Archive for February, 2009

This is the table of contents for Lavie Tidhar’s The Apex Book of World SF.  He’s really cast the net wide and I’m pleased to be there for Australia and Fiji. He’s asking for suggestions for the next volume, so if there is a writer you would like to recommend, let him know on his blog.

My story first appeared in 2012, from Twelfth Planet Press, edited by Alisa Krasnostein and Ben Payne. It was inspired by a block of derelict government flat here in Suva.  They had been condemned years ago, but people still lived there because they weren’t chased for rent. The flats are demolished now, and the residents dispersed through Suva. I wanted to capture the nature of the flats as I saw them as an outsider, and also I wanted to talk about the power of propoganda.

S.P. Somtow, The Bird Catcher, Thailand

Jetse de Vries, Transcendence Express, The Netherlands

Guy Hasson, The Levantine Experiments , Israel

Han Song, The Wheel of Samsara, China

Kaaron Warren, Ghost Jail, Australia/Fiji

Yang Ping, Wizard World, China

Dean Francis Alfar, L’Aquilone du Estrellas (The Kite of Stars), Philippines

Nir Yaniv, Cinderers , Israel

Jamil Nasir, The Allah Stairs, Palestine

Tunku Halim, Biggest Baddest Bomoh, Malaysia,

The Rape of Martha Teoh and Other Chilling Stories Aliette de Bodard, France

Kristin Mandigma, Excerpt from a Letter by a Social-realist Aswang, Philippines

Aleksandar Žiljak, An Evening In The City Coffehouse, With Lydia On My Mind, Croatia

Anil Menon, Into the Night, India

Mélanie Fazi, Elegy, France

Zoran Živković, Compartments , Serbia

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The Australian Horror Writers’ Association is running their mentorship programme again this year, and I’ve agreed to put my name on the list of mentors.

Others are:

Lee Battersby

Lyn Battersby

Stephen Dedman

Robert Hood

Martin Livings

Brett McBean

Cat Sparks

Benjamin Szumskyj

Robert N Stephenson

The writer I mentored last year worked on half a dozen stories, through draft stage, second drafts, and into the process of submitting to the right markets. I got a lot out of it myself. Working with others on their work helps me to clarify what I’m doing with mine, which can be a good thing!
Check out the website for details. You have to be a member of the AHWA to apply, but it’s a good, supportive group well worth joining. There are editors and writers at all levels of the career ladder, and there are discussions of markets, reviews, zombie movies and all kinds of fun things.

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Two new reviews of “Poe” are up. Paul di Filippo in The Speculator and Norm Rubenstein in Horror World. I’m nearly finished reading the book myself, allowing one story a night to stretch it out.

I spoke to a class of Year 12 students today about inspiration, ideas and research. Most of them hadn’t heard of Poe. I think all of them, actually; a couple put their hands up but they were just being polite. I described “The Tell-Tale Heart” a most passionate way, and they were interested. I talked about how, on visiting Poe’s house in Philidelphia, the floor board squeaked and I thought, “He stood here! He made that floorboard squeak!”

I talked to them about trying to inject themselves into the sootry they were writing, to make it different. One said, “B ut I’m writing in the third person, so there’s no I in it.” So I spoke about having passion about the story, how writing yourself into means writing with passion, and working to make sure you come up with a story no one else would come up with. They were shocked to hear I do ten or fifteen drafts of my stories, but pleased at the same time that what they had to start with could be worked with.

I hope at least a couple of them seek out the writings of Poe.

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David Carroll at Tabula Rasa has put up a review of Shadowmuse. I’m very glad I flew home for it, because the production was entrancing, the performances exactly right, and to hear my own words spoken aloud was most satisfying.

Meeting the actors afterwards was fun.

Jade Alexander and Jillian Russ played their roles so well it brought tears to my eyes. They took on very tough material in The Glass Woman and The Sameness of Birthdays, but neither flinched.

I admire this bravery in an actor as I do in a writer.

I wish I could see the show again. Love to go on closing night!

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