Mother of all updates

At long last, Mother of Invention is on sale! You can pick up a paperback or ebook from Twelfth Planet Press directly, or via Amazon. If you’d like an idea of what Tansy and I were trying to do with this anthology, Tor.com very kindly reprinted the introduction. Also on Tor.com, Tansy and I waxed lyrical about books that give voice to artificial intelligence. This is the first book that has my name on the cover and I’m quite proud of it, so I’d love it if you had a look. Also, check out the gorgeous cover by the amazingly talented Likhain.

As for my own fiction, I have a story forthcoming in a Crossed Genres micro-anthology, Resist Fascism. This story is about building community through kindness and jiujitsu (Jew-jitsu, if you will). The Kickstarter has just a couple of days to go, so now’s the time to hit that BACK THIS PROJECT button. I also have another story slated for publication next year, in [embargo].

Lastly, I’ll be at Conflux this year. I’ll be chairing a talk by Lyss Wickramasinghe on “Funding a writing career the alternate way”, reprising my Continuum presentation on convict women, and running a panel on “Play to write: what tabletop and video games can teach writers of fiction”. Hope to see you there!

Recently, and soon

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.

It? Is? June?

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.