Wednesday, October 24, 2012
Space opera caps off a stellar year
Press Release from Stephen Minchin, Steam Press
Auckland author Michael Morrissey (left-photo courtesy Ian Wishart) has had a stellar year, having been the University of Waikato’s Writer in Residence, had his autobiographical book Taming the Tiger represented by the New Zealand Society of Authors at the Frankfurt Book Fair, and completed a further two novels. And now, Michael’s first science fiction novel is about to be released.
Tropic of Skorpeo is a thrilling, sexy, and outlandish new direction from one of New Zealand’s renowned literary veterans. He describes it as a sci-fantasy in satiric-thriller mode.
“I’ve updated Lewis Carroll and space opera, and breathed new life into the fairly moribund genres of science fiction and sword and sorcery,” Morrissey says. “Tropic of Skorpeo exhibits a verbally playful style that adds something fresh, because we are frankly drowning in dragons, evil magicians, beautiful princesses, muscular princes, and so forth. And guess what? I've re-used these archetypes, but have breathed new life into the undead.
“I've also borrowed from Shakespeare the dramatic notion of Romeo and Juliet – the progeny of two warring families falling in love – and Skorpeo is crawling with baddies. There's Lord Maledor, the evil ‘mad’ scientist, Teleporteus, the scheming brother of Rhameo, and many more including a giant amorous octopus.”
Tropic of Skorpeo will be released on the 25th of October and has been receiving rave reviews. Dr Brian Opie wrote that “Morrissey seems to have taken every element in the line running from Spenser's Faerie Queene through Paradise Lost to Time Bandits and Star Wars/Babylon 5/Dr Who, and worked them into a fine splatter comedy”, while Dr Jack Ross has said that Tropic of Skorpeo is “completely insane: you would have to be mad to enjoy it, or to have conceived it in the first place. Which I guess is the point... If Morrissey's dreams are anything like the shifting, self-undermining sub-realities of Tropic of Skorpeo then they must be pretty terrifying. His triumph is that he's dared to write them down.”
Michael Morrissey is the author of eleven books of poetry, two collections of short fiction, and a memoir, and has edited five other books. He also has a book review column in HIS/HERS magazine, and is active as an essayist and writer of feature articles. He has won many awards including the MacMillan Brown prize, was the first Writer-in-Residence at the University of Canterbury, and held a Fulbright Cultural Travel award.
Tropic of Skorpeo will be available from all good booksellers after it is launched in Auckland on the 25th of October
Stephen Minchin, the owner of Steam Press, can be contacted at email@example.com.