Tag Archives: books

It's Showtime!!

This week on International Women’s Day (8 March), Twelfth Planet Press announced the official release of my new short story collection, Showtime!

I’m so excited to be part of TPP’s Twelve Planets series. I’m also excited to bring you four domestic (but not domesticated) horror stories.

  • Stalemate
    – a kitchen ghost story
  • Thrall
    – a Hungarian vampire finds the 21st Century doesn’t agree with him, and all he has to help him remedy the situation is a dowdy middle aged mum. With allergies.
  • The Truth About Brains
    – a teenage girl’s little brother gets turned into a zombie, and she’s trying to fix him before mum finds out.
  • Showtime
    – Gary the vampire and Lissa the librarian from The Opposite of Life go to the Royal Melbourne Show. Lissa is annoyed to discover vampires up to No Good at the Haunted House. Terrified, but mostly really annoyed.

US Author Seanan Maguire wrote a magnificent introduction to the collection that makes me feel amazed that someone could like something I wrote so much, and see so much in it.

An e-version will be available in due course, but in the meantime buy Showtime from Twelfth Planet Press.

Some bookstores stock TPP books, too, including Embiggen Books on Little Lonsdale Street and Notions Unlimited in Chelsea, so check with them. If you want your own local bookstore to order it in, the details are: Showtime by Narrelle M Harris, published by Twelfth Planet Press, ISBN 978-0-9872162-0-5.

The official blurb:

Family drama can be found anywhere: in kitchens, in cafes. Derelict hotels, showground rides. Even dungeons far below ruined Hungarian castles. (Okay, especially in Hungarian dungeons.)

Old family fights can go on forever, especially if you’re undead. If an opportunity came to save someone else’s family, the way you couldn’t save your own, would you take it?

Your family might include ghosts, or zombies, or vampires. Maybe they just have allergies. Nobody’s perfect.

Family history can weigh on the present like a stone.  But the thing about families is, you can’t escape them. Not ever. And mostly, you don’t want to.

It’s a beautiful collection of pieces, each one utterly classic and completely new at the same time… In Narrelle’s hands, everything old is new again, and everything new has the weight of age.  There’s magic in that, and in this book. — Seanan McGuire

These Australians give me hope for the future of female, and even feminist, writers in SF. – Gwyenth Jones

Narrelle M Harris is a Melbourne-based writer. Find out more about her books, iPhone apps, public speaking and other activities at www.narrellemharris.com.

GaryView: The Blood Countess by Tara Moss

Gary and LissaLissa: Given your usual misgivings about how vampire books are nothing like actual vampires, what’s the verdict

Gary: It was okay.

Lissa: I really liked Pandora English. She’s smart, capable, funny and I liked that she wanted to be an investigative journalist, not just write fluff pieces about fashion. Her Aunt Celia was a good character, and I liked her friendly Civil War ghost. Luke was a sweetie.

Gary: The ghost was okay.

Lissa: It was pretty funny in parts, and the mystery was good. It’s that Hitchcockian theory of suspense, when you know more that the protagonist.

Gary: I suppose that was okay.

Lissa: The writing style flowed really nicely too. It was fun and easy to read, which I like sometimes.

Gary: It was a fast read, yes.

Lissa: …You didn’t really like it, did you?

Gary: It was fine, for a light read. I did like the writing style, really. It’s very cinematic. It’s easy to see how it would look as a film.

Lissa: What didn’t you like about it?

Gary: I didn’t not like it. It just… had a lot in it about clothes. And shoes. What’s a Mary Jane shoe anyway?

Lissa: Sort of like what I’m wearing now, but with a chunkier heel.

Gary: And that’s what Pandora was excited about?

Lissa: Mary Janes are comfortable but still pretty.

Gary: …oooookay.

Lissa: Actually, the scenes with the vintage fashion dress-ups were some of my favourites! It would be nice to have an exotic former designer of a great-aunt giving me tips and nice shoes to make my way in New York.

Gary: You would?

Lissa: Yeah. That Chanel outfit sounded nice. The black pants suit.

Gary: I didn’t think you were very interested in clothes.

Lissa: I’m not obsessive about them…

Gary: Yeah, that’s what I thought.

Lissa: What do you mean?

Gary: I mean that I didn’t think you were into shoes and stuff that much.

Lissa: Why?

Gary: Well…

Lissa: Just because I don’t go on and on about fashion, it doesn’t mean I don’t like nice things.  I like nice clothes. I have my own style.

Gary: (nods vigorously, like he’s understood) Yes. Your librarian style.

Lisa: What’s that supposed to mean?

Gary: (uncertain) Ah….

Lissa: Sartorial criticism coming from a man who wears the Hawaiian shirts his mother bought for him in a job lot at a fire sale in the early 80s isn’t really my idea of expert comment.

Gary: I’ve said something wrong and I don’t know what it is.

Lissa: What does ‘librarian style’ even mean?

Gary: I just meant… you’re a librarian and… that’s how… you dress…? Should I have said Lissa style? You dress like you. Is that… how is that a bad thing?

Lissa: It’s…ah… not.

Gary: Would it help if I said sorry?

Lissa: You don’t know what you’re apologising for, do you?

Gary: … no…

Lissa: (sighs) Don’t worry. It’s nothing. It’s just… someone at work yesterday said I dressed like a hippy.

Gary: I knew hippies at uni in the 1960s. You don’t dress like them. Anyway, I like what you wear. I like the colours.

Lissa: You don’t think it’s too… old fashioned?

Gary: I think you look nice.

Lissa: Oh. Well. Thank you.

Gary: You’re welcome. (pause) What’s wrong with my Hawaiian shirts?

*For newcomers, the GaryView is a review of books/films/TV/entertainment carried out as a conversation between Lissa Wilson (librarian) and Gary Hooper (vampire) , characters from my book ‘The Opposite of Life’. Visit my website for more information.