Monday, April 30, 2007


News from Editorland these past few days, and froody projects to hunt down and getchyo fill of Battwords--

Daikaiju II: Return of The Giant Monster Tales comes out from Agog! Press in June, and contains Luscious' story Born of Woman, along with tales by Chris McMahon, Maxine McArthur, Jason Nahrung and others.

Barely will scores of little Japanese workers have cleared the rubble when Daikaju III: Giant Monsters Vs The World will lumber into view in October. My story Beached shall be within, alongside works by Steven Savile, Mikal Trimm, Rob Hood and friends.

And on the subject of things Saviley, the anthology Monster Noir is also due to make an appearance in time for Halloween, edited by the good Steven, and will contain The Ballad of Henry Renfield by yours truly.

More details, covers, blatant plugs and exhortations to buy as they become available.

One of the nicer things about losing weight is the feeling of accomplishment when you have to take your belt in and create a new hole to make it fit. I reached that point about a week and a half ago, and was certainly chuffed with myself.

Saturday I had to go shirt shopping because all my shirts are now too big. And that night I took a link out of my watchband so that the damn thing would stop sliding down onto my hand all the time.

Now that is a feeling of achievement.


The Memory of Breathing continues to gather pace on the road towards production. Producermatt has transformed into Directormatt, and production duties have now passed to Producerjenny at Azure Productions, who is off on a trans-Atlantic jaunt to Cannes, London, New York and Los Angeles with three scripts under her arm, TMoB amongst them.

If our luck holds out, and the trip is a successful one, we could find ourselves with some names and numbers attached to the project that send it into production. Wouldn’t that be fun?

Monday, April 23, 2007


I was also saddened to hear along the grapevine of the decision by Angela Challis to pull the plug on the excellent ezine Shadowed Realms. SR has been a good market for me, publishing a couple of stories, paying well and quickly, and providing me with a haven to try things wilder and more extreme than my usual fare. As a reader, I was always entertained, which is not a claim I can make for every magazine I visit.

I've seen the view expressed that, while it's a shame SR is gone, it's not so bad for writers because Brimstone Press, SR's parent company, will still have projects on the go. Such comments, as always, miss the fucking point a wee bit: Shadowed Realms was a damn good magazine, and for quite some time was the only SFWA eligible market Australia had to offer the world. It was significant, and any time a significant magazine folds up its tent, it makes a writer mourn.

I gave it two stories, and in return it gave me money, exposure, an Aurealis award, two friends, and a lot of fine reading experiences. I'm going to miss it.


A little late I am, to add my voice to the mourners, but I was saddened by the recent death of Kurt Vonnegut. Like John Sladek and Stanislaw Lem (amongst others) before him, he represents the passing of a group of authors who went a long way towards freeing me from the constraints of my school years, and showed me ways of thinking, and just as importantly, ways of expression, that had been hidden from me. Cat's Cradle in particular, spun me a long way from the course upon which my teenage mind was set. And since I first read of it, I have been an adherent of the notion of karass: that group of otherwise unlinked personages who, for good or bad, impact upon your life and influence your path. It has remained central to many of my views of family, community, and friendship.

As such, Vonnegut sits central to my own karass, though of course we never met, and I knew no more about him than I read in his books.

And, you know, go take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut remains just about my favourite statement of dismissal ever :)

When it came time to read a work in memoriam, as I did with Lem and Sladek and all the others, I found myself reaching for Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons, his book of essays from way back when. From that book:

I have been a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labelled 'science fiction' ever since (the publication of Player Piano) and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal.

Goodbye, Kurt.

Wowser. I've been away from all things netty for a week or so, so I missed the occasion of the 50 000th visitor to this fair blog.

A raised glass to everyone who's visited. On behalf of the band and myself..... 'ere, where's me band gone?


So what do you expect when your 14 year old Bonus son announces that he's going to cook dinner on Saturday? Especially when, the last time he discussed cooking tea, you discovered that his recipe for satay beef was 1) get some beef 2) cover it with satay sauce 3) throw the jar away ?


What did we get?

Oh. My. Gawd.

Whole baked fish with lemon and baby potato stuffing, and a fresh tossed salad. I had a bloody foodgasm, let me tell you.

Then, to top it off, a couple of nights later he decides to make dessert, and presents us with apple and peach waffles with custard.

I'm keeping him......

Tuesday, April 17, 2007


This morning, I did something I haven't done in a very long time: went past all the provided holes on my belt and had to make one of my own.

14 kilos down, 16 to go.

Monday, April 09, 2007

Consider us old: my Bonus Daughter Cassie turned 16 on the weekend, which means can officially anticipate grandchildren in any given year from now on (although with no current boyfriend, and a consideration that all the boys she know are "fairly idiots", the actuality of grandkinder remains blessedly distant).
Still, I'm checking out gun shops in the Northern Suburbs, just in case.
16 is a bloody awful age, imho: you're pretty much expected to be an adult, yet receive all the privileges and responsibilities accorded a child; half the time you're so on top of your body that the most complex tasks are like dancing on water, the rest of the time you're lucky to stand up successfully; you're not ready for half the stuff you want to try, and more often than not, the stuff that's forced upon you terrifies you ; everybody around you is more mature, smarter, better around boys (or girls), or just has a clearer idea of what the hell they want to do with themselves.... a pox on it.
Cassie's as angry as a sixteen year old gets, and defence, for her, is definitely the best form of attack. And much of the time, I just want to peel back her skull and damn well force the understanding in. But there are times when she shows the kind of adult she will be: intelligent, hilariously funny, adept, artistically inspired, and capable of great acts of kindness and caring. It's been a bumpy ride, no doubt about it, but there's only adulthood ahead of her now, and I can't wait to see what she makes of it.
What the hell: it was an excuse to frock up-- Luscious and I wandered down to Swancon last night in order to attend the WA Science Fiction Achievement Awards, affectionately (and at least semi-officially) known to all as the Tin Ducks.
There is a reason for the name. I can just never quite remember it.
The Tin Ducks are my favourite awards, for a number of reasons: I've never seen a result I've wanted to argue with; the voting membership is generally far more au fait with the work they're judging than with the Ditmars; nine times out of ten, the nominees are people I know and whose work I respect; I've never won one, and Lyn's won two!
And then there's the Mumfan.
The Mumfan (respectfully, and hardly ever, officially called the Marge Hughes Award) is deeply special-- no matter what comes before it, it is the highlight of the award night, a recognition of those fans who work so hard throughout the year to make Perth fandom an amazing place, out of no greater sense of reward than a love of our community and the genre which brings us all together. At it's simplest, no matter what precedes, the Tin Duck Ceremony ends with a standing ovation for an award for being nice. If the Ditmars are Loves ya, maaaate, the Mumfan is We love you. How can you not enjoy being a part of that?
To all who won last night, my heartiest congratulations, but on a purely personal note, my warmest affections towards Mumfan award winner Sarah Parker and my good buddy Martin Livings, who won Best Long Professional Work for his novel Carnies, consigning me to the runner-up spot. In this case, I can say with not a hint of disingenuity or falseness that I was far more happy to have lost the race than won it. A most apt and deserved recogition for a fine writer with far too much of a low self-image. Told you we all believe in you :)
Oh, and the room party afterwards was a bloody larf :)

Heh. Typical: every year I say I'm going to lose weight, and it never happens. This year I make no promises to myself, and for no reason I can really pin down, I start eating better, get some concerted exercise into my legs, see the doctor and have all the tests done, get on some helpful medication, and lose 13 kilograms in just on 7 weeks.
I've made some big changes this year: withdrawing from much of the inconsequential foo-farah that was clogging up my mental space; concentrating on writing rather than the cat-vacumming aspects of the business (goodbye LJs, goodbye mailing lists, goodbye review sites and message boards, and on and on...); returning my attention to securing our financial health and putting the requirements of the family and house above all other matters; and generally just making a sustained effort to bring a sense of balance into my personal equilibrium.
I'm astonished at how good I feel about life. I have a renewed sense of purpose. I feel inspired. My writing has taken a quantum leap forward- Lyn, my most accurate and uncompromising critic, says the work she's reading now is by far the best I've ever done. I've accomplished more around the house this year than I did in the entirety of 2006. And the weight, well, it's not dropping off. I'm working damn hard-- I climb an average of 35 flights of stairs every work day, I walk home from the train station (somewhere between 40 and 45 minutes a day), and I've started hitting the gym for a high-cardiac workout a couple of times a week. I'm fitter, I'm faster, I have more energy than I know what to do with... I'm sparking, baby :)
I've got a long way to go, as the little graph below shows, before I hit my goal weight. But I've discovered a determination hiding behind a mental corner I'd overlooked before this. It's not a matter of if. Just when.
The next SF convention in Perth is, conveniently, on the weekend of my birthday, the 10th and 11th of November.
That's the goal.
(And just because no petard is worth its weight unless hoisted, let it be known that I, mocker of Big Brother extraordinaire, currently watch The Biggest Loser every night. I choose to call it a spur to inspiration. All those friends with whom I've shared BB evenings over the years, you have earned the right to call it payback :) )

Thursday, April 05, 2007


It seems gmail has recovered, and you can now get back to me at I'm having a few connectivity problems, but that's all to do with phone lines and nonsuch, so be patient over the Easter break as I might not get in until the Telstra linesmen sober up.


Just so everybody who has expressed surprise at the notion (despite a year or more of me saying it) is on the same page: Lyn and I will not be at Swancon this weekend.

Enjoy it if you're there.


I've had a few emails asking my opinion on the Ditmars, and Ben Peek's nominations/ lack of withdrawal from the same. Perhaps it's because our fall-outs have been so public that whenever he does something to get up people's noses, I get a whole lot of questions.

Anyway, fwiw, I actually don't have a problem with Ben being nominated for an award, and choosing not to withdraw, whatever his stated position in the past. Despite my lack of regard for him as a person, I've always maintained that his stories are good work, and good stories deserve nomination. It's not his stories that I have the issue with. If his participation in a set-up designed only to hand out the warm and fuzzies is a sign of his growing maturity, then all the better.

As I've spouted at every opportunity, your career is your own responsibility. What you choose to be a part of, or not, is up to you. I'll confess to not being interested in Ben or his career, and as I'm not going to the Natcon this year, I'm not much interested in the Ditmars either. But I've always felt that if you're going to work in an industry that hands out awards it's always nice to be nominated, and if you're going to be nominated, you might as well win. Despite the bloc-voting and the constant attempts to derail the process, the Ditmars are a nice way for everyone involved to throw their arms around each other (metaphorically speaking) and say Love youse, maaaaaate.

So good luck to him, and the other nominees. As to my thoughts on Kathryn Linge's review of Through Soft Air being nominated for the Atheling (and thanks to everyone seeking my opinion on that), well, my opinion of Ms Linge's critical faculties are pretty well known. All hail the bloc-vote.

Monday, April 02, 2007


Just so's you know, my gmail account seems to have upped and shat itself for the nonce: this, of course, despite the fact that both Lyn's and the normal family account work and can be accessed from exactly the same computer where I'm swearing my guts up trying to get my own bastard account to return anything other than a server error message.

For the immediate future, if you want me, you might want to try