August 2008

For anyone reading this who is also in or near Brisvegas, and is interested in writing or literature, the Brisbane Writers Festival is on soon. It runs from the 17th to the 21st of September, and they’re taking bookings now for ticketed events. I’ve just been looking through the program and there are some interesting panel discussions I want to get along to. I’m looking forward to it.

I know I promised more short stories soon, but I’ve been waiting to get something else published and it hasn’t happened yet. I have a couple of stories I’m waiting to hear back about at the moment, so for now I’ll just keep plugging away, trying to write something new and worth waiting for. In the meantime, have an inspirational quote.

The late Kurt Vonnegut on writing short stories:

Still and all, why bother? Here’s my answer: Many people need desperately to receive this message: “I feel and think much as you do, care about many of the things you care about, although most people don’t care about them. You are not alone.” (Timequake)

I just found this writing site:

A Content Creation Site and Writers Community

A Content Creation Site and Writers' Community

I’m in the process of reading through some of the fiction that’s up there. So far I’m really enjoying the Jake and Logan detective stories. I like the wry sense of humour and the quirkiness of them. The site also has a forum for writers, which looks to be pretty friendly and helpful. I reccomend checking it out.

Since I posted about buying Nylon Angel by Marrianne de Pierres, I may as well follow up with a short review of it. It’s a cyberpunk novel, which as far as I know has no connection whatsoever with the foot fetish website, which I found by accident when googling the book. It is set in Australia in the near(ish) future. The main character, Parrish Plessis, works as a bodyguard in ‘The Tert’, a rough area on the outskirts of a city called Viva on the East coast. She is just trying to survive and keep “her own patch of poison”, but when a journalist named Razz Retribution is murdered, Parrish becomes embroiled in a turf war between rival gang lords. In her desire to join the elusive group known as the Cabal Coomera and escape her controlling, abusive employer, she has to deal not only with ordinary violence, but also strange, possibly supernatural events, or “spirit stuff”.

It makes a nice change to read some genre fiction set in Australia. Personally I don’t think there’s enough of it out there as yet, and I plan to be part of the solution if I can persuade some publishers to take on some more of my own stories.

Nylon Angel is fast- paced and exciting. It is full of well-choreographed action scenes, including the mandatory motorcycle chase. Parrish’s voice, in particular the slang terms she uses, takes a bit of getting used to, but after a couple of chapters I was immersed enough in her world to make sense of it for the most part. De Pierres avoids making her heroine too perfect to be believable. Parrish is scarred, both physically and emotionally, by her past, and, cool and sexy though she is, she frequently makes mistakes, making her easier for the reader to relate to.

This is not a comment on the writing itself, but the character on the cover doesn’t look at all the way I pictured Parrish from the description in the book. She doesn’t have Parrish’s dreadlocks, or the practical but less sexy touches like her miner’s headlamp. I suppose the publishers must have decided that all cyberpunk heroines should look like a generic version of Trinity from The Matrix.

Aside from the setting, Nylon Angel is not particularly original, but it is a good example of what it is, ie. an easy-to-read cyberpunk adventure. It’s also a real page-turner. I let two cups of tea go cold finishing the last few chapters. I will definitely pick up the next book in the series. I also may check out the role playing game based on the novel.