Fablecroft’s Focus 2014: highlights of Australian short fiction

fablecroftFablecroft Publishing have released the ToC for their Focus 2014: highlights of Australian short fiction and I’m very happy to say that my story, “Shadows of the Lonely Dead” from the Suspended In Dusk anthology, is getting another outing, and in excellent company.

This is the third in Fabelcroft’s Focus series, which each year collect an elite selection of work which has received acclaim via national and international Awards shortlisting. My story won the 2014 Australian Shadows Award for Best Short Story. So you know that every yarn in this book will be great. In fact, I’ve read most of them and I know they’re great!

Here’s the contents:

St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls by Angela Slatter
Wine, Women and Stars by Thoraiya Dyer
Vanilla by Dirk Flinthart
The Legend Trap by Sean Williams
The Seventh Relic by Cat Sparks
Death’s Door Café by Kaaron Warren
The Ghost of Hephaestus by Charlotte Nash
The Executioner Goes Home by Deborah Biancotti
Signature by Faith Mudge
Cookie Cutter Superhero by Tansy Rayner Roberts
Shadows of the Lonely Dead by Alan Baxter

Focus 2014 will be available in September in all e-book formats.

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Punishment of the Sun at Tales to Terrify

tales-to-terrify-logoI’m becoming a bit of a regular at the Tales to Terrify podcast, which is fine with me as it’s one of my favourites. This time, it’s my only vampire story, Punishment of the Sun, which was published in the Dead Red Heart anthology from Ticonderoga Publications in 2011. It also got an Honorable Mention in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year #4 (Night Shade Books 2012) and was on the Recommended Reading List, Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror, 2011 (ed. Liz Grzyb & Talie Helene, Ticonderoga Publications). I’m very proud of this story. I always said I’d never write a vampire yarn – the whole trope has been so overworked that I thought there was nothing else to say. Then editor Russell B Farr put out the call for the Dead Red Heart antho where he wanted distinctly Australian vampire stories. So I saw a challenge there I could rise to. And I’ve subsequently worked over the whole vampire mythology in my own way again in my novels, but not in a really upfront way – more as a small part of the larger supernatural world I explore in them.

Anyway, go and have a listen to the podcast here and be sure to grab a copy of the original anthology here (or wherever you prefer to shop), because it’s bloody excellent. See what I did there?

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Bloodlines table of contents announced

I’m very happy to announce this one, as I’ve been sitting on it for a while. You may remember, if you follow my short fiction writing, that a couple of years ago I had a story in a book called Bloodstones. Published by Ticonderoga Publications and edited by the wonderful and award-winning Amanda Pillar, it got a bunch of award nominations and loads of excellent reviews. It’s a great anthology and you should really check it out if you haven’t already.

Well, Amanda said that Bloodstones was hopefully the first of a series of dark urban fantasy anthologies and now the second one has been announced. Where Bloodstones was an anthology of dark urban fantasy with mythological influences, the new one, Bloodlines, is really embracing its title. Billed as “a non-traditional dark urban fantasy anthology” it will feature tales inspired by blood and blood magic. I’m sure there’ll be a very exciting array of yarns here, because Amanda Pillar is a brilliant editor like that. And I’m very pleased to say that my story, “Old Promise, New Blood”, will be included. Here’s the full table of contents announced today (alphabetical):

  • 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”

That’s a fine line-up of talent right there. I’m sure a cover reveal will be coming soon, and the book is slated for release in print and ebook before the end of this year. Exciting stuff!

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Suspended In Dusk out now

Suspended In Dusk NEWI’ve been really looking forward to the release of this book and it’s finally here in paperback as well as ebook. The ebook has been out for ages, but I saved mentioning it here until the print edition was available too. It contains my story, “Shadows of the Lonely Dead”, which is probably the most personal story I’ve ever written. I drew extensively on my experiences surrounding the deaths of people very close to me in the writing of it. It’s sharing the pages with a plethora of amazing people and I’m sure their stories will be excellent. Here’s the skinny and some sweet blurbs:

“Disquieting and at times terrifying, SUSPENDED IN DUSK shows that horror can, and should, have substance.” ~ Kaaron Warren, Shirley Jackson Award winner, and author of Slights, Mystification, Walking the Tree.

“SUSPENDED IN DUSK offers a delicious assortment of chills, frights, shocks and very dark delights!” ~ Jonathan Maberry, Bram Stoker Award winner and New York Times bestselling author of Fall of Night and V-Wars

DUSK
A time between times.

A whore hides something monstrous and finds something special.
A homeless man discovers the razor blade inside the apple.
Unlikely love is found in the strangest of places.
Secrets and dreams are kept… forever.

Or was it all just a trick of the light?

Suspended in Dusk brings together 19 stories by some of the finest minds in Dark Fiction: Ramsey Campbell, John Everson, Rayne Hall, Shane McKenzie, Angela Slatter, Alan Baxter, S.G Larner, Wendy Hammer, Sarah Read, Karen Runge, Toby Bennett, Benjamin Knox, Brett Rex Bruton, Icy Sedgwick, Tom Dullemond, Armand Rosamilia, Chris Limb, Anna Reith, J.C. Michael. Introduction by Bram Stoker Award Winner and World Horror Convention Grand Master, Jack Ketchum.

And wait til you read that intro. It’s awesome!

Get your copy in print of ebook from any of the usual venues. Amazon, for example. You’ll be glad you did.

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“Not the Worst of Sins” to be included in BCS Weird West e-anthology

It’s always great when a story keeps on giving. I’m always ecstatic when an editor likes a story I’ve written enough to buy it and publish it in the first place. It’s better when good feedback from readers confirm that the story is being enjoyed. Usually that’s about all you can get from a story and it’s more than enough. But every once in a while, one gets another run as a reprint. Year’s Best anthologies are the cream of all reprints, of course, and we all strive and dream of those. But when a magazine publisher collects their favourite stories into an anthology of favourites, that’s just as good.

I’ve just heard from Beneath Ceaseless Skies magazine that my weird west ghost story, “Not the Worst of Sins“, is going to be included in their next e-anthology of favourites. This is the story that was nominated for a Best Short Story Ditmar Award last year, so it’s obviously a yarn that resonates well.

BCS released “The Ceaseless Steam“, an e-book theme anthology of the best BCS steampunk stories and as it’s doing well, they’re doing a reprint ebook anthology of Weird Western stories. And they’re including “Not the Worst of Sins”. So I’ll be over here Snoopy dancing!

The anthology will come out in late April from e-book stores like WeightlessBooks.com and Amazon Kindle store and will coincide with a special Weird West issue of the magazine on April 30. I’ll be sure to let you all know again in April when it’s out.

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