group, share a predicament when that’s not the case.

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Galactic Chat 41 – Dirk Flinthart

And our last Galactic Chat for the year featuring the wonderful Dirk Flinthart

This week Sean calls Dirk Flinthart for a chat about his debut novel, Path of Night.  Members of the Australian speculative fiction community will be well aware of Dirk's engaging personality and breadth of knowledge. Please enjoy the wonderful conversation as they talk about martial arts, poetry, and the change wrought by technology on publishing.


This will be our last show for the season.  Pleas have a safe and happy holiday break and we will see you in the new year.



Interviewer: Sean Wright

Guest: Dirk Flinthart

Music & Intro: Tansy Rayner Roberts

Post-production: Sean Wright


Twitter: @galactichat

Email: galactichat at gmail dot com

eStore Review: Sony Readerstore (Australia)

global-header-logoI was contacted last week by a freelance marketer who had read my blog and was sure that I could give a fair review of Sony’s ReaderStore.  After confirming with the ReaderStore that the contact was legitimate I accepted a $20 voucher to go and experience what Sony had to offer.

Now I am a fan of the Sony hardware.  I still have a Sony PRS 505 which I got second hand from a friend ie a 2008 eInk reader. I would have been a member of the store 3 years ago had they an Australian outlet when I first started reading eBooks. 

So where to start with this review?  Let’s bear in mind my experience with eBooks first as I’m not your first time purchaser. Here’s my profile:

Sean the Shopper

  • I have been purchasing, downloading and managing ebooks for 3 years. 
  • I have been using Adobe Digital Editions(necessary to download the DRM’d products) for 3 years
  • I have been a member of a number of Libraries that use Overdrive for delivery of eBooks and would consider myself a heavy user of such
  • I have been a Librarian instructing patrons on how to use a myriad of devices to access eBook libraries and eStores
  • I am a heavy user of Calibre Library Management software.


So with that in mind, how did I find the store?


First Impressions:

It’s got a minimalist look, lets the book covers do the selling.  All the navigation links at the top all the help links at the bottom.

Signing up:

Pretty standard fare here, an email address and password, confirmation email.  The actual time taken for the webpage to process the signup seemed to take quite awhile but the rest of the process was quick.  Thinking about this from the point of view of a newbie though, there was no upfront mention of the Adobe Digital Editions requirement.  Sony I think assumes that arrivals to their store are coming there through eReader sales and will already have their Reader software installed on the laptop or on device and perhaps they do?


Browsing and ease of browsing  is really the only part where I think a store has a chance to differentiate itself from the competition. With the ReaderStore you have the option of searching by category (they lump Science Fiction and Fantasy together) and a general search field for Author names/Titles of books but not ISBN.  Your results can then be further narrowed via a filter that will order the books by Relevance, Date, or Price. 

hair-side-flesh-sideThe only issue I had here was when I did a broad search on the Science Fiction and Fantasy category followed by a price filter (looking for cheaper books to get value for voucher), on page two I was hit with the perky naked buttocks of the model who graces all the Aishling Morgan Erotica books and I was tantalised with such titles as Maiden, Innocent, and Princess.  I think most people wouldn’t class erotica as Fantasy or Science fiction and when I want cheap SciFi and Fantasy buys I don’t want to wade through 10 pages of badly designed covers to get there.  My advice Sony, is to place the Erotica in a category of its own. 

I’d also like to be able to view books in price bands to be able to search Fantasy > Price > $5 - $10 


For the books that I read, I felt there was a pretty good selection.  Hair Side Flesh Side by Helen Marshall and Rob Shearman’s collection Remember Why You Fear Me came up and individual stories from those collections as well.


On the whole the prices seemed a little more expensive, for example Hair Side Flesh Side was $14.99 on ReaderStore compared to $9.99 on Kobo. On Philosophy for Life the price difference was only 90 cents.  So without doing a really comprehensive comparison, as with most things - hunt for bargains.  The selection wasn’t pricey enough to make me abandon Reader Store with scorn – I’ll add them to my shopping round.

Responsive support 

I had no issues with the store, but in first trying to determine whether the review offer was legitimate and not a scam, the ReaderStore response team were good considering the time of day I was contacting them.

Downloading the Goods:

Pretty darn smooth, if you have used any service that requires Adobe Digital Editions i.e. Kobo, Overdrive you will not have an issue.  For first time users who are moderately computer literate, there should be no issues.  If this is your first time having bought an eReader and books, you may need to sit down and carefully read the documentation or seek out your nearest Library that offers eBooks; the staff their should be proficient.

Additional Apps:

The Store also offers additional Apps in the form of Reader software.  I didn’t download the software to my laptop because I prefer to use Calibre for managing my library and I already had ADE for DRM transfers.  I did however download the reader app to my Kobo Vox and at this stage I am inclined to think that it is slightly better at handling epubs than the native Kobo App.


A reasonably well stocked store, clean interface and simple navigation.  It could be improved but as it stands on par with other providers like Kobo.  Add it to your shopping round. Search for Sony ReaderStore to get the store relating to your region.

Books purchased with the voucher:

Philosophy for Life

Another Man’s Moccasins

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Dec 12, 2013

DVD Review: Ripper Street Episode 1 – I need light.

ripper-streetWith work over for the year and more time on my hands I thought I’d catch up on some old favourites and some of the newer series that I missed on television this year.   I am finding that I watch television less and less outside of ABC, SBS and NITV and even then the idea that I should be tied to a broadcast schedule in this day and age seems ridiculous.  Too much reading, blogging and podcasting to be done while wasting time trying to remember when a show is on.  So it’s DVD’s. If the show is good enough it’ll make it to DVD and then I can mainline it.

So Ripper Street.

For those of you pacing your viewing and without a PVR here’s the series’ official show blurb:

Haunted by the failure to catch London's most evil killer, Jack the Ripper, Inspector Edmund Reid (Matthew Macfadyen) now heads up the notorious H Division - the toughest police district in the East End. Charged with keeping order in the blood-stained streets of Whitechapel, Reid and his men find themselves fighting to uphold justice and the rule of law; but always in the background lurks the fear of the Ripper.

The shadow of the Ripper is still felt in the neighbourhood by the vigilantes, the sensation-seeking newspaper hacks and the men who hunted - and failed to find - the notorious murderer. It seems that even though the notorious killer has disappeared, there are plenty more willing to stain the streets of Whitechapel with their victims' blood...


So essentially it’s a police procedural set in late 1800’s England.  To my mind it has several things in its favour.  It has its fingers in both the Crime and the BBC Costume Drama pies, it takes advantage of the growing love of neo-victoriana (reflected in things like the Steampunk subgenre/culture). It also seems to be spring boarding off the successful movie enterprise of the Robert Downey Jnr. Sherlock movies.  It’s more than just being set around the same time and being part of the detective/procedural genres though.

Take note of the lettering above and then run an image search on Sherlock Holmes, not an exact copy but there’s a family resemblance.  Note also the title music in the title sequence:

Some haunting fiddle music that reminds very much of the title music to both Sherlock Holmes movies.   And if that’s not enough to whet your appetite for late 1800’s grunge then we are treated to a rather brutal prize fighting scene (sans the Guy Richie choreography and styling) featuring Brom, or rather the actor Jerome Flynn.  But that’s where we leave the similarities, well maybe apart from the costumes which are delightful, dark and deep in tone.

Episode One: I need light, is a good start to the series.  There’s some nice set ups for conflict that I imagine will continue throughout the series. Detective Inspector Edmund Reid played by Matthew Macfadyen is one half of the deductive duo that failed to solve the Ripper case some six months earlier.  He’s hulking and brutish but in a controlled way, willing to use everything at his disposal whether it be the fists and temper of Sergeant Bennet Drake (Flynn), new technologies or the services of ex-Pinkerton and US Army Surgeon, Captain Homer Jackson played by Adam Rothernberg.  I have to tip my hat to the folks at BBC for the inclusion of this American character, broadening the appeal of what is essentially a very British drama.  I must admit though, that the references to him being the only competent Surgeon (the English ones being drunks or incompetents) felt like it was blowing smoke up certain viewership's orifices.  Is there a “competent American”  trope?  The sensationalist newspaperman Fred Best is played well by David Dawson, summing up in his performance, everything we hate about grubby journalism.

You may note at this point a lack of reference to female characters.  One problematic feature of this episode is that it’s pretty much a sausagefest with the parts women get to play being either dammed whores or God’s police.  Mrs Reid played by Amanda Hale gets about 5 seconds air time and one or two lines where we learn that she has just returned from Church. MyAnna Burning gets more screen time as the Madame Long Susan, and Charlene McKenna gets several scenes on her back.  If I can extrude one positive here its that we do actually get to see some women experiencing sexual pleasure from oral stimulation by a man (not explicit) in stark contrast to the very male centred sex scenes featured in Game of Thrones - I do wonder if this scene might be cut for American TV.

I will note that there was also an absence of POC, even in the background, which strikes me as a little odd considering the time and place.

In terms of plot, episode one sees the potential return of the Ripper with the body of an alleged streetwalker left in circumstances similar to the Ripper case.  What unfolds is an insight into the dark world of 1890’s pornography and the birth of snuff films.

It’s a well paced episode that doesn’t just rely on the decoration to wow the viewers, there’s substance beyond the vicarious thrills.

Booktopia has it in both Bluray and standard format.  I am viewing the standard DVD.

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Dec 10, 2013

Steampunk World – A multicultural anthology

Do I really need to sell this to you?  It will feature:

Jay Lake, Ken Liu, Nisi Shawl, Jaymee Goh, Rochita Loenen-Ruiz and Benjanun Sriduangkaew just to mention a few.  Go to the Kickstarter site to get the rest of the contributors.


Jupiter Ascending – SF’nal eye candy

Posited as a science fiction film I am not sure if this is anything other than SFnal eye candy.  But it’s nice Candy. And it has Sean Bean. . .who will probably die.


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Last Galactic Suburbia for the Year

A ripper of an episode that I am still only halfway through.  I may be biased though, as Tansy does talking considerably about Cranford by Gaskell (hence me now re watching it --->)

or you can download it here.

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New Sherlock Trailer

Doctor Who and now new Sherlock…fandom meltdown commence…

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Free eBook - Engraved on the Eye by Saladin Ahmed


How’s this for an early Christmas present?  Saladin Ahmed, author of Throne of the Crescent Moon, and finalist in both the Nebula and the Hugo is giving away a collection of his short stories for free.

Engraved on the Eye features stories that been nominated for the Nebula and Campbell awards, stories that have graced The Year’s Best Fantasy and other anthologies.  This is a great chance to get all Ahmed’s stories in one place for free

The collection is available through Smashwords – here.






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Dec 6, 2013

Galactic Chat 40 Alex Interviews Andrew Macrae

It creeps every closer to Christmas and as the crew at Galactic Chat wind down we thought our faithful listeners deserved another early present.  Please enjoy Alex talking to Dr Andrew Macrae about Trucksong:

This week Alex chats to Dr Andrew Macrae about his debut novel Trucksong from Twelfth Planet Press -  A dystopian science fiction novel about lost love, AI trucks and the search for meaning in a post-apocalyptic Australia.  

They talk about his PHD thesis (which is far more interesting than this sentence indicates), the soundtrack that he and his band put together for the book and the experimental version of the book written entirely in a devolved post apocalyptic language.  The book has been making noise in both  Specfic and Litfic circles.

Book website:
Buy the book:
Andrew's music:
Twitter: @acidic


Interviewer: Alex Pierce

Guest: Dr Andrew Macrae

Music & Intro: Tansy Rayner Roberts

Post-production: Sean Wright


Twitter: @galactichat

Email: galactichat at gmail dot com


You can download it here

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Book Review – Little Bit Long Time by Ali Cobby Eckermann

ali Little Bit Long Time is the debut collection of poetry from Aboriginal writer Ali Cobby Eckermann.  It came out in 2009 and its print run sold out.  This review is of the second printing by Picaro Press as part of their Aegis series.

I have been hesitant to review poetry before.  Part of this is time -  if you are going to read poetry I think you really need to read it closely and that takes as long, if not longer than reading novels.  The other reason is that I often feel inept at offering criticism of poetry. I am not a trained critic  (nor likely to become one considering the pay rates) but I like talking about the stuff that I like so …

Little bit long time is the only collection of poetry in recent memory that I feel I have liked or had a connection with almost every poem.  Part of this is accessibility of the language.  Eckermann is a plain speaking poet  with no pretention to anything other than capturing the voice, feelings and issues affecting herself and other aboriginal people.  I often find a lot of Australian poetry has a specialised audience of academically educated, trained and practising poets, who do a fine job but leave me feeling a bit unmoved emotionally.

Little bit long time is a mix of the deeply personal and the universal.  A copy of Intervention Pay Back needs to be force read  to Mal Brough and Tony Abbott until they get it.  Pretty much every issue with white governments riding rough shod over aboriginal self determination is encapsulated in that poem.

The titular poem Little Bit Long Time could be about any massacre of indigenous peoples but it brought to mind the 1928 Coniston Massacre . The refrain “little bit long time” takes on a chilling tone in the last stanza.

Perhaps part of my joy in reading this collection is that it transports me emotionally to my life in Alice Springs.  Eckermann uses a couple of different registers (is this the right term?) standard Australian English and the patterns of speech and use of language that is common to Aboriginal English in the Northern Territory and South Australia.  I suspect that I have an advantage over a few people whose only exposure to Aboriginal people is through the media.  Whatever the case I hear the cadence when I read her words.

I think Little bit long time is a superbly accessible work, in a way that I’d like more Australian poetry to be.  It’s at times intensely personal and underlines many of the issues Aboriginal people face but there are commonalities of the human experience artfully articulated here that any lover of poetry would enjoy. 

This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013.  Please check out this page for more great writing from Australian women..awwbadge_2013[4]






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Dec 5, 2013

Attention YA authors

logo Twelfth Planet Press are producing a Year’s Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction.  The details below:

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.

What is YA? We define the Young Adult arena of speculative fiction as being multi-faceted. It’s not just about the age of the protagonist; it’s not just about the generally accepted “coming of age” story; it’s not just stories about young people and the (figurative or literal) journey they are on in life. We’re not afraid of stories that shine a dark light on human nature, if it is relevant to the YA theme being explored. We aren’t scared of things that go bump in the night. We want science fiction, fantasy, horror, and all of the subgenres associated with these. We want to explore diversity in all forms, because young people are diverse, and they want to see themselves and their friends in the stories they read. We consider Young Adult to be a subset of adult fiction rather than children’s fiction.

This is a REPRINT anthology. We are only reading material first published during the calendar year of 2013. Reprint submissions are welcome from anywhere in the world, in the English language (we are more than happy to consider translations of works appearing for the first time in 2013). We anticipate a publication date in the first half of 2014.

READ ON . . .

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We See A New Frontier discussions

I reviewed We See A New Frontier a while back.  You should buy it and read it. 

Then you should sit back and read the discussion headed up by Benjanun Sriduangkaew at Strange Horizons:



Different Frontiers: Taking Over English

By Benjanun Sriduangkaew

25 November 2013

We See a Different Frontier is a postcolonial anthology of speculative fiction from the viewpoint of the colonized, published by Publishing, in which sixteen authors share stories to fill the silences in history and claim the final frontier. For this roundtable, some of the contributors have gathered to give their perspectives on language and its complex relationship with cultural imperialism, speculative fiction, and identity. The conversation was conducted by email in September 2013.

Benjanun Sriduangkaew: I've seen reviews bring up that the stories in We See a Different Frontierare all written in English; this is seen as ironic in light of the anthology's theme. What does everyone think?

Fabio Fernandes: Even though I perceive it as somehow necessary (so we can get some kind of "order," an underlying principle of communication), I confess I feel sometimes sad at this, because there's so much my native language could convey. [read on]


It’s a really crunchy mind meld of great authors discussing English language and post-colonial writing.  Seriously fascinating and thought provoking stuff.

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Proof that Whovians are the coolest people

I am sorry I somehow missed this episode.  Keep watching till the end.

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More Doctor Who Fannishesness

Great if you like 80’s music and Dr Who.

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Dec 4, 2013

eBook Review - Path of Night by Dirk Flinthart

PathofNightCoverSM Imagine if you will, the literary love child of Roger G. Barrett and Kelley Armstong and you’ll get close to the performance that Dirk Flinthart has provided in Path of Night

It’s not as politically incorrect as Barrett’s Les Norton books but there’s a thick seam of true blue Aussie gold humour running through this book.  Mesh this with something like the fast paced urban fantasy of Kelly Armstrong’s Otherworld series, sans the really supernatural shenanigans and you have a darkly humorous thriller with cracking one liners and plenty of action.

Michael Devlin is the first of a new breed. The way things are going, he may also be the last.
Being infected with an unknown disease is bad. Waking up on a slab in a morgue wearing nothing but a toe-tag is worse, even if it comes with a strange array of new abilities.
Medical student Michael Devlin is in trouble. With his flatmates murdered and an international cabal of legendary man-monsters on his trail, Devlin’s got nowhere to hide. 
His only allies are a hot-tempered Sydney cop and a mysterious monster-hunter who may be setting Devlin up for the kill. If he’s going to survive, Devlin will have to embrace his new powers and confront his hunters. But can he hold onto his humanity when he walks the Path of Night?
Path of Night also puts me in mind of fellow Australian writers Trent Jamieson, Jason Nahrung and Narrelle M Harris. Jamieson's Stephen de Selby, in the Death Works series, is a similar character to Devlin - a reluctant hero, though Devlin is less self effacing.   Nahrung and Harris have also recently provided us with different takes on the Vampire in an Australian setting.

And what a well tilled field vampire fiction is.

So what makes Path of Night  different? What lifts it out of the surge and swell of competent and not so competent reinventions of age old myths?

In this instance probably pacing and humour.  I can experience an aversion to Australian humour if its put on a bit strong(cultural cringe maybe).  Flinthart managed somehow to circumvent this aversion and I think a may have even chuckled out loud once or twice - trust me this is a feat of Herculean proportions.

The pacing is tight as well, the action (which can be grizzly in its conclusion) is crisp, clear and plays well with the humour.  Towards the end of the year I am often starting to hit that wall of reading and commenting fatigue and Path of Night  managed to punch through that wall for me.

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Peacemaker Cover Reveal

Long time readers of the blog will remember the Peacemaker graphic novel launched by Marianne de Pierres in mid 2011. Peacemaker-CR

Marianne has been hard at work crafting that tale into two novels that will published by Angry Robot in 2014 and 2015.  Peacemaker (Book 1) is due for release by Angry Robot books in early May 2014.

So until that time you will just have to console yourself with the cover art by Joey Hi Fi, which was partly inspired by the graphic novel which illustrated by Brigitte Sutherland and created by Marianne.

More details about the book can be found on this page.











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Nov 30, 2013

Focus 2012 from Fablecroft

Fablecroft have released Focus 2012, an anthology of Australian shorts here’s the lowdown from Tehani:Focus2012-Cover2

We are very pleased to announce that Focus 2012: highlights of Australian short fiction is now on sale! This ebook-only special anthology is the first of a series of yearly collections which will collect the previous year’s acclaimed Australian works. Containing only the most recognised speculative work of the year, Focus 2012 packs a big punch, for just $4.99USD.

So who’s in it?

    Joanne Anderton – "Sanaa's Army"
    Thoraiya Dyer – "The Wisdom of Ants"
    Robert Hood – "Escena de un Asesinato"
    Kathleen Jennings – illustrations and cover art
    Margo Lanagan – "Significant Dust"
    Martin Livings – "Birthday Suit"
    Jason Nahrung – "The Mornington Ride"
    Kaaron Warren – "Sky"

I have read all bar two of these stories and if you are looking for a quick read of some fine Australian speculative fiction then this is great electronic stocking filler.  Available at all good ebook stores.

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Trucksong Soundtrack

Yes because Andrew Macrae is talented there is a soundtrack to his book and you can play it below.

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Support a diverse, paying, Lit Journal - Tincture

Just want to give a shout out to Tincture Journal, who despite the apparent decline in Lit. journals in Australia bravely decided to start up a digital journal.  It’s an eclectic mix, Issue one featured speculative fiction, creative non-fiction and poetry.  Issues 2,3,4 are on my digital TBR pile. 

But considering all the noise about pay the writers lately, you should know that they pay their contributors (of which, in the interests of full disclosure, I will be in an upcoming issue).

So here’s a preview of Issue four.

Book available at Tomely

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Nov 29, 2013

Twelfth Planet Press – Trucksong in eBook form


Andrea Macrae’s Trucksong is now rolling out in digital form across a number of platforms.  You can get it from the publisher at Twelfth Planet Press – Trucksong.  Or from any number of reliable online retailers.

What’s it about?

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.

What are the cultural touchstones?

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.- (source: lifted from the TPP webstore)


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Nov 26, 2013

Cargo – Australian Tropfest finalist

Fans of The Walking Dead will appreciate this finalist from the 2013 Tropfest


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The Memory of Death by Trent Jamieson

If you thought that with the Business of Death we had seen the end of the Death Works series by Trent Jamieson, you were mistaken.  Trent has been writing away and will be releasing a 4th book in the series called The Memory of Death.  It will be released by Momentum early next year.  Until then you can stare at the lovely cover below.



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Nov 16, 2013

eBook Review – Tales of Australia: Great Southern Land by Stephen C. Ormsby and Carol Bond (eds.)

GSLCoverBookweb-286x300The first release from new publisher Satalyte,  Tales of Australia:  Great Southern Land, is a curious collection of stories.  This particular volume is  a mix of the fantastic and the mundane and on reflection I am not convinced that this was the best choice for the anthology or at least for some stories in the collection.

The anthology kicks off with a brutal reimagining of the history of the ill fated Batavia , in Disciple of the Torrent, by Lee Battersby.  I haven’t read Battersby before and if this story is anything to go by I’d be inclined to pick up more of his work.  It’s a dark and violent story (trigger warning) and I did feel uncomfortable at certain points,however,  if your thing is dark historical fantasy I think you’ll like Battersby’s take.

To go from Battersby’s gruesome story to This Corner of the Earth by Dean Mayes was a curious choice.  They are like chalk and cheese in tone and style.  I enjoyed Mayes’ writing but I’d been taken to the depths of human depravity by Battersby and Mayes nostalgic tale of a return to the narrator’s hometown, left me constantly waiting and expecting that a body or bodies would be found.  When they didn’t turn up I felt slightly deflated.


Acts of Chivalry by Sean McMullen, saw a return to the fantastic with a tale of a French werewolf on a rampage in a small town.  It’s a black comedy and once I clued into that fact the characterisation which had seemed overdone at first impression, made perfect sense - if you like the humour and dialogue present in shows featuring Simon Pegg, you’ll appreciate McMullen’s humour here.

Bobby, Be Good by H.M.C., saw a return to the mundane or realistic.  A slice of life piece about the young son of dead Bikie club president told from the perspective of the young Bobby.  At this point I was aware that the editors were alternating between the fantastique and mundane.  Bobby, Be Good I think suffers for its placement next to a comedy piece.  I felt that I just couldn’t get close to the character of Bobby and despite his losses and triumphs I didn’t engage with the character.

Charmaine Clancy’s After the Red Dust was a nice surprise that managed to reference Aboriginal myth and approach to land while providing a unique post apocalyptic Australia without resorting to cultural appropriation. It reminded me of Cat Sparks’ work in some respects.

The collection finishes on David McDonald’s Set Your Face Towards the Darkness and having read his work before, this story is a bit of a departure from his normal style.  It is written in journal format - the secret journals of explorer John McKinlay, who was sent to find Burke and Wills.  McDonald does a good job of capturing a reserved 19th century style in these entries written to McKinlay’s sweetheart, Jane.  I think the most challenging thing in writing fiction in journal and letter form, is building and maintaining tension and McDonald does this in his interesting mix of alternative history and pop culture horror trope. If you like Australian gothic horror and reading between the lines of historical journals you’ll appreciate Set Your Face Towards the Darkness.

Satalyte’s vision is to bring Australian writing to the fore, regardless of genre.  As I stated above I am not sure that that theme of Australian writers writing about Australia is strong enough to bind this one together.  It’s something of a liquorice allsort and I think my own preferences for the dark chocolate of the fantastic shapes my reaction to Great Southern Land - it was delicious in parts but confused my palate in others.

For the works that hit the spot for me, $5 seems a fair price for admission.

Note: The book was provided by the publisher

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Nov 5, 2013

Book Review – King Breaker by Rowena Cory Daniells

king-breaker The Chronicles of King Rolen’s Kin was my first introduction to Rowena Cory Daniells and as such holds a special place, because I think Rowena is one of Australia’s best writers of adventure/grimdark fantasy and I have thoroughly enjoyed having the chance to read this and her later series, The Outcast Chronicles.

King Breaker rounds out a chronicle of four novels, plus a novella.  The chronicle is a tale of the fortunes of the royal family of Rolencia after their parents and the heir to the throne are murdered and the crown usurped. 

In King Breaker, Byren, the remaining heir has managed to defeat the invading army and is betrothed to the Myrofinian Queen, the 15 year old Isolt.  So technically he is now king-in-waiting to the country that invaded his own; while the bastard, Cobalt the Usurper, sits on the throne of Rolencia.  The Merofynian nobles, like all self centred aristocracy resent him and when he has to leave his younger brother Fyn (who has developed feelings for Isolt )as Lord Protector, the scene is set for some opportunistic politicking and potential family feuding. Piro the youngest, continues her adventures as the Mage’s apprentice and manages to almost shake her reputation for putting her foot in it.  We also see the return of Garzik, Orrade’s brother, who struggles with loyalty to Rolencia or the Utland raiders.

I felt more keenly than ever, the tension in the interpersonal relationships in this novel.  Indeed much of the fighting, much of what would usually be set battles is glossed over fairly quickly. That’s not to say there isn’t action, but that of the three or four large battles that took place, most were quickly resolved or happened off page.  One of Daniells’ strengths though, is making you care about the characters and she is equally well versed in placing them in physical or emotional danger, so don’t think a lack of gutsy battles is going to give you an easy ride.

If I had to find fault, I did feel in a couple of places that Daniells may have had to cut material too sharply.  King Breaker is the largest book in the series, coming in at 774 pages and there were two distinct points that I felt that Daniells’ usual style felt a bit truncated i.e. she had to cut harshly to get the page count down. 

I  would suggest that King Breaker could have been two(if we ignore the realities of publishing) or maybe three books.  I certainly think there were enough subplots to continue without padding the tale out.  But that’s a minor quibble and to be fair I think Daniells has done a brilliant job of wrangling the material down into the one tome to round off the tale. 

King Breaker has all the qualities that I have come to expect of the series – excellent pacing, interesting interpersonal relationships and a good portrayal of a gay character in Byren’s companion Orrade.  The King Rolen’s Kin chronicle is a nice introduction to Daniells’ work and when you have recovered from the rollercoaster ride I suggest you take up the Outcast Chronicles which I think is grittier and better paced than Game of Thrones.

Note: The King’s Man novella is only available as an ebook, and while not necessary to read before embarking on King Breaker, it will enhance your enjoyment.  It’s also one of the best novella’s I have read over the past two years – see my review here.

This book was provided by the author.

Australian’s can purchase the entire series through Booktopia and if you use the following code ( EARLY) midnight Saturday(November 9) you can get free shipping.

The King’s Bastard

The Uncrowned King

The Usurper

King Breaker

To purchase the ebook novella The King’s Man you will have to look online at Amazon, Kobo, or Rebellion


This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013.  Please check out this page for more great writing from Australian women..awwbadge_2013[4]





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Nov 3, 2013

Galactic Chat 37 Patty Jansen

Such a busy weekend I forgot to tell you all about the latest Galactic Chat:

This week Sean chats to Australian Speculative Fiction novelist Patty Jansen.  Patty  is a member of SFWA and winner of the second quarter of the Writers of the Future contest. She has published fiction in various magazines such as Analog Science Fiction and Fact, Aurealis, Redstone SF and the Universe Annex of the Grantville Gazette. She has also successfully self  published a number of novellas and novels. 

In this chat they talk about Patty's newest novel, Ambassador,  to be published by Australian Press Ticonderoga, the importance of diversification for any writer and current issues in the field, such as sexism and diversity



Patty's Website

Patty on Twitter

Purchase Options for Ambassador - here


Interviewer: Sean Wright

Guest: Patty Jansen

Music & Intro: Tansy Rayner Roberts

Post-production: Sean Wright


Twitter: @galactichat

Email: galactichat at gmail dot com

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Oct 31, 2013

Update on Sean Williams’ Twinmaker series

While Dr Williams is of at World Fantasy Con in Brighton, swanning around with half the Australian speculative fiction community he has released some goodies for fans.  First up I give you the product advertisement for DMat.

But you might want to check out the book website at Twinmaker.

Not sure what I am talking about?  My review of book one is here and the audio interview for Galactic Chat can be found here.

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Oct 26, 2013

Book Release – Suffered from the Night

sufferedHeard about Suffered from the Night on the latest episode of the Outer Alliance podcast and after listening to the authors Julia Rios interviewed, I am intrigued and have placed it in next months to buy basket. 

But the internal discussion I had with myself around that decision was interesting.  It’s essentially gay and lesbian fiction riffing off the Dracula story and one part of my brain, that part that listened to the cool authors was going “BUY IT” and another part of my brain was going, “Its Gay and Lesbian fiction are you really that interested?”

Now let’s be clear here, I read authors who are gay and lesbian ( but their work generally isn’t categorised that way) but for some reason the marketing categorisation got me thinking that I wouldn’t be interested ( for a brief second before I told myself to stop being so stupid) it was almost a subconscious reaction, similar to the reaction  I would have to a book on golf or gardening.

Where have I picked up this conditioning? Is there some Australian male macho cultural baggage at play here?

So because I had this reaction, I am going to examine it closer.  If you’re interested in alternate riffs on Dracula you too can check it out.

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