Sunday, December 29, 2013

The End (Of The Year) Is Nigh.

Now is the time of year we traditionally reflect on the previous 12 months.

I made big plans for this year, and I had high hopes of achieving them all.  In some ways I feel as though I've failed as I barely made a dint on the list. Life happened - it was a difficult and busy year - and some writing had to be sacrificed.

And yes, I recognise it's a matter of priorities and I could have done more, had I chosen.

On the other hand, I made some great sales, including my first pro-sale.

Next year. I promise I'll do more next year.

Have a great New Year's Eve.

Tuesday, December 24, 2013

A Down Under Merry Christmas.

Peace on Earth, goodwill to all.

I saw this somewhere yesterday, probably in a shop window or something. Quite a good sentiment but the cynical side of me questions its attainability. (attainableness?)

Christmas is traditionally seen as a Christian event, although now it's generally accepted as being more widespread than that. I'm not one of those that thinks carols should be banned because they contain a Christian message, or that we should say 'Happy Holidays' instead of Merry Christmas. Leave the tradition as it is, and accept it for what it is.

I grew up in a church environment, although that's not where my beliefs lie now. Each year I look forward to the Christmas season and enjoy its sense of goodwill.

Now all we have to do is extend that feeling to the rest of the year.

Merry Christmas to all.

Sunday, December 22, 2013

The Calm Before The Storm.

A short post this week, mostly because I've been a tour guide for visiting relatives (from the U.K.) and haven't had much time to sit down and write anything. I'm currently sitting in the kitchen typing this and it's still early and quiet. Only my brother-in-law beat me up, but I think he's jet-lagged still. He's on another laptop writing emails to home. Business? Family? Friends?  I have no idea, but even in holiday mode on the other side of the world life goes on around us.

We've been out and about a bit checking out the native animals and local sights. It's a strange thing to see these familiar things through the eyes of first time visitors. There's a freshness, a new appreciation that fills me and inspires me.

The others have started rising now, and the house is no longer quiet. They're bustling, and trying to engage us in conversation while we'd like just another half hour of peace and quiet. And in an hour or so we'll all be off on another day of adventures.

My holidays are off to a great start. How about yours?

Wednesday, December 18, 2013

One Tin Soldier Rides Away.

When I was a high school student, they occasionally dragged us off to a cinema somewhere to show us a film. In those days DVDs and videos simply didn't exist, and if they wanted to show a film in school they had to rent the reels and have a licenced projectionist on staff.

I remember they took us to see 12 Angry Men. I presume that was for Legal Studies, although it was the 70s and anything was possible. We saw Macbeth, the playboy version with the three naked witches. I'm pretty sure this was for English. And then for some bizarre reason they even showed us No Blade of Grass, a post-apocalyptic survival film. I have no idea what that was in connection with.

But the one I remember most, the one that had the biggest impact on me was Billy Jack. 

I haven't seen it since, but I fondly recall the story of a Native American Vietnam Veteran defending a bunch of kids and teachers at a 'free' curriculum school from a bunch of rampaging, racist rednecks.

The writer, director, star of that film, Tom Laughlin, passed away a couple of days ago. He was 82 years old, and still married to Dolores Taylor, his co-star/co-writer in Billy Jack. They'd been together since 1954.

I've read a couple of comments that the themes in Billy Jack are outdated and confused, as the peace/love thing fails while Billy Jack has to resort to violence in order to win. But I don't remember it like that. I recall the story being about how sometimes you have to stand up against the bully, about how justice fails those who have defended the country, and how patriotism comes in different shapes and sizes.

Billy Jack only fought back because the local rednecks pushed him into it, after a rape and a murder, and someone had to stand up for the kids. And the horses.

Yes, there were horses.

And, as Billy Jack was taken away by the police after surrendering, he was given a guard of honour by the kids, fists raised in salute, while the song One Tin Soldier was played.

I must watch this again soon, to see exactly how much it has dated.

Monday, December 16, 2013

All Over Bar The Shouting.

Deadlines loom, and few of them have to do with writing. Which is why this post is a day late.

Guests are visiting over Christmas and there has been a lot of work to get done around the house. The kitchen has been renovated, mostly by me (although I did call in a tradie friend for the measuring and straight cutting parts) but a couple of problems meant its completion is coming down to the wire. The garden is looking fabulous. It's full of colour and a lovely place to sit and relax, which I hope to have time to do soon.

School is about done for the year - a few days left. Reports are being compiled, programs for next year are being written, meeting are being held, the passive voice is being used. Free time calls me.

And then I must get some writing done. Don't worry, editors, I haven't forgot you. The deadlines will be met.

Tuesday, December 10, 2013

Tales Of Marrakesh.

I love waking up to acceptance emails.

Alban Lake, publisher of Outposts of Beyond, has bought another of my stories. I love this story. Not only is it a twist on the Aladdin tale, but elements of the story actually happened to me when I was in Marrakesh with my wife.

A magical city, a magical time.

I now have four stories scheduled for publication in the first four months of next year.

A pretty good start to 2014, don't you think?

Sunday, December 8, 2013

Make Your Own Future.

When I was in high school  I had a part time job in a supermarket. Thirty three years ago today, I was out the back of the store doing some menial task when someone told me John Lennon had been shot.

Many times over the years I've wondered what could have been.

Lennon had just released his first album in five years, and while it's no classic it was certainly more accessible than his previous few releases. At least the tracks that were his were.

It certainly seems as though Lennon was finally open to a Beatles reunion. We can only speculate as to whether they would have even come close to the quality of their previous output should they have entered a recording studio once more.

There are many other rumours about John's personal life that may have led him in different directions. And again we can only wonder.

But we have what we have. And we can play the 'what if' game with plenty of others. Hendrix, Cobain, and Morrison.

And writers. What if Salinger or Capote had written more? What if Philip K Dick had lived past the premiere of Blade Runner?

What if I had started writing twenty years earlier?

We have what we have. We are who we are. I'm here, right now, doing this. And if I don't produce more, then that's no one's fault but mine. Do I have a novel ready to burst from me? Will it even sell?

Stick around. We might find out together.

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

I Come From A Land Down Under.

I had a bit of free time with one of my boys' classes this week and so I showed them a little bit of Star Wars Downunder.

Not only is it superbly done with high production values, but it's funny and catches the ocker stereotype brilliantly. I loved it, my students really liked it, but as we watched I became aware they didn't 'get' it all.

Very few Australians really speak like that all the time, and even fewer do so now than they did 4o years ago. Watch a bit of Smiley, or Paul Hogan Show, or even Kingswood Country, and you'll see characters, albeit exaggerated to the nth degree, speaking and behaving that way.

But with globalisation, the invasion of U.S. media and TV, and our own knee-jerk reaction to the 80s cultural cringe, our kids no longer even recognise half these expressions or idioms.

Nor did they 'get' all the Aussie jokes and references.

Which is sad. It's part of our history, part of our culture, and although I never spoke like that (despite last Sunday's post) I used some of those terms and could recognise the historical references.

We're homogenising. And I think that's fair dinkum sad.

Sunday, December 1, 2013

Stone The Crows, Cobber!

Fair dinkum!

For those that don't know me personally, I'm Australian. I was born in Scotland but I emigrated here with my parents when I was about one year old. And despite having lived virtually all my life here, apart from a six year stint in Japan, and identifying myself as Australian, it was only a couple of months ago that I actually took up citizenship.

So yes, I'm a true-blue, dinky-di Aussie.

And so I was thrilled to receive my contributor copy of Outposts Of Beyond #2 this week, and find the fantastic blurb the editor, Tyree Campbell, had written for my story, The God Thing.
"You may have noticed that Steve Cameron tends to take matters just a bit over the edge. We call it pushing the envelope, or thinking outside the box. I’m not sure what they call it in Australia, where Steve lives and writes and says things like “Crikey” and “Fair dinkum,” and drinks beer out of schooners. But he has a way with ideas. Here he blends science fiction and theology. Or is it the other way around?"

Yup, that pretty much nails it. Except that in my state we drink beer from 'pots', not 'schooners'.

I will add that the two main characters in this story are based on two people I know rather well, and their theological discussions are based on conversations I've been part of.

It's available in e-format and print.

Fair dinkum indeed.

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

The Crazy Time Of Year.


The end of school year is approaching, which means people think teachers are starting to slack off. But there's a lot of marking, report writing and course planning for 2014 to be done. I'm also completing kitchen renovations at home, as well as a few other bits that need doing in the garden and the house, and preparing for visiting family.

In about 2 weeks I feel like I'll finally be able to kick back and relax a little, and even maybe get some writing done. But for now it's full steam ahead.

And darn those torpedoes.

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Indoctrinaire To The Islanders.

One of the first SF books I ever read as a teenager was Indoctrinaire by Christopher Priest.

It has been a very long time since I read it last, but I do know that as a young man I fell in love with the book and with Priest's writing.  Over the past three (and more) decades, I've read pretty much everything he's published. Every time I read his words I'm blown away at how efficiently beautiful they are.

This week I suddenly realised I'd never read The Affirmation, despite its occupancy of my bookshelf for many years. I started reading it a couple of nights ago. It is, of course, superb. I was completely thrilled to discover elements of the story take place in one of my favourite worlds, a string of islands known as The Dream Archipelago.

Priest has a short story collection with this title, set in this world. The opening story, The Negation, is one of the most beautiful I've ever read. A 'novel', The Islanders, was released a couple of years back. It's like a Lonely Planet guide to the islands, although the entries build to tell a story. Truly amazing.

So I was thrilled to be back in The Dream Archipelago. I always enjoy my visits there. After that I might visit some of his other worlds.

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Deal With It.

Rejections are odd beasts.

I've written a few times about how they don't bug me as much now as they did when I first started subbing. That doesn't mean they don't still frustrate me, though.

In the past year I've received a few rejections that have even made me laugh. Along with the usual 'well written' and 'just not for us' comments, I had one where it was obvious the reader hadn't actually read the story. The comment referred to an event that didn't occur. I guess the reader probably glanced at the first page while eating dinner and watching some reality program on TV.

I had another one tell me my story wasn't a story. Of course that piece then sold to a much better market, and has since received great comments.

And then there was the one that said that while the story was good, it wasn't SF. Hmmmm. I looked at it again, and realised if I were to pull the SF element from the story, the whole thing collapses. That makes it SF in my book.

These rejections didn't do any more than frustrate me for a minute or so. Of course I pay attention to the comments and suggestions, but I trust my own discernment in deciding whether to tackle to story again. Each of those stories were subbed straight out again at other markets. Different reader, different editor, different comments.

Pffft.  I blow my nose at your rejections.

Sunday, November 17, 2013

Christmas, Decisions And Tantrums.

It's closing in on the end of the year.  I've already heard Christmas carols in shops, and seen Christmas commercials on TV. Far too early, in my book. There's still five or six weeks to go which is more than ten percent of the year.

Bah, humbug!

I've already commenced planning for next year at work. I had to make decisions about which 'positions of responsibility' I would apply for, and then submit an application. These are extra roles to my classroom teaching, but we have to take one on anyway.

A tough decision had to be made. Fortunately I think I made the right choice. I feel good about it, anyway. And that's a start.

My horoscope, which I don't usually even look at, told me that in order to have success I needed to make demands and throw a tantrum. I asked my boss if he thought that was a good idea. He seemed bemused, for a moment, then said it was an idea - not necessarily a good one.

I decided not to yell.

We're on the downward run of 2013. Of course I haven't achieved half the things I planned to this year, but that's OK. I achieved a bunch of things I didn't expect to.

But it does feel as though the years are speeding up. I have a good feeling about 2014.

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

What Big Words You Have, Grammar!

I spent six years teaching English in Japan. I didn't work within the education system, but for private conversation schools. Mostly solo or in small groups, my youngest students were around 3 years old, while my eldest was well into his 80s. It was fun and interesting, and very educational. Those students, who had been studying English since they were in primary school, had varying spoken abilities, but generally their grammar knowledge was far in advance of my own.

I recall the first time I was asked whether a particular word was the 'past participle' or not. I panicked, not even knowing what that meant.

But during that time I studied and learned and picked up a great deal of grammar.

By the time I went to university to study English teaching, at the ripe old age of 37, I knew much more grammar than my fellow students. This certainly served me well, and I can remember a couple of time I was asked by the tutor to explain a concept to the rest of the class. EFL experience helped a great deal.

Now that I write none of this knowledge and experience is wasted. I don't always get it right, and there are times when I've written something that's more obvious to me than my beta readers, but generally I'm told that my pieces, even the first draft, are very clean.

Personally I think a writer should be interested in language. As an English teacher I  encourage my students to develop more sophisticated writing styles and reading habits. I also try to engender a love, or at least an appreciation, of words and language.

Sometimes I even succeed.

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Experiencing Horror.

A few days ago it occurred to me that I've had my fair share of horror in my life. No longterm horror, living through war, abuse, disease or anything like that, but enough small individual experiences and moments that all make great fodder for writing.

Let me explain and give a few examples.

As a youngster, I sometimes used to go and spend weekends with my Grandparents. Now while most Grandparents lived in regular houses with yards, my Grandparents didn't. They were live in caretakers at the Royal College of Surgeons. Which meant that we had long hallways, labs and lecture theatres to play in. And, of course, the museum.

Looking back, it's a wonder I wasn't scarred (or scared) by wandering through glass cases exhibiting real body parts, often with cut-aways to reveal muscle, bones and organs. I even remember walking into one of the labs one day where a cadaver was laid on the autopsy table in a clear bag. I believe that's one occasion when I ran out immedately.

And yes, now, as an adult, it seems strange a body was left on the table overnight. (I do recall the room was chilled - or maybe that was just me!)

As I said, all good writing fodder.

Later, as a police officer, I've faced even more horror. I've held a month old baby in my arms that was completely blue and cold, I held a man in my arms, seated in his blood pouring from a gunshot wound, and watched him die. I performed CPR on the victim of a motorcycle accident who had half his leg missing. I've knocked on doors and asked to speak with family members after fatal accidents. I've faced people armed with knives and sawn-off shotguns. I've talked a man out of cutting himself any further, and taken people into mental institutions because they were no longer coping in the real world.

Of course there's more, and some of this is just the obvious stuff.

We all face horror in our lives, and it's all a matter of degrees. I've seen people in much worse situations than I've ever been in. And there are others I've merely read about who have faced horrors of the most unimaginable kinds.

But those moments, of dealing with people, speaking to others living in different realities to mine. It truly is an amazing life experience to have had.

And I consider myself most fortunate.

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

I Hate The Phrase "On A Journey"!

I really do.

"I've been on a journey", or "it's been a journey", or "you're just starting on a journey." Unless you're actually travelling somewhere exotic, that is. But when people use it for some kind of experience or learning, it bugs me. Don't worry, I won't block or delete you if you do say it.  It's me, not you.

But Brad R. Torgersen could be forgiven if he were to use this phrase. (He didn't.) But he did post this.
It's November 5. I just realized today is the 4th anniversary of me finding out I'd won the Writers of the Future Contest with my story "Exanastasis." My first pro sale/publication. Wow. Where did the time go?
It's the 6th November here in Australia, but it's still the 5th in the U.S.A.  (Still behind the times....)

I actually remember that day. I remember Brad being announced as finalist weeks earlier, and then watching him sweat as he waited for the results. I was supporting him, cheering him on. (Sorry, guys, but 'rooting' has a far less salubrious meaning Down Under.) And then I remember the first hint that he'd received the phone call from Joni, that he'd won.

He posted a smiley emoticon.  That's all.

I messaged him to ask whether he'd won. I can't recall his exact response, but I think he acknowledged it without saying directly.

But I knew Brad (online) before that, and I remember him not really being sure of his own abilities, or even understanding much about how the industry worked.

Now, of course, he's won awards and been nominated for a bunch more. He's sold heaps of stories, has his own collection out (Lights in the Deep) and recently signed contracts for his first novel. (Now that he's big time, I hope he doesn't sue me for pinching his photo from his website.)

I haven't had the opportunity to meet Brad in person yet, although he does owe me a drink. I look forward to catching up with him as some point. I saw Brad as an inspiration then, and I still see him as one. He's pretty much where I'm aiming for at this stage. Step by step, inch by inch, goal by goal.

What a long strange trip it's been. (and continues to be!) Congratulations, Brad

Sunday, November 3, 2013

In And Around.

A couple of rejections this week, although they were not unexpected and I'm not overly disappointed by them.

That's not to say I didn't have hopes they would sell, or even that I was sending the stories to markets where they had no chance. I'm a firm believer in aiming squarely at your level and not wasting editors/readers time by sending them every little thing in the tiny hope they might like it. No, if I send a story to a market I'm of the belief the story could sell there. It simply that these markets are very difficult to break into as they take so few stories.

But I find that for the most part I can handle rejections quite well. And so those stories, with barely time to catch their collected breaths, were shipped straight out to other markets.

An interesting week all round. Work was fabulous, the renovations at home continue, and my wife and I went to the taping of a new show with my brother and sister-in-law. It was a lot of fun, I scored some loot, and we all went out for dinner.

New ideas for stories continue to stockpile - and of course I make notes on them all. I even started work on one of them - although I managed only the opening. It will do for now.

Tuesday is a public holiday, students tend to take Monday off, and I have a few things to look forward to in the coming week.

Life is good.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

What Kind Of Writer?

It's only in the past six months that I've actually felt comfortable calling myself a writer. Before then I wasn't really sure what to call myself. Aspiring writer? Emerging writer? Beginning writer?

I always had a problem with aspiring writer.  That makes you sound like someone who wants to be a writer but may or may not be actually doing anything.  An emerging writer has similar connotations. Emerging from where? From the great unknown to fame and fortune?  Then I suspect I'll be emerging for a very long time, although this is the term I personally favoured for a long time.

And then there's just writer. All on its own.

There are a whole bunch of writers out there who simply say if you write, then you're a writer. But I don't think it's that simple or that accurate. Someone who writes? Then every single student in school is a writer.

But no.  We don't allow that for other pastimes or career pursuits. And are we demeaning the professional writer by suggesting anyone can write?

If an adults performs scenes in their own house we would never consider them an actor. The same as someone who kicks a football around their backyard isn't a player. My mother used to make her own clothes, back in the day. But she would never call herself a fashion designer. We need to have some kind of levels of ability, result, professionalism. This, perhaps unfortunately, is measured through sales and publications - external validation.

When people asked me, I used to tell them that I wrote short fiction and aimed to become a professional writer (and that doesn't necessarily mean you'll make a full time living from it). But despite what some will tell you, there are tiers of markets, people who write do have varied talents, and not all stories are equal.

But I now have that external validation. I have sales to respected markets, purchased by recognised and awarded editors and publishers.

I've just started and I have a long way to go, but I am a writer.

Monday, October 28, 2013

Vale: Lou Reed.

1966. The Beatles were at the tail end of their moptop era, the Stones were their nasty counterparts. Very few people were listening to the Velvet Underground, despite the massive influence they were to become and remain.

McCartney sang Got To Get You Into My Life, a subtle acknowledgement of marijuana, while the Velvets recorded, Heroin, a full-on description of the drug coursing through their veins. They sang openly about the New York underground scene: drugs, prostitution, sado-masochism, etc.

Like most people, my first taste of Lou Reed was through the first band album, Velvet Underground & Nico, and his second solo album, Transformer. The best-known tracks off those two albums alone are enough to define an entire career. Sunday Morning, I'm Waiting For The Man, Femme Fatale, Venus In Furs, Run Run Run, All Tomorrow's Parties, Heroin, I'll Be Your Mirror, The Black Angel's Death Song, Perfect Day, Walk On The Wild Side, and Satellite Of Love to name only some of them.

Lou was 71 years old.

Sunday, October 27, 2013

What's happened to SF Films?

I'm trying to think back to the last great SF film I saw.

It certainly wasn't Prometheus or Elysium. Both looked shiny and pretty, but both were completely ridiculous and, basically, a mess. Looper was just plain stupid.

I saw Oblivion this week, which was OK. It wasn't great, but for a Tom Cruise SF vehicle, it was a typical Tom Cruise SF film.

Last night I watched Upside Down, which made the mistake of trying to pretend it was an SF film by having SF rules, when really it should have declared itself a fantasy film and be done with it. Oh, and if you make rules in your worldbuilding, you can't break them.

I also saw Gravity, which I will include here even though it's not an SF film. There's nothing in that films that couldn't currently happen (apart from the film-maker's usual exaggerations to create a story) and nothing that suggests it being set in the future, apart from a high mission number. It was good, but wasn't great. OK, some of the science was a bit dodgy, but the second half lost the tension and became silly at points, and Sandra Bullock was Sandra Bullock. Now with more botox, it would seem. Those eyebrows just didn't move.

Any others recently?

I enjoyed Star Trek: Into Darkness, but it was no Star Trek movie. There was no 'boldly going', and no 'exploring strange worlds' and 'meeting alien races.' I also didn't like J.J. Abrams throwing in all the 'sparkly' stuff in the first two films. Time travel, end of Romulan world, and transportation from FTL ships. It leaves me more than a little concerned about the future Star Wars movies being in his hands. At least it wasn't After Earth.

Why can't they get it right? Why can't they make a Silent Running or The Day The Earth Stood Still? (Mention Keanu's version and you're no friend of mine!)

At the moment I have high hopes for Enders Game. Please let it be good.

Wednesday, October 23, 2013


There simply aren't enough SF writing workshops available to those of us who live in Australia.

My American based friends and peers seem to have access to  many workshops with name writers and editors. I always see someone I know who's off to learn the finer points of writing at the feet of these masters. But here?

Clarion South has  been in hibernation for a few years. Writers Victoria offers SF specific courses every couple of years, while their general short story courses seem to run only during working hours. Even then they tend to be run by people I've never heard of, although I'm sure they are quality writers and teachers.

About 18 months ago I attended a once-a-month workshop with Jack Dann. It was pretty good and I learned a lot, although I would have preferred it to have been more of a masterclass rather than a beginner's course.

I've done a couple of online workshops, which I found extremely beneficial, but in many ways I'm an old fashioned learner, and like to have face-to-face contact and teaching.

Those American based workshops look great, but it's hard to justify for myself when I have to add airfares and accommodation and time off work and so on. Maybe we should just convince some of those guys to come out here and teach us.

Or convince some of our homegrown talent to run a few for us.

Sunday, October 20, 2013


I've been building a kitchen, and I must say it's coming along nicely.

We bought all the components, of course - flatpacks - and then I used tools and sharp implements, and my incredible handyman skills and superpowers, to convert these panels into something where stuff can be stored.  We ordered the benchtops, had the stove and rangehood fitted, and the kitchen is once more functioning.

Some of the rooms had the original carpet still. Salmon pink may have been cool in the 80s (although I doubt it) but it had worn, faded, stretched and been stained. So yesterday new carpet was fitted in three rooms. It was quite an effort emptying those rooms, particularly since one is the study with many books on shelves, but I got it all done and back in record time.

I took the opportunity to sort through some stuff in the study. It's always been a cosy place, somewhere I enjoy writing, but now it's less cluttered and feels wonderful.

Just a little worn out, so I think Sunday afternoons were meant for watching SF films. The only thing to do now is choose which one to watch.

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Writing For Writers.

A few months ago, my school leadership asked me to submit a proposal to introduce a new subject in 2014.

I wrote an outline for a course, Writing for Writers, designed as an elective subject for year 9 students. (I believe that would be equivalent to Seniors at Junior High School)

Not only was the proposal adopted and offered, but I'm thrilled to discover that there were enough applicants from students to run two classes.


Think about it.

We are continually told that students in Year 9 are the least engaged in education. We are told they have no interest in English, or reading, or writing. And yet I had around 50 students apply to do more than the required English class. (My friend David had a similar number of students apply for his Maths elective.)

So what does this mean?

Do students find mainstream English too constricting? Is the course too focused on essays and text analysis? Are we taking the joy of writing and reading out of school? Or is it simply that not every kid wants to do wood or metal or textiles as an elective?

Whatever the reason, I think it's fantastic and I look forward to the challenge of developing an actual course now.

Saturday, October 12, 2013

Head Down, Back To Work.

I've enjoyed a post-sale euphoria this week after Mike Resnick bought a story for Galaxy's Edge. Selling is always a great feeling, but I've enjoyed this one a whole lot more because of the market. And although I'm thrilled by every sale, this is probably the most excited I've been since my first one three years ago, when Tasmaniac bought Ghost of the Heart.

It was great to get congratulatory emails and messages from a few writer friends/peers. While I also received congrats from other family and friends, the writers understood the importance of this sale, the difficulty in selling to the pro-markets, the career development this actually represents. But every single one of them said the same thing - keep writing, get more work out there, get your next one sold. (Gitte Christensen said some very nice things here. Thank you.)

I've heard of writers who sell one story to a pro-market and never sell to them again. I'm aware of others who presume this first sale means they've broken through, only to take a year or more to sell the second. And, of course, there are those who continue to sell regularly at this level.

Dave Farland wrote a piece this week about giving up.  I don't think I've ever seriously considered giving up, but I've certainly questioned whether I was wasting my time. A lot of writers will tell you that perseverance is the key to success. It's a major part, that's true, but talent and skill also come into play, just like any other skill based creative career. There are some who will never sell a story no matter how hard they try.

Fortunately this insecurity I have about my own work means I cannot presume another sale will follow. I hope it does, but I also recognise it's a tough world out there and I must work harder to ensure I improve my writing.

This first sale was only the foundation, but I am determined to build  on it.

Monday, October 7, 2013

First Professional Sale.

I am absolutely thrilled to announce my first pro-level writing sale.

Mike Resnick, the most awarded and nominated SF writer in the known universe, has bought one of my stories for Galaxy's Edge. It was only a couple of weeks ago I was singing the praises of this magazine, and I can't believe that I'm now going to be included in its TOC.

I have a few friends who didn't really understand why I was so excited. They figured I'd been selling stories for a while now so this was just another sale. Market levels are actually designated, and the SFWA (Science Fiction and Fantasy Writers of America) lists the qualifying markets they consider to be of a professional level. This determination is based on a number of factors, including pay-rate, longevity and reputation.

And  selling to a pro-level market is one of those goals I have on my checklist.

Onwards to the next goal (which is another sale at this level), but for now I'm dancing around my house.

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The God Thing.

I'm pleased to announce Alban Lake has just published my story, The God Thing, in Outposts of Beyond #2.

With fantastic cover artwork by Laura Givens, and a TOC that includes not only my story, but work by M. Keaton & Beth Powers among others, what isn't to love? And it's great to see my own name on the cover.

Since this is my second publication with Alban Lake (with another scheduled for January) I guess I'm now part of the Alban Lake family.

The October issue of Outposts of Beyond, featuring science fiction and fantasy tales seasoned with a few dabs of poetry and filled out with a couple fine articles, is now available for purchase. The stories include “Fleet,” by M. Keaton; “Sparkles,” by Beth Powers; “The God Thing,” by Australia’s Steve Cameron. There’s poetry by multiple Rhysling winner Robert Frazier, and by England’s Deborah Walker, among others. Finally, there are two excellent essays, one on character development by Rachel Holt, the other on being Goth, by Kimberly Richardson. All this is wrapped inside a really kicking cover by Laura Givens. Come try us out, see what we can do.

Want To Be A Clone?

I recently saw a video which made me chuckle - John Lennon auditioning for The Voice. And, for the most part, it rings true. This is exactly what these judges would say, and this is exactly how these judges would react.

Okay, let's forget for a moment that I am a musical dinosaur who revels in the past and cannot be convinced that most modern music is anything but monotonous rubbish. Let's ignore 'taste' for the moment. Let's pretend that I personally like 'musicians' who can play the crap out of their instruments and make your heart ache with a well placed note or string bend.

The Voice is not a talent show.

Yes, Bob Dylan, John Lennon and Jimi Hendrix would not have made it past the blind auditions.

They simply don't check the boxes, the template the show is looking for.

Bobby, Johnny and Jimi could make you fall in love, raise you to anger, or cause you to sob simply with their instruments, their melodies and their words. The so-called 'stars' resulting from the current deluge of 'talent' shows perform vocal gymnastics and tell amazing sob-stories about dead relatives for whom they are performing.

I see a parallel in writing.

Recently I read somewhere that John Irving said if he was trying to break into the market now his manuscript wouldn't get a second look. This is the guy who has sold millions of books (most of them about Vienna, bears, wrestling and writers, but all fantastic). I've been told that I should simply write stories that 'will sell'. (Andy Partridge of XTC was once told the same thing. "Why don't you simply write a hit song?"  He replied, "What do you think I've been trying to do all these years. Mind you, he was also told that he needed to sound more like ZZ Top if he wanted to have a hit) 

I've had rejections where I've been told the writing was good, but x, y and z didn't happen. Perhaps the story simply wasn't good enough, and I accept that. My writing is improving, and I can see that. I also recognise it's close to selling at the markets I want to sell to.

Do you want to have memorable works that stand out with a unique voice? Do you want to be the Jimi, the Bobby, or the of writing?

P.S. - Congratulations to Alan Baxter on his three book deal with Harper Collins.One of the great things about the Australian SpecFic scene is how we revel in each other's success. I think we're mates - at least I consider him to be one now that he has a book deal. At any rate I bought Alan a beer last time I saw him. I think he owes me several now.

Wednesday, October 2, 2013


With barely two hours til the deadline, I subbed a story yesterday.

The writing went well, the story just seemed to flow, and the words came easily. A quick last minute crit (Thanks, David) and minor revision, and off it went. It's a story that I'm happy with, and I just hope the editors see it the same way I do.

I have a few more deadlines in the coming months. Fortunately I have stories in mind for most of these and they just need to be written. But I also need to make time to write some other story ideas that are nagging me.

And that's a good thing, right?

Sunday, September 29, 2013

Ideas Into Stories.

People ask me where I get ideas from.

Ideas are plentiful. Everyone has them. What they don't have are stories.

As an example, I usually tell my students a story. A true one. At this point I start to smirk and laugh as thought it's hilarious.

"My wife asked me to get some milk on the way home last night. So I stopped at the supermarket, and went in and bought some."  Now I laugh as though I can't help myself. "And so I paid for it, and then drove home. Cool story, huh?"

They tell me it's not a story, and so we then discuss the reasons why. And they are the ones who come up with conflict/problem/difficulty overcoming these/resolution, etc.

An idea. A man walks into a pet store and buys an alien life-form. Cool. I might even use that at some point. But there's no story there - yet. It needs more.  What's going to happen with this alien pet? Type of food it needs? Size it will grow to? Not a pet but sentient?

Where's the problem and how is it resolved.

Sometimes you have to laminate a couple of ideas, extend them, play with them, exaggerate them, try them in different settings, and so on.

I have pages and pages of ideas jotted in my notebook. From time to time I peruse those pages, something clicks and I start creating a story.

You might have ideas. Do you have stories?

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

Lazy Writing?

I read a few short stories this week that completely underwhelmed me. These stories weren't written by newcomers, writers who could be excused for not nailing all the conventions of storytelling, but pieces by established authors, names that any SF fan would instantly recognise.

I suspect that if I'd submitted some of these under my own name, they would have received a formal rejection.

(It would be an interesting experiment, wouldn't it? I submit one of my stories under an established name, and they submit one of their weaker ones under mine...)

I'm not talking about taste here. There are always going to be stories that appeal to me more than others. But these stories missed entire elements, had 'idiot' plots, (where the protagonist is required to be an idiot in order for the story to work), loose ends, unanswered questions, ridiculous coincidences that allowed characters to overcome difficulties, and in one particular case, no real story at all - that is no crisis or problem for the main character.

Why is this? Is it laziness on the part of the writer, or is it simply a matter of the writer having become a factory and churning stuff out?

Or, like Paul McCartney, are they unable to see their own work is rubbish and there is no one around game to tell them their work is sub-standard. Maybe they need an equal, a 'John Lennon' along side them who can give an honest critique.

As I've written a few times recently, these things are becoming more apparent to me in my own writing. I'm recognising my own weaknesses and working hard to address them. I'm understanding the elements required to create a satisfying tale. And I can see why my earlier work (in some cases) was rejected so quickly.

I truly hope that I continue to learn and improve. I never want to rest on my laurels.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Words Are Flowing Out Like Endless Rain Into A Paper Cup.

The piece I mentioned I've been struggling with has now been put on hold. That story will still happen, but it's been difficult to get going and even though I got some words down, I'm not really happy with them. Instead I've moved onto another story.

Last week, while walking the dogs, I was throwing around a story title that I'd discovered while I was in China earlier this year. And I was suddenly hit by a narrative idea that matched it. As soon as I got home I sat down and typed up 1,000 words without any effort. Clean words, that will require little editing or rewriting. And the process since then has remained as easy as that. This is going to be a good story. I can feel it.

I don't think I could have written this story a year or so ago. I wouldn't have known to include the elements vital to make it work. It feels like I learn new truths about writing almost daily. Even this morning, I had one of those 'hit yourself on the back of the head' moments. D'oh!  While reading a short story, I recognised an obvious aspect of writing that's been missing from my own work. And of course it is something that had been mentioned to me previously, but that I hadn't really 'got'.

Ah yes, I'm quite optimistic about my writing future at the moment. How's your writing going?

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Pause. Breathe. Think.

I've read a couple of interesting posts/blogs/tweets/whatever recently where I suspect the writer/blogger/whoever may have let their guard down for a moment.

Or maybe not.

I can't really believe that people would share things on the internet and ever expect it to be private, and yet some people write stuff that I wouldn't even say to my friends.

Is it the feeling of anonymity that one has when sitting at a keyboard and screen? Or is it simply that some people don't care about their online reputation?

OK, I admit it. I *do* have a writerly persona I try to project in the cyberworld. It's that of a professional writer who's serious about the 'craft' and wants to succeed. It's that of someone who is easy to work with. It's that of someone who is supportive and encouraging. Whether I'm successful at portraying this is a question for others.

Of course there are times when I feel negative about things, just like everyone, but I've made the decision to keep those moments to myself (and perhaps with one or two close friends) and not share them with the world at large. I wouldn't walk into my staffroom at school and say these things out loud. Why would I write them on my blog, or Facebook, or wherever?

And why would I sabotage my writing career by building a negative reputation?

There are definitely people whose works I have not bought because of their behaviour towards me or others, because of things they've said or written, or because of their arrogance. And there are those whose work I have bought because they seem like good people, or encouraged me, or took the time to simply chat with me at a con.

Is my persona false? No, it's authentic - because it's who I am, and it's similar to how I try to present myself in the real world.

But we sometimes need to remember to pause and take a breath before we hit the 'publish' button.

Sunday, September 15, 2013

Feel The Moonlight On Your Skin.

A couple of pro-level mags have slipped quietly into the market place this year.

Fiction River, a series edited by Dean Wesley Smith & Kristine Kathryn Rusch, already has three issues out, with each issue being themed. At this stage I've only read the first one. While I enjoyed it and will continue to read the series, the stories varied wildly in quality. I truly hope the standard settles down.

Galaxy's Edge, from the desk of Mike Resnick, is more even, with stories at a higher standard. So far I've read the first two and really enjoyed them both. Mike's so-called 'writing children' (his mentorees) get a bit of space, but on the whole their stories deserve to be there.  The editorial and Barry Malzberg's column have both been entertaining. Add non-fiction by Gregory Bensford and an ongoing serialisation of the almost winner of the 1962 Hugo novel and it's heading in the right direction

Both of these magazines are are available in print and e-book, and are well worth a look.

I'm looking forward to Dimension6 from Keith Stevenson. Keith is a past editor of Aurealis, and has run Coeur de Lion publishing for a few years now. And I've heard whispers of a few more new magazines on the horizon.

All in all the future for SF looks bright. Welcome to the New Golden Age of speculative fiction.

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Dreaded Blank Page.

There's a story I've been wanting to write for a few weeks now. I really like the idea and the concept, and I knew the character, setting and mood that I wanted. I just didn't know how to start it, and I wasn't sure of how to create the desired mood.

Where to start? I know I procrastinated with this one. Which is silly, really, because the advice I give to my students when they ask me about this, is to simply write it.

So I did that, yesterday. I started writing the story. I managed the first paragraph, and while I have no doubt that entire paragraph will be deleted and/or re-written, I've managed to find my way into the story.

There are a couple of novels and short stories that have a similar mood to the story I'm working on. I dug those out and had a quick read to see how those authors created their world. Interestingly, I've become more away of my own writing voice, and I see my voice as suiting this story well.

Now all I have to do is finish it, or as Dean Wesley Smith says, simply write the next sentence.

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Tales of Australia: Great Southern Land.

Satalyte Publishing is taking orders for its first release, and what a fine TOC it has. 

Tales of Australia: Great Southern Land includes some well known and respected Australian writers.  Edited by Stephen Ormsby and Carol Bond.

And I must congratulate my comrade-in-arms, David McDonald on his inclusion.

Journey into visions of the Great Southern Land by eight Australian authors. The novelettes of this series will take you along arcane paths into fantastic Australias of the imagination.

Disciple of the Torrent by Lee Battersby
This Corner of the Earth by Dean Mayes
Acts of Chivalry by Sean McMullen
Bobby, Be Good  by H.M.C
Dreams Didgeridoo by Salwa Samra
After the Red Dust by Charmaine Clancy
Jaylin by A. Finlay
Set Your Face Toward the Darkness by David McDonald

Saturday, September 7, 2013

One Night? Two Nights?

Was it simply once or a couple of occasions blended together in my mind?

My memory tells me it was all on one evening. I was at my friend's house. Paul is his name, and I regret that he lives interstate and we rarely see each other. Glenn was there too. Paul and Glenn were a good few years older than me. I was 17, they were in their mid 20s, and they loved to play me music that I'd never heard before, which accounts for my tastes which are ten years older than they should be. While my friends at school were listening to crap, they were making me listen to Slade, Iggy Pop and Larry Carlton.

But this night, which seems to be indelibly etched in my mind, introduced me to to three of my favourite gospel albums.

Yes, I grew up in a Christian home, although my beliefs are now closer to a philosophy and lie somewhere between Christianity and Buddhism.  But in those days I was listening to a fair amount of Christian music.

Don't knock it. This was before the uber-commercialisation of the genre. And some of it was pretty good.

But this night, this one night, Paul played me a new album he'd found. He told me it was a country and western act, which was something I hated at the time. He was lying. He  showed me an album - blue, it was, with bright garish birds on it. Resurrection Band.  The album was called Colours, spelled the correct way, which was unusual for a band from Chicago. He dropped the needle on Autograph, and it blew my mind.

I'd heard Randall Waller before, live, when he played solo acoustic with Larry Norman (or was it Randy Stonehill) in the late 70s. But then Glenn played me Midnight Fire, produced by John Linn. What an amazing album, with superb production. It's still on my playlist.

Glenn then played me a track he thought I might like because I was such a huge Beatles fan. It was 'Out Across The Sky' by Daniel Amos. John Lennon indeed.  Then he played me the rest of the album, Horrendous Disc.  Kind of a hokey cover, but I've been a massive Daniel Amos fan ever since.  Yes, they are still playing and recording, and I have virtually everything they ever put on tape.

Was it one night? Two? Three?

Glenn has passed, and I'd love to be able to spend an evening with him. Paul lives interstate, and I don't see him often enough.  But their influence and legacy remains.

Thanks, guys.

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Reading Makes Writing.

The one piece of advice I continually see from professional writers is the need to read as much as possible. This has never really been an issue for me as I've always been a voracious reader.

As a child I sent many hours in the school library, both hunting for books and reading them - sometimes entire YA novels in my lunch break. I was well known by the library staff and they were very supportive. It was there I saw my first SF books. I loved the look of those Asimov novels with his name emblazoned across the top in block letters over the amazing artwork by Chris Foss. And the fact you could lay the books side by side to make an even bigger picture was a bonus.

The name ASIMOV was rather exotic sounding, and the science part of Science Fiction scared me a little. I asked a friend whether he'd read any Asimov, and once he'd told me he had I asked him whether it was able to be read by non-scientists.

And so I borrowed 'Foundation', and loved it. Within a few weeks I'd started buying SF novels from markets and used bookstores, originally based on the cover art. 'The Tower of Glass' by Robert Silverberg was next, followed by a Philip K. Dick, and so on. It wasn't long before I'd built up a knowledge of the authors I liked, and those I didn't 'get'. It took me many years and several attempts to get past the first hundred pages of Frank Herbert's Dune, for example. 

I still regularly read Bob Shaw, John Brunner, Michael G. Coney, Roger Zelazny, Robert Sheckley, Frederik Pohl, Poul Anderson and A. E. van Vogt as well as the old masters mentioned above.

My tastes have broadened. I read a lot of fantasy during the 80s and early 90s, something I haven't done for a long time. And for some reason I mostly read female authors now. I also read a lot of Australian small press - something I didn't even know existed back then.

Which reminds me. I need to catch up on my Analogs, Asimovs and F&SFs. I'm a few months behind. It's time to take a break from the non-fiction I'm currently reading.

Vale: Frederik Pohl.

Not ten minutes since I commenced writing my post for tomorrow, and I learn that Pohl has passed away.

The post for tomorrow was about the writers that I started my SF life with. And Pohl was one of those mentioned.

I've been reading his blog, on and off, for the past few years. He's written on the editors and writers he met during his career, particularly during the so-called Golden Age. As perhaps the last man standing, he can pretty much say whatever he wants. And at times it's made for fascinating reading.

I have many Pohl books in my collection. And along with his compatriots, they inspired me and gave flight to my imagination. Man Plus, for example, is one novel that I've re-read several times  during the past 30 years.

He was 93.

Sunday, September 1, 2013

Beginning Again Again.

Spring is finally here. Not only officially, but the weather seems to have shifted accordingly. There are blossoms out, and I was swooped by a magpie this morning.

The past few months have been busy at work and I've not written anywhere near enough. It is time to stop making excuses and get back into my morning writing routine. This program was quite successful for me earlier this year, and so from Monday morning I plan to get up early everyday and get some writing done before heading off to school.

I'm in the middle of a couple of major re-writes, and have a new story started. And, of course, many pages of notes on story ideas that only need time to become reality.

I have the desire, the hunger and the capability.  Plus there is a steak dinner at stake here.

Time to write.

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Asylum Seekers And Bum Jokes.

Yesterday I went to the Melbourne Writers Festival, accompanied by a colleague and twenty five students. I never got to the sessions I would have chosen, but to sessions the kids needed to attend.

Andy Griffiths was the hit of the day - kind of like a children's rockstar. All he has to do is talk about bums, vomit and heads exploding and the kids were eating out of the palm of his hand. The queue for his book signing was way longer than any other.

Morris Gleitzman was also popular. His approach to speaking to kids was quite different, but then so are his books. The kids really enjoyed him too.

I was thoroughly impressed by Deborah Ellis, the Canadian author who writes about children in war and other hotspots. She was in conversation with (I think) Sheelagh Purdon of the Asylum Seeker Resource Centre. I didn't catch her name, and the programs show two different people listed.

Deborah and Sheelagh's approach to this issue was sensitive, balanced and measured. Their advice and responses to students was thoughtful and encouraged students to take the initiative to seek the truth. And, I might say, the questions from auditorium full of students were intelligent and articulate.

It was great to see Margo Lanagan too. I was only able to say 'Hi' briefly, and I saw her signing books. I wish I'd been able to attend one of her sessions.

All in all a successful day for my students, all wannabe writers and avid readers. And if these festivals encourage reading and writing, then we all need to be supporting them.

Sunday, August 25, 2013


And just like that a whole lot of things fall into place.

Last weekend I was on a writers retreat with SuperNOVA writers, my writing group. Somewhere between the red wine, the fun and the fellowship, I edited and rewrote a few stories. A few days ago I posted about this process, about looking back and seeing an improvement in my own writing. Since then, a matter of only four days, there's been a shift in my paradigm.

Theories, ideas, rules, structures and comments about writing short fiction all clicked in my brain. It's like the scales have been taken from my eyes. A new understanding.

Along with some other great stuff that's happening around me, I feel re-inspired. I really can't wait to sit down and get some new words out. I feel like I've just lifted from that plateau of which I wrote, and am climbing onward and upward. Of course, I'm still in the foothills.

Writing! Soon!

But first, I have some home maintenance to do. Sigh.

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Plateaus And Progress.

I rarely recognise my progress as a writer. It often feels as though I'm stuck on a plateau.

When I was living in Japan I visited home about once every eighteen months. On such trips I would comment on how much my nieces had grown. My sister was usually surprised by this, as she'd not noticed it to the same extent I had.  But then she'd been with them daily and not noticed the gradual growth.

Recently I've had to edit a piece I originally wrote a couple of years ago. Sure, it had been through a couple of rewrites since then, but I'd not read it since last year. I was amazed at how many flaws I found in the piece. Since it is slated for publication and had already been accepted (and been through an editor), I had to resist the urge to rewrite entire chunks of the story.

Don't get me wrong, I still think it's a good story. But I was able to recognise exactly how much I've learned in the past six months or so. And how my current writing has improved.

It is worth revisiting your past.

Monday, August 19, 2013

Year’s Best Australian Fantasy And Horror: Recommended Reading List. (2012)

Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene have compiled a list of the year's recommended reading - and I'm thrilled to once again have a story included.

It's an honour to be listed among these writers.

Thanks to Herika Raymer, Terrie Leigh Relf and Tyree Campbell at Cover of Darkness for publishing my story.

Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror: Recommended Reading List: 2012

Joanne Anderton, “High Density”, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #53
——— “The Bone Chime Song”, Light Touch Paper Stand Clear
Daniel Baker, “At The Crossroads”, Aurealis #51
Alan Baxter, “Cephalopoda Obsessia”, Bloodstones
——— “Crossroads and Carousels”, The Red Penny Papers
——— “Fear is the Sin”, From Stage Door Shadows
——— and Felicity Dowker, “Burning, Always Burning”, Damnation and Dames,
Eddy Burger, “Domestic Berserker”, Dark Edifice 3
Jenny Blackford, “The Sacrifice”, Aurealis #47
James Bradley, “Beauty’s Sister”, Penguin
Isobelle Carmody, “The Wolf Prince”, Metro Winds
——— “Metro Winds”, Metro Winds
Jay Caselberg, “Blind Pig”, Damnation and Dames
Steve Cameron, “If You Give This Girl a Ride”, Cover of Darkness 11
David Conyers and Brian M. Sammons, “The R’lyeh Singularity”, Cthulhu Unbound 3.
Terry Dowling , “Mariners’ Round”, Postscripts 28/29: Exotic Gothic 4
——— “The Way the Red Clown Hunts You”, Subterranean, Winter 2012
Thoraiya Dyer, “The Second Card Of The Major Arcana”, Apex
——— “Faet’s Fire”, Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear
——— “Surviving Film”, Bloodstones
Jacob Edwards, “Salt & Pepper”, Polluto 9¾: Witchfinders Vs The Evil Red
Marina Finlayson, “The Family Business”, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #55
Joanna Galbraith, “The Keeper’s Heart”, The Coloured Lens #3
Michelle Goldsmith, “The Hound of Henry Hortinger”, Pandemonium: Stories of the Smoke
Stephanie Gunn, “The Skin of the World”, Bloodstones
——— “Ghosts”, Epilogue
Lisa L. Hannett, Angela Slatter, “The Red Wedding”, Midnight and Moonshine
——— “Warp And Weft”, Midnight and Moonshine
——— “Prohibition Blues”, Damnation and Dames
Richard Harland, “A Mother’s Love”, Bloodstones
Narrelle M. Harris, “Thrall”, Showtime
Robert Hood, “Escena de un Asesinato”, Postscripts 28/29: Exotic Gothic 4
——— “Walking the Dead Beat”, Damnation and Dames
Deborah Kalin, “First They Came . . .”, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #55
Pete Kempshall, “Dead Inside”, Bloodstones
——— “Sound and Fury”, Damnation and Dames
Margo Lanagan, “Isles Of The Sun”, Cracklescape
——— “Titty Anne and the Very, Very Hairy Man”, Meanjin, Volume 71, Number 4.
——— “Significant Dust”, Cracklescape
——— “Bajazzle”, Cracklescape
S. G. Larner, “Duck Creek Road”, Bloody Parchment: Hidden Things, Lost Things and other stories
Martin Livings, “Birthday Suit”, Living with the Dead
——— “The Ar-Dub”, Living with the Dead
Tracie McBride, “Drive, She Said”, Lovecraft eZine 14
Andrew J. McKiernan, “They Don’t Know That We Know What They Know”, Midnight Echo 8
——— “The Final Degustation of Doctor Ernest Blenheim”, Midnight Echo 7
Kelly Matsuura, “Hours on the Voodoo Clock”, Free Flash Fiction
Nicole Murphy, “Euryale”, Bloodstones
Jason Nahrung, “The Mornington Ride”, Epilogue
——— “Breaking the Wire”, Aurealis #47
Ian Nichols, “In the Dark”, Apex Magazine 37
Shauna O’Meara, “Blood Lillies”, Midnight Echo 8
Christopher Sequeria, “The Adventure of the Lost Specialist”, Sherlock Holmes: The Crossovers Casebook
Helen Stubbs, “Sayuri’s Revenge”, Tales From the Bell Club
Anna Tambour, “King Wolf”, A Season in Carcosa
Kaaron Warren, “The Pickwick Syndrome”, Stories Of The Smoke
——— “Sky”, Through Splintered Walls
——— “Creek”, Through Splintered Walls
——— “The Lighthouse Keepers’ Club”, Postscripts 28/29: Exotic Gothic 4

And those in the Anthology:

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 One That Got Away
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 M. 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