I’m going to put together a roundup of reviews and articles about Clade soon, but in the meantime I’ve done a pair of Q&As you might like to check out. The first was for Penguin, and you can read it on their website; the other was for the fabulous Angela Slatter’s blog.
And while it’s not about the book, I’ve also just done a little thing for Zena Shapter about the music I’ve been enjoying recently. You can read the whole thing over on Zena’s blog, but because I wrote it a couple of weeks ago I didn’t include two things I’ve been loving in the past little while. The first is Israeli singer-songwriter Asaf Avidan’s fabulous album, Gold Shadow, which rather like Angel Olsen’s excellent Burn Your Fire For No Witness, looks back to the 1960s and beyond for a series of sounds and production techniques which manage to sound both retro and completely contemporary. And the other is The Beatles’ fourth album, Beatles For Sale, a record I was convinced to go back to by Jonathan Gould’s enthusiastic discussion of it in his biography of the Fab Four, Can’t Buy Me Love (which I’m planning to write something about on the weekend). For various reasons I’d come to accept the line that it’s an album born of exhaustion and creative burnout, a trough between the high points of A Hard Day’s Night and Help, but having listened to it again I’ve realised it’s actually much more interesting than I’d given it credit for, not just because original songs like ‘No Reply’ are so terrific, but because the choice of covers implies a fascinating conversation with their various influences and antecedents (and also, I suspect, prefigure the engagement with music hall and other, older forms on albums like Sgt Pepper).
A little after the fact because I’ve been in Adelaide for Writers’ Week, but last Friday saw the release of the finalists for this year’s Aurealis Awards, and I’m delighted to say my story, ‘Skinsuit’, has been shortlisted for Best Horror Short Story alongside stories by Deb Biancotti, Kirstyn McDermott, Garth Nix and Angela Slatter.
You can read the full list of finalists on the Aurealis Awards website, but suffice it to say there’s a lot of brilliant stuff on the various shortlists. And while the story isn’t online, if you’re in Australia you can read it by picking up a copy of #137 of Island Magazine.
The winners are announced in Canberra on 11 April and tickets to the ceremony are $40 until 11 March and $50 thereafter. In the meantime my congratulations to all my fellow finalists, in particular Deb, Kirstyn, Garth and Angela, and thank you not just to the team at Island for publishing the story, but to the judges and organisers for making the awards happen in the first place.
Update: you can now hear Jonathan Strahan, Tehani Wessely, Alisa Krasnostein and Seán Wright discussing the awards and the various shortlists on a special episode of the Coode Street podcast.
You can now watch Geordie Williamson’s characteristically generous and thoughtful speech at the launch of Clade at Better Read Than Dead Bookshop in Newtown last week. My heartfelt thanks to Geordie, the team at Better Read Than Dead and everybody who came along for making it such a special event.
As usual the February issue of Locus Magazine includes its annual Recommended Reading List, covering books and stories published over the previous calendar year. Compiled by the magazine’s editors, reviewers and a panel of outside critics, it always makes for fascinating reading, and this year’s list, which includes a number of books and stories I have read and would heartily recommend (David Mitchell’s The Bone Clocks, Garth Nix’s Clariel, Adam Roberts’ Bête, Katherine Addison’s The Goblin Emperor, Ann Leckie’s Ancillary Sword, William Gibson’s The Peripheral) and a number I haven’t but I’m looking forward to a lot (Rjurik Davidson’s Unwrapped Sky, Ben Peek’s The Godless, Nina Allan’s The Race) is no exception.
At a personal level though I was delighted to discover my story, ‘The Changeling’, which was published in Jonathan Strahan’s Fearsome Magics (which also gets a mention in the Recommended Anthologies list) included in the list of Recommended Novelettes.
You can read the full list of recommended books and stories over at Locus. And if you’d like to read ‘The Changeling’ you can pick up a copy of Fearsome Magics (which also features stories by Garth Nix, Karin Tidbeck, Kaaron Warren, Frances Hardinge, Isobelle Carmody and a bunch of other excellent people) from online and bricks and mortar retailers or through your favourite ebook retailer.
My new novel, Clade, hits bookshop shelves today. I’m incredibly excited it’s finally out: Penguin have done an amazing job and it looks gorgeous, but more importantly it’s a book I’m very proud of, and which means a great deal to me.
If you’d like to know a little more about it you can check out the publisher’s description, or read the first chapter, and if you’re curious about the title I’ve written a little piece about it you might find interesting.
I’ll be posting more information on events and things as they’re announced, but if you’re in Sydney there’s a launch at Better Read Than Dead at 6:00pm on Thursday 5 February, and one of the Sydney Story Factory’s Author Talks at 6:00pm on Wednesday 18 February. I’ll also be at Adelaide Writers’ Week in March.
But in the meantime, yay! And I hope you like it.
I’m very excited to say I’ll be a guest at Adelaide Writers’ Week in March. The full list of guests, which includes the brilliant John Lanchester, Michel Faber, Joan London, Jenny Offil, John Darnielle, Ceridwen Dovey, Jane Gleeson-White and Willy Vlautin is available on the Writers’ Week website, where you can also check out events day by day or download a pdf of the full program, but you can catch me in conversation with Delia Falconer at 1:15pm on Sunday 1 March and talking about love and apocalypse with Michel Faber and Canadian poet Ken Babstock at 5:00pm on Monday 2 March. I’ll also be interviewing Mountain Goats frontman and novelist John Darnielle about his terrific new novel, Wolf in White Van, at 5:00pm on Saturday 28 February (an event I’m really excited about).
If you’re going to be in Adelaide please come along; in the meantime here’s Writers’ Week Director Laura Kroetsch talking about Clade a couple of months ago.