Archive for the ‘Review’ Category


A couple of new reviews for Slights.

Mark Deniz at Beyond Fiction recently re-published The Blue Stream, my second story in print and one I’m inordinately proud of. He reviews Slights here.

Gnostalgia is a very interesting review and commentary site, and Barry gives Slights 5 out of 5!

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Slights review

One of the things I love about reading reviews of my books and stories is the different things people pick up on.

Poppet, who reviews Slights at her website Poppet’s Planet, says this:

“….One in particular is a metaphor including a see-saw. You cannot find balance unless you work with the person on the other side. Always pushing up when you’re on the bottom. You can’t focus on just one end, because that process doesn’t work if you’re alone.”

Poppet’s talking about a couple of parts of the book. One is a memory of early childhood

Somewhere at the back was a see-saw; I can remember playing on it for a short while. I found it so boring, just up, down, up, down, nothing to look at but Peter’s silly face.

He loved going up, didn’t like going down.

“Going up you might be able to fly, you can lift your arms and might be a bird. Going down you land with a bump or squash your legs, and then you have to push up again.” I watched his face, swapping joy for anticipation and I was only three, I copied him.

and the other has Stevie’s brother, Peter, a motivational speaker, use this childhood experience in his lectures:

Peter used his childhood experience with our see-saw as an analogy, a motivational tool for stirring people to action. He honed it over the years, though he never mentioned me. I don’t know who people pictured on the other side of the see-saw. A best friend, uncle, cousin, a different kind of sibling perhaps. I think his analogy failed there; he should have talked about balance, how good comes with bad, work comes with rest, and these things occur because there is another person on the other side of the see-saw.

He said, on the rostrum, “I like to go up, not so much to go down. But even going down is good, because it is the push which helps us reach the top.”

I love that Poppet has commented on this, because to me it shows a deeper part of Stevie’s nature, and I’m glad she noticed!

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Review and Interview

Martin Livings, author of  ‘Carnies’ (one of a dozen or so books I’m saving for my journey home to Australia) has posted a review of ‘Slights’ at the ASif (Australian SpecFic In Focus) website.

It’s another thoughtful and honest review.


I also have an interview up at inTrouble. This is a print mag now online. It’s edited by Steve Proposch, who edited two early stories of mine (“A Positive” and “The Hanging People”) and whom I credit with helping me continue as a writer. He was so encouraging early on, believing in me right from the start.

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Harry Markov at Temple Library Review has posted a spooky short interview series, asking horror writers about their early scares. I’m there talking about “The Shining”, but more about the night I first saw it.


Also, Richard Larson has posted a thoughtful review of “Slights” at Strange Horizons.

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Colin Harvey, Angry Robot Author, whose novel “Winter Song” is out now, reviews Slights at his Suite 101 site. Colin liked the way I tell part of the story in marginalia in library books. I talk about the books I deface at my live journal, starting at this page.

Jeff Ritchie, over at ScaryMinds, is very complimentary about “Slights”. I like that he’s picked up on a couple of small details in the book; I love it when that stuff works!

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Reviews and an interview

Danielle at Opinionated? Me? has posted a review and an interview. She asked a lot of questions about ‘Slights’, detailed ones I really had to think about. The only one which really stumped me was the one about expanding on any Australian cultural things other readers might not understand. It’s hard to know this from the inside, so please let me know if there is any Australian stuff I can kindly explain!

It’s a bit like a few of the scenes in the movie ‘Crocodile Dundee’. One in particular, where Dundee climbs over the heads and shoulders of commuters in a crowded train station to get to his girl. This reminds Australians (and probably New Zealanders) of a sheep dog running over the backs of the sheep to get to the other side, but I don’t know how the joke translated elsewhere!

Lauren Beukes and I are both reviewed at slowhub. This one made me think a lot, because the blogger ends with this:

[Those with mental health issues should be cautious in approaching this emotionally potent novel. Also, not recommended for children or adolescents]

I do wonder how the book might affect vulnerable people at an emotional level. I don’t intend Stevie’s actions to be admirable in any way. But I did try to write from a position of understanding. I wanted to normalise her and make the reader, while not on her side, be WITH her. To understand that there is much underlying why she does what she does.

I’m happy with the warning. I think it makes things clear as to what might be inside the covers. Although I do know at least two teenagers who love the book.

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Robert Freeman Wexler and me, online, talking, over at GenreVille TV! Rose Fox and Josh Jasper interviewed us after dinner, so I felt relaxed. Not too relaxed, I hope!

Also,  Jeff Ritchie over at Scary Minds has posted an incredible review of my short story collection, The Grinding House. He found a copy at his local bookshop when he went in to buy Slights! I thought they were all gone! The Glass Woman, the North American edition is available at Amazon.

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Harry Markov at Temple Library Reviews has written an incredible review of Slights. Really gives me chills to think that my book is affecting people in this way.

For all those in the New York area, make sure you come see me read at the KGB Bar on Wednesday night.  We all go out for a meal afterwards. I’m looking forward to a night out on the town!

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One of the inspirations for “Slights” was the Bhagavad Gita. I read that book when I was young. Well, I didn’t read it; I looked at the pictures. Especially the pictures of hell. An alcoholic in a bar having molten lead poured down tjhis throat. An adulterous woman, her diaphanous gown in rags about her, being menaced by a terrifying demon.

All drawn in the some loving detail as was Krisna and Rhadarani, and the cowgirls.

The images have stayed with me. I couldn’t find any on the ‘net, and my copy of the Bhagavad Gita is in storage. But I was always fascinated with idea that we all create our own hell through our own actions.

Joanne at The Book Zombie reviews “Slights” and she found this idea intriguing. This is another thoughtful and intense review.

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Charles Tan at Bibliophile Stalker, has posted his review of “Slights”. Charles runs an interesting and informative site with links to Speculative Fiction happenings around the world.

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