Adelaide Writers’ Week: my second panel

My second panel at the Adelaide Writers’ Week is now available:

ABC Big Ideas: All Stories are Love Stories

Are all stories love stories?

There’s a fairly general agreement in answer to this question among this panel. All stories are pretty much love stories, no matter how dark, vengeful, bitter and thwarted or romantic and deluded.

There’s just a huge variation in the variety and the telling.

This is a sunlit panel featuring Charlotte WoodKaren Lord and Emily St John Mandel at theAdelaide Writers’ WeekCath Keneally moderates the session.

Fond memories of that panel. I think I was just starting to shake off the jet lag!

Adelaide Writers’ Week panel and other updates

Remember I mentioned that our panels at the Adelaide Writers’ Week were being televised? Well here is the first of mine where I discuss Redemption in Indigo with Dr Amy Matthews:

ABC Big Ideas Karen Lord: Redemption in Indigo

(Correction – Oxford was after teaching physics, not before.)

We also have a mini review of The Best of All Possible Worlds from Eric Brown at the Guardian (UK).

Finally, I now have a Wikipedia page thanks to participants in the Global Women Wikipedia Write-in!

Day One: Interviews and opening night

Day One began well. A text from Justine Larbalestier led to breakfast with her and her husband Scott Westerfeld. I had not met Justine before, but we’d bonded over cricket on Twitter. I’d heard Scott do a reading at the KGB Readings in New York, back in 2010 when I was there for the Brooklyn Book Festival. As well-travelled souls with lots of experience crossing both the date line and the equator, they were very kind to me in my still semi-woozy state.

The day got very busy after that. The excellent Tracey Cheetham, publicist at Pan Macmillan Australia, is also responsible for publicity for Quercus titles, and she tirelessly set up several interviews for me during my time in Adelaide. On Friday morning I had two important phonecalls: one an interview for a podcast, the other a pre-interview for a live radio interview taking place the following week. Then I went to the ABC studios in the early afternoon to discuss Redemption in Indigo with Sonya Feldhoff for the ABC 891 Book Club.

I tried to alleviate the jetlag with naps, but it was still an effort to get up and go to the reception and performance for the opening night of the Adelaide Festival. The dance performance was very much appreciated by the audience, but I’ll admit I lost my fight to stay awake and discreetly nodded off, relatively upright in my comfortable seat, until roused by applause.

Next, Day Two, in which there is much improvement to my level of mental alertness.

Some updates

The blog pages for ‘About‘ and ‘The Best of All Possible Worlds‘ have been updated. There is an interview (more on that soon), three new reviews from the Wall Street Journal, the Telegraph and the Seattle Times respectively, and an extra in the form of a Spanish translation of the previously-linked short story ‘Astronomy Lesson’.

Some new links and a reminder

First the reminder. My last book giveaway continues at this post. Go comment to enter!

Apologies for not giving some of these links sooner. I’ve been busy and now I’m both busy and fighting a cold/fever. There are new guest posts, and interview, and a mini review:

Next week I’m travelling to the Adelaide Writers’ Week in Australia. I will post a selected itinerary over the next few days. Unfortunately, I will be travelling at the time that the Kitschies are being awarded, and I have no guarantee of wifi in airports or on planes. Expect intermittent twitter and blog-silence next week and the week after.

Interviews and more

I’ve been trying to keep up, but a lot has been happening. First, we have my interview at the Literatura Fantástica blog in Spanish and in English. There’s also the first fifty pages of the Spanish translation available for download, and the publication date for the Spanish edition is 14 February … next week!

More good news – The Best of All Possible Worlds made the Editors’ Picks for February in Science Fiction and Fantasy at Amazon, and was chosen as best book of the month by RT Book Reviews.

And don’t forget to enter to win copies of The Best of All Possible Worlds and Redemption in Indigo. Details are here.

Two interviews, one review

I have updated the pages for Redemption in Indigo (Kitschies nomination), The Best of All Possible Worlds (excerpt, interview, review and news), and About (nomination and interviews).

There’s an interview from last year, recorded during the Bocas Lit Fest. I can barely remember what I said, but I do recall I had a fantastic time. Go listen to it now at The Spaces Between the Words.

BookPage has a review of The Best of All Possible Worlds and an interview I did with Gavin Grant of Small Beer Press (thanks Gavin!).

The Next Big Thing Meme

Charles Tan, the Bibliophile Stalker, tagged me for the Next Big Thing meme. Every Wednesday, a different set of authors (and sometimes editors) talk about their upcoming work. I’ve answered the questions, but I’ve failed miserably at finding people to tag. You’ll find out by the end just how miserably, but for now … on to our questions!

What is the working title of your next book?

The title is The Best of All Possible Worlds.

Where did the idea come from for the book?

After the Boxing Day Tsunami, I was particularly moved by news articles on certain fishing communities that lost almost all of the women and children while the majority of the men survived because they were at sea. The reports of the individual and community reactions to this kind of crisis added to what I already knew about less dramatic (though still significant) instances of gender imbalance in contemporary and historical societies. I didn’t have a story in mind at the time, but that was the foundation.

There’s an accidental link to another disaster. The 1755 Lisbon earthquake and tsunami was a devastating event that provoked Voltaire to challenge the idea that this is ‘the best of all possible worlds’. That phrase and its associated theodicy are from Leibniz. But I did not have any of this in mind when I came up with the title. My brief mention of Leibniz in the book is also accidental and is entirely to do with calculus rather than philosophy.

What genre does your book fall under?

Science fiction with some light background romance.

What actors would you choose to play the part of your characters in a movie rendition?

The story is carried by a core group of characters, so I’d need a great ensemble cast. For the leads, I think Angel Coulby would be perfect as Grace Delarua. Dllenahkh, the male protagonist, has been harder to cast. The ideal actor would be a middle-aged Pacific Islander who could convey a lot of gravitas with a hint of humour.

What is the one sentence synopsis of your book?

Refugee aliens on frontier planet seek genetically compatible brides for the purpose of post-genocide repopulation; bureaucracy, culture clash and hilarity ensue.

Will your book be self-published or represented by an agency?

Sally Harding of the Cooke Agency sold the manuscript to Jo Fletcher Books/Quercus in the UK and Del Rey/Random House in the US.

How long did it take you to write the first draft of the manuscript?

Three months. A lot was changed in the third month, and there were significant additions about a year later.

What other books would you compare this story to within your genre?

The size of the mission team and their visits to small, rural communities as well as larger towns is reminiscent of The Sparrow by Mary Doria Russell. The romance has been compared to Jane Eyre. The sociological and anthropological focus has been compared to the works of Ursula LeGuin.

Who or what inspired you to write this book?

After the Star Trek reboot came out, I read a hypothesis that the Vulcans might now have a skewed demographic because their offplanet occupations appeared to be very male-dominated. That resurrected my earlier thoughts on gender imbalance in societies and further inspired me to use a sci-fi framing for my ideas.

What else about your book might pique the reader’s interest?

There are Elves in it. Sort of.

I was supposed to tag five more people but a) it’s late in the meme and a lot of people have already been tagged, and b) it’s December and people are Christmas-busy as well as deadline-busy. But I did find one person: Karen Burnham. Look out for her blog post this time next week.

Hugo Awards and SF Crossing the Gulf Episode 4

First of all, congratulations to all the Hugo award winners, and special congratulations to the winner of the Campbell Award for Best New Writer, E. Lily Yu!

(For the record, these are not belated congratulations, these are extended congratulations. I have been congratulating by tweet and email since Sunday.)

Secondly, it’s Wednesday-fortnight again and that means podcast! I’m delighted to be discussing The Rainmaker’s Mistake by Jamaican writer and sociologist Erna Brodber. I thought Karen Burnham would find it challenging – hah, she didn’t! And she loved it and we hope you do too. You can listen to the podcast here at SF Signal, but before you do, it’s worth visiting The Spaces Between the Words for an interview with Erna Brodber that will enhance your podcast experience.