Tag Archives: 2012snapshot

2012 Aussie Snapshot: Kate Orman

Kate Orman is best known to fans as the author or co-author of thirteen Doctor Who novels. Her most recent publication was the story “Head Case” in Cosmos (November 2011). She lives in Sydney with her husband and collaborator Jon Blum.

In the last Snapshot, you mentioned that you were working on a science fiction novel, Strange Flesh. Are you still working on it, or are there other projects that you are focussed on at the moment?

Oh yeah! I’ve been working on that sucker, in one form or another, since 1999! The only question is which of us will finish off the other first. Since the last Snapshot I’ve got some short stories into print (most recently “Head Case” in the Oct/Nov 2011 issue of Cosmos), and there are plenty more of those in the pipeline, but right now I’m trying to knuckle down and get to a first draft of Strange Flesh.


The Doctor Who spin off novels, The New Adventures in particular, allowed writers to explore themes that might not have been possible in the original TV series. Are there any themes you are particularly proud of bringing attention to? Are there moments in the new series that you feel were made possible by ideas the books pioneered?

I loved being able to play in Ben Aaronovitch’s African future. In Transit, Ben introduced the genuinely futuristic idea that Africa will become the “first world” – culminating in the 30th Century aristocracy of which Roz Forrester is a part. I borrowed this future for Sleepy, and it was also an influence on Seeing I and The Year of Intelligent Tigers.

While the spirit of the NAs is alive and well in the new show – not surprising, given how many of the book authors went on to write for it – you have to remember that only thousands of people read the novels, compared to the millions who watch the current show. So while the NAs might have prepared fandom for some elements of the new series, I think changes in TV itself have had a much bigger effect on the new show – things like CGI, much larger budgets, the explosion of pay TV and the Internet, and the greater sophistication of audiences.

If you were given free rein in the Doctor Who universe, are there any concepts you¹d like to explore further, any Doctors or Companions whose stories you would like to tell?

I’d like to see stories set further afield – another visit to China or the Aztecs, perhaps, or ancient Egypt or Babylon. Or, if those settings are prohibitively expensive, then perhaps an appearance of people or things from those times in a modern day setting. Or on a completely different tack, I’ve really enjoyed the “hard” SF we’ve had now and again in the new show, such as “Impossible Planet” – I’d love to see more of that sort of thing. Also a planet with twelve genders.

That’d be fun.

What Australian works have you loved recently?

Here’s two: Kaz Cooke’s 1992 novel The Crocodile Club, a thoroughly Australia comedy adventure which I picked up for 25 cents from the reject basket of my favourite second-hand book shop; and Tess Williams’ 1996 SF novel “Map of Power” with its convincing future Australia (and Antarctica). Find ’em and read ’em.

Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?

Oh gods, don’t ask me, I’m shamefully out of touch (as my novel choices above demonstrate!).

This interview was conducted as part of the 2012 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 1 June to 8 June and archiving them at ASif!: Australian SpecFic in Focus. You can read interviews at:

http://thebooknut.wordpress.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://helenm.posterous.com/tag/2012snapshot

http://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2012Snapshot

http://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2012snapshot/

tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2012snapshot/

www.champagneandsocks.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://randomalex.net/tag/2012snapshot/

http://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://mondyboy.com/?tag=2012snapshot

2012 Aussie Snapshot: Meg Mundell

Meg Mundell’s first novel BLACK GLASS (Scribe, 2011) was shortlisted for the 2011 Aurealis Awards (in two categories), the 2012 Norma K Hemming Award, the 2012 Chronos Award (Best Long Fiction), and the 2010 Scribe-CAL Fiction Prize; it was also highly commended in the 2012 Barbara Jefferis Award. Meg’s short stories have appeared in Best Australian Stories, New Australian Stories, Australian Book Review, Eureka Street, Meanjin, Harvest, The Big Issue and Sleepers Almanac. Her journalism has been published in The Age, Sydney Morning Herald, Financial Review, The Big Issue and The Monthly. A Kiwi by birth and a Melburnian by location, Meg is currently working on a second novel, writing a creative non-fiction book about trucking culture, and doing a PhD on how authors research “sense of place”. Website: www.megmundell.com Facebook: www.facebook.com/megmundell.writer

“Black Glass” has picked up a slew of nominations for some of Australia’s most prestigious awards, and has been recognised in both YA and Adult categories. What is about the book that you think resonates with so many people and across so many different demographics?

Thanks for making it sound appealing! (: It’s hard to say, because every reader will take so many different things from a book. BLACK GLASS is set in a dystopian world, but I tried to infuse it with a sense of hope. Maybe that combination was kind of appealing – sinister, but not entirely bleak?

But I suspect it’s the characters that have helped the novel resonate with so many different readers – especially the main character, Tally. She seems to have won people over. I know I love her to bits, although she drove me crazy at times too! Little nutter. So yes, I hope it’s the diverse characters: their motives, their obsessions, and the ways in which they struggle to survive in a tough, sometimes heartless world. That struggle is an old theme, and a universal one.

Maybe the book’s focus on surveillance resonates at the moment too. Our lives are so heavily surveilled these days, both via CCTV and the more insidious and shady realm of dataveillance (case in point: Facebook). While we’re not always consciously aware of this, I think it filters through at some level. So maybe the book tapped into that feeling too – the sense that we’re living in a world of constant scrutiny, where we trail behind us these great, dark, ever-expanding towers of personal data.

Looking at your background in journalism, do you feel that this has informed or influenced your fiction, and if so, how?

Journalism trained me to be practical about my craft: to write to deadlines, to churn out words every day, without waiting for some mysterious muse to descend and wave a magic wand. (Although sometimes I wish she’d do that…just turn up and waggle the wand on cue!) Journalism probably also trained me to look at things from a multitude of perspectives – and I think you can see that in the novel, that idea that your take on reality depends on your point of view, your position in the world.

My time at THE BIG ISSUE magazine, where I spent five delightful years as staff writer and deputy editor, opened my eyes to stories and perspectives that I would otherwise have missed. The experiences of the homeless characters in BLACK GLASS – all of that was heavily influenced by my journo training at THE BIG ISSUE, and my many conversations with the magazine’s amazing vendors.

The journalist character in my novel, poor old Damon Spark, was clearly influenced by my own experiences as a freelance journalist. Although there’s a huge dose of satire there – both in my portrait of Damon, and in the way I’ve painted/twisted the dodgy alliances between journalism, big business and government, within the world of the book. Despite that sardonic take on it, I have the highest respect for quality journalism. I don’t think we value it enough, and if we lose it, we’re really going to be up shit creek.

Browsing your website’s “In Progress” section, you seem to be moving in a slightly different direction, with a “based on a true story” novel and a non-fiction memoir. Do you have any plans for a return to the world of “Black Glass”, or any more speculative fiction pieces in the pipeline?

I’ve always run in several different directions at once. I wish I could channel things more neatly into one stream, but I seem to need the variety. I love writing in all sorts of genres, across lots of different themes. The non-fiction memoir is about outback trucking, and the mythology and romance of roads and highways. But the “based on a true story” book is set in the future! So that’s a speculative project, for sure.

I’d love to dive back into the world of BLACK GLASS. I miss those characters and want to find out what happens to them next. But I’ll have to wait and see. I’m doing a PhD at the moment too, so I need to polish off a few big projects first.

What Australian works have you loved recently?

Right now I’m reading a spec fic novel, WHEN WE HAVE WINGS, by Claire Corbett, and I’m absolutely loving it. As someone who can’t get enough of those flying dreams, it’s really firing up my imagination. I met Claire when we were both on a panel with Michael Pryor recently, at the Gloucester Writers’ Festival. We all just clicked, so I’m both happy and relieved to be really engrossed in her first novel. Michael’s latest book TEN FUTURES is now firmly on my to-read list, too.

I try to read really widely. This year I’ve also loved Tony Birch’s brilliant realist novel BLOOD, which is deservedly shortlisted for the Miles Franklin. For my PhD I’m re-reading one of my favourite non-fiction books, SEVEN VERSIONS OF AN AUSTRALIAN BADLAND, by Ross Gibson. Set along Queensland’s famous Horror Stretch, it’s an astounding piece of work: part murder mystery, part road movie, part dreamscape, part detective story. Damn good.

Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?

I think I’m too much of a newbie to be able to answer this question. I didn’t even realise there was a spec fic scene, until I published a book that apparently fell into that genre! It’s been great to discover this whole friendly, intelligent, diverse community of people who are passionate about the possibilities of spec fic. If I can offer a future hope/prediction, rather than a retrospective reflection, it would be a wish that good spec fic would continue to push through the genre snobberies and gatekeepers’ biases to plant itself more firmly in the “literary” and “mainstream” realms. Good stories are good stories, and readers deserve to hear about them, minus the genre caveats that too often frame or limit the write-ups that make it into lit journals and book pages. Too many assumptions get made on this front. Grandmas love spec fic too!

This interview was conducted as part of the 2012 Aussie Spec Fic Snapshot. In the lead up to Continuum 8 in Melbourne, we will be blogging interviews for Snapshot 2012 conducted by Alisa Krasnostein, Kathryn Linge, David McDonald, Helen Merrick, Ian Mond, Jason Nahrung, Alex Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Tehani Wessely and Sean Wright. To read the interviews hot off the press, check these blogs daily from June 1 to June 7, 2012.

You can find the past three Snapshots at the following links: 2005, 2007 and 2010

 

2012 Aussie Snapshot: Greg Mellor

Greg Mellor is a Canberra-based writer of science fiction, and occasional writer of horror, paranormal, romance, erotica, fantasy and any combination thereof.  He is also a totally awesome husband and dad – well, at least that’s what he tells everyone. Ask his wife if you want to find out the “home truth”.

Greg has worked and studied in and around Canberra all his life, with a ten year residency in the UK somewhere in the middle. For some reason he felt compelled to do an Honours Degree in Astrophysics, and as if that wasn’t enough punishment, he also completed an MBA in Technology Management. He has worked in professional service firms for the last 15 years and will continue to do so for a while yet to ensure he leaves enough inter-generational debt for his son and future grandchildren. There’s a long, puzzling journey from astrophysics to consulting, involving shelf-packing, builder’s labourer and general dog’s body, technical drawing, business reporting, IT systems trainer, electrical power-line maintenance, four wheel driving, writing science articles and . . . you get the gist. Don’t ask him “how” or “why”, suffice to say there were many “sliding doors”.

He is a regular contributor to Cosmos Magazine with “Defence of the Realm”, “Autumn Leaves Falling” and “Day Break”. His work has also appeared in Clarkesworld Magazine, Aurealis, AntipodeanSF and Daily Science Fiction, plus several Aus and US small press anthologies including “Winds of Change”, “Flesh & Bone”, “Hit Men”, “Novus Creatura” and others. Greg reached the finals of the 2009 Aurealis Awards, Best Short SF category. His stories regularly receive mentions (honourable and otherwise) and tend to crop up on recommended reading lists around the internet.

In his spare time (is there such a thing?) he reads about consciousness, philosophy, psychology, physics, astronomy, history and evolution. This is usually followed by a self-help book so that he can still feel good about the world. Occasionally he’ll flick through the books of Paul Davies, one of his professors at uni  . . . spot the name drop. Then he’ll follow this up with the odd fiction book or two, referencing Keats for soulful quotes and Wilde for the brutal truth about human nature. Then, when he can’t cram any more in, he will occasionally get back to his writing in the hope that the collage of ideas makes more sense on paper than it does in his head.

Greg was delighted when Ticonderoga Publications accepted his debut collection, “Wild Chrome”. Now he faces the daunting prospect of the SF novel.

He is a member of the Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America (SFWA), the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild (CSFG), and the ACT Writers’ Centre.

Visit www.gregmellor.com to see pictures of his cat.

At the moment you are working on your upcoming short story collection, “Wild Chrome”, which is due out later this year from “Ticonderoga Publications”. How did this collection come about? What challenges, if any, have you encountered in putting together a collection and deciding which stories to include?

The publication of “Defence of the Realm” in Cosmos in 2009 kind of changed everything. Up until then, writing was an on-again off-again hobby, with a couple of sales and a few contest results scattered in between a hectic married and working life. The last couple of years have been snowballing along and I’ll have about 50 spec fic stories published by the end of 2012. I must be a late bloomer!

I pushed the concept of the collection along relatively quickly as I didn’t want to wait forever until I had amassed a bunch of stories from which to choose from. So in October 2010, with about half the stories ready, I sent a query to several publishers. Russell Farr expressed his interest and I sent him a proposal with a few sample stories. The contract was signed in May 2011 with publication due in October 2012.

This left me the challenge of finishing the other half of the collection. It’s been hard work keeping up the volume of writing without compromising quality. I also tried to include variety in the collection, and experimented with different narrative structures, characters and worlds. Amongst the traditional story-telling, there is a story read from exhibits in a far-future library, a lecture on xenopsychology, an interview for a terraforming magazine and, my favourite, an alien post mortem!

The actual theme for the collection came about during 2011 … I won’t give too much away, as I’d like readers to see for themselves, and I don’t want Russell to tear up the contract before the book is published! What I can say is that there are stories about discovering who we are in the face of life-threatening technology and aliens; or working out how we fit into a society increasingly driven by collective thinking; or saving the people we care about in post-singularity settings. I think the theme is particularly important for us men. We seem to have a habit of tumbling along life’s avenues, stuffing things up, and expecting our loved ones – parents, siblings, children, friends and work mates alike – to put up with our BS along the way!

The decisions on what to include in the manuscript haven’t really been that difficult. I wanted a balance of published and new stories. I wanted quality. It’s not easy to let some stories go, but I defer to the wisdom of Russell, as well as authors like Damien Broderick. If these guys say a story is not right, then I listen.

Word length has also been a consideration. After some debate I ended up stripping out all the flash fiction from the manuscript. There’s a lot to be said for traditional, thought provoking sf yarns in the 2k-6k range.

You have a background in science, with an honours degree in astrophysics. How has this influenced your speculative fiction? Do you find yourself leaning towards “harder” sci fi?

Yes, my degree has been an influence, along with many other factors. I chose astrophysics because of a life-long love of the planets and stars. I can vividly recollect the Viking missions to Mars and Voyager 1 and 2 to the outer planets. I suppose my rebellious streak in high school made the choice easier – every other kid in my class wanted to do engineering!

Professor Paul Davies lectured at Newcastle-upon-Tyne, so a lot of the undergrads bought his books. I’ve broadened my horizons since, and have shelves full of books on consciousness theories, psychology, genetics, history and philosophy. Not to mention novels by Dan Simmons, William Gibson, Michael Moorcock, Greg Bear, Eric Lustbader, Robert Reed, Alastair Reynolds and others.

Am I leaning to harder sf? Maybe … it’s certainly easier to sell – I don’t have any trunk stories. I try to write the scientific bits with reserve and let the reader fill in some of the detail. I think the trick is to be consistent, even if you want to break the laws of physics. For example, there’s nothing wrong with faster-than-light travel if you make it plausible. In “Heaven and Earth” I included things like a Casimir booster network (connected wormholes) and a probability shunt (an exotic matter ship that tunnels through space-time). I didn’t give much detail, as they’re accepted technologies in the future, and I wanted to leave room for the reader’s imagination. I’m not sure I’ve answered the question … hardish.

With a number of professional sales, you seem very at home in the short story format. Do you have any plans to move into different forms in the near future, or are you concentrating on short fiction for now?

The short story format suits me for a number of reasons. I don’t think I am a prolific fiction writer, but I am a prolific business writer (my day job … there are bills to pay), so I am used to finishing a “deliverable” so to speak. My short stories are a bit like client reports, but with a lot less fiction. (Oops, did I just say that? I take it back.) So I feel I can actually see the end point when I write the shorter stuff, and that’s important with life being so busy.

Having said that, I would like to give more room to some of my ideas. I have plans for three novellas. One has a genetic engineering theme, the other is pure space opera with a dose of Buddhist philosophy, and the other is a sf treasure hunt.

Beyond that, the novel is on the horizon. A couple of the worlds in my short stories are begging to be expanded. Plus I’m receiving a lot of feedback from readers and friends telling me to push ahead to the novel stage.

What Australian works have you loved recently?

Hmm, where to start with this one? There’s so much good stuff out there. Maybe I’ll stick with the three short stories that have grabbed me . . . “Evolution Baby” by Lesley Boland, “Breaking the Ice” by Thoraiya Dyer and “Under the Moons of Venus” by Damien Broderick. If I read the story again (or parts of it) then that’s a good indicator.

Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?

Change is a constant for Australian spec fic: there are more spec fic writers than ever before; self-publishing is more prevalent, but fraught with danger; e-publishing; self-promotion through social networks; flash fiction; genre mish-mash stories. Also, I think Aussie spec fic writers are getting more exposure in the US pro mags like Asimov’s, Clarkesworld, Redstone, Apex and others. Plus I think there are some really cool anthos being produced

This interview was conducted as part of the 2012 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 1 June to 8 June and archiving them at ASif!: Australian SpecFic in Focus. You can read interviews at:

http://thebooknut.wordpress.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://helenm.posterous.com/tag/2012snapshot

http://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2012Snapshot

http://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2012snapshot/

tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2012snapshot/

www.champagneandsocks.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://randomalex.net/tag/2012snapshot/

http://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://mondyboy.com/?tag=2012snapshot

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2012 Aussie Snapshot: Gitte Christensen

Gitte Christensen was born and raised in Australia, but also lived in Denmark for 12 years before returning to study journalism at the Royal Melbourne Institute of Technology. Her speculative fiction has appeared in Aurealis, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Bards and Sages Quarterly, 10Flash and other publications, as well as the anthologies The Tangled Bank: Love, Wonder and Evolution, The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2010 and Dark Tales of Lost Civilizations. To escape keyboards, she regularly grabs a tent and a horse and goes trailing riding through distant mountains.

You’re currently part of a workshop on writing speculative fiction being run by Writers Victoria, presented by Jack Dann. How important are resources like this to developing your writing? Do you think that they are utilised enough by up and coming writers? What have you gotten out of it so far?

Workshops are useful because they get you out of your own head and make you look at your work through the eyes of others. You discover, much to your amazement, that other people’s reading tastes vary and that not everyone is in awe of your particular genius. You find yourself having to stick up for your characters, explain your plot and defend your choice of words, and either you can do so and go on to create a stronger piece of work, or the thing crumbles under the weight of its own ineptitude and you trunk it.

Workshops are also invaluable for networking, and, especially with speculative fiction, making new friends who enjoy many of the same things that you do. The fact that there are a few people I can now wave to or chat with at conventions is mostly due to the various workshops I’ve attended.

No, I don’t think enough new writers utilise these resources, or utilise them fully. Critiquing can be a raw experience, and often those who do sign up are put off by the ego-bruising awkwardness of the first few sessions and don’t stay the course. They end up missing out on the best part, which occurs once the participants have settled into the critiquing process and realised it’s not about personal attacks, but about improving their writing. So far, with this particular workshop, I’d say that it looks like the stentorian voice of Jack Dann repeating certain basics of storytelling has been permanently embedded in my brain.

You have had a great deal of success locally, getting published in some major Australian markets, such as Aurealis and ASIM. Do you deliberately try and write for Australian audiences, or are you submitting internationally as well?

Great deal of success? Moi? Thank you, that’s very kind of you, but I think most people reading this would be thinking Gitte Who? I don’t deliberately write for Australian audiences, but that said, I was definitely harking back to my outback childhood when I wrote the Aurealis and ASIM stories, as well as my piece in the anthology ‘The Tangled Bank’,  and I  thoroughly enjoy using Aussie settings and tropes to shape my fiction. I do submit internationally, and have been published in US publications and anthologies, but all of those stories have been devoid of any “confusing” Aussie references.

Once you’ve finished the current workshop, are there any other projects you have planned that you wanted to talk about? Where to from here?

My plan for now is simple, and one probably shared my most emerging writers: find enough time to keep plugging away at the keyboard and hope my short fiction improves to the point where it’s being regularly published and people vaguely recognise my name. I’m longing for a professional sale, of course – I’ve been so close a number of times that it’s teeth-clenchingly frustrating. Ultimately, I’d like to also write novels. I have the first two volumes of a massive SF saga that I’d like to beat into a readable structure, and a YA novel that I finished for a workshop with Paul Collins two years ago which needs about a month of focused dedication. But how to clear a month, that’s the quandary.

What Australian works have you loved recently?

I make it a point to read both genre and mainstream fiction. Because of where I live now, lately I’ve been reading and loving the prose of local author Alex Miller. Genrewise, I’ve heartily enjoyed the Twelve Planets series by Twelfth Planet Press, and catching up with Sean McMullen’s YA books. There are a few Aussie anthologies in my TBR pile that I’m sure I’ll love and that I wish I’d read in time to include in this interview, but alas…

Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?

It’s difficult for me to gauge. I can’t be certain the scene seems different simply because I’ve stopped dabbling in it and now make it my business to make sure I know what’s going on, or because it has actually undergone major changes. However, it does seem to me that as our more established Australian writers have graduated to bigger things and attracted international recognition, there’s a greater confidence in our home grown talent and in genre writing itself, and a sense of movement in the Spec Fic scene which, in turn, clears a little space for newer writers to inch into the fray. It’s more vibrant with all the small press projects, and the many podcasts now up and running add fun and incite the occasional brouhaha,  all of which makes for a healthier and more participatory atmosphere

This interview was conducted as part of the 2012 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 1 June to 8 June and archiving them at ASif!: Australian SpecFic in Focus. You can read interviews at:

http://thebooknut.wordpress.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://helenm.posterous.com/tag/2012snapshot

http://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2012Snapshot

http://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2012snapshot/

tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2012snapshot/

www.champagneandsocks.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://randomalex.net/tag/2012snapshot/

http://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://mondyboy.com/?tag=2012snapshot

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2012 Aussie Snapshot: Kim Westwood

In 2002 Kim Westwood won an Aurealis Award for her short story ‘The Oracle’. Since then her stories have been chosen for Year’s Best anthologies in Australia and the US, and for ABC radio broadcast. Her most recent short story won the Judges’ Prize at the Scarlet Stiletto Awards. She is the recipient of a Varuna Writers’ House Fellowship for her first novel, The Daughters of Moab (HarperCollins, 2008). Her second novel, The Courier’s New Bicycle (HarperCollins, 2011), is “a disturbingly credible and darkly noir post-cyberpunk tale”. It was chosen for the 2011 Tiptree Award Honours List and won an Aurealis Award for Best Science Fiction Novel.

The Courier’s New Bicycle was mentioned on the Honour List for the 2011 James Tiptree Jr Award, “an annual literary prize for science fiction or fantasy that expands or explores our understanding of gender”, and has been lauded for its depiction of transgressive characters. What did receiving that mention mean to you as an author?

It was wonderful affirmation of the substance of the novel, because while the scaffolding of The Courier’s New Bicycle is climate and political change, pandemic and infertility, at its heart are issues of identity and disentitlement. It’s one gender transgressive’s adventure in a city where a prohibitive regime has divested a section of the community of their civil and social rights. It’s also about a community under great duress, and how ‘outsiders’ carve out community for themselves. The Courier’s New Bicycle is a call-out for breaking open the gender categories to make way for diversity. Did I mention it’s also crime fiction? Noir lyricism? Intergenre?

Your bio lists some extremely varied and fascinating experiences! Along with tiger snakes and hornets, you mention your time in theatre. Is this something you have thought about returning to? How has it influenced your fiction?

On the subject of snakes and hornets, all my favourite houses have let the wildlife in. The current one sits on an ant empire and gives me a daily surprise of spiders. Upstairs, there’s a family of possums. The most recent arrival is a wild rabbit—but I digress. Working in theatre had a big influence on me. The visual and visceral world of experimental theatre and dance that I loved so much, I try to carry into my writing. Partly because of that, my stories aren’t just about people but the landscapes they inhabit, and how these two elements intertwine. Both The Daughters of Moab and The Courier’s New Bicycle treat the physical environment as a character. It lives, it breathes, it protects and destroys… As for returning to theatre, that space of “collective dreaming”, I might sometime; but for now I’m happy to stay in the medium of words.

Is the world of The Courier’s New Bicycle one that you want to continue exploring, either in short fiction or with a sequel? What other projects have you planned for the future?

I’ve been working on the ideas for a quite different novel and didn’t plan a sequel to The Courier’s New Bicycle, but when I was back in Melbourne early this year, the beginnings of another adventure for Salisbury began quite spontaneously. Now I’m keen to see what happens next.

What Australian works have you loved recently?

Recent and current great reads: Meg Mundell’s Black Glass; Steven Amsterdam’s Things We Didn’t See Coming; Carrie Tiffany’s Mateship with Birds; and Charlotte Wood’s Animal People.

Two years on from AussieCon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?

I never feel well-enough connected to the scene to answer this kind of question intelligently, but I think I see an increasing acceptance of hybrid works, those stories that slip through and between categories—and maybe a growing awareness that the categories themselves need challenging. I have a vested interest in this, so of course I hope I’m right!

This interview was conducted as part of the 2012 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 1 June to 8 June and archiving them at ASif!: Australian SpecFic in Focus. You can read interviews at:

http://thebooknut.wordpress.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://helenm.posterous.com/tag/2012snapshot

http://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2012Snapshot

http://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2012snapshot/

tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2012snapshot/

www.champagneandsocks.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://randomalex.net/tag/2012snapshot/

http://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://mondyboy.com/?tag=2012snapshot

 

2012 Aussie Snapshot: Helen Stubbs

Australian writer HELEN STUBBS loves the beautiful weird, especially fiction about the future and alternate realities. Her short story The Perforation won the Aussiecon Four Short Story Competition and her unpublished novel Black Earth was a quarterfinalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Award. Her short stories appear anthologies and magazines including Winds of Change and Midnight Echo 6. Her interests include chatting to strangers, fretting about the environment and marvelling over art and innovation. Contact Helen at twitter.com/#!/superleni and helenstubbs.wordpress.com.

You describe your writing as having an “eco feminist” slant. Can you tell us a bit about what that means? How important do you think it is for speculative fiction to tackle the big issues?

I mean stories that take civilisation’s trajectory to its logical extreme, or explore our place within our ecology (and universe), and the interconnected lifecycles there. My favourite eco feminist author is Sheri Tepper, who explores the future of humankind out in the universe in books like “The Companions.” I’ve always found ecological relationships and lifecycles fascinating.

As for big issues, a fiction writer’s first priority must be to entertain their reader (or you won’t have readers). There are many examples of great Spec Fic that don’t explore big issues, however, when I begin to wonder about the universe it leads me to big questions. I love fiction where humankind gets a cosmic spanking for its arrogance, like when extra terrestrials come down and beat us up because we have technology but no conscience about how we use it.

Your novel, “Black Earth”, was a quarter finalist in the Amazon Breakthrough Award and was read by Angry Robot. While it wasn’t picked up, this must have given you a great deal of confidence in the level of your writing. How did this recognition impact your writing? Has it created any other opportunities you might not have otherwise got?

These were encouraging…but, confidence…not really. When my work is chosen for something I want to shake the editors or judges and say, “Are you sure?” Parts of Black Earth are positively cringe-worthy. I find the more I learn about writing the more I realise I don’t know, while it seems like there is some magic in great writing that possibly can’t be learned.

Still, I’ll keep sending my work out put my hand up for anything because I love writing, working with editors, and talking with writers. And if I waited until my writing was perfect I’d die first.

Are you likely to return to “Black Earth”, or are there other projects you will be working on in the near future?

I plan to submit “Black Earth” to the Vogel’s Literary award, as it isn’t doing anything else… and I’m just young enough.

I’m currently working on a novella, “The Cupcake Girl of Winding Street,” with which I’d like to test the waters of e-publishing. I’m also writing a Science Fiction novel about a half robot girl who cares for a herd of humans, post I.T. takeover.

What Australian works have you loved recently?

I loved “Debris” by Jo Anderton and “The Couriers New Bicycle” by Kim Westwood. I also loved “Valley of Grace” by Marion Halligan, which is not Speculative Fiction.

Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?

Aussiecon 4 was my introduction to the scene so I’m not sure what it was like before, but since then I’ve found the community very friendly and highly talented. I had the best time at Aussiecon 4! Somehow I’d won their short story comp so I got to go in the green room with the real writers.

A huge convention like that grabs attention, inspires people and forges more connections between the community hotspots of Australian Spec Fic. It also creates international opportunities by bringing foreign publishers and agents in.

Thanks for including me in the Aussie Snapshot, David. It was a pleasure to answer your questions

This interview was conducted as part of the 2012 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 1 June to 8 June and archiving them at ASif!: Australian SpecFic in Focus. You can read interviews at:

http://thebooknut.wordpress.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://helenm.posterous.com/tag/2012snapshot

http://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2012Snapshot

http://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2012snapshot/

tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2012snapshot/

www.champagneandsocks.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://randomalex.net/tag/2012snapshot/

http://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://mondyboy.com/?tag=2012snapshot

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2012 Aussie Snapshot: George Ivanoff

George Ivanoff is an author and stay-at-home dad residing in Melbourne, Australia.

He has written over 60 books for children and teenagers, including fiction and non-fiction. He has written school readers, library reference books, chapter books, novelettes, novels and even a short story collection. He has books on both the Victorian Premier’s and the NSW Premier’s Reading Challenge booklists.

His teen science fiction novel, Gamers’ Quest, won a 2010 Chronos Award for speculative fiction. The sequel, Gamers’ Challenge, has been nominated for a 2012 Chronos Award.

George also writes short stories and articles for adults as well as kids. Of all these, he is most proud to have had the opportunity to write a Doctor Who story for the Short Trips: Defining Patterns anthology (Big Finish, UK, 2008).

Occasionally, George has been known to moonlight as an actor. He has had small roles in numerous productions including the television series Neighbours and the feature film Frozen Butterflies.

George eats too much chocolate and drinks too much coffee. He will sometime indulge in a nice bottle of wine or a single malt Scotch.

He has one wife, two children and two cats. And he is very content!

Your current novel, “Gamers’ Challenge”, is the second in the Gamers series of books. Did you feel any pressure in trying to follow up “Gamers’ Quest”, or was it easier going back to a familiar world?

There was definitely pressure. The first book sold quite well, so there was the pressure to produce something that would sell as well or, preferably, better. But I did find it an easier book to write. I had already done all the work of creating the world, with lots and lots of background that never made it into that first book. So slipping back into it that world was quite comfortable, and that gave me the chance to concentrate more on the actual plot.

You’ve previously been published in a collection of Doctor Who short stories which must have been a huge thrill. Are there any other shared worlds/franchises that you would be particularly excited to be involved in?

Ah yes, my one shining fanboy moment — “Machine Time” in Short Trips: Defining Patterns. I loved writing that story and I’ve been desperate to write more Doctor Who. As it happens, apart from reviewing lots of Doctor Who DVDs on my blog, I’ve recently had the chance to write essays about Doctor Who for a couple of upcoming books. That was great… But I so want to write some more Doctor Who fiction.

As for other franchises — I’d love to write for the TRON franchise. I love the films and I’m really looking forward to the animated series. TRON is definitely second on my list (after Doctor Who, of course), but I’m a fan of many different tv shows and films. I would happily write for numerous franchises. My problem is that I have no idea how to get a foot in that particular door. Getting that Doctor Who story was a combination of luck and persistence… But Big Finish is no longer publishing the Short Trips anthologies. 🙁

I see from your website that there is another Gamers novel in the works. Will there be more novels in that series, or do you have plans for something different once “Gamers’ Inferno” is done?

Actually, “Gamers’ Inferno” is a short story that has been published in a new anthology called Trust Me Too (ed: Paul Collins, Ford Street Publishing). It’s a spin-off story — Same world, but a new game environment and a whole new set of characters.

But, there will be a new novel as well, to be published in 2013. I’m currently working on it. The working title is Gamers’ Rebellion (but that may change) and it will definitely finish up Tark and Zyra’s story. Of course, if it ends up being a runaway success (one can dream) then there are many more stories I could set in the Gamers world.

I do, however, have ideas for other novels as well. In fact, I’ve got notes for at least six potential novels. It’s a matter of deciding which one to go with next.

What Australian works have you loved recently?

I’ve just finished reading Carol Wilkinson’s Blood Brothers, the latest novel in the Dragonkeeper series. Loved it! Carol is one of my favourite Australian writers. And I’ve just started reading Kerry Greenwood’s Flying Too High — the second of her Phryne Fisher mystery novels. With the novels having been turned into a tv series, I thought it was about time I caught up on them. I read the first one a few months ago and really enjoyed, so I’m now reading the second. And I’ve finally been catching up with Michael Pryor’s The Laws of Magic. Brilliant stuff!

Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?

There seems to be more spec fic being published — both by small press and by the major publishers. I’m hoping this trend continues. Every one of those potential novels I mentioned earlier is spec fic, so I have a vested interested in the genre continuing to be popular. 🙂

This interview was conducted as part of the 2012 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 1 June to 8 June and archiving them at ASif!: Australian SpecFic in Focus. You can read interviews at:

http://thebooknut.wordpress.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://helenm.posterous.com/tag/2012snapshot

http://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2012Snapshot

http://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2012snapshot/

tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2012snapshot/

www.champagneandsocks.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://randomalex.net/tag/2012snapshot/

http://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://mondyboy.com/?tag=2012snapshot

 

 

2012 Aussie Snapshot: Dave Freer

Dave Freer is former marine biologist (an ichthyologist) who now lives on an island off the coast of Australia. Besides writing a lot of books and short stories he is a diver and a rock-climber and perpetually has his nose in a book when he’s not doing those three things. With his wife, Barbara, two dogs, three cats, three chickens, and other transient rescued wildlife, they’ve lived a sort of “chaotic self-sufficiency and adventures” life, sort of down the lines of the Swiss Family Robinson, only with many more disasters. He also has two sons and a daughter-in-law who will all tell you he hasn’t grown up very much.

A lot of Dave’s time has been spent (and still is) in small boats, or in water that no one in their right mind would get into, full of everything (sometimes entirely too close) from hippopotami (in Africa) to sharks (he was the chief scientist working on the commercial shark fishery in the Western Cape, once upon a time) and lots of interesting creatures like the blue-ringed octopus and poison-spined gurnard perch.

He’s written a slew of fantasy and science fiction novels, some with Eric Flint; being a scientist, he likes the strange creatures and machines he comes up with to work. His last book DOG AND DRAGON came out from Baen in April, and his next CUTTLEFISH from Pyr in July.

You can find out quite a lot more on http://davefreer.com/

You have a very unique place of residence, you describe it as “a remote island in the middle of the Bass strait, only reachable by plane or an 11 hour ferry trip”. And , of course, only cows are allowed on the ferry! Do you think that being so isolated has had an effect on your writing, whether positive or negative? Has this changed in the age of the internet?

Is it that difficult to moo? I live in ferry-lands, but if you can moo and travel yon broad, broad road, you too can be in fair…ferry land by nightfall. But don’t eat or drink there, or you may never return. Of course geography and the people affect my writing. Fortunately for me, this is a place ‘a savage place, as holy as enchanted…’ as well as Xanadu. It stirs me up. And the internet makes the world small.

You’ve had a long and productive relationship with Baen Books, not only releasing numerous novels on your own and in collaboration with other authors, but being involved in many other projects with them as well. How did this relationship begin, and what is it about Baen’s way of doing things that has meshed so well with yours?

How did it begin? Alphabetically. I was using that cutting edge of science publisher selection mechanism and working through all the publishers from A to Z. I didn’t get that far, as you can probably work out. How did the collaborations start? Argumentatively. Eric Flint and I had a huge public argument about writing on Baen’s Bar. He eventually clinched his argument with words to the effect that when I could get something published, I could tell others how to write. I wrote back to him, privately, saying I had no wish to make a public idiot out of him (the spat had been very funny – the monkey (me) / bear (Eric) battles were more like Monty Python than warfare, as I am quite hard to pin down and Eric is quite sharp.) but that my book was coming out from Baen in a couple of months. Eric did something which made me realise he was the ideal collaborator. He apologized and admitted he’d made a fool of himself. I like the ability to do that in myself (and I am good at making a fool of myself, and admit it) and admitting it engendered respect. We started talking on e-mail (while continuing riotous and ever noisier spats on the bar) and discovered we shared a lot of attitudes and, while we have very different points of view, we have a lot of mutual respect. Eric proposed the collaboration to Jim Baen, who let us have a go. Misty Lackey was one of Jim’s ideas, and it’s never been the same as letting oil and water find their own level. My latest two books are coming out from Pyr, although I still have several more books with Baen contracted.

Recently Tor made the decision to start releasing ebooks without DRM, but Baen has been doing this for a number of years. Do you expect to see more publishers follow suit? What impact do you think this will have on the industry?

You have to laugh, don’t you? Having urinated away generations of goodwill with this DRM rubbish – which assumed it was fine to treat all your customers as thieves… And Tor – as 1/3 owners of Baen knew it had proven long since to be a waste of time, goodwill and money, are finally following a decade old example… and being hailed as groundbreakers. The truth is the publishing world doesn’t like Baen. It’s all about politics, not common sense, or economics. Now that economics is finally forcing their hand a glimmer of common sense is being allowed through. You see, in the polarised world of the US publishing establishment, the left, if not far left, has been dominant for at least the last thirty years. The US market itself is far more divided, and Baen published work by authors that they thought they could sell. That included Socialist party members and Union organisers like my co-author Eric, hardcore Democrats, Libertarians, Republicans even odd foreigners. Left, right, center… Jim applied his own libertarianly inclined principles and let readers choose, just as long as the publishing house benefited. This was evil, according to the establishment. And thus anything Baen did, even if it worked really well (Baen made a success out of e-books LONG before the rest. Baen collaborations launched new authors very successfully. Baen gave away free stories on site. Baen had the free library of older work – which still makes us authors money, Tor is now finally doing a Baen’s Bar equivalent – etc. the list goes on) had to be done the opposite of. Before Amazon, as the publishing establishment effectively owned access to 90% of retail space… they could afford to. Now they can’t. And if Tor does it, it’s Okay to follow. Just don’t admit you’re following Baen, all right? Now of course Amazon has replaced and eclipsed Baen as prime evil, although it has done more for authors than all the big six publishers put together (access to bookscan numbers, rapid, transparent accounting, realistic e-book royalties, ability to sell your own work). I’m guessing within two years all publishers will be trying to sell DRM free books from their own websites. I’m also guessing that ‘stupid’ and ‘ídeology’ will continue to hamper at least some of them, and that learning from Amazon will be as hard as learning from Baen was. Some will learn, and some will go under.

What Australian works have you loved recently?

A Confusion of Princes, Garth Nix.

Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?

I actually think the biggest changes are coming in the next couple of years. The real impact of e-books has yet to be felt here. I think, well, the publishing establishement is going to have interesting times here. My biggest fear is that we follow US trends – which is bad enough when they’re in step with the US but really not good when they’re 5-10 years out of synch with the causative agents on a world scale. The US went into overdrive with angst-and-literary driven sf/fantasy in the naughties – when the US was heading up toward the sub-prime economic crisis, but was doing rather well. It always takes these trends a few years to start and several more to die when the zeitgeist has moved on. And some sf/fantasy authors do suffer from low self-esteem and were pathetically eager (at least some of them) for the ‘respect’ moving the genre in this direction would bring. Well, I suspect they’re in for a rude shock as ‘literature’ is judged by time and not the current fashion in academics and the literati. Books these ‘judges’ set as literature seem destined to be tomorrow’s toilet paper, while their ‘trash’ – you know, Dickens, Shakespeare, Verne… endure. We need to let our books be judged by readers, and that, hopefully, is what e-books will allow. There’s a place and a market for literary sf, and it should be able to find publishers, but if I am right and publishing and Australia are in for some choppy economic waters, books that make people laugh, that give them battlers they can identify with, that will lift them and cheer them… those might be the ones to save the establishment. If I was to give a single piece of advice to publishing it would be to learn from Baen: stop betting the entire farm and putting all your resources into one chosen book, and spread your bets.

This interview was conducted as part of the 2012 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 1 June to 8 June and archiving them at ASif!: Australian SpecFic in Focus. You can read interviews at:

http://thebooknut.wordpress.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://helenm.posterous.com/tag/2012snapshot

http://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2012Snapshot

http://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2012snapshot/

tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2012snapshot/

www.champagneandsocks.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://randomalex.net/tag/2012snapshot/

http://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://mondyboy.com/?tag=2012snapshot

 

2012 Aussie Snapshot: Natalie Costa Bir

Natalie Costa Bir is the Web Content Editor at the University of Sydney. She worked at HarperCollins Publishers for five years, starting in the marketing department and finishing as Digital Editor in the publishing department, where she looked after the e-book program, and edited Voyager titles. She also created and maintained the Voyager blog and Facebook/Twitter accounts. She does a small amount of freelance editing but since leaving HarperCollins mostly uses her spare time to read through the giant piles of books in her house in order to avoid death by book-pile collapse.

Currently you are Web Content Editor at The University of Sydney. How important is having a web presence to an institution like the University? Are there any lessons about what do or not do in regards to an online presence you took from your time in the publishing industry to the University, and any that you would take back with you if you returned?

It’s absolutely essential for the University to have a web presence. This means not just a website but also being available through the preferred media of our audience, including places like Facebook and Twitter. The website is the central way that we communicate with our audience – from future and current students to our staff and to visitors and the community. Our website is often the first way that people get to know who we are and what we do – and what they can expect if they come to the University. I’ve definitely come to the role with some strong ideas from being an editor – namely that the content we produce should always be of the best quality possible. ‘Quality’ means accurate spelling and grammar, but also getting the tone and content right for your audience, and making sure the technology that powers the website and its functions works properly. If I went back into a publishing house, I would take with me a better understanding of proper content strategy and governance, which means understanding what our content is for, the best way to deliver it, and who should take responsibility for its quality and continual development.

During your time in publishing, you were, at various times, heavily involved in the establishment of social media presence, and working with the development of e-books. Do you think there was a period when the major publishers were struggling to decide on an approach to social media, and how to deal with the rise of ebooks? If so, do you think this tension has been resolved, and that the major publishers have a handle on it?

There was definitely a time when publishers struggled to understand both. I think that’s fairly natural with social media, or at least with Facebook and Twitter. Both started out at as personal ways to share information with your friends or acquaintances rather than as business promotional tools, so adapting these to a company profile didn’t always seem a logical step. It’s certainly a great way to communicate directly with readers and get their feedback and to promote to the media but it’s debatable how well a social media presence converts to book sales for a publisher. At one point in time I think many publishers felt they had to create web presences for their authors but now most are smart enough to let authors develop their own presences, blogs and websites.

When it comes to e-books, I think publishers are still experimenting but aren’t completely certain about they are doing. This is partly because of the sheer number of books the big publishers were dealing with at the start of the process. Without wanting to get too detailed, converting thousands of e-books and ensuring the resulting files are error-free is a huge task. Readers are making it known that they want their e-books as soon as possible and if you make it too hard for them to buy books in legal channels, they will seek the book files elsewhere. There’s also the question of applying Digital Rights Management (DRM) to e-book files. It’s easy to crack so is there any point in applying it and stopping readers buying e-books legally from reading those books on the device of their choice? At the same time, publishers must protect the interests of their authors, which includes making it more difficult for readers to acquire unpaid copies of books.

Have publishers got a handle on the changing face of their product? I don’t think I can answer that for them! I think they’ve established a stable platform for now, but that it will continue to change – and not slowly. I think Pan MacMillan has a good thing going with the Momentum imprint and Joel Naoum at the helm – he’s someone who understands e-book workflow and technology and is applying best practice to what he publishes. I think this sort of understanding needs to be brought into every publishing house.

Do you ever see yourself returning to editing fiction? Are you working on anything like that at the moment, or have any upcoming projects, especially ones with a speculative fiction component?

I do see myself returning to editing fiction, partly because I love the community of writers and editors I know, and it’s a way to stay in touch with that world. I also find that I read a lot more critically than I did before I was an editor, and I do occasionally wish I could tighten up sentences or plot in some of the books I read! I’m currently working on an Australian Publishers Association workshop on e-books with editor Sarah Hazelton, which will take place in June in Sydney and Melbourne. I’m also working on a two-hour class on social media promotion for authors, which will be one of a six-part series on self-publishing, in association with the Australian Society of Authors. That takes place in August (and the series starts in July).

What Australian works have you loved recently?

I’ve just finished the superb set of stories in The Year’s Best Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy Volume Two, edited by Jonathan Strahan and Jeremy G Byrne (1998). It’s not a new book, obviously, but it’s been sitting on my shelf as one of the books I took home when I left HarperCollins. The first story in it – ‘Reasons to be Cheerful’ by Greg Egan – is a ripper. It totally propelled me into the book. I also enjoyed ‘Love and Mandarins’ (in the same collection) by Sean Williams, which is a touching but humorous story of love gone somewhat awry. I must admit, I also enjoyed reading the introduction to the book because it set the scene as it was twelve years ago in Australia.

Looking back I can see I’ve actually been quite bad at keeping up with new Australian stories. I’m still working through a giant to-be-read pile next to the bed though … If Isobelle Carmody’s The Red Queen was to come out, I’d drop all the TBR pile and get straight into it. I plan to take several days off at that point so I can thoroughly enjoy it!

Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?

I think one of the changes I’ve seen is the growing success of self-published Australian authors thanks to the ease of publishing with Amazon. I follow quite a lot of authors on Twitter and have seen them talking about their successes and the ways they have promoted their works. I’ve also seen it with small press – just recently Jodi Cleghorn got Chinese Whisperings: the Yin and Yang book up to number two on the Amazon free list and is promoting another anthology from eMergent publishing that way this week.

I also think more options have opened up for traditional publishers to take a punt on authors. This is partly because they are freed from the costs of warehousing and printing books (though they still rightly invest in editing and proofreading). It’s also them being more open to experimentation in a world they are not sure of. They’re still willing to take some chances and see what sells in the e-book world – including trying out short stories and novellas. It’s great to see Pan Macmillan taking the initiative with Momentum, their e-only and print on demand list.

The number of authors and editors on Twitter continues to grow too, and I think we all find it a supportive network and a place where we can exchange questions, thoughts, news and general conversation, despite many of us working in solitary or quiet environments.

For me personally: I met a lot of new people at AussieCon, and have been able to keep in touch with them via Facebook and Twitter – which is wonderful. It would have been a lot harder in an e-less world, and I am very grateful to live in a time when I can get books and conversation with like-minded people no matter where I go (apart from when my train heads into the tunnel at Wynyard station!).

This interview was conducted as part of the 2012 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 1 June to 8 June and archiving them at ASif!: Australian SpecFic in Focus. You can read interviews at:

http://thebooknut.wordpress.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://kathrynlinge.livejournal.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://helenm.posterous.com/tag/2012snapshot

http://bookonaut.blogspot.com.au/search/label/2012Snapshot

http://www.davidmcdonaldspage.com/tag/2012snapshot/

tansyrr.com/tansywp/tag/2012snapshot/

www.champagneandsocks.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://randomalex.net/tag/2012snapshot/

http://jasonnahrung.com/tag/2012snapshot/

http://mondyboy.com/?tag=2012snapshot