Lucy Sussex lectures at La Trobe University. Her award-winning fiction includes books for younger readers and the novel, The Scarlet Rider (1996). She has published five short story collections, My Lady Tongue, A Tour Guide in Utopia, Absolute Uncertainty, Matilda Told Such Dreadful Lies (a best of), and Thief of Lives. Matilda received a starred review in Publisher’s Weekly. Currently she reviews weekly for the Age andSydney Morning Herald. She has also written Women Writers and Detectives in C19th Crime Fiction(Palgrave) and edited Victoriana: Mary Fortune’s work and an anthology of Victorian travel writing, Saltwater in the Ink (ASP).
1. In addition to novels, edited collections and critical work, you have four short story collections, including the latest Thief of Lives from Twelfth Planet Press. What inspires you to keep writing short fiction and what genres most appeal to you nowadays?
It’s a perfect length for exploring ideas. I still like the spec fiction short–one of the classic marriages of subject and form. And it is inspirational that people want to keep on publishing my efforts!
2. Another recent publication, Matilda Told Such Dreadful Lies: The Essential Lucy Sussex collects stories from across your 25 year career. Looking back, what stories do you think people should read to get a full taste of the ‘Lucy Sussex experience’?
I think ‘Matricide’ is my best. ‘Something Better than Death’ is a good snapshot of what I do. The title story is also my particular take on Australian history, so should be read. ‘My Lady Tongue’ is early stuff, but my sense of humour is showing, like a purple petticoat.
3. What are you working on right now? Can we expect any longer works in the near future?
I have two non-fics in process, one from a research grant, with a collaborator. The other is a biography/history of a book. As for novels, there is a Victoriana lady detective with shapeshifters. And Quantum physics. 10 chapters so far! There’s also a reprint of THE SCARLET RIDER coming.
4. What Australian spec-fic works have you loved recently?
Well I don’t want to sound too much as if I’m promoting my publishers and editors, but I love the 12 planet series, and also Gillian Polack’s BAGGAGE anthology.
5. Two years on from Aussiecon 4, what do you think are some of the biggest changes to the Australian Spec Fic scene?
The gals rule, ok?