Tag Archives: voyager

Friday Links Loves Talking Ponies

So the big SF news on the internet this week is apparently not the release of the Clarke Award shortlist, but that Christopher Priest does not approve of the Clarke Award shortlist. Scalzi and Charles Tan discuss both the rant itself and the responses to it. Cheryl Morgan looks at the piece as part of a larger tradition of deciding award decisions are WRONG.

Personally, as someone who has judged a bunch of awards, I think that critiquing shortlists is fair game, because there’s no completely objective definition of ‘best’, but suggesting that the decisions are wrong, incompetent or should in some way not count is the height of arrogance because, you know, THERE’S NO COMPLETELY OBJECTIVE DEFINITION OF BEST. And it’s amazing how often these critiques come down to “people with different opinions to me are stupid/wrong” which isn’t an overly healthy attitude. At the point you’re suggesting that the judges should be fired and their decisions overturned… gah. No. Not okay.

On the other hand, internet rants are fascinating when they’re happening to other people. So there’s that. And sometimes there are t-shirts. By far the most measured, well-crafted and nuanced response I have seen in response to the Priest post, however (and one which made me seriously reconsider my use of the word ‘rant’) is by Catherynne Valente, who brings up all kinds of really interesting angles to the story that I hadn’t considered before. I really think she is becoming one of our most important commentators on the field.

Speaking of nuanced criticism, Maggie Stiefvater’s first response to the Hunger Games film and the audience she saw the movie with is really interesting. Certainly worth considering if you’re over all the ‘it should have been more violent’ complaints of the movie.

There’s a great discussion on the Australian Women Writers blog about romance, and whether it’s feminist or not, being a genre all about women’s point of view (readers, writers and characters), but one that sometimes promotes unfeminist ideas. (You mean supporting women’s rights to CHOOSE what they read even if it’s bad for them might be feminist???)

Jennifer Mills interrogates the gender essentialism that sometimes surrounds discussions of women’s writing.

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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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Snaphot 2010: Jennifer Fallon

Jennifer Fallon is the author of the Tide Lords series, the Second Sons trilogy and the Hythrun Chronicles, as well as writing tie-ins for Stargate and Zorro and has created a superhero for the Chick in Capes Anthology. She also has short stories coming out this year in Baggage and Jack Dann’s Legends of Australian Fantasy.

Jennifer has just moved from Central Australia to New Zealand where she plans to run writer’s workshops (as soon as her furniture arrives).

1. You’ve had a big upheaval recently! What inspired you to move from the Northern Territory to New Zealand and set up the Reynox International Writer’s Retreat? What are you hoping this first year will bring you?

The idea for the writers’ centre has been a dream of mine for many years. I am also fortunate enough that, thanks to writing, I have the resources to pretty much live and work wherever I want. I fell in love with New Zealand when I was over here for the world premiere of the 3rd Lord of the Rings movie in 2003. I made an offer back then, actually, on one of the properties they used in the film but the accountant who owned the place didn’t want to sell.

Ever since then I’ve had my eye on the place. I did some research about the best location to be (you know… no volcanoes or tectonic plate fault lines… that sort of thing) and came up with the Canterbury region in the South Island. It was then just a matter of waiting until the right property came up.

2. The first decade of this century saw you publish 14 novels, which is an extraordinary achievement. What have you learned about writing and the writing life in that time? Would you do any of it differently?

I read an interview once with Alex Hailey, the author of Roots where he was asked a very similar question. His answer was “type faster”.

My answer would have to be… not much. Everything I have done, or has happened to me this past decade, has influenced who I am and what I write. Changing anything would have altered this, and given I’m pretty happy with where I am and what I’m writing, I would be a fool to wish for it to be different.

I have learned that I must have an ending before I begin committing a story to paper. And I would perhaps, given the last ten years to live over, be a little more circumspect on my blog, and try not piss off a powerful and influential international editor whose wrath seems somewhat… disproportionate… to my crime… but hey… I wouldn’t be me if I didn’t put my foot in occasionally.

3. Your next series, the Rift Runners, won’t be published until 2012-14. Is this long delay so you can write the whole series before it begins publication? What stage are you at with the books, and what can you tell us about them?

I’m not sure where you’re getting those dates. My understanding is that book 1, The Undivided, is due out in March 2011. I have to deliver the first book in a couple of months. The delay is so I could have the time to develop the world fully, without cutting corners or having the pressure of a deadline I couldn’t meet. I knew when I signed the contracts that I would be relocating, so that was factored into the timeframe. I won’t start book 2 until book 1 is delivered and accepted.

4. Which Australian writers or work would you like to see on the Hugo shortlists this year?

All of them.

5. Are you planning to go to Aussiecon 4 in September? If so, what are you most looking forward to?

Yes, I’m planning to be there. As for what I’m looking forward to, I’d the only thing I can say for certain is catching up with the other writers I know. The rest of it I haven’t even spared a thought about. I have 4 Supanovas, two books to deliver and a writers’ retreat to organise before then, I don’t even have the furniture in my house yet.


Previously in Snapshot: Marianne De Pierres, Richard Harland, Karen Miller, Margo Lanagan, Ben Peek, Narelle Harris, Paul Collins, Damien Broderick, Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Angela Slatter, Dion Hamill, Garth Nix, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Trudi Canavan, Thoraiya Dyer, Keith Stevenson, Juliet Marillier, Gillian Polack, Jason Fischer, Alisa Krasnostein, Tehani Wessely, Amanda Rainey, Justine Larbalestier, Rowena Cory Daniells, Glenda Larke, Adrian (K.A.) Bedford, Kaaron Warren, Nicole Murphy, D.M. Cornish, Deborah Kalin, Jonathan Strahan, Alan Baxter, Gary Kemble, Lezli Robyn, Kate Eltham, Robert Hoge, Will Elliott, Trent Jamieson, Felicity Dowker, Jack Dann, Lee Battersby, Peter M Ball, Nyssa Pascoe, Lucy Sussex, Andrew McKiernan, Amanda Pillar, Deborah Biancotti, Kim Falconer, Gabrielle Wang, Kim Wilkins, Paul Haines, Karen Healey, Stephanie Campisi, Stuart Mayne, Christopher Lynch, Simon Petrie, Alison Goodman, Russell Blackford, Rhonda Roberts, Ben Payne, Christopher Green, Kylie Chan, K.J. Taylor, Robbie Matthews, Kirstyn McDermott, Russell Farr, Simon Haynes, Kate Orman, Cat Sparks, Sean Williams, Penni Russon, Robert Hood

Snapshot interviews will be blogged from Monday 15th until Sunday 22nd Feb.

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