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Novelist, short-story writer, critic, and podcaster.
Roberts has been active in the Australian speculative-fiction scene, in writing groups, and as a regular contributor to journals, webzines, and ezines. As a founding member and occasional editor of the journal Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, she has contributed fiction, conducted interviews of actors and authors, and reviewed books.
A founding member of the wRiters On the Rise (ROR) group, Roberts and collaborators Trent Jamieson, Maxine McArthur, Margo Lanagan, Dirk Flinthart, Rowena Cory Daniells, and Marianne de Pierres originally met to give critical assessment of manuscripts. They then moved on to create the fictional world of Shimmaron, with each author contributing a novel that explains and explores this new world and its peoples. This concept is called 'shared world' in science-fiction circles. Roberts provided the first book in the series, Seacastle, in 2007.
Roberts, Flinthart, and Gillian Polack have also been involved in the 'shared world' of New Ceres, a webzine created by Alisa Krasnostein, which covers the genres of science fiction, fantasy, and horror on the earth-colonised planet New Ceres. New Ceres is an eighteenth-century-style culture, complete with a technology black market, a sinister priesthood, and refugees from the recently invaded Earth struggling to come to terms with this new lifestyle.
Her fiction includes a series of works set in her fantasy kingdom of Mocklore, as well as other ongoing series (including Musketeer Space, Castle Charming, Creature Court, and Belladonna University), as well as standalone works, especially in short fiction. She has also published a series of interconnected short stories influenced by her PhD in Classics, Love and Romanpunk. One work from the collection, 'The Patrician', won the international Washington Science Fiction Small Press Award, as well as being shortlisted for an Aurealis Award. Her short diction and novels have been shortlisted for and won DitMar Awards, Aurealis Awards, Norm K. Hemming Awards, and–for her debut novel, Splashdance silver, the George Turner Prize.
In addition to her fiction, Roberts is a frequent critic of popular culture in a variety of media, including essays and podcasts: her series of essays on [Terry] Pratchett's Women were released as an ebook by FableCroft in 2014 (after first appearing on her blog), and she has been regularly shortlisted for the Ditmar Awards' William Atheling Jr Award for criticism, including two simultaneous nominations in 2016 for 'SF Women of the 20th Century' and 'Sarah Kingdom Dies at the End' (on Doctor Who). In late 2016, her essay 'One Girl in the Justice League' appeared in the Book Smugglers' second quarterly almanac.
'Norse myth and magic collides with a small town Tasmanian Christmas in this festive romantic fantasy!
'Lief Fraser has mixed feelings about returning home to Matilda, the only Australian town where it always snows at Christmas. As a TV weather presenter, it’s her job to report on the strange holiday phenomenon… but as a local, it’s her duty to preserve Matilda’s many magical secrets.
'Then pretty Audrey Astor rolls into town to shoot the ultimate romantic Australian Christmas movie with her film crew. Sparks fly, secrets unravel… and soon everyone will know exactly how Mt Valkyrie got its name.' (Publication summary)
'An ambitious anthology from award-winning Australian publishing house Twelfth Planet Press, Mother of Invention will feature diverse, challenging stories about gender as it relates to the creation of artificial intelligence and robotics.
'From Pygmalion and Galatea to Frankenstein, Ex Machina and Person of Interest, the fictional landscape so often frames cisgender men as the creators of artificial life, leading to the same kinds of stories being told over and over. We want to bring some genuine revolution to the way that artificial intelligence stories are told, and how they intersect with gender identity, parenthood, sexuality, war, and the future of our species. How can we interrogate the gendered assumptions around the making of robots compared with the making of babies? Can computers learn to speak in a code beyond the (gender) binary?
'If necessity is the mother of invention, what exciting AI might come to exist in the hands of a more diverse range of innovators?'