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!

In Your Face … and then some

in your face anthology campaignThis anthology will not be an easy read, but it will be a rewarding one.

FableCroft Publishing is putting out the book, entitled In Your Face. The stories, publisher Tehani Wessely says, “will be provocative and/or confronting but with a firm purpose – they are pieces that will perhaps make readers uncomfortable because they are a bit too hard-hitting or close to the bone, but which interrogate these themes and ideas, and make a point about the world we live in”.

Writers in the anthology include Sean Williams, Cat Sparks, Kaaron Warren, Kirstyn McDermott and another dozen or so who are bound to get under readers’ skin — for good effect.

My story, ‘A House in the Blue’, is one of the current selection. It’s a fairly blunt response to the hideous health policy pursued by the soulless Abbott Government, since rejected, but sadly one that seems to still lurk in the shadows of government budgets. It is set in my climate-changed Brisbane, which is really where the speculative element kicks in. I suspect American readers wouldn’t find the rest of it that far fetched, and sadly, the climate element probably isn’t either, given the way our federal government continues to shy away from taking action. It’s possibly the angriest story I’ve written.

The reason for this blog post is to point you in the direction of FableCroft’s Pozible campaign, being conducted through January to take the anthology further.

Says Tehani, “This campaign is designed to expand the number of excellent stories we are able to include in the book from 12-15 to at least 20. As our goal is always to pay our contributors what their efforts deserve, our stretch goal once we reach our target will be to increase the amount we are able to pay per story.”

Check out the Pozible, which essentially allows preorders with other goodies besides. As Tehani has noted, the book is coming, it’s just how many writers get to be involved that hinges on the Pozible.

Surviving the End, Epilogue: such beautiful apocalypses

I haven’t had time to read the yarns yet — and it would probably be gauche for me to comment on them, given I’m a contributor — but I have to say, Craig Bezant’s Dark Prints Press has done a beautiful job on Surviving the End: an anthology of post-apocalypse stories. Craig’s linked the yarns with his own narrative. It *feels* great and looks great. Aussie small press are certainly rising to the occasion. The anthology is now available in print and e-version — the Jonathan Maberry story is available only in the print edition. (An aside: Mr Maberry is joining Ramsey Campbell and Caitlín R. Kiernan as author guests at next year’s World Horror Convention in that heart of hearts, New Orleans… oooh.)

Here’s the contributor list:

‘Hiatus’ by Michael Bailey
‘The Long Ago’ by Amanda J Spedding
‘The Last Boat to Eden’ by Jason Nahrung
‘Harvest’ by Ashlee Scheuerman
‘Unwanted’ by Martin Livings
‘The Stuff of Stories’ by Kathryn Hore
‘The Failing Flesh’ by Joseph D’Lacey
‘The Wind Through the Fence’ by Jonathan Maberry (print edition only)
With narrative interludes by the ‘Story Keeper’, Craig Bezant


epilogue - tales of hope after the apocalypseNOT to be outdone is Epilogue, Fablecroft’s anthology of hopeful post-apocalyptic stories which arrived TODAY! Editor Tehani Wessely has presented such a pleasant tactile end to the world with its striking cover and intriguing binary code symbolism.

Its contents:

‘Sleeping Beauty’ by Thoraiya Dyer
‘Time and tide’ by Lyn Battersby
‘A Memory Trapped in Light’ by Joanne Anderton
‘Fireflies’ by Steve Cameron
‘The Fletcher Test’ by Dirk Flinthart
‘Ghosts’ by Stephanie Gunn
‘Sleepers’ by Kaia Landelius
‘Solitary’ by Dave Luckett
‘Cold Comfort’ by David McDonald
‘Mornington Ride’ by Jason Nahrung
‘Only the Books Survive’ by Tansy Rayner Roberts
‘The Last Good Town’ by Elizabeth Tan


Epilogue is being given away at Goodreads until 8 June.

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’:


Epilogue: so there is hope for Thoraiya after all!

A little while ago, writer and reviewer Thoraiya Dyer said that one day I might provide her with a glimmer of hope in a short story, and I said, much chuffed with her review, that I was working on it and the jury was still out. Well, the jury has returned its verdict, and I’m pleased to say, it’s guilty. ‘Mornington Ride’ has found a home in the FableCroft anthology Epilogue, the theme of which is hope after the apocalypse (it’s original working title was, in fact, Apocalypse Hope). I think ‘a glimmer of hope’ sums up my yarn well. The icing on the cake is that Thoraiya has a story in the anthology as well!

Here is the table of contents:

‘Time and Tide’, Lyn Battersby
‘Fireflies’, Steve Cameron
‘Sleeping Beauty’, Thoraiya Dyer
‘The Fletcher Test’, Dirk Flinthart
‘Ghosts’, Stephanie Gunn
‘Sleepers’, Kaia Landelius
‘Solitary’, Dave Luckett
‘Losses Beyond the Kill Point’, Kathleen Martin
‘Cold Comfort’, David McDonald
‘Mornington Ride’, Jason Nahrung
‘The Last Good Town’, Elizabeth Tan



[Edit: due to my botching the WordPress publishing feature, this post originally appeared with a too-early date stamp.]

Dead Red Heart and More Scary Kisses: books with bite!

more scary kisses cover

Here is the cover of More Scary Kisses, Ticonderoga’s anthology of paranormal romance stories due out in April. The table of contents is here.

And Ticonderoga’s Australian-themed vampire anthology, Dead Red Heart, has had its table of contents announced, and it’s a monster: 32 yarns, more than 130,000 words, due out towards the end of April.

I hope this means both will hit the shelf in time for Swancon, Perth’s annual spec fic convention which this year is also the national science fiction convention.

It’s particularly exciting to have a couple of stories coming out this year after such a long hiatus.

after the rain ebook edition

There’s also a story of mine, a cyberpunk one just in contrast to the New Orleans hot-and-sweaty of MSK and cane-and-dust vampire action of DRH, in Fablecroft’s forthcoming After the Rain anthology, also due out in time for Swancon. A special e-edition of ATR is available with proceeds going to the Queensland flood appeal. More than $1200 has been raised so far. Awesome!

For me, after the rain should probably be after the drought, it’s been so long since I’ve written a short story. But last year, after much kicking around and failing to succeed with novel-length manuscripts, my subconscious apparently found a window for some short stuff. Dark Prints Press’s Surviving the End anthology started the ball rolling — that book’s due out in 2012, and I quite like the story of mine in it: a dirty, post-apocalyptic Australian Gulf-country yarn.

I’m back in drought mode, now, but it sure feels affirming to have been able to dredge out some yarns!