From award-winning author Angela Slatter comes her first full length novel, VIGIL, where the normal and the ‘weyrd’ combine on the streets of Brisbane.
Verity Fassbinder has her feet in two worlds. The daughter of one human and one Weyrd parent, she has very little power herself, but does claim unusual strength – and the ability to walk between us and the other – as a couple of her talents. As such a rarity, she is charged with keeping the peace between both races, and ensuring the Weyrd remain hidden from us.
But now Sirens are dying, illegal wine made from the tears of human children is for sale – and in the hands of those Weyrd who hold with the old ways – and someone has released an unknown and terrifyingly destructive force on the streets of Brisbane.
And Verity must investigate – or risk ancient forces carving our world apart.
10 Random Things About Vigil by Angela Slatter
1. The original short story that spawned Vigil, “Brisneyland by Night”, was written for Clarion South in 2009.
2. I wasn’t sure what I’d do with it, but then the call came out for the Sprawl anthology from Twelfth Planet Press. Alisa Krasnostein bought it for that.
3. Editor Jonathan Strahan read it and said, ‘Y’know, that would make a great novel!’… so it’s all his fault.
4. The original short story was inspired by a combination of songs − INXS’ “Never Tear Us Apart” (which contains the line ‘I made wine from your tears’), and Bernard Fanning’s “Wish You Well” from Tea and Sympathy − and a kind of a challenge to myself to write a noir story set in dear old Brisneyland, which really the least noir town you can imagine. Oh, and desperation; that’s a huge ingredient of Clarion stories.
5. I name-checked characters written by two friends − Sally Crown from Peter M. Ball’s novella Horn, as result of a dare (’Write Sally Crown’s back story!’), and Nancy Napoleon from Tansy Rayner Roberts’ Siren Beat, a novella from Twelfth Planet Press.
6. None of the cakes that the Sisters Norn sell in Little Venice are real. I’m sorry. So very sorry. If it’s any comfort, I’ve set my sister the challenge of making the marshmallow caramel log. Reports in as information comes to hand!
7. Also, Little Venice doesn’t exist − many friends have expressed mucho disappointment with this fact, to the point that one said if he ever gets lots of money, he’s going to make sure it becomes reality! Little Venice World!
8. There really are tunnels beneath the city (although not to the extent suggested in Vigil − yeah, a writer telling porkies, who’d have thought it??) made of a stone called Brisbane Tuff − you can see one of them in the bus station at King George Square.
9. There are two churches mentioned in Vigil, St Stephen’s in the city and St Mary’s at Kangaroo Point − my paternal grandparents got married in the former, my maternal uncle got married in the latter, but I didn’t know either of those things when I was writing the book.
10. The house I used to live in at Norman Park is the house Verity lives in and, yes, there is a giant jacaranda tree in the back yard and, yes, it’s the best and most magnificent tree in the neighbourhood − and said tree was also the inspiration for my short story “The Jacaranda Wife” (in Jack Dann’s Dreaming Again).