Tag Archives: power and majesty

Creature Court Available in UK & US

The Creature Court trilogy is now available in the UK & US (& Canada too!) on the Kindle. This is hugely exciting for me, because it’s very hard for people outside Australia to access books that are only published here – bless the handful of you who utilised carrier pigeons, magic carpets and bricks-and-mortar to get hold of hard copies.

Hopefully HarperCollins will make the books available in other e-formats as well, later in the year. In the meantime, if Kindle is your e-reader of choice, go forth and explore the Creature Court!

I’d also appreciate any signal boosting my existing readers feel comfortable with – trying to promote the wider availability of books that have been out for some time is a tricky thing. I’m planning some fun promotional stuff over the next few weeks but in the mean time – if you have read the Creature Court and you liked it a lot, now would be a great time to tell others about it!

Book One – Power and Majesty
Book Two – The Shattered City
Book Three – Reign of Beasts

Creature Court Fashion Challenge: First Wave!

Glad to see some entrants right off the bat, especially as I forgot to put up an end date for the Creature Court Fashion Challenge (it’s 15th December, for those of you working on more long-term entries).  Remember, the earlier you enter, the more valuable your sneak peek of Reign of Beasts is.  Which, by the way, went to TYPESETTING today, hoorah!

Oh and for those of you outside Australia wanting to enter, yes, I will send postcards anywhere.  And I meant it when I said everyone’s a winner.   Get entering!


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Creature Court: the Contest

This one is for those of you who are hanging out for the release of Reign of Beasts, the third and final Creature Court novel. I wanted to do something personal to thank my readers who have been so supportive since the releases of Power and Majesty and The Shattered City, and to hopefully make up (a little bit) for the fact that the publishing date shifted, and you’re not holding the book in your hands RIGHT NOW.


All you have to do to enter is comment at the bottom of this post, or email me at creaturecourt (at) gmail.com with your entry. It can be in any medium: a sentence, a paragraph, a sketch, a craft project, whatever fits the challenge, which is:

Design or describe an outfit for one of the characters of the Creature Court novels to wear.


Everyone who enters the contest & provides me with a postal address (to creaturecourt (at) gmail.com – please don’t post addresses in comments) will receive a Creature Court postcard with a juicy snippet from Book 3 hand-written by me.

I printed the postcards specially for this contest – the images vary, and are based on photographs of the Creature Court themed crazy quilt I have been working on this year.

You can take the challenge as seriously or as flippantly as you choose! I look forward to seeing your entries. Unless you request otherwise, I will post your entries on my blog, either at tansyrr.com or creaturecourt.com. If you wish me to remove them from public display at any time, just ask.


UPDATE: Competition is open until 15th December or until I run out of postcards, whichever comes first!

Reading at the Reading Room!

I am taking part in an event at 2pm on Sunday afternoon at the Reading Room, a fabulous exhibit at the Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery.

A bunch of local writers will each be reading very short (a couple of minute) excerpts from their books.

I’ve been wanting to attend this exhibit since I first heard about it, and this is pretty much my last chance as it is ending on the 16th October.

Oh, and I’ll be reading the bit from Power & Majesty where the naked men fall out of the sky.

THE READING ROOM is an immersive, interactive environment about the magic world of books and reading. The gallery walls are painted red and are lined with thousands and thousands of books. There are comfy chairs and couches so you can sit back and listen to over 60 people from all walks of life in Tasmania reading a passage from one of their favourite books, or you can pick up a book and start reading yourself! There is also an ancient, Hermetic phrase on the walls of the gallery, hovering above the books. It is spelled out with convex mirrors and says ‘AS IT IS BELOW, SO IT IS ABOVE’.

Legendary Cover

The trouble with podcasting with Galactic Suburbia once a fortnight is that I tend to wipe my brain clear after every episode, which might explain (somewhat) why I totally failed to congratulate Olof Erla Einarsdottir here on the blog for winning the David Gemmell Ravenheart Award for the cover of Power and Majesty. Hooray! It’s very exciting to have a book only available in Australia and New Zealand take out an international fan-voted award, and lovely that so many people agree with me that it’s a rather gorgeous cover.

I only met David Gemmell once, at PhanCon where it was announced that my first novel Splashdance Silver had won the George Turner Prize. He was a marvellous, funny and warm public speaker, and had the privilege of sitting close enough at dinner to hear he and Terry Pratchett arguing amiably with each other over whether there was any reason to divide a book into chapters, and whether chocolate or fruit based desserts were preferable.

I’ve been really pleased with Olof Erla’s work on all three covers for The Creature Court trilogy – can’t wait to share the third with you all. Anyone want to guess who is featured on the cover of ‘Reign of Beasts’ and what colour frock they might be wearing?

UPDATE: Voyager have posted some pics of Olof Erla at the ceremony! Wheee!

DOUBLE UPDATE: Sean the Blogonaut pointed me to Olof Erla’s website.

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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Indulge Me?

There have been some lovely reviews (and sort of not reviews) of my work around this week. I am grateful for all of them! Having books which are talked about is an utterly joyful thing. Feel free to skip if any mention of my books is making you roll your eyes at this point. I promise plenty of Xena, Agatha Christie and gender politics blogging to come!

Over at Salon Futura, Cheryl Morgan says some excellent things about Power and Majesty. I was astonished to hear she was reading and reviewing it at all, since it’s not a book generally available outside Australia and New Zealand. (an email this week made me crazy happy, from a US reader who heard about me from a guest blog I wrote last year, asked his parents who were travelling through NZ to pick up a copy of P&M for me, and they did so after visiting 3 different shops to find it – how awesome is that? Luckily he liked the book, otherwise that would have been embarrassing) Cheryl calls me brave in my writing choices, and has some beautiful explanation of what my books actually do. She also provides some very grabbable quotes:

“Fans of Storm Constantine might find a lot to interest them in this collection of fashionable, sexy, dangerous misfits.”

“As fans of the Galactic Suburbia podcast might expect, it is also a feminist book. “

Publishers are always complaining that they can’t find anything new, fresh and interesting to offer their audiences, and yet this book is not available in the UK or USA. I cannot for the life of me understand why.

I always feel guilty when people overseas want to get hold of my work and can’t, at least not easily. Here’s hoping Creature Court is snapped up by one of those lovely US or UK publishers who agree with Cheryl that it should be more widely available!

A little closer to home, Random Alex has reviewed (or rather, not-reviewed) Love and Romanpunk – I’m glad she did write up her thoughts about this book, given that I dedicated it to her and all, but completely understand her hesitation to claim it as a real review. Still, at least she declares her biases! I think my favourite bit in the post is her response to what I did with Caligula in “Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary,” which I will quote here because the other review of this book I’m going to quote from didn’t like that story at all (YES, BEN, LOOKING AT YOU):

“The first story in this collection is “Julia Agrippina’s Secret Bestiary.” It gives a potted history of the Caesar family… with added monsters. I really enjoyed Tansy’s characterisation of the various members of this crazy family. She captures an essence, I think, of the various emperors and their wives/sisters/mothers that actually rings quite true. I particularly liked that although Gaius – Caligula – is shown to be a bit nuts eventually, he’s handled much more sensitively than most other fictional representations bother. Of course. And the monsters made a bizarre sort of sense; they fit in delightfully well with the overall vibe of the story.”

Then there’s Ben Payne’s review – and all teasing aside, Ben is one of those people whom I absolutely rely on to be honest about what he likes and doesn’t like about my work. He’s also been reading me & paying attention to my short fiction for a lot longer than most people – having edited my work before he even knew me, back in the old Andromeda Spaceways days!

Which is why this bit, in particular, bowled me over:

“I have been thinking for a while about how to best sum up Love and Romanpunk. In some ways it delivered what I expected, but in others it surprised me. I expected this book to be smart, to know its history, to have a sense of fun, and some laughs, and some steamy romance. Those things are almost Tansy trademarks. And it does have all those things, but in the end, all of those things felt almost peripheral to the things I liked most about the collection.

What’s not often talked about, with Tansy’s writing, is the fact that there is a real emotional courage to her best works, a sense that she is ready to get into her gumboots and rubber gloves and muck about in the messiest, ugliest, most confusing of human emotions and relationships, and to try to find a path through them. It’s that depth of emotion, sometimes sweet, but just as often brutal and painful, that drives the best of these stories into being something a cut above the majority of works out there. The fact that they are also smart, and fun, is just the icing on the cake.”

With comments like that, I can totally forgive him for not liking my Agrippina story!

There haven’t been many reviews for The Shattered City yet, though it is interesting to note how many people are reading and reviewing P&M now that the second book is out. I have been eyeing the responses on Goodreads, though. Would it be far too self-indulgent to put up a post where people who have read Book #2 could comment about the surprisey bits without worrying about spoiling anyone?

On Awards, At Length

As I mentioned earlier, the awards night on Sunday (full results here) was a very emotional one for me! And brought in a rather hefty stack of what we football fans refer to as ‘silverware’ for myself and some very good friends. I’ve been to a lot of Ditmar ceremonies over the last decade or more that I’ve been attending cons, and this is only the second time that I’ve had fiction even nominated, so to win Best Novel with what is, let’s face it, my ‘comeback’ novel, means a lot to me.

Especially because this year’s shortlist was so strong, made up of books I love and works by writers I really respect (didn’t quite manage to read the whole shortlist before I got to the con) and I would have been genuinely glad to see any of those novels win.

But I’m so proud of Power and Majesty, and so pleased by its overall reception, and it’s hard not to be supremely grateful that people are

Winning the William Atheling for Criticism and Review for my Modern Women’s Guide to Classic Who was also deeply meaningful to me – I love this blog, and writing reviews, and you all know how I feel about Doctor Who & feminist commentary, so the fact that it was that particular series of posts that earned me another shiny trophy is something I feel very good about. Having a set of book ends like this does suggest I’m doing a good job of balancing my professional and fannish work!

Then there are the awards I shared – Galactic Suburbia won the Ditmar for Best Fan Publication in Any Medium, and the Tin Duck (Western Australia specific fan award) for Fan Production. As you can see, both sets of awards don’t have a problem with the ‘are podcasts fanzines’ debate! I had been delighted to see GS nominated for these awards along with many other podcasts because I tend to see the awards shortlists as important historical documents, and it was lovely to see the ‘year of Australian podcasts’ commemorated in this way. But much though I love all of our fellow podcasters (and projects) I was awfully delighted about these ones. We love our podcast and it has been completely humbling both at Swancon this weekend and at Worldcon last year to have so many people come up to us and say “you changed the way I read.”

Considering feminist commentary is often thought of as a rather niche concern, it’s also very exciting how often those people are men, though I have to say it’s no less awesome to hear women tell me the effect that Galactic Suburbia has had on the way they look at things.

Finally I had a very small share of the Ditmar for “Best Achievement” which was won by last year’s Snapshot. Yes, another new media project! Taking part in the Snapshot is always frantic and exciting, and inspiring at the same time. Last year, it was Kathryn Linge who took the helm, organising and encouraging us all, and while many of us have our name on that award (and we all got to kiss Sean Williams when accepting it, of course!) she was the one who put in the hard yards to make it happen.

So you know it wasn’t just about me, I was also squealing and whooping about many of the other winners. Alisa puts in so much work at Twelfth Planet Press, and I think has really lifted the bar of what we expect from indie SF press in Australia – I loved Sprawl, and I think it’s her best anthology yet, so hooray for her taking out the ‘Best Collection’ Ditmar and ‘Best Professional Production’ Tin Duck. Other Sprawl related awards included Amanda Rainey getting the Tin Duck for Best Professional Artwork for the cover art, Pete Kempshall getting the Tin Duck for Best Short Story for “Signature Walk,” and Cat Sparks’ “All The Love in the World” (one of my favourite stories from last year!) getting one of two Best Short Story Ditmars (tying for first place with Kirstyn McDermott’s “She Said” from Tales From the Second Storey).

Random Alex and Tehani have both been reviewing furiously and consistently for some years now, and so it was exciting to see them take out the Ditmar for Fan Writer and Tin Duck for Fan Written, respectively. I also yippeed for Thoraiya Dyer (whose “Yowie” from Sprawl is up for an Aurealis Award) getting Best New Talent. I not only love Thoraiya’s work, but have been excited to see how quickly she has gone from first publication and first award noms last year to – with her sale to Cosmos early this year – her first pro sale. All that plus her excellent TPP stories! Thoraiya caused many people to go “awwww” when she took her 2 year old daughter on stage for both of her Ditmars, the other being for “The Company Articles of Edward Teach” – this was a story I really loved last year, and thought would fall under the radar because it was published so late in the year. So hooray for that too!

Fan Artist of the Ditmar went to Amanda Rainey too, in this case for the Swancon 36 logo, which I have to say is hard to argue with when you’re staring at the gorgeous design of this year’s Ditmar & Tin Duck trophies (in true cyclical fandom tradition, she designed this year’s trophies featuring said logo, and promptly won several of them). She also tied for first place with Christina Lorenz for Fan Artist in the Tin Ducks. Amanda’s been doing such great work in the SF community over the last few years, mostly unpaid despite her high professional skills, and it’s lovely to see her time and effort rewarded with some trophy love.

Oh and yes, Shaun Tan and Andrew Ruhemann won for “some short film” as Jonathan charmingly put it, while presenting the award. It was one of those things where – well, it would have been completely embarrassing if anything other than the Oscar winner had taken the prize, though it would have been rather amusing if Shaun had beat himself with his other nominated work.

Back to the Tin Ducks, I think the only award I haven’t mentioned is Juliet Mariller’s Best Long Form for Seer of Sevenwaters – I loved her original Sevenwaters book, and didn’t know this one existed, so hooray for awards, now I can seek it out!

There were a few other non-affiliated awards, of which the one of most interest to me was the NORMA, of course. This year it was won by A A Bell’s Diamond Eyes, which I shall promptly seek out. The thing that seems most interesting to me up front is that they changed the award this year to include disability along with race, gender, etc. as themes that the award was looking for, and it seems from the blurb I have read that disability is a strong theme in this particular book. Watch this space for my feedback!

OK I have to go now and record another Galactic Suburbia, so I will just close by saying that it would be hard to beat the energy and love and positive vibes that I felt in the room when I picked up my own awards, and cheered on so many of my friends and colleagues while they did the same. So many smiles, so much genuine happiness! There was a time when I definitely did not feel as much a part of this community as I do today, and it was just plain nice to have so many people express their support. I do apologise for my (honestly I don’t remember what I said) rather garbled thank you speech, but I was so completely overwhelmed at that point that I’m surprised I was able to form words. That was probably the only moment of the con when I really wished I had after all brought my honey and my daughters all that way on the plane with me, so they could be a part of it all.

This whole winning trophies thing is aces, but it’s really, really new to me, as is this huge wave of excitement about my work. I am well aware that it’s not something that happens every year in a writer’s bumpy career, so intend to enjoy it while I can.

Nice Things

Power and Majesty is now both an Aurealis Awards shortlisted book AND a Ditmar shortlisted book. How awesome is that?

I’m also rather pleased to be on fan shortlists for my Modern Woman’s Guide To Classic Who blog posts, and especially for Galactic Suburbia. How exciting! The Fan Production category has turned into a podcastapalooza which is marvellous (the only non podcast there is ASiF, another project I love). Listening to podcasts has become one of my primary interactions with fandom and criticism, and it’s really special to see the Year of Aussie SF Podcasts honoured in that shortlist.

In other news, some of my favourite fiction from last year is on the shortlists too! I loved Trent’s book, and all the other novel nominees are teetering near the top of my To Read pile. I’m glad to see Cat Sparks’ “All The Love In The World” on there, which was one of my favourite Aussie stories last year. Nice also that Thoraiya Dyer’s “The Company Articles of Edward Teach” made it on, as it was a very late release in 2010 and I thought people would miss how great it was. Thoraiya made Best New Talent, too, which I wanted to see last year, though admittedly I was in the position of having read some of the great stories she hadn’t published yet. Since then she’s not only had some good stuff published for Twelfth Planet Press but also sold a story to pro market Cosmos! Looking down the lists, there are people I love and respect all over these Ditmars. How wonderful!

Congratulations to all the nominees. I look forward to seeing most of you at Swancon for the ceremony!

In other Nice Things News, a few reviews have flitted past my screen this week: a very thoughtful review analysis of Power and Majesty (it’s so nice when readers completely get what I was doing with my characters, and I love how she described Ashiol as being a Bruce Wayne type) and a nice little teaser review of “Relentless Adaptations” from Sprawl.

Full Ditmar Ballot below:
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Books with iiiii

My honey called me from work today to tell me he had bought my book again – in e-form, from the iBooks store.

“There are IBOOKS for sale in the IBOOKS store?” I repeated, very excited.

Because yes, having Power and Majesty as an e-book is super exciting, and not something I knew about in advance at all, but I’m almost as completely excited that after half a year sharing a house with an iPad, nearly a year owning an iPod Touch and about a month or so with my own iPhone (it’s kind of adorable, but my honey didn’t have a single Mac product when we first got together and now he practically hurls them into the household at superspeed) it was now, finally, possible to buy ebooks that didn’t come from Project Gutenberg.

Not that I’m knocking Project Gutenberg, I love me some free old books, but sometimes you want more than just the first two Agatha Christies, you know?

So yes. Apple is finally getting the ebook thing happening in Australia. And Power and Majesty is RIGHT THERE on the front line. This is kinda squeeworthy! I am a little disappointed in the layout and design of the iBooks store – it’s not nearly as tantalising and enticing as iTunes, and while the searchability is excellent, I like a bit more razzle dazzle when I’m browsing for purchases. But early days. I hope it will get shinier as more books and publishers get involved.

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