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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.
Want to keep up-to-date with Patty's fiction? Join the mailing list here: http://eepurl.com/qqlAb
Patty is on Twitter (@pattyjansen), Facebook, LinkedIn, goodreads, LibraryThing, google+ and blogs at: http://pattyjansen.com/
on April 18, 2011 :
This little book just got better and better. It's good, old-fashioned science fiction, the kind that's just perfect for curling up with.
With a ten-year old hero, I guess the book qualifies as YA or middle grade. But it kept my interest all the way through, with good, complex characters, and a story-line busy enough for the adult mind. The space station setting is accurate and rich, portrayed quite well through the story, without pages and pages of exposition to "describe" everything.
There are a few typos in the early chapters, but I didn't notice any later on. Perhaps I just got too much into the story!
(reviewed within a month of purchase)
on April 01, 2011 :
A great coming-of-age story! There's not nearly enough hopeful forward-looking human-meets-aliens science fiction out there, so I was glad to see this on the store shelves (as it were).
Some parts seem a little sketchy, and it seems implausible that terrorists would use publicly available videogames as instruction manuals - far more likely that they'd serve as indoctrination - but on the whole, I look forward to seeing more in this universe.
(reviewed the day of purchase)