Tag Archives: ditmars

Galactic Suburbia 165

In which we feed our feedback back to you, with a side order of cheesecake! You can get us from iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.

WHAT’S NEW ON THE INTERNET

Aurealis Award winners announced.

Ditmar prelim ballot

FEEDBACK:

Flea’s YouTube channel

Books mentioned in feedback:
Good Night Stories for Rebel Girls
Roller Girl
The Better Homes and Garden New Cookbook
Joy of Cooking
Amanda Downum’s Necromancer Chronicles
The Three Body Problem by Cixin Liu

CULTURE CONSUMED

Alisa: S-Town; Sharp Edge, Marianne Delacourt
Alex: Babylon’s Ashes, James SA Corey; Harry Potter; Samovar
Tansy: Harry Potter + fanfic, Drop Dead Fred

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

2016 Snapshot: Lisa L Hannett

SnaphotLogo2016

Lisa L HannettLisa L. Hannett has had over 60 short stories appear in venues including Clarkesworld, Fantasy, Weird Tales, Apex, the Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror, and Imaginarium: Best Canadian Speculative Writing. She has won four Aurealis Awards, including Best Collection for her first book, Bluegrass Symphony, which was also nominated for a World Fantasy Award. Her first novel, Lament for the Afterlife, was published in 2015. You can find her online at http://lisahannett.com and on Twitter @LisaLHannett

You recently won the Ditmar Award for Best Novel for Lament for the Afterlife – congratulations! What’s the response been like to this novel, and what was it like to write?

Thanks! I was (and continue to be) so chuffed that Lament won a Ditmar for Best Novel; it was a wonderful and surreal experience hosting the awards ceremony at Natcon this year, having no idea who the winners would be, and then announcing my own name in that category! More importantly, though, it felt really special to receive this nod from my peers, especially since Lament is my first novel.

lamentfortheafterlifeWriting this book was a fascinating challenge, to be honest. At one of the launches, I mentioned that Lament was a complicated response to my perhaps naïve question: “Why war?” and that’s still how I think of it. I am perpetually interested in war stories — particularly wars that seem futile, or that drag on endlessly, or that seem hopeless — and I’m also constantly attracted to narratives exploring ideas of masculinity and/or what it means to “be a man”, which is no doubt also one of the reasons I’m so hooked on researching and writing about the Viking Age. I’m always wondering what happens to the regular folks when they’re confronted with huge social upheavals, and I’m also interested in the power of language to effect change (for better or worse). So, bearing all this in mind, working on Lament meant I was immersed in a bunch of topics that I find so absorbing, which made writing it — well, I won’t say fun because it was sometimes really hard, especially when dealing with such harrowing material. (The footage I watched of WWI soldiers suffering from shellshock while researching this story will be burned into my memory forever.) But it was engrossing, and putting this story together certainly made me grow as a writer. The book’s unconventional structure meant that I could write Peytr’s life narrative out of sequence, which I’d never attempted before, and that also opened up a lot of possibilities in terms of characterisation, plot, and world building. It also meant I avoided the mid-novel slump, since I wrote the middle of the novel after writing everything but the final chapter. It’s a bleak story, so people who are after a cheerful escape won’t necessarily find it’s up their alley, but I couldn’t in good conscience write this story in any other way.

One of the best responses I got was from my editor at ChiZine, who said she was bawling her eyes out at the end, which was the perfect reaction in my opinion. Another brilliant surprise I got was listening to the Writer & The Critic’s “Fab 50” episode and hearing Kirstyn McDermott (whose writing I admire immensely) pick it as her #1! That was pretty exciting. Of course, it was so great seeing Lament get positive reviews on Kirkus, i09, Publishers Weekly, SF Signal and to see it longlisted for the Sunburst Award in Canada. But probably the very best responses have been from soldiers who’ve read the book, given it five stars, then said I’d nailed the guys’ sweary voices, the overall tone, the confusion and dread and boredom of being on the frontlines, and so on. Man, that was as much an honour as it was a relief.

You and Angela Slatter have collaborated on a number of collections in Australia, such as The Female Factory, and these works are quite different for you both. How do you go about writing those stories?

In many ways, Angela and I have such different interests in reading and writing — she’s an enormous crime buff, for instance, and can write a cracking mystery tale, whereas I love reading and watching crime stories but don’t know if I’d ever write one; she’s got such a strong commercial voice, whereas I love veering off into experimental narrative structures; she’s often drawn to writing strong female characters, which I also love doing, but I find myself often depicting vulnerable men — but we have so very many interests in common (mythology, history, fairy tales, etc etc etc) there’s always a place where our styles and ideas can overlap.

When it came to writing The Female Factory, Alisa had given us the challenge of creating Science Fiction pieces (which neither of us do overly much) so it was fantastic having two minds on the job! We brainstormed as much for that collection, I’d say, as we did when writing Midnight and Moonshine, even though that book was about three times longer. No matter what we’re working on together — whether it’s stories about raven-women and Norse gods or about kids cobbling a mother together out of stolen body parts — we always discuss the main ideas, character arcs and plot points together before starting a project. Then, usually, one of us writes the opening, or a key scene, or something crucial to kick things off. Once there are words on the page, we pass the document back and forth between us — adding bits, deleting bits, editing each other’s paragraphs, building on them — until we’ve got the whole thing drafted. This process sometimes takes up to ten drafts, which is many more than we do when working on stories individually. Mostly this is because we’re perfectionists, but also because we’re communicating so clearly and extensively throughout the drafting process; we add loads of comment bubbles explaining the changes we’ve made, and why, so that we’re both on the same page and aiming for the same narrative goals. Also, by the time we’ve gone through this many drafts, the “voice” of the piece no longer seems to be either just Angela’s or just mine. Instead, it’s a third voice that you won’t find in our individual projects — and I think that’s an important feature of our collaborations. Most of all, our partnership works because we’re so open to discussion, we’re not precious about being edited, and because we trust each other implicitly.

You often seem to have a lot of projects on the go at the same time. What’s the most exciting one you’re working on at the moment?

I’ll narrow it down to two because I’m equally excited about them! I’m a whisker away from finishing the edits on my next collection, The Homesteaders, which is a sort of follow-up book to Bluegrass Symphony. Backwoods witches, immortal soothsayers, bear-shaped child-stealers, raven-shaped miners, and lots of ghosts appear in these short stories, and they’re all tinged with a down-home country twang. I’m also doing rewrites on my next novel, Ketill’s Daughter, which is the first in a two-book series called The Invisible Woman. Set in Viking Age Norway, this first book tells the early story of Unn the Deep-Minded — wife of one king, mother to a second, and eventually a famous Viking herself — as she struggles to find her own fame and fate in this warrior world, all while her shape-shifting time-travelling fylgja (a kind of spirit guide) keeps butting in to mess things up for her… The second book in the series (called Deep-Minded) will follow Unn out of Norway into medieval Ireland, Scotland, and finally Iceland.

What Australian work have you loved recently?

Alison Goodman’s Lady Helen / The Dark Days Club is such a rollicking read! I enjoyed it so much, I’m dying to read the next book in the series. James Bradley’s Clade was an astounding work of speculative fiction, and though I read it last year, I still think about it frequently. Another Book One I devoured last year was Kim Wilkins’ Daughters of the Storm; I’m hanging out for Sisters of the Fire! And of course, Angela Slatter’s Vigil: it’s a really fun urban fantasy set in Brisbane, and I gulped it down almost whole.

Which author (living or dead) would you most like to sit next to on a long plane trip and why?

Well, they’d have to be outgoing enough to kick off the conversation because, usually, I’m one of those people on planes who’s like, I don’t care how close together our seats are: please don’t talk to me I just want to read my book and watch a crappy movie and hopefully fall asleep. BUT, assuming I was in a chatty mood … and excluding any writers who are currently my friends (because how to choose only one?!) … I’m going to go with the first name that pops into my mind, and that’s David Malouf. I’ve recently re-read Ransom, which is an incredible reimagining of the story of King Priam, Hector, and Achilles, and good lord it’s a brilliant book — as brilliant as An Imaginary Life, really — and I’d love to have a long talk with him about it, antiquity, poetry, myths, short stories, the libretti he’s written, the great breadth of his knowledge about language, life, the universe, and everything — and I’d also like to ask him where he’s stashed the painting that’s ageing on his behalf (because, seriously, how is it possible that he’s 82? He looks at least twenty years younger. Witchcraft, I say! Or a supernatural portrait.)

Crossposted to the Snapshot blog, along with all the other interviews. 

Galactic Suburbia 137

yttoldIn which we welcome a new member of the Galactic Suburbia: Next Gen, and embrace the awards season.

Baby News: Happy birth to future feminist awesome little dude Samuel, and congrats to his parents, Alisa & Chris as well as newly minted big sister Mack!

Nebula ballot.

Aurealis shortlist

Ditmars shortlist

Norma! Shortlist.

Mark Oshiro, ConQuest & the whiteness of cons/fan spaces
Mark Does Stuff Etc.
Mark’s original post
Mark’s follow up
Stephanie Lai at No Award on Taking Up Room in Con Spaces

(also Ben and Han Solo at home)

CULTURE CONSUMED

Alex: Finished Molly. Triton, Samuel Delany; Wicked + Divine; Illuminae, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff.

Tansy: Molly also, Gentleman Jole & the Red Queen by Lois McMaster Bujold, Marvel Avengers Academy, Gilmore Girls, Buffy Rewatch with Daughter!!!

Skype number: 03 90164171 (within Australia) +613 90164171 (from overseas)

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

Galactic Suburbia 102

terri-icon-cropIn which Alex and Tansy debrief Alisa on their ContinuumX hijinks, and a crowdfunding scheme unfolds… please admire our lovely new logo thanks to longtime listener Terri and her ninja cupcake skills! You can get us at iTunes or Galactic Suburbia.

News

Ditmars, Norma, etc etc. Con report! Book launches, panels…
Literary Guests of Honour: Ambelin Kwaymullina & Jim C Hines (speeches not available online yet, will link when we can)
Check out also the great Continuum X Twitter Storify
As mentioned by Ambelin in her GOH speech, the Australia Council guidelines on writing about Indigenous culture and people, which were formulated by Indigenous people.

What Culture Have we Consumed?
Alisa: The Gods of Wheat Street; Vaginal Fantasy (The Lions of Al-Rassan, Guy Gavriel Kay);
Alex: Kitty and Cadaver, Narrelle M Harris; Vanity and Valour, Mary Robinette Kowal; Vox Day and Ted Chiang; Edge of Tomorrow (and X Men: Days of Future Past)
Tansy: Lightspeed Magazine Women Destroy Science Fiction, Seanan Maguire “Each to Each.”

And our cake logo winners! It’s Terri! Because we never knew how much we needed to be a cupcake until we became one. We hope we were delicious.

New way to support Galactic Suburbia via our Patreon page – help us cover our running costs, & if we hit $50 per podcast we will commit to regular Spoilerific Club podcasts! plus other incentives, for you and for us.

You may also be interested in these other Patreon campaigns:
Tansy’s Musketeer Space project.
Terry Frost’s Paleo-Cinema Podcast page, also inspired by the crowdfunding panel at ContinuumX!

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!

Galactic Suburbia is 80!

8709633595_4d7b06f199In which there is gallivanting, schlepping, recycling and rejoicing – cos a Galactic Suburbia baby is on the way!

News

Conflux Update: Alex’s Report, Alisa’s Report, Everyone Else’s Wrap Ups

Ditmar winners (and associated awards) announced.

Through Splintered Walls Art Exhibition

Aurora Award ballot – Canada’s Ditmars?

Shirley Jackson Award shortlist

Culture Consumed

ALEX: Iron Man 3; Oblivion; Cloud Atlas

ALISA: The Adventures of Alyx, Joanna Russ

TANSY:
A Song of Ice & Fire update, Flower and Weed by Margo Lanagan

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!

NatCon/Conflux 9

mms_img-254898437This photo pretty much sums up my Nat Con experience: blowing bubbles, with a friend, at the Ditmars ceremony, onto another friend’s head… and his rather nice shiny suit…

 

I also attended Sean Williams’ presentation on his PhD work – about MT/demat/”beam me up Scotty” technology and how it’s been presented in SF literature for the last 140 or so years, and that was awesome, even though it meant sitting on the floor behind Sean because the room was so full (and getting a hand up from Scott Westerfeld, and I didn’t know it was him because he wasn’t wearing a name badge NO FAIR). And I went to the Ditmars ceremony which was awesome because Deb Biancotti ran it like a drill sergeant, and because I got to applaud a lot of friends getting very nice shiny awards.

And there was also a rather large amount of talking.

Galactic Suburbia 78

cheers sweetieIn which awards are dissected into itty bitty bits and eaten with relish. Tasty tomato relish.
You can get us from iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia.

HUUUUGGGOOOOOOS!

Ditmars

Solstice Awards

This looks like a short podcast, but it isn’t. No culture consumed for you! Which does mean that Alex will have read ALL THE BOOKS by the time we join you again.

(Well, that’s what Tansy thinks anyway… we’ll see how much reading vs how much knitting gets done!)

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!

Galactic Suburbia 62

In which Alisa and Alex bravely confront the realities of podcasting without Tansy, and come up rather short… (ha!). You can find us on iTunes or at Galactic Suburbia

Convention Highlights
Alex’s blog & con report roundup
Embiggen Podcast (hang around after we stop talking to hear it!)

Chronos, Ditmar, etc: the Aussie winners

Locus Awards: more winners

Women in SF & Fantasy in Australian media – check out the article quoting several Australian spec fic writers & editors

What Culture Have we Consumed?
Alex: Prometheus; Ishtar (Kaaron Warren, Deb Biancotti, Cat Sparks).

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!

[Photo Credit: Cat Sparx – Kirstyn and Mondy enjoying the convention!]

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In collaboration with Writer and the Critic, we are delighted to present a special podcast dedicated to the critically acclaimed Twelve Planets series of short story collections and recorded live at the beautiful Embiggen Books in Melbourne.

The Great NatCon Blog Post Round-Up

Because reading one blog post about a NatCon weekend is just not enough. The official website, with info about Ditmar and other award winners, is here. (Also, the opening ceremony video is online, too.)

Tansy has several posts about different aspects of the con: first there was discussion of the craft and the programme; then there was all that food (cocktails, cupcakes, trifle oh my!); and then the Night of the Squeaking Octopus (aka awards night).

Ben has a great post about being inspired about writing and about how awesome he found the fan community to be in general (awww).

DarkMatter Fanzine has a good round-up of the awards night, including some of the Kirstyn&Mondy banter that really set the mood.

Alisa also succumbed to the con-report-in-parts bug, beginning by smugly showing off the books she bought but also exclaiming over how social and fun the con was as a whole (this is a theme…). In part 2 she goes into great detail about the preparation for Twelfth Planet Press hour, which saw mountains of cupcakes consumed (a few even managed to be photographed), while the third post is mostly devoted to the podcast undertaken by nine of the Twelve Planets authors at Embiggen Books, as well as some crafty things (and annoying news about Kaaron Warren’s Through Splintered Walls). Kirstyn has posted said podcast over here, for your listening pleasure. (Other podcasts recorded at Continuum is episode 309 of Boxcutters, a debate that All SF TV is rubbish; Galactic Suburbia 61; and a Writer and the Critic ep that I’m sure will be up sometime soon…)

Terri, the whiz behind the cupcake extravaganza, has a short post about her experience at the Con wherein she coins the acronym WWTD (What Would Tehani Do?) to describe her method of how to sell Twelfth Planet Press books…  and then goes into even more detail about the creation of those cupcakes (the photo on the left, c/o Cat Sparks, is too good not to feature again). What an effort!

Mark, a NatCon newbie, blogged basically on a daily basis: Day 1 (panels! lots of panels!); Day 2 (more panels! including Galactic Suburbia!); awards (a list, and recounting the less than sterling start to the evening for Mondy…); Day 3 (more panels, and some time at the bar); and Day 4 (more panels, and generally being happy with the con). If you want a good feel for the programming at this con – which I thought was very good – this is a really good wrap of one person’s attendance.

Sean the Bookonaut, another NatCon newbie and one that many took great pleasure in meeting (not that we didn’t enjoy meeting Mark, too!), had quite the experience in getting home, but starts off with recounting Thursday… and then Friday, complete with discussion of panels and nude cyclists. ETA: And Saturday, now, too: panels, and Embiggen Books, and being a one-man audience to various people.

Jason managed to keep his con report to just one post, talking about launching his novella Salvage, going to the podcast and Embiggen Books, and the Ditmar/Chronos Awards as well.

Alan too kept his report to one post. He discusses panels he was on, including one on religion in world-building, and the experience of launching Felicity Dowker’s Bread and Circuses, among other things.

Ian, redoubtable awards-night co-MC, has a post that mostly focusses on his probably-not-food-poisoning experience pre-awards, and the glory of winning both a Chronos and a Ditmar (and well deserved too).

Russell discusses some highlights, which included doing a reading from his own fairy-tale retelling, and attending/being on various panels.

Sue mentions an orange scarf she started courtesy of the free yarn strewn around, as well as attending the launch of ASIM 56 and Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear, among other things.

Kathleen used the con as an opportunity for one of her awesome Dalek pictures – Lady Churchill’s Dalek Wristlet – as well as other snippets of drawing and crocheted octopi. Plus winning two awards.

Admittedly Flinthart’s post focusses primarily on the disaster that was his departure from Melbourne, and some food… but he looms large wherever he goes, so I think it counts.

Deb provides a reading list as a follow-up to a panel she was on (with Gillian Pollack, Trudi Canavan and Louise Cusack) called Writing Diverse Genders, Sexualities and Cultures. (She is also mentioned regarding the launch of Ishtar, a set of three novellas – one of which she wrote – which happened at Continuum.)

And, yes, I too wrote two posts about my experiences: one that was really all about my time on panels etc here, and another a bit more generally on the programming and craft and awards etc here.

ETA: Jo writes about her experience over here, complete with winning a Ditmar and talking about books so much her voice packed it in afterwards. Also, Gillian Polack-with-one-l has posted numerous thoughts: here, talking about racism and suchlike; on stereotypes; on being a critic.

**I’m sure there are other posts out there that I haven’t linked to – please feel free to comment with the links!

Galactic Suburbia 58

In which we pore over the Ditmar ballot, Alex makes Tansy squirm about her nominations, Alisa makes Alex say ‘sexytimes’ more than once, and we take on the hard-hitting issues of the day: plagiarism, pirates and mommy porn. You can get us from iTunes or Galactic Suburbia.

News

Ditmar shortlist


Shirley Jackson shortlist
featuring Deborah B

Stephenie Meyer moves into film production and who can blame her?

Story Siren & Plagiarism: Smart Bitches presents the story. Kristi’s apology.

MindMeld looks at great SF reads for teenage girls. But what KIND of teenage girls?

What Culture Have we Consumed?
Alisa: Feed by Mira Grant
Alex: By Light Alone, Adam Roberts; Lathe of Heaven, Ursula le Guin; In the Mouth of the Whale, Paul McAuley; Among Others, Jo Walton;
Tansy: Womanthology, The Pirates! Band of Misfits

Feedback: Fifty Shades of Grey

Interview with the author

Mommy porn

COMPETITION – SHOWTIME – What’s your favourite vampire?

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!