Saturday, January 5, 2013

"Bigger elephants!" - author profile on Patty Jansen

In today's author profile, meet Patty Jansen, author of Watcher's Web and other Sci-Fi and fantasy novels!

Patty Jansen is an Australian writer of science fiction and fantasy. Her novels include the Icefire Trilogy (fantasy), Watcher's Web (social SF) and The Far Horizon (SF for younger readers). Before becoming a non-fiction bookseller and fiction writer, she worked as a research scientist in, of all things, agricultural research mostly conducted in outback Australia.

She writes science fiction because she is fascinated by the interactions of humans with technology. Dreaming up technology is one thing, but what will society do with it? Something unexpected, that is for sure.

Patty runs a blog with the mystifying name Must Use Bigger Elephants.

One day, she was writing a VERY silly story about a bored rich boy who teleports elephants to the Moon, makes them all run in the same direction in order to make the Moon spin faster so that we on Earth would get to see the "dark" side. Before submitting the story, she decided to check out the physics. This is a bad idea, by the way, because physics get in the way of a LOT of good story ideas. Anyway, it turned out there was no way it would work.

The solution? A scrawled line across the page of calculations: Must Use Bigger Elephants!

In this context, Bigger Elephants encapsulates the essence of science fiction. We imagine current technology, current social trends, and make them Bigger, make their effects stronger and more powerful. Science fiction is about Bigger Elephants. It applies to fantasy, too. We imagine situations worse, more dangerous than they really are.

My novels: Watcher's Web, The Far Horizon and the Icefire Trilogy

Find out more on my author website:


  1. Great to "see" you. Love your early story idea. I wanted an elephant for Christmas when I was five years old. Tremendously disappointed when I didn't get one, but the typewriter I did get, helped to quell my sorrow.
    BTW, I can't see your ears in this picture. Are they pointy? ;)

  2. Yes, was fun seeing you on here! Great profile.