I’m a very proud member of the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild, better known as the CSFG. I’m proud for many reasons, not least among them the fact that I’m a two and half hour drive from Canberra, but they’ll still have me. Living in the country like I do, it’s difficult to get involved with anything like a writers’ group, so it’s nice that the CSFG extend their welcome to people like myself.
The CSFG is a great and supportive group of people, with regular gatherings, short story and novel crit groups, a very active mailing list and more. And they also have a publishing arm, through which they produce regular anthologies of short fiction. All the anthologies are managed by a slush wrangler, so all the submissions are read blind by the editors, which means there’s no favouring friends or Guild members, as the submissions are open to everyone, Guild or not.
The latest project from CSFG Publishing is the “Next” anthology. Here’s how they pitched the anthology theme:
Sequence. Succession. Cause and effect. Show us what happened. next.
Next suggests ‘change’, perhaps, but it doesn’t have to invoke change, it can simply be an account of cause-and-effect. Soemtimes it’s the absence of change, the sense of inevitability, that gives the story its terrible power and its resonance. Or it might be a rite-of-passage; of invention and exploration; of the testing and transgression of boundaries; or a story laden with doom or hope or just the inevitability of inescapable repetition. Yup, this theme is a theme for all seasons; it’s a cut and come again theme that can mean pretty much whatever people want it to mean.
Today, the CSFG announced the table of contents for the book and I’m very happy to say that my name is among them. It’s going to be a big book, with 30 stories from established names and newbies alike. Here’s the full ToC:
Next Table of Contents (in alphabetical order):
Kris Ashton: ‘The Midway Hotel’
Daniel Baker: ‘Stories in the Square’
Alan Baxter: ‘Quantum Echoes’
Adam Browne: ‘Animal the Colour of Waiting’
David Coleman: ‘Gambler’s Blues’
Craig Cormick: ‘Ned Kelly and the Zombies’
Elizabeth Fitzgerald: ‘Phoenix Down’
Ross Hamilton: ‘When Money Talks’
Richard Harland: ‘Here’s Glory For You’
Edwina Harvey: ‘Next, cried the Faun’
Rik Lagarto: ‘The Wild Hunt’
Chris Large: ‘Girl Finds Key’
Martin Livings: ‘Cause and Effect’
Tracie McBride: ‘Wooden Heart’
Chris McGrane: ‘The Cat and his Zombies’
Ian McHugh: ‘Vandiemensland’
Claire McKenna: ‘The Ninety Two’
Shauna O’Meara: ‘The Dream Tracker’
Robert Phillips: ‘A Dream of Something More’
Gillian Polack: ‘Someone’s Daughter’
Angela Rega: ‘Almost Beautiful’
Nicky Rowlands: ‘On the Wall’
Leife Shallcross: ‘A Little Warning’
Daniel Simpson: ‘Those Days’
Steve Simpson: ‘The Electrician and the Circus’
Helen Stubbs: ‘Casino Five’
David Versace: ‘Imported Goods—Aisle Nine’
Janeen Webb: ‘Hell is Where the Heart Is’
Catherine Whittle: ‘The Room’
Suzanne Willis: ‘Of Starfish Tides’
Editors: Simon Petrie & Rob Porteous
It’s a great cross-section of authors, and there are several names there I’ve never come across before, so it’ll be good to read their work. Out of those 30, there are 11 CSFG members, including myself, which is a good result for the Guild.
The book is scheduled for release at Conflux 9, which is next year’s Australian NatCon, so that should be a lot of fun. When there’s a cover reveal, I’ll let you know.