Hey folks, hope you are all well. Life has been a bit crazy at Fisch Enterprises, so apologies for the paucity of updates on this site! Work, life, all that fun stuff The writing is coming along in steady amounts – things are about to kick off on several fronts so easing into what will be a hectic workload for the rest of the year.
During the July school holidays, I’ll be doing some booksignings of “Quiver” during the school holidays (details below). Collins Booksellers have also added me to their roster for National Bookshop Day, with a bunch of local authors including Hannah Kent, Melanie Casey, Kathryn White, Janeen Brian, Katrina Germein, Peter Cooper, Ben Chandler and Jackie Barreau. Promises to be a good day so why not check it out?
Collins Booksellers Edwardstown – Friday July 12, 1pm
Dymocks Adelaide – Saturday July 13, 11am
National Bookshop Day:
Collins Booksellers Edwardstown – Saturday August 10th, 11am
You might remember some time ago, I did a spot of co-writing with prolific author Steven Savile. The project was VIRAL, a series of military thriller novellas. Others working on this project included Keith R DeCandido, Jordan Ellinger and Alex Black.
Well, the whole project has been given a facelift. We’ve got new cover-art (above) and Steve has massaged the text into a true novel, with a new beginning and conclusion for those who might have read the individual volumes.
VIRAL tells the story of a new kind of war, where public health meets the war on terror. From the refugee camps of Kenya to the streets of New York, shadowy forces push the world to the brink of doom. Told from the point of view of a journalist, an epidemiologist, a CIA operative and a local doctor, VIRAL is the story of a war fought with vaccination needles…
Right now, you can pick up the deluxe new version of VIRAL for a song:
Our stable of authors included two established tie-in writers, an ex-Ministry of Defence staffer, and an Army Scout. These were great fun for us to write, and I hope you enjoy them too!
Today, I’ve had the pleasure of guest-blogging over at David McDonald’s site for the “Wednesday Writers” feature. I’m currently mentoring David via the Australian Horror Writers Association, and it was most kind of my talented mentee to give me an opportunity to talk about “Quiver”, how it came about, and the fix-up/mosaic novels that inspired me to put it together.
While not exactly starving and moping in a garret, there are sometimes big stretches of time where I don’t get to conventions or other cool Writery Things. This year, I attempt to mitigate this by taking two interstate trips with a couple of weeks of each other.
First up, I’m going to be at Melbourne Supanova this year. Dymocks have kindly asked me to sign copies of my new novel “Quiver” at their signing table, which is pretty cool. I’m a Supanova virgin so very excited to see what mainstream conventions have to offer. At the very least, I want to high-five the Hoff, and get Barbara Eden from I Dream of Jeannie to say a swear word.
Secondly, I’m going to be at Conflux in Canberra. Not only will this see the official launch of Quiver, but I’m on a swag of panels, catching up with a tonne of most excellent people, and generally having a great time.
My Conflux itinerary is as follows (and note, they haven’t nailed exact times down so this could change):
Ticonderoga Author spot,
“Quiver” book launch at morning tea time
Geeks Are Cool (after the book launch).
If you’re going along to any of these things, make sure to say hello! April’s going to be manic and boonta and all things good.
“Hey you! Nominate my boy, or I’ll slap you upside the head with my swagger stick!”
Of course, Drusilla the Ditmar Diprotodon is my friend first and foremost. So when I called on her to help me pimp my own work for this year, why she slapped on her purple pimp hat quicker than you can say “giant marsupial”.
Without further ado, here are my eligible works for the 2013 Ditmar Awards, as endorsed by Drusilla the Ditmar Diprotodon.
Quiver, Jason Fischer, Black House Comics
BEST SHORT STORY:
“Pigroot Flat”, Jason Fischer, in Midnight Echo 8
“Rolling for Fetch”, Jason Fischer, in Aurealis 49
Also, Drusilla would like to make a special mention of the following:
BEST FAN ARTIST:
Kathleen Jennings for “The Tamsyn Webb Sketchbook”
There are literally OODLES of other eligible works, as listed here:
And details about the nomination process can be found here:
Good luck with your nomination!
Some of you might remember last year when I introduced you to Drusilla, the Ditmar Diprotodon. This time-travelling spokesmammal of Australian SF has apparently remained in our time-stream, mostly for the fiction. Rumours of the secret megafauna invasion are still largely exaggerated and (for now) she is an ambassador of literature and peace. Today, she joins me on the Fisch-blog to talk about all things Ditmar.
JF: Hi Drusilla the Ditmar Diprotodon, thanks for stopping by.
DDD: My pleasure, Jason. Thanks for the huge bushel of vegetation.
JF: I’d do the same for any of my guests. Now, my sources tell me that you’re a passionate advocate of the Ditmar Awards.
DDD: Indeed. I think it’s wonderful to reward creative minds. We had a similar popular-vote award back in the Pleistocene Epoch, “The Mammal’s Choice Award”. Though our categories were more along the lines of Best Survivor, Species Viability, Most Effective Predator and the like. We still had a Fan Art category though.
JF: Megafauna are nothing if not organised. So, Drusilla, do you know who you are nominating in this year’s Ditmar Awards?
DDD: Oh yes! I’ve perused the 2013 Ditmar Eligibility List and cobbled together a list of my favourite books, novellas, short stories and even some reviews and podcasts that I got into last year. The beauty of the Ditmar is that I can nominate as many things in as many categories as I like. You don’t dilute or divide your nomination by doing so.
JF: So, if you were a creative type nominating your own work (which is okay to do) it doesn’t hurt you at all to list other works in the same category?
DDD: Indeed. You’re a mug if you don’t. I think that this mechanism effectively neutralises any self-touting – by the time the self-nominations are tallied up, the real results would come from the additional “I also liked this stuff” nominations.
JF: So, you’re saying the system works?
DDD: I know the Ditmars are not without their own controversies. Nary a year goes by without some sort of battle royale about the results, accusations of bloc voting, all of that drama. It reminds me in many ways of the “Mammal’s Choice Award” of 50,000 BCE. Brutor the Marsupial Lion was accused by many of rigging the vote for Most Effective Predator, but it turned out he really was the Most Effective Predator, as numerous corpses attested to.
JF: So do you think there was bloc voting, both now and then?
DDD: Probably. But that’s the law of the savana. No doubt many of Brutor’s relatives put their paws to the ballot, but it was probably a statistical blip when compared to the other terrified votes. At least the result was accurate! The Ditmar nomination process resembles a circus of touting and enormous lists of eligible works, but I think it’s a necessary process. After the initial flurry of activity, the overall numbers would float to the surface, and then the most representative value appears on that final ballot paper.
JF: I heard mention that you were frustrated by one of the rules?
DDD: Yes. As a fan, I was stymied by rule 4.1 “Nominations will be accepted only from natural persons active in fandom”. Stupid homo sapiens, of course you try to keep the fun all to yourselves. But ultimately I got around it by signing up to each Natcon, and I quote “or from full or supporting members of the national convention of the year of the award.”
JF: That’s clever.
DDD: [munching sounds]
JF: We need another wheelbarrow of lettuce in here.
No matter what I do with this writing thing, I like to have fun with it. Some of you may know that I have a new book “Quiver” available here. As a commercial artist it is of course in my best interests to promote my own product, but there’s nothing worse than spamming all and sundry with “BUY MY BOOK”.
With that in mind, I’ve taken a different tack. The protagonist of my book is a teenage girl, and as such she is by default all over the social networking. So if you’d like to chat to Tamsyn Webb, she is now on Twitter and Facebook! She is known to respond to readers with her usual sass and dry wit.
One thing that backfired on me, er, I mean her. She is of course 17 years old, which means that Facebook won’t allow her profile to be completely public. So just friend away, friendo. You can then hear all about her adventures, and how the lack of chocolate is starting to get to her.
A lovely write-up regarding my new book can be found over at the Writers of the Future website.
And of course, copies of “Quiver” can be found, previewed and purchased here: http://www.tamsynwebb.com/
I’m a massive fan of “easter eggs“, meaning when intentional hidden messages, inside jokes, motifs and homages are hidden inside other works. That, plus my love of puns and other word bastardry, means I have included several easter eggs within my new novel “Quiver”.
Here are just a few that keen-eyed readers might spot:
- Throughout the story the characters encounter several boats – these all start with the same letter.
- I’m a fan of the UK series “Shameless”, and I’ve included many riffs that pay homage to this show. Character names, several references to Manchester (a brief mention of a community of survivors, a moment where Tamsyn wears a Man-U scarf etc) and others that fans might spot.
- Going against the threads and tropes of postapocalyptic fiction, everyone in a position of legitimate civilian authority is female. The only male community leader found in “Quiver” is the Mayor of Gravesend, and his rule is FAR from legitimate. Most of the military leaders are male, and the polished war machine of today is rapidly devolving into barbarism. This is a very deliberate homage to one of my favourite postapocalyptic books, “The Gate to Women’s Country” by Sheri S. Tepper.
- Most of the villainous military officers that Tamsyn encounters have surnames starting with the same letter.
- References to other postapocalyptic or dystopian works such as “Lord of the Flies”. There’s the deliberate inclusion of a cat for Tamsyn as an antonym to the Harlan Ellison classic “A Boy and His Dog”.
- Finally, while I’ve reined in my natural instinct to pun, there are at least two whoppers that I can think of that made it to the final version.
- EDIT: Also, the titles of the original novellas attached to the After the World project were all puns riffing on place names, death, and whatever Tamsyn was doing at the time. These are (in chronological order) Gravesend, Corpus Christi, Army Corpse, and Better Red than Undead. Hint for the last one: Cuba.
I’ve gotta say, this book was a lot of fun to write. If you’d like to nab yourself a copy, head over to the official website tamsynwebb.com. You can order the book in hard-copy, or get an e-book through either Smashwords or for the Kindle. By all accounts it’s selling well – I’m one proud and excited author!