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
 

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WIP: Fangs for the inspiration

cobra fangsThese are cobra fangs. They were a Valentine’s gift from my beloved, specifically because I’m writing nagas. They’re slippery suckers.

I had the idea for these stories years ago, when Amanda Pillar was calling for submissions for her first ‘blood’-themed anthology for Ticonderoga. She’s done two of them now (Bloodlines is due in August), and it has taken me this long — and a lot of reading/research, a lot of note making and scene revising, some brainstorming — to come to grips with the story world. Maybe I’ll finally have something in time for No.3!

The fact is, I’m still grappling, exploring the urban fantasy’s world and its characters through the stories. And attempting to air these explorations as I go, a little morale boost, with an end result: hopefully, a cohesive novella, perhaps fleshed our or simply complemented with revised, definitive versions of these formative, transformative yarns. I’m lumping them under a banner of BLOODRUNNER, both a nod to that inspiration from Amanda, and to my old mate Shayne Hall who introduced me to the term in a different context.

I just hope this project doesn’t end up biting me on the asp.

Writerly roundup, with added Dredd

judge dredd iOS gameAn Aussie voicing Judge Dredd: that’s pretty cool. Alan Baxter reports there’s a new mobile phone game set in the world of Judge Dredd, with the said judge voiced by Kevin Powe, a Melbourne actor I’ve had the good fortune to run into in bars (as you do). Better than Sly? You can be the judge of that.

  • Louise Cusack is running a series of Wednesday posts about the writing game, with recent posts by guests including using writing contests to build a CV on the way to getting a publishing contract; publishing an e-book; and wrangling media. There’s a good post about editing from Louise, too, with a handy Q&A form.

  • Speaking of editing, Angela Slatter has a handy graphic to help understand the writing cycle. The word ‘flensing’ appears. Not for the precious or faint-hearted!

  • Over at Cheryse Durrant’s, I’ve been invited to bang on about Kim Harrison and urban fantasy. I am seriously behind on the Rachel Morgan series: there’s a graphic novel now? From Ivy’s point of view? w00t!

  • catwoman comic nine livesHave you been following the Wonder Women Are blog posts over at Tansy’s place? Delightful overviews of various star women characters in the comics world. The focus has been on DC and Marvel, with this week dedicated to the Bat-family. As a one-time massive buyer of Batman comics, it’s been great to see not only how stories have progressed and been reinvented, but how the comics honchos have moved with the times … or not. I may even have to make some further investments for the collection. Outside of Batman, two of my favourite titles back in the day were Kabuki and Shi: I wonder how they hold up today? Hm, I know they’re here somewhere…