Tag Archives: margo lanagan

Book Launch Update: Selkies and Shapechangers

Exciting news!

The Hobart Bookshop are pleased to spread the news that Margo Lanagan will now be joining us on February 2nd for a launch of her new book, Sea Hearts.

Margo and Tansy Rayner Roberts will share the evening, making it a very exciting double launch — don’t miss it!

Thursday February 2nd
The Hobart Bookshop

Rowena Cory Daniells will launch Reign of Beasts by Tansy Rayner Roberts.

This is the final book in The Creature Court trilogy, a fantasy series featuring flappers, shapechangers and bloodthirsty court politics.

Richard Harland will launch Margo Lanagan’s Sea Hearts — an an extraordinary tale of desire and revenge, of loyalty, heartache and human weakness, and of the unforeseen consequences of all-consuming love.

If you’re in the southern Tasmania region next week, please come along to the Hobart Bookshop for much book-related merriment!

Apex Magazine #30

I was sure I had already blogged this, but possibly I just tweeted and podcasted and then fell over. Lynne Thomas (of Chicks Dig Time Lords and the SF Squeecast) has just had her first edited issue of Apex Magazine go live, and it includes an article by me!

The article is about why Australian spec fic writers seem to skew so hard towards writing about icky sinister things instead of, you know, sunshine and beer and prawns. I talked to a bunch of writers (Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti, Kaaron Warren, Peter M Ball, Trent Jamieson, Kirstyn McDermott, Jason Nahrung, Cat Sparks, Rob Hood and Richard Harland) who are well known for their dark, weird short fiction, and they came up all sorts of brilliant answers to my sometimes-silly questions.

You can purchase individual copies or subscriptions of Apex here, and the content of the issue is also available (temporarily) for free on their home page.

Best Reading of the Year 2011 (so far)

This one’s for Jonathan, Gary & Mondy, who have been speculating a lot lately about what are the best books published in 2011 so far, that they should be paying attention to.

These are mine. It’s entirely personal, of course, and based what I’ve actually read (as opposed to the towering To Read pile that will one day cause me major injury) but given that I haven’t done nearly enough this year of reviewing the books I love, I think it’s worth doing.


Jo Walton
Among Others

A wonderful, wonderful book about the reading habits of young girls, with subtle magic and a fabulous theme of iconic SF books. At some point I hope I will write that essay I want to, about my lifelong relationship with Pamela Dean’s Tam Lin and how that book trained me to get the most out of this one despite the fact that I’ve never read Delaney, Zelazny or more than two novels by Heinlein.

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Night of Necklaces, Day of Ferries

I felt like such a jet-setter, getting on a plane yesterday morning for a single night in Sydney for the Aurealis Awards. I arrived in the early afternoon and met up with Tehani, Helen and baby Max at the airport so we could taxi in to the hotel together. It felt so decadent to hang out and chat with friends I normally don’t get to see more than once every few years – twice within a month!

We went down to the hotel restaurant for a (very) early dinner, correctly guessing it would be our last chance to eat for the night. Some familiar faces were already down there, with the same idea, and we added a table on the end of theirs – and as more and more people arrived, kept doing so, until we had at least 20 people there, and the table had turned into a long L-shape!

Then of course we all had to disappear to frock up, as the new arrivals were looking increasingly glamorous.

The Aurealis Awards were held at the Independent Theatre, a lovely venue only a few minute’s stagger (a bit longer in high heels, but I was wearing flats, hehehe) from the hotel. We met and mingled at the cocktail party (sponsored by HarperCollins), many of us marvelling at how utterly weird it was to be together again so soon after Swancon – when we’re used to an 18 month separation! Of course there were people there who hadn’t been at Swancon, too, so it was a general crowd of happy reunions, gossip and hugging. With champagne. I had lots of lovely conversations with lots of adorable people, though the highlight for me was getting to meet IN PERSON the amazing Nicola, who has edited all three of the Creature Court books with me, one way or another. To get to talk to her in person about the choices we made and how much we love each other’s work was very, very cool.

And oh, the fashions! We are a gorgeously dressed bunch. Tehani referred to it as the ‘night of necklaces,’ and there was certainly some spectacular jewellery on display. Kirstyn wins the prize, of course, for her bird skull necklace that made people go ooh, and then, erkhhhh when they looked more closely…

The theatre itself was the perfect size for an event like this – grand but cozy at the same time, if that makes sense? Tehani and I decided to start a trend by sitting in the front row, since we knew I had to go on stage at some point to present (and we knew Helen would be going up too, but more on that later!). Spec Faction deserve a huge amount of kudos for the event – it ran smoothly, with any dramas rendered pretty much invisible to the rest of us. Cat had put together a hilarious and touching montage of Aurealis Awards photographs (the overall theme was people we knew looking overheated, a bit drunk and terribly happy) which broke the ice marvellously, and there was a really good vibe in the theatre, all that community spirit stuff.

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Galactic Suburbia Episode 30 Show Notes: Swancon 36 Edition

Image courtesy of Cat Sparx

Episode 30 is up, recorded live from Swancon on the morning of Sunday 24 April 2011 with an audience of loyal followers who were prepared to come to a panel at 9:30 AM!

Grab it from iTunes, by direct download or stream it on the site.


At Swancon 36/Natcon50

In which we talk convention gossip, awards, go through piles and piles of reading for Tansy and Alex, while Alisa patiently explains her position on ebooks.


Recorded Live from Swancon!


Shirley Jackson nominees

PK Dick winner announced

BSFA winners announced

SF Hall of Fame Inductees for 2011

What Culture Have we Consumed?

Alex: Kraken, China Mieville; Doomsday Book, Connie Willis; Contact (the movie), Mappa Mundi, Justina Robson; Brasyl, Ian McDonald; Nightsiders, Sue Isle

Tansy: The Clockwork Angel, by Cassandra Clare, The Last Stormlord by Glenda Larke, Fun Home & Dykes to Watch Out For by Alison Bechdel, [http://tansyrr.com/tansywp/clockwork-rocks-and-a-tragicomic/] Tales of the Tower: the Wilful Eye edited by Isobelle Carmody & Nan McNab, especially “Catastrophic Disruption of the Head” by Margo Lanagan, Nightsiders (twelve planets 1) by Sue Isle.

Pet Subject: Indie Press: Alisa talks Ebooks!

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs, check out Galactic Suburbia Podcast on Facebook and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes if you love us!

Strong Books Make Strong Girls

The title from this post is quoted from one of the comments in the threads over at Bitch Magazine – which I think is the best evidence I can give that it’s not all hysteria and piling-on. There’s some marvellous discussion and some really thoughtful posts over there, even if it’s slowly being lost among the noise as more and more people join the conversation.

It’s always disappointing when you’re in the middle of a conversation that to you seems quite robust and interesting, and the people around you suddenly start complaining that it’s too noisy, and asking questions like ‘why is this even important?’ and ‘why are you so angry?’ It reminds me of how many people dismissed RaceFail as a lot of people shouting at each other and getting everything wrong on both sides, and that it hadn’t achieved anything, while the group of people who had been all inspired and had their brains turned inside out and were making exciting plans to make the world better all blinked and went, “Excuse me?”

Conversations, sometimes, are noisy. Especially for those who came in late. So for those of you who did, here are some of the blog responses to the Bitch Magazine Thing.

In short: a magazine recommended some books. A couple of these books raised red flags with commenters – I believe roughly one commenter per book, though we were told there were also some emails. Three books were removed from the recommendation list for not being feminist enough, different reasons each time. And the internet went crazy.

Except it didn’t go that crazy. A lot of things were said, and many of those things were very important. It’s not about censorship, entirely, though that word is being flung around a lot (mostly by people who are saying ‘it’s not actually censorship’). But it is about the misrepresentation of books, about taking a single scene or excerpt and placing a really powerful and negative interpretation on that scene. No books have been banned, and yet, as Maureen Johnson pointed out, this is exactly HOW books get banned. This is the process, and the mindset that lets that happen.

So here we are, typing our brains out, defending books, because that is what we do. If Bitch Magazine had chosen not to recommend a few books that would have been fine, but because they recommended the books and then took that recommendation away, their reasons for doing so take on this huge weight, and it’s distressing to see that people will in fact walk away from the conversation believing that Tender Morsels is a book about rape as revenge (hint: it’s not) and Sisters Red is a book about rape culture (I haven’t read it, though I plan to, but many people have been distressed by this characterisation of the book as there is no rape in it) and Living Dead Girl as “torture porn” (again, I haven’t read it, but several commenters were very upset by this characterisation of the book).

This is a very roundabout way of saying that I have gathered some links of blog posts on the matter by a variety of smart people! It really is worth going back to read the comments on the original Bitch list because there are some marvellous ones – Penni Russon, Paolo Bacigalupi wrote two of my favourites, but there are also some excellent contributions from writers, readers, librarians and rape survivors. On the other hand, they are past 200 posts now and some of them are on the flaily or the ‘what are you all on about’ side, so I understand people choosing to give that a miss. [worth noting for those of you who take a deep breath before reading comments that they allow anonymous commenting and there isn’t a lot of moderation going on, though they are trying their best to jump in when threads turn antagonistic or abusive]

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Tender Morsels: Not Bitchy Enough

Bitch Magazine posted a list of 100 Young Adult Books for the Feminist Reader, which is a great thing, and it’s a fantastic list featuring a lot of really good books, and quite a bit of speculative fiction. The list included Tender Morsels, by Margo Lanagan, which you might recall I think is a really good book. So, hooray!

Except that, in response to a single commenter on their list who objected to the use of “rape as vengeance” in a scene in the book, the people behind the Bitch list reread the book and decided to remove it from the list, along with two others that had received complaints.

Several authors and readers, including Margo herself, have objected to this over Twitter. Some tweets have included:

@margolanagan Can’t quite believe this, but Bitch Magazine appear to have caved in and REMOVED TM from their 100 books list. http://tinyurl.com/4jx2qgd

@maureenjohnson Dear @BitchMedia, please put Tender Morsels back on the feminist YA list. You were right the first time.

@scottwesterfeld My comment on the @BitchMedia 100 Feminist YA Books do-over: http://tinyurl.com/499qdgr

@maureenjohnson Additional to @BitchMedia, please reconsider this position or please remove my book as well. @MargoLanagan is a great feminist author.

@Gwenda By the way, immediate outcry and rally against @BitchMedia’s actions? Just one reason the YA community rocks. #justsaying

@JonathanStrahan Is it just me, or does it sound like no-one at @bitchmedia has read any of the books on their own list?

@ColleenLinday Incredibly disappointed in @BitchMedia for removing both LIVING DEAD GIRL & TENDER MORSELS from this list: http://bit.ly/gbCsgO #growapair

@dianapeterfreund pausing in quest to soothe teething infant to request my novel be removed from @bitchmedia’s “safely feminist”list #bitchplease

@sarahockler: Your job is not to protect us from literature. Help us discover it. Engage us in conversation & debate. #bitchplease #speakloudly

(PS: the hashtag is awesome, guys, until you click it and realise how many people use the same hashtag WITHOUT IRONY. Ick.)

Scott Westerfeld, Maureen Johnson, Justine Larbalestier and Diana Peterfreund have all requested that their books be removed from the list, in protest to the removal of Tender Morsels.

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Announcement: The Twelve Planets

Who Are the Twelve Planets?

Margo Lanagan, Lucy Sussex, Rosaleen Love, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Deborah Biancotti, Kaaron Warren, Cat Sparks, Sue Isle, Kirstyn McDermott, Narrelle M Harris, Thoraiya Dyer, Stephanie Campisi.

What Are the Twelve Planets?

The Twelve Planets are twelve boutique collections by some of Australia’s finest short story writers. Varied across genre and style, each collection will offer four short stories and a unique glimpse into worlds fashioned by some of our favourite storytellers. Each author has taken the brief of 4 stories and up to 40 000 words in their own direction. Some are quartet suites of linked stories. Others are tasters of the range and style of the writer. Each release will bring something unexpected to our subscriber’s mailboxes.

When Are the Twelve Planets?

The Twelve Planets will spread over 2011 and 2012, with six books released between February and November each year.
The first three titles will be Nightsiders by Sue Isle (March), Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts (May) and the third collection will be by Lucy Sussex (July).

How to Receive the Twelve Planets

The Twelve Planets will be available for purchase in several ways:

Single collections will be priced at $20/$23 International each including postage.
A season’s pass will offer the three collections of the season for $50/$65 International including postage and each sent out on release.
Full subscriptions to the series are $180/$215 International including postage and each sent out on release.

More information relating to upgrades, ebooks and distribution will be made available in due course.


Tansy’s Note: I’ve discussed my collection on Galactic Suburbia before, but not on this blog. I didn’t like to say anything until it was formally announced! But I’m supremely excited to be among such marvellous company in my fellow authors, as well as being very proud of Love and Romanpunk itself – the book that thumbs its nose at my PhD in Classics. It’s a linked suite of four stories set in what I like to call the Agrippinaverse – and to know why I call it that, you’re just going to have to read the book!