Saturday, August 30, 2008


Give a man a fish, and he'll eat for a day. Give a man a child, and he'll eat for a week.

Monday, August 25, 2008


The Remix My Lit project is entering into its final phase. Whilst you can still remix the stories at the website (and so you should), August 30th will see the whole thing climax at a killer live remixing event as part of the Festival of Melbourne.

Guests at the festival have been invited to bring their laptop or mobile phone and be part of a live multimedia remix event at Federation Square, where they can freely remix your work.

Remixers will find copies of the stories on the day or can access them in advance at the website - they can re-imagine and remix them - and then send the remixed short story to a mobile phone number. Using the Fed Sq SMS TV system the RML team will be publishing this flash fiction on the big screen at Federation Square as part of a live A/V set by ".M."

Readings of the original stories have also been recorded by .M. and will be incorporated into her set, which will also feature video images inspired by the stories.

All works created on the day will be posted to the Remix My Lit website and considered for publication in an upcoming, associated, print anthology.

If you are going to be in Melbourne for the festival we would love to see you at the event:

Date: Saturday 30 August 2008
Time: 3.30pm - 4.30pm
Venue: Federation Square - The Big Screen in the Plaza

For more info visit the official MWF program:

Tuesday, August 19, 2008


Okay, the KSP have placed the list of winners up on their website, so I can now officially congratulate everyone who copped a gong in this year's SF Awards.

So, slaps on the back and warm manly hugs to:

Shire of Mundaring National Young Writers Awards

1st Prize: Violet Macdonald (TAS) The Last Words
2nd Prize: Michael Greif (WA) Target

Highly Commended:
Rebecca Doyle (WA) Rebellion

Stephanie Wong (WA) Traffic
Lachlan Dally (ACT) The Witch

Open Section

1st Prize: Eleanor Marney (VIC) The Self-Sufficient Gardener
2nd Prize: Luke Johnson (NSW) A Fish on Sunday

Highly Commended:
Monica Carroll (ACT) Documentation version 1.0.0 for Cartesian Family Harmony
Jason Fischer (SA) The Imogen Effect

Bella Anderson (VIC) Treasure
Felicity Bloomfield (ACT) Tentacles all the Way
Laura E Goodin (NSW) Mooncalf

You can read my full report here, if you wish.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

......THE HELL?

You're all invited to his 18th birthday party......


I've been amiss in not mentioning this so far, but an online auction is currently underway to help the Paul Haines Relief Fund.

As you know, Paul has cancer, and the treatment he faces is going to cost upwards of $20K, money he just doesn't have. So far, SF community efforts have raised 80% of the money needed, and now Art That Scares You has been set up to help raise the rest.

I've donated a signed copy of Through Soft Air, Lyn's donated her last copy of the rare luscios-edited ASIM 11 (containing Paul's story Hamlyn, it sold out in first run and to the best of my knowledge there are no more available), and a gajillion others have pledged novels, collections, artwork, manuscript assessment, blankets, soup, and a small child called Colin.

Get into it. The auction is online until 28th August. You can win yourself something cool and help Paul win his battle at the same time. It's noble, with added booty!


Swansea 3, Forest 1.



A lovely afternoon was spent by the Battfam this afternoon: Luscious and the littlies accompanied me to the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writer's Centre where I announced the winners of this year's SF Awards. Apart from catching up with some old pals in the forms of Satima Flavell Neist, Helen Venn and Chris Oakley, it was great to see several winners in the Junior section turn up to receive their awards.

I'm not certain that all winners (many were from other states, including every einner in the Open section) has been notified of their placing, so I'll hold off from listing everyone here until I get the all clear, but my warmest congratulations to all concerned, and thanks to the KSP for giving me the opportunity to be a part of this competition again. It was a fantastic experience, and a lovely occasion today. I'll be more than happy to be a part of it again any time.


  1. Take Aiden
  2. Choose a Thursday night Swancon session
  3. Give him a bottle of cool drink and a large bag of crisps
  4. Drop him off in a foyer full of fans, several of whom he counts as friends
  5. Bog off to the food hall across the road and read until the movie ends.

Everybody's happy!

Wednesday, August 13, 2008


Black Box is fucking pretty. Like a coked-up Goth chick playing with a shiny knife.

You really want one. I'm telling you.

Fucking pretty.


Yes, only one of the inspiring and, frankly, disturbing, items of information to come up on Saturday, as we played host to some of WA's, if not finest, then certainly rowdiest SF friends. A lunch date featuring Tehani Wessely and kids, Terri Sellen and family, Stephen Dedman, Elaine Kemp, Martin Livings, Dr Izz, Alisa Krasnostein, Angela Challis, and Shane Jirayia Cummings: well, what did we expect? :)

Our first guests arrived around 11.30am-ish, and the last rolled out at 1am the following morning. It was that kind of lunch, and we had an absolute blast the whole time. For some reason, Eastern States' SF folk get together all the time, whereas Western SF writers don;t seem to (or, you know, just don't invite us...). The weather's turning fine, our backyard is big enough to hold the children of many families (including the weird doppelganger kiddie who lives next door and freaked out many of us there, not least Tehani, whose daughter Gwen is the dopplegangee...)-- we'll be doing it again.

And to give you an idea of the sort of things that get covered when the (allegedly) finest SF minds in WA get together, a smattering---

  • When a bed is that close to the ceiling, all sex is experimental.
  • There's a fine line between footsies and rough sex.
  • Aaron Eckhart's jaw: like Dib's head, why is it so biiiiig?
  • If fortnightly sex is in the diary, well, what can you do?
  • Oh God, Battersby children really do play those sort of games. The blogs aren't exaggerating! (Lifesize doll, dragged around by her tied-together feet, Erin deciding who is and isn't a zombie. That's all I'm saying)
  • Come to Christmas Island: we've got guano and jumping crabs!
  • Black, Issue 2: look for the surprise book spine.
  • Oh, and the writer's names spelled out in acrostics.
  • Grasshopper pie: alcohol and fake grasshoppers. Look for them in your local Coles.
  • All the chocolate covered jelly snakes have gone. Back to Ireland. Won't they be surprised?
  • It's a suit of high grade metal polymer carrying the latest in space-age technology, repulser rays, and flight rockets, not a dolly.
  • Seriously, what's with Aaron Eckhart's fucking jaw?
  • And if you are going to use Iron Man as a sex toy, take the visor off first.....

Too. Much. Fun. Roll on spring so we can do it again.


Sunday night, thanks to Fox Sports Some Channel or Other, for the first time in several seasons, guess what I got to do?

That's right: actually watch Forest play!

I may have had a sportsgasm. I won't try to deny it.

The first game of the new season, the first time we've been promoted in almost a decade, and thanks to Fox's one-game-a-week coverage of the Championship, I got to see the boys in red take on the 2nd-level might of newly-relegated Reading. And what a fist they made of it, too: despite injuries to 4 of the 5 strikers in the squad, and bookies odds that had us marginally better value than the return of Jesus, we ran, harried, held and passed our way to a well-earned draw with a team mooted as one of the very heavy guns of the division. What's more, we did it with style: I had expected lump-it-and-chase football, but we kept it on the ground, maintained possession (over 70% of possession, by game's end), and apart from one magnificent save from keeper Paul Smith, held our much more fancied opponents to a game of desperate lunges and hopeful shots. Survival football is one thing. Stylish, European ball play is a much finer one, and we played football.

Robert Earnshaw, on whom I had bestowed grave doubts, was a dynamo up front, his constant movement and darting runs a genuine disturbance to the giant Reading centre backs, and young Frenchman Guy Moussi is already looking like the find of the season: if he maintains that kind of imperious form, what chance a Premiership approach come January? Quick message to all Prem teams: fuck off. Young Lewis McGugan was a constant threat, involved in everything until a silly booking.... for a team with all but two players under the age of twenty five, we played with poise and steel, and that as much as anything gives me hope for the long season ahead.

Do I sound excited? Am I babbling? Do I resemble a sad fanboy finally getting to bask in some sunshine?

Picture my happy face :)

Swansea next, and on the form we displayed on Sunday, don't discount us having three points in the bag by game's end. Come oooooon, you Reeeeddddsss!


Since I last spoke, a whole slew of primo panellists have been confirmed for the KSP SF Minicon on the 21st September.

Confirmed panelists, apart from myself and Luscious, include Adrian Bedford, Janet Blagg, Hal Colebatch, Stephen Dedman, Russell B Farr, Simon Haynes, Elaine Kemp, Alisa Krasnostein, Martin Livings, Dave Luckett, Ian Nichols, John Parker, and Tehani Wessely. That's at least as good a line-up as Gladiators, and has a distinct advantage in that none of us will wear spangly lycra. Except for maybe Rusty. Which will make a nice change from an Hawaiian shirt :)

The one-day mini-con, which starts at 10.00am, will be held at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writers' Centre, Old York Road, Greenmount,Perth. Gold coin admission, lunch available. Join usssss....


Over at Dog Vs Sandwich, you can find Lyn's story Lily's Song.

For a whole lot of reasons, not all of which are to be talked about, you want to read this. It's as brilliant as Lyn's work always is: evocative, emotionally difficult, and beautifully written. This one is one of my favourites, and has been since she first wrote it. Enjoy.


Okay, I've worked it out. Now I get to imagine Kate smiling, which is always nice :)

Tuesday, August 12, 2008


My contributor's copy of ASIM 36, containing my poem Working For a Greener Narrative, along with fiction by the likes of Lisa Mantchev, Shane Nelson and Cat Sparks, and an interview with Greg Egan.

Go. Buy. Read.

He loved her even in those moments. It meant more. If only-

Now she was gone. The only empty chair. Gone. He stared over his window.

No way. He couldn't. Too long criss-crossing the skin. Unnoticed.Undisturbed. A shark. Barely noticed. Pure solitude.

Alchymical Romance: Serial Killer Mix by Grant Watson. Check it out.

Yes, yes, okay: so we saw The Dark Knight during the week. And yes, even though Heath Ledger has been firmly ensconced, high on my Kurt Rusell Memorial List of What The Fuck's The Fuss All About Over This Two Rate Hack? for several years, I admit, in public:

He's pretty bloody amazing in this one.

Truth is, as a superhero movie, TDK isn't all that good. That's not to say it isn't a good movie-- it is. It's a fascinating, multi-layered, quite literary examination of duality, of what it means to wear a mask in both public and private roles, and how the assumption of moral sets defines the way we interact with the society around us. Batbruce is a person playing two roles, both false, both dependant upon the other. The Joker is not only the antithesis of everything Old Pointy Ears stands for, he is the antithesis of all that Wayne holds dear as well-- eschewing money, eschewing position, and power, setting his stock not on the preservation of social hierarchies but on their destruction. (Could Batman exists without Wayne's priviledged place in life? I doubt it.)

Ledger is hypnotic, by far the edgiest and sanest character in the movie, a twitching, self-destructive Tyler Durden figure that almost, almost seduces you into his nihilistic point of view. Indeed, it would have been very easy for the creators to paint him as the good guy of the piece-- a few less pointless killings, a better choice of targets (swap hospitals for missile sites, clean-cut District Attorneys for slum lords......). The Joker has an advantage that villians in comic books always possess: he is proactive, whereas Wayne, Dent, and Gordon, (the status quo-reinforcing elements) must wait, and can only act in a reactive capacity. The Joker sets the agenda, creates the milieu, and has the greater capacity to alter the perceptions of the viewer-- if what he does works, then the status quo is damaged irreparably-- Tyler Durden wins in the end, after all, and despite the carnage along the way, creates a world without debt burden, leading the viewer to accept his message as a positive one. The Joker wipes out millions of dollars of illegal assets, destroys several powerful crime families, and almost ruins a dangerous vigilante with enough power and influence to break international judicial agreements and suffer not even a raised eyebrow in consequence. It's only because he chooses civilian targets, and because the law enforcement system considers Batman too powerful to abandon (not too right, mind, just too effective), that he must be sacrificed in order to preserve the current balance of power.

And Ledger nails it. I'll admit it: he absolutely nails it. This is no laughing looney, no Clown Prince of Crime. He ain't Jack Nicholson's cringingly awful fatboy clown. He's an urban terrorist: intelligent, amoral, aware of the street value accorded those who don't blink. He's Anarky, stripped down and painted black, and Ledger is brilliant.

It's the role that will define him, in the same way Brandon Lee will always be The Crow, and James Dean will always be the Rebel Without a Cause. Because, for the first and last time in his truncated career, he stripped away the staginess and uncomfortable posings of his performance and spoke directly to the truth of his character. It's ugly, and distrubing, and utterly mesmerising.

This Sunday, 17th August, at 3pm, the Chairperson of KSP, the CEO of the Shire of Mundaring and the Competition Judge - that would be me - will present the awards to the winners of the KSP Speculative Fiction Competition. Prize winners will read excerpts from their entries. Light refreshments will be available.

Come on down to the Centre, at 11 Old York Road, Greenmount, meet the winner, hear some damn good SF, and enjoy the historic grounds.

And on Sunday 21st September, starting at 11am, the KSP SF Mini-conference will be happening. The first mini-con, held in 2006, was an outstanding success, with several score people attending. The panels, readings and inexpensive lunch all contributed to the day’s success, and we hope to do even better this year.

There will be timeslots for six panels with readings in between. There will also be readings over lunch time. Once again, our friends at Fantastic Planet will be setting up shop at KSP for the day. There will also be opportunities for signings throughout the day. Lyn and I will be attending, as will many of the leading lights of Western Australian SF. More information will be posted to this humble blog as we get closer to the day.

Pencil it in, SF fans.