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

 

Jamie Marriage

Jamie Marriage is an Australian science fiction writer who lives Sydney. He has a keen interest in the cyberpunk genre and Japan.

Hamilton-abyssThe works of Peter F Hamilton are epic tomes, dense with plot and character, rife with intrigue and complex stories within stories, and among them The Abyss Beyond Dreams is easily one of the most fulfilling novels of the last year.

Building from his earlier works of the Commonwealth and Void sagas, Hamilton subverts convention by folding genres in this newest tale, wrapping space opera within a tale of survival within what could be considered Revolution 101.

Nigel Sheldon, thousand year old entrepreneur and part founder of the galaxy spanning Commonwealth, is approached by the mysterious guardians of the system-engulfing void to solve a quandary: how could the survivors of a fleet of ships, consumed by the void centuries prior, be living on within the blackness as a three millennia old civilization? And more importantly: how can the void be prevented from consuming any more of the galaxy within its abyssal pocket universe?

Within the void, civilization has prospered under the tyrannical rule of the long crashed colony fleet. In constant fear of the cannibalistic alien mimics, the Fallers, life is difficult for those trying to protect the human population of the void-stricken planet where advanced technology quickly falters and is replaced with powers of telepathy and telekinesis.

Narrative and character development stand strong in The Abyss Beyond Dreams, switching frequently between Nigel, ex-regimental officer Slvasta driven by thoughts of revenge and revolution against the creatures and bureaucracy that resulted in him losing an arm and friends to the Fallers, and the young and spirited Kysandra, rescued by Nigel just before she was sold to repay debts and gifted with knowledge of the outside universe.

Split into six books, each cataloguing a period within the chain of events originating with the first landing within the void, Hamilton has managed to avoid the sluggish pace that often accompanies novels of this length. Action fires at an often erratic pace, with periods of world building broken by sporadic intrigue and conflict, but never detracting from the story as a whole.

The Abyss Beyond Dreams is an inspired and complex web of a novel with each interaction guiding readers to possible conclusions before sudden revelations twist the story into further peaks and troughs. That being said, Hamilton has not simply relied on Deus Ex Machina to resolve his narrative; in fact, the characters themselves are often the impetus of sudden change. Readers not daunted by the size of the novel will find this a solid and satisfying read as Hamilton’s, often intense, writing style rewards the dedicated reader with plots-within-plots, and well developed characters.

The Abyss Beyond Dreams is a novel that went far beyond my expectations. Whether you’re a newcomer, or a dedicated Hamilton reader, this novel stands on its own story and will satisfy even the most critical science fiction fan.

 

beukes_moxyOK, so you’ve been wonderful helping me build my reading list. I now need to do some categorising. I’m looking to create a list of post 2000 female “cyberpunk-style” authors and to find a new term for them other than post-cyberpunk. Here are few ideas: motherpunk, femmepunk, sister-punk, femme-tek, femme-futures, femme-fuse.

So, before we get into the “isn’t cyberpunk dead?” thing, I’ll define what I’m looking for…

Post 2000 female science fiction authors who deal with themes of corporation vs community (not the individual), cyberspace and corporeality (post-humanism), future reproductive technologies and gender, and futurism, feminism and social change.

If you know an author from my list (or one I’ve missed) who writes about these themes, please leave me a comment, or discuss authors I’ve already placed here, and their fit. Your input will be TOTALLY invaluable!

 

Madeline Ashby – vN, iD

Elizabeth Bear – Hammered, Scardown, Worldwired; Dust, Grail, Chill

Lauren Beukes – Moxyland, Zoo City

Brook Bolander – And You shall Know her by the Trail of Dead (novelette)

Pat Cadigan – The Girl-Thing Who went out for Sushi, Dervish is Digital

Brenda Cooper – Edge of Dark. Hieroglyph

Nalo Hopkinson – Midnight Robber

Kameron Hurley – God’s War, Infidel, and Rapture

Larissa Lai – Salt Fish Girl

Lyda Morehouse – Archangel Protocol series

Chris Moriarty – SPIN series

Linda Nagata – Limit of Vision

Jennifer Pelland – Machine

Justina Robson – Mappa Mundi

Stephanie Saulter  – Gemsigns

Tricia Sullivan – Maul, Double Vision, Sound Mind, Lightborn

 

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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