Tartarus Press


Rupetta is a paperback of 331 pages.


ISBN 978-1-905784-66-0


Paperback: £17.95 inc free p&p worldwide


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Ebook: £7.99

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Hemming Award trophy

Tiptree Award art prize created by Carl Cone, which is a representation of Rupetta's heart



Nike Sulway


Winner of the 2013 James Tiptree, Jr. Award

Winner of the 2014 Norma K. Hemming Award

Shortlisted for the 2014 Aurealis Awards

Runner-up (shortlisted) in the 2014 Crawford Memorial Award


Four hundred years ago, in a small town in rural France, a young woman creates the future in the shape of Rupetta. Part mechanical, part human, Rupetta’s consciousness is tied to the women who wind her. In the years that follow she is bought and sold, borrowed, forgotten and revered. By the twentieth century, the Rupettan four-fold law rules everyone’s lives, but Rupetta—the immortal being on whose existence and history those laws are based—is the keeper of a secret that will tear apart the world her followers have built in her name.


This stunning new novel by award-winning Australian writer Nike Sulway invokes the great tradition of European fantasy/horror fiction and moves it forward in a superbly imaginative, highly original fashion.


Nike Sulway is an Australian author who lives and works in Brisbane. In 2000, Nike won the Queensland Premier’s Literary Award for Best Emerging Queensland Author for her novel, The Bone Flute, which was released by UQP in 2001 and subsequently shortlisted in the Commonwealth Writers Awards. Her children’s book, What the Sky Knows, was published in May 2005 and shortlisted for the 2006 Children’s Book Council of Australia Awards. Her adult novel, The True Green of Hope was released in August 2005.


Cover artwork by Timothy Parker Russell.


Rupetta is the winner of the 2013 James Tiptree, Jr. Award

The judges write: 'A deft blend of fantasy, science fiction, romance, and even gothic horror, this beautifully written story challenges the reader’s expectations about gender and of a gendering society.'


Rupetta is the winner of the 2014 Norma K. Hemming Award

The judges write: 'In Rupetta, N. A. Sulway tells a passionate story about history, truth , power, sexuality and love. From its opening pages, the novel is a joy to read – written with remarkable craft and authority. It is likely to become a classic of Australian speculative fiction, and it confirms that Sulway is a major talent.'


Rupetta was shortlisted for the 2014 Aurealis Awards


Rupetta was runner-up (shortlisted) in the 2014 Crawford Memorial Award, presented annually by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts for an outstanding first fantasy book.




'Sulway’s Rupetta is a terrific, unnerving book about an immortal automaton who becomes the subject of a religious cult and law.' Alyssa Rosenberg, The Washington Post

'...what impressed me the most about this book was Sulway’s exquisite writing, giving us a text in which every single word appears to have been chosen with care, so that their combination renders what the author wishes to convey with both precision and beauty. There’s a rare pleasure to be had from watching the sentences unfurl on the page, luxuriating in the sensations they evoke in the mind, sights and sounds, smells and feelings. ... "I regard Rupetta as one of the best books I read in 2013.' Peter Tennant, Case Notes, Black Static

'A stunning masterpiece of modern fiction, Rupetta pulls the reader into Sulway’s world, and emotionally engages them in her life and struggles.' Matthew Johns, British Fantasy Society

'Rupetta is a rich, complex work wrapped in an engaging style. It is not a book that can be pigeonholed. It has elements of fantasy, romance and even gothic horror in the mould of Mary Shelley's Frankenstein. At the same time, it contains lengthy discussions on questions such as the meaning of knowledge. It is unlike any other book that you will read this year. If nothing else, it deserves a wide readership for the author's bold ambition and striking feat of imagination.' The Australian

'Sulway uses rich and evocative prose to pull the reader irresistibly into her tale's vividly rendered alternate Europe and its centuries of human power struggles. Her profound reflections on human frailty and the price for everlasting life seem as much a bonus as an integral part of its telling.'  http://www.publishersweekly.com/978-1-905784-50-9

'The real treat here is the seamless flow of prose that makes the reading experience utterly unique.' Rick Kleffel, The Agony Column

'...And there are wondrous, moving passages full of lyricism, elegy, wonder and suggestive speculation.  Cherish them as you puzzle out Rupetta’s world and its underlying culture and history.  This is a strangely enchanting, wholly convincing novel.' Jildy Sauce

'The book is high-concept but beautifully written, with florid, fluid language and just enough of a connection to reality to make it seem believable' . . . 'If you’re into speculative fiction, fantasy or books with LBGTI+ content, this is definitely one you shouldn’t miss.' Aurealis magazine (issue 118)


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