A couple of years ago, Patty Jansen was told by a very large publisher: "This book is well-written and well-plotted, but no one will publish this". The manuscript in question was book 1 in the Ambassador series, and to say that Patty was a little taken aback and shaken is an understatement.
But, against conventional wisdom, she kept writing similar stories, and had some success in the short story market. She won the Writers of the Future contest and took part in the amazing workshop in LA, hobnobbing with big-name writers like Kevin Anderson, Larry Niven and Greg Benford. She sold some stories to Analog. But she prefers to write novels.
She was getting good industry responses to the Icefire trilogy when the GFC hit, and the publishing industry crawled into a hole. She would like to tell the agents who still have the manuscript from back then that it has been published, so they can remove it from their desks.
Patty didn't set out to become a vocal supporter for self-publishing. In real life, she is not a very controversial person, trained as scientist. She loves writing science bits into novels, whether the genre is science fiction or fantasy.
When she was told by yet another publisher not to bother submitting hard science fiction because she is a woman, she finally decided that maybe the publishing industry was not for her.
She might be stubborn, but she believes that people should allowed to be themselves:
- Women should be able to write science fiction (high-tech and space opera, no naked torsos), even though 95% of the bestseller lists in those genres are male.
- They should do so under their own name.
- Writers should write in their local type of English, and not be "required" to make all their spelling and idioms US-centric.
- Writers have the right not to be held to ransom by publishers who take their manuscripts and then take years to make a decision, or grabbing rights (like movie rights, creative rights) which they are not going to use.
With this in mind, Patty, who lives in Australia, writes science fiction and fantasy about people who also believe in those things, or fight for those things.
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on Sep. 09, 2014 :
Good story featuring very interesting and original society. Good science too. Ending seemed a bit rushed though.
Most likely I'll read some more books by Patty Jansen soon.
(review of free book)
on Sep. 08, 2013 :
The Shattered World Within by Patty Jansen is a novella set in the same universe as Trader's Honour (and others). That said, it's very much a stand-alone story and definitely doesn't require any previous reading to enjoy.
The Shattered World Within brings us a very different society, governed by the delicate interplay of instincts and networks of trust. Except for when it isn't. Zhyara is the leader of an expedition to investigate a mining station that has failed to report in. When they arrive there, most of the populace is missing and things are very strange among those that remain. Through Zhyara's point of view we learn about the social order and ranking system that operates in his culture. It is as fascinating as it is unfamiliar. For all that the people in this story are humanoid, their behaviour sets them apart as truly alien to us.
This is also highlighted by Zhyara's family. Zhyara comes from a poor family and a undistinguished clan that lives on the outer edge of the city. He expends a lot of energy trying to help his younger brother make something of his life even though, since he became successful, Zhyara suddenly stopped being his mother's favourite. Through Zhyara's burgeoning understanding of what is going on with his brother, the reader is introduced to more conflicts within his society. I really have to applaud Jansen for the complex and other world she has created.
The other great aspect of this novella is the physical worldbuilding. Jansen sticks to science, as I've come to expect from her writing, and creates a believable universe. Without spoiling the ending, she also includes a more unusual but plausible planet, which I hope we will one day get to read more about.
A great read for fans of hard and sociological science fiction alike. Highly recommended.
4.5 / 5 stars
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on Aug. 28, 2013 :
I received this book for free in exchange for posting an honest review.
Set in the future yet reminiscent of the past I found this to be a fascinating book. It has action, adventure, a hint of mystery and a little hint of romance. I found myself drawing many comparisons to other historic events and to famous or infamous people. I think this book would make an excellent addition to any advanced high school English class. It would also prompt interesting discussions should it be chosen by a book club. I'm going to propose it to my own group.
(reviewed the day of purchase)