Spinning a Fairytale Web: The Writing of Angela Slatter


The fairytale is a rich soup of story. As a starting point their foundations are strong and deep, but it’s the way each writer builds on them that makes them at once universal and incredibly unique, and Australians are amongst the best writers at reworking, revisualizing and remaking them Margo Lanagan, Kate Forsyth, and Shaun Tan have all brought us wonderful and powerful retellings of fairytales. 


Angela Slatter definitely belongs on that list too. Her short fiction is dazzling, breathe-stealing, and jewel-like. She is truly one of Australia’s finest stylists and her work sings, full of ideas, magic and energy expressed with a true mastery of prose. There’s a very good reason why she has won the World Fantasy, and British Fantasy Awards, as well as numerous Aurealis Awards. 


In Vigil, and the just released Corpselight we get a slice of fairytale and big chunk of Brisbane too.  But this is a Brisbane you won’t have seen before, it’s darker and richer, and more magical than you might expect. And it’s all wrapped up in a tight crime story where the mystery really spins on the magic.


Angela’s the sort of writer that can use any genre to its maximum effect and when she mixes them together it is extremely satisfying. These books grab you and they don’t let you go. Expect to be kept up late at night finishing them, expect to see Brisbane through, as she puts it “a glass darkly”. Brisbane has a new voice and a new vision in these books, and it’s one we’ve been crying out for. We’re lucky to have Angela Slatter, and I can’t wait to see what she writes next.


We’ll be talking to her at the Avid Reader SF bookclub on the 31st of July; the book we’re focusing on is Vigil, but Corpselight and everything else will be up for discussion.

Check out her webpage here http://www.angelaslatter.com