Behold, the reasons why my luggage was so damned heavy on the way back from Perth … in addition to the books in the con showbag … and there may have been some clothing purchased too (shhhhhhh!).
Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts. I mentioned this before in my con report and if ever there was a book for which the word ‘rollicking’ was invented, this is that book. Ancient history meets a bestiary, bitey poets, a faux Roman town in rural NSW and an airship over Sydney Harbour. This is a fun, fast and very clever read and an awesome flagship publication for TPP’s Twelve Planets series. My only complaint is there are a few plot contradictions (on one page we hear Clea hasn’t heard from Julius in years, then on the next page she met up with him in Paris the year before). But other than that minor niggle = made of awesome. Go, get it.
GOH Justina Robson’s Heliotrope is a collection of her short stories, published by Ticonderoga Publications and launched at Swancon. It’s a great mix of hard sf and fantasy; it thinks deeply and entertains effortlessly. Robson is probably better know for her novels, but she’s a Clarion graduate her talent is obvious.
Ellen Datlow, also a Swancon GOH, had books aplenty on offer. Mindful of plane weight restictions and my own bad back, I had to choose carefully between the Datlow offerings. In the end I choose Darkness and Inferno -although my heart still yearns after The Beastly Bride, Teeth, and Haunted Legends.
Then I saw this Women of Other Worlds: Excursions through science fiction and feminism, by the lovely Helen Merrick, just lying on the floor … an irresistable companion piece to her Hugo-nominated The Secret Feminist Cabal: A cultural history of sf feminisms.
No con book purchases are complete without something by the amazing, prolific and delightful Sean Williams – this will be my first taste of Sean’s short stories and I’m very much looking forward to cracking the cover of Magic Dirt!
Then there is the very lovely Scary Kisses Two, edited by she-of-the-fabulous-gluten-free-cupcakes Liz Grzyb. Gorgeous cover and some wonderful fiction by Amanda Pillar, Nicole Murphy, Felicity Dowker, et al.
And last, but very definitely least, is my beautiful hard cover copy of Dead Red Heart edited by Russell B Farr of Ticonderoga and launched at Swancon. It’s a fat book, filled with 35 tales of vampires in the land of Oz, with some truly inventive horror stories riffing on the idea of Dracula downunder. It’s a book that makes me happy because I’m sharing the ToC with so many of my friends, including Lisa L Hannett, Jason Nahrung, Kirstyn McDermott, Alan Baxter, Felicity Dowker, Damon Cavalchini, et al.