Thursday, August 31, 2006


The parking spaces outside the Emerald Hotel are seven minutes' drive from work. The uber-groovy bookshop Fantastic Planet is another seven minute walk from there.

Chuck Palahniuk's Haunted and the Datlow/Link/Grant-edited The Year's Best Fantasy & Horror 2006 are now in my greedy little possession.

Don't know what you're doing this evening.....

Wednesday, August 30, 2006


Back in 2002, I jaunted my way over to the Writers of the Future workshop in LA, where I spent a week under the watchful eye of Tim Powers, learning clever writer tricks and buying souvenirs.

David D Levine was also in attendance, a fellow winner and student, having placed second in the same quarter in which I came third.

From the beginning, he stood out from the other winners for me. Not that I wish to bask in his reflected glory, but he seemed to me, as the week wore on, the only other attendant for whom writing was more than an enjoyment, for whom it was an obsession, a divine chore. David wore his writerly passion like a suit of armour: part dedication, part ambition, part overwhelming devotion to his craft. This isn't to say the others didn't show it, but David, he showed it every waking moment. It came off him in waves.

In that alpha male lizard-brain way that creatures of similar habit have when placed together I looked around and said to myself: Him. He's the one. He'll be the biggest competition to my world dominance and eventual climb to the unreachable pinnacles of glory and timeless fame.

Well, maybe not in those exact words :) But something in me knew: this guy was going places.

Anyway, David won the Hugo for best short story this past weekend. There's a tiny part of me that wants to pull my hair out and chuck a paddy, particularly given my current inability to climb out of the not-even-a-local-hero rut I've landed in. But the far vaster part of me, the part of me that sits underneath everything and keeps its hand on the rudder, knows: he's my pal, and I'm proud as all hell for him. And I always knew: he'd be the one, out of all 17 of us, who'd climb the mountain first.

Well done, mate.


Boy, I like breasts. Big ones, little ones, round ones, flat ones, covered up ones, naked ones, cleavage-boasting ones and ones zipped up tighter than a zipped up tight zippy thing. Breasts, boobs, boosies, tits, funbags, love pillows, jugs, shirt potatoes, front buttocks, jubblies, I love 'em all. Of all the big pretend Charlton Heston Impersonator In the Sky's alleged creations, breasts come very close to the top of my personal favourites list. Love looking at them, love touching them, love putting my face between them and saying "Mmmmmmmmmm."

I'm a fan.

But I've always been aware of one simple fact when it comes to breasts: they don't belong to me.

Seems like Harlan Ellison forgot that last weekend at the Hugo ceremony, and boy, hasn't the SF world had the C21 fall in upon it in a big old way since then! The back and forthing has gone to and fro, hither and yon, and here and there like crazy. Forget all the the links: google 'Harlan Ellison Connie Willis grab' like I did, and you'll find a place to start. It's not exactly hidden, know what I'm-a sayin' ?

I wasn't there when it happened. I don't know anything about Ellison and Willis' relationship, pre-during-post or anywhere else the ceremony. His website has a half-arsed, trying to make a joke out of it, kindasorta without actually saying sorry apology of sorts. Sorta. Kinda. Self-justifyingly. I'm not going to comment on the rights and wrongs of that, either. But, you know, I'm a guy, I like breasts, I have a brain. So I will say this:

1. Connie Willis has, so I am informed, breasts.
2. Harlan Ellison grabbed one in a sexual or proto-sexual manner during the Hugo Awards ceremony. On stage. In front of the entire audience.
3. It appears he didn't ask permission.

Them's as appears to be the facks, offsuh, far as I can make out, once I strip away all the back and forthing, to-ing and fro-ing, hithering and yonning....

That, my friends, is sexual assault. End of story. I don't give a shit how great a writer he is or isn't; how much of a crusader for women's rights, racial rights or chipmunk's rights he has been in the past; whether it was just "Harlan being Harlan"; or whether the intent was comedic, satiric, or downright just plain drunk-drugged-senile-silly-whatever.

Sexual assault.

Where's the argument?


I'd hate to be the guy that gets up at ten past six, it's dark, he has his cup of coffee and reads his paper, goes to work, sits behind the desk, says nothing, never contributes. I'd hate to be that guy. --Jason Akermanis, Alpha #14, September 2006 issue.

Oh God. I've turned into that guy.

Tuesday, August 29, 2006


Because the fear and worry we went through because of his eyes wasn't enough.....

Connor hasn't been sleeping lately. A couple of hours in the early evening, then it's 8+ hours of crying, being unsettled, screaming, the whole works. Lyn and I are swapping shifts every night, trying to get a couple of hours sleep at a time. Of course, we're not. And during the day, well: he's not eating, seems to have developed an allergy to moo milk but can't stand soy (can you blame him? That looks like a greasy nut. Let's milk it. Ugh), coughs like an 80 year old smoker, has a nose that won't stop running..... he's in awful shape. His speaking ability is limited, he gets high temperatures constantly, and has a running battle with chest infections and conjunctivitis.

We've been hither with him, we've been yon. The end of our tether is so far behind us we can't remember what it looked like.

Yesterday, he was at the doctor. Again. And this time, he took a look at Connor's throat. In particular, his tonsils. Which are swollen. Permanently. It looks like they're causing all the problems, including sleep apnea. So now we have to take him to Joondalup Health Campus, where they'll consider whether or not to tear his tonsils and adenoids from his body, and jam grommets into his ears.

He's 21 months old. Isn't it about time he got a break?

Monday, August 28, 2006


Reading the LJ of someone whose work you really admire, seeing that they've done the 'ole Book meme, and realising the quoted page comes from your book.

I'm quite smiley.

(For those not in the know, the 'ole book meme, thus:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don't you dare dig for that "cool" or "intellectual" book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
6. Tag five people.)

Sunday, August 27, 2006

CONGRATUMALASHUNS Stephen Dedman, who has recorded his 100th short story sale under his own name.

Stand still for five minutes and let the rest of us catch up, will you?


Clean up day yesterday. Hired us a trailer, got stuck in. Took loaded-up trailer to the tip. I don't know about you, but our tip weighs the car on the way in, weighs it again on the way out, and you pay a fee based on the difference in weight. (And oh, my nerdy interior rang with the voice of Peter Jones intoning "It is vitally important to get a receipt every time you go to the lavatory"....)

684 kilograms of rubbish I lumped into that trailer, with Luscious' help.

No wonder I'm bloody knackered.


Huddersfield Town 1- 1 Nottingham Forest.


Ahem. I feel better now.

And as a comedy aside, what do I have in common with Torvill & Dean, Ian Paice, Andy Cole, and the Manic Street Preachers' James Dean Bradfield?


Saturday, August 26, 2006


After much prevaricating round the shrubbery, trial and error, and people much smarter than us telling us better ways to do things, Lyn and I are happy to announce the birth of the newest Battersby!

Don’t panic. It’s not another kid :)

It’s our website

Come on down, have a look, and say hi. As soon as I work out how the hell to do it I’ll be adding a guestbook, gallery page and message board, but for the moment we have news, bios, biblios, stories, links, and a bunch of other stuff to browse and peruse

Monday, August 21, 2006


Got a domain registered, got web hosting, and as soon as I get my shit together and create all the pages and upload them and stuff (Battersby's guide to being crap at web stuff: when you even find WYSIWYG website builders complex and difficult to understand....) will live!

So now would be the time to let me know if there's anything in particular you'd like to see on a website dedicated to Luscious and myself. And no, bombing co-ordinates do not count.

Song of the moment: John, I'm Only Dancing David Bowie
Currently Reading: Still on the Mirrorshades anthology. Just finished Stone Lives by Paul diFillipo and about to start Red Star, Winter Orbit by Sterling & Gibson

Saturday, August 19, 2006


The other side of muscial dotage happened in the car yesterday.

The A-boy asked me whether I had every song They Might be Giants have ever recorded, and I was explaining how they were a collector's nightmare because they record so many one-offs and rarities.

"Even their singles you have to buy separately, because they have B-sides that don't show up on the albums," I said.

To which he replied, ruining my visions of youth and coolness:

What's a B-side?

Move aside, brontosaurus, I want to sit down.....

Friday, August 18, 2006


Lyn's sick, I'm sick, Aiden's sick, Connor's sick and he's got conjunctivitis..... Erin's fine.

So it's a laid up at home, let's just do whatever the hell we feel like kind of day. I wandered out to the computer this morning with half an idea of how to tackle The Metawhore's Love Story, the tale I've promised Dirk Flinthart for his upcoming Canterbury 2100 anthology.

In the half hour it took Lyn and Aiden to watch Eastenders (told you they were sick) I found 919 words, and I've got enough of a run up I'm quietly confident I'll have a good first draft done by the end of the weekend. By the time Cat and Alfie were having their confrontation over Alfie's did-he-didn't-he? sorta emotional infidelity with Cat's sister Little Mo (I don't watch, honest...) I'd finished one of the 3 sections of the story, had delved into the second, and had found the spine structure of the central bit.

Weird: words are like buses for me at the moment. Nothing for ages, and then 1800 of them turn up all at once...


One of the good things about climbing the generational ladder is that your music gets progressively cheaper.

David Bowie: The Platinum Collection. 3CD set, 57 songs from between 1969 and 1987.

22 bucks.

Thank you very much!

Song of the moment: Sorrow David Bowie
Current Reading: Mirrorshades edited by Bruce Sterling

Thursday, August 17, 2006


Good job I'm going through that list of stories I made earlier, innit?

Had a line strike me while I was sitting at lunch this afternoon, and by the time I made it back to the office I'd written the whole damn story. It's an 864 word stream-of-consciousness piece. 2 sentences. And one of those is exactly 2 words long.

Weird weird weird.....

Luscious thinks I over-edit, and I might follow her on this one: cut it apart too much and I'll lose the strength of the piece, which is the pell-mell rushing emergency of the words. Apart from a few word repetitions, I'm going to have to tread very carefully in order to keep the structural integrity of the story. But I tells 'ee, I haven't written anything that's left me scratching my head this much since Mikal a couple of years ago. I still can't say for sure what actually happens.

Weird weird weird...

Tuesday, August 15, 2006


Father Muerte & The Rain has scored an mention in Ellen Datlow's Recommended Reading List for 2005. Whilst you can often take such things with a grain of salt (after all, it's one person's opinion, and if you want to see exactly the opposite, check out Russell Farr's comments on the story in his Ticonderoga Online review) it's still nice to know that someone whose opinion you respect finds worth in your works.

It's an effective book-buying tool, too. The list is printed in the back of the annual Year's Best Fantasy & Horror volume, and each time I make the reading list I end up buying the book in order to see the quality of stories that are that one step ahead of mine. I already have a list of books on order at Fantastic Planet: looks like I'll have to add another one.....

Monday, August 14, 2006


Today, near as dammit, marks the fifth anniversary of my first publication.

The Habit of Dying wasn't the first story I sold, but by the usual quirks of fate, was the first to see print. It appeared in the August 2001 edition of ezine Alien Q. No, I haven't linked it: despite promising to pay $US50, they never did, and after a protracted email battle, I forced them to pull the story after it had been on display for six months or so. Still, it was my first story to see air, and I'm still proud that it happened.

I sold it again to Peridot Books some time later, and it appeared in Volume 24 of that electronic publication. Sadly, it's no longer available, but as a way to mark the anniversary, I've created a new blog page upon which to put the story.

It's here. Go and have a read. It's not art, but it was the first hathcling out of the nest, so you can picture me all teary and nostalgis as you gaze upon its deathless (ahem) prose.

By one of those wonderful and slightly eerie synchronicities that rule our life, August also marks the fifth anniversary of Luscious' first publication. (Ooooohhhhhh boogieboogieboogieboogieboogie).

Divinities appeared in the August 2001 issue of Antipodean SF under her then-name of Lyn Triffitt, and as Anti-SF have a better habit of archiving their stuff than others, you can still read it in its original form.

5 years. Not much has happened since.....

I don't know how successful the KSP thought the SF Minicon was going to be, but I don't think they anticipated it being that successful.

The place was packed, kids. If you didn't come, well, maybe that was a good thing. You wouldn't have been able to squeeze in. I've been attending functions at the centre for a few years now, and never, not even on their open days, have I seen the function room audience spill out into the adjoining room. People stood, people sat on the floor, people crammed in any way they could.

The panels were just long enough, the speakers were bright, informative, and lively, the cheap and plentiful lunch went down a treat, and books left the table at a regular rate. Over 30 people came for the 5 and a half hour event, which was enough to keep the building jumping, and very few of them left before the end.

What was most pleasing, for me as MC, was the number of faces I didn't recognise: people who were attracted from outside the usual SF scene by the location, the fresh take, or just the lure of cheap hot dogs :) Whatever the reason, they stayed, and they bought books, and if we come away with a couple of converts, well, good business.

I was exhausted by the end of things: 330 minutes of MCing makes for a busy day. But happily exhausted. And proud: Erin and Connor were as well behaved as kids their age can be expected to be in a non-kid-attuned environment; Luscious was her usual articulate and professional self (and hot! My missus is proof that SF can be intelligent and sexy, lemme tell you!).

But Aiden:

At 13 years of age, Aiden was the youngest panellist I've ever seen at a convention (There may have been younger. I wasn't there). And he was nervous, for the first couple of minutes. Sitting next to the likes of Sally Beasly, Elaine Kemp and Juliet Marillier has unnerved adults. But once he found his feet, he was great: at ease, confident, quiet and serious but good value for his questions, he made Lyn and I very proud. And for the rest of the day he behaved as perfectly as any parent could want. He even came away with a couple of fans, not to mentiuon a signed copy of Hal Spacejock: Second Course and a Hal frisbee, gifted to him by one of my favourite SF people, Simon Haynes.

We've been making jokes of the One of Us, One of Us! variety at Aiden's expense for a little while now, but no more. He's one of us, and he's damn good at it.

The day was a roaring success, and I don't think there's any doubt that it'll be on again next year, should the relevant parties want to saddle up. Big-mob kudos to Satima Flavell Neist for driving the day to a successful conclusion, and to James & Margaret for coping with the task of feeding such a large crowd. You did a great job, guys.


Sunday also marked the occasion of the announcement of this year's winners in the annual KSP SF/F Awards. Lyn and I had a couple of stories in, as we do each year, and we'd received letters asking us to be in attendance because we'd been shortlisted.

Each year, the judges award a first and second prize, as well as as many Commended and Highly Commended notices as they see fit. Lyn and I judged the competition last year, and we gave out 11 gongs for what was a high quality field. I've won before, back in 2003, and Lyn always captures a commendation of some stripe, so we were pleased to have kept our records intact.

Angela Challis, of Shadowed Realms fame was this year's judge. Including the winner and second prize, she gave out 5 commendations.

Lyn and I won 4 of them.

Only 2nd prize eluded our grasp.

That is what we call a good day's work. :)

Is a damn good idea ruined.

Too adult for the four year old, too slow for the adults, and the animation was bad in a way I haven't seen for years (C'mon, how could you forget to put shadows under people so they don't look like they're walking three inches above the ground?). The few moments of genuine humour are spaced too far apart to justify even the short 80 minute journey. It's hard to see who this movie is aimed at. To be honest, it didn't seem aimed at anybody, rather, it felt as if they just threw a whole bunch of ideas at a wall and kept what stuck.

In a way, it reminded me of Hudson Hawk in that there are some lovely bits (Patrickk Warburton's Big Bad Wolf and Glenn Close's Granny are great, as is the banjo-playing hillbilly goat) but the movie as a whole leaves you hollow and regretful.

I'm really disappointed. Presenting the Red Riding Hood story like a crime movie a la The Usual Suspects was a great idea, a chance to do something hip and self-aware and still throw enough light and movement in to keep the kiddies satisfied. But they blow it. What a pity.


I've been somewhat underwhelmed by the new season of Doctor Who. I thought the first 3 episodes were well on the lame side, and whilst episode 4 represented a big increase in quality, I looked forward to the 2-part Cyberman revival with some trepidation.


I am, perhaps, in the minority in that while I've always liked the Daleks, I've always loved The Cybermen. They are my monster of choice, and as soon as the resurrection of the Doctor was announced I knew they'd be back to join him. Some things, like Daleks and the TARDIS, simply cannot be done without.

For the most part, Saturday's opening episode was solid without being spectacular. The zeppelins were cool: I mean, hey, they're zeppelins. The Ricky/Mickey storyline was looking interesting. But the flaws and logic holes that have plagued the first 16 episodes were there in abundance, large and obvious for all to see. And then....

You. Will. Be. Like. Usssuh.

I actually jumped in my seat for joy. They were back, just like they were meant to be. Logical, implacable, desperate, terrifying. As Luscious will testify, I was still breaking out into fan boy giggling fits three hours after the episode was finished. And then, the next morning, the A-boy reminded me of that other great Cyberman quote, and I can't wait another 5 days to find out if the writers think it's the perfect ending, like we do:

We. Will. Survivvvvvuh.



Luscious received a phone call from Producer Matt during the week. Seems my script for the The Memory of Breathing movie has been well received. So well, in fact, that they want me to prepare a second draft. At feature length.

It's a long, long way from here to there, but if everything that needs to fall into place falls into place, Memory could be a feature film, written (at least the first two drafts), by me.

My guidance counsellor didn't see that one coming...

Saturday, August 12, 2006


Remember, everyone: the KSP SF Mini Convention and announcment of the SF Awards winners is on tomorrow, at the KSP Writers Centre, 11 Old York Road, Greenmount.

I'll be MCing the Minicon. Both Luscious and the A-Boy will be appearing, along with a long list of WA SF luminaries. Come on down, listen to a reading, watch a panel, buy a book and get it signed!

Yon programme:

10.00-10.40am PANEL
Sally Beasley, Elaine Kemp, Juliet Marillier and Aiden Triffitt

10.40-11.00am READINGS
Elaine Kemp and Juliet Marillier

11.00-11.40am PANEL
Adrian Bedford, Shane Jiraiya Cummings,
Stephen Dedman, Dave Luckett, Carol Ryles

11.40am-1.00pm READINGS
Lee Battersby, Adrian Bedford, Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Stephen Dedman, Simon Haines, Dave Luckett, Ian Nichols & Carol Ryles
(Note that these readings overlap with the lunch break.)

12noon-1.00pm LUNCH
First lot of hotdogs ready by midday, second lot by 12.30

1.00-1.40pm PANEL
Lyn Battersby, Angela Challis, Russell Farr, Stephen Dedman

1.40-2.40pm READINGS
Lyn Battersby, Russell Farr and KSPSF group members Sam Fogarty, Helen Venn, John Lewington & Free Falconer
(There will be a break after this session to allow for room set-up in preparation for the Awards Ceremony)

◊3.00-5.00pm KSP SF/F AWARDS FOR 2006◊

Saturday, August 05, 2006


Lyn has a new LJ. For those of you who like to keep abreast of all aspects of her adventures, you might want to check her out at the new Battblush LJ.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006


Well, now this is an interesting sensation: woke up this morning at 5.30, and went in to deal with an unsettled Connor, and discovered something fun and wacky--

I can't straighten my back. It's completely seized up at two points, down at the sacra iliac (Dunno if that's spelt correctly. Don't care right now) and up round the rhomboids, and I can't unbend. And boy, does it tickle just a little bit...

I've managed to get the keyboard down off the computer table, so I'm currently typing this on the floor, supporting myself by kneeling and balancing on my forehead like I'm performing the most devout salaam in the world. It's another 3 hours before I can have any more painkillers.

And I'm on a temp contract so every day I take off work costs me real cash in the hand.

Anyone fancy coming up to my place today and killing me?