Tuesday Toot – Lee Battersby

Tuesday Toot is a semi-regular feature here at The Word. An invite-only series of short posts where writers, editors, booksellers and other creatives have been asked to share their stuff and toot their own horn. It’s hard to be seen in the digital morass and hopefully this occasional segment will help some of the quality stuff out there get noticed. It should all be things that readers of The Word will find edifying.

This weeks it’s Angry Robot Open Door Month survivor, Lee Batterby.

Who is Lee?

Lee is the author of over 70 stories in Australia, the US and Europe, with appearances in markets such as “Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror”, “Year’s Best Australian SF & F”, and “Writers of the Future”. A collection of his work, entitled “Through Soft Air” from Prime Books. He’s taught at Clarion South and developed and delivered a six-week “Writing the SF Short Story” course for the Australian Writers Marketplace. His work has been praised for its consistent attention to voice and narrative muscle, and has resulted in a number of awards including the Aurealis, Australian Shadows and Australia SF ‘Ditmar’ gongs.

He lives in Mandurah, Western Australia, with his wife, writer Lyn Battersby, and an increasingly weird mob of kids. He is sadly obsessed with Lego, Nottingham Forest football club, dinosaurs and Daleks. He’s been a stand-up comic, tennis coach, cartoonist, poet, and tax officer in previous times, and he currently works as Arts Officer for a local council, where he gets to play with artists all day. All in all, life is pretty good.

CRKWhat are you tooting?

This is the cover to my upcoming novel ‘The Corpse-Rat King’, via Angry Robot Books. It’s been designed by Nick Castle, of Nick Castle Designs, and is, in my prejudiced view, completely bloody lovely. The novel itself follows Marius dos Hellespont, a professional thief, conman and looter of battlefields, as he is despatched by the denizens of the Underworld to recruit a King for the Dead. There’s been a terrible mix-up, you see, and they thought *he* was the King, and once they realised their mistake, well, they weren’t going to blame themselves, were they? The dead need a King– the King is God’s representative on Earth, and they need him to remind God that they’re still down here, waiting for admission into the afterlife. Faced with his mission, Marius does the only reasonable, sane thing possible: runs for his freaking life. Or death. He’s not quite sure which, yet.

The book is. I hope, a romp, by turns dark, funny, horrific, and darkly horrifically funny. Not to mention that everybody says ‘fuck’ a lot and there’s a lot of gross corpse jokes. It’s a survivor of the first Angry Robot Open Submission month, where over 980 submitted manuscripts where whittled down to just 3 sales, and is on sale come September, with its sequel, ‘Marching Dead’ hitting shelves in 2013. But really, if that cover doesn’t get you hot, what more can I do?

I have to say, that is one sweet cover. I’ve read a number of Lee’s short stories and I’m really looking forward to The Corpse-Rat King. Congratulations to Lee on getting noticed among a thousand hopeful novelists. – Alan


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