I guess the headline is a little contradictory, but anyway, I’m pleased as punch that ‘Stranded Assets’ has found a berth in Colloquy journal — a nice dip of the hat to 2018.
The short story was written as part of my PhD in creative writing, but is somewhat smaller than the version included in the thesis* due to word count constraints. It is a look into the future after the coal miners intent on tearing up Central Queensland, planet be damned, have come unstuck, and how the mess they make might be salvaged.
Editors Zachary Kendal and Aisling Smith describe it thus:
Nahrung’s futuristic ‘Stranded Assets’ strongly evokes its Queensland setting and subtly engages with issues confronting contemporary Australia. The story also engages with broader issues, such as the role of technology and the pressures of parenthood.
There are some amazing papers in the journal … Lovecraft, Angela Carter, Blake’s 7, and some Gothic horror! Just the stuff for some yuletide reading!
*The thesis was submitted in October, so I’m awaiting examiners’ reports in the new year.
The calendar of Australian literary events for 2019 is now online! As always, updates, notifications and corrections are appreciated.
I emerge from the three-and-a-half-year cocoon that has been the PhD* to catch up with a bunch of pals, and what a better way to do it than at a reading.
I’m grateful to be asked to share some words in my old stomping ground of Brisbane, at Wild Readings on Tuesday 20 November. It’ll probably be an excerpt from one of the thesis stories — climate change in Brisbane, seems to fit — but it might be a palate cleanser from the past, too. I dunno yet.
I’m keen to hear what other people are doing, and of course, just enjoy the vibe of being in a room of writers.
I’ll be kicking around Brissie for a couple of days with not much to do other than catch up with people, so drop me a line if you’re at a loose end.
Wild Readings is at Mu’ooz, 54 Mollison Street, West End, 6.30pm for 7-8pm. Free.
Here are the Facebook details for Wild Readings — I hope to see some familiar faces there!
* The thesis has been submitted. Just waiting for the examiners’ reports now, so the fingernails won’t be regrowing anytime soon.
Speculative fiction convention Continuum runs at Melbourne’s Jasper Hotel June 8-11 (gosh, that’s starting tomorrow!), and I’ll be heading along to talk about climate change (as well as many other things, no doubt, but officially: climate change).
The guests of honour are Alison Evans and my fellow climate fiction writer and researcher Cat Sparks, so that’s excitement enough right there.
This year the convention has added a Deep Dive stream, in which folks give (mostly) 20-minute talks on topics of interest. I’m presenting some research from my PhD-in-progress outlining the mosaic approaches of three Australian SF climate fictions (Sue Isle’s Nightsiders, James Bradley’s Clade, and Steven Amsterdam’s Things We Didn’t See Coming). Other dives include body horror, convict women in Tasmania (Van Diemen’s Land), the metaphorical use of monsters, and Cat’s talk on ecocatastrophe and Anthropocene fiction, to name a few.
I’m also on a panel on the Friday night talking about climate science and climate fiction, and the state we’re in.
Day tickets are available for the convention, which celebrates pop culture, geekdom, fandom and speculative fictions in all their forms. Visit the Continuum website to find out more.
Oh my, it’s almost December! That means it’s time to cram in the last literary events of the year, take a breather (and maybe do some reading) over the festive month, and then get back into it for the new year. Yep, it’s time to cast ahead to 2018 and get those highlighters out — it’s looking like a big one. So here is the 2018 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. There are events in Wollongong, Brissie and the Clare Valley to finish off the year.
As always, updates, notifications and corrections are appreciated!
Sean Williams, a guest at WestWordsFest
Two events on this weekend in NSW have just been added to the 2017 literary events calendar
Both running September 15 to 17, they are: WestWordsFest in Dubbo, and Sorcery to Spaceships in Armidale. Both look fab!
I’m always keen to hear about literary festivals to add to the calendar, in whatever genre. Drop me a line if it’s not already listed!
One of the hardest parts about writing a near-future novel is keeping ahead of the news, but that’s not always a bad thing. For instance, here’s a news article about an awesome project in Victoria
: a massive glasshouse for growing vegetables that will be totally powered by an adjacent wind farm. Extra rehab points for being built on the site of an old gold mine!
Meanwhile, the federal government and the Queensland government appear intent on dropping their dacks for Adani’s Carmichael coal mine — an unconscionable project by any metric you want to apply.
And here I am, with a mosaic novel* set in near-future Queensland (mainly Brisbane) in which the Galilee coal mines feature prominently — as stranded assets, now being converted into, you guessed it, giant greenhouses. (One of the three stories involving Galilee has been selected for the Ecopunk! anthology, coming from Ticonderoga Publications — the TOC looks amazing!)
It’d be really neat to have to rewrite the stories because the governments in question grew some social conscience (and economic nous) and canned the entire idea (I can hear the Asia-Pacific nations who are begging the world to stop building coal-fired power stations from here), but I can’t see that happening.
It’s a bit like the narrative spike I copped when BP (boo! not forgiven for Deepwater Horizon) pulled out of exploration in the Great Australian Bight, only to be replaced by Chevron. And so the battle, and the story, goes on …
* mosaic novel = a fictional work made up of interconnected short stories; the form has many names (composite novel and novel-in-stories are just two of the more common ones, but I prefer mosaic)