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... :)