Ripping Ozzie Reads

Ozzie Spec Fic Authors offer you worlds of Wonder and Imagination

Posts Tagged ‘Liberator’

Supanova steampunk documentary!

Posted by richardharland on June 6, 2012

It’s a week and a half to the Sydney Supanova – the special big bash, Supanova’s tenth anniversary celebration. Not only stars of film and TV (more than I can list – check ’em out at but also two RORees as author guests – Marianne de Pierres and yours truly, Richard Harland! (the overseas author is Christopher Paolini, of Eragon fame)

For me, the most exciting bit will be the filming of a steampunk documentary. Michael Pryor and I will be doing a panel on all-you-ever-wanted-to-know about Steampunk, and filming will take place during and after the panel. Come in steampunk togs if you have any – or come anyway.

Here’s the official invite, open to anyone attending Supanova on the day –

“Would you like to appear in a Steampunk TV documentary? Simply, attend Michael Pryor and Richard Harland’s panel over the weekend at Supanova in Sydney. Filming will take place during the panel as well as an opportunity to be interviewed straight after the panel. So come dressed in your best outfit and tell us why you love Steampunk! Tell your friends and family to come along and make this event one to remember!

Keep checking this page for confirmation of which day and room this event will be held.

We look forward to seeing you there.”

For any further information, please contact Trevor Howis at

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Launches, Fantasy Genre, Genre TV Shows, Movie/TV Adaptations, SF Books, Steampunk, Uncategorized, Writing for Young Adults | Tagged: , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Adventure beyond Paris

Posted by richardharland on November 28, 2011

Today we took a train trip to Chartres. Outside of Paris, it was real late autumn weather, very misty, and the leaves on the trees all beautiful yellows and browns. Still not full-on winter, in other words.

We must jinx public transport: on Friday, there was an accident ahead of us on the line, blocking trains for hours. Yesterday, the lights inside the carriage went out, and there was an announcement that there was someone on the line (a body on the live third rail?) That was only a 5 min delay. Today, the train stopped halfway to Chartres and we had to go the rest of the way by bus.

Charters is as I remembered it from over thirty years ago – the most beautiful stained glass in the world. I loved it all over again. Here’s a photo, but only the palest imitation of the real thing.

We wandered around the old town, warmed up on onion soup in a tiny restaurant (I still think I do a better onion soup), and somehow didn’t get rained on even though you could almost see the raindrops forming in the air. (We’ve noticed this before, how it can come so close to raining you’d swear it had already started – yet it still stays dry.) Here’s us at the restaurant –

Posted in Authors and Public Speaking, Book Launches, Creativity | Tagged: , , | 2 Comments »

Lazy morning, busy afternoon

Posted by richardharland on November 27, 2011

Having a great time in Paris! Not as cold as expected (there are still leaves on the trees!), though grey, except for one sunny day.

On the first evening, we went to dinner with my publisher, Sophie Giraud. Here’s a pic –

That’s Sophie next to Aileen (Gilberte, editor, and Valérie, translator, turned up after the photo was taken).

Next day we went to the Musée d’Orsay, then the following day was readings and signings at Les Enfants Sur Le Toit bookshop in Montmarte. Here’s a pic of me with Cirinne and Valérie (a different Valérie), the owners.

Our apartment inParis is near Rue Oberkampf, which is where the young people in Paris come to party. So I was told, and it was true last night. Boy, what a party they were having in the apartment next to ours. Here,s a view from our apartment window –

Today we went to the famous flea market at St Ouen – bought a whole lot of clothes, boots, jewellery for Aileen and steampunk goggles for me (at last!) We’ve been eating great French and Algerian food … All going good!

Posted in Authors and Public Speaking, Book Launches, Creativity, Editors, Promoting your Book, Publishers | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

LIBERATOR – Giveaway Competition

Posted by richardharland on May 4, 2011

Big surprise for me this morning – my author’s copies of the French edition of Liberator arrived in a huge parcel PLUS author’s copies of the German edition. I knew the French edition was neck-and-neck with the Australian, but I thought the German was a long way off. The UK edition won’t come out until July, and the US is due early in 2012.

Here’s a quick blurb on the book before we get to the competition —-
Liberator is the largest juggernaut in the world, 3 km long by 1 km wide, a vast mountain of metal rolling across land and sea. Unlike the Russian, French, Prussian and Austrian juggernauts, it has been freed by revolution, and the slave-class of Filthies are now in charge. They’ve even changed its name from Worldshaker to Liberator. But the other reactionary juggernauts see it as a threat to their world-domination, and, when Liberator calls in at the Botany Bay coaling-station, they converge to attack.

On board Liberator, fear and paranoia are building up day by day. Mysterious acts of sabotage and murder have turned the Filthies against the remaining members of the old ruling class, including Col Porpentine and his family and friends. Even Riff, the girl Filthy who seemed to care for Col, is now embarrassed to be seen with him. As extremism grows, a charismatic leader comes to the fore and a radical political coup launches a new kind of tyranny.

…… OK, that was actually my first attempt at a blurb, not the one that appears on the book.

Now for the COMPETITION! Since it’s a steampunk world, of course there have to be corsets in it.
(i) ONE FREE SIGNED COPY of LIBERATOR to the best entry on “My Favourite Corset” (no more than a couple of sentences/short pithy paragraph) You have to choose one out of the selection below and say why. The first three are male (men used to wear corsets, like Queen Victoria’s majordomo in Liberator) and the next three are female (and Lye, the charismatic leader in Liberator, has her own special reason for wearing a corset)

Enter by pasting in a comment. The corsets are

Go to it! Be inventive! Cross-dressing is allowed and encouraged (Queen Victoria wouldn’t mind). And when you’ve done with those images, there’s still ——
(ii) ANOTHER FREE GIVEAWAY COPY to anyone who comes up with the best description of “My Own Design of Corset, Much Superior than the Selection Above”.

Strap yourself in! Get waisted! Enter the competition by pasting in a comment.

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Giveaway, Book Launches, Creativity, Editing and Revision, Fantasy Genre, Nourish the Writer, Promoting your Book, Steampunk, World Buildng, Writing for Young Adults | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 25 Comments »

Richard’s Winners!

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 25, 2011

I know it’s usual to say how hard it was to pick a winner even when it wasn’t, but this time it’s the simple truth! Many great Italian names for the Italian juggernaut, but in the end I decided on Imperator because it has that extra edge of grandiloquence and pride. if Mussolini had had a juggernaut, I bet he’d have called it ‘Imperator’ (Living in a non-juggernaut era, he probably gave the name to his dog or cat or something.

The choice for the American juggernaut winner was absolutely neck and neck. Several suggestions were a bit satirical – I liked that! But in e end, it was a toss-up between Independence (black and satirical) and Manifest Destiny (I love the historical implications). I agonized and agonized, until I remembered that Laura had allowed David to claim first rights on Manifest Destiny … But David was already winning a copy of Worldshaker with ‘Imperator’! Phew – that made it easy. ‘Independence’ for the American juggernaut, courtesy of Scott!

Congratulations to the two winners! Email me on


Thanks to everyone who took part.  It’s been fun!

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Book Giveaway, Creativity, Nourish the Writer, Steampunk | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Meet Richard Harland

Posted by Rowena Cory Daniells on January 18, 2011

A man of many waistcoats, Richard Harland is a great raconteur. (If you ever have to do a reading at an SF Con, try not to be slotted in after him). A writer of SF, fantasy, horror, mystery and the fantastical for all ages there doesn’t appear to be much that Richard can’t do.

Richard’s give away is rather quirky …

In an alternative 19th century, juggernauts are vast mountains of machinery rolling across the ground, one for each Imperialist nation.

The British juggernaut is Worldshaker.

The French juggernaut is La Marseillaise.

The Russian juggernaut is the Romanov.

The Prussian juggernaut is the Lebensraum.

The Turkish juggernaut is the Battle of Mohacs.

Worldshaker appears in Richard’s novel of the same name, and the others appear in the sequel, Liberator. The Italian and American juggernauts haven’t yet appeared. Think up a name for them (only one for each). Best name for the Italian juggernaut wins a copy of Worldshaker, and another copy goes to the best name for the American juggernaut.

Leave your suggestion in the comments section.

The French juggernaut, La Marseillaise.

Q: Worldshaker and its sequel Liberator are set in a delightful steampunk world. Worldshaker has been very successful and you did a World Tour (the UK and the US) last year to promote the book. Were you surprised when Worldshaker hit such a nerve with the reading public?

Front and back cover of Liberator, by Oscar-nominated film director Anthony Lucas

Well, I was surprised by the level of enthusiasm from my Australian publisher (Allen & Unwin), then blown away by the size of the advance offered by my American publisher (Simon & Schuster). That made me realise they expected great things from Worldshaker, and, yep, it’s all coming true. I was lucky to have written exactly the right book at exactly the right moment—quite by accident. Worldshaker was my mechanised version of a Mervyn Peake-like world, which just happened to be the same as steampunk. About as steampunky as a novel could get, at the very moment when the steampunk fashion was starting to take off.

The fact that Worldshaker and the soon-to-be-released Liberator are also the best novels I’ve ever written isn’t so accidental. I think steampunk is the genre I was born to write! I look back on my earlier novels, and I can see steampunky elements creeping into them here, there and everywhere.

Q: Is there a third book based on the adventures of Riff and Col?

Or maybe Septimus and Gillabeth, along with Riff and Col? As soon as there’s something to announce, it’ll be announced first on Ripping Ozzie Reads!

Q: The Black Crusade was a sequel to the Vicar of Morbing Vyle and won the Golden Aurealis in 2004. These are very quirky books. Are you ever tempted to revisit this world and characters?

No, those were cult novels, and I fitted the writing of The Black Crusade in between other writings. With my steampunk novels selling so well, I can’t see myself finding time to produce another gothic cult book—and I don’t have any ideas for one either.

Q: There are four books in the Wolf kingdom series for upper primary. What prompted you to develop this series and will there be more stories?

I was asked to produce a quartet of short children’s fantasy books, along with Ian Irvine, Kim Wilkins and Fiona MacInstosh. For me, it was the perfect opportunity to develop a fantasy world with wolves, which have inhabited my dreams ever since I was a kid. I finally wrote wolves out of myself with the Wolf Kingdom books, so no, no more in the series. The fourth book wraps up the story once and for all.

Q: You have a wonderful resource on your web site, 145 pages of writing tips. You must get lots of great feedback from aspiring writers. Did it take a long time to put together?

It took ages! Whenever I get feedback from writers who’ve been helped by the site, I feel it was all worthwhile, but at the time I was cursing myself for not doing any writing of my own for four whole months. The site just grew and grew, and I couldn’t stop until I’d covered every angle of becoming a speculative fiction writer—good writing habits, action, setting, dialogue, characters, story, momentum, style and getting published. It was 145 web pages in the end—I think it comes to 160 pages if you print out the download. And then there were all the little humorous pics to create and insert:–like …

Q: You have won in many different sections of the Aurealis Awards: best fantasy short story, best horror novel, best children’s/illustrated fiction, along with the Golden Aurealis for best in any category. All of this must have pleased your publishers. Were you ever afraid of diluting your reading public, working across so many genres and ages?

I’ve been indulged, hopping from sub-genre to sub-genre and readership to readership. It’s good for keeping the creative juices flowing, but it’s not good for building a loyal readership. Now I have to face the hard necessity of really developing a name in one particular area—which luckily coincides with the fact that I’ve finally discovered my very favourite area—steampunk!—just at the moment when there’s a growing readership for it.

I’ll still keep hopping about with short stories, though.

Q: There are the wonderful Ferren and the Angels series, Sassycat (which my son loved and read over and over) and the Aussie Chomps book, Walter wants to be a Werewolf. Do you just have so many ideas you can’t stop them bubbling up?

Ideas have never been my problem—I’ve always had plenty of them. My problem was turning ideas into words, and words into finished books. I had writer’s block for 25 years, when I couldn’t finish a single novel I started writing. Which now means I have a backlog of ideas as well as all the new ideas that keep coming. I’m planning to live to about 100—I reckon I should run out of ideas for novels clamouring to be written round about then.

Q: I read your Eddon and Vail series and really enjoyed it. It was SF, mystery and a love story all woven into one. It didn’t get the attention it deserved. Was this because it was such a mix of genres?

Yes, and bad timing. The market for SF was declining in Australia when the first Eddon and Vail book (The Dark Edge) came out, so the idea was to sell it as murder mystery as well as SF. That was no cheat, it really is both. Trouble is, you can get a murder mystery story to work for an SF audience, but you can’t get murder mystery fans to swap over to an SF setting.

Q: When Marianne and I approached you back in 2005 to see if you’d like to join ROR, you agreed and have been part of the group ever since. Did you find ROR helped you in developing or directing your writing? And if so, in what ways?

One of my greatest mistakes during my 25 years of writer’s block was that I was too proud to show unfinished or less-than-perfect work to anyone else. Now I’m mad for feedback—and there’s no better feedback than from a group of fellow-writers, all reading one another’s novels. The ROR group is very professional, very committed, very serious and—importantly–very tactful. (No raging egos!) And great guys too, even apart from writing!

Q: What are you currently working on?

I’m still doing the copyediting and final revisions on Liberator, which comes out in April (US), May (Australia, UK)—and perhaps as early as March in France. (Germany and Brazil will be later.)

The UK cover of Liberator, by Ian Miller

The (always very different) over for the French edition of Liberator

I’ve been working on short stories at the same time—not-so-short, novella-length stories, actually. There’s a re-worked Beauty and the Beast in The Wilful Eye, ed. Isabelle Carmody and Nan McNab; a steampunky, 19th century, supernatural story in Ghosts by Gaslight, ed. Jack Dann; and a story still without a final title for Anywhere But Earth, ed. Keith Stevenson.

I think I might write more short stories before the next big project. Over the last couple of days, I’ve been inspired by Ellen Datlow taking “The Fear” for her US anthology, Year’s Best Horror; the sale of another story to an American magazine; and the sudden realisation that the cupboard is almost bare—I have only one story still waiting to find a home.

Q: At ROR we always do our realistic goals and our dream goals. So what are your realistic goals and what are your dream goals?

My dream goal is to have a movie made of Worldshaker. That’s a dream with realistic elements, because there’s a Hollywood director who wants to make it and a top scriptwriter currently seeing whether she wants to script it. But anything to do with Hollywood is still a far-off dream until it happens.

My hopefully realistic goal is to see Worldshaker and Liberator sold to Japan. They love gigantic machines in Japan—I want them to love juggernauts!

My most realistic goal is to get more and more steampunk clothes. I just had a birthday a couple of days ago, and my presents included an aviator helmet and another old-fashioned waistcoat to add to my collection (23 so far …).

Don’t forget to enter Richard’s give-away. Question at the top of this post. Leave your suggestion in the comments section.

Meanwhile,  you can find out more about Richard at Or, for the US, and for the UK, His free guide to writing fantasy and speculative fiction is at

Posted in Australian Spec Fic Scene, Awards, Book Giveaway, Creativity, Editing and Revision, Genre Writing, Nourish the Writer, Publishing Industry, Steampunk, World Buildng, Writing for children, Writing for Young Adults, Writing Groups | Tagged: , , , , , | 27 Comments »