Aussie Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror announced

years best australian fantasy and horror 2014Ticonderoga Publications has announced the line-up of its latest Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror28 stories from 2014, curated again by Talie Helene and Liz Grzyb, to wrap your eyes around and fire your imagination. Or something like that.

I’m thrilled and giddily surprised to find ‘The Preservation Society’, originally published in the first issue of Dimension6, among the selections. Vampires in Cairns, an exploration into one of the minor characters in my novel Blood and Dust. Hell yes, I’m chuffed.

There’s some great reading in this volume — I’m particularly pleased to see ‘Shedding Skin‘ by Angie Rega in this line-up, one of those yarns that ticked all my boxes. The collection is due out in late October — OOH, HALLOWEEN! — but can be pre-ordered right now.
 

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The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror Vol 3

years best fantasy and horror 2012Ticonderoga Publications has released the table of contents for The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror Vol 3 (2012), edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene, and I’m stoked to say that my ‘The Last Boat to Eden’, published in the recent Shadows award-winning Surviving the End, has been included.

The ‘best of’ series is a wonderful snapshot of Aussie horror and fantasy. It is due to arrive in July, and is available for pre-order.


The contents are:

  • Joanne Anderton, ‘Tied To The Waste’, Tales Of Talisman
  • R.J.Astruc, ‘The Cook of Pearl House, A Malay Sailor by the Name of Maurice’, Dark Edifice 2
  • Lee Battersby, ‘Comfort Ghost’, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 56
  • Alan Baxter, ‘Tiny Lives’, Daily Science Fiction
  • Jenny Blackford, ‘A Moveable Feast’, Bloodstones
  • Eddy Burger, ‘The Witch’s Wardrobe’, Dark Edifice 3
  • Isobelle Carmody, ‘The Stone Witch’, Under My Hat
  • Jay Caselberg, ‘Beautiful’, The Washington Pastime
  • Stephen Dedman, ‘The Fall’, Exotic Gothic 4
  • Felicity Dowker, ‘To Wish On A Clockwork Heart’, Bread And Circuses
  • Terry Dowling, ‘Nightside Eye’, Cemetery Dance #66
  • Tom Dullemond, ‘Population Management’, Danse Macabre
  • Thoraiya Dyer, ‘Sleeping Beauty’, Epilogue
  • Will Elliot, ‘Hungry Man’, The One That Got Away
  • Jason Fischer, ‘Pigroot Flat’, Midnight Echo 8
  • Dirk Flinthart, ‘The Bull In Winter’, Bloodstones
  • Lisa L. Hannett, ‘Sweet Subtleties’, Clarkesworld
  • Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter, ‘Bella Beaufort Goes To War’, Midnight And Moonshine
  • Narrelle Harris, ‘Stalemate’, Showtime
  • Kathleen Jennings, ‘Kindling’, Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear
  • Gary Kemble, ‘Saturday Night at the Milkbar’, Midnight Echo 7
  • Margo Lanagan, ‘Crow And Caper, Caper And Crow’, Under My Hat
  • Martin Livings, ‘You Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet’, Living With The Dead
  • Penelope Love, ‘A Small Bad Thing’, Bloodstones
  • Andrew J. McKiernan, ‘Torch Song’, From Stage Door Shadows
  • Karen Maric, ‘Anvil Of The Sun’, Aurealis #54
  • Faith Mudge, ‘Oracle’s Tower’, To Spin A Darker Stair
  • Nicole Murphy, ‘The Black Star Killer’, Damnation And Dames
  • Jason Nahrung, ‘The Last Boat To Eden’, Surviving The End
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, ‘What Books Survive’, Epilogue
  • Angela Slatter, ‘Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean’, This Is Horror webzine
  • Anna Tambour, ‘The Dog Who Wished He’d Never Heard Of Lovecraft’, Lovecraft Zine
  • Kyla Ward, ‘The Loquacious Cadaver’, The Lion And The Aardvark: Aesop’s Modern Fables
  • Kaaron Warren, ‘River Of Memory’, Zombies Vs. Robots.
  • Short stories in the wild

    anywhere but earthAnywhere But Earth, Coeur de Lion’s door-stopping anthology of science fiction tales, is now available in digital format. It includes my space vampire story, ‘Messiah on the Rock’. You will notice Adam Browne’s spectacularly inventive novel with the massive title (short version: Pyrotechnicon) is also available.


    years best australian fantasy and horror 2011Ticonderoga is shipping the Year’s Best Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror 2011, which includes my (vampire-free) fantasy short story ‘Wraiths, originally published in Winds of Change.

    Sure, I’m biased, but these two titles offer very fine tastes of Australian speculative fiction, and I’m quite proud to be in both of them.

    Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror 2011

    years best australian fantasy and horror 2011


    A gorgeous cover and a splendid table of contests, a real feast of Aussie writers working in fantasy and horror: and me! I am so thrilled that ‘Wraiths’, from Winds of Change, made the fantasy list of Ticonderoga’s Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2011 (now available to order), edited by Talie Helene and Liz Grzyb. Well done, all; what splendid company to be keeping — my wife included: here, look for yourself!

    Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2011 selected stories

  • Peter M Ball, ‘Briar Day’ (Moonlight Tuber)
  • Lee Battersby, ‘Europe After The Rain’ (After the Rain, Fablecroft Press)
  • Deborah Biancotti, ‘Bad Power’ (Bad Power, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Jenny Blackford, ‘The Head in the Goatskin Bag’ (Kaleidotrope)
  • Simon Brown, ‘Thin Air’ (Dead Red Heart, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • David Conyers and David Kernot, ‘Winds Of Nzambi’ (Midnight Echo #6, AHWA)
  • Stephen Dedman, ‘More Matter, Less Art’ (Midnight Echo #6, AHWA)
  • Sara Douglass and Angela Slatter, ‘The Hall of Lost Footsteps’ (The Hall of Lost Footsteps, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Felicity Dowker, ‘Berries & Incense’ (More Scary Kisses, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Terry Dowling, ‘Dark Me, Night You’ (Midnight Echo #5, AHWA)
  • Jason Fischer, ‘Hunting Rufus’ (Midnight Echo #5, AHWA)
  • Christopher Green, ‘Letters Of Love From The Once And Newly Dead’ (Midnight Echo #5, AHWA)
  • Paul Haines, ‘The Past Is A Bridge Best Left Burnt’ (The Last Days of Kali Yuga, Brimstone Press)
  • Lisa L Hannett, ‘Forever, Miss Tapekwa County’ (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Richard Harland, ‘At The Top Of The Stairs’ (Shadows and Tall Trees #2, Undertow Publications)
  • John Harwood, ‘Face To Face’ (Ghosts by Gaslight, HarperCollins)
  • Pete Kempshall, ‘Someone Else To Play With’ (Beauty Has Her Way, Dark Quest Books)
  • Jo Langdon, ‘Heaven’ (After the Rain, Fablecroft Press)
  • Maxine McArthur, ‘The Soul of the Machine’ (Winds of Change, CSFG)
  • Ian McHugh, ‘The Wishwriter’s Wife’ (Daily Science Fiction)
  • Andrew J McKiernan, ‘Love Death’ (Aurealis #45, Chimaera Publications)
  • Kirstyn McDermott, “Frostbitten” (More Scary Kisses, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Margaret Mahy, “Wolf Night” (The Wilful Eye – Tales From the Tower #1, Allen & Unwin)
  • Anne Mok, ‘Interview with the Jiangshi’ (Dead Red Heart, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Jason Nahrung, ‘Wraiths’ (Winds of Change, CSFG)
  • Anthony Panegyres, ‘Reading Coffee’ (Overland, OL Society)
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, ‘The Patrician’ (Love and Romanpunk, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Angela Rega, ‘Love In the Atacama or the Poetry of Fleas’ (Crossed Genres, CGP)
  • Angela Slatter, ‘The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter’ (A Book of Horrors, Jo Fletcher Books)
  • Lucy Sussex, ‘Thief of Lives” (Thief of Lies, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Kyla Ward, ‘The Kite’ (The Land of Bad Dreams, P’rea Press)
  • Kaaron Warren, ‘All You Can Do Is Breathe’ (Blood and Other Cravings, Tor)
  • Remembrance Day at Fort Nepean

    Despair is too strong a word. It’s not as if I’ve been confined to a sailing shop in the ravaging grip of typhus, or stationed in a hovel with kerosene water to drink and nothing to fight but mosquitoes and each other. Still, after a day of too much sun and not enough coffee, the sight of my car vanishing behind us as the last transport of the day trundles out of the Point Nepean National Park is morale destroying. The thought of trudging 2km from the next stop to collect the vehicle is not high on my list of favourite things to do. Fortunately, a gentleman in our transporter cab overhears my plight and offers a lift from the information centre to collect my wheels: only a thermos could’ve been greeted with more effusiveness. For future reference: when the tractor stops at the road gate at Gunners Cottage, dismount and look lively about it.

    Friday was Remembrance Day, and by fortunate happenstance I was at the Point Nepean National Park where war and sacrifice are enshrined in concrete. Despite our end-of-day setback with the transporter stop, the park is well worth the visit. No more than 90 minutes drive from Melbourne, there are several areas of historical interest inside the park, which occupies the toe of Victoria’s Mornington Peninsula. A self-guided tour is available and the mp3 audio tour is highly recommended — the historical broadcasts and first-person recollections more than outweigh the very occasional naffness.


    quarantine station, point nepean

    Quarantine station

    Quarantine Station

    About 50 buildings are set out around the former quarantine station, also used as a military training camp and, most recently, home to Kosovar refugees. Many of the buildings are closed to the public, but a couple have been turned into interpretative displays. The most striking is the fumigation building, where belongings were treated on arrival in massive steam boilers. Many of the buildings have been re-purposed over the years, but this one retains its original fittings, right down to the tram tracks that ferried the goods in. The quarantine area brings to life tales of disease and yellow flag ships, burials and resumptions, leprosy and typhus.


    point nepean cemetery

    Point Nepean Cemetery

    Gunners Cottage

    The cottage itself is devoted to ecology and junior ranger programs, but a short walk through the striking Moonah woodlands is the old livestock jetty and a view of Port Phillip Bay, and farther west, the cemetery, where some 300 lay interred, most without headstones. Those monuments that remain include several from the tragic diseased ship Ticonderoga. Gunners Cottage is the farthermost point to which you can drive; after this, you’re on Shanks pony to the other points of interest (or, you can hire a bicycle or buy a ticket for the people-moving tractor-pulled transporter). The Coles Track cuts through the scrub to Cheviot Hill.


    cheviot hill fortifications

    Cheviot Hill

    Cheviot Hill

    The hill is the highest point in the park and retains several gunnery posts looking out to sea. Two searchlight shelters are located closer to the beach. The beach was the site of the wreck of the Cheviot, and also the disappearance of Prime Minister Harold Holt. One look at the rocks and waves and it’s no surprise that someone could drown there.


    echidna at fort pearce

    Echidna on patrol

    Fort Pearce

    Serious entrenchments here for naval guns, and a barracks on the landward side reduced to foundations. A highlight was an echidna nosing around the walls, apparently feasting on the black ants.


    cannons at fort nepean

    Fort Nepean cannons

    Fort Nepean

    The centrepiece of the area’s fortifications, from which Australia’s first shots of both World War I and II were fired, to stop vessels from leaving after the declaration of war. This is an amazing set of buildings, wonderfully lit and illustrated with placards and recorded information including sound effects. The first we heard on our visit was a person whistling from somewhere in the depths …

    The buildings reach down several floors inside the earth. It’s hard to imagine the tension in there as men worked to lift munitions from the depths to the cannons above. There remains the workings of a ‘disappearing gun’ and two of the long range six-inchers. The engineering shed still smells of diesel.


    Alongside the road at one point is a rifle range, but it’s just one of several. Signs still warn of unexploded bombs in the scrub due to the army days. The other ranges, and also the Monash Light, a shipping beacon named after the Australian general, can be accessed via a walking track.

    The buildings are stark, sombre reminders of not only Australia’s military history, but its foreign affairs and social evolution, with fortifications marking the fears of the populace and attitudes to the world wars. Information about the basic living conditions for servicemen and women also gives pause for thought.

    Drinking fountains are placed only at Gunners Cottage and the quarantine station, and there are no food outlets inside the park. Toilets are available at Fort Nepean, Gunners Cottage and the quarantine station. Tractor tickets can be bought only at the information centre – one-way or returns. We spent from 10.30am till 4.30pm at the park and didn’t quite see everything; those entering by foot or bicycle can stay after the road gates are closed. The transporter makes its last run from Fort Nepean at 4.30pm.

    More pictures

    Observatory Point, Point Nepean national park

    Observatory Point

    Calling out for best of 2011, and launching Anywhere But Earth

    Ticonderoga Publications have opened for submissions to their next year’s best of Australian and New Zealand fantasy and horror. Stories published this year are eligible; deadline to sub is January 20.

    Anywhere But Earth, Coeur de Lion’s science fiction anthology in which I’ve gone all godbothering vampire conquistador, is launching at a spec fic fest in Sydney in November — sad to miss that. The day includes an opportunity to pitch to ‘an industry professional’.

    And there’s more about the e-format for Aurealis at the Aurealis website. Looks as if my Aussie werewolf yarn will be available in the Feb or March issue, which is, I believe, still going to be free to download.

    Oh, oh: Louise Cusack is returning to the world of MS assessments — briefly. Catch her while you can; she gives great feedback.

    Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2010

    years best australian fantasy and horrorIt’s great to see that someone has risen to fill the gap (almost) left by Brimstone (horror and dark fantasy) and MirrorDanse (science fiction and fantasy) no longer compiling a year’s ‘best of’ of Australian spec fic. Awards listings have been the best guide to quality Aussie writing in their absence.

    But Ticonderoga Publications is releasing a best of: fantasy and horror published in 2010, edited by Talie Helene and Liz Grzyb. It’s the first of an ongoing annual snapshot. The contents have already been released, and now, the recommended reading list. What a superb springboard into an exploration of flights of fancy from Australian pens!

    best australian fantasy and horror 2010 contents

    RJ Astruc: “Johnny and Babushka”
    Peter M Ball: “L’esprit de L’escalier”
    Alan Baxter: “The King’s Accord”
    Jenny Blackford: “Mirror”
    Gitte Christensen: “A Sweet Story”
    Matthew Chrulew: “Schubert By Candlelight”
    Bill Congreve: “Ghia Likes Food”
    Rjurik Davidson: “Lovers In Caeli-Amur”
    Felicity Dowker: “After the Jump”
    Dale Elvy: “Night Shift”
    Jason Fischer: “The School Bus”
    Dirk Flinthart: “Walker”
    Bob Franklin: “Children’s Story”
    Christopher Green: “Where We Go To Be Made Lighter”
    Paul Haines: “High Tide At Hot Water Beach”
    L.L. Hannett: “Soil From My Fingers”
    Stephen Irwin: “Hive”
    Gary Kemble: “Feast Or Famine”
    Pete Kempshall: “Brave Face”
    Tessa Kum: “Acception”
    Martin Livings: “Home”
    Maxine McArthur: “A Pearling Tale”
    Kirstyn McDermott: “She Said”
    Andrew McKiernan: “The Memory Of Water”
    Ben Peek: “White Crocodile Jazz”
    Simon Petrie: “Dark Rendezvous”
    Lezli Robyn: “Anne-droid of Green Gables”
    Angela Rega: “Slow Cookin’ ”
    Angela Slatter: “The Bone Mother”
    Angela Slatter & LL Hannett: “The February Dragon”
    Grant Stone: “Wood”
    Kaaron Warren: “That Girl”
    Janeen Webb: “Manifest Destiny”

    recommended reading list, australian fantasy and horror 2010

    Deborah Biancotti, ‘Home Turf’ Baggage
    Jenny Blackford, ‘Adam’ Kaleidotrope #9
    Simon Brown, ‘Sweep’ Sprawl
    Mary Elizabeth Burroughs, ‘The Flinchfield Dance’ Black Static #17
    Steve Cameron, ‘Ghost Of The Heart’ Festive Fear
    Stephanie Campisi, ‘Seven’ Scenes From The Second Storey
    Matthew Chrulew, ‘The Nullabor Wave’ World’s Next Door
    Bill Congreve, ‘The Traps of Tumut’ Souls Along The Meridian
    Rjurik Davidson, ‘The Cinema Of Coming Attractions’ The Library of Forgotten Books
    Stephen Dedman, ‘For Those In Peril On The Sea’ Haunted Legends
    Felicity Dowker, ‘From Little Things’ Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #43
    ——— ‘The House On Juniper Road’ Worlds Next Door
    ——— ‘Bread And Circuses’ Scary Kisses
    Will Elliott, ‘Dhayban’ Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears
    Mark Farrugia, ‘A Bag Full Of Arrows’ Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #48
    Jason Fischer, ‘The House Of Nameless’ Writers of the Future Vol. xxvi
    Bob Franklin, ‘Take The Free Tour’ Under Stones
    Christopher Green, ‘Jumbuck’ Aurealis #44
    Paul Haines, ‘Her Gallant Needs’ Sprawl
    Lisa L Hannett, ‘Singing Breath Into The Dead’ Music For Another World
    ——— ‘Commonplace Sacrifices’ On Spec
    ——— Tiny Drops’ Midnight Echo #4
    Richard Harland, ‘Shakti’ Tales of the Talisman
    ——— ‘The Fear’ Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears
    Narrelle M Harris, ‘The Truth About Brains’ Best New Zombie Tales: Volume 2
    Robert Hood, ‘Wasting Matilda’ The Mammoth Book Of The Zombie Apocalypse
    George Ivanoff, ‘Trees’ Short & Scary
    Trent Jamieson, ‘The Driver’s Assistant’ Ticon4
    Pete Kempshall, ‘Dead Letter Drop’ Close Encounters of the Urban Kind
    ——— ‘Signature Walk’ Sprawl
    Martin Livings, ‘Lollo’ Close Encounters of the Urban Kind
    Penelope Love, ‘Border Crossing’ Belong
    Geoffrey Maloney & Andrew Bakery, ‘Sleeping Dogs’ Midnight Echo #4
    Tracie McBride, ‘Lest We Forget’ (audio) Spectrum Collection
    Kirstyn McDermott, ‘Monsters Among Us’ Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears
    Andrew J McKiernan, ‘All The Clowns In Clown Town’; Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears
    Simon Petrie, ‘Running Lizard’ Rare Unsigned Copy: tales of Rocketry, Ineptitude, and Giant Mutant Vegetables
    Michael Radburn, ‘They Own The Night’ Festive Fear
    Janeen Samuel, ‘My Brother Quentin’ Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #44
    Angela Slatter, ‘A Porcelain Soul’ Sourdough and other stories
    ——— ‘Gallowberries’ Sourdough and other stories
    ——— ‘The Dead Ones Don’t Hurt You’ The Girl With No Hands and other tales
    Cat Sparks, ‘All the Love in the World’ Sprawl
    Grant Stone, ‘Dead Air’ (poem) Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #46
    Lucy Sussex, ‘Albert & Victoria/Slow Dreams’ Baggage
    Anna Tambour, ‘Gnawer Of The Moon Seeks Summit Of Paradise’ Sprawl
    Kaaron Warren, ‘Sins Of The Ancestors’ Dead Sea Fruit
    ——— ‘The Coral Gatherer’ Dead Sea Fruit
    ——— ‘Hive Of Glass’ Baggage
    David Witteveen, ‘Perfect Skin’ Cthulhu’s Dark Cults