2020 Snapshot: H G Parry

H.G. Parry is the author of The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep and A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians. Her short fiction has appeared in Intergalactic Medicine Show, Daily Science Fiction, and small press anthologies. She holds a PhD in English Literature from Victoria University of Wellington, and tutored English Literature, Film, and Media Studies before becoming a full-time writer. She lives in a book-infested flat by a beach on the Kapiti Coast in New Zealand, which she shares with her sister, one cat, three guinea pigs, and two over-active rabbits.

  1. Tell us about your recent publications/projects?

My debut, The Unlikely Escape of Uriah Heep, came out last year (2019) in the United States and the beginning of this year in the UK, Australia, and New Zealand. It’s the story of Charley Sutherland, a young Dickens scholar with the magical ability to bring books to life when he reads, and his elder brother Rob, an aggressively normal lawyer who tries to protect Charley from the world and himself. It’s also the story of a hidden street in the middle of Wellington, a criminal mastermind, a house teeming with old books, a secret passage, a girl adventurer grown up into an accountant, Dorian Gray, the cry of a gigantic hound, five Mr Darcys, and a lot of Dickens.

My second book, A Declaration of the Rights of Magicians, came out in June. This is the first of two books which together retell the history of the French Revolution, the Haitian Revolution, and the British abolition movement in a world where magic is real and jealously guarded by the aristocracy. It’s big, dense, sprawling historical fantasy, filled with politics and magic and people trying to change the world.

  1. What has been the best publishing or SF community experience of your career so far?

I’ve really loved being part of the online community of writers—I had absolutely no online presence when my first book was announced in late 2018, but everyone was so welcoming, from the older Orbit authors to the authors in my debut year to the other New Zealand spec fic writers. Last year I also got to visit the Orbit UK offices in London, which was wonderful.

In terms of publishing alone—I’m still not over the feeling of seeing my books on shelves in bookshops!

  1. Which recent Australian/NZ work would you recommend to international fans interested in expanding their Antipodean spec fic knowledge? 

Even though I’m an adult fantasy writer, my academic work was all in children’s literature, so I tend to recommend children’s and young adult books when it comes to New Zealand and Australian spec fic—writers like Sherryl Jordan and Karen Healey have put out terrific books in the last few years.

But in terms of very recent adult books—Sam Hawke’s City of Lies has a sequel out later this year, Devin Madson’s We Ride the Storm is just out now, and I have an advanced copy of Shelley Parker-Chan’s forthcoming She Who Became the Sun that I’m very excited to read.



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