Archive for April, 2013

Houston, we have lift off!

April 30, 2013

We launched Song of the Slums at the Conflux National SF and Fantasy convention in Canberra on Saturday 27th April. The book doesn’t officially hit the bookshops till May 1st, so it was an advance launch by a couple of days.

Terry on the left, Rob on the right, me in the background

Terry on the left, Rob on the right, me in the background


Here’s Rob Hood introducing Terry Dowling, both highly respected in the Australian/SF community. Terry was probably the first major figure in Australian SF/fantasy – that is, the current wave of Australian SF/fantasy that’s been growing and growing over a couple of decades now – and his short stories were the first to win international respect and lead the charge into the US.

For me, Terry was a special person to do the launch because, way back before I overcame writer’s block and before Terry’s first book was published, the two of us, plus guitarist Chris, used to play music together at venues around Sydney – and I was drawing on memories of those times in creating the experiences of the Rowdies band in Song of the Slums. Of course, the Rowdies invent rock ‘n roll in 1846 and take the world by storm – we were never that successful! Still, we had our moments.

So Terry re-lived some of those memories in launching the book. Then we did a reading, where Terry took on the voice of one of the ex-soldiers and Aileen came in for two lines spoken by Astor. Here we all are –

Terry on left, me in my steampunk hat, Aileen ready for her lines

Terry on left, me in my steampunk hat, Aileen ready for her lines


Terry declared the book launched, and we sold a heap of copies. As someone said, all you need as a selling point is the key line – what if rock ‘n roll had been invented a hundred years before Elvis Presley, way back in 1846?

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Trailer for Song of the Slums

April 18, 2013

Here it is – the trailer for Song of the Slums now up on YouTube! Gasp in horror as steampunk rock n roll outrages respectable society! See Queen Victoria headbanging! Watch as this new music knocks Debussy and Mozart off the top of the 19th century charts!

What if they’d invented rock ‘n roll way back in the 19th century?
What if it took over the world and changed the course of history?

The Perils of Translation

April 14, 2013

My French editor just sent me an email. Seems there’s a problem with the name ‘Verrol’ in the French translation of SONG OF THE SLUMS – it woud be pronounced like ‘vĂ©role’, which is the French word for pox. I had to agree it needs changing – not at all the right associations for the romantic male lead!

Conflux launch for Song of the Slums

April 14, 2013

Not long now until my new steampunk/gaslight romance novel comes out in May, and we’ve arranged an advance launch at Conflux on Saturday April 27th. Conflux is the National Scence Fiction and Fantasy Convention in Canberra. The top part of the invitation looks like this –

Launch flyer for Conflux

Launch flyer for Conflux

Song of the Slums is set in the same steampunk universe as Worldshaker and Liberator, but at an earlier time, when the world is blanketed with smog and pollution after the Fifty Years War. It’s the story of how Astor discovers her talent for playing the drums, and how a new kind of music with a driving rock beat arrives and conquers the world – in the middle of the Victorian 19th century!

Here’s a pic of Astor and Verrol, the lead characters –

Astor and Verrol

Astor and Verrol