Tag Archives: Australian

Retro Review: Wings of Wrath (2009)

Celia (CS) Friedman

Orbit (2009)

ISBN: 978 1 84149 533 0

The Magister Trilogy #2

Kamala is the only female Magister in a brotherhood of magicians – except that most of them don’t know she exists and has accessed the secret of their power. Outsiders don’t know the secrets of the Magisters, so Kamala is a massive threat to their supremacy, being not only a woman, but not being as constrained by the rules that bind the rest of them to keep their secrets. Kamala has secrets of her own, and is forced to keep her powers hidden under the guise of witchery, the only other option for a woman with her abilities. She has proven to herself and her master that she can hold her own as a Magister, but the events unfolding before her test her will and her own self-belief. Continue reading

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Belatedly, my 2016 Snapshot interviews!

Things have been a bit bonkers lately, with a heck of a lot going on at work and home. One of those things earlier in August was the Aust SF Snapshot, a (basically) biannual interview blitz where a bunch of us try to interview as many people in and around the Australian spec fic writing scene as we possibly can in a (basically) two week period. It’s been going for 11 years now, and from its humble beginnings with Ben Peek it now takes a big stack of us to take on a huge number of folk (almost 200 this year!). Loads of fun, but loads of work, too, especially when you’re the silly person who says “yanno, a website would be good…” and queues up all the posts! While still doing interviews too 🙂 Anyway, it was a good few weeks and kind of zapped my brain for any other blogging, but I thought I’d better do my round up before it became completely irrelevant – oh hello September, I see you around that corner there…

So, I undertook the following interviews, and was in return also interviewed by the excellent Alex Pierce (see my ramblings here):

  1. Alex Adsett
  2. Lee Battersby
  3. Lindy Cameron (Clan Destine Press)
  4. Stephen Dedman
  5. Thoraiya Dyer
  6. Richard Harland
  7. Narrelle M Harris
  8. Edwina Harvey
  9. Erica Hayes / Viola Carr
  10. Lian Hearn / Gillian Rubenstein
  11. Andrea K Host
  12. Amie Kaufman
  13. Bren MacDibble
  14. David McDonald
  15. Claire McKenna
  16. Meg McKinlay
  17. Foz Meadows
  18. Garth Nix
  19. Stephen Ormsby (Satalyte Publishing)
  20. Angela Slatter
  21. Cat Sparks
  22. Jo Spurrier
  23. Suzanne J Willis

Also on the new website we have archived every single one of the previous five Snapshot projects, from Ben Peek’s first in 2005 right through to the present day, making one handy dandy repository of Australian SF history all in one spot. And it’s been catalogued at Pandora for posterity, which is awesome!

So there’s lots of other stuff going on, including a pending move interstate and job seeking and all that jazz, but right now I’m focussing on getting a book to print in time for Conflux and looking forward to a few social events with friends in the next month or so, including another quick trip to WA in early October for the WA Premier’s Book Awards ceremony – can’t wait!

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Retro Review: Museum of Thieves (2010)

Lian Tanner

The Keepers, book 1

Allen & Unwin (2010)

ISBN: 978-1-74237-157-3

Welcome to the city of Jewel, where children are coddled and overprotected to the point of effective imprisonment. In a place where this has happened for decades, impatience and boldness are considered very wrong, and adults are almost entirely weak and ineffectual. Goldie Roth finds herself in a highly unusual situation when the ruler of the city, the Protector, tries to loosen the ties on the young by releasing them early from the guardchains of childhood, only to have an explosion suddenly destroy the fragile steps she had begun to take. The Fugleman, the city’s spiritual guide and leader of the Blessed Guardians – who ensure the safety of children (whether they need taking care of or not) – has his own agenda, one that is not at all on the same wavelength as the Protector’s. Continue reading

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Retro Review: The Two Pearls of Wisdom (Eon) / The Necklace of the Gods (Eona)

Alison Goodman

(also published as Eon, Eon: Rise of the Dragoneye, and Eon: Dragoneye Reborn)

HarperCollins (2008)

ISBN: 9780732288006

It’s been a long time since I’ve been sucked into a world so completely that I’ve read each page in breathless anticipation, unable to put the book down. When I managed to pry my eyes from the pages of award-winning author Alison Goodman’s The Two Pearls of Wisdom, it still filled my thoughts, and I counted the seconds until I could immerse myself again.

But where to start? With the utterly real and heart-wrenching characterization perhaps? The author has created a marvellously detailed world peopled with characters who are so non-stereotypical and beautifully realized that you care deeply about their lives, their decisions and their actions. This is true not just of the main character Eon/Eona, but of the supporting cast as well. You fear for Eona as she battles for her power, her life, her honour. You almost cry over her anxiety, and burst with pride at her accomplishments. It is such a powerful connection between characters and reader. The character of Eona is true to her age and experience – her uncertainty about her power, and the decisions she struggles with, are congruent with the overwhelming situation she is facing. She has such enormous responsibility thrust on her from the very beginning, holding the lives of her household in her hands, and then so much more, that her actions are believable and honest. Continue reading

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Retro Review: Wolfborn (2010)

Sue Bursztynski
Woolshed Press (2010)
ISBN: 978-1-86471-825-6

Etienne is not really interested in being a warrior, but as his family’s only son, he is sent to Lucanne to complete his training with Lord Geraint. As a page in the kindly lord’s household, Etienne is to learn how to rule his own estates, when the time comes. When Geraint goes missing on harvest night, Etienne meets the wisewoman Sylvie and her unusual daughter Jeanne, and begins to suspect that all is not as it seems with his lord. Etienne then becomes caught up in a plot to destroy Geraint’s life, a plot that separates them all from their loved ones and regular worlds, and sees them embroiled in the doings of shapechangers and gods.

Based on a medieval romance, Wolfborn takes from history in many ways but in the process creates a richly detailed fantasy world, blending adventure, romance and paranormal elements to create a coming of age story that is quite unique. Continue reading

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