I won the Australian Shadows Paul Haines Award for Long Fiction for “The Unwanted Women of Surrey”! How fabulous is that! I can’t wait to see what the statue will look like. There is an excellent spot between the two skulls I won last year.


Five years ago, I was in Montreal, meeting some fabulous people for the first time: Lauren Beukes, Marc Gascoigne and Lee Harris. Marc and Lee threw on a party for the launch of Angry Robot, including hiring a very rude and sleazy robot to abuse people as they walked in the door.

Their first books were Slights, and Lauren’s Moxyland.


To celebrate five years of brilliant publishing (and some success for Slights!) I’ve looked at five horrendous people from history who are worse than Stevie, the serial killer in my novel. Over here, at SF Signal!

Delving into the details of history.

I went to a seminar at the Museum of Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, with three academic project speakers and three creative project speakers. All projects have some connection to the Prime Ministers of Australia.

Highlights for me were many. Professor Haig Patapan, talking about the meanings of magnanimity in leadership, using Aristotle’s depiction (described here.) Particularly fascinating is the idea that there is a time for greatness, and once that greatness has passed, there is time for indolence.

Sarah Howell’s discussion of her graphic novel based on the life of Enid Lyons. Part old-fashioned love story, part historical record of the first woman in Parliament, it’s going to be a really good read, looking at the nitty -gritty real-life stuff of history.

Mitchell Welch, talking about the PMs and poetry. The next day, Mitchell gave a great talk about the poetry of various leaders, including Clive Palmer, who wrote a LOT about love in his young poet’s book.

This is the collaborative poem we wrote in a workshop with Mitchell after his talk.

Fascinating stuff. I have have an exercise book full of notes from this!


The Australian Shadows Paul Haines Long Fiction shortlist:

SOUL KILLER, BY ROBERT HOOD (from the Robots vs Zombies series)
(from Queen Victoria’s Book of Spells)


This year, the Australian Shadows Award for long-fiction has been named for Paul Haines, a wonderful writer and man we lost to cancer. I’m so proud and honoured to be on the shortlist for that reason alone, but to be on there with Kirstyn McDermott and Rob Hood, two of my favourite writers? Brilliant!

Next week I’ll be launching the SF poetry Anthology The Stars Like Sand, edited by P.S. Cottier and Tim Jones. If you’re in Canberra, or if you can get to Canberra, please join us. This is a fantastic book, featuring writers such as: Judith Beveridge, Sean Williams, Les Murray, Lizz Murphy, Dorothy Porter, Simon Petrie, Paul Hetherington, Joe Dolce, C.J. Dennis, Melinda Smith, Jenny Blackford, SB Wright, A.B. ‘Banjo’ Paterson, Dorothy Hewett, joanne burns and Alan Gould.

IP Winter Season 2014
Join editors Tim Jones and P.S. Cottier at the launch of a stunning
anthology to be launched by renowned novelist Kaaron Warren
The Stars Like Sand:
Australian Speculative Poetry
Thursday 12 June 2014, 6:30 for 7 pm
Manning Clark House
11 Tasmania Circle, Forrest, ACT
Free event, book signings available!
RSVP: Phone 0428 478 621
or email penelope.c@bigpond.com
Interactive Publications
P.S. Cottier
Tim Jones


Writerly Update

“Theo thought of the pain in his veins as the clawing of bats, the smell in his nose their guano, the rawness of his throat torn by their smoke.”

from “Death’s Door Cafe” in Shadows and Tall Trees, edited by Michael Kelly. Lots of good stories in this one, from Robert Shearman, F. Brett Cox and more. 


“Terry needed a fresh ghost, so he dressed warmly and headed out, camera around his neck, syringes safely packed into the bag over his shoulder.”

from “Bridge of Sighs” in Fearful Symmetries, edited by Ellen Datlow. An AMAZING anthology.

SQ Magazine

A while ago, Gerry Huntman asked me to submit a story for the Australiana edition of SQ Magazine. I wrote “Eleanor Atkins is Dead and Her House is Boarded Up” as part of my current thematic obsession with the horrors of dementia, and with the standard ideas of what happiness is.

There are also stories from Alan Baxter, Angie Rega, Sean Williams and others, and excellent summaries on the State of Australian Spec Fic from Tehani Wessely and G. N. Braun, so well worth the click!

SQ Magazine, Edition 14


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