Anthology

From Stage Door Shadows

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September 3, 2012

FSDS300HIGH 187x300 From Stage Door ShadowsI’m very pleased to have a story in this anthology, which is launching very soon. It’s a cool concept, from editor Jodi Cleghorn. She puts together these Literary Mix Tapes anthologies, which are all heavily based on music. In this case, each contributing author got a line from the Elton John song “Tiny Dancer”. Short speculative fiction stories were written using those lines as a prompt.

My story is called “Fear Is The Sin” based on the song lyric, “Jesus freaks, out in the street.” Here’s the full blurb:

Editor: Jodi Cleghorn
Original Artwork: Blake Byrnes
Cover Design: eMergent Publishing
ISBN: 978-­0-­9871126-­8-­2 (paperback)
978‐0‐9871126‐9-‐9 (eBook)

Twenty-­six authors trade Tiny Dancer’s California-­blessed lyrics for the shadowed recesses of stages large and small in From Stage Door Shadows, a speculative fiction homage to the darkness just beyond the limelight of the entertainment industry.

The stories re‐introduce the women Benny Taupin wrote about and Elton John sang about: blue jean baby, LA lady, the band’s seamstress, the music man’s wife and the girl dancing in the sand, along with a stellar cast of musicians, singers, thespians, fans, managers, dancers, DJs, magicians, talent show contestants, stars and has-­beens.

From vaudeville to opera, piano bar and street corner, hotel suite and beauty pageant, From Stage Door Shadows is a backstage pass to where dreams of fame, fortune and fulfillment live and die in a heartbeat.

Here’s the full ToC:

Rites of Spring  – Graham Storrs

Torch song – Andrew J. McKiernan

Fear is the Sin Alan Baxter

Candentia Clive Martyn

Luminaire Joanne Anderton

House of the Cantomancer Jennifer Muirhead

White Poppy Serenade S.G. Larner

Time Signature Melanie Saward

Tiny Dancer Emma Kerry

Sing to Me Laura Meyer

Discovering the Gift – Len Lambert

Indigo Jodi Cleghorn

The Last Illusion – Rus VanWestervelt

Dancing in the Sand Rebecca L. Dobbie

A Perfect Evening Sam Adamson

My Moment Theresa Milstein

Music Box Laura Eno

Open Audition Devin Watson

A Living Doll Monica Marier

The Last of the Undead Beats Daniel Wynne

The Gods Are Just Janette Dalgliesh

The Music Man Lisamarie Lamb

The Colour of Blood Cath Barton

Velvet J.M. Donellan

The Twilight Dream Tom Dullemond

Muted Jessica Bell

The official launch will be at Smith’s Alternate Bookstore in Canberra on Saturday 29th September, as part of Conflux 8. I’ll be there for the launch, so come along and join in the fun if you can.

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A Killer Among Demons from Dark Prints Press

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August 25, 2012

I’m very happy to announce that my short horror/crime story, The Beat Of A Pale Wing, has been accepted by editor, Craig Bezant, for his anthology, A Killer Among Demons, to be published by Dark Prints Press around April 2013.

From the website: A Killer Among Demons aims to encapsulate the deep, intriguing, and twisted tales that arise from the wonderful combination of paranormal/supernatural crime.

I’m very happy to be in this book and trust Craig to put together an excellent selection of yarns. I’ll post more information about it as I learn more. Now please excuse me while I Snoopy dance.

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Anywhere But Earth now available direct from the publisher

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August 11, 2012

abe cover 200x300 Anywhere But Earth now available direct from the publisherYou’ll remember me talking a lot about this book when it was published. I’m very proud to have a story in it – my deep space horror story, Unexpected Launch. And personal bias notwithstanding, I think this is one of the best science fiction anthologies money can buy. It’s a huge book, 728 pages and around 30 stories of excellent science fiction. The range of style and subject included is mind-blowing. It’s great for sci-fi fans and it’s a brilliant introduction for people who don’t read much sci-fi. Editor, Keith Stevenson, has really done an amazing job with this volume.

It includes stories by luminaries such as Margo Lanagan, Sean McMullen, Richard Harland and Kim Westwood, and includes Robert Stephenson’s Aurealis Award winning short story Rains of La Strange.

Anyway, just buy a copy. Or two. You won’t regret it. And now you can buy the print or ebook edition directly from the publisher, Coeur De Lion. Go on, you won’t regret it.

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Tales From The Top Shelf interview

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August 8, 2012

years best fantasy and horror v1 web 200x300 Tales From The Top Shelf interviewTalie Helene has started a thing on her blog called Tales From The Top Shelf, an interview series looking at individual stories from The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror (Ticonderoga Publications), edited by Liz Gryzb and Talie Helene. Why? As Talie says:

…while you may correctly surmise that in the process of editing, I’ve read all the anthology stories over, and over, and over… there’s still a lot for me to learn about them! Because between what we bring as readers, and a writer’s intentions – that spooky space of story is mysterious and always open to interpretation.

I’m lucky enough to be first cab off the rank in this new series, talking about my story, The King’s Accord, which was reprinted in The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2010.

Talie asks some great questions, about the story itself and about the themes explored in the story, the nature of fantasy and horror as genres and much more. It’s a good piece – you can find the whole thing here. Check it out.

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Bloodstones ToC announced, including my story, “Cephalopoda Obsessia”

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July 3, 2012

blood stones web2 Bloodstones ToC announced, including my story, Cephalopoda ObsessiaI’m very pleased that I can finally announce this one. The ever brilliant Ticonderoga Publications has teamed up with award-winning editor, Amanda Pillar, to produce an anthology of myth inspired dark urban fantasy called Bloodstones.  The anthology is loaded with seventeen fantastic tales of monsters, gods, magic and so much more. It’s going to be an annual series, I think, and I’m very pleased to say that my story, Cephalopoda Obsessia, is going to be in this inaugural volume.

My story is the result of a daft Facebook conversation that occurred quite a while ago, about the psychic octopus, Paul. Remember him? He was the one predicting the football world cup results from his tank in Germany. If you want to know just what I did with that unusual character, you’ll have to get Bloodstones and read the story.

Bloodstones will be published in October 2012, in time for Halloween, and will be available in trade paperback and ebook formats.

Pre-orders for the anthology will be available shortly from Ticonderoga’s online shop at indiebooksonline.com, and on release from internet bookstores such as Barnes and Noble, The Book Depository, amazon.com, and anywhere good books are found.

And I have to say, I’m in some stellar company in the book. Ticonderoga today released the full Table of Contents. The 17 stories are:

  • Joanne Anderton, “Sanaa’s Army”
  • Alan Baxter, “Cephalopoda Obsessia”
  • Jenny Blackford, “A Moveable Feast”
  • Vivian Caethe, “Skin”
  • MD Curelas, “Smoke Gets In Your Eyes”
  • Thoraiya Dyer, “Surviving Film”
  • Dirk Flinthart, “The Bull in Winter”
  • Stephanie Gunn, “The Skin of the World”
  • Richard Harland, “A Mother’s Love”
  • Pete Kempshall, “Dead Inside”
  • Penny Love, “A Small Bad Thing”
  • Karen Maric, “Embracing the Invisible”
  • Christine Morgan, “Ferreau’s Curse”
  • Nicole Murphy, “Euryale”
  • Jessica Otis, “And the Dead Shall be Raised Incorruptible”
  • Dan Rabarts, “The Bone Plate”
  • Erin Underwood, “The Foam Born”

Behold the awesome. Can’t wait to read this one.

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Launching Bread & Circuses

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May 31, 2012

Further to my NatCon update post below, the cat is out of the bag that the reason I’m attending the launch of Felicity Dowker’s debut collection, Bread & Circuses, other than because she’s a very good friend of mine, is because I have the honour of actually launching the book. And that might be the longest opening sentence to a blog post I’ve ever written.

It really is an honour to launch this book and I just got myself a real, actual copy of the thing in the post this morning. Lookit, it’s lovely:

bandc Launching Bread & Circuses

So Sunday 4 until 5pm in the Drummond Room at Continuum 8. Be there!

(I better work on my speech…)

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Damnation & Dames in my sweaty paw

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April 30, 2012

tumblr m39zy1LLHm1rry0wno1 500 Damnation & Dames in my sweaty pawLookit! I got my contributor copy of Damnation & Dames in the post today. It features the story I co-wrote with Felicity Dowker (who you may remember from such posts as the one right before this one). Our story is called Burning, Always Burning and I’m very proud of it. It’s my first published collaboration, and Felicity’s, so it’s a pleasure to not only feature in another Ticonderoga Publications book, but to share that feature with Felicity.

And remember me saying in the previous post about how Ticonderoga are producing some of the best books in Australia at the moment, with some of the best covers? Seriously, check that shit out. That’s another sweet-looking cover. Compared to a lot of stuff coming out these days you could be forgiven for thinking that covers are deemed unimportant and can therefore be bland and unimaginative. But not with Ticonderoga.

I can’t wait to read this book, with sixteen paranoirmal tales from a selection of great authors. It’s available now, from here.

Damnation and Dames (tpb)
[978-1-921857-03-4 ]

edited by Liz Grzyb & Amanda Pillar

The anthology brings you sixteen stories of murder and mayhem, monsters and mysterious femme fatales.

324 pages

  • Lindsy Anderson – The Third Circle
  • Chris Bauer – Three Questions and One Troll
  • Alan Baxter & Felicity Dowker – Burning, Always Burning
  • Jay Caselberg – Blind Pig
  • M.L.D. Curelas – Silver Comes the Night
  • Karen Dent – A Case to Die For
  • Dirk Flinthart – Outlines
  • Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter – Prohibition Blues
  • Donna Maree Hanson – Sangue Sella Notte
  • Rob Hood – Walking the Dead Beat
  • Joseph L Kellogg – The Awakened Adventure of Rick Candle
  • Pete Kempshall – Sound and Fury
  • Chris Large – One Night at the Cherry
  • Penelope Love – Be Good Sweet Maid
  • Nicole Murphy – The Black Star Killer
  • Brian G. Ross – Hard Boiled

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Bread & Circuses available for pre-order

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1
April 30, 2012

bread and circuses web Bread & Circuses available for pre orderMy good friend, occasional collaborator and all-round top wordsmith, Felicity Dowker, has her debut collection of short stories coming out soon from Ticonderoga Publications. It’s called Bread & Circuses and it’s brilliant. I know this for two reasons – 1. Felicity is an awesome writer, so all her stuff is brilliant; and 2. I’ve read all the work included. Yes, even the new, as yet unpublished stories unique to this collection. I know, I’m very lucky. You will be too if you get a copy.

Incidentally, how freaking sweet is that cover? Ticonderoga are producing some of the best books in Australia at the moment and they always have outstanding covers.

Felicity’s work is dark and unrelenting, with delicious stories of revenge and consequence. She mixes the fantastic with the horrific and the mundane with a masterful stroke of beautiful prose. Don’t take my word for it:

“She is one of those rare and talented writers of horror who can creep you out while still making you admire the graceful construction of her prose.” – World Fantasy Award nominee Angela Slatter

“Felicity Dowker is one of the all-too-rare writers who really understands both horror and its appeal. She can show the terrifying aspect of things as outre as enchanted dragons or the zombie apocalypse, or as commonplace as dysfunctional families and the Santa Claus army. To borrow her own words, ‘It hurts, and it’s horrible, and it’s beautiful . . . and we might as well enjoy it’.” – Award-winning Stephen Dedman

The book is available for pre-order now, so go get some. The official launch will be at Continuum in Melbourne in June, so get there too if you can.

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Lots of love for Dead Red Heart

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April 19, 2012

133x200xDead Red Heart.jpg.pagespeed.ic .wniDKuDemx Lots of love for Dead Red HeartYou guys will remember the massive Australian vampire anthology from Ticonderoga Publications called Dead Red Heart. It featured my story, Punishment Of The Sun.

My story got a place in Ellen Datlow’s Honorable Mentions for 2011, and will be listed in Best Horror Of The Year, Volume 4. As if that wasn’t happy-happy news enough for me, Ellen released the full list of 608 recommended stories for 2011 and no fewer than 16 of the 33 stories in Dead Red Heart are on it. Congratulations to editor Russell B Farr for putting together such an amazing book.

So huge congratulations to:

  • Anderton, Joanne “The Sea at Night,” Dead Red Heart.
  • Baxter, Alan “Punishment of the Sun,” Dead Red Heart.
  • Brown, Simon “Thin Air,” Dead Red Heart.
  • Cavalchini, Damon “Renfield’s Wife,” Dead Red Heart.
  • Edwards, Jacob “Behind the Black Mask,” Dead Red Heart.
  • Fay, Joanna “Black Heart,” Dead Red Heart.
  • Gates, Raymond “The Little Red Man,” Dead Red Heart.
  • Hannett, Lisa L. White and Red in the Black,” Dead Red Heart.
  • Hanson, Donna Marie “The Life Stealer,” Dead Red Heart.
  • Ivanoff, George “Vitality,” Dead Red Heart.
  • Jensen, Patty “Quarantine,” Dead Red Heart.
  • Kempshall, Pete “All that Glisters,” Dead Red Heart.
  • Lawson, Chris “Apologetoi,” Dead Red Heart.
  • Mok, Anne “Interview with the Jiangshi,” Dead Red Heart.
  • Slatter, Angela “Sun Falls,” Dead Red Heart.
  • White, Jen “Listening to Tracy,” Dead Red Heart.

And, on top of that, the latest BLACK STATIC magazine (http://ttapress.com/blackstatic/currentissue/) has reviewed Dead Red Heart as part of a big vampire feature. Their reviewer has gone through all 33 stories and had something to say about each and every one. I got to see a preview of the review and this is what the reviewer said about my story:

Genuinely creepy, ‘Punishment of the Sun’ by Alan Baxter has a vampire isolated by his kind at a remote farming station, and the family slowly realising that they are prey, the sense of menace and gradual, mounting terror put over well.

When anything of mine is called “genuinely creepy” one of my demon minions gets a new set of wings.

The reviewer said of the book as a whole:

an overall excellent collection, one in which nearly all of the stories are unusual and offer different slants on the idea of the vampire, while retaining an essentially Australian feel.

So seriously, if you haven’t got it yet, get it now.

And while you’re at it, get yourself on a subscription to Black Static magazine, because that’s one great publication too.

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Some genre news and links

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April 18, 2012

There’s been some interesting bits and pieces cropping up around the web just lately. First off, you may remember I was very pleased to discover that my story, Punishment Of The Sun, from the Dead Red Heart anthology is going to be included in Ellen Datlow’s Honorable Mentions that will be appearing in The Best Horror of the Year volume four. The HM stories actually listed in the book are the top fifty from a massive Honorable Mentions list that Ellen compiles. She’s just released the full list of 608 Honorable Mentions, which is the best of what she’s read in 2011. I have no idea how she manages to read so much, but bless her for doing do – Ellen Datlow is an absolute treasure and a giant in her field. The full list of 608 is here. And there’s a lot of Aussies on there.

Secondly, there’s a new genre convention coming. The first one is in Sydney, arranged by the Australian Writer’s Marketplace. It’s called, fittingly enough, GenreCon. From the website:

GenreCon is a three-day convention for Australian fans and professionals working within the fields of romance, mystery, science fiction, crime, fantasy, horror, thrillers, and more. One part party, one part celebration, one part professional development: GenreCon is the place to be if you’re an aspiring or established writer with a penchant for the types of fiction that get relegated to their own corner of the bookstore.

I’ll definitely try to get along to that one, especially as it’s relatively local for me.

Lastly, there’s this: http://www.surveymonkey.com/s/K8YZ2X7

It’s a survey collecting votes for the Independent eBook Award. I’m not really sure what the Award is and I’m having trouble finding out much about anything to do with it, to be honest. But it’s drawing attention, hopefully, to independent and small press publications, which is a good thing. From the site:

Nominations are open to an independent author or independent/small press. For purposes of this award, we are defining a “small press” as follows:

1. Publisher does not charge authors for publication, and is fully responsible for all production of the book
2. Publisher produces fewer than 50 titles a year
3. Publisher is publishing original work, not predominately public domain titles or Private-Label rights titles
4. Publisher is independently owned, not part of a larger corporation.

Authors and publishers are not allowed to vote for themselves and will be disqualified for doing so. They’re trying to make this as transparent and fair as possible, but it will be interesting to see how it all pans out. And yes, for point of reference, my books do qualify under their definition of small press. I really wish there were some further links or references on that survey page, though, so we could find out more about who these people are and what they’re doing. If you know any more, please leave a comment below!

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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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