My Neil Gaiman imposter syndrome post gone viral

It’s funny how social media works. The other day a friend on Facebook posted a thing he’d discovered where Neil Gaiman was talking about imposter syndrome. Gaiman explained his own sense of it through an anecdote. I thought it was a great story and it resonated with me. I don’t know a successful writer who doesn’t struggle with that sense of not really being good enough. Of being found out any minute and their career crashing down. Of course, the opposite is the Dunning-Kruger effect and that’s probably never been as clearly demonstrated as it’s being right now by Donald Trump. But back to the Gaiman thing.

Because my friend on Facebook had shared the anecdote in a post set to Friends-only, I copied the text and pasted it into a little image to make a meme of it. I was just noodling on my phone but wanted to share this thing that had resonated so strongly with me. And it turned out to resonate with many other people. At the time of writing this, only a couple of days after posting it, it’s been retweeted on Twitter more than 25,000 times and Liked there more than 40,000 times. It’s been shared from my author page on Facebook more than 14,000 times and reached nearly one and half million people. That’s some insane viral media, but it just goes to show how total this feeling of not being good enough can be. And I’ve noticed that it’s not just among writers – the shares have shown a huge variety of people, demographics and careers. Pretty much any career type you can mention, and even students still at uni, have admitted to the sensation and said how pleased they were to read Gaiman’s story. After all, if it happens to him and the other Neil in that story, it’s pretty normal for anyone, right?

Subsequently, once the thing had started going viral, I went back to check the veracity of the quote. I didn’t care if it was true or not, given the chord it had struck, but I needed to know. I discovered the original story here on Gaiman’s Tumblr.

So what is this story that resonated so widely? Here’s my original tweet that went so bananas.

For a clearer read of the anecdote, here’s the image meme I shared in the first instance – click for a larger version.

And even if the story wasn’t true, let’s not forget this other excellent Gaiman quote, from the Sandman books. (Image snurched from Goodreads, and again, click for a larger version.)

So impostor syndrome is real, y’all. But don’t ever let it stop you.

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Some writing tips

I was recently asked by Lynne Lumsden Green for some writing tips. The Australian Writers Centre runs regular Wednesday night writing races where a Facebook group is set up and people encourage each other for an hour to get some words down. It’s a good way to feel part of a bigger community and get motivated by other people in the same boat as you. And this week, Lynne asked if I’d be a guest writer at the race and throw out some motivational tips to help people along. I was happy to oblige. Lynne put my tips onto some graphic that she posted throughout the horu and I tried to encourage people along too. So I thought I might as well subsequently share those tips on my blog. Here’s what I offered the racers:

In order to be a good writer, you need to read as much and as widely as possible. In your genre and out, fiction and non-fiction.

“Write what you know” is a good idea, but it’s misleading. We can’t know everything, but research is fun! So learn about what you want to write about.

The only rule of writing is this: You must write. When, how much, how often, what about, is all up to you and varies from person to person. Do what works for you.

In the immortal words of Chuck Wendig, “Finish your shit!” And in the immortal words of Angela Slatter, “You can edit shit, but you can’t edit nothing.”*

You can’t write all the time, but you must be a writer all the time. See everything with a writer’s eye. Notice everything.

Don’t write what you think people want to read. Write what you want to read. That’s the stuff you can write best.

Laird Barron said, “The youth I wasted makes me a better writer today.” Remember to live, always. Experience everything you can. It all feeds back into your writing.

*Angela has since informed me that she got that tip from Kevin J Anderson, but I heard it first from Angela, so she gets my credit.

So there you go. Those are things that have helped me along over the years.

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The Book Club – excerpt

Look at this beautiful book! PS Publishing are renowned for making wonderful folio editions and they’ve excelled themselves with this hardcover of my new novella, The Book Club. The artwork is by the insanely talented Ben Baldwin. As you can see, the book is real. That’s a photo of it right there. You can order yours right here. You can also pre-order one of the Limited Editions, which will be signed by me and numbered – only 100 of those will exist, so get in quick. I’m told the ebook should become available any time now, so watch my socials for that news. Meanwhile, I thought I might whet your appetites with a small excerpt. It’s a bit hard to describe The Book Club, but the best I’ve managed so far is to imagine Gone Girl with added weird horror. That’ll get you close.

Here’s the blurb:

Jason Wilkes’s life takes a turn for the worse when his wife fails to come home from her book club. Jason calls Kate’s ‘book buddy’, Dave, who assures him she left hours ago. Contacting the police, Jason finds them equal parts sympathetic and suspicious. He tells them almost everything, except that he’s been hearing Kate’s voice, calling as if from far away. He certainly doesn’t mention that he’s seeing shadows that reach for him.

With the police getting nowhere fast, Jason takes matters into his own hands, even as nightmare images and Kate’s distant cries continue to haunt his waking moments and his dreams, and the strange, grasping shadows persist. Jason begins to unravel the mystery, but he’s at odds with the police, he’s being lied to by Kate’s book club friends, and his chances of finding Kate slip ever further away. It seems that everything is going to go as wrong as it possibly can.

And here’s the opening section:

The Book Club
by Alan Baxter

Wednesday

I did what I suspect everyone does in a situation like this. I waited. Told myself it was all fine, she would be home any minute. Just a little delay. Maybe she had to stop for gas. Sure, at fifteen minutes past midnight on a Wednesday. She was never usually later than eleven forty-five, maybe twelve at the outside.

Perhaps she had a flat. She’d call me any moment, asking for help, and I’d have to wake Molly next door to come in and watch Charlie. We’d laugh about it tomorrow, red-eyed with tiredness over our coffee while our son whooped and cavorted, unaware of bad things that can happen in the world.

By twelve thirty I was getting itchy and rang her mobile a few times. It went repeatedly to voicemail. Off or out of service. So off then, as there wasn’t anywhere around here out of reception range.

As I sat trying to ignore the lead weight of anxiety in my gut I heard her voice call my name so clearly that I stood, relief washing through me, and turned to the door as it swung gently open. But she wasn’t there. Dim hallway and nothing but shadows. She’d sounded almost desperate, far away and close by at the same time, inside my head and out. I must have fallen into a doze while I waited and dreamed it. It had been a long day. But concern soon kindled a deep fear.

At one a.m. I rang Dave, the book club contact. The only number she’d given me. He answered in a voice dense with sleep. “Yeah, hello?”

“I’m really sorry to wake you, Dave. This is Jason Wilkes. Kate’s husband. Kate hasn’t come home. Did she leave the book club okay?”

Dave coughed, cleared a thick throat. “Oh. Kate gave you this number?”

“Yeah, in case of emergencies.” For reasons just like this, you dumb fuck. I bit down on my anger, it wasn’t his fault. “She leave the book club okay?” I asked again.

“Yeah. Yeah, she did. We wrapped up about eleven like normal, usual chit chat. She would have been gone by eleven-thirty.”

“She’s still not home.” I hated the waver I my voice. The little-boy-lost vibration.

“I, er… I don’t know what to tell you. Sorry, dude. Maybe check, you know…”

“Check what?”

“Like, hospitals, police?” He sounded apologetic, as though he himself had mislaid her, and I felt bad for making him say aloud what I knew he meant.

“Sure. Thanks, Dave.”

“No problem. Hey, good luck. I’m sure it’s fine, she got a flat or something.”

I laughed a little too loud. “Exactly what I was just thinking! Thanks.”

“Sure.”

He hung up and I stared at the phone for a solid minute, my mind spinning in neutral. Then trembling set in as I found the numbers I needed. The local hospitals weren’t entirely helpful, citing various codes of privacy, but I managed to establish no one matching my wife’s description had been admitted in the last three hours.

I rang the police in quite a state and the dispatch said they would send someone around as soon as possible.

#

I heard the police car arrive, purring into the night silence, and opened the front door as two uniformed officers walked up the path. A man and a woman, faces soft and friendly, but with a business edge. A hint of “don’t fuck with us”. The man was huge, almost broad as a bus with arms bigger than my thighs. His skin was that deep chestnut that looks like polished hardwood on a body like his. His bald head shone in the porch light. The woman was everything he wasn’t: pale, short, skinny, blonde, but she looked pretty hardcore for all that. I’ve always held respect for law enforcement, and a kind of jealousy. I wish I had the balls to step in front of crime like they do, but I’ll stick with processing environmental claims and do my bit for humanity that way.

“Jason Wilkes?” the woman said.

“That’s right. Please, come in.”

“I’m Sergeant Cooke and this is Officer Dale.”

The man’s enormous hand engulfed mine and they followed me inside. Dale shut the door behind him.

“Still no word?” Cooke asked.

“Nothing. I’m a little freaked here.”

“I can imagine. Let’s sit down and get all the information we can. We’ll sort this out.”

I directed them through to the front room and they sat side by side on the couch while I fell into an armchair opposite. They looked ridiculous next to each other, such extremes.

“You want a drink?” I asked. “Coffee, juice, water?”

“We’re fine, thank you.” Cooke produced a notepad and pencil while big old Dale remained motionless beside her. There was a stillness to the man that unnerved me. He’d make a great ally, I was sure, but I would hate to cross him. He looked like he could crush a bowling ball with one hand. “So, start at the beginning,” Cooke said, pencil poised. “Your wife’s full name?”

“Kate Annabel Wilkes. Katherine. With a K.”

“She went out in her car tonight?”

“Yep. Red Toyota Corolla, 2008 model.” I rattled off the licence plate, pleased I could remember it.

“And when did you last see Kate?”

I nodded, hands wringing together. “Well, Wednesday is her night. We have a kid, Charlie, he’s three. She goes out Wednesdays and I go out Thursdays and we often get a sitter Friday and go out together or something.” I stopped, drew a long breath. “Sorry, I’m rambling. I’m scared.”

Cooke smiled gently, nodded. She remained silent.

“Okay, so, like I said, Wednesday is her night. She goes to a Krav Maga class from six til eight, then her book club meets at eight-thirty.”

Cooke raised an eyebrow. “Krav Maga?”

“Martial art,” Dale said, his voice not nearly as deep as I had expected. Almost comically so. “Israeli military fighting method, very brutal. Popular everywhere these days.”

Cooke scribbled in her notebook. “Cool. She’s a fighter, huh?”

I grinned. “Actually, yeah. My wife is badass. She used to do a lot of martial arts since she was a kid, always been in great shape. After Charlie was born she got back to training as soon as she could, found this new club and loved it. She goes every Wednesday and there’s a Saturday morning class she goes to as well if we don’t have plans. I can watch Charlie then.”

“You a fighter too?” Cooke asked. “You look like you’re in good shape.”

“Not really a fighter. I tried it, but not my bag. I go to the gym a lot though, I like lifting weights and I run. We both believe in staying fit and healthy.”

“Right, so Krav Maga and then a book club?”

“Yeah, she loves to read, always got a novel on the go. Again, after Charlie was born, she needed something to get out and be social while he was little. Once he was weaned and I could take over for a night, she got into Krav and then joined this club.”

“And what time is she usually home?”

“Between eleven-thirty and midnight. Never later.”

Cooke checked her watch. It was just shy of two a.m., I didn’t need to look to know that. I’d been clock-watching like a man obsessed until they’d arrived.

“Okay, so where is the Krav Maga class?”

“Just a mo.” I trotted into the kitchen and came back with the flyer from the fridge, handed it to her.

Cooke turned over the glossy slip of paper with its pictures of angry people refusing to take even an ounce of shit. She scribbled down the address. “Can I keep this?”

“Sure.”

She smiled, slipped it into the back of her notepad. “And the book club?”

“Yeah, right after her class.”

“Right. Where is it?”

“Oh, sorry. Of course. Er, it’s usually out on the other side of Lamar Park somewhere, only about a ten minute drive. A couple of members near there take turns to host it most of the time, occasionally it’s somewhere else.” A sinking feeling washed through me as I realised I had no idea where it actually was.

“You have any addresses?”

“Errrr… No, I don’t.”

Dale sat forward, forearms like sides of beef on his knees. Cooke raised an eyebrow again. “No idea at all? She been going there long?”

“Over a year, yeah. Maybe eighteen months. I never really thought about it. I really should have asked.”
Both officers nodded but stayed silent.

*****

Has your appetite been whetted? I hope so. You can go and order your copy of The Book Club here!

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Prometheus – what a pile of shite

Given that Alien: Covenant is coming out soon (and yes, my bar is set very low) I thought I might repost this from when I originally saw the execrable Prometheus. The only reason I’m really reposting it is because sadly, June 2012 was one of the archives lost in the recent hack and rebuild, and this was one of my greatest rants.

Originally posted on June 17th, 2012:

Blade Runner is still the greatest movie of all time. Alien is still the benchmark movie by which all space-horror should be measured. It’s hard to believe that the man who brought us these amazing films is also responsible for the execrable mess that is the long-awaited Prometheus. I saw this movie last night and I’m still angry about it. I had to teach a tai chi class this morning and it was hard because underlying my calm, professional exterior was a seething, unavoidable rage at a film that couldn’t have been more shit if it actually tried to be the shittest film ever made. There will be spoilers here, but don’t worry – you should save your money and not see the film anyway. But I’m assuming most people have seen it already.

From a simple film-making point of view, it was a stunning achievement. The design, the effects, the atmosphere were all excellent. But that matters not when the story makes no sense. Seriously, a script written by randomly pulling letter tiles from the Scrabble bag would be more coherent. Now, before anyone thinks I’m totally missing the point, I know it’s a massive allegory for Creationism with an extremely heavy Christian agenda, brutally mixed with various other mythologies. It is written by Damon Lindelof, after all, who brought us the atrociously unacceptable Christian Shepherd ending to Lost. (Talking of scripts that make no fucking sense.) That allegory would annoy me anyway, in this case even more so as it’s rammed down our throats like a face-huggers egg tube. But I might be prepared to forgive the great exogenesis bullshit if it was tied into a credible story. But it’s not. It’s so far from a credible story that the film should be called The Great Incredible Anti-Story.

It should have been awesome. The cast are one solid bunch of capable professionals, but they can’t be expected to save a film when the script is delivered to them as shit stains carefully shaped into letters on used toilet paper. That’s the only way I can imagine that this script was “written”. The character inconsistencies and plot holes in this film are breath-taking. I’ll just look at the first few things we see:

We open with a possible Earth and a huge, white, muscly alien dude drinking some goo that disintegrates him and seeds the planet with his DNA. Okay, I was prepared to buy that – there are surely better ways to mix their DNA with the goo, but if they use this whole sacrifice method, then sure. It’s absurd, but I’ll roll with for now.

Cut to humans investigating cave paintings. They spot a recurring theme – big dudes pointing at six dots. With absolutely no evidence or explanation whatsoever, this is interpreted by a Christian scientist as an invite by Von Daniken’s aliens to come and visit. Why!? What possible reason could there be to immediately assume that’s an invite? Well, we’re told later in the film, “Because that’s what I choose to believe.” Fuuuuuck!

Anyway, this is enough to trigger a trillion dollar expedition to the planet in question. Wait, they found a planet in the vastness of infinite interstellar space using a cave painting of six dots? Yes, they did. Apparently. Because “plot”.

So they fly there and there’s this moon, right, and that’s where they’ve been invited to. So they break orbit, cruise in, see a big mountain and say, “Let’s cruise that valley.” They turn a corner and voila! There’s the alien installation. How do you instantly find the correct valley on a planet the SIZE OF A PLANET!? On top of this, we later learn that this isn’t the homeworld of these big, white, muscly alien sacrificial DNA vendors, but it’s actually a massive production depot for weapons of mass destruction that they intend to use to destroy humanity. Why did the cave paintings “invite” humans to their massive WMD moon? What the fuck possible reason could they have for that? Anyway, back to the timeline. (Bear in mind that I’m only a few minutes into the film at this point.)

The crew immediately decide to explore this installation and send off these 3D mapping drones. Without waiting for the mapping to be finished or for any explanation of why the air is suddenly breathable and not full of pathogens, they take off their helmets and start running around inside, because complete lack of science or any kind of brain.

Suddenly and for no discernible reason, a holographic history lesson starts up and tells them things they need to know, because “plot”. Incidentally, this same inexplicable hologram happens later, giving androidDavid the password flute tune he needs to operate all the things. Yes, you read that right. Aliens with massively advanced technology turn their computer systems on with a quick tootle on a flute. Sure, that could be conceived as a very clever password system, assuming you don’t have a randomly triggered hologram show up and give that password to anyone who happens to come along. Why were there holograms of past events showing up all over the place!?

Anyway, back to the opening twenty minutes of the film. Our intrepid selection of the most unscientific scientists ever assembled discover the fossilised remains of a big alien. The geologist immediately freaks out and says, “I’m only here for money and rocks, fuck this noise” and says he’s going back to the ship. He asks if anyone else is going and the biologist says, “Yep, fuck this noise.” The biologist! The one who is presumably along on the trip because he’s really into biology and that, yet he’s not going to investigate a new, alien species. So off they fuck. And even though the geologist is the one with the mapping drones, and even though those drones are live-feeding a three-dimensional layout of the entire complex to the ship, and even though the ship is in constant contact with everyone and can see on the map exactly where everyone is at all times, the geologist and the biologist get lost and inexplicably left behind.

They end up stuck there as a convenient plotstorm comes out of nowhere and decide to wait it out in a scary room full of inexplicably replicating alien goo. Then a weird alien snake thing appears. The biologist, who was moments ago terrified of a 2,000 year old fossilised humanoid, is suddenly and inexplicably besotted with this up-standing, threatening, hooded, hissing alien snake thing. After all, he’s a biologist, so he’d know you never have to be concerned when a snake thing that pops out its hood stands up and starts hissing at you. That’s completely unthreatening. So he tries to play with it and it kills him. And sprays acid blood on the geologist. All because “plot”, of course. Incidentally, said geologist, who dies facedown in the goo, comes back later as a violent zombie-hulk thing. For no reason at all he travels back to the ship all folded over like some contortion-zombie showing off his crazy, uncanny crab walk, then just stands up and fights everyone like a normal zombie-hulk until he’s burned to a crisp. And just going back to that snake thing – where did it come from anyway? We can only assume it spontaneously evolved from the black goo in a couple of hours because.

Anyway, I’m going to stop now. You’ll have a pretty good idea of just how fucking awful this movie is and I’ve barely scratched the surface of plot holes and character stupidity – people who see worms in their eyes but don’t seek medical help, for example. Or people who die because they can’t turn left or right while running. And so on. Not to mention the complete lack of any consistency in any of the “science” randomly thrown at the film like poo from the monkey cage.

Other people have done excellent work deconstructing this piece of shite from various angles:

This post does an excellent job of exploring the allegory, even though the allegory is senseless and is hammered home at the expense of all story and characterisation.

This post is an excellent exploration of many of the plot holes, including several that I’ve mentioned here.

This post explores the massively mysoginistic plot basis.

And this four minute video covers a lot, but certainly not all, of the plot holes and nonsensical “story”:

I am so fucking angry with Ridley Scott right now. After being so excited about this movie, it couldn’t have been worse if it tried.

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The Book Club is nearly here

I was very excited when PS Publishing posted these photos yesterday. My new novella, The Book Club, is a real thing! PS do wonderful folio hardcovers and this is mine. It’ll also be available in a limited signed edition, restricted to only 100 copies. And the ebook will be released once the hardcover goes live, I’m told. It’s a thing of beauty, the cover art by Ben Baldwin. The story can maybe best be described as Gone Girl with cosmic horror. I really hope people enjoy it – the early pre-orders are apparently being fulfilled right now.

To get your copy, go here: http://www.pspublishing.co.uk/the-book-club-hardcover-by-alan-baxter-4248-p.asp

I’ll be over here happy dancing.

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New website, all shiny like.

So we’ve finally sorted out all the problems and the new website is up and running. Huge thanks to my friend, Michael Fridman, for his help. And to James and Sam Frost for their help in the past and recently. The new theme and style is pretty cool, I think. As far as I know, the site is 99% operational. I’m aware of a couple of broken links on the Crow Shine page, but otherwise everything should be working fine. If you find any broken links, or pages that don’t load and so on, please do let me know. I really hope you don’t!

Meanwhile, enjoy, and come chat with me on social media. Those little icons along the top of the page are quick links to my Twitter, Facebook, and so forth.

I’ve decided not to catch up on missed blogging, as so much has happened. High points are winning the Australian Shadows Award for Best Collected Work for Crow Shine, being a finalist in three categories in the Aurealis Awards (Three! What the actual fuck?) Though I didn’t win any of those, I was up for Best Collection for Crow Shine, Best Horror Novella for “Served Cold”, and Best Fantasy Novella for “Raven’s First Flight”. Amazing. “Served Cold” was also a finalist for the Paul Haines Award for Long Fiction. And now Crow Shine is a finalist in Best Collected Work in the Ditmar Awards. Just wonderful. So if you’re eligible to vote in the Ditmars, please do! Another recent high point was being a Guest of Honour at Swancon in Perth, which was huge fun.

I do plan to get back to blogging all the interesting stuff again now that I finally have a working site back, so check in from time to time. However, if you want regular updates of new stuff that’s happening, sign up for my email newsletter. It only goes out once a month, if that. Go to the home page and scroll down to the bottom there for the sign up form. I won’t spam you or sell your details, I promise.

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Ongoing site problems

My site was hacked towards the end of last year and we’ve been working really hard to fix the problem. It seems that it’s mostly fixed, but some people are still having issues. While we’ve been tidying up the last problems, nothing has been updated for a fair while, so some pages are a bit out of date and blogging has ground to a halt. I’ll do my best to catch up once everything is fixed, but in the meantime, please watch my social media for news – Twitter and Facebook are the main places to find me. Anything you need, hit me up via those places or email me at [email protected]

Hopefully normal service will resume before too long!

Bound is international! And another Year’s Best.

It’s been a long time coming, but Bound: Alex Caine Book 1, is finally available EVERYWHERE! In paperback and ebook with that sweet cover by Shawn King, you can buy it wherever you usually shop. Your local bookstore may have it, but if not they can order it in for you. Same goes for your library. US and UK peeps especially, if you’re a library goer, please ask your local library to get it in. That’s a huge benefit to authors in terms of discoverability.

So tell your friends and family, colleagues at work, that one bloke with the weird dog across the road. Hell, even tell that guy who loiters in alleys and shouts at the bins. Tell everyone! And if you read it and enjoy it, I’d love it if you could leave a quick Amazon and/or Goodreads review. Those things really do help. If you get the paperback, post a pic on your social media with it, because I haven’t seen one yet.

And in some other awesome news, Ticonderoga have announced their latest volume of the Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror, and it includes my cosmic weird pirate story, “The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner”. Such an honour and the rest of the stories in it are amazing. You can pre-order that one here.

The stories are:

Joanne Anderton, “2B”
Alan Baxter, “The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner”
Deborah Biancotti, “Look How Cold My Hands Are”
Stephen Dedman, “Oh, Have You Seen The Devil”
Erol Engin, “The Events at Callan Park”
Jason Fischer, “The Dog Pit”
Dirk Flinthart, “In the Blood”
Kimberley Gaal, “In Sheep’s Clothing”
Stephanie Gunn, “The Flowers That Bloom Where Blood Touches Earth”
Lisa Hannett, “Consorting With Filth”
Robert Hood, “Double Speak”
Kathleen Jennings, “A Hedge of Yellow Roses”
Maree Kimberley, “Ninehearts”
Jay Kristoff, “Sleepless”
Martin Livings, “El Caballo Muerte”
Danny Lovecraft, “Reminiscences of Herbert West”
Kirstyn McDermott, “Self, Contained”
Sally McLennan, “ Mr Schmidt’s Dead Pet Emporium”
DK Mok, “Almost Days”
Faith Mudge, “Blueblood”
Samantha Murray, “Half Past”
Jason Nahrung, “Night Blooming”
Garth Nix, “The Company of Women”
Anthony Panegyres, “Lady Killer”
Rivqa Rafael, “Beyond the Factory Wall”
Deborah Sheldon, “Perfect Little Stitches”
Angela Slatter, “Bluebeard’s Daughter”
Cat Sparks, “Dragon Girl”
Lucy Sussex, “Angelito”
Anna Tambour, “Tap”
Kaaron Warren, “Mine Intercom”

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Awards eligibility post

I always appreciate it when people post around this time and remind me what work they’ve released the previous year that’s eligible for awards. It’s a good reminder so we know we haven’t missed anything when we’re making our Stoker Award, Hugo, Nebula, Ditmar, etc. recommendations or votes. So here’s my post with stuff released last year (2016) that’s eligible for those awards and others. If you’re a voting member or active in fandom and think any of this stuff is worthy, I thank you heartily in advance. And if you are eligible to nominate or vote in any awards, please do so! The awards are always better when more people are involved – it’s a truer representation of what’s good and popular in any given year.

Here’s my stuff:

COLLECTIONS:

Crow Shine (Ticonderoga Publications, November 2016) – I would love for this book to get some attention, and it also contained three original stories, listed below.

SHORT FICTION:

“Crow Shine” – Original story in my collection, Crow Shine (Ticonderoga Publications, November 2016)

“Old Magic Fades” – Original story in my collection, Crow Shine (Ticonderoga Publications, November 2016)

“A Strong Urge To Fly” – Original story in my collection, Crow Shine (Ticonderoga Publications, November 2016)

“Served Cold” – Novelette – Dreaming in the Dark anthology (ed. Jack Dann, PS Publishing, November 2016)

“Raven’s First Flight” – Novelette – SNAFU: Black Ops anthology (ed. G Brown & A J Spedding, Cohesion Press, December 2016)

“Bodies of Evidence” – In Your Face anthology (ed. Tehani Wesseley, Fablecroft Publications, June 2016)

“Under Calliope’s Skin” – SNAFU: Future Warfare anthology (ed. Geoff Brown and A J Spedding, Cohesion Press, May 2016)

“Golden Fortune, Dragon Jade” – Novelette – And Then… Vol. 1 anthology (ed. Lindy Cameron, Clan Destine Press, December 2016)

NOVELS:

Bound: Alex Caine Book 1 in the US and UK (Ragnarok Publications, December 2016) – I’ve put this last as it’s only eligible for awards that recognise first North American publication, as it came out in Australia in 2014, so it’s not new by the standards of most awards. I’m not entirely sure if there is anything like that, but there you go. I love this book, so it needs a mention.

So that’s my stuff. If you’re a writer and you’ve had publications, be sure to post about them. Fuck the haters who think it’s bad taste to post about your work like this – you’re damn right you should celebrate your kickass achievements. I’m bloody proud of mine. We work hard and should be able to enjoy that. If you’re a fan or reader, get involved with nominating and voting wherever you can.

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Crow Shine is released!

crowshine-front-full-webMy debut collection of short fiction is out now. I’m so pleased this book is finally out in the world. All the various links are below. Here’s what some amazing people have been kind enough to say about the book:

“Alan Baxter is an accomplished storyteller who ably evokes magic and menace. Whether it’s stories of ghost-liquor and soul-draining blues, night club magicians, sinister western pastoral landscapes, or a suburban suicide–Crow Shine has a mean bite.”—Laird Barron, author of Swift to Chase.

“Crow Shine, by Alan Baxter, is a sweeping collection of horror and dark fantasy stories, packed with misfits and devils, repentant fathers and clockwork miracles. Throughout it all, Baxter keeps his focus on the universal problems of the human experience: the search for understanding, for justice, and for love. It’s an outstanding book.”—Nathan Ballingrud, author of North American Lake Monsters.

“Alan Baxter’s fiction is dark, disturbing, hard-hitting and heart-breakingly honest. He reflects on worlds known and unknown with compassion, and demonstrates an almost second-sight into human behaviour.”—Kaaron Warren, Shirley Jackson Award-winner and author of The Grief Hole.

You can find your copy at the following places:

Amazon – Kindle and paperback

Ticonderoga Publications – Paperback, hardcover or Limited Edition signed and numbered hardcover

Smashwords – all formats of ebook

If you read the book, I really hope you enjoy it. Tell your friends!

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