Tag-Archive for » short stories «

Saturday, December 13th, 2014 | Author:

 

I’m thrilled to announce that I recently joined the editorial team of one of Australia’s best SF publications, the Ditmar-award winning Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. I’m really excited about having this opportunity to engage in some behind-the-scenes work. I’m sure it will not only enhance my editing skills and my understanding of the writing world, but also my own writing.

ASIM is a great magazine focusing on light-hearted SF tales. I have to admit I have a soft spot for this magazine, because my Aurealis Award finalist ‘The Last Deflowerer’ was first published in ASIM. Founded in 2002, ASIM has a 3-round submission process that is widely regarded as one of the best in the business. According to duotrope.com, ASIM has an acceptance rate of around 0.63%, and if you make it into that 0.63%, you do so knowing your story has made it through at least five readers. To summarise the process: Round 1 readers say yes, no or maybe to a submission. A yes gets the story into Round 2, a maybe gets it read by another reader, a no gets it rejected. In Round 2, three readers read and comment on the story and give it a rating out of 5. Depending on their comments and the total score, the story will then move onto Round 3 or be rejected. In Round 3, the story goes into a pool of ‘good stuff’ for editors to read and select for future issues of ASIM. If the story isn’t selected within 3 months, it’s returned to the writer. Meanwhile the writers, who are nervously twiddling their fingers and waiting to see if their precious baby will be accepted, are kept informed of where their story is up to at every step. That’s pretty rare in this world where getting anything published seems to involve inordinate amounts of time spent waiting alone in the dark!

I’m chuffed that one of my stories, ‘The Matchmaker’s Daughter’, a tale set in ancient China, is currently in Round 3. And that being a member of the editorial team means I get to read the Round 2 comments and scores once my story’s fate is finalised!

Friday, December 12th, 2014 | Author:

 

How could I have missed this? … The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2012 anthology, which features my short story ‘Anvil of the Sun’, won the 2013 Aurealis Award for Best Anthology! And where was I at the time? Probably holed up in my home office, tapping away at the keys, studiously ignoring my emails and Facebook messages.

So, I belatedly read the judges’ comments today. There were 17 entries in this category of the Aurealis Awards, and the judges characterised The Year’s Best as “a multifaceted work with extremely broad reader appeal.” They went on to say that the “consistently excellent stories… are beautifully sequenced by the editors. This is a landmark instalment in a highly regarded series.” I am absolutely delighted to be part of such a wonderful anthology, so a huge thanks to the editors Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene for deciding my story belongs in it!

A further note on The Year’s Best 2012: British SF writer and reviewer Peter Tennant has written a lengthy review of it first published in Black Static Magazine #39 and later on his website. Peter begins his review by commenting on the prevalence of women writers and editors in the Aussie genre scene compared to the UK, noting that “last time I did an anthology comparison between the four main English speaking nations, Australia came top of the table with 44% of the stories written by women, with the poor old UK a dismal fourth with 19%.” Hooray for Oz! He then goes on to single out various stories in the anthology, including mine. Describing it as “a harrowing story”, he writes that my words dig “their claws into the reader’s skin and [make] us feel the character’s pain and anger,” while the fantasy setting is used “as a device to shine a light onto abuses in our own world.” I love it.

For those of you who haven’t read ‘Anvil of the Sun’, it is an exceptionally dark tale in which the protagonist is a political prisoner exiled in the final months of her pregnancy to a barren, sun-seared island. The idea for the setting came to me after watching a documentary about Yugoslavia under Tito. The program featured footage of an island in the Adriatic to which Tito banished political dissidents; just as in my story, the island was called the Naked Isle, in reference to its barrenness.

You can buy the Aurealis Award-winning The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2012 here.

Friday, October 11th, 2013 | Author:

 

I enjoyed a wonderful new sensation today — the feeling of holding in my trembling hand a hardcover book with one of my stories in it! It’s the first time I’ve had a hardcover publication and it’s a great looking book, if I may say so myself: 488 pages long, with 34 stories and poems selected from amongst the hundreds of fantasy and horror stories published in Australia and New Zealand last year, so I feel very honoured to have a story of mine included. That story, as I mentioned in a previous post, is ‘Anvil of the Sun’, a dark fantasy tale inspired by a documentary I watched about Tito and the Naked Island in the Adriatic to which he exiled dissidents. 

The Year’s Best begins with a Year in Review section written by the editors Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene, in which they give a very detailed round-up of The Year in Fantasy (Grzyb) and The Year in Horror (Helene), covering novels, anthologies, collections, magazines, e-zines, podcasts, graphic novels, illustrated works and other media such as film. They conclude with a round-up of The Year in the Industry. And then it’s onto the stories. I haven’t had a chance to read them yet, but the names of the authors on the contents page is super-impressive: Kaaron Warren (who I once saw give a truly fantastic reading of her short story ‘His Lipstick Minx’); Jason Nahrung and Anna Tambour (I have well-thumbed autographed novels by both authors residing in my lounge room bookcase); plus Angela Slatter, Lee Battersby, Terry Dowling, Joanne Anderton and many more. I can’t wait to read them all!

The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2012 is available to buy here.

 

 

 

Monday, July 15th, 2013 | Author:

 

I’ve been feeling a tad worried lately about the publication status of a 7600-word novella of mine, “The Weight of His Wings,” the tale of a winged man struggling to salvage his life in the aftermath of a great war. A US magazine, Aoife’s Kiss, accepted the story more than a year ago now and scheduled it for publication in the magazine’s 10th anniversary issue in June this year. But the publication date came and went with no word from the publishers. Anyway, I’ve finally heard from them — the magazine and a bunch of others owned by the same company have changed hands, delaying many of the upcoming publications. So my story is still going ahead and should be out around August.

Phew!

Monday, April 22nd, 2013 | Author:

 

Exciting news! My story ‘Anvil of the Sun’, published last year in Aurealis, has made it into The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2012! ‘Anvil’ is a personal favourite: it’s dark, distressing, but ends, I think, on a note of hope, and I’m thrilled that it will be reprinted amongst such fine company. This year’s Year’s Best should be an awesome one – 34 short stories and poems from “New Zealand and Australia’s finest writers” (the publisher’s words, not mine!), including talents such as Joanne Anderton, Richard Harland, Margo Lanagan, Jason Nahrung, and Kaaron Warren, to name just a few.

The book will be available as a hardcover, paperback and e-book sometime in July 2013. And with 34 stories, it should make for a nice, fat read. You can see the full line-up of stories on the Ticonderoga Publications website and pre-order copies here.

Thursday, April 04th, 2013 | Author:

 

Some exciting news – Bloodstones, which features my short story ‘Embracing the Invisible’, is on the shortlist for Best Anthology in the 2012 Aurealis Awards!

Now I just have to wait till the awards night in May for a good excuse to pop a bottle of bubbly!

 

Thursday, November 29th, 2012 | Author:

 

Bloodstones, the dark fantasy anthology featuring my story ‘Embracing the Invisible’, is now available on Amazon. Click here to buy it.

It also has a page on Goodreads. Visit the page to rate it.

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 | Author:

 

Erin Underwood, the American writer and reviewer who penned the introduction to the Bloodstones anthology, is currently promoting the book (due out at the end of this month) on her website. She’s running some interviews with the contributing authors (me included!) at http://underwordspress.com/2012/10/09/bloodstones-interview/. I am incredibly thrilled to be included there amongst writers like Thoraiya Dyer, Richard Harland and Joanne Anderton… Take a look!

Sunday, September 09th, 2012 | Author:

 

I’m really chuffed – I have a new story out in this month’s Aurealis! It’s called ‘Anvil of the Sun’ (thanks to Nathan Burrage for the title suggestion), and I must admit that even though I do have a bit of a penchant for dark fantasy, this was a really harrowing story to write. But I am very proud of the final version. Also, Andrew Saltmarsh has done a great job with the cover illustration. The starkness of his image captures the mood of the story perfectly.

Anyway, you can buy Aurealis #54 by clicking here.

Thursday, July 12th, 2012 | Author:

 

I’m thrilled to announce that my first short story set in China, ‘Embracing the Invisible’, has been selected for the dark fantasy anthology, Bloodstones. The anthology, edited by the multi-talented Amanda Pillar, will be published in October 2012. It features a very impressive line-up including Joanne Anderton, Thoraiya Dyer and Richard Harland, so I’m incredibly excited to be included. The full list of authors is available at the Ticonderoga website.

The initial idea for ‘Embracing the Invisible’ came to me last year, courtesy of a Chinese colleague. One night, over the course of a discussion about student life in China, he introduced me to the concept of “student-mistresses”, modern-day concubines who become the mistresses of wealthy businessmen in return for financial help during their university years. I was fascinated. I decided then and there that I wanted to write a tale in which the main character is a student-mistress, and thus the character of Chen Ying was born. Unfortunately Mr Li, the businessman Chen Ying becomes involved with, is after something far more sinister and dangerous than extramarital sex…

Buy a copy of Bloodstones to read about Chen Ying’s brush with a chilling type of Chinese magic known as waidan.