PRECIOUS THINGS: PAT CATTIGAN

It’s Sunday morning: time for a new Precious Things post, and time for a new experience for me– because, for once, I’m going to introduce someone about whom I know almost nothing.

Pat Cattigan and I have been Facebook friends for 2 years, brought together by a shared sense of humour, usually expressed on posts about football. Pat lives in the original Perth, and follows Celtic Football Club. And that’s all I know. Even when I asked if he wanted to provide a bio and photo for this post, he replied with the following:

O Grade in Woodwork. Failed footballer still dreaming of becoming a travelling Hobo.

And, to me, that’s the great thing about the internet: under normal circumstances, Pat and I would never meet, or know anything about each other, but here we are, and we all get to know something about his tastes, and something near and dear to me. So, ladies and gentlemen, my pal Pat:

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PRECIOUS THINGS: STEPHEN DEDMAN

After a little hiatus thanks to shutuptou’renotmyMum, we’re back with another Precious Things post. This time out, it’s friend, mentor, Australian SF veteran and furniture, and all-round frood of the froods, Doctor Stephen Dedman!

Stephen is the author of (watch this space for regular updates) novels, 120+ short stories and a non-fiction book on the historic relationship between American SF and the US military. His history is littered with service to writerdom, and he is currently available as a manuscript mentor through the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers Centre. He plans to update his website any day now.

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Cool, innit?

My first experience of Stephen was meeting him at a long-distant Perth Writers Festival, when it was still held at the Fremantle Arts Centre and had just about enough budget to pay to open the gates. (We knew it before it went electric…) After a long, and at times, exhausting panel on an uncovered stage in the centre of the courtyard, in the mid-day February sun (It should be noted: Stephen’s wardrobe come in any colour you like, as long as you like black), he still took the time to accept being buttonholed by a naive git looming out of the crowd as he departed, asking him for advice, patronage, and general feelings of bonhomie. The fact that he took the time to chat, give me his contact details, and provide one of the single most useful piece of writing advice I’ve ever received, tells you a lot about the man.

Later, he invited me to join him at my first science fiction convention, and shared my first ever panel. He purchased some of my earliest stories. He was best man at my wedding to Luscious. It’s been a friendship of going on 15 years and counting.

Stephen is one of the coolest people I know. So there.

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PRECIOUS THINGS: BEVAN MCGUINESS

Welcome, my friends, to the mind of Western Australian fantasy author Bevan McGuiness. Bevan is a veteran of novels (including his Eleven Kingdoms and Triumvirate series’), short stories, reviews, and textbook works on science, a subject he sufferes through daily in the name of education the teens of this world.

 

Keep your arms and legs within the carriage, and please, ignore the man behind the curtain..

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PRECIOUS THINGS: DEB FITZPATRICK

Oh, I’ve had so many things I wanted to talk about this last week : I want to say a few things about the passing of legendary actor John Hurt; to talk about starting my new work– a piece of military SF short fiction, and how losing one story fragment has led me to another opportunity; and to talk about the new fitness routine that has led to me losing 3 and a half kilos since the start of the year.

 

BUT I’ve been a-bed since lunchtime last Wednesday with a chest infection that just won’t quit, so it’s all going to have to wait.

In the meantime, though, I can at least get a new Precious Things post up. This time, it’s the lovely Deb Fitzpatrick. Deb’s an author of YA and Children’s books who I first met a couple of years ago at the opening of the Perth Writers Festival, and it just brings a smile to my face each time we bump into each other: she’s a joyous personality, and that’s reflected in the positive, enriching books she writes.Her latest is At My Door, a title for younger readers. The Break (2014) is for adult readers. Her two novels for young adults – 90 Packets of Instant Noodles (2010) and Have You Seen Ally Queen? (2011) – were named Notable Books by the Children’s Book Council of Australia (CBCA). The Amazing Spencer Gray (2013), a novel for younger readers, will be published in the US in early 2017. In mid-2017 a follow-up book, The Spectacular Spencer Gray, will be published.
Precious Things: Deb Fitzpatrick
 

While I don’t think of it as a precious literary treasure, I would say that That Book for me is The Bodysurfers by Robert Drewe.
 
 

 
 
 
 
It was the book in which I first saw my own places drawn on the page, lyrically, beautifully – places made valid as literary settings. Rob Drewe grew up in Perth and had already achieved great things in The Savage Crows when I read this book of short stories.
 
To see the beaches I grew up on written about in this way really opened up some possibilities for me…

PRECIOUS THINGS TWOFER: GREG CHAPMAN AND MICHAEL ROBOTHAM

Time for another Precious Thing to be revealed, and for reasons soon to be revealed, today we have no less than two examples for your education, entertainment, and all-round enjoyment.

First off the rank is Greg Chapman.

Greg has been quietly racking up credits as both author and artist since 2009, and has ranked out a series of novellas, stories, and graphic works on a regular basis, including collaborating on the Stoker Award-winning graphic novel Witch Hunts: A Graphic History of the Burning Times with Lisa Morton and the late Rocky Wood. One of the nicest guys around, and a true lover of the dark side of the speculative street, Greg’s a constant voice for the inclusion and enjoyment of dark fiction. You can find out more about Greg at his website, but for now, here he is on the subject of his most precious literary treasure.

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PRECIOUS THINGS: ANNA TAMBOUR

Let’s make one thing clear: if you’ve assembled a list of best speculative fiction authors in Australia, and Anna Tambour isn’t on it, you’ve either not read her or you’re wrong.

Anna is, quite simply, one of the most original and fascinating speculative voices this country has ever produced. Her novels and collections, such as Monterra’s Deliciosa and Other Stories, and Spotted Lily, have garnered fans everywhere they’ve touched, and awards lie up to throw nominations at her. her 2013 novel Crandolin, for example, was shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award. Her most recent publication is her 2015 collection The Finest Ass in the Universe. As with all her works, it’s a sublime treat.

Despite all this, (and the fact you can find her online at her website here), Anna remains one of the most humble and self-effacing people I’ve ever met. When I asked her for a bio, she sent me this:

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PRECIOUS THINGS: DONNA MAREE HANSON

Okay, I’m sick at home, and a whole bunch of my creative friends like this Precious Things idea, and they’ve sent me their spiels already. Sooooooooooo…… that’s enough of an excuse to pop another one up for our reading pleasure, isn’t it?

 

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Donna Maree Hanson is a Canberra-based writer of fantasy, science fiction, horror, and under the pseudonym Dani Kristoff, paranormal romance. Her dark fantasy series (which some reviewers have called ‘grim dark’), Dragon Wine, is published by Momentum Books (Pan Macmillan’s digital imprint). In April 2015, she was awarded the A. Bertram Chandler Award for ‘Outstanding Achievement in Australian Science Fiction’ for her work in running science fiction conventions, publishing and broader SF community contribution. Donna also writes young adult science fiction, with Rayessa and the Space Pirates and Rae and Essa’s Space Adventures out with Escape Publishing. In 2016, Donna  commenced her PhD candidature researching Feminism in Popular Romance. Her first Indie published book, Argenterra, was publishing in late April 2016. Argenterra is the first in an epic fantasy series (the Silverlands) suitable for adult and young adult readers. You can find out more about Donna at her website, but for now, here is the story of her literary treasure.

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