Monthly Archives: February 2010

New RealmShift review at Horror Bound

February 28, 2010

I was very pleased to read a new review of RealmShift over at Horror Bound today. Among other things, the reviewer said stuff like:

“You’ll be hooked. And then, you’re in for a fast-paced, white knuckle ride.”

“Alan Baxter excels at writing action.”

“All in all, Realm Shift is a worthwhile read. At the very least, you’ll have explained to you, in depth, an interesting theory for why the gods exist. At best, you open this book, and you’ve punched your one-way ticket aboard a runaway hell train on a raucous ride you’ll want never to end.”

Blimey. I’m happy with that. You can read the full review here.


Continuum 6 – The report

February 28, 2010

It’s Monday, I’m feeling sleep deprived and have a sore throat from talking too much. I was clearly at a con this weekend. Continuum 6: Future Tense, in fact. And what a great con it was.

I caught up with many friends and finally met for real some people I know quite well online. It’s always good to put a real human fleshy face to the avatar. On Friday afternoon I caught up with Paul Haines and we headed in to the Con to be interviewed for the Radio National “Book Shelf” program. It was a recorded interview and will be broadcast at some future date – I’ll let you know when I find out. I think we came across as vaguely aware of the subject matter. The interview largely focussed on a panel that Paul and I did with Lucy Sussex on the Saturday called Aussie Horror vs Other Horror. We were basically trying to pin down what, if anything, makes Australian horror unique. There was a lot of stuff postulated both at the interview and on the panel and the final answer is this: dunno, really.

There is definitely uniquely Australian horror when it comes to setting, but is there a uniquely Australian horror trope or voice or subject? Or can any Aussie horror be set elsewhere and not lose any of its whack? The wonderful Kim Westwood was also interviewed about the same thing after us, so hopefully the radio wizards will distill two hours of us all crapping on into a coherent and interesting little piece. We’ll see. Leave a comment if you have any thoughts on the subject.

Saturday at the con was great. The first thing I caught was the Guest Of Honour speech by futurist, Mark Pesce. Seriously, Mark is one smart, funny and interesting guy. (Aussies, you’ll have seen him on The New Inventers). He gave a talk about the nature of human development, the increase in communication, the fact that the mobile phone (which he calls “the device”) has already put us beyond the Schwartzchild radius of a new way of being. I’m not explaining this very well, but I’m not Mark Pesce. You should have been there. My brain was vibrating after his talk, by far the highlight of the entire con for me. Later on that day I sat on a panel about Self-Promotion. I really can’t understand why they chose me for that one, but there you go. Some perceived expertise, I guess. Then it was the Aussie Horror panel.

After that things start to get a bit sketchy. Halinka and I went out to dinner in fine company (Paul Haines, Cat Sparks, Felicity Dowker, Christian Tamblyn) and the drinking started. We dropped back in on the con Maskobalo and there were many costumed fans dancing to the Buffy theme tune. More drinking. We went out again and caught up with our good mate Wayne. After that things are hazy, so I’ll move on to Sunday.

Had trouble getting up on Sunday, can’t think why. Had to check out of the hotel by eleven, then went down and caught the other Guest Of Honour speech from Kim Westwood, author of The Daughters Of Moab. She gave an interesting talk on her writing and within it the exploration of identity and sexuality.

I sat in on other interesting bits and pieces and then I got to share a panel table with both Guests Of Honour (Mark Pesce and Kim Westwood) and m1k3y, and we talked about “Ten reasons why the world should/should not end in 2012″. It was a really good panel and I enjoyed the company. I hope I didn’t hog the chat. It’s a subject I’m really interested in. Apart from my general love of religious mythology and ancient history, the Mayan culture was something I researched quite extensively when I was writing RealmShift. It meant I had that rare feeling of being on a panel and feeling like I actually knew what the fuck I was talking about.

Then I had to leg it right after that panel to catch a flight back to Sydney and then drive home in pouring rain. It seems that I always travel home from cons in adverse weather conditions. The rain even delayed our plane for an hour.

But no matter, a great con, great friends, great times. And I got to meet and be on a panel with Mark Pesce! [nerdgasm]

EDIT: Apologies – post-con mush brain alert! I meant Kim Westwood all those times above when I said Kim Wilkins. Sorry Kims! I’ve corrected the post above.


Continuum 6: Future Tense

February 23, 2010

Continuum 6It’s convention time again. This weekend I’ll be at Continuum 6: Future Tense. Continuum is a Melbourne con that has a cool, intimate vibe. There’s always good people and interesting things going on.

For my part, other than hanging out with friends and hopefully making some new friends, I’ll be on a couple of panels and doing a reading.

Friday arvo I’ll be interviewed with Paul Haines by Radio National for their Book Show program. I must admit, that’s a very exciting turn of events! I’m not sure when the interview will go to air, but I’ll let you know more as I find out.

Saturday afternoon at 4pm I’ll be on a panel with George Ivanoff, Narrelle M Harris and Christian Tamblyn talking about Self-Promotion.

Saturday at 6pm I’ll be joining forces with Paul Haines again on a panel talking about Aussie Horror vs Other Horror, discussing what makes Australian horror unique.

On Sunday at 2pm I’ll be sharing a reading session with Cat Sparks. I’ll read an excerpt from MageSign.

On Sunday at 4pm I’ll be on a panel with Mark Pesce, Kim Westwood and mIk3y debating why the world as we know it should or shouldn’t end in 2012.

So there you go. Not too busy, but a fair bit of stuff happening. There’s also a few other panels that I’m very interested in attending to listen in. You can find the full program for the weekend here. If you can get into Melbourne, come along and join in the fun. Come and say hello if you see me wandering around looking lost.


All 90 Australian SpecFic Snapshots 2010

February 22, 2010

You may remember this post about the Snapshot of me done as part of the 2010 Australian SpecFic Snapshots. It’s basically 5 questions answered by as many of us as the people behind it could find. Mad fools that they are, they managed to find 90 people to interview this year. A truly sterling effort.

You can find all 90 Snapshots linked here, including many far more interesting people than I. Visit Tansy’s site for the links, but below is a list of who you’ll find there:

The Australian SpecFic Snapshot 2010: Marianne De Pierres, Richard Harland, Karen Miller, Margo Lanagan, Ben Peek, Narelle Harris, Paul Collins, Damien Broderick, Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Angela Slatter, Dion Hamill, Garth Nix, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Trudi Canavan, Thoraiya Dyer, Keith Stevenson, Juliet Marillier, Gillian Polack, Jason Fischer, Alisa Krasnostein, Tehani Wessely, Amanda Rainey, Justine Larbalestier, Rowena Cory Daniells, Glenda Larke, Adrian (K.A.) Bedford, Kaaron Warren, Nicole Murphy, D.M. Cornish, Deborah Kalin, Jonathan Strahan, Alan Baxter, Gary Kemble, Lezli Robyn, Kate Eltham, Robert Hoge, Will Elliott, Trent Jamieson, Felicity Dowker, Jack Dann, Lee Battersby, Peter M Ball, Nyssa Pascoe, Lucy Sussex, Andrew McKiernan, Amanda Pillar, Deborah Biancotti, Kim Falconer, Gabrielle Wang, Kim Wilkins, Paul Haines, Karen Healey, Stephanie Campisi, Stuart Mayne, Christopher Lynch, Simon Petrie, Alison Goodman, Russell Blackford, Rhonda Roberts, Ben Payne, Christopher Green, Kylie Chan, K.J. Taylor, Robbie Matthews, Kirstyn McDermott, Russell Farr, Simon Haynes, Kate Orman, Cat Sparks, Sean Williams, Penni Russon, Robert Hood, Tracey O’Hara, Cassandra Golds, Dirk Flinthart, Kathleen Jennings, Tessa Kum, Helen Merrick, Jenny Blackford, Martin Livings, Marty Young, Lisa (LL) Hannett, Nick Stathopoulos, Lorraine Cormack, Edwina Harvey, Ian McHugh, Matthew Chrulew, Shaun Tan.

I know!


Rules for writing fiction from various authors

February 21, 2010

Thanks to Adrian for this one. A couple of articles in the Guardian (UK) about writing fiction. Various authors give their rules for writing well and there’s a lot to be learned from the places several authors cross over in their advice. The article is in two parts:

Part the first.

Part the second.


Damn Wolfman movie ripping off Twilight

February 20, 2010

Yes, you read that right. One of the mailing groups I’m on was shocked by this recently, so I thought I’d share. A young Twilight fan wrote a letter to the website I had no idea there was a Latino Review site, but there you go.

This letter writer does nothing for the reputation of “young folk today”. She’s a die-hard Taylor Lautner fan and quite, quite dumb. Who the fuck is Taylor Lautner? Yeah, I wondered that too. Turns out he’s the guy that plays the werewolf in Twilight. I thought Twilight was all about sexually confused sparkly vampires or something, but apparently there are werewolves too. Anyway, this dumb teenager tries to rip Universal a new one by writing to complain about how they’ve shamelessly ripped off Twlight with this new Wolfman movie. (Yes, the remake of the 1941 movie, The Wolfman with Lon Chaney Jr and several others since).

I’ll just repost her letter in its entirety:

To whom this may concern:

This movie was a complete waste and I feel that it offends ALL Twilight Fans around the world, that including myself. For one, it was a COMPLETE remaking of the Wolf Pack from the Twilight Saga: New Moon. It gives the werewolves a bad name and makes them look like some deformed mutation of a rabid dog. I actually started to like werewolves after seeing Jacob Black and all his awesomeness on the big screen at the movies. That was until I saw your crappy remake of what you call to be a “were wolf”. I don’t see how you live with yourself for making it the way you did. If I made this movie, I would be ashamed to even admit that I owned it. How can a werewolf be killed with a silver bullet? Better yet, have you saw the transformation of the man that is “supposed” to be the wolf? He sits in some chair and his entire body turns in to some mutated freak. If you would watch the transformation of Jacob Black, (Taylor Lautner) he doesn’t come close to looking as fake, cheap and or mutated as the wolf man. You tell me, who looks to be the better werewolf. Your stupid Wolf Movie didn’t even make the top Movie for the charts; Valentines Day WITH TAYLOR Lautner! Get that this is MY oppinion and I felt I wanted to express it because I saw that your email was on your site. I wanted to let you know this is what i thought of the wolf man that sucks.

The Poser of who could never be even if they tried : ” Aka : Rabid poser Werewolf “The Wolf Man”
[She then includes a pic from the new Wolfman movie.]

OR My favorite: Taylor Daniel Lautner aka Jacob Black
[Followed by a pic of a pretty boy and a dog.]


Regards: Kayla Patterson (kayla—-@—–.com) Feel free to reply

And oh yes, they replied. There are over 500 comments and a lot of those are from idiots too. The letter itself, regardless of the content, hurts my brain. Are they still teaching English in school? Do kids still go to school? I’m guessing this one doesn’t.

Go here to read the whole post, along with Kayla’s pics. Seriously, young people today!


RealmShift and MageSign acquired by Gryphonwood Press

February 18, 2010

I am extremely pleased to announce that my dark fantasy thriller novels, RealmShift and MageSign, have been acquired by Gryphonwood Press in the US. This marks a move from the books being indie published through my own press to being “traditionally” published by a small press in the US that is really going places. They have some great authors and books available, so check them out.

Apart from joining a great stable of authors, I’ll also be eligible to apply for membership of the International Thriller Writers group, as Gryphonwood Press is one of their recognised markets. Interesting turn of events for this little dark spec fic writer.

I’m currently working on re-editing both books for release on April 27th. The books will be taken off the Blade Red Press roster, but there are still some copies available from the short print run that was done here in Australia. Gryphonwood are happy for me to sell those on until the stock is sold out. I’ll be running a special offer on those to coincide with the April 27th Gryphonwood release.

So yeah, can I get a “Woo” with a big old “HOO”?


Twitter sci fi geekery

February 18, 2010

I love Twitter. The things that happen there are great, especially when the big stars show themselves up to be geeks like the rest of us. A conversation between Simon Pegg and Nathan Fillion this morning cracked me up. For those not versed in geekery, Simon Pegg is the British comic genius behind TV shows like Spaced and movies like Shaun Of The Dead and Hot Fuzz. He was most recently in Star Trek, playing Scottie.

Nathan Fillion has been in numerous TV and movie roles, currently in Castle, but most famous (in geekdom) for playing Mal, the Captain of the Serenity in Joss Whendon’s series, Firefly.

On Twitter today:

@simonpegg I’m calling you out @NathanFillion. Your spaceship vs my spaceship. Last one to the crab nebula gets the beers in. Spacedock, 1 hour.

@NathanFillion Yo, @simonpegg, be reasonable! My ship was a filming set, while the Enterprise is obviously real. Perhaps a drinking contest?

@simonpegg @NathanFillion You’re on. To be honest, somebody keyed my nacelles so the old lady’s in the shop. I’ll get the first round in. Romulan ale?

Heh. Bless ’em.


2010 Snapshot

February 17, 2010

I’ve been Snapshotted. Snapshat? There’s a Snapshot of me. Whatever.

You can find it here.

Basically, it’s an interview that was conducted as part of the 2010 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction, blogging interviews with Aussie spec fic writers from Monday 15th February to Sunday 22nd February. They’ll all be archived at ASif!: Australian SpecFic in Focus. You can read interviews throughout the week at:


And you think spec fic nerds are weird

February 16, 2010

I followed this car into a car park the other day. It had two stickers on the back window. On the passanger side was this:

Likes as in “likes”? And on the driver’s side was this one:

Weird, slightly religious train spotting nerds? Hornby model train nerds? Bizarre, whatever the truth. Makes Star Trek tragics seem relatively normal.



The website of author Alan Baxter

Alan Baxter, Author

Author of horror, dark fantasy & sci-fi. Kung Fu instructor. Personal Trainer. Motorcyclist. Dog lover. Gamer. Heavy metal fan. Britstralian. Zetetic.

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