by nike, June 24, 2014




‘Rupetta’s Heart’ by Carl Cone. An original artwork presented as part of the Tiptree Award.

‘Rupetta’s Heart’ by Carl Cone — an original artwork created as part of the prize for the James Tiptree, Jr Award.

Judges Comments

“A deft blend of fantasy, science fiction, romance, and even gothic horror, this beautifully written story challenges the reader’s expectations about gender and of a gendering society. It examines power and what makes an object of power, relationships and love, sexuality and identity, and how culture is shaped and history is made.” (James Tiptree Jr judging panel)

“In Rupetta, N. A. Sulway tells a passionate story about history, truth , power, sexuality and love. From its opening pages, the novel is a joy to read – written with remarkable craft and authority. It is likely to become a classic of Australian speculative fiction, and it confirms that Sulway is a major talent.” (Norma K Hemming judging panel)

“A beautiful, enchanting alternate history featuring a highly original take on the notion of a humanoid automaton. Driven by an accomplished narrative structure, glimpses of the past and future are interwoven into the narrative’s present. Rupetta is a stylistic and surprising interrogation of gender, history, technology, religion, philosophy, love, loss and what it means to be human.” (Aurealis Award judges comments)


There are have been lots of awesome reader reviews posted on Goodreads …

“I find [Rupetta] to be one of the most interesting releases of last year, a speculative fiction novel that’s as ambitious as Left Hand of Darkness or Lathe of Heaven.” Daily KOS

“Sulway uses rich and evocative prose to pull the reader irresistibly into her tale’s vividly rendered alternate Europe and its centuries of human power struggles. Her profound reflections on human frailty and the price for everlasting life seem as much a bonus as an integral part of its telling.” Publishers Weekly.

“The truest strengths of the novel, however, lie in its more elemental characteristics, which imbue whatever concepts or tropes Sulway decides to use with uncommon grace and resonance. Rupetta and Henri, the dual narrators, are deeply felt, and their narrative voices are rendered in evocative epistolary prose that weaves around itself, supporting, clarifying, and contradicting wherever necessary. Beyond and below even that, the novel itself is driven and enhanced by a strong sense of existential questioning: What is a soul? What is a person? And what causes some to reach sentience and consciousness while others don’t?” Adam Mills. Weird Fiction Review. [There’s also an extract from the book, and an interview with me available via this link]

“I loved the ambition of this work, the scope of its telling over so long a period, and the clever twining of strands at the end.” Jessica White.

“This was a novel I wanted to live in. Sulway’s use of language is stunning. Rich and vividly wrought, it’s a celebration of love, earth, satisfaction from words and starting with something small and nurturing it as it grows. It is woman-centric in an understated and unquestioned way. I want more of this. So much more. Excuse me, I’m off to read everything Sulway has ever written.” Rachel Watts @ Leatherboundpounds

“Rupetta is a rich, complex work wrapped in an engaging style. It is not a book that can be pigeonholed. It has elements of fantasy, romance and even gothic horror in the mould of Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein. At the same time, it contains lengthy discussions on questions such as the meaning of knowledge. It is unlike any other book that you will read this year. If nothing else, it deserves a wide readership for the author’s bold ambition and striking feat of imagination.” George Williams. The Australian.

“A stunning masterpiece of modern fiction.” Matthew Johns. The British Fantasy Society.

“I will be thinking about this book for the rest of my life.” Gretchen Treu @ 77 Square.

“What impressed me the most about this book was Sulway’s exquisite writing, giving us a text in which every single word appears to have been chosen with care, so that their combination renders what the author wishes to convey with both precision and beauty … I regard Rupetta as one of the best books I read in 2013, the kind of fiction that challenges reader expectations.” Peter Tennant. Black Static.

Other Stuff


A photograph of the Rupetta cake made by Georgie Schnobrich, and of me wearing the Tiptree tiara.

No Comments

Leave a Reply

Subscribe now!

Enter your email address to subscribe to perilous adventures and receive notifications of new posts by email.