When your good friends have books come out, it’s almost as exciting as if it’s your own. Especially, when you’re in a writer’s group with them and have been connected with the book since the raw manuscript stage. That’s certainly the case with Trent Jamieon’s new series for Angry Robot books. Roil was the first story Trent brought to ROR and we all fell instantly in love with his brilliantly realised world. It’s been through a few incarnations since then and I can hardly wait for the final version. Anything Trent writes is a gift, but this series is extra special.

And it resonates beautifully with another Angry Robot series that’s not far away. Jo Anderton’s first novel Debris is going to be out in October next year. If you’re at all enamoured with the steampunk genre it’s in that ballpark but  … different and unique.

So while I’m waiting for these two, I’ll have Margo Lanagan’s latest collection to be gobbling up. Though the stories in this one are not ones I’ve been involved in work-shopping, I always feel close to Margo’s stories, because her work is her. Not the content … but the incredible depth of intelligence and poetry. But hey … everyone knows that!

I met Jo Anderton on the Orbit/QWC writers retreat a couple of years ago, in which I participated as a mentor to the ten writers selected to attend. After talking to Jo, I realised what an incredibly good work ethic she had to support her writing talent. Subsequently, we did a bit of work together on her new novel, and I’m terribly delighted to say that it, plus sequel, will be published by Angry Robot in 2011 and 2012.

Angry Robot has this to say:

Series opener Debris introduces us to Tanyana, leader of a matter-manipulating team. Following an accident, she’s dismayed to be demoted to little more than a garbage collector, but it soon becomes obvious she’s been manipulated into that role by the faceless faction she calls the Puppet Men, to uncover a world-shattering secret.

That man Marc Gascoigne said, “With the ever-increasing popularity of Japanese and Korean anime, manga and computer games, it’s been surprising that there hasn’t been more SF and fantasy showing its influence. Debris’s mix of SF and fantasy themes, exotic future-medieval settings, Dune-esque warring factions, and a fabulous kick-ass heroine is exactly the sort of on-trend science fiction Angry Robot was set up to publish. We’re damned pleased to have Jo on board.”

The retreat group (now called the Orbiteers) have stayed in contact  and have enjoyed other successes since then, including the release of novels by Graham Storrs and Luke Keioskie.

Group facilitator Janette Dalgleish has also won a character in my next Marianne de Pierres series thanks to her amusing and rather special encouragment when I needed help getting my last novel finished. Janette will be officially cowpunked!

There is something special in the synchronicity of like-minded people; magic things happen.


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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