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Phyrne Fisher books by Kerry Greenwood; 262

Fabulous Phyrne Jazz Age 'tec

Wealthy Phyrne Fisher grew up poor and hungry, drove ambulances through the mud of WWI and turned to crime to cure her ennui.photo, Kerry Greenwood; 82x117

Kerry Greenwood
2013 Interview
1998 Interview
The Usual Questions
Her series in reading order

Go to link; 48x27

April 2016

Science Fiction

Anarchists, Malcontents, Loonies, and Geniuses

From time to time, I browse File770. Sometimes it's depressing, sometimes it's annoying, sometimes it's informative.

The depressing part is the plethora of awards, nominations, ballots, recipients, trophies, and all the attendant announcements. Fifty years ago, there were only three awards to worry about -- Hugos, Nebulas, and Locus Readership Poll. Those awards highlighted the field. I always thought that was enough -- but apparently various conventions and organizations and institutions wanted their own -- and today we have award inflation. It's not a bad thing, but I'm not sure it's a good thing either -- because the conversation in the field has evolved to the point that if you're not an award-winner, you're an also-published.

I wonder if it's changed our perception of who we are and what we're up to.

What inspired me to think about this is something I saw recently, some remarks by someone who is certainly smart enough to know better, but who has justified a certain political movement in science fiction fandom as a reaction to the corruption of the establishment.


There's an establishment in science fiction?

This is news to me -- and I've been writing for half a century. Oh, wait, does that make me part of "the establishment" too....?

Establishment is a convenient buzz-word for implying that someone is a corrupt old fuddy-duddy, not to be trusted. It's this generation's battle-cry of "Don't trust anyone over thirty." (Which was also bullshit, a fact only recognized when that generation hit their third decade.)

Over here, what it looks like to me is that there are a lot of people who love science fiction so much, they've dedicated their entire lives to reading it, writing it, illustrating it, editing it, publishing it. After a decade or three of loving the genre so much, I guess you start to look established -- but establishment? Hell, no.

My big epiphany about science fiction is that there is no definition of science fiction.

My big epiphany about science fiction is that there is no definition of science fiction. There is no "official" science fiction. There is no "hard core" of science fiction.

What there is, is something else -- many thousands of anarchists, malcontents, loonies, and geniuses, all swimming in a chaotic ocean of text, each one inventing his/her own kind of literature which may or may not look like it's about science, but it's certainly about a different view of reality than the commonly agreed-upon view.

Every author reinvents science fiction or science fantasy in his/her own image. Every author redefines science fiction every time he/she types "the end" and sends the manuscript off to an editor.

Those who are fussing about definitions -- are usually trying to define themselves at the center and others as outsiders. It's a waste of time and energy for everyone. There's no such thing as a true fan, there's no such thing as a traditional fan. No -- every fan is as unique as every writer and artist and editor. Every fan defines his/her own fandom for him/herself.

Those writers who are fussing about awards, regardless of which side you think you're on -- please shut up. Go back to your keyboard and concentrate on writing the very best story you can. That's the most useful place to invest your energy. Because the stories will endure long after the arguments are forgotten.

What we have in this genre is an enduring legacy of brilliant stories, each one unique and astonishing, each in its own way. Those stories didn't happen by accident -- they happened because an author was inspired. They happened because an author was ambitious. They happened because the author was focused on the story and nothing else.

This is why I intend to avoid investing any energy into any kerfuffle that will use up writing time. And I suspect that the smarter members of our community have also come to the same conclusion.

April, 2016

photograph, David Gerrold; 170x253

David Gerrold is a American-based writer of short and long fiction and scripts.

Interview with David Gerrold; David Gerrold: Me and Science Fiction; Gerrold answers The Usual Questions (interview); David Gerrold film/tv listing (IMDB)
Author's web site
David Gerrold on Facebook

Double Book Launch - Isobel Carmody and Paul Collins

Australian young adult authors Isobel Carmody and Paul Collins will be conducting a FREE launch at the State Library Queensland.

The following is from the State Library's web site.

From Paul Collins comes Rich and Rare, a blockbuster anthology of Australian short stories, poetry and artwork. Rich and Rare includes nearly 50 contributions from Australia's leading creators for children and young adults, including Shaun Tan, Kerry Greenwood, Leigh Hobbs, Sofie Laguna, James Roy and Gabrielle Wang.

We will also be launching a new edition of Alyzon Whitestarr, Isobelle Carmody's bestselling young adult novel. Isobelle is a prolific writer of fantasy and young adult fiction, and was recently voted Australia's most popular author for 2016!

Bring your children and students along to discover these wonderful works of fiction. At the launch you can enjoy light refreshments on the Queensland Terrace as you mingle with the authors and other contributing writers, such as Michael Gerard Bauer, Meredith Costain, and James Moloney.

Both titles and more will be available for purchase on the night.

More about the launch

2016 Mac Award

The ASFF (Australian Science Fiction Foundation) congratulates the winner of this year's Mac Award. This award is presented in honour of Peter McNamara, a stalwart supporter of Australian SF/F authors untill his untimely death. The family continues his legacy.

The Judge this year was Tehani Wessely and this year's award went to Rowena Cory Daniells.

"2016 the Peter ('Mac') Award for Lifetime Achievement and Contribution towards OzSF. Known variously as RC Daniells, Cory Daniels, Rowena Cory, Rowena Lindquist and Rowena Cory Daniells, Rowena is perhaps best known within the science fiction community as a writer. However, many don't realise how much she has done to support not only other writers within the community, but organisations and events as well.

2016 Norma K Hemming Award

The winner of the 2016 Norma K Hemming Award for excellence in the exploration of themes of race, gender, sexuality, class and disability in Australian speculative fiction is Louise Katz for her speculative fiction novel The Orchid Nursery, published by Lacuna in October 2015.

2016 A. Bertram Chandler Award

James Arthur (Jocko) Allen is the 2016 A. Bertram Chandler Award Winner for "Outstanding Achievement in Australian Science Fiction". Unlike the Ditmars, this award is decided upon by a jury and, although nominally an annual award presented in conjunction with the National Science Fiction Convention, is not necessarily presented every year.

2016 Ditmar Awards

Awarded each year at the national science fiction convention (this year at Contact2016, Brisbane), these are voted on by members of this year's and last year's natcons.

Winners are listed here.

2015 (awarded in 2016) Aurealis Awards

For information about this awards: https://aurealisawards.org/

A Single Stone, Meg McKinlay (Walker Books Australia)
The Singing Bones, Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin)
“The Miseducation of Mara Lys”, Deborah Kalin (Cherry Crow Children, Twelfth Planet Press)
“Bullets”, Joanne Anderton (In Sunshine Bright and Darkness Deep, AHWA)
“The Miseducation of Mara Lys”, Deborah Kalin (Cherry Crow Children, Twelfth Planet Press)
“The Giant’s Lady”, Rowena Cory Daniells (Legends 2, Newcon Press)
“Defy the Grey Kings”, Jason Fischer (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Firkin Press)
“All the Wrong Places”, Sean Williams (Meeting Infinity, Solaris)
“By Frogsled and Lizardback to Outcast Venusian Lepers”, Garth Nix (Old Venus, Random House)
To Hold the Bridge, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)
Bloodlines, Amanda Pillar (ed.) (Ticonderoga Publications)
In The Skin of a Monster, Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin)
Day Boy,Trent Jamieson (Text Publishing)
Day Boy,Trent Jamieson (Text Publishing)
Illuminae, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
The Watergivers [The Last Stormlord (2009), Stormlord Rising (2010), Stormlord’s Exile (2011)], Glenda Larke (HarperVoyager)
Letters to Tiptree, Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)

Emerging Writers' Festival Monash Prize

Entry now open until 18 April, 2016

First prize: $4000
Highest Place Monash University Student prize: $1000

Monash University in collaboration with the Emerging Writers' Festival is proud to present the Monash Undergraduate Prize for Creative Writing, a prestigious prize for emerging literary voices.

The prize is open to both Australian and New Zealand university students, enrolled in either an undergraduate or honours degree. All types of creative writing will be accepted, including short stories, non-fiction narrative and narrative verse.

Monash has been the long-term education partner of the Emerging Writers' Festival, and the Prize strengthens both parties' commitment to providing learning and career development opportunities for emerging literary voices.

Winners will be announced on Tuesday 14 June at the opening night of the 2016 Emerging Writers' Festival. Shortlisted winners will receive VIP tickets to the opening night gala event.

More information

Stellar line-up in 2016 Newcastle Writers Festival

Australia's second oldest city is once again preparing to welcome a diverse and high-profile group of novelists, poets and media personalities for the city's fourth Newcastle Writers Festival (April 1 -- 3) which has already become a key fixture in the region's rich cultural calendar.


The Series Series

Updated Series Series (Reading order) pages: Janet Evanovich's Stephanie Plum series;

The Usual Questions Project

Collage, signatures, autographs, photographs, authors; 120x136

More authors have answered The Usual Questions, our quirky, Q and A sessions.

Anyone who is a professional can be part of the project: authors, illustrators, film-makers, performers. The Usual Questions index page has a list of the authors and film-makers and illustrators participating in the project.

People who have answered the questions in the past include Terry Pratchett, Lawrence Block, Janet Evanovich, Charlaine Harris, Tanya Huff, Harlan Ellison.

This issue, the following authors and editors and illustrators have responded:

Joshua Danker-Dake; Wayne Lemmons; Lee Goldberg ; Jackie King ; Catriona McPherson

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