Thursday, December 18, 2003


Well, after weeks of behind the scenes panicking and email-chatter, I'm proud to announce that I, along with Russell B Farr, Liz Grzyb, and the awesomely lovely Lyn Triffitt, am now one of the proud proprietors of the gonzo SF e-zine Ticonderoga Online.

We're looking for original short stories, between 1,500 and 5,000 words, written by Australian residents. We want bizarre, gonzo stories; SF in the tradition of Howard Waldrop, Jack Womack, Tom Reamy, and Alfred Bester. We want stories that make us as excited as the first time we read "San Diego Lightfoot Sue" or "Night Of The Cooters". Send us the stuff that even you think "What the hell kind of monster have I created here?".

Get over there and read the guidelines, and then submit to us, goldurnit! We want to be the premiere venue for truly cutting edge Australian fiction, so if you're getting a little bleh at all the pale imitations of each other you see when you look around, support something that aims to break some truly new ground.

Besides, if I'm giving up the 6 seconds free a day I was using for sleep, I want it to be worth it...

That address again: Ticonderoga Online. That's Ticonderoga Online.

Okay? :)

Saturday, December 13, 2003


Guess who's going to be the Emerging Writer-In-Residence at the Katharine Susannah Prichard writer's Centre next year? Yup, your fat little hero! Put my application in without any great hopes, but they conducted a phone interview with myself and the other shortlisted applicants this morning, and rang back just after lunch to offer me the position.

Come late August I'll have 4 weeks of free writing time to work on the much-talked-about-but-never-quite-started Napoleon novel, plus I'll get to run a workshop, attend each of the centre's 10 writing groups at least once each, and pretty much put myself about being a writah dahling and pretending I don't have to do anything else for a living :)

The Centre officially offers:
• Workspace and accommodation
• Access to the KSP writing community, with opportunities to attend our several group meetings as a guest or participant, and to conduct a workshop.
• Efforts will be made to promote the writer/editor and the writer/editor’s work, especially in the local press, with the possibility of radio interviews.
• The writer/editor will be a guest reader at a KSP Sunday Readings, a long-established KSP.

My end of the bargain is to:
• Positively promote and represent the KSP Writers' Centre, before, during and after the residency, and to raise community awareness of writers and writing.
• Further community awareness of the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers' Centre as a resource, helping to establish it as such for the future benefit of Western Australian writers and the wider community.
• Consult with the Centre’s Coordinator in drawing up a program, which will include participation in the Centre’s regular program and may include outside visits or workshops.
• Conduct one workshop on a topic in my field of interest over a minimum of three hours.
• Spend productive hours on developing a work-in-progress, with the possibility of this providing the basis for the Sunday Readings.
• Write a report suitable for publication, which reflects the writer/editor's experience while in residence.
• Complete an appropriate feedback report for the Management Committee.
• Participate in any public readings at the Centre scheduled to occur during the period of the residency, one of which will feature the writer/editor.
• Chair any Meet-the-Writer events which occur during the residency, one of which may feature the writer/editor.
• Consult with the Coordinator with respect to all matters relating to the residency, particularly in developing the resident’s program.
• Undertake other duties mutually agreed upon between the writer/editor and the Foundation, such as promotional or literary events in association with KSP activities.

Pretty cool, huh? The workshop I've punted to the Committee is one on alternate methods of writing outside of linear narrative, with the beautifully wanky title of "Living Inside The Firework: The Art of Pyrotechnic Writing", which is just an excuse to spend three hours cutting up bits of old books, doing silly stand-up comedy exercises, and reading weird stories :)

Friday, December 12, 2003


Check out this month's Ideomancer for my review of Chris Lawson's excellent short story collection Written In Blood. Then go buy it.

Thursday, December 04, 2003


A little bit of self-indulgence here: 3 rejections in the post over the last two days, and one request for a re-write on a story the editor isn't too keen on.


Thursday, November 20, 2003


Bored? Lost the will to live? Antipodean SF has my story Little Sequels up this month. It's a reprint of the story that appeared in that scurrillous ratbag Russell Farr's fanzine No Award earlier this year. Check it out.

Thursday, November 13, 2003


Turned 33 on the 11th. Amazing, when I sit down to think about it, how little I've achieved. You know, the usual "By the time they were my age..." thing. Hendrix was dead by now, so was Joplin, Bill Hicks... I could come up with a nice, long, list if you cared.

Tuesday, November 04, 2003


Check out this months issue of Ideomancer for my review of Traci Harding's novel The Book Of Dreams, as well as a few words set aside for the 1998 Harlan Ellison collection Slippage

Orright, now I feel a bit better about myself. You might remember I set myself the task of completing and sending out a dozen short stories before I returned to Public Service Hell in January. Well, as of last night that particular aim is well and truly met, mate. I've sent out 15 stories since I left work in July, including 8, count them 8, yesterday.

I still have to write the new Father Muerte story, tentatively titled Father Muerte & The Flesh, as well as get the novel up to scratch, but with two months of idyll left before the crap starts again, I'm pretty pleased with myself.

Monday, November 03, 2003


My copy of the CSFG anthology Elsewhere arrived in the post on Friday. Nice looking book, I must say. Did my usual: had a quick flick through my story, then read everyone's bios (Geez, did I write mine THAT long ago?) before settling down to read.

I'm happy with the way my story A Stone To Mark My Passing looks. It's very rare that I read a story of mine in print without wanting to make some edits, and this is no different, but it reads okay, and they've given it last spot in the book, which is a great place to be, so I'm more than pleased.

Friday, October 31, 2003


Just read the news confirming that Hal Clement has died. I'm really rather depressed by this. I was lucky enough to meet him last year when I attended the Writers Of The Future workshops in Los Angeles, and found him to be an utterly delightful man, friendly and cheerful and with an enormous zest for the act of SF writing. Even at 80 he was working hard, still engaged in what he viewed as a great and enjoyable gift- that of creating worlds from nothing but your own mind. A sad loss, and one that I'll feel keenly for some time. Makes it difficult to concentrate on my own work today. So many of the people I look up to and whose work I enjoy are dying these days I feel like a bloody jinx.

Thursday, October 30, 2003


Sigh. Sometimes you look at the gulf between you and those who can actually write and wonder what the hell you think you're doing. Just finished Chris Lawson's excellent new collection Written in Blood. It's available from MirrorDanse Books. Buy it: it's the kind of hard SF so few people are able to write-- personal, character-driven, yet frighteningly scientifically plausible. Greg Egan wishes...

To top it all off I've just read the Terry Dowling novella The Man Who Lost Red. Every time I think I can write, I read a Dowling story and realise what an amateur I really am. This story was written something like 17 years ago. You'd think that'd make a difference. Nope. I'm willing to hear from anyone who remembers a time when this man couldn't write. Really, I am. It'd help lift the gloom......

Saturday, October 25, 2003


Just received word that Letters To Josie, a story about a future Olympics based on war, told through a series of letters, has been picked up by Borderlands magazine. My 25th story sale, the second to that particular journal. Happy dance of joy.

Friday, October 24, 2003


My contributor's copy of Glimpses, the first anthology of the Vision writing group, came in the mail yesterday. Read everyone's bios, then flicked to my story and settled down to see what it looked like in print: hmm. I don't know about other writers, but I always read my own stories when they come out in magazines. They look a lot different to manuscript format, and I can view them a little more objectively than I could when they were sent off. Anyway, A Very Good Lawyer proves a bit of an annoyance to me: it's only a bit of frippery, a light and fun tale with no deeper context or message, but it's been a year since I submitted it, and I found myself wanting to pull out a pen and neaten it up as I read. Not an indicator of my current best work, I think, but it's a fun tale and it's nice to see it in print. There's some good names in the book: Geoff Maloney, Trent Jamieson, Dirk Flinthart and the like, so it's nice company to be in.

The CSFG anthology Elsewhere was launched last week, and my copy should be in the mail any picosecond now. I rated A Stone To Mark My Passing a bit of a better story than 'Lawyer', and it was recently awarded at the Katherine Susannah Prichard SF/F Competition under the name Between, so I'll be interested to give that one a read and see how it holds up.

Monday, October 20, 2003


Sometimes something comes out of the strange recesses of my mind and there's no way I have any chance of working out what the hell niche I can put it into. Vortle is a first-alien POV humour story about first contact between one alien and another, with a shared view of humans (they're delicious) serving to bring the two together. I usually have a home in mind for stories by the time I've finished the final draft, but this one's got me buggered. I have two deadlines coming up on the 1st of November: Oceans Of The Mind have an Australian Writers issue, and MOTA 4 are wanting stories on the subject of 'Integrity'.

Hmm, probably no contest there...

Thursday, October 16, 2003


It occurs to me that I should probably put a list of my successes here, for those who came in late or are too lazy to follow the link back to my homepage. Anyhoo, fer whut it's worth:


Little Sequels (Antipodean SF, TBA. Reprint)

The Hobbyist (Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine Issue 10, December 2003)

Ecdysis (Andromeda Spaceways In-Flight Magazine issue 11, February 2004)

Father Muerte & The Rain (Aurealis Issue 33, April 2004)


A Very Good Lawyer (Glimpses, Vision anthology, October 2003)

A Stone To Mark My Passing (Elsewhere, CSFG anthology, October 2003)

When I Came Back (Potato Monkey issue 3, September 2003)

Little Sequels (No Award, Issue 4, August 2003)

In The Dream Factory (Winner, Katharine Susannah Prichard SF/F Competition, August 2003. No publication)

Between (Commended, Katharine Susannah Prichard SF/F Competition, August 2003. No publication)

Corner God (Antipodean SF issue 59, April 2003)

Making Two Fists (Agog! Fantastic Fiction, April 2003)

Moment (Consensual: The Second Coming, April 2003)

Your Mother Likes Monkeys (Andromeda Spaceways In-flight Magazine issue 6, April 2003)

Through Soft Air (Borderlands issue 1, April 2003)

Guitar Wishes (No Award issue 2, April 2003)

The Great Detective (Fables & Reflections issue 4, April 2003)

Though I Be Stone (Whispers From The Shattered Forum issue 11, November 2002)

Carrying The God (Writers Of The Future Volume 18, August 2002) 3rd place, 2nd quarter, 2002 Writers Of The Future Competition

Father Muerte And The Theft (Aurealis issue 29, June 2002) Shortlisted for 2003 Ditmar, "Best Short Story"; Recommended Reading list, "Year's Best Fantasy & Horror 16" anthology.

Brillig (EOTU e-zine, June 2002)

The Divergence Tree (Orb Speculative Fiction double issue 3/4, June 2002)

Pass The Parcel (Australian Woman's Day, November 2001)

A Star Is Born (Borderlands Convention Booklet, November 2001)

Three Times The Monster (poem, emPOWa Vol. 2, September 2001)

The Habit Of Dying (Alien Q e-zine, August 2001)


2003 Katharine Susannah Prichard SF/F Awards: 1st Prize, "In The Dream Factory"

2003 Katharine Susannah Prichard SF/F Awards: Commended, "Between"

2003 Australian SF "Ditmar" Award: Best New Talent

2003 Western Australian SF "Tin Duck" Awards nomination: Best Professional Writer

2003 Australian SF "Ditmar" Awards nomination: Best Short Story, 'Father Muerte & The Theft'

2003 "Ditmar" Awards nomination: Best Professional Achievement

2002 Writers Of The Future: 3rd place, 2nd quarter, "Carrying The God"

2001 Australian Woman's Day Short Story Contest: Highly Commended, "Pass The Parcel"

Just received word that my poem Eight For Working has made it past the second round of reading at ASIM and will now lurk in the shallows of the slushpool for a while doing its best to drag down unwary wildebeest who stop to drink there. A nice change: I'm not a good enough, nor patient enough, writer to be a serious poet, but it's always cool to see one reach print somewhere

Friday, October 10, 2003


Okay, a new blog, just to chock up the internet with more pointless waffle of the "My name's Persephone, I'm 8 years old, here's a poem about my cat" variety...

All right, maybe not, but given this is supposed to be all about my writing I suppose I should start with a state of the nation address of some sort.

Having walked out of my much-loathed job in the middle of July with the prospect of a little less than 6 months Long Service Leave before me, I decided to set myself a couple of targets before they forced me to return in early January: write at least 12 short stories, including another in my series of Father Muerte stories and turn my 35000 word, hole-riven first novel draft into a shiny, gleaming, 90000 word magic masterpiece. Hmmm.

If I want to be a full-time writer and escape Public Service Hell, I thought, I'm goign to have to prove that I can do the business. Hmm and double hmm.

So, how am I going, halfway through my idyll?

Not too bad, actually. I've completed and sent out 5 stories: Goodfellow, a speculative romance starring the Merry Andrew manifestation of Puncinello; His Calliope, a murder/horror story set during the London Blitz; Jaracara's Kiss, a vampire story that takes place amongst the snake-handlers of 1920's Appalachia; Stalag Hollywood, in which the famous Holywood 'uglies' are rounded up and herded into a forced labour camp; and Rise of Nations, a feghoot with a truly awful pun. I even have a poem under consideration at Andromeda Spaceways In-flight Magazine, a rare occurrence indeed. The novel has been line-edited, and I plan to spend the next couple of weeks ploughing through and filling the many holes and correcting the pages and pages of horribly clumsy writing it contains.

Currently in production are: The Imprisonment of Marianne, a good old fashioned ghost story concerning a young female prisoner and the deal she makes with the spirit trapped in the walls of her cell; Through The Window Merrilee Dances, an anti-fantasy in which I try to inject just a little bit of reality into the traditionally shite fantasy milieu of castles and Kings; Elyse, a post-apocalyptic tale of what it means to be an invader, and how invasion doesn't always involve territory; Vortle, a first-alien POV story about a different kind of first contact; Dying With Eddie, a story about immortality and the choices that go along with it; A Fork In The Sky, an actioner set in on an island community thousands of metres above sea level; The Communion of Big Numbers, about death, loneliness, and little messages on bits of paper; Eat The Moon, a story about Old Gods and what happens when they visit new towns with old names; Raquelme & Palermo, a mainstream story about two friends on a mercy dash; and Penny on the Tongue, about how childhood pranks have to change to keep pace with technology.

And in late, just-breaking news--- I've just this moment received an email telling me that Aurealis want to buy Father Muerte & The Rain, the sequel to my story Father Muerte & The Theft which appeared in Aurealis 29 last year and went on to make the Recommended Reading List in Datlow's Best SF & Horror Vol 16. Happy dance of joy! Father Muerte & The Truth , the third story in the series, is in pre-production (ie: the reading piles of books phase) so this is a real fillip to get in and get the new one started. Pope Joan, globsters, the Tunguska meteor and Lowenmensch statues. That's all I'm saying at the moment, coz that's all I've got... :)