Jamie Marriage

Jamie Marriage is an internationally published Australian cyberpunk author with a taste for the dangerous and obscene aspects of life. His work ranges from the sarcastic to the satirical. Links to his work can be found at www.JamieMarriage.com

robinson_auroraFar beyond the glow of mighty Sol it soars; patient, purposeful, determined. The Ship swims across the galactic emptiness with a single objective; a new home.

Aurora is true space opera told in one of the most classic themes, that of voyage and return. A tale oft told but rarely with such attention to the minutiae of life.

Slowly decelerating from a fraction of the speed of light the Ship settles towards its end goal, a new solar system. In this system are new worlds that can sustain the delicate balances of life, the possibility of starting afresh on a planet light-years from earth the sole purpose of the Ship and its two thousand strong crew. But where life has a chance to bloom, it’s possible that something might already be there, dormant.

Aurora is not a typical tale of bold colonization. This is not a story from the golden age of Science Fiction where every other-world presents no less than dramatic encounters with strange life and inevitable romantic endeavors. This is a story about survival.

Narrative for this novel is written in two parts; that of the perspective of the Ship, already nearing two-hundred years since creation and launch from the solar system that birthed it, already starting to fall apart. And Freya, descendant of the original starfarers who volunteered to travel the interstellar void in a metal ark. Elements told by Freya are emotional and erratic; her perceived inadequacies against the exploits of her engineer mother made up for a deep need for social connection. Those told by the ship are analytical, yet adaptive: an intelligence born of quantum computing and behavioral conditioning by Freya’s mother. Together, the chapters are filled with cause and effect, possible against impossible, hope against fear.

Summing up one of Robinson’s novels is always a difficult challenge; while only one destination is clear, the journey itself is never a direct one. Disaster and desperation are most readily defeated with hope and ingenuity. But when the crops are failing, and disease runs rampant, where is a civilization that’s alone in space to find salvation?

A awe-inspiring read that is often both depressing and uplifting, Aurora is a novel both of and beyond its time. While many of us are wonder if we can make it out among the stars, what would we do to come home again?

A question unasked, until now.

 

Jamie Marriage

Jamie Marriage is an internationally published Australian cyberpunk author with a taste for the dangerous and obscene aspects of life. His work ranges from the sarcastic to the satirical. Links to his work can be found at www.JamieMarriage.com

edge_of_infinity_250x384Short fiction has always been the home of the literary adventurers. As a medium, it allows the writer to push the boundaries of ideas and expectation without needing to develop a concept in detail. Pat Cadigan has proven this beautifully with her Hugo and Locus award winning novelette The Girl-Thing Who Went Out For Sushi.

Far from the standard Space Opera or Action Adventure fare, Pat has told the short but touching story about a human named Fry living in an extra-terrestrial environment, whose one desire is to become something other than human. Fry wants to be one of the genetically and surgically enhanced creatures that have begun to colonise the solar system’s other planets; she wants to become a Sushi. This is the story of her impressively extreme transition; raising the question, how far would you go to become who you really are? — a poignant metaphor for gender transformation.

At just under nine thousand words this is a great length story that can be read anywhere. The language is, at first, a little confusing until you develop the context for understanding it, but that small effort is rewarded with one of the best novelettes in recent years.

The Girl-Thing Who Went Out For Sushi is available in the Solaris Books anthology Edge of Infinity

Jamie Marriage

Jamie Marriage is an internationally published Australian cyberpunk author with a taste for the dangerous and obscene aspects of life. His work ranges from the sarcastic to the satirical. Links to his work can be found at www.JamieMarriage.com

alexander-abducticonWelcome to Abducticon! This weekend will be of this world.

Getting to read something light and crazy is a great pleasure in a world where so much so science fiction is dark and complicated. AbductiCon by Alma Alexander is a wonderful example of what you can do with familiar settings, pop culture, and a less serious tone.

Taking place in a generic science fiction/pop culture convention, the novel begins in the midst of the chaotic moments before the opening of a mid-sized convention catering to science fiction and fantasy fans, gamers, and the general geek community. Anything that could go wrong is going wrong: the posters are getting re-printed for the third time, the guest of honour missed his flight and out of contact, the coffee in the hotel is terrible, and there are some strange silver people getting in the way and confusing the staff.

Andie Mae — running the con for the first time after instigating a coup to assume power from the man who had been running it for the last three decades — is caught up in matters common to those in convention management when, suddenly, she has to face a crisis not only unimagined by previous management, but also by anyone else outside of fiction. Her convention, hotel and all, are abducted by alien androids with baffling motives. Within a very short period the convention is newly christened “Abducticon” and becomes something far greater than just an evening for fans to meet Terminator and Star Trek actors.

Making fun of itself and the very culture which spawned it is one of the main elements of Abducticon. Alma is quick to jump on any chance to throw in a quote or simile from popular media, be it a Star Wars joke when an elevator gets stuck, introduction of new technology only seen in Star Trek, or even just cursing in Battlestar Galactica fashion. It’s these little forays into the cultural heart of what is, especially in America, a very popular community, which helps to flesh out character and explain concepts that could easily be the basis of long philosophical discussions.

Alma has done a great job putting this novel together. Characters are well drawn and with plenty of depth; the setting is perfect and believable – even if the situation isn’t – and the interactions and discussions thought provoking and real. There are plenty of interesting concepts afloat such as the limitations of the laws of robotics and the nature of destiny. More than enough to impress, not only the die-hard Sci-Fi buff, but also, the casual reader.

Abducticon is a fantastically fun ride: not quite a spoof, not quite serious, but on every level enjoyable from cover to cover.

 

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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