Sunday, July 27, 2008


Okay, my little friends, it's up and ready for remixing:

Alchymical Romance at Remix My Lit.

Cut, paste, re-arrange, glue, sparkle, underline, do those little love hearts on the top of the i like girls do, intertwine, hand wave, wibble, whatever you like....

And let me know how it all turns out.

Friday, July 25, 2008


Paul Haines is one of the good guys. One of the best. And for the past ten months, he and his family have suffered the toughest times of their lives: Paul has bowel cancer, and after all the pain and fear, and losing part of his bowel to it, he thought he'd conquered the bastard, only to find spots on his liver during the past week. He's been blogging his experience, and frankly, it's nothing you'd ever want to go through.

Paul's a fighter, and he's going to fight this with two other forms of chemotherapy for cancers like his, combined with a monoclonal antibody called Avastin. Avastin, however is not part of Medicare or the private health system's funding at this stage. It costs $20,000 to do it. Money that he doesn't have.

That's where we come in. We're a community, with all that implies: we're going to do what we can to raise the money for his treatment.

And that's where you come in. Because you can go here, like a lot of us have already done, and you can make a payment via Paypal. Or you can email me, and ask for bank details to make a direct deposit. Or you can click the button below, which (hopefully) will take you to the payment screen.

Either way, if you've ever enjoyed one of Paul's stories, or one of mine; if you're a friend of mine and you just want to give me a warmenfuzzie; or you want to make a difference, this is the way to do it. If you've bought a copy of my book, or a magazine with my story in it, I insist.

Paul's one of the good ones, people, and he needs our help.

Sunday, July 20, 2008


Okay, I'm as prepared as I'm going to be. Let's get this over with. Kung Fu Panda...... urgh, aaaggghh.... for a..... movie.....ooomph.... with Jack..... aaaargggghhhh.... Jack Black..... oh, go, oh it hurts...... Jack Black in it....... ooohhhh, aaahhhh........ doesn't...... oh my goddd....... doesn't suck.

There......... I said it. Can I go now?

Friday, July 18, 2008


Alchymical Romance to Remix My Lit. Now to finish Comfort Ghost and send it to Hauntings, and finish Smuggler's Moon for New Ceres, and I can spend the rest of the year bashing away at novel work.

Look for me to get really gloomy by about mid-November......

Wanna know what Aiden's been doing? Huh? Do ya?

Riding elephants, swimming with dolphins, skurfing, eating exotic fruits, shopping like a beyatch.... He's on holiday, the lucky little bastich: his best friend invited him to travel to Singapore with his family, and that's where he's been ensconced in an umpteen-star resort on the coast for the last week.

I'm as jealous as hell, particularly as it's been pretty much constant downpour here in exotic frikkin Clarkson since his departure. But he is, by all accounts, having the time of his life, and he deserves it-- his school grades are excellent, he's brilliant to have around the house, he's a fantastic brother and son, and even with the 20+ year age gap I'd consider him one of my funniest and most articulate friends notwithstanding the special nature of our Bonus son/father relationship. He's an amazing kid, and deserves an amazing adventure.

Of course, I've still turned all his furniture backwards in his room and hidden dead fish in his underwear drawer. Some things are traditional......

Your result for The Camelot Test...


Honourable and passionate. You never back down from a challenge. Your friends are very important to you. You believe in justice and duty far above your own personal security and comfort.

Congratulations! This was the most challenging result to get. You are one of a kind.

Take The Camelot Test at HelloQuizzy

Ah well, at least it didn't tell me I was the sixth Doctor......

Thursday, July 17, 2008


ME: Did you have fun at Aunty Terri’s today?
ME: Did you play with Shani?
ME: And Darien?
ME: And Gwen?
CONNOR: (long suffering) No, Daddy! She from Ben 10!

Ah. Yes. Silly me. Of course.


Like anybody who’s ever read his work, I’m a Terry Pratchett fan, and of his work, I’m particularly fond of the cycle of work involving the Night Watch of Ankh-Morpork. So I was a rather happy fellow today when I stumbled upon a previously-unknown-to-me short story today, featuring, as it does, Corporal Carrot, along with cameos from Captain Vimes, Nobby, and Sergeant Colon: you can read it here, too.


Oh, the writer’s life is a stoopid and accurately-mocked one.

And it always involves sequels somewhere along the line.


Free fiction, you ask? Wellllllllll, seeing as it’s you: Clarion South gradboy and member of an elite squad of risk-taking, pyrotechnical students I called my “jet-fighters”, the quite lunatic and fab Michael Greenhut has a new story up at Dark Fantasy magazine. Go and read it here.

Wednesday, July 09, 2008


You don’t have to know me very long to become aware of several things about me, including: I hate cats. Not big cats: lions, tigers, leopards, etc. Not the smaller wild cats: lynx, serval, ocelot and the like. Wild animals, in their native habitat, doing what they do, is something to be treasured.

Nope- domestic cats is whats I hate: introduced destroyers of local wildlife, stink creators, hair shedders, foul nasty disgusting creatures and I loathe every single one of the fuckers on sight. And no, trust me: it’s not just because I haven’t met yours, or haven’t got to know them properly or whatever. Domestic felines are fur-lined arseholes and I would cheerfully kick each and every one of them into the nearest river and laugh merrily as they drown.

Just in case you were wondering.

However, I must make public a small amendment to this statement of revulsion: there is one cat with whom I semi-regularly come into contact, and who recently, and not for even close to the first time, showed such a lovely side to her nature that it went a long way towards dispelling a sense of gloom and despair I’ve been carrying around with me. I’m very fond of this cat indeed, and have been for several years, and it’s a relationship I see as rolling and tumbling along for years to come. So this is just a public note to say that yes, there is one cat who I look upon with friendship and affection.

Of course, this cat is a human :)

I’m a few days late on this, but due to circumstances beyond my control I’ve only just found out that the death roll for this year has been added to once again: Tom Disch took his own life on the 4th of this month.

Disch’s early work was compulsive reading when I first discovered it during my Uni years- Camp Concentration and 334 are wonderfully bleak and despairing works, and his short fiction was the same. I never felt that same concentrated burst of emotion from his later work, although The MD stood out purely for the level of craft, and later still he seemed to become almost exclusively a poet. Much of his last works are on display at his LJ: I find it mixed, and don’t connect with a great deal of it, but that’s the nature of poetry.

By all accounts Disch was a difficult person to know, and once crossed, you were never forgiven (witness his exultation at Algis Budry’s passing, mere weeks before his own). He was a writer who stood apart from the genre in which he worked: like Barry Malzberg he was scarred by his early experiences of SF people and SF publishing and was both articulate and unforgiving enough to let us all know of his dissatisfaction, and accurately, scarily, why it was so. Still, as much as he may have hated it, he was one of us, and losing him is significant.

Thursday, July 03, 2008


Connor Battersby: 5 minutes alone with a bottle of sunscreen......

Check out the Specusphere for a review of Dreaming Again that considers In From the Snow in a light that strikes me as slightly more than mildly positive :)

I'd say that when a reviewer wants to make up a prize just so they can give it to you, you've done reasonably well.....

Wednesday, July 02, 2008


Over at Horroscope they've cast a critical eye over Aurealis 40, and have commented that Never Grow Old "linger(s) long after the final sentence."

Cool :)

They also have very nice things to say about the work of my good friends Paul Haines and Stephen Dedman, and whilst I disagree with their summation of Adam Browne's story (I think Browne is one of the most wonderfully unique and individual writers in Australian SF, and one of the most genuinely interesting short story writers I've read), the reviewer takes pains to point out that it's a function of his own reading taste rather than the quality of the workmanship.

Read the full review here.

Erin is a happy, friendly class member who is making pleasing progress in all areas. She listens carefully to instructions then settles readily to the task in hand, always trying hard to do her best. Erin has a positive attitude to her learning and is developing sound work habits. She is a well behaved student who enjoys a happy relationship with her peers, is able to work co-operatively with a partner and willingly helps others.

So sayeth Erin's first ever school report card :)

And while it would embarrass the buggery out of him to have the details made public, let's just say that Aiden's report card makes his plan to become a robotics engineer and/or member of Drowning Pool nowhere near outside the bounds of possibility. One-a smart-a cookie.


To celebrate the end of term, Erin's school held a crazy hair day today. Except: no hair colour allowed, no gel, no glitter, no product. You know, no actual anything that might help make your hair crazy.

Given the limitations, and with the addition of a bright pink cowboy hat and tiara, I'd say her Mum did Erin rather proud in the crazy hair-making stakes, don't you?

Cthulhu: the hair!


Not for us the lazy sleep-in on an Erin & Connor-free Sunday morning, no siree. Up out of bed we were, at the crack of Jesusweptit'sfuckingcold, and off to Belmont to watch B-Henry T getting trussed, masked, and tied to an immovable object.

Yup: Blakey had a fencing tournament. And bloody fun it was too. Luscious and I were hugely proud, watching the B-boy take the field (line? battle? bit of the gymnasium?) against taller, more experienced fencers, some of whom were decked out in their Australian representative uniforms. Fencing is a brutally fast, physical sport, and after three hours of duelling he was limping, bruised, exhausted, and with his hands covered in nicks and scratches, but he was happy as a teensy Athos and so were we. It was the first time we'd seen him in competitive action, and we were instantly hooked. Next time he has a tournament, we are so there, and it looks like we've finally found a sport we can both watch come Olympics time (Lyn hates boxing and I don't consider Love, Actually a sport...)

And, you know, we happen to think he looks rather dashing in his kit.

Is that a sword in your hand, or... oh, right, it's called a foil....


Can anyone explain what goes on inside my children's heads?


As discovered by the one and only Jasoni, the book cover that proves that my classic is not necessarily your classic.....

I believe this book will stand the test of time, alongside such classics as Alice Does Wonderland and Harvey: Portrait of a Serial Killer......

Tuesday, July 01, 2008


Goddamn, it’s been a year for losing genius’. Now George Carlin is dead, aged 71. Truth be told, he was never going to outlive George Burns, not with his lifestyle, but still, he was arguably one of the best three or four stand up comedians of the 20th century, and his passing represents a real loss to anybody who appreciates hard-bitten, precise observation. His wasn’t the fluffy nothingness of a Jerry Seinfeld, or the cozy reinforcement of a Tim Allen or Jeff Foxworthy. Carlin trod the same path as the likes of Lenny Bruce, Bill Hicks, and Billy Connolly, challenging the perceptions of his audiences and the structural status quo of the culture around him. He was, by turns, savage, acerbic, loving, and radio-friendly, and yet managed to maintain his rage and sense of damnation through forty years and something like 20-odd albums. And he transcended age: my boys knew him from his appearances in movies like Dogma, Jay & Silent Bob Strike Back, and the Bill & Ted movies, and now they want to know more, to hear what he was all about.

I don’t own enough of his work: my predilection for collecting comedy albums on the original vinyl is shown up by Perth’s distance from anywhere meaningful for such endeavours. But what I have is brilliant indeed, and among my list of stuff to be rescued from house fires.

If you’ve not experienced his work before, there are lists of quotes all about. Here’s a couple for starters: here and here

Damn. Screenwest have decided not to offer Cirque any monetary reward. So the question now becomes: pursue it further as a TV script, or thing about converting it to a novel? Hmmm. One field I know almost nothing about, and the other field everybody else thinks I know nothing about. Spoilt for choice, me……


Ah, well. It’s been fun. My mentorship period on behalf of the AHWA has come to and end. It’s been great to work with Ben and Jason, and hopefully they’ve picked up a tip or two along the way (Remember: you can learn something from anyone, even if it’s only what not to do…). Now it’s time for them to test their work against the refined sense of editors everywhere, and get their stories into as many hands as possible.

I think they’ll do just fine.