Archive for February, 2010


It’s short but it’s sweet: An interview with me at Elizabeth’s Corner.

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Exotic Gothic 3

Our parcel postman is a drop and run kinda person. He’ll leave the parcel next to my letter box, or sometimes at the front door, even when I’m home. Luckily we don’t seem to have any opportunistic thieves in this neighbourhood.

Today he delivered a gorgeous hardback book to me. Exotic Gothic 3, edited by Danel Olson and published by Ash Tree Press. My story “The Gaze Dogs of Nine Waterfall” a strongly Fijian story, appears in the book, along with stories from Robert Hood, Terry Dowling and Steve Rasnic Tem.

Ellen Datlow is taking “The Gaze Dogs of Nine Waterfall” for her Best Horror 2. This news made me leap around the room! The story was inspired by a newspaper report in the Fiji Times, about blue skinned vampire dogs killing cows in the interior of Viti Levu.

I really need to keep working on my novel (the characters are starting to breathe! Don’t you love that? I even have a guy who assesses deceased estates, and I know what he says as he walks in the door every time!) but what I want to do is sit down with a good cup of coffee dosed with caramel syrup and read this book.

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This from Tansy Rayner Robert’s Livejournal:

“In 2005, Ben Peek spent a frantic week interviewing 43 people in the Australian Spec Fic scene. In 2007, a group of ASiF! reviewers took up the challenge and did it again, this time interviewing 83 people.

In the lead-up to Aussiecon 4 in Melbourne, and the great opportunity offered by the local Worldcon to see some Australians get a shot at the Hugo ballot, some of the ASif! reviewers will be doing it again, and blogging interviews from this coming Monday until Sunday 22nd Feb.

To read them hot off the press, check these blogs daily:

Will we beat 83 this time? If you know of someone involved in the Scene with something to plug, then send us an email at 2010snapshot@gmail.com”

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To be Collected

Most exciting news!

Russell Farr, of Ticonderoga Publications, approached me with the idea of publishing my second collection of short stories in time for WorldCon.

My answer? Hell, yeah!

Angela Slatter will see publication of her first collection. The launch is going to be so very glamorous

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The day starts well when you receive wonderful books in the mail!

My story, “Tiger Kill” which first appeared in a bizarre little mag called The Earwig Flesh Factory, has been reprinted by Nightshade Books in Ellen Datlow’s Tails of Wonder and Imagination. My copies arrived today. It’s a gorgeous book full of amazing writers.

Nightshade also sent me a couple of other books, two I’ve been dying to read! One is John Langan’s House of Windows, the other is Graham Joyce’s How to Make Friends with Demons.

They also sent Mark Teppo’s Lightbreaker. I heard Mark read from his Paper Cities story a couple of years ago so I’m really looking forward to this one.

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Odd old reads

My latest odd old read is The Cobweb, by William Gibson. Not that one! This book was written in 1954 and I bought it at our local tip, a place of much wonder and joy.

I picked it up because of the author’s name, thinking perhaps it was an early book by that other William Gibson. Then I was intrigued by it. It begins, “The trouble about the living-room drapes arrived in the shape of a fat brown envelope in a bagful of mail on the Friday morning train.”

A novel about living-room drapes? Surely not. And of course it isn’t; it’s about what happens to a group of people involved with a psychiatric clinic over the course of a few weeks. All of it stems from the drapes and the many different ideas as to how they should be installed. Do you install a drape? I’m sure there must be a better word than that.

It wasn’t an exciting novel, and I really only persisted because Gibson manages the sense of impending doom so well. I knew something was going to happen because of his language.

He’s very much into detail. That first sentence was not out of place throughout the novel. Details about colours of envelopes or shoes or cars, details about how exactly someone moved through the house, including the furniture they pass, how the carpet feels on their feet, what object de art they notice.

Very, very detailed. I talked about this at dinner with my husband and kids and it turned into a meme.

Son: “I am now picking up my bright green glass and drinking the last sip of my raspberry cordial. Now I am putting the glass down on the slightly old dining table and leaving a round circle of a mark of cordial.”

Daughter: “I am getting out of my blue cushion chair. It makes a scraping noise as I push it back. The noise makes me think of other chairs pushing up and also the gate when I open it. Now I’m walking to the kitchen which we just got fixed up.”

Etc. It went on for some time.

I was curious as to why someone would write this way throughout an entire novel, so I looked Gibson up. He was a theatre writer! Used to giving specific stage directions! That answered the question. He didn’t translate well from theatre to novel. His editor should have said, “We don’t need to know how many steps it took from the bathroom to the bar.”

Still, it was an interesting book.

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Prelim Stoker Ballot

This early list has been announced, and Slights has made the cut! The next stage is to make it to the final ballot, which will be tough, given the other fantastic first novels on the list.

Stephen H. Irwin was also nominated for Best Horror Novel at the Aurealis Awards for The Dead Path. I must grab hold of a copy of that one.

Here’s the full list. What a great to-be-read pile!


Superior Achievement in a Novel

AS FATE WOULD HAVE IT by Michael Louis Calvillo (Bad Moon Books)
SACRIFICE by John Everson (Leisure)
ETERNAL VIGILANCE II: DEATH OF ILLUSIONS by Gabrielle Faust (Immanion Press)
TWISTED LADDER by Rhodi Hawk (Tor/Forge)
VORACIOUS by Alice Henderson (Jove)
THE BONE FACTORY by Nate Kenyon (Leisure)AUDREY’S DOOR by Sarah Langan (Harper)
PATIENT ZERO by Jonathan Maberry (St. Martin’s Griffin)
QUARANTINED by Joe McKinney (Lachesis Publishing)
CURSED by Jeremy Shipp (Raw Dog Screaming Press)

Superior Achievement in a First Novel

THE BLACK ACT by Louise Bohmer (Library of Horror)
BREATHERS by S. G. Browne (Broadway Books)
SLAUGHTER by Marcus Griffin (Alexandrian Archives Publishing)
THE DEAD PATH by Stephen M. Irwin (Hachette Australia)
SOLOMON’S GRAVE by Daniel G. Keohane (Dragon Moon Press)
DISMEMBER by Daniel Pyle (Wild Child)
THE FOREST OF HANDS AND TEETH by Carrie Ryan (Delacorte Press/Random House)
DAMNABLE by Hank Schwaeble (Jove)
THE LITTLE SLEEP by Paul Tremblay (Henry Holt)
SLIGHTS by Kaaron Warren (Angry Robot)

Superior Achievement in Long Fiction

THE HUNGER OF EMPTY VESSELS by Scott Edelman (Bad Moon Books)
ROT by Michelle Lee (Skullvines Press)
THE GRAY ZONE by John R. Little (Bad Moon Books)
THE LUCID DREAMING by Lisa Morton (Bad Moon Books)
BLACK BUTTERFLIES by Kurt Newton (Sideshow Press)
DOC GOOD’S TRAVELING SHOW by Gene O’Neill (Bad Moon Books)
LITTLE GRAVEYARD ON THE PRAIRIE by Steven E. Wedel (Bad Moon Books)
MAMA FISH by Rio Youers (Shroud Publishing)

Superior Achievement in Short Fiction

NUB HUT by Kurt Dinan (Chizine)
ONE MORE DAY by Brian Freeman (SHIVERS V)
WHERE SUNLIGHT SLEEPS by Brian Freeman (Horror Drive-in)
THE OUTLAWS OF HILL COUNTY by John Palisano (Harvest Hill)
IN THE PORCHES OF MY EARS by Norman Prentiss (PS Publishing)
THE NIGHT NURSE by Harry Shannon (Horror Drive-in)

Superior Achievement in Anthology

HARLAN COUNTY HORRORS edited by Mari Adkins (Apex Publications)
MIGHTY UNCLEAN edited by Bill Breedlove (Dark Arts Books)
LOVECRAFT UNBOUND edited by Ellen Datlow (Dark Horse Books)
POE edited by Ellen Datlow (Solaris)
DARK DELICACIES 3: HAUNTED edited by Del Howison and Jeff Gelb (Running Press)
BUTCHER SHOP QUARTET 2 edited by Frank J. Hutton (Cutting Block Press)
BRITISH INVASION by Chris Golden, Tim Lebbon and James Moore (Cemetery Dance Publications)
MIDNIGHT WALK edited by Lisa Morton (Dark House)
GRANTS PASS edited by Amanda Pillar and Jennifer Brozek (Morrigan Books)

Superior Achievement in a Collection

SHARDS by Shane Jiraiya Cummings (Brimstone Press)
MARTYRS AND MONSTERS by Robert Dunbar (DarkHart Press)
DARK ENTITIES by David Dunwoody (Dark Regions)
GOT TO KILL THEM ALL AND OTHER STORIES by Dennis Etchison (Cemetery Dance)
SHADES OF BLOOD AND SHADOW by Angeline Hawkes (Dark Regions Press)
UNHAPPY ENDINGS by Brian Keene (Delirium Books)
YOU MIGHT SLEEP… by Nick Mamatas (Prime)
A LITTLE HELP FROM MY FIENDS by Michael McCarty (Sam’s Dot)
A TASTE OF TENDERLOIN by Gene O’Neill (Apex Book Company)
IN THE CLOSET, UNDER THE BED by Lee Thomas (Dark Scribe Press)

Superior Achievement in Nonfiction

WRITERS WORKSHOP OF HORROR by Michael Knost (Woodland Press)
ESOTERIA-LAND by Michael McCarty (BearManor Media)
MORBID CURIOSITY CURES THE BLUES edited by Loren Rhoads (Simon & Schuster)
CINEMA KNIFE FIGHT by L. L. Soares and Michael Arruda (Fearzone)
STEPHEN KING: THE NON-FICTION by Rocky Wood and Justin Brook (Cemetery Dance)

Superior Achievement in a Poetry Collection

DOUBLE VISIONS by Bruce Boston (Dark Regions)
NORTH LEFT OF EARTH by Bruce Boston (Sam’s Dot)
MORTICIAN’S TEA by G. O. Clark (Sam’s Dot)
STARKWEATHER DREAMS by Christopher Conlon (Creative Guy Publishing)
VOICES FROM THE DARK by Gary William Crawford (Dark Regions)
BARFODDER by Rain Graves (Cemetery Dance)
GRAVE BITS by Todd Hanks (Skullvines Press)
TOWARD ABSOLUTE ZERO by Karen L. Newman (Sam’s Dot)
CHIMERIC MACHINES by Lucy A. Snyder (Creative Guy Publishing)

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Walking the Tree

I am now holding Walking the Tree. It’s here, it’s done and it is absolutely gorgeous.

Ican now let on the secret about this book.

I wrote it twice. Once from the point of view of Lillah, the teacher and main character. Once again from the point of view of Morace, the student and other main character. You can read why over at the Angry Robot Blog. Basically, I felt Morace’s voice so strongly I wanted to tell his story as well. I also loved the idea of publishing an adult and children’s version of the same book at the same time.

Writing Walking the Tree from a second point of view helped me write the final draft of the adult version. Interesting to see things from a different perspective. It helped me see logical flaws, character inconsistencies and parts which didn’t fit. It also helped me understand both the characters better and to build Morace’s character into someone you will hopefully care about.

My son has read Morace’s Story. He was nervous at first, because I’ve told him about the sorts of things I write and he was worried it would give him nightmares.  There is some stark imagery and some frightening things, but he says he is nightmare free!

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