Monthly Archives: April 2014

The Wind in Spain

I’m thrilled to announce that The Silver Wind is coming to Spain!

The Spanish title will be Maquinas del Tiempo and the translation, underway as we speak, is by Carmen Torres and Laura Naranjo. The publisher is Nevsky Prospects, a small team of independent booklovers who are demonstrably passionate about weird fiction and committed to bringing new and international voices to a Spanish audience. One of their most recent publications is Karin Tidbeck’s brilliant debut collection Jagannath, which gives you an immediate indication of what an exciting vision these people have. Their books are also things of great beauty.  I’m delighted and excited that Maquinas del Tiempo will have such gifted and caring custodians on Spanish soil.

The book will feature an introduction by the writer and weird fiction devotee Sofia Rhei, who brought The Silver Wind to the attention of Marian and James at Nevsky in the first instance. The gorgeous cover design by Eva Ramon (who also designed the cover for Jagannath) has just been unveiled, and I for one couldn’t be happier with it.

Maquinas del Tiempo is due for release later this year. Watch this space for further details.

Spin to win!

The last half hour has brought me emails and phone calls from various lovely people currently at Eastercon, with the news that my novella Spin has won the BSFA Award for Best Short Fiction. To say I am thrilled, honoured and utterly gobsmacked would be an understatement. This post is just to thank everyone who voted for Spin. I feel deeply touched that members of the BSFA and of Eastercon – my home team! – have granted my work this fine accolade. I’m just sorry I couldn’t be in Glasgow to celebrate the award in person.

Huge thanks also to Andy Cox of TTA Press, who made the book a reality. I’m feeling very happy right now.

The Race – cover artwork revealed!

I’m thrilled to be able to reveal the cover artwork for my novel The Race, out this summer from NewCon Press. The image is by Ben Baldwin, and I’m sure you’ll agree with me when I say that it is stunning.

Ben has illustrated my stories many times, and when he enquired about designing the cover artwork for The Race I was delighted. Ben prefers to read a work in full before beginning to think about how he might illustrate it, and his understanding of what I write has always been so intuitive and so accurate I knew I would love whatever he came up with. I was not wrong.

Like all Ben’s work, the cover for The Race has a lyrical and haunting quality that meshes perfectly with the novel’s main themes. I asked Ben if he would design a wraparound cover, because I have a particular liking for them. The design draws inspiration from the work of Escher, with its dance-like, repeating rhythms.

Thank you, Ben. I love it.

Back to Blighty

That is one long flight.

Including the initial ‘hop’ from Launceston back to Sydney, I spent all of Friday and part of Saturday in the air, basically, and in spite of it offering the more or less unique opportunity to see Sydney Harbour Bridge and the blazing lights of Singapore from the air that is not an experience I would wholeheartedly recommend to anyone.

But what a trip.

The past three weeks have been inspiring and transformative in a multitude of ways. The chance to begin to know Australia and specifically Tasmania feels no less important to me and to my writing than the months I spent in Russia in the late 1980s – although of course the two experiences could hardly have been more different. It’s hard to sum up my thoughts in any coherent way here – I’m still very much in the process of absorbing what I’ve seen – but I will say that I feel so lucky to have visited Australia at what feels like precisely the right time for me, a time when particular sets of ideas and imagery have been recurring and expanding, needing a setting and a context that Tasmania’s spaces and history have allowed me to imagine.

I did try to blog – just once – from Cradle Mountain, where there was no phone signal but (bizarrely) there was WiFi. Sadly that WiFi was too erratic to deal with much, so I gave up on it. I made notes though – loads of notes – and the ideas for a story I’ve been wanting to write have coalesced and strengthened. It’ll be a while before this work sees the light of day – there are other things in the queue ahead of it, and in any case, the process of reading and thinking and storymaking is only just beginning – but I hope that when I’m eventually ready to write it, this (novel?) will recapture and shape and quantify at least a small part of what my time in Tasmania has given me.

It would be impossible to name everyone individually who helped to make the trip so memorable and so marvellous – there are many whose names we never even learned – but it would be wrong to end this post without thanking the people of Tasmania generally, some of the friendliest I’ve ever met, whose openness, welcoming attitude and lively engagement with and commitment to their landscape, heritage, and natural and social history I found liberating and life-changing.

My mum has all the best photos – she’s a better photographer than I am, which makes me a lazy and inconsistent one – so I might post some of hers when she gets around to emailing them across. In the meantime, here are just a few I have here on my hard drive.

'Matrix' waterfall, Sydney (photo by Peter Allan)

On Bondi Beach (photo by Peter Allan)

Descending from Marion's Lookout, Cradle Mountain National Park

Button Grass and Snow Gum

Cradle

Hazard's Beach

The Nile Chapel, Deddington

Old house, Deddington

Cataract Gorge, Launceston