Something special happened today.

I spent my first day as a Fellow with the Prime Ministers Research Centre at the Museum for Australian Democracy at Old Parliament House, also known as Old Parliament House, an amazing building filled with history, stories, lies, truths, art, tradition and all the trappings of government.

I’m going to be researching the files and archives there, as well as talking to the amazing staff who are stuffed full of knowledge and info. I learned today of a ghost in one of the corner offices, and I have every intention of finding more.

I’m exploring the relationship of Prime Ministers to Australian Artists, while investigating the Underhistory; the stories that lie beneath. I’ll be writing a crime novel (possibly with ghosts) inspired by what I find. I don’t need to tell you how exciting this is. I ADORE the details of history, and finding the hidden stories, the secrets, the ghosts, the truths.

If you’re in town and you’d like a tour of the place, let me know. I might be able to get you in the side door.



I posted at Capital Letters about my prize haul after winning the ACT Writers’ and Publishers’ Award. Thanks to the ACT Writers Centre and to Paperchain Books for making my week a good one!

More Slights

If you’re going to the World SF Convention in London, make sure you get to the Fan Funds Auction. I’ve annotated a copy of Slights, with personal thoughts, input, some deleted scenes, and some of the nastiest recipe cards you’ll ever see. Gillian Polack, the Australian GUFF rep, will have these, along with some very special Story Starter packs I’ve put together. Six only!


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!


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