Tuesday, October 31, 2006


Managed another 895 words on The Corpse-Rat King tonight, despite the interruptions from trick-or-treating kids. I'm almost at the 10 000 word mark, which is when it really will feel like a novel project to me: after that, there's no turning back. With the kids in bed, and Aiden out t-o-ting with friends, it was easy to get lost in the action and get some momentum going: I've found a whole new scene just waiting for me to get to the right point before it introduced itself and waylaid my plot. It's going to be fun to write: my hero Marius and I are both in the dark about how to get through it, so we'll be discovering the solution together, which I always find fun. That, however, is tomorrow night. Unlike Marius, I have a day at work tomorrow in which to day dream :)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
9,628 / 90,000

On a completely different subject, just how cool was Time Team tonight? An entire medieval Scottish city! One of these days I'm going to invent a time machine, go back to 1983, and kick my High School Guidance Counsellor right in her fat arse.....


Went to see it today. No review or spoilers, simply: the best SF film I have seen in years, and whilst it had its flaws and was a little slow in parts, it's been a long time since I've watched an SF movie with such intelligence. Almost makes having to sit through Serenity last week worthwhile....


Aiden's just arrived home from his trick or treating expedition, with a bag full of booty and a raging sugar-induced thirst. From which I gather he enjoyed himself :)

So, to commemorate his night out, and pat myself on the back for my Jack Pierce-like efforts, this is what we sent out into the streets tonight:


A normal, every day boy, well adjusted and unaware of the terrible transformation that awaits him....


Oh My God, the horror! the horrroooorrrrr!!!!!!!!!

And yes, I know what order I put them in. But just picture Aiden's reaction when he comes in and reads this :)

Song of the moment: Absolute Beginners David Bowie
Reading: On Writing Stephen King. Just recharging the motivational batteries.

Monday, October 30, 2006


1071 words on Friday.
711 words on Saturday.
A night off on Sunday, due to wifely illness and extreme post-gardening knackerederocity.
306 words tonight, foreshortened due to my pressing need to actually get some frigging work done on The Memory of Breathing 2nd draft.

Still, 2088 words in 4 days is more than double my goal, so I'm quietly pleased. I'll be combining novel work with script work for the next couple of weeks, and trying to find the time to get some necessary short story work in (I finally have the submission guidelines for Jeff Vandermeer's pirate anthology in my possession, and as I've already written about the 2nd coolest things in the whole world, zeppelins, I can't pass up the chance to add the tippity toppest coolest, can I?) so it'll be a case of steady as she goes and try to meet the 250 word minimum each night.

Anyhoo, yon word meter:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
8,733 / 90,000


I've been thinking recently, and I've come to realise something you all probably have known for ages:

I'm rubbish when it comes to phoning people.

I keep promising, and somehow, it just never happens. And it occured to me today, that the reason for this is that I'm just not comfortable on the phone anymore. I've become increasingly hermit-like in the last 5 years, and now, well, email is definitely my preferred medium. I'm a letter writer by inclination, and honestly, by choice.

Hey, self-recognition is the first step.

So from now on, no promises to ring. It just results in disappointment. But, and you can bank this, contact me by email and you will get a reply. And I am likely to use email to get hold of you, when the need arises. It's just easier that way.


Bet you thought I'd forgotten my 120 tasks in 120 days goal, didn't you? Well, kids, there's a reason I've not been updating it. See, things have changed at the Batthome, and the tasks I've set myself are no longer relevant. At least, they're not as intricate and grandiose as I'd originally planned, so I've jettisoned the list, and the page along with it, in favour of simply getting the house neat and the garden looking nice rather than resembling the work of Don Burke's Demon Master.

You see, Luscious and I have been talking, And, wel....


That's right, folks. Lyn and I have decided that it's time for a change: of horizon, viewpoint, and possibilities, so in January of 2008 we're upping sticks and heading to Brisbania to begin anew.

I've lived in Perth since I was 8 years old. I'm 35 now, and it just doesn't feel like there's anything new this city can offer me. I'm itchy to be somewhere else, to scrape away some of the baggage and ennui that has enveloped me in recent days. I want to feel excited again, about where I live, what I'm seeing, what I have yet to discover. I want to explore again, and I haven't done that in years. And there's a lot of baggage in Perth, a lot of ice on my wings, barnacles on my keel, drag in my chute.... now you know why I'm such a funny shape :)

15 months may seem like a long time away, but it's a good point for embarkation. Erin will be about to start her first year of proper schooling, Aiden will be past the Year 9 hurdle and about to begin Year 10, and Blakey (who has stated that he wishes to come with us for the first year, and then decide whether he wants to stay with us or return to his father) will have a year of High School under his belt. And it gives us 15 months to get the house and gardens looking as we want them, to save up money for the move, and lay some preparations for employment, house hunting, and getting involved in the writer's centres.

We've loved Brisbane from the first time we saw it, and the kids had the best holiday of their lives there in 2005, so we're keen as a bunch of keeny keen things to get there and start afresh. So we are.

There will be updates along the way. Many updates...


For a while now, I've been trying to persuade my best friend Seanie to get hisself a durn blog. I've known Sean for 17 years, and one of the reasons we've stayed friends for so long is that he, more than any friend I've ever had, has the ability to send me rolling across the floor in paroxysms of laughter.

Anyway, he's finally caved in, and this is the result. Typical of him, he's pulled something out of the hat unlike anything I expected, and it's well worth the wait.

I'll be sticking it up on The Batthome as a permanent link during my next site update, possibly this weekend.

Song of the moment: Jump David Bowie
Reading: Script notes for The Memory of Breathing

Thursday, October 26, 2006


Another 559 words tonight, and the end of chapter 2. Progress might be limited over the weekend, as I turn my attention to the 2nd script draft for The Memory of Breathing for a few days, but I'll keep chipping in and keep the momentum going: I know what happens in the next little arc of the story, so I can at least keep track.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
6,645 / 90,000
Song of the moment: Burn The Cure
Reading: Dave Allen, The Biography Carolyn Soutar

For once I don't have anything even remotely funny to say

Wednesday, October 25, 2006


My work is... well, it's work, you know? I don't hate it, but it's hardly like acquiring superpowers when it comes to generating any excitement into my day.

But my family constantly excite and surprise me. Like today, when Lyn rang just before lunch to say she and the kids were ten minutes away, and where should we meet?

Sometimes that's all you need :)


A bit of a short writing burst tonight: I'm tired, and 290 words got me past my daily target and the plot to a nice juncture for me to jump back on tomorrow evening. Still, progress is progress, and it's nights like tonight that are the reason I deliberately chose a low target. So:

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter

6,086 / 90,000

Right now the tone is all over the place, and because I'm writing this one from a very loose framework, I've no idea whether the pacing is going to work or not. But I'm enjoying this way of working: I'm only ever one step ahead of my hero, and although I have a notion of where I want things to go, I don't know how they'll end up or what will happen along the way. My internal plot-creator is only about 3 events ahead of the page, which is keeping the process exciting, and helping to get me back to the keyboard every night. I want to find out what's going to happen, dammit!

Besides, I can always fix it in the 2nd draft :)


What with my newfound productivity, and discussions at the LJs of Jay Lake, Martin Livings, and Deborah Biancotti in recent days, I've been thinking about rhythm, and inspiration, and how a writer comes to grips with the needs of their craft. And me being me, I've got a theory.

Jay is prolific, and writes regularly. Daily. Deb is sporadic, and completes very few stories per year. Recently, she's been having somewhat of an existential crisis: does she write enough? Should she be more regular? Is waiting for inspiration the naive work practice of an amateur? And so on. Martin is having a similar response, brought on by some stupid comments at an anonymous LJ, and his own natural self-doubts. Note: nowhere is this about the quality of their writing. Deb and MJL are fantastic writers. But, they doubt, and in the face of Jay's beliefs about the writing process, it's got me thinking. So, for what it's worth:

I'm not saying this works for anybody but me, but I'm probably at the opposite end of the spectrum to Deb, and closer to the Jay Lake/Sean Williams end in that I benefit from putting words down every day, no matter how few. I need rhythm and momentum to work at my best, and that comes from advancing every day, rather than writing in bursts.

My problem has always been finding time to get the words in: when I'm not writing, that's when the depression sets in and that's when it gets harder to write, so I get more depressed.... (insert sound of a burning Spitfire)

Where Deb and Martin struggle is in coming to terms with the fact that they're not built that way: for them, the "muse" (and oh, I could pontificate on the bullshitness of a muse) strikes irregularly, and they are more comfortable waiting for the inspiration than trotting words out every day.

Martin and Deb are burst writers, not momentum writers. The thing is: it doesn't matter which type you are. Write every day, or when the mood takes you. As long as what results is writing with which you are happy. The most important part of the game is perseverence. If it takes you a week to finish a story, that's no different than taking a year, as long as you put all the right words in the right order. One practice makes you prolific, that's all. Deb and Martin hit the Year's Best lists as often as I do, despite the fact that I publish sometimes up to 3 times more than them added together. The quantity is moot. It's the quality that is remembered.

Or as I said to Martin in conversation recently: it doesn't matter if I have 70 unfinished short stories, and you have 2. We still have the same amount of product-- nada.

Momentum or burst. They're both equally valid ways of writing. It's when you work out which type you are that you become comfortable with your working practices, and can become happy with how you produce.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006


That's right, pals. Another 862 words on The Corpse-Rat King tonight, and I've hit 5% completed.

Okay, it's a small victory, but it's mine!

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
5,796 / 90,000

Song of the Moment: Come Said The Boy Mondo Rock

Reading: Mojo-Conjure Stories Nalo Hopkinson (ed), How Precious Was That While Piers Anthony

Monday, October 23, 2006


Another good evening at the word mines, comrades. Another 586 words, the reason for our hero's predicament has been shown, and tomorrow, I shaft him further by setting him on his quest and lumbering him with his companion. Oh, the power! :)

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter
4,934 / 90,000

Song of the Moment: Oh, You Pretty Things David Bowie

Reading: Mojo-Conjure Stories, still.


Earlier this month, the attendees of Clarion South 2007 were announced, including my own beloved Luscious and Perth writer Jessica Vivien.

Since then, one of the attendees has been forced to withdraw, meaning her spot was offered to the "first reserve" on the list.

So a big congratuilations to Helen Venn, a KSP SF compatriot who will be making the journey to Brisbane to take part.

Honestly, though: I'm travelling the length of the country to tutor 17 people, one of whom I live with and 2 others I see on a regular basis at my local writing centre. Wouldn't it just be easier for everyone else to come here? :)


To Luscious' close friend Sharon, who graduated from the Police Academy yesterday. It's the fulfillment of a long-held dream, and a fantastic moment for a person who has done so much to change her life around in the time that I've known her.

So now I know a female police officer. And Anysia is (I believe) part Native American, or at least likes to dress as one. So if I can round up a female army officer, a female construction worker, and a female bikie.....

Lyn! Lyn! Ask her if you can borrow the uniform!


Over at Battblush, Luscious Lyn has posted on her progress with her new project, a YA novel.

I've also started work on my new project, my second novel, The Corpse-Rat King.

We've decided to work at a slow, steady pace, setting a low word count of 250 per day, rather than bash away at it and get demoralised if we miss a day or two along the way. It's much easier to recover 250 words than it is to recover 1000, and it feels like more of a victory if we surpass the lower total. Besides which, with the The Memory of Breathing script still on my plate, and my usual short story work, it's about all I can squeeze in :)

So, as a way of keeping track in public, my first word meter of the project: 660 words added last night to the 3688 I'd already achieved.

Zokutou word meterZokutou word meterZokutou word meter

4,348 / 90,000


The synopsis and 3 chapter package of Napoleone's Land to the new Agent-Of-Choice. Now to wait. And wait. And wait. And......


I've been thinking about the possibility of organising a writer's retreat some time in the new year: a long weekend away, with nothing to do but write, meet for meals, take long walks in the surrounding area to recharge, etc etc and so forth. I'd also like to bring in a couple of experts to deliver talks, maybe something along the lines of the psychology of success, and something in regards to marketing.

Three days away from the world, being writers in close contact with each other. What do people think?


There's been some stupidity going on in LJ-world regards where people should and shouldn't be allowed to bring their children. I'm not going to link to it. You've got better things to do with your day, believe me.

But it has reinforced in me the belief that I have children in whom it is easy to be proud. In particular, Aiden and Blake have recently entered the SF Con circuit, with Aiden being on a panel at the KSP SF Day, and both boys attending Fandomedia and the Fantasic Planet Horror Day readings. And those who have met them, interacted with them, and participated in activities with them have had nothing but respect and admiration for the way in which the boys, aged 12 and 13, have handled themselves.

It's simplistic to hold to the "if you don't have children you don't understand" argument. But as any parent will tell you, there is no pride quite like that when your children acquit themselves well. Anybody who holds the wood-headed view that my children should be turned away from interacting with my world and the people within it, well, the problem and the loss is yours.

Blake & Aiden at the Horror Day Readings: Boys to be proud of.


Is it Sarge? NO!

So I sit at my writing desk the other day, Lyn sits next to me, and it quickly becomes apparent that she's waiting for me to notice something. Particularly when she starts to say things like "Have you noticed?"

For no reason at all, other than she knew I'd love it, my darling wife had picked up this Hong Kong Phooey doll at the shops, and snuck it amongst the gallery of ephemera and weird shit hanging from my desk.

How cool is that?

He's got style, a groovy smile, a bod that just won't stop......


A while ago I asked about some more online comics to pass my life away with, as I didn't need to spend quite so much of my day catching up with Sluggy Freelance. Some lovely people posted me links, and I've trawled about a bit. And discovered some fun stuff. So, a couple of links to comics that I'm reading, and instances that made me laugh over the weekend:

Dinosaur Comics

Medium Large

And from Monkey Fluids, a one panel strip that has instantly become one of my all-time favourites, right up there with Gahan Wilson's "Human Butcher" and Charles Addams' "This Little Piggy" panels: Timmy Points

To quote Robert Bloch, I havent had this much fun since the rats ate my baby sister...

Friday, October 20, 2006


So my weekend plans all seem to revolve around the movement of large amounts of soil, as well as packaging the novel up for the new agent-of-choice.

Entertain me. Tell me your plans.

Song of the moment: Where in the Hell Did you Go with my Toothbrush? Rev. Horton Heat
Reading: Mojo- Conjure Stories, still.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006


Okay, for Mynxii, the lap cat herself:

Everyone's priestess
Shadow stalking lap cat rests
The next bounce comes soon

Oh, it hurts, it hurrtssss.....

See what pain I'll go through for you, my people?

Not only does Paul Cornell have an rss feed, and Charles Stross, but Thomas Dolby!

Wheeeeeeeee :)

Oh, and Writer Beware and Writer's Weekly. work, see, it's all for work.....

You know, I've just found out that if I can get another 10 or so people to subscribe to the rss feed of this site, I'll get listed on 10-page long list of Top RSS feeds on LJ.

C'mon people: grab 10 friends! Help a bored friend in need!

Do this for me, and send me an email to prove, and I'll write a haiku about cats, just for you. Promise.


To evoke one's posterity is to make a speech to maggots.


An interesting post on an interesting secondary world writing issue: The Moss-Troll problem.

Discuss, using examples. This question is worth 35% of your total mark.


If you haven't met him yet, there's a new poster in the LJ world. His (generic gender reference, btw. Real gender unknown) name is Anencephalic Kid, which I think is a great title that I'll be stealing for a story sometime in the future :) and he's got some interesting opinions on the writers he's met and read.

Why do I bring this up? Because this is a fellow in need of educating. Go and have a read and you'll see what I mean. Leave a comment. Please. One the one hand I applaud this fellow's willingness to state opinions without any recourse to apologia, but on the other, he's so wrong about guys like SJC (and myself, at least, I think so...) that he needs to know before he makes a total tool of himself.

I'd love to see some fiction from this guy.

Song of the Moment: Cyclops Rock They Might Be Giants
Reading: Mojo- Conjure Stories edited by Nalo Hopkinson, Gregory Marc Hempel

Monday, October 16, 2006


Okay, a few weeks back I closed down my LJ account because I didn't like where my participation in the particular community was taking me.

Blogger doesn't have a flist function.

Boy, it shits me. See, having a flist is a really handy way to keep all those sites such as Jay Lake's blog, Nalo Hopkinson's blog, the paleontology LJ community, and so on and so forth. In short, all those really useful, entertaining, and informative writers and information founts that I like to keep in touch with.

Not to mention friends, a number of whom have spent the last couple of weeks ending conversations with me with "Well I posted about it...."

So, a compromise. A new LJ. But I don't even have the password anymore, as the first and only post explains. It's me, making me up a new reading list, is all.

So if you're a pal, or someone interesting :) and you want me to read all your special adventures, consider friending me. But I shan't be commenting, because I can't. Okay?

See? I am the soul of compromise. Once I've finished ranting :)



Now, my love of the domestic cat is well known (chokes, gags, tongue strikes cheek at speed and goes straight therough like a chainsaw through a baby's head...)

However, my love and respect for Grant Watson is also well known. And real. So Grant needs financial help in saving the leg, life, and dancing career of his cat Kris, who was walloped by a car recently and whose medical bills far exceed the capacity of Grant and wife Sonia to pay. Over on his LJ, he's sent the word out asking for donations. Grant's between jobs, and Sonia's disability pension just ain't gonna cut it. Under normal circumstances, you can imagine my reaction. But friends is different. Friends is important.

Visit Grant's page and help out. C'mon, I gave. I gave money to save a cat. C'mon, that should count for something, shouldn't it?.....


Cassandra has rejoined us, and may, in a decade or two, work out what all the fuss was about. In the meantime, it was all my fault, and her stepmother's fault, and that guy over there's fault, and your fault, and nobody understands, and it's all right for us to say......

Oh, and can I download these songs and will you burn them for me, Lee?

Many decisions have been made in the last few days. Many of them are private. But I think it's fair to say that my relationship with Cassandra has changed. Just how much may take some time to work out.


The new AHWA website is up and it looks booodiful. I've now received my membership card ( I am the new Number Thirty, in my best Leo McKern voice...) and have wandered round the members-only section fulfilling my weaselly black little heart out.

Join. It's cool.


The Horror Day readings at Fantastic Planet went spiffingly well on Friday night. Many thanks to all who joined us: it was a big crowd, and appreciative, and the vibe was brilliant.

Lyn opened proceedings with her tale Simeon The Monkey, which you can still read for yourselves over at the uber-lovely Anna Tambour's site right now, in slightly earlier form. Go on. I'll wait.... tap tap tap tap.... back? Good. Shane Jiraiya Cummings and Carol Ryles joined in before I pranced about reading Never Grow Old, a story about Peter Pan, incest, and the only foolproof way to make sure you never grow up, before Stephen Dedman rounded things off and we all settled in to conversations, book buying, and free champagne. Shane has pictures up, which are worth a look. We have some of our own which I'll put up as soon as I download them from the camera (it's been a slack weekend...)

Reading Never Grow Old was a hoot, because it's a piece that begs a performance reading, rather than a stand-still-and-orate reading. It's dialogue driven, which means I can use my voice properly. Peter is a fun character to play with. I can use the lightness and immaturity of his voice to counterpoint the darkness of what is actually happening under the childlike conversation he engages in with Sarah, the young girl he meets in the playground of a night-abandoned day care centre. I had a hell of a lot of fun with it, and judging by the comments I received afterwards, it all worked pretty well.

I also enjoy the challenge of performing a new piece at a reading: it's completely unknown to the audience, so they have to pay attention to find out what's happening, and can't coast on the fact that they know what's coming. It's the clsoest I've come to pure performance since my stand-up comedy days. I miss that buzz, sometimes, the power that comes from needing to work the consciousness of a room as it sits before me. I've crashed and burned before, but Friday night was one of the good ones.

Now: let's see if I can sell it to an editor, non? :)


Passed on from Jay Lake's LJ, a quote that strike me right in the 'truth' quadrant of my funny bone:

Isn't it interesting that the same people who laugh at science fiction listen to weather forecasts and economists?

Song of the moment: Who Wants To Live Forever? Queen
Reading: Mojo Stories edited by Nalo Hopkinson

Friday, October 13, 2006


So for the next 24 hours, we're all in a state of horror. Apparently.

Apart from the readings at Fantastic Planet this evening (6pm. Me, Lyn, Stephen Dedman, a bunch of others. Be there. See the post further down the page for details), Martin Livings has created a 24 hour anthology of short stories from contriobutors. It's only up for the length of the day. Check it out here.


So apart from spending most of the week dealing with the pain in the arse that is Cassie (refusing to come home from friends' houses, and generally playing the little runaway like it's something fucking funny. Check out Lyn's LJ for how hilarious it's all been), Erin treated us to the following in the car the other day:

ERIN (Singing): Old MacDonald had a cock.....
FX: Sound of parents screaming, car crashing, flames engulf everybody and they all die.
LYN: Sweety, what was that?
ERIN (Careful explaining voice): Old MacDonald had a cock.
ME: Uh, sweety, do you know what a cock is?
ERIN (Well, Duhhh voice): Yeah.
LYN: What is it?
ERIN: You know. A cockie. It goes "cock, cock".
FX: Sound of parents weeping with relief

It's scenes like this that make Honey, We're Killing The Kids the best comedy show on television.

Song of the moment: Hello Spaceboy David Bowie
Reading: Doom Patrol- Down Paradise Way Grant Morrison

Wednesday, October 11, 2006


So it's been almost a year since I sent the 3 chapter and synopsis package of Napoleone's Land to the agent. Sent a query in June: no response. Sent another a week ago, saying that if I didn't receive news by the end of the month, I was pulling the submission.

This morning, I received an email from someone else at the agency. And this is what it said:

Dear Lee,
I am sorry to have to give you bad news -- (Agent) departed from this agency back in May.
Unfortunately, he left many loose ends and did not inform people he would be leaving. I did my best to take care of his abandoned projects.
Unfortunately, I was unaware that he had not informed you of this news until this morning, when your email automatically forwarded to my email address.

Son of a BITCH! How hard would it have been to send me an email, just to let me know he was leaving, and to release the interst back to me? My novel has been sitting on a shelf for 6 months with nobody looking at it because this mongrel didn't have the decency to sort out his ongoing business before he walked. There is a stage of angry I get to: beyond shouting; beyond throwing things; beyond even the icy, very formal stage you get to see if I'm pissed off with you beyond repair. It's the stage where I simply stop talking, and my entire body becomes a very, very controlled set of movements. I hit this stage for about ten minutes after reading this.

Luckily, for both my temper and my optimism, the sender went on to say:

I recall your work (which in itself is a compliment, as we get hundreds of queries a month). I regret that I am unable to take it on. As it happens, I reviewed the work when it first came to us and passed it to (Agent) . I had no idea he never followed through on it.

She then gave me the name and address of a colleague at a different agency who may be interested. I've googled them, and they have a couple of good names on their list, so I'll be repackaging and sending the synopsis + 3 to them over the next few days, but, ohhhhhh, I'm angry. At a time when I feel like I'm treading water, to find out that someone has been so negligent, so uncaring, so goddamn unprofessional.....

Kudos and nice thoughts, however, to Christine, sender of the email, for her response.

Song of the moment: The Museum of Idiots They Might Be Giants
Reading: Doom Patrol- The Painting That Ate Paris Grant Morrison

Monday, October 09, 2006


Apparently, October Friday the 13th has been designated the Horror Day of Action. Of course it has. Buy the t-shirt now.

Anyway, Fantastic Planet bookstore in Shafto Lane will play host to a series of readings from fantasy and horror writers from 6pm. Luscious and I will be there to read, as will the likes of Stephen Dedman and Carol Ryles. Shadowed Realms editor Angela Challis will MC the event, which will be nice as it'll save me from having to do it.

Free alcohol will be in plentiful supply, and Fantastic Planet is the best place in the state to buy speculative fiction, bar none, so bring some cash and get a fix. Apart from being the only place around, besides my house, to get a copy of Through Soft Air, the walls are covered with work from the best in the business, so if you've already got a copy of my book, you can console yourself with some Landsdale, or Bloch, or Matheson, or Palahniuk, or if you've really lost the will to live, King.

Song of the Moment: The Pretty Things are Going to Hell David Bowie
Reading: some-old, same-old.


To everyone who panicked: it's okay, I'm fine. Really fine. St John's Wort and Gingko Baloba (or however the hell you spell it). Thanks, though.

Seanie, I'll ring you in the next day or so, once I've ploughed through the stuff I've let slide during the last few days and caught up. Maybe Wednesday? Got 60 pages of script to write by Thursday, so it's put up or shutup time.

Song of the Moment: You've Been Around David Bowie
Reading: Mojo & Year's Best Fantasy, still.

Saturday, October 07, 2006


Head on over to the Batthome: we've put up a new page for out photo galleries, and the first thereof is a nice spread of shots from Fandomedia: Hunger.

That's another of the 120 Tasks done. Toodling along, toodling along.....

Song of the moment: Loving The Alien David Bowie
Reading: Mojo- Conjure Stories edited by Nalo Hopkinson, Year's Best Fantasy 2006 edited by Datlow, Link & Grant

Thursday, October 05, 2006


5 days in, 6 tasks completed.

Yay for me.

Song of the moment: The Pretty things Are Going To Hell David Bowie.
Reading: Year's Best Fantasy & Horror 2006 Datlow, Link & Grant (ed). That's right, I've finally ploughed through Haunted. Review as soon as I wash the disappointment out...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006



You can't possibly not know that Luscious was Guest of Honour at Fandomedia: Hunger this last weekend, where she shared the stage with Marianne de Pierres and Elaine Kemp.

I had a blast throughout the weekend, party because my wife was receiving the patronage and attention that her brilliant, unique work deserves; and partly because my entire workload for the weekend consisted of 2 (count them, 2) panels, which is just about unheard of for me when it comes to covnentions. In the end I ended up on 3, but's that's par for my course :)

This was also the first time Aiden and Blake attended a Con, and the boys took to it like little nerdy ducks to a big nerdy pond: gaming, watching panels, hanging with guests, having their books signed... and all in a manner so well-behaved and mature that other guests were asking us could we please make sure to bring them with us to the next event we attend! In particular, I was bowled over with pride when Rob Masters & Alicia Smith, who take their games very seriously, invited the boys to game with them at any time, and issued an open invitation to join them at Genghiscon next year for a session. R&L would not have taken any inappropriate behaviour at their table, and I'm still a smiling Bonus Dad at the impression the boys made upon them.

I was also overwhelmed with pride for Lyn, who handled all the attention with aplomb and professionalism. My darling wife is cursed with a combination of claustrophobia, lack of self-belief, and shyness, yet she carried herself through the convention with grace and elegance, and the 80-plus members of the Con showed her what she and her work means to them in a constant outpouring of respect and affection which moved me on a number of occasions. Lyn is a wonderful, loving woman; a unique and talented artist; and far more popular than she thinks she is; and it all crystallised this weekend. It was wonderful to sit back and watch it happen.

I was saddened to hear convention organiser Ju Whitehead announce that this was to be the last Fandomedia. The "2nd Perth Con" concept has become firmly established since the first Borderlands in 2001, and Fandomedia has been easily the best 2 years of the run. Ju did mention to me, on the sly, the project to which she is going to be devoting her time, and it's exciting, but I'll have a soft spot for the 2 conventions to which she attached her name: they were fun, inclusive, and most importantly in a crowded con landscape, different. As of next year, John Parker (organiser of Wasteland in 2004) will gather up the reins with Night Lands. It'll be a good con: John knows what he's doing. I'll look foward to it. But these last 2 cons have been a highlight for me, and I'll miss the tone Ju brought to the event.


In no particular order, a set of highlights and moments from my Con experience this time round:

  • Aiden and Blake. Their behaviour was brilliant, their excitement at being at a Con (and having a hotel room to themselves with the run of the facilities) was infectious, the grace with which they withdrew when 'adult time' events such as room parties were deemed off limits was amazingly mature, and their interactions with fellow guests was a breathy combination of happiness and respect which made me proud. We gave them some money to spend at the Con, and they had enough left over that we took them to the Royal Show on Monday, so they made out like bandits, the lucky little buggers.
  • Watching my darling wife get an understanding of just how much respect and affection is held for her by the SF scene.
  • Being so tired and bleary after the room party on the first night that I spent the next day thinking Purrdence was Possbert and vice versa. Some people are happy drunks, some are angry drunks. Me, I'm a subtle drunk...
  • Dragons! Two boys, $10 dollars of raffle tickets at 50 cents a pop..... In the end we took three of the 6" high dragon statuettes home with us, re-drew one, and gifted the other to a grateful Buoy Wonder, who spent the whole raffle sitting behind me whimpering "I want a dragon" every time we won another one. So happy about my act of generosity towards him was Alistair that he immediately named his new dragon..... Steve :)
  • Oh, and Lyn got one as part of her Guest of Honour sponsors package, so now I have to build TWO shelves...
  • Conversing with Alisa Krasonstein and Lily Chrywenstrom on the subject of women SF writers, and perhaps showing a side to me that they hadn't seen before.
  • The long and winding conversation I shared with Grant Watson that meandered across three days, a bunch of different locations, and reinforced to me why Grant is right at the apex of people to whom I accord the greatest respect and feelings of friendship. We also made progress on a project involving certain television monstersmumblmumblemumblemumbleas soon as he manages to get it all set up.
  • Spending time with Michael "Froggy" Dawson, convener of Swancon 2007, and enjoying his company immensely, especially watching him become increasingly weirded out by the Triffboys' unending-mosquito-conversaionalist act at the Con after-party.
  • Seeing the boys explain the phrases "Release The Bloodworms!" and "Doodle... finger... worm" to a packed room, and watching as they sloooowly took over everyone's consciousness'. Also, the creation of Grant's new alterego, Dave Doodlefingerworm.
  • Getting to see Eastern Staters Stu Barrow, Marianne de Pierres and Rowena Lindquist on my patch for a change. Heck, just getting to see them.
  • Lyn's reaction at seeing her first ever proper girl-to-girl kiss at a rather drunken and raucous room party. Being real glad the boys were in their room, stuffing their faces with junk food and watching cartoons.
  • Shotgunning chartreuse and discovering how damn good it is, especially when held under the tongue for 5 or 6 seconds. Burny burny burny, but goooood burny!
  • Doing a panel on the subject of 'Ambition' with Ju's partner Kaneda, and discovering more about him in 5 minutes than I'd learned in 2 years! A complex life, and a shining drive that gave me a real insight into what motivates him.
  • Stephen Dedman coming to the realisation that between us, Grant Watson and I can lay claim to disliking almost all SF television ever produced. I mean, we told you :)

Song of the moment: I Can't Read Tin Machine


Both ears and the tail to Grant Watson, who, on the weekend, delivered on his threat to hand me a CD containing the best work of David Bowie post-1987.

I'm loving it. I love the Bowie take on electronica on tracks like Little Wonder (one of only 2 tracks from Grant's selection with which I was previously familiar), The Heart's Filthy Lesson, and Hello Spaceboy. And when he goes gentle and gives rein to the deep purr that his voice has become, the results are truly wonderful. Grant notes (How can you not love this boy? He puts together a party tape and provides liner notes!) Strangers When We Meet as his second favourite Bowie track ever, and it's immediately become one of mine as well: what a beautiful, haunting, lonely song it is. And I had forgotten just how much I liked The Pretty Things Are Going To Hell in the years since I heard it on JJJ.

Grant's put together 15 songs covering the decade between the 1st Tin Machine album and Hours, and I cheerfully declare my previous perception of Bowie as having gone into decline during that period to be erroneous and in the past: the CD is fabulous, and I'm loving the sound he's been pursuing. Many thanks to Grantypoo for re-educating me.

Song of the Moment: The Pretty Things Are Going to Hell David Bowie


Played 10, 25 points, one game clear of the top of the table. I can smell the Championship already :)


The West Coast Eagles beat the Sydney Swans to win the AFL Grand Final on Saturday. Um, hooray?

And I'm told the Brisbane Broncos beat the Melbourne Storm to win the NRL Grand Final on Sunday. Um, um?



The new KA Bedford novel is out. And the cover is soooooooo coooooollllllllll.



The Time Eater, to Steven Saville for inclusion in the upcoming anthology Doctor Who: Destination Prague.

To paraphrase Edmund Blackadder-- A massive rollercoaster of a 4000-word short story full of Troughton, Jamie, beings made from electricity, and a hot Sontaran thrown in for good measure.

Okay, maybe that didn't sound quite like I planned....


The extension of The Memory of Breathing to turn it into a feature length script, finish and turn in The Metawhore's Love Story to Dirk Flinthart for Canterbury 2100, and returning to work on my second novel, The Corpse-Rat King.

It's all good in writer-boy world :)

Song of the moment: Little Wonder David Bowie


Well, we've known about one for a while, but congratulations to everyone who will be attending Clarion South in January of 2007. I look forward to making you cry like kicked infants :)

The good news for me, as a tutor, is that, with the exception of Lyn and Jessica Vivien, I'm completely unfamiliar with the people on the list. This means I can come to them free of expectations and accept their work for what it is, rather than I what I feel it should be. I'm really looking froward to getting to Queensland, meeting everybody, and getting stuck into the fun business of hard-core writing geekery.

The full list of attendees:

Lyn Battersby (our house)
Elizabeth Adkins (VIC)
Peter Ball (QLD)
Alessio Besciani (VIC)
Daniel Braum (USA)
Michele Cashmore (QLD)
Melaina Faranda (NSW)
Jason Fischer (SA)
Laura Gooden (NSW)
Chris Green (VIC)
Michael Greenhut (USA)
Jess Irwin (NSW)
Chris Lynch (QLD)
Ben Maulbeck (USA)
Richard Pitchforth (QLD)
Angela Slatter QLD)
Jason Stokes (ACT)
Jessica Vivien (WA)