Small Press

Dark Rite out now!

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April 19, 2013

Dark Rite web 186x300 Dark Rite out now!It’s official! Dark Rite, the short horror novel/very long novella I co-wrote with David Wood, is available now! *trembles* You can find it in any ebook format you prefer, DRM-free, from Smashwords, or you can buy the Kindle or print edition from Amazon. Only $2.99 for the ebook and $7.99 for print. How can you possibly go wrong? It’ll be available in all the usual places soon, so watch your favourite store if you prefer to shop elsewhere. If you click on the cover image there, it’ll take you to a page of information about the book with direct buy buttons.

So it’s happy book day to myself and Dave. It’s always very exciting when a new book comes out, and I hope any of you horror fans out there enjoy it. Here’s a few responses we’ve had from early readers:

“Wood and Baxter have delivered a stunning tale that reminds of an early Stephen King’s talent for the macabre with a pinch of Graham Masterton’s flair for witchcraft and terror. A sinister tale of black magic and horror – not for the faint hearted.” – Greig Beck, bestselling author of Beneath the Dark Ice and Black Mountain

“With mysterious rituals, macabre rites and superb supernatural action scenes, Wood and Baxter deliver a fast-paced horror thriller.” – J.F. Penn, author of the bestselling ARKANE thriller series

“Wood and Baxter have taken on the classic black magic/cult conspiracy subgenre, chucked in a toxic mix of weirdness, creepshow chills and action, and created a tale that reads like a latter-day Hammer Horror thriller. Nice, dark fun.” – Robert Hood, author of Immaterial and Fragments of a Broken Land: Valarl Undead

That’s right – Greig Beck said it’s a bit like Stephen King and Graham Masterton. Holy shit, you guys! I think I’ll leave it at that. If you do buy a copy, I’d love to know what you think. You know where to find me.

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Cover reveal and blurb for Dark Rite

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March 29, 2013

Dark Rite 5 186x300 Cover reveal and blurb for Dark RiteI’m very excited about this. David Wood and myself have collaborated on a new novella (almost a novel, in fact) called Dark Rite. It’s coming out in a few weeks from Gryphonwood Press and look at that sweet cover. When my wife saw it, she said, “Ooooh… eesh…” which is *exactly* the reaction I like to hear! When I say it’s almost a novel, it’s actually about 42,000 words, so it’s right at the upper end of novella territory. A lot of the old pulp novels were around the 50-60k word mark. I’m very happy with what David and I have come up with, so I hope readers enjoy it too. Here’s the back cover blurb:

A small mountain town hides a dark secret…

When the death of his father brings Grant Shipman to the tiny Appalachian town of Wallen’s Gap, he believes his biggest problem will be dealing with the slow pace and odd townsfolk. But something sinister is at work. A dark power rises, an echo of the town’s bloody past. A book of blood magic offers an unspeakable horror a gateway into the world of the living, and only Grant stands in the way of their Dark Rite.

And we’ve got a couple of great reactions so far:

“Wood and Baxter have delivered a stunning tale that reminds of an early Stephen King’s talent for the macabre with a pinch of Graham Masterton’s flair for witchcraft and terror. A sinister tale of black magic and horror – not for the faint hearted.” Greig Beck, bestselling author of Beneath the Dark Ice and Black Mountain

“With mysterious rituals, macabre rites and superb supernatural action scenes, Wood and Baxter deliver a fast-paced horror thriller.” J.F. Penn, author of the bestselling ARKANE thriller series

I’ll post again when the book is available to buy. It’ll be available in print and ebook wherever books are sold, and hopefully an audiobook to follow eventually.

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Aurealis and Shadows Awards finalists for 2012 announced

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March 25, 2013

It’s award season again and the first couple of shortlists are out. The Aurealis Awards for fantasy, sci-fi and horror, and the Australian Shadows Awards for horror. All the finalist lists for both of these are really strong – it’s great to see so much Australian talent being celebrated, not to mention how many friends I can count among the finalists.

I’ve posted the full lists for both over at Thirteen O’Clock, so you can see all the Aurealis Award finalists here and all the Australian Shadows Awards finalists here.

Go and make yourself a big old reading list of everything there and you certainly can’t go wrong. Congratulations to all the finalists!

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Urban Occult has landed

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March 15, 2013

IMG 6773 300x300 Urban Occult has landedI got this today, my contributor’s copy of Urban Occult from Anachron Press. It includes my story, A Time For Redemption, about a young university student who discovers an amulet that allows him to stop time. He sees a way to get back with the girl he lost. Of course, it’s not that easy.

I’m looking forward to reading the other stories in this one too. Get your copy wherever books are sold.

“The Fathomed Wreck To See” to be published in Midnight Echo #9

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February 28, 2013

AHWA logo3 copy The Fathomed Wreck To See to be published in Midnight Echo #9I’m very happy to announce that my modern myth-based horror story, “The Fathomed Wreck To See”, will be published in Midnight Echo #9. This particular issue called for horror stories based on a modernisation of any established legend or myth. I won’t spill exactly what direction I took, but it’s a story I’m very of, and I’m really pleased it’s found a home here (with thanks to the Drs Brain for their invaluable help!). Midnight Echo is the official magazine of the Australia Horror Writers’ Association, and one of my favourite publications. It’s a big old glossy magazine, always packed full of excellent fiction, articles, art and more. It’s available in electronic form as well, of course. I was published in Midnight Echo once before, in issue 6, the sci-fi horror special.

Issue 9 already has confirmed contributions from Jonathan Maberry (a Joe Ledger short story), James A Moore (a Jonathan Crowley tale), and Robin Firth (a non-fiction dissection of the myths within Stephen King’s Dark Tower series), as well as the selection of submitted short fiction including my story. The full Table of Contents has yet to be announced, but I’m already excited.

You can learn more about Midnight Echo here, and Issue 10 submission guidelines are already up. Ghost stories!

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It’s Ditmar time again, so get nominating

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February 19, 2013

Firstly, I would direct your attention to this post, which I wrote last year and which is just as relevant now as it was then. Bear in mind that the links in that post are old, so make sure you use the links in this post. Anyway, this post is to point out that the Ditmar Awards are now officially open for nominations and will remain open until one minute before midnight Canberra time on Wednesday, 20th of March, 2013 (ie. 11.59pm, GMT+10). I will list at the end of the post all my eligible work, in case you were thinking of slinging a nomination my way. And, if you weren’t, you can read a lot of my eligible work online, so maybe you’d like to have a read and then sling a nomination my way. I’d be very grateful.

I’ll certainly be thinking hard about what’s moved me this year and making my nominations. You read that post I linked above, right? Well, then you must nominate, just as you must vote. You can nominate work if you’re a “natural persons active in fandom, or from full or supporting members of Conflux 9, the 2013 Australian National SF Convention. Where a nominator may not be known to the Ditmar subcommittee, the nominator should provide the name of someone known to the subcommittee who can vouch for the nominator’s eligibility. Convention attendance or membership of an SF club are among the criteria which qualify a person as “active in fandom”, but are not the only qualifying criteria. If in doubt, nominate and mention your qualifying criteria.”

What does that mean? Well, if you’re even vaguely active in the Australian scene, you can nominate. So get your nominations in!

The current rules, including Award categories can be found at:

http://wiki.sf.org.au/Ditmar_rules

A partial and unofficial eligibility list, to which everyone is encouraged to add, can be found here:

http://wiki.sf.org.au/2013_Ditmar_eligibility_list

While online nominations are preferred, nominations can be made in a number of ways:

1. online, via this form:

http://ditmars.sf.org.au/2013/nominations.html

2. via email to ditmars@sf.org.au; or

3. by post to:

Ditmars
6 Florence Road
NEDLANDS WA 6009
AUSTRALIA

So that’s the official stuff. Now for the personal stuff. As promised, here are my eligible works this year.

Best Novella or Novelette
(Novella or Novelette: A Novella or Novelette is any work of sf/f/h of 7,500 to 40,000 words.)

The Darkest Shade of Grey“, by Alan Baxter, published by The Red Penny Papers.

You can read this entire novelette online for free at Red Penny Papers, or buy it as an ebook for just $1.99. I’m really proud of this piece and it has particular personal resonance for me for other reasons that I won’t go into here. But I would really love to see it get a bit of attention on the ballot. If you nominate nothing else, I’d love you to nominate this one (assuming you’ve read and enjoyed it, of course!)

Then there are my eligible short fiction works. Some of these are available to read online too, so if the title is a link, click it to read it.

Best Short Story
(Short Story: A Short Story is any work of sf/f/h less than 7,500 words.)

“Burning, Always Burning”, Alan Baxter and Felicity Dowker, in Damnation and Dames, Ticonderoga Publications.

“Cephalopoda Obsessia”, Alan Baxter, in Bloodstones, Ticonderoga Publications.

Crossroads and Carousels“, Alan Baxter, in The Red Penny Papers, Fall 2012.

“Fear is the Sin”, Alan Baxter, in From Stage Door Shadows, eMergent Publishing.

“In the Name of the Father”, Alan Baxter, in The One That Got Away, Dark Prints Press.

Salvage in the Void“, Alan Baxter, in Kasma SF Magazine.

“The Everywhere And The Always”, Alan Baxter, in Mythic Resonance, The Specusphere and Esstee Media.

The Goodbye Message“, Alan Baxter, in ticon4, April 2, 2012.

Tiny Lives“, Alan Baxter, in Daily Science Fiction, December 25th, 2012.

I’ve also just noticed that my name crops up in a couple of other places on the eligibility list. So those are here:

Best Fan Writer
Fan Writer and Fan Artist: These awards are made to writers or artists for a work or body of work first published, released, or made available for public viewing in the eligible calendar year. The writer or artist must have received no payment other than contributor copies and other incidentals (coffee mug, t-shirt, poster, etc.)

Alan Baxter, for body of work including reviews in Thirteen O’Clock.

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review
The William Atheling Jr Award: The William Atheling Jr Award is for the writing or editing of a work or a group of related works of criticism or review pertaining to the genres of science fiction, fantasy, or horror.

Alan Baxter, for review of A Haunting of Ghosts by Maynard Sims, in Thirteen O’Clock.
Alan Baxter, for review of Blackbirds by Chuck Wendig, in Thirteen O’Clock.
Alan Baxter, for review of Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark (movie), in Thirteen O’Clock.
Alan Baxter, for review of Dredd (movie), in Thirteen O’Clock.
Alan Baxter, for review of El Orfanto (movie), in Thirteen O’Clock.
Alan Baxter, for review of Ishtar edited by Amada Pillar and K.V. Taylor, in Thirteen O’Clock.
Alan Baxter, for review of Killeroo Gangwar by Darren Close and Paul Abstruse, in Thirteen O’Clock.
Alan Baxter, for review of Mockingbird by Chuck Wendig, in Thirteen O’Clock.
Alan Baxter, for review of Rope by Martin Livings, in Thirteen O’Clock.
Alan Baxter, for review of Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan, in Thirteen O’Clock.
Alan Baxter, for review of The Courier’s New Bicycle by Kim Westwood, in Thirteen O’Clock.
Alan Baxter, for review of The Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines, in Thirteen O’Clock.
Alan Baxter, for review of The List, Volume 1 by Paul Bedford, Henry Pop and Tom Bonin, in Thirteen O’Clock.
Alan Baxter, for review of The Sixsmiths by J. Marc Schmidt and Jason Franks, in Thirteen O’Clock.
Alan Baxter, for review of Vaudeville by Greg Chapman, in Thirteen O’Clock.

I’m not entirely sure why all my Thirteen O’Clock reviews are listed separately, but that’s just how that particular award works, I guess. As they’re on the eligibility list, I’ve included them here.

So there it is. The reason to vote, all the links you need and my work that’s eligible. Here ends the Ditmar Award rant and promotion for now. Like last year’s post says, in order to make this award as fair and relevant as possible, we need as big a nominating and voting pool as possible. So, if you’re eligible, please get involved.

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Urban Occult anthology available for pre-order, with special offer

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February 15, 2013

UrbanOccultEbook Lores 187x300 Urban Occult anthology available for pre order, with special offerMy story, A Time For Redemption, is included in this anthology of urban occult stories. It’s due for official release around the start of April, but the publisher, Anachron Press, is offering a special deal for the first 50 pre-orders that will see you getting more for your buck. Here are the deets:

Urban Occult Limited Pre-Order

Limited to 50.

Behind urban life, weird and horrific things fester.

The whispers and chills of things long gone… the promise of power from the darkness… the seduction of those that lie in the shadows… the occult is all around us: in town houses, in mansions, and in your very own street.

Editor Colin F. Barnes collected together fifteen stories by a cast of critically acclaimed authors from around the globe who look into the stygian gloom, explore the dark corners of our houses, and peer into the abyss of human temptation.

Featuring stories by: Gary McMahon, Ren Warom, Gary Fry, Mark West, K.T. Davies, Nerine Dorman, Alan Baxter, Adam Millard, Julie Travis, Jason Andrew, James Brogden, A.A Garrison, Jennifer Williams, Sarah Anne Langton, and Chris Barnham.

Special Pre-Order Edition Limited to 50.

This pre-order edition means you will get the book at least a week to two weeks ahead of general release and:

A FREE ebook version (for any eReader)

and A FREE ebook of Day of Demons. (eBooks will be emailed to you on the 4th of March).

Just £9.99 (+£2.99 shipping anywhere in the world).

Pre-Order here: http://www.anachronpress.com/product/anthologies/urban-occult-limited-pre-order/

That’s a pretty sweet deal for just thirteen of your moneypounds. Hop to it.

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Dreaming of Djinn cover revealed

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February 1, 2013

dreaming of djinn web Dreaming of Djinn cover revealedCheck out that beautiful cover art, revealed yesterday by Ticonderoga Publications for the new Arabian Nights inspired anthology Dreaming of Djinn, edxited by Liz Grzyb. I am never disappointed with the cover art from Ticonderoga, and they’ve excelled themselves once again. I’m especially pleased as I have a story in this book, due out around April. People are always talking about not judging a book by its cover and, ironically, that applies to pretty much everything except books. It’s right to not judge people by their appearance, for example, or the quality of a home by the building it’s in. But people do, quite rightly, judge books by their covers. That’s what covers are for. They’re the first port of call for a prospective buyer. If the cover looks good, they’ll pick up the book and read the back cover blurb. If that grabs them, they’ll maybe thumb through a page or two. Then they’ll buy the book. If they’re buying on recommendation anyway, the cover is less important, but bad covers still do put people off.

In this day and age of mass production and awful, homogenous graphic art that makes all books look the same, it’s great to see something with some real artistic value and quality design going on. In this case, the artwork is from Ukraine artist, Nadiia Starovoitova, and the design is by Ticonderoga’s own Russell B Farr.

My story in this one is about a young woman with challenges in her life, not least of which being a father who won’t let her grow up. Then she meets someone connected with the Djinn. My story is called On A Crooked Leg Lightly and I’m very proud it was accepted for this book. Look who else is in there:

  • Marilag Angway “Shadow Dancer”
  • Cherith Baldry “The Green Rose”
  • Alan Baxter “On A Crooked Leg Lightly”
  • Jenny Blackford “The Quiet Realm of the Dark Queen”
  • Jetse de Vries “Djinni Djinni Dream Dream”
  • Thoraiya Dyer “The Saint George Hotel”
  • Joshua Gage “The Dancer of Smoke”
  • Richard Harland “The Tale of the Arrow Girl”
  • Faith Mudge “The Oblivion Box”
  • Havva Murat “Harmony Thicket and the Persian Shoes”
  • Charlotte Nash “Parvaz”
  • Anthony Panegyres “Oleander: An Ottoman Tale”
  • Dan Rabarts “Silver, Sharp as Silk”
  • Angela Rega “The Belly Dancing Crimes of Ms Sahara Desserts”
  • Jenny Schwartz “The Pearl Flower Harvest”
  • Barb Siples “The Sultan’s Debt”
  • Pia Van Ravestein “Street Dancer”
  • DC White “A Dash of Djinn and Tonic”

Dreaming of Djinn features 18 incredible tales of romantic Orientalism. The book will be available in April and you can pre-order it here.

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Bloodstones contributor copies arrived

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January 25, 2013

IMG 6287 300x300 Bloodstones contributor copies arrivedLook at this beautiful tome. It’s the Bloodstones anthology from Ticonderoga Publications, edited by the awesomely talented Amanda Pillar. You can tell she’s awesomely talented because she picked one of my stories to be in this book. And all the others, of course. Bloodstones is an anthology of short fiction using unusual creatures, myths and legends in dark, urban fantasy settings. And let’s be honest, that kind of brief is right up my flagpole. My story is called Cephalopoda Obsessia and it’s my little cephalopod overlord homage. I won’t say any more than that.

The book has a great line-up of authors (I’ll post the full list below) and boasts a broad range of subject matter. From the back cover blurb, we’re told we’ll encounter ancient Greek monsters, lamia, gorgons and kraken, as well as the Malay toyol and dukun, Chinese xiannu, Haitian voodoo, ghosts, Cthulhu, selkies and (get this!) the Philippino Alan. That one really has me interested. I mean, I’ll be honest, I have no fucking idea what half the stuff on that list is. But there’s a monster called an Alan? Sign me up!

The forward is by the very talented author, Seanan Maguire, and she says really lovely things about the anthology. Things like, “There was not a story in this book that did not surprise and delight me…” and “…a map to a whole new realm of horror.” Shit, yeah, I like the sound of that. So I can’t wait to get my teeth into this one. You can get your copy from indiebooksonline.com, or all the usual Amazon type places.

Here’s the full list of 17 stories:

  • 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”
  • Kat Otis, “And the Dead Shall be Raised Incorruptible”
  • Dan Rabarts, “The Bone Plate”
  • Erin Underwood, “The Foam Born”

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Wild Chrome by Greg Mellor – review

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January 8, 2013

wild chrome web Wild Chrome by Greg Mellor   reviewGreg Mellor is a relatively new voice in Australian science fiction, but his debut collection from Ticonderoga Publications places him firmly in the upper echelons of SF writers at work today. Wild Chrome is a collection of 21 short stories, ten of them new and original to the collection and the other eleven reprints from such august publications as Clarkesworld, Cosmos, Aurealis and more.

Mellor has a background in astrophysics and is one of those writers who can dream big ideas and back them up with believable and potentially realisable science. His stories play mostly around the ideas of the post-human singularity, the arguably inevitable conjoining of humanity and technology, which opens up all kinds of questions about mortality and our place in the universe.

Mellor manages to keep an entirely human aspect in all his work, however big or deep the subject matter. That is, unless it’s one of his stories from the point of view of an alien species, and then he manages to write a very convincing non-human.

Not every story in this book hits the mark dead on, but all the stories are imaginative and entertaining, really nailing the excitement and wonder that we should expect from science fiction. And some of the stories are nothing less than brilliant. I’m looking forward to anything else Greg Mellor writes, but he’s set himself a high bar with this collection.

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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. Misanthrope. Learn more about me and my work by clicking About Alan just below the header.

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