Pre-order Epilogue – tales of hope after the apocalypse

epilogue - tales of hope after the apocalypseFableCroft has opened pre-orders on Epilogue, an anthology of stories about finding hope in the aftermath of the apocalypse. It’s exciting to read that the anthology is to be launched at Continuum in June, where Twelfth Planet Press should also be letting my Australian Gothic Salvage loose on the public as well.

Another title being launched at Continuum is Bread and Circuses (also available for pre-order), an anthology by the inimitable Felicity Dowker. Nom nom nom!

There are some old hands and new chums in the table of contents of Epilogue, which should make for some interesting and perhaps atypical reading for stories in this setting. Epilogue costs $20 including postage.

Also worth pointing out is that FableCroft has put After the Rain on special for $15 inc postage; it includes my cyberpunk yarn ‘Wet Work’.

And here’s a clue to one of the themes of my ‘Epilogue’ story, ‘Mornington Ride’:


Ditmar shortlists announced

The shortlists for the Ditmar awards, fan nominated and fan voted, have been announced. Interesting to note that, outside of the novel realm, small press dominate almost exclusively, and that fan publications has four podcasts to one paper newsletter; the Atheling, too, is heavy on the blogs. Hilarious and also exemplary is that Robin Penn’s ‘Ballad of the Unrequited Ditmar’ is in there, summarising pointedly yet with tongue in cheek a stoush in the community about, wonderfully, the Ditmars. The novels show a wide spread of genres and the novellas are particularly strong, showing perhaps a resurgence in the form. With e-publishing’s growth, I’d expect that to continue. The winners will be announced at Continuum 8 in Melbourne in June. Here’s the shortlist:

Best Novel

  • The Shattered City (Creature Court 2), Tansy Rayner Roberts
    (HarperCollins)
  • Burn Bright, Marianne de Pierres (Random House Australia)
  • Mistification, Kaaron Warren (Angry Robot Books)
  • The Courier’s New Bicycle, Kim Westwood (HarperCollins)
  • Debris (The Veiled Worlds 1), Jo Anderton (Angry Robot Books)
  • Best Novella or Novelette

  • “The Sleeping and the Dead”, Cat Sparks, in Ishtar (Gilgamesh Press)
  • “Above”, Stephanie Campisi, in Above/Below (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt”, Paul Haines, in The Last Days
    of Kali Yuga
    (Brimstone Press)
  • “And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living”, Deborah Biancotti, in
    Ishtar (Gilgamesh Press)
  • “Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in
    Love and Romanpunk (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “Below”, Ben Peek, in Above/Below (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Best Short Story

  • “Breaking the Ice”, Thoraiya Dyer, in Cosmos 37
  • “Alchemy”, Lucy Sussex, in Thief of Lives (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “The Last Gig of Jimmy Rucker”, Martin Livings and Talie Helene, in
    More Scary Kisses (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • “All You Can Do Is Breathe”, Kaaron Warren, in Blood and Other
    Cravings
    (Tor)
  • “Bad Power”, Deborah Biancotti, in Bad Power (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • “The Patrician”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Love and Romanpunk (Twelfth
    Planet Press)
  • Best Collected Work

  • The Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines, edited by Angela Challis
    (Brimstone Press)
  • Nightsiders by Sue Isle, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet
    Press)
  • Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti, edited by Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth
    Planet Press)
  • Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts, edited by Alisa
    Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Ishtar, edited by Amanda Pillar and K. V. Taylor (Gilgamesh Press)
  • Best Artwork

  • “Finishing School”, Kathleen Jennings, in Steampunk!: An Anthology of
    Fantastically Rich and Strange Stories
    (Candlewick Press)
  • Cover art, Kathleen Jennings, for The Freedom Maze (Small Beer Press)
  • Best Fan Writer

  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work including reviews in Australian
    Speculative Fiction in Focus!
    and Not If You Were The Last Short Story
    On Earth
  • Alexandra Pierce, for body of work including reviews in Australian
    Speculative Fiction in Focus!
    , Not If You Were The Last Short Story On
    Earth
    , and Randomly Yours, Alex
  • Robin Pen, for “The Ballad of the Unrequited Ditmar”
  • Sean Wright, for body of work including “Authors and Social Media”
    series in Adventures of a Bookonaut
  • Bruce Gillespie, for body of work including “The Golden Age of
    Fanzines is Now”, and SF Commentary 81 & 82
  • Best Fan Artist

  • Rebecca Ing, for work in Scape
  • Lisa Rye, for “Steampunk Portal” series
  • Dick Jenssen, for body of work including work in IRS, Steam Engine
    Time, SF Commentary
    and Scratchpad
  • Kathleen Jennings, for work in Errantry (tanaudel.wordpress.com)
    including “The Dalek Game”
  • Rhianna Williams, for work in Nullas Anxietas Convention Programme Book
  • Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • SF Commentary, edited by Bruce Gillespie
  • The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond
  • The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Galactic Chat, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Sean Wright
  • Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Tansy Rayner Roberts, and Alex
    Pierce
  • Best New Talent

  • Steve Cameron
  • Alan Baxter
  • Joanne Anderton
  • William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene, for “2010: The Year in Review”, in The
    Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2010
    (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Damien Broderick and Van Ikin, for editing Warriors of the Tao: The
    Best of Science Fiction: A Review of Speculative Literature
    (Borgo Press)
  • David McDonald, Tansy Rayner Roberts and Tehani Wessely for “Reviewing
    New Who” series, in A Conversational Life
  • Alexandra Pierce and Tehani Wessely, for reviews of Vorkosigan Saga,
    in Randomly Yours, Alex
  • Russell Blackford, for “Currently reading: Jonathan Strange and Mr
    Norrell by Susanna Clarke”, in Metamagician and the Hellfire Club
  • It’s down the Rabbit Hole at Emerging Writers Festival

    emerging writers festival logoThe Emerging Writers Festival is going down the Rabbit Hole, and I’ll be one of your guides. Peter Ball is hosting in Brisbane, Rachel Edwards in Tassie and Patrick O’Duffy gets to stay in his pyjamas with the online team. The event is the brainchild of the Queensland Writers Centre where it’s been run a couple of times now, with another one in November. It aims to provide the impetus to write 30,000 in, gasp, three days. Bookings are limited to 20 at each site and open on April 30. It’s free.


    Deb Biancotti on Shirley Jackson Award shortlist

    ishtar stories by kaaron warren, cat sparks and deborah biancotti

    Wonderful to see Aussie Deborah Biancotti on the shortlist of the Shirley Jackson Awards for her novella ‘And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living’ from the Ishtar anthology. The awards recognise excellence in horror and dark fantasy. It’s also pleasing to see Aussie co-production Ghosts by Gaslight on the shortlist for anthologies; it’s edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers. Winners are to be announced on July 15.

    Going metal at MICF: Andrew O’Neill and Steve Hughes

    andrew o'neillEnglish comedian Andrew O’Neill wears green heels, jeans tight enough to show off an enviable pair of pins, black top, red lipstick and nail polish. His Melbourne International Comedy Festival show is entitled Alternative but the core theme is one of how easily he can be distracted: by the internet, by television, by shiny things. The show is filled with distractions — zany asides, mostly — and littered with pop and metal references. He has a Dr Who tattoo. He’s witty and intelligent and he has something to say and doesn’t mind coming out and saying it — about the class divide, about hipster appropriation of culture, about societal constraints on being who you want to be; in his case, he’s a lover of heavy metal, an overt transvestite, an athiest with a grudging respect for the Norse gods (just in case).

    His own spruiker and roadie, he’s playing the suitably metal Pony, a small, slightly smelly club tricked out in red and black with an upstairs performance space cosy enough for the full house to appreciate his boss eye sight gag. The gig ends with a bit of a singalong in ‘Jesus was a Cockney’. Lovely dovely.


    We gladly paid to see O’Neill; the tickets to Steve Hughes were complimentaries for review purposes.


    steve hughes Hughes is another metal head, but where O’Neill wears heels and talks about the outdated and outlandish vision of what it means to be male, the Aussie comedian, now relocated to the UK, still thinks a man should steer clear of Starbuck’s, pull up his pants, grow a beard and not act like a faggot. Or a poofter. Yes, such people still exist, and they can fill the Melbourne Town Hall. It’s a strange world, Hughes says repeatedly, and listening to the chortles and guffaws as he harangues and postulates for 90 minutes, I can’t agree more.

    What starts out as amusing anecdotes, deftly told in Aussie vernacular, descends into a diatribe of sometimes contradictory pseudo-spirituality, anti-establishment, pro-drugs anti-police conspiracy theory with all the subtlety of a bludgeon.

    Clearly, Hughes’s take on the Big Issues isn’t for me. And I think, if I’ve interpreted the psychobabble rightly, Hughes will understand if I say it’s not me, it’s them.

    Submissions open for Queensland Literary Awards, and other writerly news

    queensland literary awards logoBehind the 8-ball on this news: submissions are open for the Queensland Literary Awards — these are the community-based awards put together in quick time after newly elected premier Campbell Newman scrapped the government-supported awards in short order after this ascension. Subs close May 6, and winners are due to be announced on September 5.

    Awards on offer are:
    Fiction Book Award
    Emerging Queensland Author – Manuscript Award (UQP will be offered publishing rights for the winning MS)
    Unpublished Indigenous Writer – David Unaipon Award (UQP will be offered publishing rights for the winning MS)
    Non-Fiction Book Award History Book Award
    Children’s Book Award
    Young Adult Book Award
    Science Writer Award
    Poetry Collection – Judith Wright Calanthe Award
    Australian Short Story Collection – Steele Rudd Award
    Literary or Media Work Advancing Public Debate – The Harry Williams Award
    Film Script Award
    Drama Script (Stage) Award
    Television Script Award


    This piece in The Age by Jane Sullivan helps to explain why what the Australian newspaper brands the ‘vocal minority’ — a new collective noun for writers, apparently — got so vocal about Newman’s ill’conceived and poorly executed move.

  • Amazon sniffing around in Australia? That’ll save some postage. But it might cause a fresh cold sweat for bricks and mortar shops …
  • Speaking of Amazon, here’s an article about how Amazon is a happy hunting ground for knock-off merchants, as opposed to simple plagiarists.
  • Affirm Press seeks writers for its Slow Guides to Brisbane and Melbourne.
  • Check out the Ellen Datlow news, as reported at 13 O’Clock: a bunch of Aussies made her honourable mentions list, and a couple even made the print-book shortlist — Margo Lanagan flies the Southern Cross in the actual TOC of selected yarns — and the venerable US editor is on the prowl for this year’s best horror yarns. Send ‘em in!
  • GenreCon for Sydney in November

    From the Queensland Writers Centre bulletin, a great event for genre writers:

    The Australian Writer’s Marketplace is proud to announce GenreCon!

    Rydges Paramatta, November 2-4th 2012

    GenreCon is a three-day convention for Australian fans and professionals working within the fields of romance, mystery, science fiction, crime, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and more. One part party, one part celebration, one part professional development: GenreCon is the place to be if you’re an aspiring or established writer with a penchant for the types of fiction that get relegated to their own corner of the bookstore. Featuring international guests Joe Abercrombie (Writer, The First Law Trilogy, Best Served Cold, The Heroes), Sarah Wendell (co-founder, Smart Bitches, Trashy Books), and Ginger Clark (Literary Agent, Curtis Brown).

    For more information, visit GenreCon.com.au. Early bird rates available to the first 50 registrations.

    The event looks to have a strong industry and networking focus, and the ticketing system includes mention of pitching opportunities.