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.

 

aurealis-awardThe Peacemaker: Book OnePeacemaker won an Aurealis Award for Best SF novel last night. It feels kind of surreal writing that… it was truly unexpected. It’s been hard slog the last few years, publishing is MEH, I’ve had a brush with breast cancer, my kids left home, some of my nearest and dearest have had terrible struggles, and other life dramas happened – we all have our stuff. So I’ve come to believe that when you get some good news in life you have to jump and sing and squeee and generally be a dork about it for a while. It’s good for the soul! So that’s what I’m doing today.

More than anything though, I want to use this space to thank a whole lot of people, starting with Margo Lanagan, my friend and extraordinary writer, who read my acceptance speech. Here it is:

I’m truly delighted that PEACEMAKER has been commended by the Aurealis judging panel. My dad brought me up on a diet of pulp Westerns and, eventually, I inherited his complete Zane Grey collection. For many years, I wanted to write my own version of a Western as a thank you to him, and because those stories were my first, intense fictional love. My sister still gets a kick out of telling people how at eight years of age I would only answer to the name of one of Zane Grey’s cowboys.

But writing a western, SF, paranormal mash-up is one thing. Publishing it is quite another. I’d like to thank Lee Harris, Marc Gascoigne, Caroline Lambe and everyone at Angry Robot for giving this story a chance when it was well outside the purview of most speculative publishers. I hope this award, in some small way, rewards them for the gift they bestowed on me. I’d also like to thank Tara Wynne, my long time agent and friend who supports whatever creative direction I take.

 Long live the Aurealis Awards and the community who celebrates them!

So that was the short thank you! Here is the longer one:

Thanks to Joey HiFi for a truly sensational cover; Mike Underwood for tireless promotion in the US; my family, Paul, Col, Nicci and Simon who have celebrated and encouraged me throughout my career, and remind me often to enjoy the moment and not always look ahead; to my staff here at MDPWeb (you know who you all are!), who are just the best bunch of people in the world, and continue to help me promote and celebrate reading and books; to some special writing people in my life: Trentonomicon, Paula Weston, Alisa Krasnostein, and Isobelle Carmody; to my sons who I love to the end of the universe and back; and to my partner, Nick, who has held my hand through all the bad times.

My win is your win.

Congrats to all the winners and the shorlistees — particularly Graham Storrs, whose arm I had to twist to even get him to send his stories out into the world. Australian spec fic is in great shape!

Marianne x

 

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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