Thursday, September 25, 2008


Thanks to Cat Sparks, here's a sneak peek at two upcoming Agog Press anthologies, each with stories by yours truly inside their papered guts:

Scary Food is a collection of short horror tales with accompanying recipes: Rabbit, Run is my entry, along with a recipe for rabbit stew that isn't so horrifying in its own right, but does contain some rather accurate instructions on how to kill your rabbit.

Canterbury 2100 translates the form and intent of Chaucer's Canterbury Tales to a post-apocalyptic setting. (A full explanation of just how can be found here) It's a double-Battjob, containing both my own The Metawhore's Love Story and Lyn's The Conductor's Tale. I've read a couple of the stories already, and it's shaping as an absolute cracker.

Purdy, ain't they? You'll be able to get them from the Agog Press soon.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


Ya know, while I'm waiting for Erin's school uniform to come out of the dryer and all...

You are a

Social Liberal
(70% permissive)

and an...

Economic Liberal
(20% permissive)

You are best described as a:


Link: The Politics Test on Ok Cupid
Also : The OkCupid Dating Persona Test

That probably means...... something......

Monday, September 22, 2008


If you didn’t make it to the KSP Minicon on Sunday, well, you missed a thoroughly enjoyable and engaging occasion. The focus was very much on writing and writers (I’m tempted to say ‘this was the con we rescued from the fans’, a la Swancon 2006) but there was much socialising, coffee and mini-muffins, and banter for all. It was the most relaxed and happy day I’ve spent at a convention in a long time.

Pity you missed it.

Adrian & Michelle Bedford share a joke with Lyn, while Dave Luckett and Stephen Dedman get up to no good in the background

Three wise men: Simon Haynes, Bevan McGuiness, Russell Farr

How to Escape The Slushpile: Everyone's Gotta Opinion!

Lyn makes with the funnies as Janet Blagg and Alisa Krasnostein show their appreciation


Oh, you meet some weirdos in our line of work, you really do.

One of the nicest, and frankly, most attractive, is the Manchild known as John Robertson: fanboy, bon vivant, wearer of natty purple jackets, and as of quite recently, winner of the national Green Faces Comedy Competition, the final of which was held in Canberra. Swanconners already know John’s non-stop and wildly inventive comedy style, so it comes as no surprise that he’s beginning to garner wider attention. Those who haven’t seen him in action (and those who have) should catch him at Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den tomorrow night and Friday.

Let me lick your shoulderblades......

Sunday, September 21, 2008


It's the KSP Minicon today.

It starts at 10am. You don't have anything else you'd rather be doing today. I expect to see you there.

(A small change in the program, btw: Martin Livings has announced he won't be coming, and as it always takes two people to replace a man of his stature, the part of Martin will be played by me and Rusty Farr. Sort of like a pantomime horse. I'm assuming I'll be the ass end, as usual...)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


Your results:
You are Dr. Doom

Dr. Doom
The Joker
Poison Ivy
Dark Phoenix
Mr. Freeze
Lex Luthor
Green Goblin
Blessed with smarts and power but burdened by vanity.

Click here to take the Supervillain Personality Quiz

Monday, September 15, 2008


The program for this Sunday's Mini-con at the Katharine Susannah Prichard Writer's Centre has been released, and 'tis as follows:

10.00 am Panel "How to Handle Rejections": Adrian Bedford, Russell Farr, Simon Haynes and Bevan McGuiness followed by Readings from Sonia Helbig and Helen Venn

11.00 am Panel "Clarions; gains and losses": Lee Battersby, Lyn Battersby, Carol Ryles, Helen Venn and Jessica Vivienfollowed by Readings from Jo Mills and Elaine Kemp

12.00 noon Panel "What's Hot and What's Not - trends in Speculative Fiction": Elaine Kemp, Alisa Krasnostein, Ian Nichols and Grant Stone followed by Readings from Juliet Marillier and Ian Nichols

1.00 pm Panel "Lies, Damned Lies and Research": Dave Luckett, Hal Colebatch, Satima Flavell and Juliet Marillier followed by Readings from Hal Colebatch and Dave Luckett

2.00 pm Panel "Hooks and Sinkers - writing a killer first line": Adrian Bedford, Stephen Dedman, Martin Livings and Bevan McGuiness followed by Readings from Adrian Bedford and Stephen Dedman

3.00 pm Panel "Steampunk" Toby Coulstock; John Parker; Carol Ryles and Grant Stone followed by Readings from Deb Ratcliffe and Carol Ryles

4.00 pm Panel "How to get out of the Slushpile": Lyn Battersby, Janet Blagg, Stephen Dedman; Alisa Krasnostein; Tehani Wessely followed by Q&A and wind-up.

That's a pretty fair line-up, if you ask me, so come along and join in. Remember: don't applaud, throw money.


Blakey-boy turned 14 on Sunday, a day that began with storms and high winds and the boys refusing to take a shower because the water wouldn't get hot. Well, it was obvious, wasn't it? The extremely windy weather had blown the pilot light out on our gas hot water system.

Which, indeed, it might have done. It probably didn't, however, cause the scorch marks right up the side of the storage unit.
But that would be a problem for another day (tomorrow, to be precise: thanks to the railway workers stop-work-coz-we-want-more-cushions-for-our-fat-arses meeting, I can't get to work in any decent amount of time, so I'm off solar hot water system shopping instead). Because Sunday was Blakey-boy's birthday! His 14th, to be exact, and apart from the traditional crack, whores, and shooting an unarmed man, he'd asked for a trip to the air museum to go with the Beowulf DVD and manga graphic novel he'd received.
You betcha :)
Adult girlies and kids under the age of 14 had either begged off or knew nothing about it, so we three Kings of boydom duly piled into the car and drove down to Bullcreek, where we spent 2 bloody happy hours comparing engines (that actually sounds faintly rude, doesn't it?), debating the relative merits of air-cooled and water cooled biplane engines, and quite frankly, acting like big nerdy aeroplane boys, helped enormously by the museum having, in the time since our last visit, added a fully decked out Catalina flying boat to their already seriously bitching collection (including a Canberra bomber; Vampire fighter; two, count them two Spitfires, engines from all sorts of stuff including a B29, sundry parts from a B24, and the piece de resistance, one of only 2 complete Lancaster bombers in the country).
Mannn, if we get this thing working, the chicks we could pullll.......

The Catalina is, arguably, my favourite aircraft of all time (depending on whether or not I'm looking at a Tornado at the time, or remembering standing next to my new true love, the South Australian Air Museume's shiny P38 Lightning, or thinking about the Wellington bomber. Or the A10...)
I have, on several occasions, informed Lyn of my desire to buy the half-completed hull currently in residence at the Albany Whaling Museum, float it off Rockingham jetty, and use it as a houseboat. I may or may not be channeling memories of Tales of The Gold Monkey when I make this threat. (Yeah, I know it was a Grumman Goose, but the point remains...)So I was only a touch over-enthusiastic and nerdy in circling it several times with my picture-taking finger on high alert :)

The World's Most Beautiful Aircraft by Lee Battersby, aged 37 3/4

Anyway, if chatter and phot taking is any guide, the B-boy had a brilliant time, winning the Lancaster vs Catalina photo-taking lovefest by a count of 14 to 11. Next year, we may try to steal one. Just one. For the backyard.

No, this is the World's Most Beautiful Aircraft, a Rebuttal by Blake Triffitt, aged 14 and 0 nothings

Happy birthday, B.

Ha! Bet nobody would blog this wacky self-portrait I took when no-one was looking...

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Good news for those who have been enjoying the Remix My Lit experience- RML have cut up their August 31 deadline and remixed a brand new one for you: 19 October 2008.Get inspired by the remixable short stories, show them your vision, and submit your own version for your chance to be published in an anthology alongside established Australian authors such as myself, Kim Wilkins, and Cate Kennedy.

And for those who'd like to see what can be done, my story Alchymical Romance has received two new remixings: Sajbrfm has given it a complete gender re-alignment with Alchymical Romance (gender exchange remix) which pulls a complete 360 on my standard gender default, leading to quite a different narrative focus. And Angela Meyer has gone for a complete re-imagining, mixing elements of my work with bits of stories by Philip Neilsen, Stefan Laszczuk and Cate Kennedy to produce the truly extraordinary Again, The Healing Tickle (the Way Black Glitters): A Mash Up, which shows just what can be done with the remixing concept in the hands of an artist in tune with the working methods it requires. I think the end result is absolutely bloody stunning.

And, if you haven't already read it, Grant Watson's brilliantly short, brutal Alchymical Romance (serial killer remix) is still up for your reading pleasure too.

4 stories for the price of one! Hoe cool is that?

Thursday, September 04, 2008


Standouts include “Let's All Welcome The New Guy” by Raoul Wainscoting, a hint of what sensitivity training might be like if "weremericans" existed, ”Some Touch of Pity’ a dark and moody tale by Gary A Braunbeck, and Lee Battersby’s “The Claws of Native Ghosts,” in which the violence and rage comes not from the beast but from the man's own insanity.

From Michelle Lee's review of The Beast Within over at Monster Librarian. Read the rest of the review then get your ass over to Graveside Tales and pre-order a copy of the book. You know you want it......

Wednesday, September 03, 2008


I've always like Pat Rothfuss. Way back in 2002, when I attended the Writer's Of The Future workshops in LA, Pat came to my rescue in a big way. Let me 'splain--

Partway through the week, we wrote a story, and several of them were picked out to be critted by the group. One was a crime story, set south of the US/Mexico border, and, well, it didn't paint Mexicans in the best of all possible lights. In fact, I thought the damn thing was racist, and showed a very American contempt towards a less affluent and tertiary production-based culture. And I said so. Now, the workshop had 17 participants. I'm from Australia. Tom Brennan was Liverpudlian. And Seppo Kurki was a Finnish guy living in Japan. Guess where everyone else came from?

I was rounded on in no uncertain terms. All the arguments came out (including that old classic, the "You don't understand, they're just like that" line of reasoning). Things got heated, and I took some comments I wouldn't take in a place I can walk home from. When we broke for lunch, everyone zigged, and I zagged. The last thing I wanted was to be around the group that had delivered such a verbal mauling (One of my over-riding memories of the week was just how personal that argument became, and how quickly) Had one of the co-ordinaters offered us a spare plane ticket at that point, I would have been gone.

Pat caught me up about a street and a half away. He steered me to a little Mexican cafe where we ate some truly awful burritos, drank several gallons of Coke, and he sat and listened to me be upset, cheered me up, made me laugh, and just generally acted like the adorable and lovely-natured pal that all who meet him immediately know him to be. I went back after lunch, and though the week wasn't as it had been before, I got through it and came home at the right time.

Since then, Pat's gone on to bigger things. He's an award winner, author of the oodles-selling Kingkiller Chronicles, listed in various Year's Best Reads-type lists, is widely announced as 'One To Watch' and generally considered a warm and sensitive lover by all.

You might have guessed by now: I have huge respect for the guy.

Until I saw this photo :)

You know that joke about "But you fuck one goat"? Dude, you're a furry! :)))))


I've been feeling stagnant lately.

To date, apart from the odd snatch of poetry and occasional non-fiction piece, I've written short stories. Pardon my ego, but I think I write them reasonably well. Problem is, as my darling so eloquently put it the other night, people are getting tired of waiting for me to do something meaningful. And let's be honest, they're probably right.

I've been thinking about the reason why I feel like I've reached a plateau in my career, and what it boils down to is this: I know I should be writing novels, but the idea of putting so much investment into a major work and then having to (possibly) navigate years of rejections scares the testes out of me. And because I'm scared, I allow myself to get distracted-- it's too easy to find shiny short story projects to play with, and push that novel work back just another month, just another quarter...... and on and on, and soon enough nobody's going to care, least of all me. And it feels like that time may be approaching pretty durn soon.

Lyn's been feeling stagnant lately, and being her, just sat the hell down and came to some decisions without getting all Rita Hayworth about it. Which means the decisive cow has left me with no alternative but to do the same :) And really, what it boils down to is one simple question, and if you read the title to this post, you've probably guessed what that was. I needed to do something to refocus myself-- I've already finished with short stories for the time being, and turned my attention back to my long-neglected, dusty manuscripts. Something concrete was necessary.

So I’ve finally shifted my ass and joined the SFWA and HWA. Whether it’ll have any direct impact upon my career is anyone’s guess. But having joined the peak bodies for my particular little corner of the writing world, it leaves me, at least mentally, drawing a line under several aspects of my previous performance: a literary “What would Jesus do?” of the mind (Ooooooh boogieboogieboogie)— a level of performance to live up to, rather than aspire to, or something like that. It's a way of benchmarking myself against something a little further up the food chain than I've been doing so far, a sign to hang above each project, to ward away complacency ("You're spending all that money to be in the SFWA. Is this thing worth having done that?").

Either way, ‘tis done, ‘tis done.

Monday, September 01, 2008


From their weekend trip to their Nanna's, my cool kids:


Does whatever a Spiderconnor can......