Both stories have gotten some nice reviews over at Not if You Were the Last Short Story on Earth. The coolest thing is that the reviewers have gotten what I was trying to do - which, heaven help me means I might have actually managed to achieve it.
Jamieson develops a compelling galaxy riven by turmoil and - as clever storytellers manage* - balances it finely with a very personal love story. It's the sort of story that dragged me on: there was no way I could not know what happened to those characters.
An ambitious space opera in miniature, this novella has the real feel of an old-fashioned SF adventure. Except for the fact that old-fashioned SF adventures usually bore the pants off me! This one has an appealingly flawed protagonist, a compelling AI whose voice gets creepier and more interesting with every new insight into its point-of-view, and some damn good writing. I particularly like the exploration of the relationship between Jack (human) and Trip (cat/AI/ship), which evokes the classic Ship Who Sang issues in a New Millenium kind of way. I also suspect deeply that there's some Stainless Steel Rat homage going on in here - and if not, it certainly has that feel to it!
Tansy Rayner Roberts
How cool. Good reviews are nice when you get 'em, though I never expect them, because, to be brutally honest, by the time a story has seen print I am usually over it - the flavours been chewed out of it and all I can see are large passages of clunk and things I would do differently because of the stuff I've learnt writing the story in the first place and writing subsequent stories. I'm a person very suspicious of my prose.
Still, Iron Temple was my first - and probably last - real stab at Space Opera and I was chasing some big dashes of rollick leavened with melancholy and, for two readers at least it, worked.
Tansy had nice things to say about my Aurealis story too - Neighbourhood of Dead Monsters. Which is very cool because I like to impress Tansy, she's one of my perfect readers (as well as being a very exciting writer and ROR mate) but very hard to please - happens when perfect reader meets less than perfect writer - so I'm always chuffed if she likes one of mine.
On the matter of X6, I'm reading the novellas now, and they're very good - seriously, I'm still bowled over that I'm in there, really, it's some very excellent real estate.
Which segues to:
I'll be in Sydney Thursday week for the book launch.
Berkelouw Books Leichhardt (upstairs) 70 Norton Street, Leichhardt NSW Thursday 12th November, 2009 7.00pm
Come along if you're in the area, it's going to be a lot of fun.