Introducing Mr Perky : subverting the fantasy trope of immortality in contemporary speculative fiction

Ryan, Jennifer Joan (2009) Introducing Mr Perky : subverting the fantasy trope of immortality in contemporary speculative fiction. Masters by Research thesis, Queensland University of Technology.


The Tide Lords series of fantasy novels set out to examine the issue of immortality. Its purpose was to look at the desirability of immortality, specifically why people actively seek it. It was meant to examine the practicality of immortality, specifically — having got there, what does one do to pass the time with eternity to fill? I also wished to examine the notion of true immortality — immortals who could not be killed.

What I did not anticipate when embarking upon this series, and what did not become apparent until after the series had been sold to two major publishing houses in Australia and the US, was the strength of the immortality tropes. This series was intended to fly in the face of these tropes, but confronted with the reality of such a work, the Australian publishers baulked at the ideas presented, requesting the series be re-written with the tropes taken into consideration. They wanted immortals who could die, mortals who wanted to be immortal. And a hero with a sense of humour.

This exegesis aims to explore where these tropes originated. It will also discuss the ways I negotiated a way around the tropes, and was eventually able to please the publishers by appearing to adhere to the tropes, while still staying true to the story I wanted to tell. As such, this discussion is, in part, an analysis of how an author negotiates the tensions around writing within a genre while trying to innovate within it.

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ID Code: 30242
Item Type: QUT Thesis (Masters by Research)
Supervisor: Bolland, Craig
Keywords: Key Words fantasy, immortal, immortality, fantasy tropes, immortality tropes, desire for immortality, fiction, genre fiction, publishing, ways to kill immortals, plot device, Fallon, Canavan, Tolkien
Divisions: Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Institution: Queensland University of Technology
Deposited On: 04 Feb 2010 05:09
Last Modified: 28 Oct 2011 19:54

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