Publishers Weekly reviews Dead Red Heart and More Scary Kisses…

…and has very flattering things to say about both! More Scary Kisses (ed. by Liz Grzyb) gets a fine review here with specific nods for Fraser Sherman, Liz Coley, Felicity Dowker, Kirstyn McDermott, and co-authors Martin Livings and Talie Helene! Awesome stuff! Dead Red Heart (ed. by Russell B. Farr) also gets a really positive review: standouts mentioned are by Shona Husk, Angela Slatter (yay!) and the multiauthored adventure that is ‘The Tide’.

Congrats, all!

To give you an idea of what Dead Red Heart has in story for you, visit Angela’s Slatter’s website for a passage from her awesome story, ‘Sun Falls’. And here’s a snippet from the opening of my story, ‘White and Red in the Black’:

The shit-stench of fear stings DJ’s nostrils, pungent in the midsummer heat. Scattered across the pen, a dozen sheep lie heavy on their sides, heads twisted at unnatural angles. Dust-grey fleece clumps around their necks with a red so dark it looks black in the moonlight. Deep gashes shear their flanks, faces, legs: finger-wide and bloody, evidence the animals managed to break their attackers’ grip at least once.

Dingoes, thinks Daniel Shenk Jr, a sour taste in his mouth. Three, maybe four.

High-pitched bleats still yodel into the night, no less frantic now than when they’d called the farmer’s son from his tea. Eager to put as much distance between themselves and their mangled mates, the surviving sheep press against DJ’s legs, tripping him up as he walks across the enclosure. His knees crack as he crouches beside one body. Death clouds the ram’s eyes. Wet irises roll far back in the sockets; its sightless stare almost completely white.

DJ’s voice breaks as he bellows for his father.

He scans the pen, looks for any sign of how the culprits got in. Panicked hooves have churned the packed ground into a mess of pits and furrows; there are no tracks inside or around the perimeter, no ochre tufts of canine hair caught on the fence. But for weeks he’s heard those wild dogs howling as the distant crackle of bushfire smoulders up the peninsula from Wangary all the way to Poochera. Shaking his head, he swats flies away from his ears and brushes them off the carcass. He traces a finger along its velvet muzzle, rests a hand on its flank. The wool is greasy and still warm beneath his touch. His palm comes away wet.

The dead sheep convulses. Tremors run from rump to shoulder and its body jerks as though possessed. Scrambling to stand, DJ trips on a rut and falls on his arse. The corpse inches towards him, moving across the dirt in erratic bumps and jolts…

Both anthologies will be launched at Swancon in April — hope to see you all there for the celebrations!


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