Ticonderoga to publish my first short fiction collection, Crow Shine

crowshine-cover1cSo this is news that makes me happier than a drunk in a brewery. Ticonderoga Publications, one of Australia’s premier presses, is going to publish my first collection of short fiction in September. It’s going to be called Crow Shine, and just look at that amazing cover!

It’s no news to regular readers here what a fan I am of short stories. Ever since I was about 11 years old and picked up a Roald Dahl book called Switch Bitch, expecting something like Charlie and the Chocolate Factory or Danny the Champion of the World and got… well, I got my mind blown. I think the short story and novella are a unique art form, one that is incredibly hard to do well, entirely different from novels, but one that is utterly captivating. They’re something I’ve loved reading, and subsequently writing, ever since I was that wide-eyed eleven-year-old holding Switch Bitch like it was both beautiful and dangerous. Which is was. Which all good short fiction is, hopefully. Like a brightly polished and finely honed knife.

So to be in a position now where a publisher as respected as Ticonderoga are publishing a book collecting the best of my own short stories? My mind is blown again. It’s amazing. Crow Shine will contain nineteen short stories and novellas, and is named after one of the three stories original to this collection. The other sixteen are drawn across many years of my yarns exploring the dark weird fantastic that I love so much. Crow Shine will be released in ebook and papaerback, of course, but also in hardcover and (get this!) Limited Edition signed and numbered hardcover. The Limited Edition will be restricted to 100 copies. Honestly, it just gets better and better, right?

Here’s what editor, Russell B Farr, had to say in the official Ticonderoga Publications press release about the deal:

“Alan Baxter is rapidly becoming one of Australia’s premier dark fantasists, and Crow Shine showcases some incredible work. While his stories can be dark, they also show an incredible respect for the human condition, and each one enriches the reader.”

That’s some sweet praise right there. And thanks to my wonderful agent, Alex Adsett, for brokering this deal. Crow Shine will be launched in early October, so watch this space and keep an eye on my social media to know when things are happening, especially if you want one of those 100 Limited Edition hardcovers.

Now, please excuse me while I Snoopy dance.

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Conflux 12 Guest of Honour!

Now this is a big one! Certainly a career milestone for me, and I’m chuffed to be able to talk about it now: I’m going to be the Special Guest at Conflux 12 in Canberra next year, across the long weekend September 30th to October 3rd, 2016. The official site is here: http://conflux.org.au/

I’m stunned that I’ve been invited to be a Guest of Honour at a con. I’ve always seen it as something famous people do! Conflux was the first convention I ever attended and it’s always had a special place in my heart. To go again in 2016 as the Guest is just mind-blowing. So I hope that any of you who can get to Canberra next year will come along!

The Red Fire Monkey theme should be pretty cool – I’m still not entirely sure what that entails, but I know that among many other things, I’ll be running my Write The Fight Right workshop there. The first place I ran that workshop was Conflux many years ago, so there’s a nice synchronicity there. I need to get myself a Monkey Magic costume organised for the ball.

I’m still pinching myself. More news on all that as it gets more organised over coming months. But put the dates in your diary!

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New story in Review of Australian Fiction

IMG_7187The Review of Australian Fiction is a prestigious bi-monthly electronic publication showcasing the broad plethora of Australian writing talent. It has two stories every two weeks across all genres and styles. It’s really quite a wonderful thing. Now into its 16th volume (with 6 issues per volume) it’s doing very well for itself.

I’m very proud to say that the latest issue, volume 16, issue 3, has a story from me in it. My contemporary Australian horror story, “Reaching For Ruins”, shares the issue with “Only the Moon Rages” by Jarrod Boyle.

My story is based on a couple of real events that I’ve extrapolated into something well beyond real. Or is it..? You can find the issue here for only $2.99:

http://reviewofaustralianfiction.com/issues/volume-16-issue-3/

Or subscribe to RAF for only $12.99 per volume (six issues). You can subscribe here:

http://reviewofaustralianfiction.com/product/subscription/

I hope you enjoy the story!

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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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Some excellent Alex Caine news, but a bit of a wait…

Publishing is a funny old beast. It can be glacially slow sometimes, or it can take unexpected turns. Like the story I sold in 2011 that wasn’t published until 2014. Or the magazine that became an anthology. Or editors spontaneously exploding under their workload. One of these things may not have happened. Or did it?

Anyway, this preamble is leading to some excellent news for people waiting on print editions of the Alex Caine Series in Australia. So far, only book 1, Bound, is in print. However, the others are coming. Next year! The whole series is getting a new set of covers and Bound will be reissued in June, 2016 simultaneously with book 2, Obsidian. And then book 3, Abduction, will be out in September, 2016.

Now, I know waiting another year is kind of a pain, but all three books will be out within a few months of each other then, so you’ll be able to binge read the trilogy. And I can’t wait to see the new covers!

Meanwhile, you folks in the US will get the trilogy sometime around the end of this year or the beginning of next. And the ebooks are out everywhere right now. They’ll see new covers in Aus/NZ hopefully before too long.

So I’m sorry for the wait, but it’ll be worth it!

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