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Monday, August 29, 2016

Happy(Belated)Birthday, Gillian Rubinstein!

Image borrowed from the author's website

I only found out about this last night on Twitter, when this wonderful writer received birthday congratulations under her pen name of Lian Hearn. See, she doesn't even appear on the Famous Birthdays web site, where there are a whole lot of celebrities, even among the authors, of most of whom I've never heard. I'd heard of Nancy Holder, but not read any of her work.

So, happy birthday, Gillian/Lian!

I read some of her fiction in my early days as a librarian. In Space Demons a bunch of kids playing a game not unlike Space Invaders find themselves inside the game - which reacts to you according to how you behave. If you're angry and in the mood for shooting things...well, you're going to get what you put into it. We used this one for Literature Circles and it made for good discussion. A bit dated, but still has something to say. 

I read some others, of course - Foxspell, Galaxarena, the rest of the Space Demons trilogy ...

And then Tales Of The Otori came along, under a pen name. I confess I've only got around to reading the first one, Across The Nightingale Floor, but I loved it! It was set in an alternative Japan, in which the ninja fighters really did have the magical powers ascribed to them in our own world. They were called something else, of course, but they were definitely ninjas. I won't go further, because spoilers, but read it!

I have been fortunate enough to hear her speak, some years ago, at the Melbourne Writers' Festival. She was talking about how she got her impressions of such things as country and city children from the likes of Enid Blyton, which she read enthusiastically as a child. Country children good, city children, spoiled and horrible.

It didn't affect her writing, though.

So, happy birthday and many more to come!

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