Sunday, October 30, 2005


It was with great happiness that we attended the wedding of Grant Watson and Sonia Marcon yesterday. Grant is an artist for whom I have the highest respect and feelings of friendship, and he and Sonia are as well-matched as any couple I have met in years. His love for her is obvious to any who know him, and the respect and adoration they show each other is a joy to observe.

They have our most sincere wishes for a life of happiness and well-being.

The wedding ceremony was quite beautiful, taking place in a picturesque park in West Perth. The words spoken were heartfelt, the readings were appropriate, and the whole thing went on long enough to be special and short enough to be enjoyed. The bride arrived in a vintage yellow car that reminded everyone of Bessie, Dr Who's automobile. Given Grants' loathing of Jon Pertwee, I thought it a wonderful moment. Everyone was happy, both for the couple and to be in attendance, and it was one of the sweetest weddings I've been to.

For most of us, the wedding occured in two parts: the ceremony in the morning, then a party in the evening. Lyn's Mum & Stepdad journeyed from Goomalling to spend time with the kids, so we took the opportunity to book into a hotel for the evening, where enjoyed a much-needed nap before the party started. Once there, true to form, every attendee of an SF/fan background crammed themselves into the tiny corridor outside of the official party space, where the heat, non-directional noise and general claustrophobia had me performing my one-man show Man Trying Not to Scream and Jump Out of Window within about an hour. I'm not often claustrophobic, but when I am, I really am.

Luscious had a fabulous time, tucked into a champagne-soaked corner with Callisto, Dr K, Fe, Liz, Heather, and Anna. And I learnt many new and interesting things from my conversations with friends, including the theory of Molecular Gastronomy, and exactly how many shows Reeves & Mortimer have been in. And when I told Lyn I really needed to go, we gave Stephen Dedman a lift home and spent a thoroughly relaxed and enjoyable hour chatting before heading back to the hotel for a midnight spa before bed.

There are worse ways to spend a Saturday...

Lyn & I, enjoying the moment

Is it any wonder I call her 'Luscious'?

In order: Beautiful bride, ecstatic groom, 6 knobbly knees...
I'd like it noted that I kept a straight face when Luscious' Mum referred to her Stapfather as a prolapsed Catholic.
Medal please!

Friday, October 28, 2005


Hooray me. Received news this evening that Shadowed Realms have accepted my story Decimated for issue 8 of their fine ezine.

It'll be out in November, so that's not bad for seeing the fruits of your labour nice and quick.


Luscious has posted a new review on her review blog IMHO. It's been a while, so head over there and make her hard work worth it.

Song of the moment: It's a Mistake Men At Work

Thursday, October 27, 2005


Late notice I know, but tomorrow night at 5.30pm I will be doing a reading at Fantastic Planet bookshop in Shafto Lane, Perth, as part of the West End Festival.

I'm in two minds as to whether to read some of the new stuff that went into the short story collection, or some chapters of Napoleone's Land.

Guess you'll find out if you turn up :)

Sunday, October 23, 2005


You Passed 8th Grade Math
Congratulations, you got 10/10 correct!
Could You Pass 8th Grade Math?

I have stuff to post about dinner last night with the groovy Martin, Dr Iz, Stephen & Elaine, as well as Grant's bucks afternoon today, but those $11 Belgian beers we had today won't go away (well, they've got company, now), so I'm nipping off to bed...

Remember a wee while ago I said I'd have something big to announce soon?


I will be one of the tutors at the next Clarion South Writer's workshop, in early 2007, along with Robert Hood, Simon Brown, Janeen Webb, Kelly Link, and Gardner Dozois.

Given that the 2 previous workshops have been helmed by the likes of Ellen Datlow, Nalo Hopkinson, Michael Swanwick, Ian Irvine, and Sean Williams, I'm quite chuffed, me.

For more information, here is the website.

Friday, October 21, 2005


As of this evening, my article on 'the path to publication' is up at the Australian Horror Writers Association website.

Read it here. Then come back and argue, sling mud, buy me beers, send me offensive porn, whatever you like.

All part of the service :)

Song of the moment Feel The Pain Dinosaur Jr.

Thursday, October 20, 2005


So we were out on the patio yesterday afternoon: Luscious was nursing a sinus infection, I was nursing the after-effects of back spasms that have resulted in 3 days off work, and Erin was nursing us as only a 3 year old can do.

Guess who took it into his head to crawl over to his sister's toy trolley, haul himself up to the standing position, and push it across the patio?

My son's first real steps, and I was there to see them. The best painkiller there is.


Adrian Bedford has his new novel, and it's a beautiful thing.

Stephen Dedman has sales to Brutarian and Weird Tales to celebrate.

Dave Luckett has no less than 3 novel projects on the go, all at the behest of publishers who initiated the contact.

And Martin Livings has just been awarded a whopping great grant through the Arts & Literature Council.

Well done, guys!

Thursday, October 13, 2005


Oh, I've been blocked lately, and how.

There's been the sale of the house, and trying to find one we like in Clarkson. There's been the worry about making sure Aiden gets to come to us like he wants to. There's been work. There have been the babies. There's been the compensation case. There's been such a long list of things that have taken my attention and focus away from the word-crunching. And frankly, I thought I was over, at least for a while. I couldn't find anything inside me. I was dry, empty, kaput, kershplunk, kerschmuttered.

But at work today, in a fit of boredom, I was leafing through my notebook, and came across a single line I'd jotted down between a whole bunch of other things, and something went 'chk chk whooooof' (imitation of an igniting fire) somewhere toward the back of my mind.

Came home, informed Luscious that tonight was writing night (like she'd argue: she's just annnounced she's put 1100 words down on a new project), and threw 1300 words of the new story at the keyboard before I stopped, content in the knowledge that I'll have the rest of it wrapped up by the end of the weekend. It's a nasty little thing called Mister Snopes, and I'm going to be very thankful to it for some time. It's rescued me from being just a Normal, just a desk jockey. I'm even going back into my archives and taking a look at some of the half-pages and not-finished thangs I've got kicking around.

I've spent so much time wrapped up in The Divergence Tree and the preparation of Napoleone's Land (have I told you that the novel's changed name again? I forget.) that I'd forgotten the joy involved in just writing. Think I'll ride this wave while I'm on it.


Nicked from Shane Jiraiya Cummings' blog, the first lines of some current projects and projects that, after tonight, are back to being current projects:

I do not intend to go into details, but Mister Snopes was the most evil man the village had known in centuries. Mister Snopes

The sand of Easter Island is a curse. Napoleone's Land

I know. Amygdala, My Love

My name is Hideshi Nakata, and though it be the greatest of honours, I do not wish to die for my Emperor. Most Divine of Winds

Walk like a monster. Walk Like a Monster

Mrs Thornapple was a large woman, and she began to smell after the third day. A Good Year For The Roses

My Name Is George Dawson. Manuscript Found Upon the Body of a Hanged Soldier


Picked up a copy of the DVD documentary I Told You I Was Ill: The Life & Legacy of Spike Milligan the other day, and got around to watching it last night. It's no secret that I'm a huge fan of Milligan, but I was reminded just how much his work has been a part of my life: The Goons of course, but also the poetry, the cartoons, Q, A Show Called Fred, the war memoirs, the live LPs, the letters, the public persona. Granted, the man often defined the difference between eccentric genius and arsehole, but I would be a very different man if not for the way his work has insinuated itself into my consciousness.

I've always liked Kurt Vonnegut's notion of the karass-- that group of people who are linked to you by the influence they have had upon your life, either (or both) good or bad. Milligan sits close to the centre of mine.

Luscious made an interesting observation, afterwards, that she had never drawn inspiration from 'pretend people', that she had always found herself influenced by people in direct contact with her, such as grandparents and children. There's probably a deeper link into our psyches from these statements, which I'll leave it to future discussions between us to discover, but it makes me wonder: what about you lot? Who are your influences? I have a message board, you know...


What is my playlist trying to do to me? All in a row:

Vincent by Don McLean
Cat's In The Cradle by Harry Chapin
Send In The Clowns by Joni Mitchell

I swear, if it plays Pink Floyd next I'll be in the bathtub with a jar of leeches before I know what I'm doing....

Song of the moment: Send In the Clowns Joni Mitchell

Monday, October 10, 2005

22 Redfox Crescent

3 bedroom, 1 bathroom, brick and tile house with kitchen, dining, lounge room. Double carport with double lock-up gate.

Shed, large patio and enormous play-fort/cubby house set on a 680 square metre block. Perfect for a young family or first home buyer.

Near to shops, bus stops, Primary and High schools. 5 minute drive from Maddington and Gosnells train stations as well as Maddington Metro shopping centre. 10 minutes from Carousel shopping centre. Less than 30 minute drive from Fremantle and Perth.

$239 900

Contact Collin Dolmans of Brown Murray Real Estate on 0412 908 478 for a viewing.

It's been a loud and hectic week, this past week in the Batthouse. We've had the Triffkids for the last week of the school holidays, and it was brilliant. Things may be loud when all 7 of us are in the one place, but the benefits of having a large family make every moment worthwhile. We didn't do much this holidays, apart from a few activities centred around a bit of news I divulge later in the post, but the act of just hanging out with such intelligent, vibranht, enjoyable kids leaves me feeling froody.

The days after taking them to their dad's place are always a bit low for us, but it was too good a week to hurt for long.


On the other hand, I'm a bit worried about Luscious. Blakey went to a friend's place for a party mid-week, so she let Aiden & Cassie see a movie. More to the point, she let them see Sky High. A Kuuurrrrtttt movie! And Aiden's far too young to look at Linda Carter and have rewarding flashbacks.

It could take years for the scars to surface....


Aiden had his trophy presentation for soccer during the hols. We thought he was in with a real shot for Most Improved Player, given how far he's come since the start of the season, but he was gazumped by (wait for it) the coach's daughter. Now, I haven't seen her play before this season, so I'm not suggesting that the fix was in, but I'm just going to mention that you can read all my entries about Aiden's progress and decide for yourself whether anyone else could improve that much in the same team...

Anyway, we couldn't be more proud of him. He loves the game, and the medal he received didn't leave his neck from the day he got it until it was time to leave. It was a deserved reward for a young man who gave everything to playing a sport he's grown to love, and I'm a very punch-pleased Bonus Dad. And here's a gratuitous photo so's I can show off :)

Call him, Hiddink. He's waiting......

You know, no sooner does the A-boy take up soccer than the NSL changes its name to the A-League. Talk about your destiny!


BLAKE (11 years old): Who's John Lennon?
AIDEN (Much older, and more mature, ie: 12): (In mocking tones) You don't know who John Lennon is?
AIDEN: Duuuuuuh. He sang "You're The Voice".

And much Coke was sprayed.....


I love having so many documentary channels. The History of Science Fiction and HG Wells docos last Sunday night gave us enough excuse to invite Martin and Dr Izz over for din-dins and watching. We had a fabulous time, as we always do in their company, and I was especially pleased to learn that Isabelle is fascinated by Wells, something we share.

I find myself searching for ways to catch up with them before they depart for England at the end of the year. I've also decided that it's all a clever plan on the part of Martin to increase his overseas sales-- frustrated that he can sell to Australian magazines but not American or British ones (another thing we share...) he's going to go over there, send stories back here, and they'll count!

Cunning devil!


This Saturday, from 10.30 to 3.30, at the Leederville Town Hall on Vinent Street, Swancon are holding a Geek Trash & Treasure as a fundraiser.

Luscious and I will be there, with the fruits of our book/comic/video cleanout. Nothing over 2 bucks, come on down!


Luscious and the kids met me after work today, and we went into Fremantle to have a picnic and play in the park. But we needed to buy drinks, so we found a teeensy little bookstore with a coke machine....

And I found Walking with Dinosaurs: The Evidence and a hardback copy of Tales From Earthsea for ten bucks each. And we bought the drinks and left the shop inside 90 seconds of entering.

I am BOOKBUYMAN!!!!!!!!!!!


As if it should have ever been in doubt, Luscious' brilliant story from ASIM 17, The Memory of Breathing, has been picked up for Year's Best Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror 2005.

In my humble opinion, it's the best horror story of the year, and if it doesn't make the Aurealis Awards short list at least, it'll point out what a load of bollocks that particular award is. I'm an amazingly proud hisband right now, all the more because it's so obviously a deserved recognition for a wonderful writer who has yet to hit her straps. When she does, nobody will be talking about me any more.

Of course, no one does now, but that's not the point. Well done, my darling. You deserve it.


Well, here's an announcement.

We're moving.

The house is on the market, there's a sign out the front, we're leaving exotic Huntingdale and moving North of the River to facilitate the arrival of Aiden into our midst on a permanent basis. We're looking at Clarkson, for any Perthites with a road map and sense of adventure. We've had half a dozen people through the house since Thursday, and we've not had an open house yet! The agent thinks that we'll be hard done by if we don't sell the place within 4 weeks.

It's weird: I've a lot of emotional investment in this place, having bought 2 children home here, as well as my late wife Sharon and my darling Luscious. Almost all the plans I've made these last 5 years have involved being here, and inside 2 weeks of making the decision, half the house is packed away, and we're one person from being out the door and never seeing the place again. I'm eager for somewhere new, excited at the thought of finding a house that Lyn and I can call ours from the very beginning, and yet there's a tiny part of me that'll want visiting rights. "Please, can't I just see the patio every alternative weekend?"

On the other hand, it's hard to argue with an appraisal that gives you a 240% profit on what you paid for the place :)

It was either this or a peaceful life. Pictures and advertorial as soon as I upload them.

Sunday, October 02, 2005


If you head over to the Prime Books website, you should be able to order a copy of The Devil In Brisbane, edited by Zoran Zivkovic, with stories by the likes of Geoff Maloney, Kirsten Bishop, and Trent Jamieson. All the stories involve Old Horny and a writer, and they are rather a lot of fun. And my story Gunslinger, is amongst them. Go. Buy. Make us all rich and famous.

Are you still here?


Not one, but 2 episodes of The OC I watched because Cassie asked me to.

Where's my bloody medal?

Song of the moment: California Phantom Planet