thea-boshoffRecently I’ve been in contact with Thea Boshoff who is completing her Dr of Literature and Philosophy at the University of South Africa. Thea’s topic is entitled Love’s True Friend: Representations of Intimacy and Gender in The Sentients of Orion.

Thea had this to say about her research:

As a student and a sci-fi fan, I believe that Marianne de Pierres’ Sentients of Orion series has deeply enriched the swashbuckling space opera genre by introducing the elements of gender fluidity and gender diversity throughout. It has been my privilege to spend the last couple of years dwelling in the pages of The Sentients of Orion, examining the lives, relationships and intimacies of the characters toward completion of my D Litt et Phil with The University of South Africa.  After having spent so much time with her creations, I am over the moon to finally ‘meet’ Marianne, and to be collaborating with her! 

Thea Boshoff 2016

Not only is it wonderful to meet Thea, another feminist SF reader, but I’m particularly delighted that of all my work, she chose the Sentients of Orion to analyse. I put my heart and soul into this series, and it devoured five years of my life. I hope, in some small way, it has contributed to the conversation around gender norms. Thanks Thea, can’t wait to read your thesis!


Good reviews are like pasta for a writer. We get enormous energy and sustenance from them. For me, I try and use the good ones as a motivation to keep going, and with the horrible ones, I tell myself everyone is entitled to their opinion – that’s what makes the human race so interesting.

It may be a self deception, but honestly, it’s the only way to survive and be productive. Intense criticism can be paralysing, and I’ll be damned if I’ll let it (criticism) stop me doing what I love. My dear ex-editor once told (soon after my second novel was published) to don my steel cap boots and armour and keep marching because that’s what a writer needs to protect themselves.

Not that all criticism is a negative experience. I have defintiely learned from my some of reviewers, and truly appreciated their perspective and feedback. But life can be measured by its extremes and there are those critics who are all about being destructive.

Anyway, this is a rather long preamble to me admitting to be particularly excited when my SENTIENTS OF ORION series gets good reviews. It was a tough, demanding, mind-stretching project and I’m proud of it. It is not, however, a series that everyone understood. A space opera with difficult, complex characters and a female protagonist who gves birth during the story (no this nothing like Aeryn Sun giving brith in the middle of a firefight in Peacekeeper Wars!), did not fit into the usual space opera mold.

Over at the Deadline Zombie, this lovely, thoughful review appeared this week, and puts it up with my other favourite review by Alex Pierce. Here’s a snippet for you to check out …

‘This is the first of the four book series Sentients of Orion, in which author de Pierres throws a cast of humans into a whirling maelstrom of alien cultures, inscrutable godlike beings and galaxy-wide war. The book deals not only with their struggle to survive, but their growing awareness that they aren’t fully in control of their own destinies. .. de Pierres has written a beautiful, touching story.’

So there … sustenance for another few months!


It’s been a long time coming, but I’m ABSOLUTELY delighted to announce that the SENTIENTS OF ORION series is now available in e-book format in the USA. You can purchase it  through:


KOBO (coming soon)




As you know, I’m blessed to have amazing artist WAYNE HAAG drawing a free graphic novel to celebrate the release of the books. You’ve already seen the cover – but here’s a sneak peek at some of the internals as well. The graphic novel entitled The Hue will be available from this website in February 2013.


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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