The Perch

Back in 2010 when I was doing my blog about Flinders Street Station, I learned about the Perch. It’s the steel railing in the station concourse against the window between Platform 3 and 4 and Platforms 5 and 6. Here the train drivers perch on the rail and hang out while waiting for their next driving shift. “I never go there” said a woman train driver back then – “They just talk filth and give number ratings to passing women.”
Myself I doubt it was ever that exciting.

But this week -a mere 9 years – later I went through Flinders Street Station and discovered the Perch was entirely occupied by women drivers. What a change! I wonder if they were also talking filth and giving number ratings to passers-by.

Flinders Street Railway Station Concourse. I couldn’t find one of the Perch.

Shadow in the Empire of Light Launch

Author Jane Routley and Michael O’Brien of Chaosium Books. Thanks to Robert Love for the photo.


Yesterday at the Post Office Hotel, Chaosium publisher Michael O’Brien launched my latest book.
The occasion glittered most satisfactorily.
Michael O’Brien said “It’s called ‘Shadow in the Empire of Light’, has been described as like “modern Jane Austen with magic” (by critics) and “with Bridgerton overtones” (by me)”

Available from Simon & Schuster:…/Jane…/9781781088340/

Or direct from Solaris


Jane signs a book. (Note: attractive pandemic accessory on her arm In case of need to socially isolate.)
Thanks to Neil Kerlogue for the photo



Are Possums symbolic?

A Brushtail possum engaging in its favorite activity

The day after the very contested Australia/Invasion Day I see my local possum climbing out of the bin holding a piece of vegemite toast in his mouth.  It all seems vaguely symbolic though I’m not sure what of.  Is this a You Beaut Aussie battler possum celebrating our great country’s favorite snack?  Or is it symbolic of the degradation of our native fauna by invader culture?

Both at the same time maybe

Or maybe just symbolic of the opportunistic nature of hungry possums.

Fantasy Hive – Author Spotlight

The lovely people over at Fantasy Hive have hosted me for an Author Spotlight

Even if you don’t want to read about me, go over and take a look at the site. They cover all kinds of good stuff such as Cosplay and Gaming and they also run the Self Published Fantasy Blog Off every year.

Travel in a time of Covid 19

Machinery, Albion station

Earlier this year but still during lockdown, work sent me over to the gritty industrial west of Melbourne to a station where I’d never been before. I’m from the middleclass eastern suburbs and grew up regarding this place as very much the wrong side of the tracks.
On this cold misty morning it’s all grit and grime.

Against a cold grey sky huge trucks roar as they belt over the bridge above. Derelict wheat silos loom across the tracks, rotting industrial machinery strewn at its feet. The only other person in sight is a man in a black hoody crossing the weed pocked car park. Of course. Maybe a drug dealer?
Here be dragons.


silo at


Except that someone has decorated the platform with planters of flowers.
And I’m somewhere new! During the Covid lockdown I’m somewhere new. Woo Hoo!
As I watch the man in the black hoodie begins to skip.

Flowers, Albion station
Flowers, Albion station

A Guest Post at Sue’s

Today I’m guest posting over at The Great Raven blog of my friend Sue Bursztynski

Sue’s one of the hardest working bloggers I know. She says:

“I’m a writer, librarian, book reviewer, educator. I live in a beachside suburb of Melbourne with a lot of pot plants, but no cats. I slush fiction for Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine and hope that each one that arrives is going to be a potential Hugo winner.”

If your interested in how I did the world building for Shadow in the Empire of Light Check out my guest post here.

And then stay to see what other things Sue is writing about.

Guest Post for Mary Robinette Kowal

Hugo Award winning Mary Robinette Kowal, author of the Lady Astronaut series has been kind enough to host me on her blog My favorite bit

Here’s the link if you’d like to find out about my debt to Georgette.

Try Amazon if you’d like to know more about Mary Robinette Kowal’s The Calculating Stars