Finally, I can announce that I’ve got TWO stories in the Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2012, edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene. HOORAY!! It’s wonderful to see so many great authors in the ToC, which has just been released today:
- Joanne Anderton, “Tied To The Waste”, Tales Of Talisman
- R.J.Astruc, “The Cook of Pearl House, A Malay Sailor by the Name of Maurice”, Dark Edifice 2
- Lee Battersby, “Comfort Ghost”, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 56
- Alan Baxter, “Tiny Lives”, Daily Science Fiction
- Jenny Blackford, “A Moveable Feast”, Bloodstones
- Eddy Burger, “The Witch’s Wardrobe”, Dark Edifice 3
- Isobelle Carmody, “The Stone Witch”, Under My Hat
- Jay Caselberg, “Beautiful”, The Washington Pastime
- Stephen Dedman, “The Fall”, Exotic Gothic 4, Postscripts
- Felicity Dowker, “To Wish On A Clockwork Heart”, Bread And Circuses
- Terry Dowling, “Nightside Eye”, Cemetary Dance
- Tom Dullemond, “Population Management”, Danse Macabre
- Thoraiya Dyer, “Sleeping Beauty”, Epilogue
- Will Elliot, “Hungry Man”, The Apex Book Of World SF
- Jason Fischer, “Pigroot Flat”, Midnight Echo 8
- Dirk Flinthart, “The Bull In Winter”, Bloodstones
- Lisa L. Hannett, “Sweet Subtleties”, Clarkesworld
- Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter, “Bella Beaufort Goes To War”, Midnight And Moonshine
- Narrelle Harris, “Stalemate”, Showtime
- Kathleen Jennings, “Kindling”, Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear
- Gary Kemble, “Saturday Night at the Milkbar”, Midnight Echo 7
- Margo Lanagan, “Crow And Caper, Caper And Crow”, Under My Hat
- Martin Livings, “You Ain’t Heard Nothing Yet”, Living With The Dead
- Penelope Love, “A Small Bad Thing”, Bloodstones
- Andrew J. McKiernan, “Torch Song”, From Stage Door Shadows
- Karen Maric, “Anvil Of The Sun”, Aurealis
- Faith Mudge, “Oracle’s Tower”, To Spin A Darker Stair
- Nicole Murphy, “The Black Star Killer”, Damnation And Dames
- Jason Nahrung, “The Last Boat To Eden”, Surviving The End
- Tansy Rayner Roberts, “What Books Survive”, Epilogue
- Angela Slatter, “Jimmy Dean, Jimmy Dean”, This Is Horror Webzine
- Anna Tambour, “The Dog Who Wished He’d Never Heard Of Lovecraft”, Lovecraft Zine
- Kyla Ward, “The Loquacious Cadaver”, The Lion And The Aardvark: Aesop’s Modern Fables
- Kaaron Warren, “River Of Memory”, Zombies Vs. Robots
In addition to the above incredible tales, the volume will include a review of 2012 and a list of highly recommended stories.
The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2012 is scheduled for publication in July 2013 and can be pre-ordered at indiebooksonline.com. The anthology will be available in hardcover, ebook and trade editions.
For further information please contact Russell B. Farr, Ticonderoga Publications, firstname.lastname@example.org
FableCroft has just offered the first glimpse of the table of contents for their new anthology, One Small Step (edited by Tehani Wessely), and I’m delighted that our story is among such fine company!
“Sand and Seawater” by Joanne Anderton & Rabia Gale
“Indigo Gold” by Deborah Biancotti
“Firefly Epilogue” by Jodi Cleghorn
“The Ways of the Wyrding Women” by Rowena Cory Daniells
“The ships of Culwinna” by Thoraiya Dyer
“Shadows” by Kate Gordon
“By Blood and Incantation” by Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter
“Ella and the Flame” by Kathleen Jennings
“Original” by Penny Love
“Always Greener” by Michelle Marquardt
“Morning Star” by DK Mok
“Winter’s Heart” by Faith Mudge
“Cold White Daughter” by Tansy Rayner Roberts
“Baby Steps” by Barbara Robson
“Number 73 Glad Avenue” by Suzanne J Willis
Look for the book in early 2013!
Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene have compiled 32 fantastic stories and poems first published in 2011, from New Zealand’s and Australia’s finest writers.
The contents are
- Peter M Ball “Briar Day” (Moonlight Tuber)
- Lee Battersby “Europe After The Rain” (After the Rain, Fablecroft Press)
- Deborah Biancotti “Bad Power” (Bad Power, Twelfth Planet Press)
- Jenny Blackford “The Head in the Goatskin Bag” (Kaleidotrope)
- Simon Brown “Thin Air” (Dead Red Heart, Ticonderoga Publications)
- David Conyers and David Kernot “Winds Of Nzambi” (Midnight Echo #6, AHWA)
- Stephen Dedman “More Matter, Less Art” (Midnight Echo #6, AHWA)
- Sara Douglass & Angela Slatter “The Hall of Lost Footsteps” (The Hall of Lost Footsteps, Ticonderoga Publications)
- Felicity Dowker “Berries & Incense” (More Scary Kisses, Ticonderoga Publications)
- Terry Dowling “Dark Me, Night You” (Midnight Echo #5, AHWA)
- Jason Fischer “Hunting Rufus” (Midnight Echo #5, AHWA)
- Christopher Green “Letters Of Love From The Once And Newly Dead” (Midnight Echo #5, AHWA)
- Paul Haines “The Past Is A Bridge Best Left Burnt” (The Last Days of Kali Yuga, Brimstone Press)
- Lisa L Hannett “Forever, Miss Tapekwa County” (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
- Richard Harland “At The Top Of The Stairs” (Shadows and Tall Trees #2, Undertow Publications)
- John Harwood “Face To Face” (Ghosts by Gaslight, HarperCollins)
- Pete Kempshall “Someone Else To Play With” (Beauty Has Her Way, Dark Quest Books)
- Jo Langdon “Heaven” (After the Rain, Fablecroft Press)
- Maxine McArthur “The Soul of the Machine” (Winds of Change, CSFG)
- Ian McHugh “The Wishwriter’s Wife” (Daily Science Fiction)
- Andrew J McKiernan “Love Death” (Aurealis #45, Chimaera Publications)
- Kirstyn McDermott “Frostbitten” (More Scary Kisses, Ticonderoga Publications)
- Margaret Mahy “Wolf Night” (The Wilful Eye – Tales From the Tower #1, Allen & Unwin)
- Anne Mok “Interview with the Jiangshi” (Dead Red Heart, Ticonderoga Publications)
- Jason Nahrung “Wraiths” (Winds of Change, CSFG)
- Anthony Panegyres “Reading Coffee” (Overland, OL Society)
- Tansy Rayner Roberts “The Patrician” (Love and Romanpunk, Twelfth Planet Press)
- Angela Rega “Love In the Atacama or the Poetry of Fleas” (Crossed Genres, CGP)
- Angela Slatter “The Coffin-Maker’s Daughter” (A Book of Horrors, Jo Fletcher Books)
- Lucy Sussex “Thief of Lives” (Thief of Lies, Twelfth Planet Press)
- Kyla Ward “The Kite” (The Land of Bad Dreams, P’rea Press)
- Kaaron Warren “All You Can Do Is Breathe” (Blood and Other Cravings, Tor)
The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2011 is scheduled for publication in July 2012 and can be pre-ordered at indiebooksonline.com. The anthology will be available in hardcover, ebook and trade editions.
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!
Every time I start to feel like I need to do all the writing, and do it all now, I am going to click on this post because the advice Tansy Rayner Roberts has shared with us this week is awesome. Seriously.
Tansy is an award-winning — and prolific! — author of fantasy novels, novellas, and short stories. Power and Majesty (Book One in the Creature Court trilogy) won the Aurealis Award for ‘Best Fantasy Novel’ last year (and if you haven’t read it yet, go! Read! It’s such a fun book!) and The Shattered City (Creature Court, Book Two) has just been nominated for this year’s ‘Best Fantasy Novel’ AA. Plus, her fantastic boutique collection, Love and Romanpunk, has been nominated in this year’s ‘Best Collection’ category, including a story that’s been given a nod in the ‘Best YA Story’ category! Meanwhile, Tansy somehow also finds the time to read voraciously and bring us all loads of spec-fic news with Alisa and Alex as part of the Galactic Suburbia podcast.
How does she get it all done? Perhaps this week’s therapy session will give us some insight…
Small, achievable goals.
It’s the piece of advice I dole out most often to my friends. Some of them have learned to recognise the look on my face, and chorus it with me, because it’s not the first time I’ve said it to them.
I’m sure there are people in the world who need advice on how to think bigger, and grander, how to take their tiny, hesitant plans and turn them into something epic and world-beating. But I don’t have many friends like that. My friends tend, on the whole, to be crazy ambitious people with ideas too enormous to fit into their heads. The kind of people who beat themselves up because they’re not doing EVERYTHING RIGHT NOW.
Not just the writers, oh no. It works as writing advice, but it’s also good advice for life. Sometimes, the goal is just too big, and you can’t get there today. So break it down into small, achievable goals.
One of the hardest things I ever did was to get back to writing after my first baby was born, and my PhD had finally been put to death. I couldn’t write the way I had in the days before my life changed so drastically, and it was hugely frustrating. So I took on a challenge of tiny bites, which was to write 100 words (of anything) every day for 100 days. If you missed one, you started again.
It seemed like a ridiculously small thing to try to do. I had novels to write, lots of novels, and I wasn’t going to get my career back on track with 100 words at a time, five minutes a day.
But it was exactly what I needed. There were days when I wrote a lot more than 100 words, but there was something so deeply satisfying about hitting that target, regularly, which gave me my confidence back. And of course there were days when I forgot until just before bed, and hauling myself back to the laptop and chipping out those words before I let myself sleep made me feel like a superhero.
These days, whenever the balance of parenting and writing and editing and TIME THERE IS NO TIME FOR ANYTHING gets too much for me, I try to breathe, and hit my targets, and keep moving, one small and achievable goal at a time.
It doesn’t always work, but it keeps me on my feet, and some days that’s enough to count as a win.
Tansy Rayner Roberts was first published at the age of 20 back in 1998 with a comic fantasy novel called Splashdance Silver, which won the inaugural George Turner Prize. Her recent book releases include The Creature Court (Harper Voyager), Love and Romanpunk (Twelfth Planet Press) and the Siren Beat half of Siren Beat/Roadkill (Twelfth Planet Press). She is currently working on a novel about Nancy Napoleon, the heroine of Siren Beat. You can visit Tansy’s website here or tweet her @tansyrr.
There are so many awesome stories on these lists, I honestly don’t know how the judges narrowed it down. And I’m so stoked to see my work nominated in two categories: Best Collection (for Bluegrass Symphony) and Best Horror Short Story (for ‘The Short Go: A Future in Eight Seconds’). Wow!!!
Without further ado, here are the finalists:
2011 Aurealis Awards – Finalists
The Undivided by Jennifer Fallon (HarperVoyager)
Ember and Ash by Pamela Freeman (Hachette)
Stormlord’s Exile by Glenda Larke (HarperVoyager)
Debris by Jo Anderton (Angry Robot)
The Shattered City by Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperVoyager)
A while ago, Lee Battersby emailed to say he was running a series of posts about Art over at the Battersblog, and asked me to contribute to the Treacherous Carrot discussion. And, lo. Contribute I did.
Art and beauty and writing — I could’ve talked about this topic for ages…
In February 1880, William Morris delivered a lecture before the Birmingham Society of Arts and School of Design, which was later published in a book called Hopes and Fears for Art. It was during this public lecture, Morris’s first, that the philosophy driving the Arts & Crafts movement was famously summarised. “If you want a golden rule that will fit everybody,” Morris declared, “this is it: Have nothing in your houses that you do not know to be useful or believe to be beautiful.”
Replace ‘houses’ with ‘writing’ and now read that sentence aloud.
What you’ve just heard is the mantra that whispers through my mind every time I start writing a story — and which bludgeons me when I go to read one.
So, I’d listened to the first two episodes of ‘The Writer and the Critic’ (aka Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond sharing news, opinions and reviews about mostly-speculative-fiction books) and then in the madness of finishing the PhD of Doom I apparently forgot about anything that wasn’t directly related to medieval Icelandic literature.
Going to Swancon last week and attending a great session about podcasts (with Kirstyn, Helen Merrick and Jonathan Strahan) reminded me how many awesome Aussie podcasts there are at the moment! As soon as I got back home I had a little look-see on iTunes, downloaded the remaining W&tC episodes that I’d missed (and, Kirstyn, your “Hello future people” comments were eerily accurate!), along with a bunch of Galactic Suburbia shows, some Coode Street episodes with Jonathan Strahan and Gary Wolfe, and Helen and Tama’s Pangalactic Interwebs. It is a teensy bit weird listening to them out of sequence, and listening to the news updates after the fact – but, all in all, I am SO HAPPY these creative and intelligent people are casting such amazing pods for our edjamucation! Kirstyn & Ian make me laugh out loud – so much so that I had to stop listening to them while at work because I was giggling like a loonie at my desk – and I’ve now got so many novel recommendations from GS that I fear my poor bedside table is going to collapse under the weight of all the new books I have to get. (Yes, *have* to get.)
Three cheers for great specfic discussions!
2) Being PhD free (aka Getting My Life Back)
Sure, I still have to officially submit the thesis for examination. But as far as I’m concerned, the writing – the hard slog, the tears, the agony – is finished. Which means, of course, that all that time I previously devoted to researching, thinking, agonising, and eventually writing the thesis can now be dedicated to other, much more enjoyable things. Like reading! In anticipation of the ‘Game of Thrones’ series, I’ve been re-reading George R.R. Martin’s series, and it’s a joy to just read something for fun! I also stocked up on Aussie independent press books while in Perth, and am now working my way through Dead Red Heart, Scenes from the Second Storey, More Scary Kisses and also the first two books in the Twelve Planets series. Well, I started that one with the second book, I admit: Tansy Rayner Roberts’ Love and Romanpunk accompanied me on the plane home from the convention, and it was delightful! I can’t wait to read Sue Isle’s book (#1 in the series), which is currently top of the teetering pile of books on the abovementioned overloaded bedside table. I’m also reading a fabulous collection of short stories (not speculative fiction) by Simon van Booy called Love Begins in Winter; I’m only one story in but already there have been some devastatingly beautiful phrases that have made me sigh with happiness (unlike the sighs of angst, woe, and omgihatemythesis that accompanied the reading I was doing earlier this year for research purposes…) Being sans PhD has also opened up waaaaaaaaaay more time for me to hide away in:
3) The Writing Oubliette
As I mentioned in my post-Swancon post, Angela and I have started working on Midnight and Moonshine, our joint collection. We are really excited about this book and, at some point in the near future, we intend to do some joint blog posts about the collaborative experience of writing short stories… But for now, I just want to revel in the fact that I actually have a bit of time to dedicate to this project, and working on it doesn’t make me feel guilty about procrastinating because there ain’t no more stooopid thesis to drag me down! Obviously I’m still getting accustomed to this – it still doesn’t seem entirely real that I really, really, really do have some time now – and so I have to keep saying it aloud (or, in writing, as the case may be) to convince myself that it’s true.
I also have to get used to writing like a writer again, instead of writing like an academic. This wasn’t a problem for me while I was in the “I’ll be done the thesis one day” stage; for the past two years I’ve been writing and publishing stories and working on drafts of my thesis chapters without one feeding too much into the other. But since January – the month in which I did nothing (nothing) but work on the thesis – I’ve been so focused on finishing this massive research project that any time I went to work on a story the prose sounded like a research paper. (Ask Brain: she’ll vouch for this fact. Dry, dry, dry!) I was still getting loads of fun ideas for short stories, but my brain was in a completely different space in terms of making these ideas into stories. And, to be honest, since it has taken me until, well, now to finally get rid of the research I have only recently been able to start writing like a writer again.
So starting to work on ‘Wyrmwood’, which is going to appear about halfway through Midnight and Moonshine, has been an excellent way to get my story-writer head back on straight.
The words are back!
The author sighs in relief.
Exciting news from the Twelfth Planet Press website: Margo Lanagan, Lucy Sussex, Rosaleen Love, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Deborah Biancotti, Kaaron Warren, Cat Sparks, Sue Isle, Kirstyn McDermott, Narrelle M Harris, Thoraiya Dyer, and Stephanie Campisi have been announced as the lineup for the Twelve Planets project! I’m a great fan of many of these authors, so I can’t wait to get my hands on all twelve of these books!
I’ve snurched the blurb from the TPP website so that you, too, can see how cool this concept is:
The Twelve Planets are twelve boutique collections by some of Australia’s finest short story writers. Varied across genre and style, each collection will offer four short stories and a unique glimpse into worlds fashioned by some of our favourite storytellers. Each author has taken the brief of 4 stories and up to 40 000 words in their own direction. Some are quartet suites of linked stories. Others are tasters of the range and style of the writer. Each release will bring something unexpected to our subscriber’s mailboxes.
The Twelve Planets will spread over 2011 and 2012, with six books released between February and November each year. The first three titles will be Nightsiders by Sue Isle (March), Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts (May) and the third collection will be by Lucy Sussex (July).
Over at the New York Review of Books’ website, Samantha Holloway offers a detailed introduction and review of the soon-to-be-released Steampunk II: Steampunk Reloaded anthology. I think it’d be hard to find a more enthusiastic or positive report on the fantastic work Ann & Jeff VanderMeer have done on editing this anthology, and I for one cannot wait until my copies arrive!
BTW, feel free to read the above statement as a challenge — I’d be more than happy to see people trying to outdo each other in an ‘I heart Steampunk Reloaded‘ competition…
Also worthy of a hearty squee is the news that Tansy Rayner Roberts’ story ‘Siren Beat’ (published by Twelfth Planet Press) has just won the Washington SF Small Press Short Fiction Award – including shiny new trophy!
Finally, the interwebs are beginning to buzz about Mark Harding’s Music for Another World anthology, in which my story ‘Singing Breath into the Dead’ appears. You can read a lovely review of the antho here, and/or head on over to the Mutation Press website to see clips of some of the stories being read, and to nab yourself a copy.