Conflux 11 in Canberra this weekend

Conflux-11-300x93I have a soft spot for the Conflux convention in Canberra. It’s on every year over the October long weekend and I haven’t missed one for years. It was the first SFF convention I attended and it’s always one of the best.

This year I can only make it for one day, sadly, but I will be there all day on Sunday. I’m on two panels:

2.30pm – “I felt that!” Vivid prose, wherein I’ll be talking about descriptive writing with Debbie Richardson, Shauna O’Meara and Leife Shallcross.

3.30pm – Dystopian Fiction, wherein I’ll be moderating on the subject with Cat Sparks and Shauna O’Meara.

Otherwise I’ll be around and about all day. The whole con runs from Friday to Monday at the Novotel Canberra, and there’s loads of great stuff happening. So get along there and be sure to come and say hi!


St Alban’s Writers’ Festival a great success

A shot across St Alban's.
A shot across St Alban’s.

I had a wonderful time this past weekend at the inaugural St Alban’s Writers’ Festival. It was held in the remote(ish) St Alban’s village, on the banks of the MacDonald River in NSW. So remote there was no phone service – it was like being a caveman, with only occasional spots of wifi scattered here and there. Honestly, I thought we were going to have to hunt our own mammoth for food. But it was pretty cool to be removed from everything except the Festival, and that was only one of its charms.

Pierre Stockx
Pierre Stockx

I was very kindly hosted by a fellow called Pierre Stockx, who put me up in his guest room on a 160 acre beef cattle farm. He was the consummate host and made me fry-ups both mornings. You can’t ask for a better billet than that.

Everything was expertly managed by Catherine du Peloux Menagé and her tremendous team. The panels and events were varied and interesting and, as far as I can tell, everything ran like clockwork. I was on a panel about speculative fiction with Traci Harding, Bruce McCabe and Mitchell Hogan, where we established ourselves as the “What if?” crowd. I like that description of spec fic writers – it makes us sound kind of important.

The "What If?" crowd.
The “What If?” crowd.

One of the highlights for me was the opening on the Saturday morning where they arranged a Welcome to Country smoking ceremony, conducted by Col Lyons, an indigenous local. It was a spinetingling moment as the smoke was climbing out of the valley and the didgeridoo and clap sticks were echoing back off the sandstone walls. St Alban’s is on Darkinjung land.

Col Lyons (in the yellow shirt) doing the Welcome to Country smoking ceremony.
Col Lyons (in the yellow shirt) doing the Welcome to Country smoking ceremony.

Another high point for me was a panel on crime fiction with Michael Robotham, Barry Maitland, Nigel Bartlett and P M Newton. It was a fascinating discussion of process and method, but the best bit for me was when an audience member asked if writing crime was adding to the social phenomenon of “crime hysteria” in the mainstream media. Michael Robotham’s answer was brilliant, wherein he suggested that crime writers are no different to people writing ghost stories, tapping into primal fears in order to examine those fears. Then he said, to paraphrase, that maybe people shouldn’t ask why people write crime but why readers read it. Great answer.

Keep an eye here for future festivals:


Bloodlines cover and ToC revealed

I was saying on Twitter recently how stories are like buses – none for ages, then three come at once. I mentioned the SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest and Blurring The Line stories in the previous post. Now I can talk about the next one. My short dark urban fantasy yarn, “Old Promise, New Blood”, is in the Bloodlines anthology from Ticonderoga Publications, edited by the amazing Amanda Pillar. I’ve already mentioned this, but now we have a cover too (see below). Pretty damn fine, don’t you think? Designed by awesome artist Kathleen Jennings, who also has a story in the book. Multi-talented! The full Table of Contents accompanies the cover below, followed by some launch information. You can pre-order now right here:

Bloodlines-cover-1aBloodlines, the new non-traditional dark urban fantasy anthology edited by the award-winning Amanda Pillar. These 16 incredible original stories are:

  • Joanne Anderton “Unnamed Children”
  • Alan Baxter “Old Promise New Blood”
  • Nathan Burrage “The Ties of Blood, Hair and Bone”
  • Dirk Flinthart “In The Blood”
  • Rebecca Fung “In the Heart of the City”
  • Stephanie Gunn “The Flowers That Bloom Where Blood Touches Earth”
  • Kelly Hoolihan “The Stone and the Sheath”
  • Kathleen Jennings “The Tangled Streets”
  • Pete Kempshall “Azimuth”
  • Martin Livings “A Red Mist”
  • Seanan McGuire “Into the Green”
  • Anthony Panegyres “Lady Killer”
  • Jane Percival “The Mysterious Mr Montague”
  • Paul Starkey “The Tenderness of Monsters”
  • Lyn Thorne-Adder “Lifeblood of the City”
  • S. Zanne “Seeing Red”

Bloodlines will be available in mid-October 2015 and can be pre-ordered at Bloodlines will be available in hardcover, trade paperback, and ebook.

Attendees of Conflux, in Canberra 2-5 October will be treated to the first look at this book, at a launch on 3 October. The rest of the world can experience this fantastic collection at World Fantasy Convention 2015.

SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest & Blurring The Line

Cohesion Press are a relatively new Australian publisher (a couple of years old now) who are already doing absolutely amazing things. They put out books of fantastic quality, packed to the gills with amazing stories from talented authors. And somehow I’ve managed to get myself included among that stellar company in two new releases out now. One is the next in their line of military horror anthologies, known as the SNAFU series. SNAFU is a military acronym for Situation Normal, All Fucked Up. The latest in the series is SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest (edited by Geoff Brown and A J Spedding), and it includes my novelette, “In Vaulted Halls Entombed”. The other volume out for pre-order now is an anthology of horror stories following the very open theme of Blurring The Line (edited by Marty Young), which is also the anthology’s title. And that one includes my story, “How Father Bryant Saw The Light”.

SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest is out now in print and ebook, including limited edition hardback. Blurring The Line is available for ebook pre-order now and will ship in a few weeks. Print will follow very close behind. Both books have an amazing line-up of contributors, which you can find below. It’s particularly humbling for me to be a in a book with Tom Piccirilli, who died this year after a long war with cancer. Tom is an incredible writer and you really should check out his work. To be in a book with him is a real honour.

Everything you need to know about SNAFU: Survival of the Fittest, including links to buy it, you can find here.

Everything you need to know about Blurring The Line, you can find here – and you can pre-order that on Kindle here. Print, including limited edition hardback, will be available very soon. Watch the Cohesion Press website for that stuff. Keep an eye on my Facebook page or Twitter too, as I’ll post links to all that stuff as it becomes available.

And incidentally, how fucking awesome are both those covers below? I love them. Full Table of Contents for each book follows.

12003146_879319075487621_892517258321694034_nBlurring The Line

Introduction – Marty Young
“Our Doom is Nigh” – Tom Piccirilli
Blurring the Line (non-fiction)
“Woolen Shirts and Gum Boots” – Lisa Morton
“Clown’s Kiss” – Tim Lebbon
Seeing is Believing (non-fiction)
“Empty Cars” – Lia Swope Mitchell
“How Father Bryant Saw the Light” – Alan Baxter
Candlelight and Circles (non-fiction)
“The Good Work” – James Dorr
“Fearful Asymmetries” – Peter Hagelslag
Big Brother is Watching (and Predicting) You (non-fiction)
“1-2-3 Red Light” – Gregory L. Norris
“Miskatonic Schrödinger” – Steven Lloyd Wilson
Monsters Don’t Exist (non-fiction)
“Old Green Eyes” – James A Moore
“A Peripheral Vision Sort of Friend” – Alex C. Renwick
The Undiscovered Supernatural (non-fiction)
“Consorting with Filth” – Lisa Hannett
“Hoarder” – Kealan Patrick Burke
Human Monsters (non-fiction)
“With These Hands” – Brett McBean
“The Body Finder” – Kaaron Warren
Building Frankenstein’s Monster (non-fiction)
What’s A Monster without Resurrection? (non-fiction)
“Salt on the Tongue” – Paul Mannering
“Every Time You Say I Love You” – Charles L Grant
“Honey” – Annie Neugebauer
The Voices Told Me To Do It (non-fiction)
“Distorted and Holy Desire” – Patricia J. Esposito
“Nita Kula” – Rena Mason

snafunotwonojosephSNAFU: Survival of the Fittest

“Badlands” – S.D. Perry
“Of Storms and Flame” – Tim Marquitz & J. M. Martin
“In Vaulted Halls Entombed” – Alan Baxter
“They Own the Night” – B. Michael Radburn
“Fallen Lion” – Jack Hanson
“Sucker of Souls” – Kirsten Cross
“Cold War Gothic II: The Bohemian Grove” – Weston Ochse
“After the Red Rain Fell” – Matt Hilton
“The Slog” – Neal F. Litherland
“Show of Force” – Jeremy Robinson & Kane Gilmour

Goodreads Giveaways – Signed RealmShift and Signed Bound

I decided it was time to give away some free books. Goodreads is a great place, and perfect for this sort of thing, so check it out now for your chance to score a signed copy of RealmShift and/or a signed copy of Bound. Honestly, if the same person wins both I’ll be a bit suspicious of the Goodreads algorithm, but it could happen. The giveaways are open to anyone in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, the US and Canada.

All you have to do to get involved is go to Goodreads (links below) and click the Enter Giveaway button. Add the books to your shelf while you’re there, if you like. Here are the direct links:

RealmShift –

Bound –

Both are open until the end of September, so plenty of time to join in. Please feel free to share this post around so everyone can have both direct links. And good luck!