Here it is - the trailer for Song of the Slums! I'm totally in love with it, so bizarre, so quirky!
I'll embed it in the Song of the Slums pages too, but right now it has to remain top spot on my home page!
The Steampunk Guitar - after!
Lewis beat every expectation! An amazing creation! I collected the guitar from him two weeks ago at the start of my Queensland school tour, and couldn't post anything on my websites because my iPad doesn't have the software. So now, tarahh! tarahh! tarantarantarrrahhhh!
I bought a secondhand guitar and took it to Lewis Morley, who's worked on models for movies like The Hobbit, the Matrix movies and two of the Star Wars movies. With laser cutter and sheer imagination, he created this beauty. All sorts of bits and pieces, cogs and guages, handles and doodahs.
Here's a close up of the Instructions Plate!
And here's me reading from the book while wearing the guitar, and Lewis displaying the guitar in Sergeant Pepper costume!
I'm looking forward to getting an amp and speaker by the end of this week, because then I can play the guitar for real. Just have to make up some songs to go with the book. (Songwriting was my only talent in my old music-playing days - I was never much good at playing the guitar - but then I never had an electric guitar. I'm going to have fun with this one! All the funky sound effects!)
Did I mention that the globe on the guitar lights up at the flick of a switch, and multicoloured lightnings flash around inside it? Can't really capture it in a photo, but it's specatacular.
The Steampunk Guitar - before
Yes, I'm going to have a steampunk guitar by the time of the Queensland tour. I bought the guitar a couple of days ago from Wollongong Music Centre, a nice little black solid body number, just asking for cogs and pipes and doodahs! The maestro who'll perform the steampunk transformation is Lewis Morley, a man who's worked on creating items for countless well-known movies. I took the guitar up to him in the Blue Mountains today, and I'll collect it from him on the way up to Queensland. Can't wait to see what he does! Unrestricted creative licence! It'll be spectacular, that's for sure. Only pity is, I won't be able to put up an image on this site, which needs Dreamweaver and therefore my laptop - but I'm only taking my iPad on the tour. I'll put photos up on my Wordpress blog on Sat 4th or Sunday 5th --->
In the meanwhile, I've put up a pic of the guitar in its BEFORE state - see, just an ordinary, black, 21st century, electric guitar.
Also here's Lewis, artificer and transformer.
I won't be able to play it for real on the tour (only a bit of miming) because I don't have space to carry amps. But I'm looking forward to getting back into it - as never in the past, because I only ever played acoustic guitar.
School Visits Coming Up - Queensland tour
It all starts on Monday 6th May - or Sunday 5th for me, when I head north to Queensland, preparing for the big tour for Song of the Slums. I opted to give first refusal to schools I'd visited before - it was nice to hear of so many rapid acceptances.
Monday's school is Aquinas College, Southport; then Marymount College, Burleigh Waters on Tuesday 7th; Coolum State High on Wednesday 8th; then in to Brisbane for MaryMackillop College, Nundah, on Thurs 9th, and Genesis Christian College, Bray Park, on Friday 10.
Relax over the weekend ... Aileen flies up to join me, and we'll be visiting Chris and Bec and the grandchildren.
Another busy week to follow - slightly mucked up by the NAPLAN, which not only cuts out Years 7 and 9, but knocks out every school's organisation from Tuesday to Thursday. Still, I get to take advantage of the only day I miss out on by staying over at Dorrigo with Ian Irvine - a long-planned visit that's never seemed to fit in before.
So, my school for Monday 13th is Kimberley College, Carbrook; for Tuesday 14th, St Laurence's College in South Brisbane. Then south of the border to Xavier Catholic College at Skennars Head for Wednesday 15th. Interlude at Dorrigo ... then last day, Friday 17th, at St Paul's High School in Port Macquarie.
Home Friday night - but back up to Sydney for the Aurealis Awards on the Saturday. (I'm not up for anything, but I've been asked to present one of them.) Phew!!
Launch of Song of the Slums
It happened at Rydges Capitol Hill in Canberra, as part of the Conflux convention. Allen & Unwin had supplied me with a great roll-up banner and we did the launch in the foyer. It was a convention of many book launches! Terry Dowling, one of the most respected figure in Australian figures in Australian Speculative Fiction, did the honours as launcher, and Rob Hood introduced Terry. It was specially great that Terry could do it, because the novel's about rock music and the experience of being in a band - and Terry and I used to play music together (in a threesome). Hearing him re-live some of those times was a nostalgic treat for me.
Then we did a short reading from the book - well, actually quite a long reading, but no one seemed to mind. Terry took one of the ex-soldier's voices, and Aileen chimed in with a couple of lines spoken by Astor. All great fun!
Lost in Translation
My French editor just sent me an email. Seems there's a problem with the name 'Verrol' in French - it woud be pronounced like 'vérole', which is the French word for pox. I had to agree it needs changing - not at all the right associations for the romantic male lead!
Conflux launch for Song of the Slums
My new steampunk/gaslight romance novel comes out in May, and we've arranged an advance launch at Conflux on Saturday April 27th. Conflux is the National Scence Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Canberra. The top part of the invitation looks like this >>
Song of the Slums is set in the same steampunk universe as Worldshaker and Liberator, but at an earlier time, when the world is blanketed with smog and pollution after the Fifty Years War. It's the story of how Astor discovers her talent for playing the drums, and how a new kind of music with a driving rock beat arrives and conquers the world - in the middle of the Victorian 19th century!
Song of the Slums - the final cover
Here's the cover of Song of the Slums! I love it! Here are Astor (with the copper-coloured hair) and Verrol (with the steampunk guitar) hurrying down an alleyway. Might be in Brummingham or might be in London - both cities feature in the novel. So Victorian-looking! Plus an airship hovering in front of the moon …
Here's the story about the alley. Cathy picked a Melbourne alley for the photoshoot - it had been raining but there was only a puddle of dirty water left in the middle of the alley. However, she was determined to get all the stones glistening and wet-looking, so she and the photographer got down on their hands and knees, scooped up handfuls of dirty water and spread it all around. There's dedication to art! And Cathy - it was worth it!
Here's the back cover blurb typed out -
What if they'd invented rock 'n roll way back in the 19th century?
What if it could take over the world and change the course of history?
In the slums of Brummingham, the outcast gangs are making a new kind of music, with pounding rhythms and wild guitars.
Astor Vance has been trained in refined classical music. But when her life plummets from riches to rags, the only way she can survive is to play the music the slum gangs want.
Charismatic Verrol, once her servant, is now her partner in crime … and he could be so much more if only he'd come clean about his mysterious past …
And underneath, a quote from Kate Forsyth: 'I loved the music, the syncopated rhythm, the dark, smoky atmosphere, the call to arms, the love story …this is gaslight fantasy at its best.'
The back cover shows the same alley after Astor and Verrol have gone (or before they've come). I can't make it big enough to show the writing clearly, but you can see the wet. glistening alley in its starring role!
We have a title! Long live Song of the Slums!
It's decided! Everyone's signed off on it! The title of my next steampunk fantasy will be Song of the Slums.
I've run through 3 titles already, forever immortalised in my computer files as the name of my first draft, the name of .my rewrite and the name of my revised rewrite. It's like Worldshaker all over again, which started life as 'Leviathan', then became 'Juggernaut' before it finally turned into 'Worldshaker'. This time, though, was even harder - I thought I'd run out of inspiration for titles, I was expecting the final title would be a compromise that I could go along with but would never really love. And instead, I came up with my very best title yet!
It's just like Worldshaker, which now seems to me the title the book was meant to have all along. I feel the same about Song of the Slums. It fits the novel in so many ways, and has a really nice sound to it at the same time.
Welcome to the world, Song of the Slums! I've just finished doing all the last corrections (except for another little problem with names inside the book). Can't wait to see what Cathy Larsen's done with the cover design!
This is another steampunk novel set in the same world as WORLDSHAKER and LIBERATOR, but going back a bit in time. New characters, new story - I think it's a wonderful idea, and of course I'm totally unbiased and impartial!! I must start dropping teasers ...
It's due out in May next year. I wish it was right now, but we still have to get the cover and all the incidental stuff like blurbs, etc.
Action On Out-Of-Contol Home-pages! (or AOOCH by acronym)
Enough! I've been letting it go too long. This home page for the website keeps on expanding with news items, and I've been leaving them even when they're fair in the past. So I've finally shifted them where they belong, which is the News & Blog page,
Well, um, I'm half way there. I've put up the page, and the navbar button is in place on this page - last but one from the right. But I don't have time to publish the whole site with the revised navbar, and I don't want to remove the material below until I've listed the most interesting items. Have to rush off, collect my steampunk guitar, and drive to Queensland. But the tidying up will be done when I get back.
I couldn't believe it when I got a text from Jack Dann to tell me I'd won the A. Bertram Chandler Award, and he'd presented it to me at the Melbourne Continuum Natcon - only I wasn't there! Jonathan Strahan graciously accepted it on my behalf. I think everyone just assumed I'd be there, because I've hardly missed a Continuum over the last six years.
It's a huge honour. The A. Bertram Chandler Award (named after Australia's first significant SF writer) is a lifetime award for contribution to SF/fantasy in Australia. I don't know how I came to deserve it - especially looking at the list of previous awardees! Here's a pic of the engraved glass plinth, bowl and framed citation that came with the award.
Sydney Supanova - filming a steampunk documentary!
After the event:
The Steampunk panel was fantastic. We had a full house - and so many people came in amazing steampunk costumes. The camera focused on Michael and I when the panel was running, then everyone in costume got a brief cameo in front of the camera afterwards.
Here's a few - a very few - of the costumes on show:
This was the special 10th anniversary celebration Sydney Supanova, from June 15-17th at the Sydney Showground, Olympic Park. It turned out to be the biggest Supanova crowd yet.
The overseas author guest was Christopher Paolini, of Eragon fame, and there was a great list of Australian author guests - Matthew Reilly, Garth Nix, Kate Forsyth, Marianne de Pierres - plus the steampunk duo, Michael Pryor and me! We had a great time at the steampunk panel!
Left: yours truly with Maureen Flynn of InkAshlings.
Gold Coast Supanova - steampunk makes waves!
I had a ball at Supanova, signing Worldshakers and Liberators, and doing a joint presentation on steampunk with fellow Australian steampunk author Michael Pryor. Best of all, there were so many steampunk costurmes there! In fact, there were more the second day than the first - because people had bought steampunk gear from the stalls around.
Oh, yes, we're arriving big time!
On the left, some classy steampunk costuming from Michael (not the author), Angela and Cherie - plus me, not quite so classy because my shirt is hanging out. A realVictorian-era gentleman would probably die of shame to be seen with his shirt hanging out.
And here's Michael and me in our top hats and togs -
My hat got a lot of comments ... I almost had to stop people running off with it!
PS I almost forgot to mention - I've just got serious about my Facebook page. Check it out for more Supanova photos. It was my first ever Supanova, but I've been told there are always a million amazing costumes. And there were! I was also told that a couple of years ago, there were hardly any steampunk costumes. Now, well, my photos hardly begin to skim the surface!
Audio Book Worldshaker and Liberator
Now out in Australia - Worldshaker and Liberator out on casette from Bolinda. I really like the reading voice, and I'm fussy about good readings!
Sydney Writers Festival Gig
I'll be doing a day workshop in the Sydney Writers festival from 9.00 to 3.30 on Tuesday 22nd May. It's oriented towards younger writers, focussing on how to get readers really living the experience of the characters in a novel as if they were there.
Liberator comes out in the U.S.
Because the Simon & Schuster edition of Worldshaker came out first in hardback, then a year later in paperback, it's taken a while to get on to the hardback edition of Liberator. But now it's out!
The cover matches the US paperback cover for Worldshaker - same porthole, which has a glossy texture like glass, compared to the matt of the surround. Now it's not Col but Riff looking out!
The inside flap blurb reads like this:
"Col Porpentine has come a long way from being the pampered future leader of Worldshaker. Just a few short months ago he helped Riff free the Filthies from generations of servitude, and created a new balance on the massive juggernaut, newly christened Liberator. Now the Filthies command Liberator, and many Swanks, former members of the upper class, have remained to teach them how to operate the juggernaut, and to build a new society together.
But all is not peaceful on Liberator. A rising anti-Swank sentiment among the more fanatical Filthy factions grows increasingly violent and dangerious. And an anti-Filthy saboteur is loose aboard the ship. Even the one thing Col thought he could always depend upon--his friendship with Riff--is beginning to crumble.
As tensions run high and the coal supply runs low, Liberator is on the verge of a crisis. Col and Riff are faced with their most challenging task yet; unifying a divided people ... before it is too late.
Richard Harland returns to the world of WORLDSHAKER with a heart-stopping sequel that will take readers on a ride to places they've never imagined."
My New Hat
Specially for the Supanovas, I decided I needed a new hat! I've been lusting after this hat for ages - and I finally found a good reason for buying it (not cheap!)
Supanova Gold Coast
I've just finished the first draft of the next steampunk novel (same world, different characters) - now it's time to get out and about again. I'll be a guest at the Gold Coast Supanova convention from Friday 20th to Sunday 22nd of April. It'll be a ball - especially because Michael Pryor (The Laws of Magic series, and The Extinction Gambit) are teaming up to do a presentation on steampunk. Costumes, clips, readings - it's going to be awesome!
Two months later, I'll be a guest at the Sydney Supanova.
And now we're on to the fifth US reprint of the paperback Worldshaker. Seems only a couple of weeks since the fourth!
Another US reprint
Just heard that the US paperback edition of Worldshaker has gone into a fourth reprint. Yay! 3 reprints in Australia and 3 reprints in France - but America has taken the lead! I hope this race goes on and on forever!
The Paris booktour
What a buzz! Loved meeting fans at the Salon de Montreuil (the Montreuil Book Fair). And what an ego-boost, when they had about eight groups of young readers 'defending' their favourite books of the year - and two of the groups chose Worldshaker! Then there was another group of fans that put on a performance, acting out their best scenes from Worldshaker in tableaux! Here's a photo of me wearing the steampunk goggles I bought at a Paris fleamarket (well, actually, Austrian army goggles, probably for snow - but very old, probably around WW I)
Start of the Paris trip today, yippee! The 26 hour plane flight will be murder, but it'll be great after that! And I have free time to saunter around Paris with Aileen, apart from Book Fair, bookshop and interview duties. Just think of all those pastries and sidewalk cafes! Can't wait!
Here's a photo of the cat who gets left behind. No Paris for Habibi! But Michelle will be living in and feeding him, so he'll probably be as fat as butter by the time we get back.
I fly out on November 23rd; then there's a meeting with readers at the Salon de Montreuil, signing days on 3rd, 4th and 5th December, an a meeting with the Cercle de lecture de la médiathèque de Montreuil, who have been great supporters of Worldshaker and Liberator.
And that's just for starters! Can't wait! Here's a photo of the team at Helium, my French publisher, who are flying me over and arranging the tour. (Aileen took this photo when she and I were last in Paris, taken out for lunch in the Rue Mouffetard. Aileen will be coming with me again on this trip too.
Paris in November!
My French publisher, Hélium, will be flying me over to Paris for the Montreuil Book Fair plus some book signings! Yippee! An apartment in Paris for a fortnight, and Aileen coming with me. Whoever said that writing's a tough life? (OK, I did, but I can take a lot of this sort of toughness!)
Meanwhile, a review in the heavyweight French jounal, Le revue des livres pour enfants, starts out by describing Liberator as 'Even better than the first volume, if that's possible' and ends by speaking of it as 'un coup de maître'. Whew!
In the US, the latest news is that the paperback edition of Worldshaker has gone into its third printing. Not bad, when it only came out in June!
Apparatus for the Repatriation of Tears
I just have to put this on show- a tear collector! I'm being interviewed at Wollongong Art Gallery in relation to an exhibition - which is very very steampunky (even if the artist, Anita Larkin, doesn't know it!) So here's my favourite work in the exhibition, called "Apparatus for the Repatriation of Tears". At the top, you can see the leather strap that fits around the head of the subject, then, in metal, the two eyeholes and the collecting channel below ... leading to the distillation cylinders and the purification valves and finally the taps for discharging purest essense of tears! Actually I made all the last stuff up - but don't you just love the artist's image and the idea?
Ghosts by Gaslight anthology now out, containing "Bad Thoughts and the Mechanism"
The international supernatural/Victoriana anthology, Ghosts by Gaslight, ed. Jack Dann and Nick Gevers, came out this month from Harper Voyager. It contains stories by authors like Gene Wolfe, Robert Silverberg, Peter S. Beagle, James Morrow, Jeffrey Ford, Lucius Shepard, Margo Lanagan - and my own story "Bad Thoughts and the Mechanism". Phew! I'm in such amazing company, it's almost scary!
The cover is really cool ....
Another Sale for Liberator
'dtv', the German paperback publisher for Worldshaker (different to the hardback publisher) has now snapped up the paperback rights for Liberator too. They moved on it very fast this time!
On a French roll!
Whoo-eee! My French publisher at Hélium just accepted on my behalf the Tam-Tam Je Bouquine award for best novel, ages 10-15 - for Worldshaker. It's just about the biggest YA award in France, and specially nice because it's decided by a jury of young readers. I'll put their comments up on the review pages.
And no sooner did I hear about that than I heard that Worldshaker has picked up another French award--only I've just removed the name of it since I was told it's still confidential! I'm on a French roll! with mustard!
Great night at the Aurealis Awards! My short story, "The Fear" won the Aurealis for Best Horror Story. Wow and triple wow! It's a long short story, first printed in Macabre, and just recently reprinted in Ellen Datlow's US anthology, Best Horror of the Year #3. Which reminds me to put up a cover of the US anthology.
Here's me and a bit of the back garden and the award - very handsome (I mean the award, not me ... what ever happened to my hair?
Meanwhile, a reviewer of Best Horror of the Year #3 had this to say:
Richard Harland’s “The Fear” also deserves special mention. This selection has the feeling of an old fashioned Victorian ghost story that manages to incorporate elements of horror fan culture and the documentarian aesthetic of films like Blair Witch and Paranormal Activity. As Harland builds toward the big reveal at the end, the story becomes increasingly chilling.
Nice! The full review is online at http://tinyurl.com/5rw9exn (The Monsters We Deserve: 'The Best Horror of the Year: Volume 3' from W. Scott Poole 8 June 2011)
First Reviews of Liberator
The first reviews are starting to appear - I'll put them up on the reviews page. Here are a few quick extracts: -
THE SATURDAY AGE (Melbourne)
This fantastically fun novel is quintessential steampunk at the same time as being entirely accessible, with a compulsive plot, strongly drawn characters and plenty of humour.
MAGPIES (review of children’s/YA literature)
Followers of steampunk will delight in the intricacies of the giant [juggernauts]. Liberator and the other moving cities, each displaying idiosyncratic architecture. The chase up the escarpment and the final battle have moments of heroic proportions; the imaginative array of weapons is awesome, as is the carnage inflicted in the great battle.
READINGS (review newsletter of Readings chain)
Liberator ... is an exhilarating exploration of what can go wrong (and right) in the search for equality. Like the narrator, the reader feels giddy at overcoming the horrors of the past, but is nervous about the excesses of the present.
Filled with epic battle scenes, beautiful and bizarre descriptions of a moving iron city, and filled with big personalities, it is sure to appeal to history or fantasy-buffs.
The first French review describes it as a Suite a dévorer - a sequel to devour! And Aurealis Express says 'The King of Steampunk triumphs again!
Yay! It's come at last, the 1st of May and therefore the official release date for LIBERATOR in Australia. It's so weird, after having copies for more than 2 weeks already - what makes one day THE day? And I nearly missed it because I was thinking today was the 31st of April (I must've skimmed over April when I recited the rhyme).
I can't wait for the reactions--this time, I really believe I've written a second book that outdoes the first. Not in originality, since the world is already created, but in the size and scope of the story. This book is BIG!
The launch will be at the Continuum convention, in Melbourne in June, and Jack Dann has agreed to do the launching honours.
The French edition is about to come out at the same time, then the UK edition in June, then the German, then the US early in 2012. And the Hollywood interest has just moved forward a few notches--be still my beating heart!
I've also put up the video clip from Allen & Unwin, for the Australian editon.
I'm doing a whole heap of school visits to promote the book. Next week, it's Springwood, Bathurst and Orange; the two weeks after that are far south coast of NSW, Gippsland Victoria, Melbourne and Northern Victoria.. Then more NSW and Canberra, then Queensland, then ending off with Perth at the end of August. Must put up a list of which schools when, as they're finalised.
US paperback Worldshaker
The American paperback version of Worldshaker came out from Simon & Schuster in June. It has a different cover - an amazing effect that won't come across on a website. There's a circular bit of clear plastic inside the porthole that makes it look as though Col is peering out through clear glass.
It costs US$9.99.
New Liberator Stuff
Here are some new pages on Liberator that I've added to the Worldshaker & Liberator section of this website (the most important part!)
Here's the front cover of The Wilful Eye, which is the first of two volumes of Tales from the Tower, edited by Isobelle Carmody and Nan McNab.These are two anthologies of novelettes by Australian authors retelling traditional fairytales. In the first volume, my retelling of "Beauty and the Beast" is there alongside Margo Lanagan, Isobelle Carmody, Margaret Mahy, Martine Murray and Rosie Borella. We all stay a bit closer to the traditional in this volume--I know my aim was to make "Beauty and the Beast" even more fairytale-ish! With contemporary relevance, yes, that came in naturally, but without losing any of the original magic of my favourite fairytale!
Here's the book's blurb. (I didn't write it, so I didn't say 'great'! I don't think I've earned that title yet!)
In this bewitching collection, six great writers choose a classic fairytale and cast their own spell upon it.
Characters transgress, they yearn, they hunger, they love, they hate and, sometimes, they kill.
None of the resulting tales belong in a nursery: these are provocative stories of enchantment, jealousy and deception, as well as courage, daring
Other news: I just finished the copyedit for a novella, "Bad Thoughts and the Mechanism", which will be coming out soon in the anthology Ghosts By Gaslight, edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers. The full MS of the anthology was sent to me, so of course the first thing I did was run my eye over the Contents page. My, oh my! It's like a rollcall of all the authors I most admire--and big, BIG names too. For example, Gene Wolfe, Robert Silverberg, Peter S. Beagle, James Morrow, Jeffrey Ford, Lucius Shepard- and more! (Plus Australia's own Terry Dowling, Garth Nix, Sean Williams, Margo Lanagan … and little old me.)
Liberator: the cover
Anthony Lucas, the film director who did the cover for Worldshaker, has done an even more wonderful cover for Liberator. Love, love, love it! Here it is on the left - just look at that and gasp!
Meanwhile, here are the covers for the UK and France, on the right and below >>
Here's a link straight to the Liberator pages
Sequel meets a sawn-off shotgun!
It’s true – I was caught up in the middle of an armed hold-up! Yesterday I finished the US copyedit of Liberator, and went to a local post office to send it off. Keiraville post office, a tiny, quiet little place in a tiny, quiet shopping area. I went to the counter and was given the international form that has to be stuck on the front. and I’d just started filling it out. The only other people in the shop – it’s so small, it could hardly hold a dozen customers at once – were an old couple.
Then suddenly these two guys burst in, wearing hoodies, face masks and gloves, one of them toting a sawn-off double-barreled shotgun. About 20-25 years old, I’d guess from their voices, though the one who stood guard over me and the old couple hardly spoke. The one with the shotgun jumped up on the counter, shouting like a character in a gangster movie – threatening, cursing and trying to sound as violent as possible.
The ugliest moment was when shotgun guy accused the post office guy of pressing the alarm button – which he had. The elderly lady was breathing and gasping and shaking, on the verge of a panic attack. I put my arm round her and said we’d be OK. It turned out she had a heart condition – luckily she had an inhaler spray with her that she used the moment they were gone.
They made the post office guy open the till, and shotgun jumped down and scooped up what was there. Then back on the counter, ordering the post office guy, but not us customers, to get down on the ground. There was something more they wanted, maybe access to a safe, but they decided not to hang around any longer. The post office guy told the cops afterwards that they’d got away with $1000-2000.
Anyway, they rushed out and took off in an off-white car that had been parked in the drive next to the post office. We got the number plate, for what that’ll be worth. The post office guy rang the cops who turned up pretty smartly, viewd the CCTV footage and took down our details.
Funny thing was, it didn’t seem particularly scary at the time – maybe because the shotgun was almost always trained on the post office guy, with just a flourish or two towards us. And the elderly lady did enough panicking for us all – I was more worried about her state than anything.
And now the key question you must be wondering – did they get away with the copyedited MS of Liberator? No, they didn’t even realise the treasure right under their noses! They just rushed out with the money – and I had to go to a different post office to send off my parcel.
I never imagined it was such a dangerous life, being an author!
Worldshaker goes the full Brazilian
Another contract for Worldshaker - it's now being translated into Portuguese and coming out in Brazil. The German translation of Worldshaker has now been onsold for paperback publication by dtv. Jacoby & Stuart brought out the hardback and now dtv will be bringing out the paperback.
Meanwhile, all the original publishers of Worldshaker have contracted for Liberator - a very good sign, my agent says.
Now all I have to do is complete the structural revisions on Liberator. Deadline is October 31st, and I'm going to squeak home just in time. It's like a matter of pride to me - I haven't been late for a deadline in my 13 years as a full-time writer, so I want to maintain my record!
Worldcon was held in Melbourne earlier this month - check out impressions at
Richard and Aileen at the Nightmare Ball, Worldcon
Meanwhile I'm rattling on with the Liberator revisions - up to Chapter 35 of 80, and I swear it's getting better all the time! (Before Worldcon, we had an ROR retreat in Melbourne (a professional writer's critique group) - they'd read the unrevised version of Liberator and liked it better than Worldshaker. Yippee!
Full steam ahead on Liberator
Contracts all signed, structural edits received from US, UK and Australia - I'm doing them all at once. So now it's full steam ahead on Liberator, the second half of the duology with Worldshaker. This is one amazing sequel. I've had two trilogies published before in Australia, but this is the first ever time I truly believe the second book matches the first. Worldshaker has the plus of creating the world, but Liberator is a bigger story. Everyone said Worldshaker was a hard book to put down, but responses from editors and sample readers are telling me Liberator is almost impossible to put down!
And it's going to be getting better, because I've just started work on the revisions, and I can feel the improvement coming through! Very exciting! It'll take me a couple of months, because I always revise through from first page to last, a total rewrite. It'll be coming out in the first half of next year.
Tours All Over!
Two weeks touring Worldshaker in the US, two weeks touring Worldshaker in the UK, time spent meeting publishers in France, UK and US - and now I'm back in Australia feeling very satisfied. The tours exceeded expectations … all my publishers are great people … and the final week of holiday with Aileen in Paris, Bruges and Amsterdam was a bask in the sunshine. All wonderful!
The only hard part is that now I have to get back into a writing routine. I'm so far out of it! I'll be glad when the structural edit suggestions on Liberator come in - that'll be a nice easy step for getting back in the mood. I guess the touring author lifestyle was a bit overwhelming for this simple provincial lad!
I finally did it. The items on this Home page keep multiplying and multiplying - no way can I fit a whole blog on. So I've set up a separate page just for announcing news and blogging. I'll still mention the latest news on this home page, but all the details will go here -
I can't fit it onto the bar at the top, but there'll be a link to it at the bottom of every page.
I've just put up all the latest info about the US and UK tours in the NEWS column of the new page.
German Worldshaker Out Soon!
Just heard that the German edition of Worldshaker will be out in the shops by the start of August. Jacoby & Stuart have created a great cover - see the image just below. I ran out of time in Europe and couldn't fit in a trip to Berlin, but I'll definitely be calling on Nicola at Jacoby & Stuart next time I'm over.
MORE COVERS FOR WORLDSHAKER
The French edition from Hélium appeared in April; the American and UK editions in May/June; and the German edition at the end of July. It's all happening, and very very exciting!
Worldshaker shortlisted for the Ethel Turner prize
Review in famous French newspaper Le Figaro
Story "A Guided Tour in the Kingdom of the Dead" in the Tor anthology, Year's Best Fantasy #9
Now I have two steampunk costumes! One is my Victoriana costume, with tailcoat and vest and fob watch and cane - as worn for the launch of Worldshaker at the steampunk convention in Melbourne and the steelworks launch at Wollongong. The only change is that I now pin one of my bits of steampunk jewel to the front of my top hat.
The steampunk jewellery came from a shop called In Visible Light in Newtown, and so did the new bit of copper jewellery that goes with my leather cap. Don't ask me why a leather cap, I just think it looks sort of steampunky. I wore it at Swancon in Perth, and got really fond of it. Very comfortable - maybe I'll take to wearing it all the time.
Along with the cap and copper thingy, I wear my steampunk vest, with amazing brass buckles. God only knows what it was for originally - I found it in a second hand shop and thought it looked interesting. It was only after wearing it to a Regency dinner at a Canberra convention that I thought, hey, this could belong in a steampunk costume too.
Memo to self: must get a photo of my gas mask! Such as might be worn by intrepid 19th century balloonists when flying through heavy industrial pollution. Or World War I soldiers, or whatever … steampunk knows no boundaries! (or if it does, I try not to find out about them)
THE WRITING TIPS SITE goes American, British and Australian
The writing tips website - all 145 pages of it - is now in 3 different version: Australian, US and UK. Click on the bar at the top of any page for Australian version; for the US and UK versions, you need to go to
Where was I? I produced the website as my community service to Australian fantasy/SF writers, but it's had such great feedback, that I thought it ought to go overseas too. Maybe I should say that Aileen - my partner - believed even more that it ought to go overseas, and kept prodding and prodding until I did something about it. So there it is in an American version and a British version as well as an Australian version. My overseas editors have helped me adapt parts of the last "Getting Published" section for overseas conditions - though actually there weren't as many differences as I expected.
So check it out if you're interested in writing, or even if you're just curious about what goes on behind the scenes in producing a book. Each version can be read on the web or downloaded for free and printed out like a small book. No strings attached - it really was a community service.
Lots of little illustrations too … in fact I'll copy a few of them now.