I think I should go to bed early more often. Last time I had an early night, thus ignoring text messages and FB beeps on my phone, I found out Bluegrass Symphony was nominated for a World Fantasy Award. And last night, I fell asleep at nanna-hour… and woke this morning to find out that the Aurealis Awards shortlists are out — and Midnight and Moonshine is up for Best Collection!
The full list of nominees in all categories can be found here — there are so many great works shortlisted!
The winners of the 2012 Aurealis Awards and the Peter McNamara Convenors Award will be revealed at a gala ceremony on the evening of Saturday 18 May 2013 at The Independent Theatre in North Sydney. Tickets for the ceremony are now on sale for $30 up to March 31. After that date the ticket price is $35. Book here
I’m the latest in a series of authors put on ‘The Rack’ by Michael Keyton and asked what were supposed to be ‘torturous’ questions, but which in fact were quite fun to answer. There’s a bit of a running narrative that frames each author’s interview: a noirish scenario in which a detective and his dame banter before launching into the questions:
“So what’s the real story,” I said. I held the offending book and tossed it in the bin. “It’s a New Year, damnit. You’ve got me something better than this, right?”
Sheri pouted, her lips like dark cherries holding a worm. “I might have.”
“You’re holding out on me, yeah?”
Sheri shrugged helplessly as if to say what the hell do I know? You’re the detective, big guy. “They say she’s pretty hot right now. She wrote something called Bluegrass Symphony. Nominated for the World Fantasy Award.”
I gave her my shark’s smile, the one with teeth. “What else do they say?” I’ve always found ‘they’ useful. Rumour’s cheap. Informers you pay. “Who have you got down there?”
“Lisa Hannett,” she said. The door slammed behind her and I leapt to my feet. Sheri was interested, and that meant only one thing…
Head over here for the rest.
The holiday season was fun, festive, and frantic — so I’ve been remiss in mentioning a few new exciting happenings over the past couple of weeks!
Before Christmas, Azra Alagic did a great interview with Angela about the process of collaboration and Midnight and Moonshine. In this interview, Azra asks some really interesting questions and also talks about how Angela started her writing career with chick-lit!
In other pre-Christmas news, Kirstyn McDermott has a new book out, which I CANNOT WAIT TO READ. Seriously, I want to get an e-reader JUST so that I can read Perfections: Two sisters. One wish. Unimaginable consequences. Not all fairy tales are for children…
‘The Writer and the Critic’ podcast is on hiatus for a couple of months, but never fear — “Podland” has a new ambassador. Sean Wright, aka Sean the Bookonaut, has just launched a new podcast! In the first episode of ‘Adventures of a Bookonaut’, Sean interviews Luke Preston, author of Dark City Blue; Joelyn Alexandra, Singaporean crime writer; and academic and author of The Secret Feminist Cabal, Dr Helen Merrick.
Alan Baxter gives Midnight and Moonshine an awesome two thumbs up over at Thirteen O’Clock. You can read the whole thing over there, but here’s a snippet: Midnight and Moonshine draws deeply on Hannett’s PhD subject, both authors’ skill at fairy tales and two of the best existing mythologies (Norse and Fae) to create something with lashings of style. Norse gods and Fae folk, bayou and voodoo, prohibition and giants, epic quests and personal triumphs and tragedies, this collection explores them all and more. A brilliant collection, well worth your time and money… There’s no question that this collection has leapt straight onto my Books Of The Year list.
Finally, almost as the clock struck midnight on New Year’s Eve, the Lexifabricographer posted a wonderful review of Bluegrass Symphony as part of the Australian Women Writers 2012 challenge. I love how, in each review, different stories are singled out for discussion — so cool!
There’s been a Pinterest image going around on Facebook lately, which shows a Mason jar filled with folded scraps of paper — and I think it came from this website originally. At any rate, the picture, and concept, has gone viral. It goes by various names: ‘jar of memories’, ‘jar of good thoughts’, ‘jar of funny moments’ and it’s a little bit hokey, a little sentimental, but all in all, pretty sweet. No matter what it’s called, the idea is that you write down anecdotes of happy, special, memorable, amusing moments from your year, and at the end of December you read them over to remind yourself of these good times.
This year, there have been so many incredible, life-changing events in my life that I’d be hard-pressed to forget any of them.* But in the spirit of the ‘jar of magical moments’, I’ll spill my recollections of 2012 here, look them all over, laugh, sigh, raise a glass to the awesome times that were, and remember how lucky I’ve been. (Because I’m more than a bit superstitious: there’s hard work involved, of course, but a hell of a lot of luck too, for which I am totally grateful.)
First, I received an Arts SA Project Grant to work on the first draft of The Familiar. I got close to 90,000 words written, most of which will be culled in the second draft, but enough for me to figure out what’s happening in the novel, what’s good about it, what sucks, and what can be developed into something much better in the next draft.
At the same time, Angela and I wrote most of Midnight and Moonshine, wrapped it up in a nice shiny bow mid-year, saw it get a starred review in Publishers Weekly before it was even published, then sent it off into the world in fine style, with not one but two awesome launches.
Bluegrass Symphony made me feel like the luckiest writer ever, winning two Aurealis Awards (for Best Collection and Best Horror Short Story for ‘The Short Go: A Future in Eight Seconds’, an award I was delighted to share with Paul Haines for his incredible story ‘The Past is a Bridge Left Burnt’), getting nominated for the Norma K. Hemming Award, and also getting shortlisted for the World Fantasy Award for Best Collection. Stories were reprinted in Imaginarium 2012: The Best Canadian Speculative Writing and The Year’s Best Australian Horror and Fantasy 2011 and Aurealis and Tales to Terrify, and they earned six nods from Ellen Datlow. (I’m still overwhelmed by it all!)
With the grant money all used up, I went back to teach for Semester Two, and also had the pleasure of teaching at the SA Writers’ Centre — which went so well, we’re going to do it all again in 2013.
Meanwhile, I sold stories to some excellent venues over the course of 2012, most of which will be coming out in the next year:
- ‘Sweet Subtleties’, Clarkesworld Magazine, Issue 75, December 2012
- ‘By Blood and Incantation’, co-written with Angela Slatter, One Small Step: An Anthology of Discoveries, ed. Tehani Wessely (FableCroft Press), Forthcoming
- ‘Morning Passages’, Shadows Edge, ed. Simon Strantzas (Grey Friar Press), Forthcoming
- ‘Endpapers’, Postscripts, ed. Peter Crowther and Nick Gevers(PS Publishing, UK) Forthcoming
- ‘Smoke Billows, Soot Falls’ (Chapbook), ed. Simon Marshall-Jones (Spectral Press) Forthcoming
- ‘Snowglobes’, Chilling Tales 2: In Words, Alas, Drown I, ed. Michael Kelly (EDGE Publishing) Forthcoming
There were so many opportunities to catch up with great friends at writing events this year, including Adelaide Writers Week in March, Continuum 8 in July (even though I got food poisoning and missed most of the con!) and, of course, my first ever World Fantasy Convention in Toronto this November. I had such a fantastic time at the WFC, I cannot wait for next year in Brighton!
Finally, to make an awesome year even more awesome — so awesome, in fact, that I seriously hope I haven’t peaked — in December I earned a lecturing position in the Department of English and Creative Writing at Flinders University! I’ll get to continue my writing and researching, while also sharing my love of all things nerdy with students forevermore. What a way to end the year!
Thanks, 2012, you’ve been utterly fab. Here’s hoping 2013 is as cool to hang out with as you were.
And Happy New Year, everyone!
*I still might have forgotten something here. It’s been a pretty full-on 12 months…
Travel, writing, marking essays, launching Midnight and Moonshine, editing, applying for jobs… Any and all of these things explain my general lack of updatery lately. That’s no excuse, you say? True. True. So I shall endeavour to fill you all in on the events of the past month in a short series of Mega-Catchup Posts — beginning with this one.
Basically, the World Fantasy Convention was awesome. It was the first one I’d attended — thanks, in large part, to a Professional Development grant I’d received from Arts SA (thank you, Arts SA!!) — and I still can’t believe what an amazing time I had in Toronto. For some reason, I imagined that I’d arrive at the con, not knowing too many people (a few, luckily!) and that all of the other, more established authors would have their other, more established circles of friends and that I’d wind up like a wallflower at the school dance, watching all the cool kids have fun while I scoped out the nearest exit. Well, that was SO NOT THE CASE.
Everyone was incredibly friendly, warm, and amazingly welcoming — honestly, this post is going to be filled with nothing but gush — and I was so happy to hang out with the lot of them for four days. Hurricane Sandy might have put a damper on the weather, but luckily the hotel bar had heat aplenty: fiery conversations, drinks, and the friction of elbows rubbing.
The con starts tomorrow (yay!) so I guess it’s high time I post my schedule:
Thursday, November 1 — I’m doing a reading in the Aurora room at 3.30
Sunday, November 4 — From 12.30 onwards I’ll be banqueting and celebrating the World Fantasy Award winners.
In between — I’ll be going to as many readings as I can (Guy Gavriel Kay, Aliette de Bodard, Kathleen Jennings, Julie Czerneda, Simon Strantzas, Cat Rambo… too many to list!); attending panel sessions (the GoH sessions with Charles de Lint and Charles Vess, and Jeff VanderMeer interviewing Liz Hand, plus the panels about wilderness, gothic, etc most likely); and the rest of the time, let’s be honest, I’ll be hanging out at the bar.
Hope to see some of you there!
Wonderful review of Midnight and Moonshine and then, five minutes later, it magically* appeared as a REAL BOOK on my doorstep! Along with my gorgeous hardcover of The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2011, which has my story ‘Miss Tapekwa County’ in its impressive table of contents! Squeeeeeee!
Also, since nobody ever gets to see the back cover of books online, I wanted to post a pic of the back of Midnight and Moonshine because it contains some of my favourite details in Kathleen’s illustration (the whales and the raven, in case you were wondering).
*If by ‘magically’ I mean via courier. Which I do.
In the most recent issue of Interzone, Peter Tennant offers a seriously squeeeee-worthy review of Bluegrass Symphony! It is a long and considered review, which starts off with wonderful comments like “[the collection] should appeal to readers of both fantasy and horror, with originality as a key note throughout”, and continues in the same vein throughout: “beautifully written” and “truly macabre imagery” and “witty and engaging”… I couldn’t be more delighted — especially as Tennant concludes that ‘Forever, Miss Tapekwa County’ is a “powerful and salutary end to a very strong collection, one that I unreservedly recommend.”
I should also point out that the next book Tennant looked at was none other than Felicity Dowker’s Bread and Circuses — and it is another lovely review! Hooray for Interzone!
Subscribe to Interzone — or buy issue 242 to read the full review and snoopy dance along with me.
Head on over to indiebooksonline and you will find a deal for the paperback editions of Midnight and Moonshine, Angela’s Aurealis Award-winning The Girl With No Hands, and my Aurealis Award-winning and World Fantasy Award-nominated Bluegrass Symphony.
Three books for a bargain! Only $65 for the set. AND, this bundle will ship before the official release of Midnight and Moonshine, so you’ll be one of the first to receive our new collection. Huzzah!
Woke up this morning to the most exciting news EVER! The World Fantasy Award ballot was announced last night, and Bluegrass Symphony is nominated for Best Collection!!
I’m on the list with amazing people like Robert Shearman, Ann and Jeff VanderMeer, Caitlín R. Kiernan, Ellen Datlow, Karen Joy Fowler, Catherynne Valente, Brett Savory and Sandra Kasturi, not to mention the wonderful Kathleen Jennings and Charles Tan — I could honestly mention everyone, so I’ll stop. It is so cool to be included on a list with such talented people!!
HUGE congratulations to everyone! Hope to see you all in Toronto!
2012 World Fantasy Awards Ballot
The World Fantasy Convention 2012 will be held in Toronto, Canada.
winner Alan Garner
winner George R.R. Martin
Those Across the River, Christopher Buehlman (Ace)
11/22/63, Stephen King (Scribner; Hodder & Stoughton as 11.22.63)
A Dance with Dragons, George R.R. Martin (Bantam; Harper Voyager UK)
Osama, Lavie Tidhar (PS Publishing)
Among Others, Jo Walton (Tor)
“Near Zennor”, Elizabeth Hand (A Book of Horrors)
“A Small Price to Pay for Birdsong”, K.J. Parker (Subterranean Winter 2011)
“Alice Through the Plastic Sheet”, Robert Shearman (A Book of Horrors)
“Rose Street Attractors”, Lucius Shepard (Ghosts by Gaslight)
“Silently and Very Fast”, Catherynne M. Valente (WSFA Press; Clarkesworld)
“X for Demetrious”, Steve Duffy (Blood and Other Cravings)
“Younger Women”, Karen Joy Fowler (Subterranean Summer 2011)
“The Paper Menagerie”, Ken Liu (F&SF 3-4/11)
“A Journey of Only Two Paces”, Tim Powers (The Bible Repairman and Other Stories)
“The Cartographer Wasps and the Anarchist Bees”, E. Lily Yu (Clarkesworld 4/11)
Blood and Other Cravings, Ellen Datlow, ed. (Tor)
A Book of Horrors, Stephen Jones, ed. (Jo Fletcher Books)
The Thackery T. Lambshead Cabinet of Curiosities, Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, eds. (Harper Voyager US)
The Weird, Ann & Jeff VanderMeer, eds. (Corvus; Tor, published May 2012)
Gutshot, Conrad Williams, ed. (PS Publishing)
Bluegrass Symphony, Lisa L. Hannett (Ticonderoga)
Two Worlds and In Between, Caitlín R. Kiernan (Subterranean Press)
After the Apocalypse, Maureen F. McHugh (Small Beer)
Mrs Midnight and Other Stories, Reggie Oliver (Tartarus)
The Bible Repairman and Other Stories, Tim Powers (Tachyon)
John Joseph Adams, for editing – anthology and magazine
Jo Fletcher, for editing – Jo Fletcher Books
Eric Lane, for publishing in translation – Dedalus books
Brett Alexander Savory & Sandra Kasturi, for ChiZine Publications
Jeff VanderMeer & S.J. Chambers, for The Steampunk Bible
Kate Baker, Neil Clarke, Cheryl Morgan & Sean Wallace, for Clarkesworld
Cat Rambo, for Fantasy
Raymond Russell & Rosalie Parker, for Tartarus Press
Charles Tan, for Bibliophile Stalker blog
Mark Valentine, for Wormwood
So delighted that two of my stories are going to appear on the Tales to Terrify podcast! ‘Down the Hollow’ and ‘The Short Go: A Future in Eight Seconds’ (both from Bluegrass Symphony) are going to be given voice by a Southern gent. So cool! I can’t wait to hear what they sound like read aloud (by someone other than me!)
PLUS, ‘The Short Go’ is going to be reprinted in the Tales to Terrify: Volume I anthology. YAY! The book will be published around Hallowe’en — I’ll update as I get more info.
Thanks, Harry Markov, for picking my stories.
The Australian Shadows Awards shortlists and winners have just been announced! I’m delighted that Bluegrass Symphony got an Honourable Mention for ‘Best Collection’ and my novella ‘From the Teeth of Strange Children’ got a nod as well! So cool to be mentioned alongside such excellent authors.
Huge congratulations to all the winners and Honourable Mentions!
Honourable Mention: The Broken Ones by Stephen M Irwin
WINNER: The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt by Paul Haines
And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living by Deborah Biancotti
Sleeping and the Dead by Cat Sparks
From the Teeth of Strange Children by Lisa L. Hannett
WINNER: Tales of Sin and Madness by Brett McBean
Bluegrass Symphony by Lisa L. Hannett, The Last Days of Kali Yoga by Paul Haines, Matilda Told Such Dreadful Lies by Lucy Sussex, Apocrypha Sequence (all four volumes) by Shane Jiraiya Cummings
WINNER: Dead Red Heart ed. Russell B. Farr
More Scary Kisses ed. Russell B. Farr, Midnight Echo 6 ed. David Kernot, David Conyers and Jason Fischer, The Year’s Best Fantasy and Horror ed. Liz Grzyb & Talie Helene
WINNER: Shovel Man Joe by Amanda J. Spedding
Taking It for the Team by Tracie McBride, The Sea at Night by Joanne Anderton, The Wanderer in Darkness by Andrew J. McKiernan, Out Hunting for Teeth by Joanne Anderton
What a weekend! I always have a blast at the Aurealis Awards, but Saturday night felt like a dream. SpecFaction NSW put on an incredible show in Sydney; the drinks flowed before and after the awards, the ceremony ran super-smoothly (Kate Forsyth in her AWESOME red leather gloves was a fantastic MC) and the vibe throughout the evening was electric.
This photo of Cat, Liz and I (taken from Cat Spark’s photoset) sums up the mood on Saturday night: happy, boisterous, supportive, and so much fun. Like the Australian speculative fiction community in general, I’d say. Everyone was all dolled up — which is another thing I love about the Aurealis Awards! — and smiling, smiling, smiling. If you look at Cat’s photos, or at Tehani’s set, you’ll be greeted with a collection of people having a wonderful time, and all the smiles are genuine.
Of course, I was walking around on cloud nine all night. I was so surprised to have won the Best Collection award that I fell out of my shoe on the way up to the stage. I felt so lucky just to have been on a shortlist with Paul, Tansy, Deb and Sue that, as much as everyone likes to win, I really was totally stoked with just having my name next to theirs for all the world to see. So I floated up to the stage, dropped my shoe (luckily my dress was long) and then floated back to my seat. And there I was, feeling the adrenaline starting to ebb, feeling so relieved that I’d managed to make a speech that sounded somewhat composed and moderately articulate… and then I heard Kirstyn say that I’d tied with Paul Haines for the Best Horror Short Story award. It was at that point that I lost all composure, and with it All The Words.
I wish I could have had the presence of mind to say what an incredible honour it was to be on the winner’s podium with Paul. And, again, to have been on a shortlist with Deb Biancotti! Angela Slatter! And OMG MARGO LANAGAN! But as everyone saw, all I could muster was a goofy smile, a wide-eyed expression, and about a dozen shocked ‘thank yous’ before I sat back down. I was so happy to see Thoraiya Dyer win for Best Fantasy Short Story — two years in a row! — and loved that Kim Westwood’s The Courier’s New Bicycle won for Best Science Fiction novel (also loved her speech!), that Jack Dann’s Ghosts by Gaslight won Best Anthology, and that the Galactic Suburbia podcast was awarded the Peter McNamara!
The Rydges after-party was a wonderful, champagne-filled romp (note to self: next year, eat dinner first!) and it was so much fun catching up with friends I don’t get to see anywhere near enough, seeing Facebook and Twitter friends in 3D, and chatting and chatting and chatting — until the bar staff kicked us all out!
I just found out that Bluegrass Symphony has been shortlisted for the 2012 Norma K Hemming Award for race, gender, sexuality, class and disability in Australian speculative fiction. I’m gobsmacked! What an incredible honour to be included on this awesome shortlist:
Black Glass by Meg Mundell (Scribe)
Bluegrass Symphony by Lisa L Hannett (Ticonderoga Publications)
The Devil’s Diadem by Sara Douglass (HarperCollins)
Eona by Alison Goodman (HarperCollins)
Hindsight by A A Bell (HarperCollins)
Nightsiders by Sue Isle (Twelfth Planet Press)
Road to the Soul by Kim Falconer (HarperCollins)
The Shattered City by Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperCollins)
Yellowcake Springs by Guy Salvidge (Interactive Publications)
Winners and Honourable Mentions will be announced at the awards ceremony at Continuum 8 (51st Natcon on 8-11 June 2012). Congratulations, all!
So exciting! Ellen Datlow has just published the full list of Honorable Mentions for Best Horror of the Year, Vol 4 — and she gives the nod to SIX of my stories!
Hannett, L. L. “Gutted,” Shimmer 13.
Hannett, Lisa L. “Carousel,” Bluegrass Symphony.
Hannett, Lisa L. “From the Teeth of Strange Children,” Bluegrass Symphony.
Hannett, Lisa L. “Fur and Feathers,” Bluegrass Symphony.
Hannett, Lisa L. “Them Little Shinin’ Things,” Bluegrass Symphony.
Hannett, Lisa L. White and Red in the Black,” Dead Red Heart.
Wow! Lots of fantastic Australian writers also get mentions, including Angela Slatter, Cat Sparks, Kaaron Warren, Deb Biancotti, Margo Lanagan, Peter M Ball, Thoraiya Dyer, Alan Baxter, Kirstyn McDermott, Joanne Anderton… Hooray for everyone! And thanks to Charles Tan for passing on the link
There is an incredible list of eligible works and potential nominees this year (as is also the case with the Aurealis Awards) — so many great stories for us to read, so much great writing happening in Australia at the moment! You can peruse the list of Ditmar-eligible works here, bearing in mind that this list may need tweaking, and some of the pieces might not be arranged under the right categories at the moment.
It always feels weird pointing out my own eligible works — it’s a bit of self-promotion I feel awkward doing — but still, here goes. If any of you have liked my stories this year and want to nominate them for an award, here’s the list:
Best Collected Work
Bluegrass Symphony (Ticonderoga Publications)
Best Novella / Best Novellette
‘From the Teeth of Strange Children’ (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
‘To Snuff a Flame’ (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
‘Wires Uncrossed’ (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
Best Short Story
‘Down the Hollow’ (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
‘Fur and Feathers’ (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
‘The Short Go: A Future in Eight Seconds’ (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
‘Carousel’ (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
‘Depot to Depot’ (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
‘Forever, Miss Tapekwa County’ (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
‘The Wager and the Hourglass’ (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
‘Them Little Shinin Things’ (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
‘Gutted’, Shimmer, Issue 13
‘White and Red in the Black’ (Dead Red Heart, Ticonderoga Publications)
That’s it for 2011!
Now, on a similar but non-self-serving note, I want to nominate Angela Slatter’s ‘Drive-by’ interview series for a Ditmar. Angela ran this series for a couple of years, including all of last year, and the final post went up at the end of December 2011. Have a look at the breadth of interviews, the variety of excellent speculative fiction writers, editors, artists, and fans that participated — such a lot of work! Such a great series for all of us to read and re-read. It would be cool for it to be recognised with an award of some sort.
Any thoughts on what Ditmar category this series might fit into? ‘Best Fan Publication’? ‘The William Atheling Jr Award’? Please leave me a comment if you know which one would be best!
So cool to get an email from my publisher today with a link to Maureen Kincaid Speller’s first column at Weird Fiction Review, which is a detailed essay / review of five excellent books, including Bluegrass Symphony!
I love how the reviewer has integrated the reviews into a larger discussion of ‘what is weird fiction’ — we get to learn more about the books themselves, while also being offered an insightful exploration of the question at hand. Fantastic stuff.
“The mere touch of cold philosophy.” – Keats
Reviewed in this column:
Glorious Nemesis by Ladislav Klíma (Twisted Spoon Press, Prague, 2011)
The Orphan Palace by Joseph S. Pulver (Chômu Press, 2011)
Bluegrass Symphony by Lisa L. Hannett (Ticonderoga, 2011)
The Man From Primrose Lane by James Renner (Sarah Crichton Books, NY, 2012)
Sleight by Kirsten Kaschock (Coffee House Press, Minneapolis, 2011)
Since I accepted the invitation to become Weird Fiction Review’s book reviewer, I’ve been thinking a good deal about what I mean when I say ‘weird fiction’. The ostensive definition – what I point to when I say ‘weird fiction’ – can only go so far in accounting for my choices in this and future columns and so some sort of rule of thumb is maybe in order. But while definitions have their uses the reviewer can all too quickly be transformed into gatekeeper, determining how weird is weird enough rather than being open-minded. In part one defines by discarding, so for me weird fiction is mostly not science fiction, nor classic and contemporary fantasy, nor urban fantasy nor paranormal romance, nor ghost story … except that it might have elements of all or any of these and be weird as well. Likewise, experimental form does not automatically mean weird content but the two do, on occasion, go together. And anyway, rules exist to be broken.
Read the rest (including the lovely things she says about Bluegrass) here.
Alan Baxter, warrior scribe, invited me over to his website to participate in his ‘Tuesday Toot’ series, which he describes as: 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.
So I blithely headed on over to The Word and chatted about Bluegrass Symphony, the Weird West, Midnight & Moonshine and, of course, Le Novel.
*I tried to share this yesterday, but the internetz weren’t playing nice… Thanks for inviting me, Al!
Recently, the most excellent Jeremy L. C. Jones interviewed me for the February issue of Clarkesworld magazine — and it’s now live!
In ‘Wendigo, Waistcoat, Spyglass and Other Words’ Jeremy and I chat about style, the short form, and “the human side of even the nastiest creatures.” Jeremy asked such fantastic questions — it was an absolute pleasure answering them.
Why the short form? What is it that you love about the short story?
Initially, I started writing short stories because I was also working on my PhD, which is a long and often tedious process. I wanted to write something brief, immediate, with a clear end in sight. Also, I had loads of ideas for stories, and no matter how much I tried to ignore them, more kept cropping up. I’d be reading all sorts of dry academic articles or translating passages from the Icelandic sagas while my back-brain was jumping up and down, shouting “There’s a crow stuck in a mechanical carnival! What’re you going to do about it?” or “She’s got to sing while eating corpses! How’s she going to do that without a voice?” Things like that are hard to ignore.
Read the whole interview here.
In honour of Australia Day, I was asked to write an article about Australian horror for This Is Horror in the UK — and it’s now up! The article surveys some of the standout horror published in the past two years by Australian independent presses: so much to talk about, so much incredible talent!
Australia is a land of extremes. One minute the country is ravaged by drought and bushfires, the next it’s drowning in devastating floods. The continent is a combination of enormous red deserts meeting sprawling metropolises meeting ancient tropical rainforests meeting endless coastlines. Some of the largest — and tiniest — deadly predators on the planet are hidden out in the wilds, but are also unearthed in suburban backyards. Over it all, the harsh Australian sun beats down. Casting the longest, darkest shadows.
And right there — right where the glaring light gives way to shade — a population of Australian horror writers thrives. It’s a great position to be in. Looking at stories published by independent presses in the past two years, we find that Australian horror can plunge wholly into the black, even more tragic and disturbing by contrast to the brightness left behind; it can be light-hearted but nuanced, love and joy limned in darkness; or it can tread both worlds, supernatural and terrifying and endearing all at once…
Read the rest here — and enjoy!
Scary Minds has posted their review of Bluegrass Symphony, and, well. I’m gobsmacked. “Glowing” doesn’t quite cover it… It’s more like “incandescent”. ‘From the Teeth of Strange Children’, ‘Depot to Depot’ and ‘Forever, Miss Tapekwa County’ are singled out as particular favourites, but the reviewer has great things to say about the book as a whole:
Hannett throws down the gauntlet to erstwhile readers with a collection of twelve stories that aren’t quite what you would expect from a dark genre collection. The author has her own voice, isn’t afraid to let it sing, and delivers a collection that is remarkably striking…
Full recommendation, Hannett reminds us that the dark gothic short story is still an art form.
Lisa L. Hannett has arrived kicking and screaming on the scene. ScaryMinds has another favourite Author.
Read the rest of the review here.
Wow. I think I should go into the oubliette more frequently. Was offline for three days and came back to three fantastic reviews. I wonder what would happen if I went offline for a week?
(Not that we’ll never know: I’m way too attached to the internet to test that theory…)
Marc Nocerino has written a thoughtful and well-considered review of the collection for the most excellent She Never Slept — from which the title of this post is taken. Seriously, how cool is it to have your stories described as akin to “memoirs of the damned”? This is, honestly, an incredible compliment! (Thanks, Marc!)
Some other highlights:
The where is easy enough to pin down, but it is more difficult to put a finger on the when of this book, as Hannett expertly writes of these people and places in shadowy sepia tones that could be anywhere between the turn of last century and some near tomorrow. I enjoyed that ambiguity immensely, especially in the story “From The Teeth Of Strange Children”, where I had felt certain that it took place in the early 1900s until the characters get into an SUV with leather seats and “controls” for the windows...
Hannett’s stories themselves are some of the weirdest I’ve read in a while…
One thing that I enjoyed tremendously about this book is that Hannett’s horror is very personal. From the very first, these tales focus not only on the terrible things that are happening in her stories, but how they are affecting the lives and emotions of her protagonists. There is a hollow sadness suffusing these pages that made me feel like I was reading the memoirs of the damned.
Read the rest here.
Today has been awesome! Finished writing another chapter of The Familiar, and then when I bemoaned my lack of pancakes on Twitter this morning (it seems like *everyone* eats and then tweets about pancakes on Sunday!) the lovely Charles Tan offered me something MUCH sweeter: a link to the fabulous review he wrote of Bluegrass Symphony over on his website.
Here’s a snippet:
When we talk about an author’s style, it’s usually a quality that’s refined and polished over years. Hannett is one of those rare writers who can write using a variety of voices — and does so wonderfully. It’s not simply having an ear for dialog, but possessing the ability to translate what’s spoken into the written word and using it to convey to readers the mindset, upbringing, and culture of her characters…
Also wonderful is how Charles says: Bluegrass Symphony is one of those collections that feels more like an anthology due to the author’s wide range. This is easily a must-read book of 2011, doubly so since most of the stories aren’t reprints.
Read the rest here.