AWARD WINNER: Author Nicole Sulway fills in her life between writing with work in a Palmwoods cafe.
AWARD WINNER: Author Nicole Sulway fills in her life between writing with work in a Palmwoods cafe. Warren Lynam

Author’s book wins gay sci-fi US award

AS IF waitressing, writing for a magazine and teaching university students doesn't keep her busy enough,

Nicole "Nike" Sulway also somehow finds time to write award-winning novels.

The Palmwoods woman has been recognised internationally for her latest book, Rupetta, with a Tiptree Award for a work of science fiction or fantasy that

explores gender roles.

Having closely watched who wins the award every year, the 45-year-old said she was honoured to be going to Milwaukee in the United States to receive the Tiptree in May.

"I always read about the people on the honours list," she said. "It's a bit of a cliche, but it's a dream come true."

Ms Sulway, who works at Palmwoods' Homegrown Cafe, tutors at QUT and writes for Salt Magazine, said the story was inspired by her life as a gay woman living in a society that often didn't accept her sexuality.

"The story is inspired by a big part of my life and my

experiences of loving other women, and living in a culture where that's not easy to be a lot of the time," she said.

"It's about love, friendship and mortality.

"A lot of it is about what falls through the gaps in history. I want people to think a bit more for themselves."

Ms Sulway's novel tells the story of Rupetta, an artificial intelligence created 400 years ago from cloth, leather and metal, and brought to life by the touch of her creator's hand on her clockwork heart.

Ms Sulway said Rupetta was a woman made by a woman, and the world changes to accommodate her.

Rupetta can be purchased at http://www.amazon.com.


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