Tuesday, March 28, 2006


Sunday was our 1st wedding anniversary. My poor darling sprained an ankle during the week, so our plans were restricted a tad, but it didn't stop us taking the kids out for a celebratory dinner, and me presenting her with a rather lovely ring (you know, even if I do say so myself...). The kids got into the act too: Blake & Aiden presented us with an amazing candlestick in the shape of a celtic cross and dragon, some small hand made soaps, a bath bomb, and a beautiful glass hummigbird suncatcher. Cassie also presented us with a beautiful bar of scented soap. What are they trying to tell us?

It really doesn't feel like it's only been a year. We exist in such hamrony, such amazing sympatico, that it feels as if we've always been together. The love and passion we felt for each other when we first became entangled hasn't diminished. In fact it's broadened, and deepened, until everything else in the world pales beside it.

The first married year of the rest of our lives, and I couldn't be happier.


Wandered over to our good friends Grant and Sonia's on the weekend, as they're heading off overseas for 5 weeks on Saturday (the lucky jammy jammy lucky bastards) and they'd thrown the house open for a hangout. It was the first time we'd been over, and the boys instantly fell in love with their wall o' DVDs. And when I say wall, what I mean is: several walls. Floor to ceiling. Many many DVDs. And Grant, being the trusting soul he is, let them borrow as many as they liked. The boys, being trusting souls, only borrowed one.

Tomb Of The Cybermen. Only my favourite Dr Who adventure ever. And I hadn't even told them beforehand!

That's my evenings booked this week :)


The Ballad of Dwight & Renfield, 6285 words of pulp horror fun, to Steven Savile's Monster Noir project. Fingers crossed: if he likes it, not only will it be part of one of the most interesting and exciting projects I've seen since All-Star Zeppelin Adventure Stories, Steven might be persuaded to pick up one of my Dr Who story pitches for his next anthology.

Of such things are tiny green dreams made...


Saddened today to learn of the death of Stanislaw Lem at the age of 84. At that age you expect it, I guess, but he was one of my favourite authors, and his absurdist views on the structure of things had a real effect on both my writing and world view over the years. He was one of those authors to whom I reacted with "Oh my God, you can do this as well?" upon first reading of his work, someone who opened my eyes and my literary sensibilities to a myriad of different ways to think and to transcribe my world onto paper.

I'll sit down with a book and a glass of wine this weekend, and toast his memory.


For all those who have been asking (and thank you to everyone who has) I can now announce that you can order Through Soft Air via the Prime Books Website at last!

Go on then. Don't let me stop you.

Incidentally, if any reviewers would like a pdf copy to review, drop me a line. I have one I can send you now.


Every now and again, someone arrives at this site via the weirdest search topic.

Yesterday, someone came here by using the search term "Billie Piper videos of her nipples ".


I mean, not that I don't want one....


A number of people have asked how Connor is going since his operation, and when they're going to see a picture or two on this blog. The answers are:

a) He's fine and dandy, although a little bit unsettled by some teething right now. He's a week away from being allowed to play in the muck and mud again, as there's still a slight chance of infection, but at this stage it looks as if the operation was a complete success, and our beautiful, happy little boy is now doubly beautiful into the bargain.

b) As soon as 'Hello' stops buggerising me about and starts connecting to the network again. And I have such a cute one of him sitting in a bucket, ready to go.

Friday, March 24, 2006


Okay, so I said I'd only post on Tuesdays unless I had something ultra-froody to announce.

So I do.

Ahem. Father Muerte & The Theft was this very night announced as the winner of the 2005 Australian Shadows Award, awarded by the Australian Horror Writers Association for outstanding achievement in the field.

Judge Kim Wilkins had this to say:

The Battersby story, Father Muerte and the Flesh, just lingered with me. It was fabulously engaging from the first line, it took me on a journey, it had such scope, such a glorious but understated sense of history and mythology, the quality of the writing was superb, the structure was very accomplished, it was almost cinematic (would actually make a great film!) and I just have to cast my vote in that direction. I felt at every moment that I was in the hands of a gifted storyteller.

Kim Wilkins did said that. About me. :) Touch chuffed, I is.

For the record, if you don't understand the title of the post, go here and check out the award itself, as well as Kim's comments. The great thing is, it's being presented at Conflux, and Luscious and I only made the decision to attend a couple of weeks ago. Now I'll have booty to bring back!

Now, where shall I put it to frighten the neighbours?

Tuesday, March 21, 2006


Today is the second day of my full-time house husbandness (house husbandry sounds a bit wrong, somehow). My beautiful Luscious is settling into her new job, and enjoying it, thank goodness. Call me a hairy old throwback if you like. No really, go ahead. Okay, now that's over, I'll admit to a whole parcel of guilt over chucking in my day job to be at home while consigning her to the jobmines. It's what she wants to do, but still, well, call me a hairy old throwback.

My biggest problem lies in believing in her writing so much that taking her away from it for 11 hours a day whilst opening up my own writing chances speaks of such overwhelming selfishness on my part that I can't balance it against the good things that will come from the change. For which she'll give me a slapping and a reminder when she reads this, I'm sure.

So, a lot of our routines and rituals are changing to accommodate our new working arrangement, including blogging practices. Basically, unless I have something ultra-groovy that can't wait, I'm likely to stick to updating once a week, on Tuesday nights. The time will be better put towards housework, writing, the kids, and finding time to be together with my darling wife.

However, for the moment, this is Tuesday night, so:


Took the boys to the FTIs screening of Godzilla: Final Wars on Saturday Night. What with Perky and Chesh also in the audience, this gloriously bad fillum (non-G watchers just don't seem to get the idea that the general level of badness is part of the enjoyment), much Double Take style fun was had. My personal favourite moment occured when an elderly farmer pointed his teeeensy little BB-type rifle at the 100 metre high Godzilla, and his 2 ft tall grandson rushed in between them to stop him shooting. I couldn't help myself: "Just shoot over him" was audible to all. Then there was the moment Mothra entered the fray, to Blake's cry of "Hey! Mothra's not a bad guy!"

So there was the big G, there was Gigan, there was Mothra, King Caesar, Matrix-clad kung-fu aliens, seven or 8 other monsters I can't recall because I was laughing too hard, and a special appearance from the US Godzilla which resulted in my new all-time favourite movie quote:

"I knew that tuna-eating monster would be no good!"

Cinema gold. Best bad movie moment since the 'head Japanese arhcaeologist' in King Kong Versus Godzilla informed us that, in the opinion of the scientific community, big G was the result of mating between a T-Rex and a Stegosaurus...

And I managed to keep a family tradition alive: last time we went to an FTI screening with door prizes, Aiden won a collectable Nightmare Before Christmas figurine. The time before that, Blake won an Invader Zim stubbie holder. I was left in no doubt, on the way to the cinema, of my duties as regards prize winning., Thankfully, I came through, although with both Godzilla 2000 and Weather Woman as the other prizes, it's the only time in my life I could conceive of being slightly disappointed to win a free copy of Seven Samurai....


The first meeting of the Swancon 33 committee happened at our place on Sunday. I don't know what shape the final convention will take, but it won't be a quiet journey to get there :)


Okay, writing types! The good folks at the KSP Writer's Centre will be hosting 2 workshops run by yours truly a couple of weeks from now. I'll be posting reminders closer to the dates, but for your consideration, as quoted on the KSP website:

Thursday 6th April , 9.30am-11.30am Words First Writing Group. Critiquing Workshop

Writing is the art of putting the right words in the right order, to pinch a phrase from Wordsworth. Award winning short story author Lee Battersby will be taking participants through the act of editing their own work, from line level to the narrative arc, and discussing how killing the lines you love can make for a tighter, more effective work. If you are not a regular member of the group, booking is essential. Limit 18. Sponsored by the Department of Culture and the Arts. Non-Members $20 Members $3

Saturday 8th April, 1.00pm-4.00pm Want to win the SF Competition? With last year's judges Lee and Lyn Battersby

The 2005 Judges of the KSP SF/Fantasy Competition will give advice, and answer questions, to assist aspiring entrants to the 2006 competition, pointing out the major strengths and weaknesses they observed in work submitted last year. They cannot guarantee that everyone or anyone will win the competition as a consequence of attending their workshop, but both feel that many writers may benefit from their observations and advice. Non-Members $20 Members $20

Stay tuned, because I don't think those prices are quite right, but I shall advise once I get correct word.


You know my story, and my collection, Through Soft Air, right? 'Course you do! Well, let me tell you: when I wrote the story, back in something like 2001 or 2002, every word of the thing was original, straight from the gnarly depths of my subconscious to you. Including the title. And then, whilst browsing online today, 5 years or so later, look what I found.

I've included the whole poem, because, well, you heathens could get a bit of culture inta ya, orright? The highlighting is mine, Consider me well and truly freaked out right now...


That happy gleam of vernal eyes,
Those locks from summer's golden skies,
That o'er thy brow are shed;
That cheek--a kindling of the morn,
That lip--a rose-bud from the thorn,
I saw; and Fancy sped
To scenes Arcadian, whispering, through soft air,
Of bliss that grows without a care,
And happiness that never flies--
(How can it where love never dies?) 10
Whispering of promise, where no blight
Can reach the innocent delight;
Where pity, to the mind conveyed
In pleasure, is the darkest shade
That Time, unwrinkled grandsire, flings
From his smoothly gliding wings.
What mortal form, what earthly face
Inspired the pencil, lines to trace,
And mingle colours, that should breed
Such rapture, nor want power to feed; 20
For had thy charge been idle flowers,
Fair Damsel! o'er my captive mind,
To truth and sober reason blind,
'Mid that soft air, those long-lost bowers,
The sweet illusion might have hung, for hours.
Thanks to this tell-tale sheaf of corn,
That touchingly bespeaks thee born
Life's daily tasks with them to share
Who, whether from their lowly bed
They rise, or rest the weary head, 30
Ponder the blessing they entreat
From Heaven, and 'feel' what they repeat,
While they give utterance to the prayer
That asks for daily bread.

William Wordsworth, 1828.


I know some people have asked, and with Prime being a bit on the slow side to update their website, I've hunted down a link for those of you who can't wait to order my book through Fantastic Planet or cadge on from me directly at Conflux. To whit:


Go. Buy. Read. Tell me you love me...


Been a while. Gakked from ashamel

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open it to page 161.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the sentence in your journal along with these instructions.
5. Don't search around and look for the coolest book you can find. Do what's actually next to you

"Your Individual is a pretty disgusting, vain, lewd little bastard... By God, he has only one right guaranteed to him in Nature, and that is the right to die and stink to Heaven."

From Short Lives: Portraits of Writers, Painters, Poets, Actors, Musicians, and Performers in Pursuit of Death by Katinka Mason

Song of the moment: 1000 Umbrellas XTC

Saturday, March 18, 2006


Luscious starts her job on Monday. A wee while ago, we decided to swap places-- she would go out to work and I would stay at home and be the house husband. I'm so proud of the way she's gone about looking for work, and the way she negotiated to create the position she wanted out of the one that was advertised, it makes me determined to keep my end of the deal up: she deserves the best home envirnoment possible to reward her dedication and care for this family.

Anyone know the number for a good cleaner? :)


I've always liked Daryl Hannah, because I think she's been a better actress than much of the material she's chosen, and you know, she's hot. But we sat through the first episode of The Final Days of Planet Earth during the week, and oh God, everyone involved should be hauled off to the salt farm and have their skin flensed from them before being put to work. It's been a long time since I've seen such a derivative, illogical, badly acted (although calling what Gil Bellows does 'acting' would be gilding a field of lilies), incompetently produced pile of crap.

We didn't bother with part 2, which is unusual for this family of completists. But I only have one life span: I have to make it count.


So my wife woke up yesterday morning and decided to kick me out of the house for the day, to reward me for recent housey-put-togethery activities. Had me a water massage, shopped for some personal effects, lazed about the library reading gardening books (I'm really getting into designing our backyard at the moment, along with Aidey-baby), and took myself off to watch Aeon Flux, which I'll chat about in the next paragraph. 'Twas a brilliant day, and I came home a happy and refreshed Battboy. If you make it as far as Whitfords City shopping centre, I do recommend you lash out 20 bucks on a water massage. It is so choice.

But Aeon Flux: I've always defended Charlize Theron, because, you know.... but did the director have to remember she was a beautiful woman every 5 seconds and give us the obligatory 'babe' shot? Had this just been a B-grade dress-fest puff piece (you know, like a Matrix sequel) I could have got on with hating it and been happy. But the damn thing looks so beautiful, and suddenly, about two-thirds of the way through, they drop what could have been a brilliant philosophical core into the thing for no reason (and ultimately, no purpose), and so I left the cinema not hating it, but being disappoiointed at what the film could have been.

There was potential here for something that transcended the subject matter's origins, and could have been a genuine genre classic. And they missed it, because they needed to dress the beautiful people. And despite all that, it was still a watchable 90 minutes of illogical puff. It just could have been something special. Damn damn damn. I am so sick of SF movies that leave me explaing to friends and family that no, that is not what I write.


So it was 10.45 am on a work day, I was in a cinema to see Aeon Flux, and there were something like 60 people in there with me, and 2 of the 3 previews were for X-3 and the latest Superman revival, and a significant percentage of the audience cheered to see both of them.

And the normals sneer at the nerds why?


Philip Seymour Hoffman is in Mission Impossible 3.
Vingh Rhames is in Mission Impossible 3.
Laurence Fishburne is in Mission Impossible 3.

So my question is: WHY? FOR FUCK'S SAKE, WHYYYYYYY?


Officially, my shiny new office shredder is here because it helps me to keep things neat and tidy in the office. Unofficially, I love my compost bin, I love it and want to give it special papery treats every now and again...

Is that so wrong?


The first meeting of the Swancon 33 committee is tomorrow, at our house. Which makes me realise just how not-ready we are for it. Much cleaning is in evidence, including the 2 miniskips parked out the front. So much to do... On the other hand, I know who I want to invite as guests (Yay for guest-wrangler me), and I have some pretty strong opinions on what I want to see at the Con, so it should be an animated conversation. And we're providing a taco lunch with vegetarian options, and if there's anything more wrong in the culinary world than a vegetarian taco, well, I hope they bring it tomorrow :)


So, let's tick off the career goals I had when I started, shall we?

Story in Aurealis. Done
Story in Eidolon. Through the rise of Borderlands, done
Winner in the Writers of the Future. Done
Produce and perform an orginal Goon Show play. Done
Write for Dr Who. Oh well, nev...... STOP!

Thas right, peeps (don't ask me, my fingers have gone all gangsta for a second). The frabjous Steven Savile, for whom I've just finished the first draft of my story The Ballad of Dwight & Renfield for his upcoming anthology Monster Noir, has contacted me and asked me to pitch an idea for an upcoming anthology of Dr Who stories he's been commissioned to produce.

So I sent him two. Trust me, it took time to cut them down to that many.... More news as it happens, but if he picks one up I'm going to have to create some new goals. Like, you know, finish the second novel, sell the first one, that sort of thing.


Boys and I are off to the FTI tonight to see Godzilla: Final Wars.

Yeah, baby!!!!

Saturday, March 11, 2006


Our little boy had his eye operation on Thursday. For those not in the know, he was cross-eyed because the muscles that control lateral movement in his eye were too far forward, which meant they pushed his eye round too far every time he moved them sideways. If it hadn't been corrected, he would have been blind in his left eye by the time he was five.

Needless to say, I was a mess. Luscious has a far better description of what went on than I can manage, but the upshot of the whole thing is that he came through okay. His eyes are red, and we have to be very careful of infection for the next 5 or 6 weeks, but apart from that, the surgeon examined him the day after the operation and pronounced it an unqualified success.

But please, I never want to watch my little boy being wheeled out on a hospital bed again. I just never know if I'll see family members again when that happens, and I can't bear it.


Was a mixed bag. If not for the herculean efforts of mynxii, prk, and utopos, it wouldn't even have happened, such was the clusterfuckery that preceded it. My interest in the guests approached nil (although I should say that the on the one panel I shared with Mercedes Lackey and Larry Dixon, they were excellent), and had I not had the book to launch, I wouldn't have attended at all. Having said that, there were some big positives to come out of it, and they are what I'll be listing, to whit:

1. We launched the book. We launched it in a tiny, loud, crowded space at the back of the busiest huckster's room I've ever seen, but we launched it. And it sold out.
2. The beautiful and talented Luscious won the Western Australian SF Achievement Award for Best Professional Short Work, a deserved win for The Memory of Breathing, which I still think was the best short story released last year.
3. Tin Ducks also went to good friends Dave Luckett, Chaosmanor (who also won the short story competition), and the crew at Borderlands.
4. The huckesters room was as busy as I have ever seen it: there was space for big stalls this year, and the hucksters made good use of it. And busy! Probably due to the lack of interest in many program items, the room was chockers, and I spent an awful long time and a lot of money therein.
5. I bought me a sonic screwdriver. I've only wanted one since I was, like, 6.
6. I also bought season 27 of Dr Who in the box set, and a massive history of the series, and Blake's Seven season 2, and badges, and a colectable set of Who figurines (it was a very Whofanny year for me), and more books, and some magazines, and.... I did shopping!
7. A bath big enough to fit me, Luscious, and Connor. Luvverly.
8. Danny Oz's amazing Who3D panel. I didn't know the little fella did 3D modelling, and his work is spectacular.
9. Buying art. I rarely buy original art, as I rarely find any I want to spend money on. But I always find something to bid on at the Swancon art show. Last year I picked up 3 pieces. This year, despite the smallest art show I've ever seen, I still walked away with a Danny Oz original.
10. Winning the bid for Swancon 2008. Yup, I'm on a Concom. The sounds of birds coming home to roost can beginnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn now.

So, there were positives. But in comparison to what is being done over East by conventions these days, it was a very average event indeed. Still, as a number of committee members admitted to me, after dealing with the convenor for two years they were pretty impressed they got it to as high a quality as medium.


Is launched! We took 30 copies to Swancon (and next time you see the Stephen or Chaosmanor, give them a big pat on the back for their efforts) and sold the bloody lot of them! This result, she is not a bad one :)

There are a couple of options for getting your hands on a copy. I'm about to bring in another bunch, so I'm likely to have copies on me pretty damn soon if you want one. Fantastic Planet will undoubtedly be doing the same. Yoyu could probably even ask Prime direct. Or, if you fancy waiting until June, I'll be at Conflux to launch it again (you can never have too many launches, I say) and will have copies on me then.

You know you want one.


By order of myself and that paragon of taste, Angriest, 'Squee' is officially the stupidest sound in the history of the entire Universe.

Stop it.


Synchronicity strikes. No sooner do I write an afterword to the story Goodfellow in the collection that says I sold the story to European magazine Znak Sagite, but to date I’ve never seen a copy of the magazine so don’t know if it ever saw print than Geoffrey Maloney writes me to tell me that issues are on their way to Australia.

I've always wanted to see my name in Serbian....

Wednesday, March 01, 2006


I was going to give you the text of my speech, for some sort of posterity reason or something, and forgot.


Three quick thank yous. To Stephen Dedman, who has been both mentor and guide throughout my career to date. To Shane and Angela, for giving me a forum to work at my best length. And as always, to me beautiful wife Lyn, who is always my inspiration and my saviour. Thank you.

One for the alien archaeologists to discover.

Pretty, isn't it? It's the 2005 Aurealis Award for Best Horror Short Story, and I won it on Saturday night at a wonderful ceremony in Queensland. Luscious and I flew in from Perth to attend, as she was nominated or Best SF Story for her brilliant work The Memory of Breathing. Sadly, it lost to Trent Jamieson's Slow and Ache, which can be found in the brand new Aurealis 36. The issue also contains my Australian Shadows nominated story Father Muerte & the Flesh, as well as Kim Westwood's AA nominated Terning Tha Wheel, so it might be described as 'a fair old read'...

A huge whoop of congratulations are accorded the Western Australian contingent, who cleaned up: Juliet Marillier winning the Best Fantasy Novel category; Grant Stone for being accorded the Peter MacNamara Award and about bloody time too; and most especially, our very good friend KA Bedford, whose novel Eclipse took out Best SF Novel. I'm afraid I let out a very audible "Yessssss" when that one was announced :)

We spent the weekend as guests of just about our favourite couple in the world, the sweetly divine Rob Hoge and Kate Eltham, who treated us like visiting royalty (they tried to crash their car into a pole in Paris and kill us, then they shot us and started World War One), and it was wonderful to catch up with so many faces we don't get to see anywhere near often enough: Chris Lawson; Sean Williams; Rob Hood (hope the wrist is better, Rob); Cat Sparks; Geoff Maloney; Trent; the list is a long one, and includes some new friends who greeted us with warmth and fellowship: a big halloo to Robert E, Heather, Kim, Rjurik, and Nikki & Damon.

Perhaps the best part of it all was being presented my award by Jason Nahrung, a friend of mine now for a couple of years and someone I couldn't have been happier to shake the hand of in my moment on stage. Jason has been an unfailing support and pal-- he interviewed Lyn and I a couple of weeks before the trip and I always have the greatest feeling of pleasure after being in his company. To receive my award from someone for whom I have such affection made it just that little bit sweeter.

Truth to tell, everyone in Queensland makes us feel so goddamned welcome we're always slightly guilty when we leave. It's a subtle plot, I'm sure of it. One of these days we'll be gassed in our beds, and wake up in a village with them all, and no way of escape...

As always, Brisbane means shopping. Can't tell you yet if the best buy was the Jack Skellington head ceramic cup; the 4-pack of Invader Zim figurines (Beaver Gaz is our favourite), or the amazing spray-painted art piece we picked up from a street artist who was packing up because it was about to rain and gave it to us for barely anything just so he wouldn't have to leave with it. Time will tell.


My darling wife, getting ready for the awards night. Is it any wonder I'm utterly smitten? Simply the most beautiful woman I have ever known.


It's no secret that I'm a museum and art gallery geek. Brisbane art gallery has one of the goldurn funnest displays I've ever seen. Since November 2004, they've been encouraging the general populace to pull up a seat and take part in creating a growing city, made from white lego blocks. We had a go last year with the kids, but this time we set aside half an hour and had a serious crack at adding our creations to the city scape. Like all good art it's interactive, forces its audience to think, and defies any sort of accurate description, so a couple of photos might give you some idea.

The first is my creation, with a couple of other buildings in the background.

And this one, just to give you a sense of scale. According to the docent, they've gone through six layers of buildings since last year, and some of those spires at the very back are nearly six or seven feet tall. It's the kind of thing that makes me wish I had a job in Brisbane, simply so I can take a day off and really build something...

"So. What do you think the working class are doing?"


This place was around the corner from Rob and Kate's. This was as close as I dared venture.


For some reason, there were a rash of Non-English speaking moments over the last few days. Firstly, outgoing AA director Lea Greenaway, who tortured her description of Richard Pitchforth as someone who fertilises new ideas, by telling us that he'd always been full of fertiliser; then backed it up by admitting they'd mis-spelled Shane Dix as Shane Nix in a previous programme, and that while she was sure Garth and the family would love to take credit, Shane had always been a Dix.

Then I shared this conversation with my darling:

Lee: How are you feeling?
Lyn: (Yawns)
Lee: Is that your answer?
Lyn: Yes. I thought I'd let my mouth speak for itself....

And finally, we were entertained this morning by Erin's rendition of "Postman Pat, Postman Pat, Postman Pat and his bright green cat..."

Must check the colour on the tellie.


Monstrously huge happinesses and congratulations to our friends Sean and Terri, upon the arrival of their 3rd daughter, Emmaline Scarlet, on Sunday morning. We're over the moon with joy for you, guys.


We have bathroooooooooommmmmssssss!!!!!!!!!!!


We'll be at Swancon this weekend, where the collection should be launched, as long as the publisher can get copies to us in time. if not, I'll be conducting The Anti-Launch, where you can win copies of magazines in which I have appeared, and play some silly games into the bargain. At least one copy of aurealis 36 will be available, which means you're likely to be the first person in Perth besides us to scam a copy.

Come on down. Say hi.

Song of the moment: Silence. Everyone else is asleep.