Joelene Pynnonen

On Monday night, Avid Reader bookstore in West End held its monthly Science Fiction and Fantasy Bookclub. Fittingly, July’s book is set in Brisbane, with a several major events happening in the heart of West End. Vigil is the first book in Angela Slatter’s Verity Fassbinder series. If you haven’t heard of this series yet, take a look at my review of the first novel – linked below. If, on the other hand, you’ve already read the epic first novel, book two, Corpselight, is in stores now.

Hosted by renowned speculative fiction author, Trent Jamieson, the Avid Reader SF&F Bookclub is held on the last Monday of each month. I’ve been meaning to get to one for some time now, but have been hampered by work, life and everything in between. Monday night was an insight into how much I’m missing out. I was lucky enough to start my bookclub experience with the author present, which gave a whole new perspective on the series. With a couple of bottles of wine and an intelligent circle of readers, we delved into the intricacies of Verity Fassbinder’s Brisbane.

Trent Jamieson is a wonderful and organised host. He had done enough research to know about Angela Slatter’s myriad of awards, but was shrewd enough to stop listing them all before the dawn. Instead, we acknowledged that Angela Slatter’s shelves are more likely to bow under the weight of literary appreciation than the weight of her books, and moved on.

Important questions were asked. Like, ‘Where can we obtain our own personal David?’ Answers to that question, sadly, were not forthcoming and we had to resign ourselves to David-less lives.

For anyone wondering whether the Brisneyland setting was always meant to be, the answer is yes. Before Vigil fledged into a novel, Brisbane was a part of it. In the final version, Brisbane is the lifeblood of Vigil, a character that acts as glue for all other characters. And, for fast readers, the big question of the night was when the third book, Restoration, would be out. Mid-2018, guys. We’re going to have to find another series to tide us over.

Vigil is a wonderful and highly imaginative urban fantasy novel that sweeps a reader along on an epic adventure. Sometimes when caught up in that rush of a fantastical novel, it’s difficult to think of the process it took to become the final polished product in your hands. Talking with Angela Slatter about this process both disabuses and reaffirms this idea.

On one hand, you can see the depth of thought that has gone on behind the scenes. Especially in working with an understanding of cultural appropriation. Vigil may be wholly Australian, but Slatter makes it clear that she doesn’t consider Indigenous stories hers to tell. There’s also the difficulty of working in a supportive love interest who doesn’t take over the story but isn’t a damsel-in-distress trope either.

But then, on the other hand, there’s that aspect that’s just the magical way synapses fire up on new ideas, catching and holding them until a story demands them. Discovering that a person believes that a glass of water under the bed will snatch away nightmares might fuel a story for Slatter. A name on a headstone – imaginary at that – might spark the heart of an entire collection of short stories.

Corpselight was already the next book on my reading list, but with the fascinating tidbits I found out at bookclub, I’m that much more anxious to get to it.

Review: Vigil by Angela Slatter

 

Marianne de Pierres

Gunnas Sci Fi Writing Masterclass With Marianne de Pierres

Time: 10am-4pm
Venue: La Luna Bistro

Interested in writing science fiction, fantasy or speculative fiction? This is for you!

In this full day master class, Marianne de Pierres will address some of the key components of writing speculative fiction, including how to build convincing worlds, maintain narrative drive, and effectively blend sub-genres. A section of the workshop will also be spent on sharing current industry insight and the exploring the concept of creating adaptable content for New Media–how to survive in the brave new world of publishing.

Learning outcomes

  • Excellence in world-building
  • How to maintain narrative drive
  • How to successfully blend speculative fiction genres
  • How to create speculative fiction for the new world of publishing

Bio

Marianne de Pierres is the author of the popular PARRISH PLESSIS trilogy and the award-winning SENTIENTS OF ORION and PEACEMAKER series.

Marianne has also authored children’s and young adult stories, notably the Night Creatures trilogy a dark fantasy series for teens.

Marianne is an active supporter of genre fiction and has mentored many writers. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and a galah. Marianne also writes award-winning crime under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt.

Visit her websites at www.mariannedepierres.com  www.tarasharp.com.au and www.burnbright.com.au


As with all Gunnas classes, a sumptuous gourmet morning tea, lunch and afternoon tea is included.

Great food, awesome people, brilliant day. Full $290

Conc/student/artist/unemployed/anyone povo $250

Join the Facebook event here

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Marianne de Pierres

The Peacemaker: Book OneI’m hoping some of my Brisbane friends and readers will join Trent Jamieson and I at the Avid Reader Book Club evening in May.

Details are as follows:

Science Fiction Bookclub – Marianne de Pierres

Monday 29 May 2017
6:30 PM – 8:00 PM
In store at Avid Reader Bookshop

Tickets $7.50
Tickets available until 29 May 2017 6:30 PM

We’ll be discussing PEACEMAKER and MYTHMAKER, published by Angry Robot Books.

Awards

davitt-award  aurealis-award   logo-curtin-university

Peacemaker - Aurealis Award
Best Science Fiction Novel 2014

Curtin University Distinguished Alumni Award 2014

Transformation Space - Aurealis Award
 Best Science Fiction Novel 2010

Sharp Shooter - Davitt Award
Best Crime Novel 2009 (Sisters in Crime Australia) 

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