Tag Archives: siren beat

WFSFA SPA = still awesome

Winning the WSFA Small Press Award last year for Siren Beat (accepted in Washington by my awesome publisher Alisa) was one of the highlights of my year, and gave me huge confidence to spend a goodly chunk of this year turning Nancy Napoleon, angsty damaged heroine, and her world of sea monsters and irresponsible gods into a novel.

So I’m delighted to see another strong, diverse shortlist for this year’s prize and particularly that another Australian indie publisher is represented here, Tehani Wessely’s Fablecroft.

It’s a wonderful award and comes with a FREAKING BEAUTIFUL TROPHY, so I wish all the finalists the very best of luck.

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Tansy Reads Agrippina: Republic Reading 2 October 2011

Tasmanians all take note! I’m reading at the Republic Bar on Sunday 2 October, along with first time novelist Cameron Hindrum. The event goes from 3-5 PM.

My plan is to read from Love and Romanpunk, probably the opening Agrippina story, because seriously that story was made to be read aloud. I’m really looking forward to it. If you haven’t been to a Republic Reading before, they are very fun and relaxed, you can have a drink or something to eat, hang out and listen to stuff. They also have an open reading towards the end of the session – I think they used to put it in the middle but then everyone used to leave straight away and not stick around for the featured readers. Heh.

The event is about as family friendly as stuff in pubs is – which is a whole lot friendlier than it used to be thanks to the glorious smoking ban – and I’m pretty sure my kids will be there. Hmm. Not sure how family friendly what I *read* will be, so if you have smart old-enough-to-get-smutty-references kids you might want to take that into account. Or bring headphones for them. But you can rest assured I will not be reading anything that I couldn’t in front of my six year old.

Oh dear. Maybe I have to re-think the story. Eh, I’ll just let her play with my iPhone, she won’t hear a word I’m reading.


DATE: Sunday 2 October
TIME: 3-5 PM
PLACE: Republic Bar, North Hobart, TAS
RSVP: Nope, just turn up.
COST: Free!
WILL COPIES OF LOVE & ROMANPUNK AND SIREN BEAT BE AVAILABLE FOR SALE: Hell yes! Not officially or anything, but I’ll have a stack of both books propped precariously beside my cute children.

Galactic Suburbia #19 The Greco Roman Edition Show Notes

New episode is up on iTunes! You can also download it directly, or stream it from our Galactic Suburbia site.

While Alisa is away, Alex & Tansy play… in ANCIENT GREECE! We talk awards, the end of publishing as we know it, stressful feminist debates, Vonda McIntyre, Twitter fiction, Stargate, and whether there’s enough Greek & Roman mythology in modern fantasy.

Tansy wins WSFA Small Press Award for Siren Beat

Last Drink Bird Head Award Winners

John Joseph Adams takes over from Cat Rambo & Sean Wallace as editor of Fantasy Magazine

Realms of Fantasy dies – farewell notes from the publisher and editor Shawna McCarthy

Wiscon committee disappoints through inaction
and then finally moves to disinvite Elizabeth Moon as GoH
(warning, many of the comments on that one are pretty awful to wade through)
Reaction posts from Cheryl Morgan and Catherynne M Valente.

Paul Collins on how the ebook revolution isn’t working so well

Cat Valente on tedium, evil, and why the term ‘PC’ is only used these days to hurt and silence
Peter M Ball on how white male privilege uses requests for civility to silence the legitimate anger of others.

on Vonda McIntyre’s “Dreamsnake”, a controversial Hugo winning novel from 1979 which has been out of print for 10 years and an interview with Vonda McIntyre about the book.

What have we been reading/listening to?

Tansy – Death Most Definite, Trent Jamieson; Blameless, Gail Carriger, Bleed by Peter M Ball, “Twittering the Universe” by Mari Ness, Shine & “Clockwork Fairies” by Cat Rambo, Tor.com.

Alex – Silver Screen, Justina Robson; Sprawl; Deep Navigation, Alastair Reynolds; The Beginning Place, Ursula le Guin.
abandoned Gwyneth Jones’ Escape Plans
listening to The 5th Race, ep 1 (Stargate SG1 fan podcast).

Pet Subject
Classical mythology in modern fantasy. Can it still work? Do you have to get it ‘right’?

Book mentioned:
The Firebrand, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Medea, Cassandra, Electra by Kerry Greenwood
Olympic Games, Leslie What
Dan Simmons’ Ilium and Olympos
Gods Behaving Badly, Marie Phillips
Troy, Simon Brown
Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad and Jeanette Winterson’s Weight, also David Malouf’s Ransom – along the same lines as Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin
Robert Holdstock’s Celtika, Iron Grail, Broken Kings

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs or on Facebook, and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes!


Some of the more astute among you may have worked out that Alisa Krasnostein is over in Washington DC at the moment, where she just attended the prizegiving ceremony at Capclave. I’m delighted to announce that my story “Siren Beat,” published by Alisa last year, has just won the Washington SF Association Small Press Short Fiction Award.

Not only is this an enormous honour, there is also a trophy! How brilliant is that? I’ve never won a trophy before.

Here is the speech I gave Alisa to read, although apparently there was unlicensed adlibbing and the getting of laughs, so who knows what she actually said! *grins*

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Fury Happy Dance

The exciting news for this week is that I got an Australia Council grant for $30,000 to write my next novel. Obviously this has me bouncing off walls, for many reasons. It’s basically a year’s income, which is a huge deal. And of course one of the expenses it can cover is baby daycare – TIME, PRECIOUS TIME TO WRITE. It’s also the most (so far) I have ever earned for a single title, and this before I have actually sold the book to a publisher. Or, you know, written it.

It’s also exciting because it’s for an urban fantasy novel, and I take it as further evidence that spec fic work is starting to gain some ground in being taken seriously by Australian grants bodies. I know mine is by no means the only spec fic work to gain a grant (particular hoorays to Gary Kemble who also got one this year!) but I remember when I was first starting out, and it was almost unheard of for a fantasy writer to get this kind of support from the Australia Council – it hardly seemed worth applying. Things have changed a lot in the last decade, but it’s still extra squeeful to have got a “literature” grant for a novel that is going to be rife with tentacles, mermaids and sexy sea ponies.

And that leads me into the most exciting part…

The book in question is FURY, the first Nancy Napoleon novel, featuring the character I created for my various-award-nominated Twelfth Planet Press novelette “Siren Beat”. I’m bringing more seamonsters to Hobart, baby!

Here’s a sneak peek from my grant app:

Nancy Napoleon is unlike any heroine I have written before. Through her I intend to explore such themes as immortality, gender roles in contemporary fantasy, disability, and the grieving process. Nancy and her sister Sylvie have guarded the docks of Hobart for over a century. Theirs was a life of careless heroics, adventures, sex, music, and laughter. But three years ago, the kraken invaded the docks. In the battle, Sylvie was killed, and Nancy so badly injured that she still walks with a cane. She faces a future of immortality with a damaged, degenerating body, and without the one person she has ever really loved. The only one left who might understand some of what she is going through is Nick Cadmus, Sylvie’s kelpie lover, but he has fallen back into his old habits, drowning in addiction even as Nancy throws herself into her work – the same work she has always done. Protecting her city.

In “Siren Beat,” Sylvie attempted to find her way back into the mortal world, and Nancy was forced to stop her. She is responsible for her sister’s second death, and she feels it deeply.

In Fury, I intend to develop the characters from “Siren Beat” into a substantial novel. Still haunted by her sister, both literally and figuratively, Nancy tries to help Erin, a teenage girl who is desperate to stop herself transforming into a winged creature of legend… Nancy can’t afford to draw the attention of the Furies, vengeful champions of the dead, but once she realises that is exactly what Erin is turning into, she has no choice but to help her – and for that she will have to call in favours from the sea king himself, no matter how much it will cost to pay him back. She will also have to try to save Nick Cadmus before he destroys himself… because she can’t take another death on her conscience.

So, once the big summer holidays are over and school goes back, I’m going to be writing Nancy Napoleon. Eeeeeeeeeeee! That’s next year taken care of, then.

Because Small (cough, Indie) Press is Awesome

Thanks to Jonathan Strahan for pointing me towards this shortlist on the Capclave blog. Being nominated for an award like this, outside my own country, is super exciting. I really do love Siren Beat, and Alisa, Dion and Amanda did such a fantastic job of producing a beautiful book for it to live in.

Also, how fantastic is it to have an award especially for stories published by small presses?


The Washington Science Fiction Association is pleased to announce the finalists for the 2010 WSFA Small Press Award for Short Fiction (published in 2009):

“each thing i show you is a piece of my death” by Gemma Files and Stephen J. Barringer, published in Clockwork Phoenix 2, edited by Mike Allen, Norilana Books (July 2009).

“Images of Anna” by Nancy Kress, published in Fantasy Magazine, edited by Cat Rambo (September 2009).

“James and the Dark Grimoire” by Kevin Lauderdale, published in Cthulhu Unbound, edited by Thomas Brannan and John Sunseri, Permuted Press, (March 2009).

“Race to the Moon” by Kyell Gold, published in New Fables, Summer 2009, edited by Tim Susman, Sofawolf Press (July 2009).

“Sinner, Baker, Fabulist, Priest; Red Mask, Black Mask, Gentleman, Beast” by Eugie Foster, published in Interzone (January 2009) / Apex Magazine (August 2009), edited by Andy Cox (Interzone)/ Catherynne M. Valente (Apex).

“Siren Beat” by Tansy Rayner Roberts, published in Twelfth Planet Press, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (October 2009).

“The Pirate Captain’s Daughter” by Yoon Ha Lee, published in Beneath Ceaseless Skies Issue #27, 10/08/2009, edited Scott H. Andrews.

“The Very Difficult Diwali of Sub-Inspector Gurushankar Rajaram” by Jeff Soesbe, published in DayBreak Magazine, edited by Jetse de Vries (October 2009).

The award honors the efforts of small press publishers in providing a critical venue for short fiction in the area of speculative fiction. The award showcases the best original short fiction published by small presses in the previous year (2009). An unusual feature of the selection process is that all voting is done with the identity of the author (and publisher) hidden so that the final choice is based solely on the quality of the story.

The winner is chosen by the members of the Washington Science Fiction Association (www.wsfa.org) and will be presented at their annual convention, Capclave (www.capclave.org), held this year on October 22-24th in Rockville, Maryland.

Not All Mothers Want Cookbooks and Trinkets

Twelfth Planet Press has a new webstore set up and are celebrating with a Mother’s Day sale!


TPP Mothers Day Sale!

1. Preorder Glitter Rose* and/or Horn and buy Roadkill/Siren Beat or Angel Rising for $6 plus postage.


2. Buy any 3 books** and buy Roadkill/Siren Beat or Angel Rising for $6 plus postage.

Offers till May 7, 2010

* All prior preorders of Glitter Rose will be honoured.
** Cost of postage will be corrected on payment.


The erudite Peter M Ball rather charmingly sums up Siren Beat/Roadkill: “which delivers Tansy Rayner Roberts’ Hobart noir novelette with a tentacle-squick filling and Robert Shearman’s novelette of desperately uncomfortable, captivating weirdness in one convenient package“. He also points out that Dirk Flinthart’s Angel Rising has warrior nuns in it.

I’m a big fan of Mother’s Day sales which have nothing to do with chocolates, flowers or anything lavender-scented. Some of us (and we all know who we are) really do have mothers who are much more interested in kraken, sexy sea-ponies, warrior nuns and Byronic superheroes. And since most of you were of course planning to pre-order the gorgeous boutique collection by Marianne De Pierres after all (you KNOW you want to, so you can put it on a shelf beside the other collections by Australian women coming out this year – Cat Sparks, Angela Slatter, Kaaron Warren…) this sale is the perfect opportunity!

The Wrong Kind of Green

Deborah Biancotti has written a gorgeous essay about how creepy, horrific, threatening and generally unfriendly she finds the Australian landscape. It’s a brilliant piece of writing, undercutting and at the same time contributing to a couple of centuries of problematic attempts by writers and artists to describe, capture and define something that is pretty damn alien.

I remember hearing a story of a “genius” English painter who came out to Australia to capture the landscape, only to discover that we had the wrong kind of green. Not in paint, you understand. The trees were the wrong kind of green. Traditionally, most 19th century Australian painters approached our landscape as if it was – well, England, only without the hedgehogs.

I’m sure every country and culture has an idealised literary tradition to rail against. (Have you read a Beatrix Potter lately? Jemima Puddleduck, for example, rivals Tess of the D’Urbervilles for a place on the list of “books that make you want to kill yourself.”) But there’s something about Australia – the combination of fear and dread and danger and shame… the fact that even someone my age was so swamped with British culture that I have struggled to understand or appreciate any of the Great Australian Authors.

I live in Tasmania, which is completely unlike most of the rest of Australia. The thing, though, about Australia, is that just about everywhere is unlike most of the rest of Australia. The idea of some kind of collective identity seems strange. I remember when I and the other ROR writers were putting our series bible and pitch for the Lost Shimmaron series – we all lived in different parts of Australia, but we needed a town to base all the stories in. For the sake of appealing to as wide a range of Australian kids as possible, we needed somewhere generic, but you know, there is no generic Australian town, or generic Australian experience. There’s a big difference between living in Queensland, or New South Wales, or Tasmania, and that’s even before you get to the great divide between the eastern and western states.

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Reading Nancy

Feeling wrecked at the end of a long day, and a longer weekend. My honey and I have both dabbled in the life of a solo parent and found it not to our liking. Soooo much better to be able to swap out when the children are driving you crazy. I’m definitely happy to have my family under the one roof again.

(I ate an entire schnitzel lunch one-handed today, because Jem wanted joggling. This is what the second parent is for!!)

Meanwhile, Edit Boot Camp brought me 46 scenes edited in 3 days (yes, the 46 shortest scenes, that’s not the point) as well as several new ones written. The total so far for Get Book Finished month is:

70 / 180

Not bad at all.

I read a chunk of Siren Beat at the Republic Bar today. It went well, though it was a smaller crowd than usual – the poets spurned us for a fancier gig! The girls held up remarkably well – Raeli had just got in from a four hour drive from her Nanna and Poppa’s house on the north west coast, and Jem is, well, a six month old baby. There were no screaming fits from either of them. Bonus.

I enjoyed reading the story – I’ve tried before (for a podcast) but felt overly selfconscious trying to find Nancy Napoleon’s voice. And then, you know, three weeks of throat infections. Today it just seemed to work, the right amount of deadpan, sarcasm and pathos. I managed to stop reading before I got to any of the smutty parts, which was a good call because blushing is embarrassing. Still, it was fun – maybe I can have another go at that podcast.

My favourite part was, after all my loving detail of teenage corpses, kraken invasion and character deaths, when I walked away from the microphone, Raeli announced in a loud clear voice: “That was a lovely story, Mummy.”

Yeah, it’s probably time I stopped assuming she’s not paying attention to grown up stuff, isn’t it…

We couldn’t stay for the second half of readings at the Republic, because my well-behaved baby was on the verge of falling apart, and there’s only so much luck-pushing one can, well, push. But it was a good afternoon.