Re-interred convict and early white settler graves in the Jewish section of Cornelian Bay Cemetery, Hobart; many of the stars represent child and infant deaths.
I’ve had a busy
few months year, editing Mother of Invention (it’s with the printer now!), writing, and taking on the gothest side gig ever: doing admin and proofreading gravestones for a monumental stonemason.
Belated writing news… My Ecopunk story, “Trivalent”, was shortlisted for a Ditmar Award, and my Defying Doomsday short, “Two Somebodies Go Hunting”, has been shortlisted for a Norma K. Hemming Award.
I just got back from the US, where among other things, I pre-launched Mother of Invention at WisCon (my livetweets are here; I had a fantastic time on the two panels I was on, plus the others I attended and elsewhere). While I was there, Strange Horizons interviewed me about my writing and editing work, and it was great fun to chat to them about what keeps me writing.
Next on the horizon is Continuum. I’m programmed as follows:
- At 5pm on Friday, I’m running a panel on Assumed Knowledge in Fandom, about gatekeeping and unintentional barriers that stop people from enjoying geeky pastimes.
- At 2pm on Sunday, it’s the Mother of Invention pre-launch party (come along for excitement, cupcakes, and other goodies)!
- At 11am on Monday, I’m giving a ‘Deep Dive’ presentation on convict women (yes, the picture is a teaser from my slideshow!). Here’s my abstract:
Abandoned wenches and rebellious hussies: convict women in Van Diemen’s Land
In the Australian education system and more broadly, the history of male convicts dominates the discourse around transportation of criminals to Australia in the 18th and 19th centuries. Little is generally known of the thousands of women who were transported to Australia during the era. In this presentation, I will attempt to shed some light onto their lives, focusing on the female factories and the assignment system in use in Van Diemen’s Land (Tasmania). I will outline the crimes for which women were transported, what their sea voyages and arrivals were like, before examining the work women did in and out of the factories. Some were horribly mistreated; rape was common, whereas survival sex work led all female convicts to be perceived as prostitutes. Pregnancies were punished with internment in the factories, the resulting children were placed in orphanages at young ages. Some women kept their heads down and gained a ticket of leave as soon as possible; others were recalcitrant and seemed to prefer life inside the factory to outside (and each other to men). I will also aim to contextualise these histories within the history of prison reformation, different attitudes to morality among different social classes, and colonisation.
The passage of time never fails to take me by surprise. So here we are, it’s June, and I’m announcing my next big thing: Mother of Invention: a speculative fiction anthology of diverse, challenging stories about gender and artificial intelligence. I’ll be co-editing this Twelfth Planet Press anthology with Tansy Rayner Roberts. We’ve just launched a Kickstarter to fund the project, so please check out the goodies we have on offer and tell your friends.
In other news, I’m very excited to announce that my Far-North Queensland guerrilla scientist story, “Trivalent”, is forthcoming in Ticonderoga Publications’ Ecopunk anthology. I’m really proud of this story, and I’m in excellent company in this table of contents.
Also from Ticonderoga, my Tasmanian Jewish-ish steampunk “Beyond the Factory Wall” is reprinted in The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2015. Available soon.
I’ve also got con adventures aplenty this year. I live-tweeted (of course) GX Australia — my first gaming/pop culture convention. Next, I’ll be at Continuum in Melbourne, where I’ll be on a couple of panels and will be passing the ‘best new talent’ baton at the Ditmar Awards. After that, there’s the NSW Writers’ Centre Speculative Fiction Festival here in Sydney, WorldCon in Helsinki, Conflux (Canberra) if I can manage it, and last but not least, GenreCon in Brisbane.
I’m very excited to announce that my queer cyberpunk Sleeping Beauty retelling, “Function A.save (target.Dawn)”, has been reprinted in Twelfth Planet Press’s Year’s Best Young Adult Speculative Fiction 2015. Seriously, look at that ToC! I’m chuffed.
The Year’s Best is available now in print and ebook.
The Australian Speculative Fiction Snapshot is a recurring series of interviews with writers, editors and others involved in the speculative fiction scene across this country. This year, I joined the team of interviewers for the project. I had a great time with this project, mainly because it’s such a great vehicle for writers to squee about and to each other.
Over the next two weeks, I’ll be posting the interviews I conducted here on this blog; they and many others will also be posted on the Snapshot site.
A quick update after a quiet couple of months (I’m almost finished a few stories, I promise!).
In May I travelled to Madison, Wisconsin for WisCon, a feminist science fiction convention. I met some interesting people, bought more books than I thought I could fit in my suitcase (I was wrong and my suitcase is an enabler), and was enriched by the panels and discussion I attended. Of course, I liveblogged what I could.
Back at home, I was interviewed by the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild, who are set to release the ebook version of The Never Never Land on the first of July. It’ll be available on Smashwords and elsewhere.