books


It’s been quite a while (eighteen months or so) since I updated this blog. I’ve found life as the mother of of a very active little toddler pretty busy. I am still writing but I’ve been moonlighting under another pen name, which I’m keeping secret for now.

The latest news is that I have a story to appear in the upcoming anthology 100 Stories for Queensland, a not for profit book to raise money for the Queensland Premier’s Flood Relief Appeal. The collection contains flash fiction from 100 authors, some local and some from further afield and has been put together with a lot of hard work by Trevor Belshaw and Jodi Cleghorn (who has a nifty writing site called Write Anything). It’s due to be released in March and I’m pretty excited about reading the other stories and seeing something of mine in print on actual paper this time!

That’s all for now. Further bulletins as events warrant.

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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 nylonangel.com, 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.