FableCroft Publishing is pleased to offer a huge discount to schools wishing to purchase class sets of Worlds Next Door, a collection of speculative short fiction stories for 9-13 year olds. Released in 2010, Worlds Next Door features stories from 25 of Australia’s best authors for children, including Jen Banyard, Sue Bursztynski, Paul Collins, Pamela Freeman and Michael Pryor.
Stories from Worlds Next Door have been shortlisted for the Aurealis Awards and the Washington Science Fiction Association’s Small Press Award, and the book has received consistently excellent reviews across Australia. With teaching materials, free story downloads and audio versions available, Worlds Next Door is a valuable addition to any school resources.
If you would like to take the opportunity to purchase a class set of Worlds Next Door, simply email firstname.lastname@example.org with purchase order details (orders received this way will be invoiced, 30 day terms), or, if you have access to Paypal, please feel free to use the button below.
“The Best Dog in the World”, Dirk Flinthart
“A Wizard in Trouble”, Paul Collins
“Graffiti”, Joanne Anderton
“Enid and the Prince”, RJ Astruc
“Disobedience”, Dave Luckett
“The Guardians”, Geoffrey Hugh Miller
“Horror Movie”, Michael Pryor
“The House on Juniper Road”, Felicity Dowker
“Rocket and Sparky”, Edwina Harvey
“Inksucker”, Aidan Doyle
“Mega Wombats and Demon Ducks”, Sue Bursztynski
“Philomena Plaitbinder”, Angela Rega
“Moonchild”, Bren MacDibble
“The New Rat in Town”, Kaaron Warren
“Through the Break”, Jen Banyard
“Nine Times”, Kaia Landelius and Tansy Rayner Roberts
“Sir Pesky Poos-a-lot and the Pony” Thoraiya Dyer
“Old Saint Nick”, Leith Daniel
“Slugs and Snails”, Jenny Blackford
“The Trouble with Fifi”, Launz Burch
“Tabitha”, Rowena Cory Daniells
“Genevieve and the Dragon”, Angela Slatter
“The Nullarbor Wave”, Matthew Chrulew
“Ghost Town”, Pamela Freeman
“Little Arkham”, Martin Livings
Information on how to win a class set (30 copies) for your school/library here: http://worldsnextdoor.wordpress.com/2011/05/04/win-a-class-set-of-worlds-next-door/
It’s the start of a new year and to mark the passage into 2011, we’re now offering Worlds Next Door in all e-book formats for just $6.99 (US). You can buy easily from Smashwords, or email for site licence options. Happy New Year!
From Wednesday September 1 to Monday September 6, I was in Melbourne for the fourth Australian Worldcon, Aussiecon 4. This was a great chance to meet authors and people in spec fic from all over the world, including long-time online friends and many others. FableCroft had a strong presence in the Dealer Room (thanks to Alisa over at Twelfth Planet Press who permitted us space on her beautifully presented table, as well as access to her EFTPOS machine!) and I got the chance to meet and catch up with almost a full quotient of FableCroft authors! Both Worlds Next Door and Australis Imaginarium sold well and it was lots of fun to talk to people about them and show them off.
* Giving Shaun Tan his contributor copy of Australis Imaginarium and having him admire it very much! Well done Amanda Rainey for a cover design that really did his artwork justice.
* Getting authors to sign their stories in a special copy of Worlds Next Door.
* Hearing Dirk Flinthart recount how he read his Worlds Next Door story (“The Best Dog in the World”) to a very appreciative audience, only to end up in tears himself – twice! (A number of other people also said they may have choked up when reading it themselves – it’s a good story )
* Being on a panel about writing the difference in Australian SF with Peter M Ball and Narrelle Harris and being able to recommend fantastic Australian short and long fiction to a mostly international audience.
It was such a busy but fabulous five days, and one I’m so glad I got to – hope to make it to another Worldcon one year! For now though, I’ll look forward to Swancon36/Natcon50 in Perth at Easter, the Aurealis Awards in Sydney sometime next year, and hopefully Conflux in Canberra late 2011!
Alisa and Tehani behind the TPP/FableCroft table
(this photo courtesy of George Ivanoff)
The book launch for Worlds Next Door took place on Thursday August 19, 2010 at the Rockingham Community Library. Hosted by Simon Haynes, author of the fantastic Hal Spacejock series, with readings by contributors Leith Daniel and Jen Banyard, more than 65 people came along and enjoyed the event.
I was delighted with the turn out, and enjoyed the launch very much, as did everyone who I’ve spoken to about it. Lee Battersby said some very kind things on his blog; I particularly liked his appreciation for the kid-friendliness of the event.
I was very fortunate to have a number of good friends offer catering assistance and other help with the launch; particular mention must be made of Terri Sellen who baked and gorgeously decorated eleventy million cupcakes and a beautiful bookshelf cake. Incredible!
I’ve posted a whole bunch of photos in an public Facebook album here – many taken by my friend Leanne Joyce, others on my camera by myself, my husband and anyone else who got a hold of the camera!
Things have been a bit quiet around here for a couple of weeks. There are many reasons for this, one of the primary ones being the preparations for the official launch of Worlds Next Door, which takes place tomorrow evening.
The book has been out in the wild for a couple of weeks now, with some very positive feedback being blogged, tweeted and Facebooked about, which is lovely to see. Check out the FableCroft twitter feed for some of the retweets (and sometime real soon I will start a Reviews page on the website!).
Simon Haynes, of Hal Spacejock fame, is hosting the launch for us, and there will be readings by at least two of the authors, giveaways, fun for the kids, and lots of food and drink!
The Rockingham Community Library is very kindly providing the venue, and we’ll have lots of photos to share in a day or two. Should be lots of fun!
YOU ARE INVITED TO THE WORLDS NEXT DOOR BOOK LAUNCH!
Date: Thursday, 19 August 2010
Time: 17:30 – 19:00
Location: Rockingham Community Library, Dixon Road, Rockingham
Worlds Next Door is an Australian anthology of speculative fiction stories for 9-13 year olds. Published by FableCroft Publishing and edited by Tehani Wessely, Worlds Next Door contains stories by 25 Australian authors, each illustrated by Australian artists. Many of the authors in the pages are award-winning and well-known writers of children’s fiction, and the anthology is compiled to be enjoyed by kids and adults alike, with an accompanying website containing free teaching materials, story downloads, podcasts, guest blogs and more. worldsnextdoor.wordpress.com
Teachers, librarians, children, families, friends and interested persons are invited to celebrate the launch of Worlds Next Door, the flagship book from Rockingham publishing house FableCroft. Drinks and nibblies for all ages will be provided, and there will be lots of prizes to win!
Hosted by Perth author Simon Haynes (of Hal Spacejock fame) with participation by the editor/publisher and local authors. Come along and join the fun!
Last week I received the advance print copies of Worlds Next Door (and it looks beautiful!). This week, I finalised the lineup for Australis Imaginarium and am delighted to announce it!
“Once a Month, on a Sunday” by Ian McHugh
“Night Heron’s Curse” by Thoraiya Dyer
“Hunter of Darkness, Hunter of Light” by Michael Pryor
“A Pig’s Whisper” by Margo Lanagan
“Stealing Free” by Deborah Biancotti
“Suffer the Little Children” by Rowena Cory Daniells
“Virgin Jackson” by Marianne de Pierres
“The Claws of Native Ghosts” by Lee Battersby
“The Jacaranda Wife” by Angela Slatter
“The Dark Under the Skin” by Dirk Strasser
“Red Ochre” by Lucy Sussex
“Passing the Bone” by Sean Williams
I’m sure you’ll agree it’s an intriguing and totally awesome lineup
To celebrate Australis Imaginarium being (almost) ready to go to print, we’re giving away another book!
This time, it’s an original anthology of imaginative short fiction edited by bestselling authors Neil Gaiman and Al Sarrantonio – Stories is pretty to look at and packed with awesome authors and their work.
Publisher’s Weekly says: “This collection of 27 never-before published stories from an impressive cast — Roddy Doyle, Joyce Carol Oates, and Stuart O’Nan, among others — sets out to shift genre paradigms. The overarching theme is fantastic fiction, or fiction of the imagination, with fantasy being used in the most broad-sweeping sense rather than signaling the familiar commercial staples of elves, ghouls, and robots.”
Interested? Want a chance to win? Here’s how! We’re celebrating Australian stories in Australis Imaginarium, so in the comments here, simply tell me your favourite Australian novel or short story (or both!) and why you love it. It doesn’t have to be speculative fiction, simply Australian in some way. And yes, it is somewhat ironic that I’m celebrating Australian fiction with the reward of a non-Australian book – I can if I wanna!
Open to all (happy to post internationally if needs be), winner to be chosen at random from eligible entries. Entries close Sunday July 18, 2010.
Well, two advance copies have arrived at least! They look lovely (just like real books!), the cover is beautiful, the internal pages are perfect, and I’m delighted. Looking forward to having boxes of them in the house in a few weeks!
I’m fortunate to have the wonderful, award-winning Amanda Rainey designing book covers for FableCroft. The cover for Worlds Next Door is fabulous and has received some great feedback already. We think a lot about covers and there’s been lots of cover discussions in the blog-o-sphere in recent times too. From the very cool YouTube clip of the creation of a Gail Carriger cover to the issues with representative covers, people clearly care a lot about covers.
It’s one of the oldest sayings around: “Don’t judge a book by its cover!” – a great adage to remember when dealing with people, but to be honest, I’ve never understood it in relation to books! As a teacher librarian, I can tell you that the cover of a book is possibly the most important thing required to “sell” a book to a reluctant reader. Or even a great one. We are visual creatures – if it doesn’t look good, we are less likely to pick it up. The artwork and design of a book cover are its primary selling point, in a library and a bookshop – if the design doesn’t appeal, it is harder to sell, especially an unknown or newish author.
And it’s not just about being eye-catching. There has been quite a lot of discussion about the diversity of book covers. Controversy recently raged over Justine Larbalestier’s book Liar (released in Australia with an attention-getting and completely inoffensive cover, pictured). This book was originally slated for a North American release with a light-skinned cover model, despite it being clear in the book that the protagonist is African-American. Larbalestier used the power of the Internet to let her publisher know this was an unacceptable whitewashing of her cover, and, with the support of her fans and outraged supporters, managed to get the cover changed. This storm was followed by a second (from the same publisher) over Magic Under Glass by Jaclyn Dolamore, which also resulted in the cover being changed. Looking at book covers over time shows us that the portrayal of women and other-than-white cultures has not been a shining light of publishing history, but it has now become an issue that readers are beginning to have a real say about, and be heard by publishers.
It’s true though that many readers do not notice these politically correct or otherwise portrayals on covers – they simply notice what appeals to them. Orbit Books released a clip showing how a book design comes together which has had over 90,000 hits on YouTube, demonstrating that book covers are fascinating to many of us. Publishers are also quick to pick up on popular covers and duplicate them for other books. See, for example, the new HarperCollins versions of Wuthering Heights, which imitate Twilight. UK author Brett Weeks also talks about this in relation to his own books, saying, “… you want people who enjoyed the Night Angel books but can’t even remember my name to be able to identify that these new books are Brent Weeks books. At the same time, you want to let people know that this is a new series, that the feel of these books is new and different, and basically … appeal to the greatest audience possible. This is made harder if every Tom, Dick, and Harry now has a cover with a hooded man with a sword. (Orbit appears to have started a small trend with my last covers.)”. This was illustrated to me when I saw the covers of Aussie author Rowena Cory Daniells’ new trilogy “King Rolen’s Kin” (due out as monthly releases this year) – there are obvious similarities to the covers of Weeks’ first trilogy, and I love them! Peter V Brett’s covers are also reminiscent of the Weeks ones, so it’s a definite trend!
For my mind, book covers should reflect the contents, theme or ideas of the book they are representing, in a way that is evocative, beautiful, striking or arresting in some way – books battle for attention in bookstores and on library shelves and any advantage is a bonus. 2009 Aurealis Award winner for Best Young Adult novel Leviathan by Scott Westerfeld is a perfect example. It practically cries out to be picked up, caressed, and then devoured. The artwork is symbolises the story, depicting it in a gorgeous and captivating way that appeals both to its target readers and adults (who are frequently the book buyers for that young adult audience), and it’s simply one of the most appealing books of the year.
Other 2009 Australian releases that hit my buttons for great covers included Mirror Space by Marianne de Pierres , Scarecrow by Sean Williams and Full Circle, Pamela Freeman . What’s most interesting about these covers is that not only are they beautiful in their own right, but they also manage to act as a cohesive whole with the other books of the series they are part of. While each is unique, each also holds design elements in common with its sister books, which makes it even more appealing to the avid reader.
And the 2010 book I was MOST looking forward to is Power and Majesty (Book 1 of the Creature Court trilogy) by Tansy Rayner Roberts (released in June from HarperVoyager). Tansy has long been a favourite author of mine with her short stories and her Mocklore books; Power and Majesty is not only already receiving rave reviews – promising to be one of the hottest fantasy novels of the year – but it has the most gorgeous cover, ensuring it will fly off bookstore shelves.
Not all publishers get it right. Some covers make a great book look drab and boring, others completely misrepresent the story being told (I’m thinking particularly of books like Carrie Ryan’s The Forest of Hands and Teeth, a YA zombie novel that is nothing like Twilight, despite what the cover tries to insinuate!). But others get it very very right, and these are the covers that draw us in and carry us away. You really can’t judge a book by its cover, but the cover sure helps!