Monday, 30 April 2018

On being the Captain

A few thoughts today on my alter-ego cosplay identity, Captain Janeway. I appear as her often at SF conferences, comic-cons, young writers' events, Halloween parties, even home movies. Of course I like her stories on Voyager; it was a natural progression to consider how I might sew a version of her uniform jacket, and once I put it on, I began to notice that "acting the Captain" was something I really enjoyed. There's something about wearing a uniform, the collar pips, the inherent authority, that makes me stand up straighter and walk more decisively.

I suppose it feels like an outward reflection of the leadership roles I hold in real life, though these are definitely not military in nature. I ran a small publishing house for a while, steering my authors to publication and later guiding most of them in the jump to indie publishing. I still work as an editor and mentor for indies. I've long been on the committee of national writers' organisation, most of those years as president - just a title, but someone's gotta do it. Then I signed up to be the chair of next year's SF Natcon (New Zealand's 40th) and that promises to be an exciting ride. Already I'm loving seeing the team come together, people bringing their strengths in areas where I am clearly helpless.
(Go check out, by the way. More on that some other time, I'm sure.)

Anyway, all that to say, it's amazing what effect an authoritative persona can have on how I feel when I'm her. I'm not the only one to experience or consider this; let's just say I have a great deal of empathy for a certain Admiral Naismith and his search for identity.

And just for fun, and in case you haven't seen it, here's one of the home movies facilitated by the excellent and all-round fun Mitchell family in Arkansas, with help from lots of friends:

Monday, 2 April 2018

Mariah's Prologues collection wins Sir Julius Vogel Award

It's my first actual award! I can still hardly believe it. Of all my books, I didn't really think about this one winning a prize - a slightly random collection of short stories that I began as background work for the Vortex of Éire series. Each story follows a character from Mariah's Dream in the weeks and months before the start of the novel, providing a little bit more of a basis for when their adventures begin. Necessarily these tales are not the full story, merely vignettes of normal life such as it was in Europe of 2078. I say Europe because although Mariah's Dream and most of the prologues take place in Ireland, there are also a few here that are set in France and one in Wales. But although the main action is saved for the novel, I have chosen significant encounters from the characters' earlier lives, things that have shaped them into the people you meet later in their chronology. How Darian got his dog, and his girlfriend. How the other dog escaped a negligent owner and became an observant wanderer in Belfast. Mariah's Da, helping people at work. Even the cyborg guards get a look-in. They're people too, after all.

 My thanks to all who voted in both rounds of the SJV. I'm more than stoked. Here you see me with Lee Murray on the night - she got hers too, of course, which should not come as a surprise to anyone. Thanks also to the organisers at SFFANZ, and congratulations to all the winners! There's a full list at this link: