Marianne de Pierres
Speculative Fiction Masterclass with Marianne de Pierres

10am–4pm Saturday 24 October

In this full day masterclass, Marianne de Pierres will address some of the key issues in writing speculative fiction, including how to build convincing worlds, maintain narrative drive, and effectively blend sub-genres. A section of the workshop will also be spent on sharing current industry insight and the exploring the concept of creating adaptable content for New Media–how to survive in the brave new world of publishing.

Learning Outcomes:

  • Excellence in world-building
  • How to maintain narrative drive
  • How to successfully blend speculative fiction genres
  • How to create speculative fiction for the new world of publishing
  • Current industry insight

Marianne de Pierres is the author of the popular Parrish Plessis trilogy and the award-winning Sentinents of Orion and Peacemaker series. The Parrish Plessis series has been translated into ten languages and adapted into a role-playing game, while the Peacemaker series is currently being adapted into a novel adventure game. Marianne has also authored children’s and young adult stories, notably the Night Creatures trilogy a dark fantasy series for teens. Marianne is an active supporter of genre fiction and has mentored many writers. She lives in Brisbane, Australia, with her husband and three galahs (and once upon a time three sons–before they grew up). Marianne also writes award-winning crime under the pseudonym Marianne Delacourt. Visit her websites at www.mariannedepierres.com  www.tarasharp.com.au and www.burnbright.com.au

This tour is made possible by the support of the Australia Council for the Arts in collaboration with the national network of State and Territory Writers Centres.

Cost: $125 members, $90 concessional members, $190 non-members (includes 12 months of membership), $140 concessional non-members (includes 12 months of membership)
Venue: E Block Seminar Room, Gorman Arts Centre (formerly ACT Writers Centre workshop room)
Bookings: You can book by phone on 6262 9191, online or at the office. Payment is required at time of booking.

 

Joelene Pynnonen

 

Joelene Pynnonen is a Brisbane based writer who loves YA fiction.

ITH CoverStories of other worlds–or of our own world altered almost beyond recognition–have fascinated us for time immemorial. Insert Title Here, FableCroft’s latest anthology, offers a glimpse into a few of these worlds. Whether it’s exploring the distant future, exploring a future that took a slightly different historical route, or exploring a new reality, you can expect an onslaught of imagination in these pages.

The stories vary wildly in content. A Guardian whiles away his days defending the sacred Chalice that protects his homeland until his faith is tested. A shearer risks the wrath of the Governor when he rescues the man’s captive wife–only to discover that he has stirred up more trouble than he could have envisioned. A man who summons demons is called upon to summon an angel–and the world may never survive the repercussions.

These are a few of the tales to be found in this anthology. The stories here are far more adult than the other anthologies I’ve read from Tehani Wessely and, as she says in her introduction, they are darker than the other anthologies she has edited before. There’s none of the fledgling hope that One Small Step boasts, nor any of awed respect commanded by the stories in Cranky Ladies of History.

What is abundant in Insert Title Here, however, is consistently astounding world-building. Story after story explores unfamiliar realms – and story after story succeeds in making those realms blindingly convincing. As the title suggests, the possibilities in these stories are endless, and some of the worlds are so lovingly rendered that they would be more suited to a novel.

Some of these stories sacrifice character-building to create the worlds they depict. However, one that achieved the perfect balance of character, world-building, and plot was Stephanie Burgis’s ‘The Art of Deception’. The main characters, Julia and Hrabanic, counter each other wonderfully. She with her ability to manoeuvre delicate political trysts and he with his talent for anticipating and neutralising physical danger: both sorely needed traits in the perilous world they inhabit.

It’s difficult to know what to expect when settling down to read a book entitled Insert Title Here. In this case, a collection of wildly imaginative speculative short stories set in different times, dimensions or worlds. There are some gems hidden in these pages, but wait for a dark night to read them.

 

 Insert Title Here – Tehani Wessely (Ed.)

 FableCroft Publishing (April 1, 2015)

 ISBN: 9780992553418

Joelene Pynnonen

Joelene Pynnonen is a Brisbane-based writer, reviewer, bookseller and bird expert.

slatter-bitterwoodA group of girls study at a school for assassins, preparing for their wedding nights when they will kill their grooms. A lonely coffin maker finds company with the dead when she cannot have the living. Travelling holy women hunt down and capture all of the knowledge and stories in the world. These are just a few tales in the The Bitterwood Bible and Other Recountings.

Set in the same world as that of Sourdough and Other Stories, The Bitterwood Bible is a prequel comprised of thirteen short stories. Not all of them correlate to each other, but many of them have intersecting places, characters, or objects. As each piece of the story comes together, it creates a rich, vibrant world as compelling as any novel.

It’s going to be difficult to write a review that does justice to this wonderful book. Trying to explain the depth of world-building and the poetry of the writing style doesn’t do enough to convey the pull of The Bitterwood Bible.

Drawing on themes of fairytale lore and mythology, The Bitterwood Bible is explored almost solely through the eyes of women. Not all of these women are good, kind, or smart. And not all of them get their happily ever after. They are, however, fully realised and completely developed characters with strengths and flaws in equal measure. Every one of them is distinct and compelling, making the stories flash by.

While these are short stories, a plot arc emerges as the book progresses, culminating in a climax. Like most stories in the book, the ending leaves some things to the imagination and keeps some of its secrets, but is satisfying for all of that.

My favourite story in the collection, Now, All Pirates Are Gone, doesn’t tie in to the overall plot arc as closely as the others. Though it’s as ruthless as many of the stories in The Bitterwood Bible, it is hopeful. The main character, Maude, is also one of the best characters in the collection. She’s practical and resourceful without being too hard.

With its poetic writing style and gorgeous illustrations throughout, The Bitterwood Bible is a book that would have stayed with me anyway. The fact that it depicts a world that feels true, is a bonus. Now I’m going to have to find the sequel, Sourdough and Other Stories.

 

Bitterwood Bible – Angela Slatter

Tartarus Press (September 1, 2014)

ISBN: 9781905784653

 

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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