Mythomorphosis: tales of paranormal Brisbane

years best australian fantasy and horrorBack in 2015, SQ Mag published my story “Night Blooming”. It featured Shane Hall, a homicide detective, and Manasa Chalmers, a corporate security operative from India, united by happenstance and searching for a lost teenager.

There were a couple of points of difference to the typical buddy cop story, firstly in that Brisbane, as with the rest of the world, is experiencing “mythomorphosis”, in which people are transforming into mythical creatures, and secondly, in that this strange and little-understood phenomenon was affecting our heroines quite personally.

I was chuffed and pleasantly surprised for “Night Blooming” to be selected for Ticonderoga Publications’ latest anthology of Australian fantasy and horror, their Year’s Best 2015 — see the table of contents below*, salivate, then order it, my friends!

and then ... anthology volume 1But wait, there’s more! Because hitting the digital shelves at the end of 2016, ahead of a paperback release this month, is And Then … Vol.1 from Clan Destine Press. This tome features 15 longer tales starring dynamic partnerships, a varied and exotic selection of Antipodean adventure stories (here be dragons, and so much more!).

Among the first offering (TOC below) is my “The Mermaid Club”, another outing for Shane and Manasa. I’ve written a little about the story over at Sophie Masson’s website, but proof’s in the pudding. Not to give too much away, the pair suspect their’s something fishy about a kidnapping at a rich man’s club … Ebook here, paperback to come, with Vol.2 close on its heels!

* you will notice a certain Kirstyn McDermott in the list! doubly chuffed!

Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2015 TOC

Joanne Anderton — 2B

Alan Baxter — The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner

Deborah Biancotti — Look How Cold My Hands Are

Stephen Dedman — Oh, Have You Seen The Devil

Erol Engin — The Events at Callan Park

Jason Fischer — The Dog Pit

Dirk Flinthart — In the Blood

Kimberley Gaal — In Sheep’s Clothing

Stephanie Gunn — The Flowers That Bloom Where Blood Touches Earth

Lisa Hannett — Consorting With Filth

Robert Hood — Double Speak

Kathleen Jennings — A Hedge of Yellow Roses

Maree Kimberley — Ninehearts

Jay Kristoff — Sleepless

Martin Livings — El Caballo Muerte

Danny Lovecraft — Reminiscences of Herbert West

Kirstyn McDermott — Self, Contained

Sally McLennan — Mr Schmidt’s Dead Pet Emporium

DK Mok — Almost Days

Faith Mudge — Blueblood

Samantha Murray — Half Past

Jason Nahrung — Night Blooming

Garth Nix — The Company of Women

Anthony Panegyres — Lady Killer

Rivqa Rafael — Beyond the Factory Wall

Deborah Sheldon — Perfect Little Stitches

Angela Slatter Bluebeard’s Daughter

Cat Sparks — Dragon Girl

Lucy Sussex — Angelito

Anna Tambour — Tap

Kaaron Warren — Mine Intercom
 

And Then Vol.1 TOC

Introduction by Janeen Webb

Sulari Gentil — Catch a Fallen Star

Jason Nahrung — The Mermaid Club

Alan Baxter — Golden Fortune, Dragon Jade

Jason Franks — Exli and the Dragon

Lucy Sussex — Batgirl in Borneo

Amanda Wrangles — Come Now, Traveller

Evelyn Tsitas — Stealing Back the Relics

Peter M Ball — Deadbeats

Narrelle M Harris — Moran & Cato: Virgin Soil

Dan Rabarts — Tipuna Tapu

Kat Clay — In the Company of Rogues

Sophie Masson — The Romanov Opal

Tor Roxburgh — The Boudicca Society

Emilie Collyer — The Panther’s Paw

Tansy Rayner Roberts — Death at the Dragon Circus
 

2017 Calendar of Australian Literary Events

calendarWelcome to 2017, and what is already looking like a crowded calendar of literary events in Australia — some events have already staked claims as far out as November! Check out the 2017 calendar of Australian literary events!

As always, updates, notifications and corrections are appreciated!

Dreaming in the Dark: seeing the light in Brisbane

dreaming in the dark

A reminder, friends: I’m chuffed to be attending the Brisbane launch of the Dreaming in the Dark anthology, edited by Jack Dann and published by UK-based PS Publishing. Still gotta pinch myself when I look at the contributors to this epic tome of Aussie speculative fiction.

So yes, it’s worth a party with contributors (edited to add more — huzzah!) Veny Armanno, Paul Brandon, Kirstyn McDermott, Angela Slatter, Janeen Webb, Kim Wilkins and me in attendance; Paul and Sarah Calderwood will provide some musical atmosphere; Jack will do his thing; the book will be launched and you’ll be able to get your copy signed by a third of the contributors in one fell swoop!

Please join us, at Dymocks Brisbane in Albert St, on Thursday 8 December from 6pm. It’s free, but RSVPs are being taken here.

2017 Calendar of Australian Literary Events

calendarThe calendar for the remaining weeks of 2016 is still pretty darn busy, but with next year’s literary calendar already getting busy, it’s time to cast ahead to 2017 and get those literary motors running. So here is the 2017 calendar of Australian literary events!

And if you’re still at a loose end for what remains of this year, you can still check out this year’s calendar.

As always, updates, notifications and corrections are appreciated!

Dreaming in the Dark: shining a light on Australian speculative fiction

dreaming in the darkThis is an exciting anthology of Australian speculative fiction. Back in 1998, Jack Dann and Janeen Webb put together Dreaming Down Under, an anthology that helped shine a light on the speculative fiction talent in Australia. Then, in 2010, Jack revisited the field in Dreaming Again: 35 yarns, of which I was privileged to have contributed one. And now he’s combined with PS Publishing to produce a new taster of established and up-and-coming writers: Dreaming in the Dark. Check out the contributors list below! Here’s the link to order this gorgeous tome. Launches are in the works, but why not get your order in while it’s hot? The signed, slipcased editions are limited to 200 and they look pretty darn fancy.

Introduction: Welcome to the Golden Age: an Introduction of Sorts
JACK DANN

Sing, My Murdered Darlings
SEAN WILLIAMS

Falling Angel
PAUL BRANDON

Martian Triptych
JAMES BRADLEY

Northerner’s Farewell
RJURIK DAVIDSON

Midnight in the Graffiti Tunnel
TERRY DOWLING

A Right Pretty Mate
LISA L. HANNETT

Eromon No More
JASON NAHRUNG

Luv Story
KIM WESTWOOD

The Luminarium Tower
SEAN MCMULLEN

Neither Time Nor Tears
ANGELA SLATTER

His Shining Day
RICHARD HARLAND

The Liquid Palace
ADAM BROWNE

Heat Treatment
VENERO ARMANNO

Snowflakes All the Way Down
ROSALEEN LOVE

Served Cold
ALAN BAXTER

The Dog Who’d Been Dead
ANNA TAMBOUR

Fade to Grey
JANEEN WEBB

All Those Superpowers and What Are They Good For?
GARTH NIX

Burnt Sugar
KIRSTYN MCDERMOTT

In Hornhead Wood
KIM WILKINS

Moonshine
SIMON BROWN

Forged in Blood — now free in ebook formats!

forged in blood vampire storyLast month I staked out a free short story on my website to mark the anniversary of the release of the two Vampires in the Sunshine Country books by Clan Destine Press. But the story, a backgrounder to one of the key characters, was only in PDF because that’s as much as I could get my head around.

Well, CDP has come to the rescue, and now mobi and epub versions are available on the CDP website, iTunes or Amazon (sadly, my website host doesn’t allow these formats, but the PDF is available there). These are free, except, I’m told, on Amazon, where the store imposes a fee (boo!). This means it has an ISBN — yes, it’s a “real” story now! Hope you enjoy!

In Your Face – speculative fiction with bite!

in your face anthologyIn Your Face, an anthology of confronting speculative fiction from FableCroft Publishing, will soon be in the wild (next month!)! This volume contains 22 stories from some of Australia’s biggest hitters in the genre (Sean Williams, Kaaron Warren, Angela Slatter and more!), as well as some lesser known writers such as myself, and they’re packing a punch.

Says a review in Aurealis, “some of these stories are confronting, even shocking in the subjects they tackle head-on … In Your Face is a truly rewarding and affecting experience”.

My yarn, A House in the Blue, is a reaction to the shitful health policies championed by the thankfully dead Abbott government (we note the Turnbull government’s similarity to its predecessor) and is no doubt all too familiar to readers in the United States. It is set in the climate-change affected future Brisbane introduced in 2014’s Watermarks. The sad thing about my story is that I think I’ve underplayed the situation, but I guess only time will tell.

There is a Goodreads contest running until June 30 offering a free copy, or you can read more here (or preorder at the online bookstore of your choice, pretty much). The countdown continues!

Happy birthday, Kevin the vampire! Here’s a free story to celebrate with

forged in blood vampire storyTo mark the first-year anniversary of the launch of the Vampires in the Sunburnt Country duology, I thought I’d open the window to a secretive event in the life of Kevin’s nemesis, the Hunter Phillip Reece.

The story was written in 2011 as I was coming to grips with Reece’s background. The event detailed in the story, set in 1970s Brisbane, is never explained in either Blood and Dust or The Big Smoke, but is alluded to as Reece looks back at his long history with the villainous Mira.

It was a fun and effective way to explore the characters’ first meeting, even though much of the detail never made it into either book because it simply wasn’t needed. But I like to think it gave those few references emotional depth and, of course, consistency.

Find out more and read the story in PDF here

UPDATE: as of 7 July 2016, free mobi and epub versions of the story are available at the Clan Destine Press website!

Lightning has struck, x 100

100 lightnings
I feel kind of sorry for Paroxysm Press. Imagine, if you will, sending out contributor copies to all these:

Fred Zackel
Shona Snowden
Sam Cooney
yt sumner
Allen Ashley
Ella Joseph
Jen White
Adam Walter
Martin Davey
Stephanie Gianopoulos
Chuck McKenzie
Aaron Polson
Jason Colavito
B. Michael Radburn
Martin Livings
Sam Drane
Rosaleen Love
Kaaron Warren
Rob Riel
Kim Goldberg
James Davies
Eugene Gramelis
Mark McAuliffe
Matthew Chrulew
Peter Dawncy
Emma Kathryn
Douglas Thompson
Mark Delaney
Mari Mitchell
Rob Parry
Blanket Barrowclough
R.H. Reese
J.G. Poulos
Steven Paulsen
Rick Kennett
Gitte Christensen
Harper Hull
Kev Webb
Stephanie Campisi
Robert Long
Mark Smith-Briggs
Michael Zerbe
Vicki Frei
Thomas Canfield
Paul Haines
Jenny Sinclair
C.S. Fuqua
Matthew R. Davis
Rijn Collins
Benjamin Kensey
Rick McQuiston
Deborah Sheldon
Ian C. Smith
Catherine Noske
Michelle Jager
Angela Readman
Raymond Gates
M. Winkler
Rod Cod
Jack Horne
Frank J. Collins
Sheri White
Daniel Powell
Jason Nahrung
Nicky Peacock
Sean Williams
Lucy Sussex
Angela Slatter
Joanne Anderton
Jessica Reisman
David Witteveen
M.K. Hobson
D.A. Cairns
Sean King (Cover Artist)
Greg Rich (Interior Artist)
Stephen Studach (Editor)

Because that’s what they’re doing, now that 100 Lightnings is finally in the wild (i.e., at the usual online retailers, and certain booksellers around Adelaide).

The volume of flash fiction was commissioned in 2011 — not all lightning strikes fast — but should pack a bit o’ zap, given the names on that list of contributors (yes, I’m in there, but I’m low wattage, eh!).

I’m looking forward to seeing my yarn in print. It was written even earlier, around 2007, I think, as part of a course at Queensland Writers Centre, and it has finally found a home — patience, eh! “Atrocity Exhibition” was inspired in equal measure by a night out at a Goth club and a Joy Division song. This is the way, step inside …