You may or may not be aware that I’ve had nightmares with publishers lately. Ragnarok Publications, publishers of my Alex Caine books in the US and UK, and Cohesion Press, publisher of Primordial, both ran into trouble. Well, I’m happy to announce that Primordial is back up in ebook and audiobook, with print to come any day now, thanks to Adrenaline Press. And the Alex Caine trilogy has been picked up by the good folks at Gryphonwood Press and all three books should be back up in ebook and print at all the usual vendors with a week or two. And there’s more good news! Gryphonwood Press are also publishing my new standalone novel, HIDDEN CITY, early next year. Best described as urban horror/supernatural noir, I can’t wait for it to be out in the world. Here’s the blurb:
When the city is sick, everyone suffers.
Steven Hines listened to the city and the city spoke. Cleveport told him she was sick. With his unnatural connection to her, that meant Hines was sick too. But when his friend, Detective Abby Jones, comes to him for help investigating a series of deaths with no discernible cause, Hines can’t say no. Then strange fungal growths begin to appear in the streets, affecting anyone who gets too close, turning them into violent lunatics. As the mayhem escalates and officials start to seal Cleveport off from the rest of the world, Hines knows the trouble has only just begun.
So after months of spinning my wheels trying to fix problems, it finally feels like things are moving forward again. Watch this space for updates!
It’ll be no surprise to regular readers that I’m a big fan of authors reminding everyone of what work they’ve produced in any given year. When it comes to awards season and editors considering work for their Year’s Best anthologies and so on, it’s very easy with the overwhelming quantity of work out there to forget things. So it’s good, I think, for authors to make a post to remind people. It’s also a valuable reminder for the us of what we’ve achieved in any given year. So here’s my awards eligibility post for 2017. As it happens, I’ve had an incredibly lean year in terms of short fiction publications, but I’m very proud of the stories and books I have had published. Here they are:
Novel: Primordial, from Cohesion Press. (Currently under re-release with Adrenaline Press.) Click here for details of this book.
Novella: The Book Club, from PS Publishing. Click here for details of this book.
“They All Come Through London In The End”, published in Between The Tracks anthology (ed. Steve Dillon, Ozhorrorcon, April 2017). Horror short story.
“Once Was Lost”, published in Aurealis Magazine #99, ed. Michael Pryor, June 2017. Science-fiction short story.
And that’s it for me this year. If you thought any of these stories were award-worthy and you’re inclined to nominate them anywhere, I can’t thank you enough.
Another of my stories has been narrated as a podcast. This time it’s “Bodies of Evidence” from the In Your Face anthology published last year by Fablecroft. It’s one of my rarer forays into science-fiction, this one a cyberpunk exploration of disability and body modification. Grab the whole anthology if you can, meanwhile you can listen to the podcast of my story here:
I don’t often join in with the memes and stuff that fly around social media, but this one caught my eye, so I decided to have a go. The premise was elegant and simple:
Seven days. Seven B&W photos of my life.
Challenge someone new each day.
I was challenged by my pal, Cat Sparks. I thought I might drop my seven photos here now the week is done, just for posterity’s sake. It was surprisingly challenging. I tried not to think too hard about it, but to capture things that were the major influences and focuses of my life. So the pictures are below in the same order I posted them. I tried to play around with photo dimensions a bit (but most are square as I did the posting via Instagram), and different types of B&W. But in keeping with the meme, I’ll say no more about it. (Click each one to see a bigger version.)
Bonus shot. I realised my seven photos lacked a very important aspect of my life, so this is a bonus 8th photo.
This is something I wrote mainly for myself, as a kind of credo to keep me sane. Then I thought that maybe others would like it, so I made it into an image and shared it through my social media accounts. Now I’m putting it here for safe-keeping. The original “commandments” are below, or you can click on the image for a bigger version of that. Feel free to share this post if it moves you, or you’ll find the image on my Twitter and Facebook pages too.
Ten Commandments for Writers
Thou shalt not covet or decry the success of others.
Thou shalt support and boost other writers as they are allies, not enemies or competition.
Thou shalt always remember that rejection is the default.
Thou shalt always strive to improve thy craft.
Thou shalt not be a precious buttercup about editorial advice.
Thou shalt not deny the role of luck in all publishing.
Thou shalt never respond to reviews.
Thou shalt not spam all thy channels (or other people’s) with BUY MY BOOK! posts.
Thou shalt always remember that no writer ever pleases everyone.
Thou shalt do the fucking work.
This last weekend I went down to the Mayday Hills Lunatic Asylum in Beechworth. I could just leave it there, I know, but I went for a special reason. Asylum Ghost Tour owners and Asylum folk, Geoff and Dawn Brown, had organised an audience with Ellen Datlow and Jack Dann, hosted by Kaaron Warren. A chance to listen to the expertise of Ellen Datlow? A chance to hang out with good pals like Kaaron and Jack, and listen to the their expertise? A chance to hang out with whoever else was there? I was there like a shot. I drove down with Grimdark Magazine editor and all-around great guy Adrian Collins. We had an absolute blast, and did the ghost tour afterwards as well. I also got to meet my AHWA mentee, Silvia Brown, and pals like Gerry Huntman, Steve Paulsen, Matt Summers and others, and of course, to catch up with Geoff and Dawn again. It really was a tremendous time and one of those things that just reinvigorates the urge to write. So I’m off to do just that!
I had an absolute blast at Oz Comic Con in Sydney, the first time I’ve been a guest at that particular event. Huge thanks to Carissa and Rand, and all the best for their future. Big thanks to Kylie Chan, Maria Lewis, Isobell Carmody, Marianne de Pierres, and Queenie Chan for authorly companionship, to all the helpers and staff, and especially to Courtney Laura and Paige Bellfield for giving up their time to help my stand all day each. Such great people. And, of course, to everyone who came by for a chat and bought books.
Until next time!
I’m very excited to be a guest at Oz Comic Con in Sydney from September 30th to October 1st. It’s be my first Oz Comic Con as a guest and I can’t wait. I’ll have heaps of the Alex Caine Series for sale, and I’ll be able to offer the 3 for 2 deal again. That means you can get the entire trilogy, signed and dedicated, for $50. Bargain! I’ll also have a bunch of Crow Shine, Primordial and a few other bits and pieces with me too, but get in quick as I only have a few of some things.
All the details here: http://www.ozcomiccon.com/guests/alan-baxter/
Hope to see you there!
A few weeks ago I went up to Sydney and had a long and very in-depth conversation with James Rickards. It’s a much deeper and more personal interview than most, where James grilled me about all sorts of things writing-related and about my personal life and upbringing. We talk about martial arts and being a victim, bullying, competition fighting and all that stuff, along with my writing process and habits. We discuss life and death and the injustice of nature. We talk about the need to keep moving and how I apply some martial arts lessons to my writing and the genres I write. I also tell the story of how I once met Neil Gaiman before I knew who the hell he was and bought a new comic that had just come out called Sandman. It’s a really cool conversation. James has edited it down to about 47 minutes that can be accessed via the following links:
Listen via Stitcher Radio: http://stitcher.com/s?eid=51175586&autoplay=1&refid=asi_twtr
Listen online via Whooshka: https://player.whooshkaa.com/shows/conversations-with-writers
I’m fortunate to have had two limited edition hardbacks of my work published. One is Crow Shine, my collection of horror and dark fantasy short stories from Ticonderoga Publications in Australia, and the other is The Book Club, a mystery/cosmic horror novella from PS Publishing in the UK. Crow Shine recently won the Australian Shadows Award for Best Collection and was also shortlisted for both the Aurealis and Ditmar Awards. Time will tell whether or not The Book Club garners any awards attention next year. Fingers crossed! Both limited editions are restricted to 100 signed and numbered copies. And both publishers have done an amazing job, producing truly beautiful books. I’m so proud of them. I’m told there are a few of each left, available direct from the publishers. So if you’re keen to grab a copy of either (or both!) while you can, here are the direct links:
Crow Shine from Ticonderoga Publications. (Be sure to use the drop down menu on this page and selected the limited edition.)
The Book Club from PS Publishing. (Be sure to use the drop down menu on this page and selected the limited edition.)
See below, they truly are lovely books. I hope the contents live up to the packaging.