Mother of Invention

A Twelfth Planet Press anthology

Mini-MOI interview: Cat Sparks

We had a quick chat with one of our Mother of Invention authors, Cat Sparks. If you’ve backed our Kickstarter, drop us a comment here by Thursday 8 June, 5pm AEST (you’ll need to include the details you used on Kickstarter) and you’ll go in the running to win a signed copy of Cat’s novel, Lotus Blue (postage within Australia only).

No spoilers, of course, but can you tell us one cool thing about your Mother of Invention story?

Mach, one of many seemingly identical bioceramic Legionnaire-350 war machines, has taught itself to lie and steal in an effort to protect itself, its maker and the future. Because when it comes to dealing with humankind, there doesn’t seem to be another way.

Tell about your favourite fictional AI or robot (from any medium!).

Bishop from Aliens. I love Bishop, possibly at least in part because I adore Lance Henriksen, the actor who portrayed him so convincingly. Bishop is gentle, soft-spoken and kind. There’s a considered innocence about him coupled with strength, both physical and emotional. If I were ever stranded in deep space, I would choose him as my artificial person companion.

What else have you published recently?

My debut science fiction novel, Lotus Blue, was published earlier this year. The titular character is an artificial intelligence, a war machine waking up in an ecologically ravaged future Australia trying to find a way to get back to doing what it does best.

Recently, my short story “Prayers to Broken Stone” was published in Kaleidotrope. I’d class it as dark literary fantasy – very different from my usual kind of thing.

Cat Sparks is a multi-award winning Australian science fiction and fantasy author. Cat grew up in Sydney, has a BA in Visual Arts and is finishing a PhD examining the intersection of science fiction and climate fiction. She was Fiction Editor of Cosmos magazine for five years and managed Agog! Press from 2002 to 2008.  Seventy of her short stories have been published in various magazines and anthologies including The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror, Year’s Best SF 16, Loosed Upon the World, Solaris Rising 3 and Lightspeed Magazine. Lotus Blue, her debut novel (Skyhorse, 2017), is set in a far future war and climate-ravaged Australia. [Twitter]


  1. Lotus Blue is very close to the top of my teetering TBR. I’m so excited to read it!

  2. Hello I’d like to enter this competition to allow me to read more from a local author! I also very much look forward to the Mother of Invention anthology, of course.


    5 June 2017 at 9:45 pm

    I am so out of the loop with area of Australian fiction. Time to catch up!

  4. Joanna Turner

    6 June 2017 at 9:19 am

    Really looking forward to this anthology – was so pleased when I saw the email telling me about the Kickstarter and to check it out. Yay Australian Authors and Australian Publishers!! Thanks for giving us the opportunity to enter this competition as well – even if I don’t win I will check out Cat Sparks’s Lotus Blue!

    • admin

      7 June 2017 at 6:16 pm

      Hi Joanna, we just wanted to check if you might have backed the Kickstarter under another name? We can’t find you on the list, and we want to be able to include you in our prize draw!

  5. Not sure if I’ve been under a rock but it seems like more and more spec fic is appearing in Australia – so much to catch up on but I’m keen to see more!

  6. Very excited that Cat is contributing a story to Mother of Invention. Thanks for the link to ‘Prayers of Broken Stone.’ I’ve just read it with my morning coffee. It gave me so much to think about. Thanks for an enjoyable read, Cat, and for giving me food for thought!

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