Friday, 25 February 2011

The Grand Conversation on E-Books

One of Australia's most talented authors, editor and publisher of dark fiction, Shane Jiraiya Cummings, has been running a series of interviews with various participants of the publishing industry from around the world seeking their views e-books and the future of the written word, be it ink, pixels or something else entirely. He's calling it The Grant Conversation on E-Books, and they have been insightful, informative, sometimes scary, but always entertaining articles.

Well today is my turn, and I contributed an article E-Thoughts for an E-Future were I speculate on where e-books might be 10, 20, 30 or more years from where we are today.

I see a future where e-books come full circle and resemble a paperback. Everyone owns one book with paper. You download an e-book, and like magic, all the pages are filled with your latest book. The cover changes, too, with a blurb, captivating jacket artwork, author and broadsheet testimonials, and a sales blurb. There will even be copyright information, or not, depending on whether your scruples allow you to read pirated copies or not (let’s hope not). Wait, you want to go back and check the last book you read because there is a scene you really like? A quick command and the book transforms again because you have thousands of books in the memory. It looks like a paperback, if feels like a paperback, and hopefully the resolution is just like paper, but it’s an e-book. It might even come with a bookmark that even if it falls out tells you the last page it was in. The book might even read to you, and you can choose whose voice you want to hear it in (think of your favorite, sexiest movie star and you’ll see what I mean).

Read the rest of of my entry here, and more insightful articles on the same topic on Shane's website.

"Dream Machine" shortlisted for Australia's Top Horror Award

Fantastic news today in that I have made the short list for the Australian Shadows Award, the top speculative fiction award for horror fiction in Australia. This is the second time I've made the shortlist, the last time was in 2007 for my short story "Subtle Invasion".

Congrats to everyone who made the list, especially Angela Challis, Marty Young, Amanda Pillar and Pete Kempshall for Macabre and Scenes from the Second Storey, which included my short stories.

What follows is the song "Dream Machine" from The God Machine which influenced my story in an anthology Scenes from the Second Storey. The anthology was a tribute to the album, with each story corresponding to a track on the album a concept created by Morrigan Books publisher Mark S. Deniz.

The press release follows:

The Australian Horror Writers Association is proud to announce the finalists for the 2010 Australian Shadows Awards. The Australian Shadows Awards are Australia's top honour for horror fiction.
Congratulations to the 2010 finalists:
  • Madigan Mine by Kirstyn McDermott (Picador Australia)
  • The Girl With No Hands by Angela Slatter (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healy (Allen & Unwin)
  • Under Stones by Bob Franklin (Affirm Press)
  • Bleed by Peter M. Ball (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Macabre: A Journey through Australia's Darkest Fears, edited by Angela Challis & Marty Young (Brimstone Press)
  • Scenes From The Second Storey, edited by Amanda Pillar & Pete Kempshall (Morrigan Books)
  • Dark Pages 1, edited by Brenton Tomlinson (Blade Red Press)
  • Scary Kisses, edited by Liz Gryzb (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Midnight Echo #4, edited by Lee Battersby (AHWA)
  • "Bread and Circuses" by Felicity Dowker ()
  • "Brisneyland by Night" by Angela Slatter (Sprawl)
  • "She Said" by Kirstyn McDermott (Scenes from the Second Storey)
  • "All The Clowns In Clowntown" by Andrew J. McKiernan (Macabre: A Journey through Australia's Darkest Fears)
  • "Dream Machine" by David Conyers (Scenes from the Second Storey)
The AHWA would sincerely like to thank the Australian Shadows judging panel - Stephanie Coxon, Craig Bezant, and Jeff Ritchie - for their tireless work over the past twelve months. The Australian Shadows team would like to thank every author, editor, and publisher who submitted their work for consideration.

Guest judges Chuck McKenzie, Rocky Wood, and Kaaron Warren will now read the finalists and determine the winners. The winners will be announced on April 15.

Further information about the Australian Shadows Awards can be found at

Thursday, 24 February 2011

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

This year I’m eligible for the Ditmar Awards' William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review for contributing editor and reviewer for Albedo One, specifically for promoting Australian speculative fiction in Europe and internationally. I have been in this role since 2007, and have thoroughly enjoyed my time with this very professional magazine and I plan to be with them as long as they'll have me.
I've been asked by several Ditmar nominators what Australian titles I have reviewed in that time (this is by no means a complete list of my reviews), and so decided to include them on my blog for ease of access:

Issue 33 (2007)
  • Year’s Best Australian SF & Fantasy Vol 1, Ed. Bill Congreve and Michelle Marquardt, Mirrordanse Publishing
Isssue 34 (2007)
  • Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror 2006, ed. Angela Challis and Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Brimstone Press
  • Geodesica Asecent, Sean Williams with Shahne Dix, Voyager
  • Geodesica Decent, Sean Williams with Shahne Dix, Voyager
Issue 35 (2007)
  • Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror 2007, ed. Angela Challis and Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Brimstone Press
Issue 36 (2009)
  • Year’s Best Australian SF & Fantasy Vol 4, Ed. Bill Congreve and Michelle Marquardt, Mirrordanse Publishing
  • Angel Rising, Dirk Flinthart, Twelfth Planet Press
Issue 37 (2009)

  • Voices, ed Mark S. Deniz and Amanda Pillar, Morrigan Books
  • The New Space Opera, Gardner Dozois and Jonathan Strahan, Eos Books
Issue 38 (2010)
  • The Opposite of Life, Narrelle M. Harris, Pulp Fiction Press
  • Horn, Peter M Ball, Twelfth Planet Press
Issue 39 (2010)
  • Monster Blood Tattoo 1: Founding, D. M. Cornish, Omnibus Books
  • Phoenix and the Darkness of Wolves, Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Damnation Books
Online Reviews (all 2010)
More Australian (and internatinoal) reviews will continue to appear in future issues. If you wish to nominate me in the above category, and I will be very grateful if you do, you can do so online here.

Tuesday, 22 February 2011

Review of Cosmos Online at Albedo One

My review of Cosmos Magazine, a nifty science magazine published in Australia and edited by Wilson da Silva that I devour every second month when it comes out, is now available online at Albedo One. I've reviewed issue 36. which came out in December last year.

Cosmos is an excellent magazine, one that I eagerly look forward to reading with each new issue, because once done I know my brain will be buzzing with so many new ideas for my own writing, but also because I know I’ve just enjoyed a damn fine read.

Tuesday, 15 February 2011

Wayne J. Harris has just reviewed Cthulhu's Dark Cults online at Albedo One:

If you like horror stories with dark magical gods then this is the series for you. The editor has chosen well. Most of the plots are based on "Tragedy" (see The Seven Basic Plots by Christopher Booker for more details) although there are a few that are based upon “Overcoming the Monster”. All of the plot lines are satisfying. I enjoyed this book thoroughly and recommend it to lovers of fantasy and horror.

His favorite stories were by John Sunseri, Penelope Love, Oscar Rios and Shane Jiraiya Cummings. Cthulhu's Dark Cults can be purchased online at and

2011 Ditmar Voting Now Open

Ditmar Awards can now be voted for to short-list. The full list of eligible publications is found here. Voting can be conducted online here.
My eligible novellas, short stories and publications for 2011 are:

Best Novella or Novelette
  • "Sister of the Sands", David Conyers, Cthulhu's Dark Cults, Chaosium
  • "Sweet as Decay", David Witteveen and David Conyers, in Macabre: A Journey Through Australia's Darkest Fears, Brimstone Press.
  • "The Uncertainty Bridge", David Conyers, in Jupiter 30.
Best Short Story
  • "Dream Machine", David Conyers, in Scenes from the Second Storey, Morrigan Books.
  • "Emergency Rebuild", David Conyers, in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 43.
Best Collected Work

  • Cthulhu's Dark Cults: Ten Tales of Dark & Secretive Orders, David Conyers, Chaosium.
William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • David Conyers, contributing editor and reviewer for Albedo One since 2007, promoting numerous Australian small press publications in Europe and internationally.
If you want to vote for Cthulhu's Dark Cults then these are the categories:

Best Novella or Novelette

  • "Requiem for the Burning God", Shane Jiraiya Cummings, in Cthulhu's Dark Cults, Chaosium.
  • "Sister of the Sands", David Conyers, Cthulhu's Dark Cults, Chaosium
  • "The Whisper of Ancient Secrets", Penelope Love, in Cthulhu's Dark Cults, Chaosium.
Best Short Story

  • "Perfect Skin", David Witteveen, in Cthulhu's Dark Cults, Chaosium.
Best Collected Work

  • Cthulhu's Dark Cults: Ten Tales of Dark & Secretive Orders, David Conyers, Chaosium.
Best New Talent

  • David Witteveen, short story author of "Perfect Skin".
These are editors and publications I have appeared in last year, also eligible:

Best Collected Work

  • Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, ASIM Collective, Andromeda Spaceways Publishing Co-Operative.
  • Macabre: A Journey Through Australia's Darkest Fears, Angela Challis and Marty Young, Brimstone Press.  
  • Scenes from the Second Storey, Amanda Pillar and Pete Kempshall, Morigan Books.
Best Fan Publication

Best New Talent

  • Pete Kempshall, editor Scenes From the Second Storey.
  • David Kernot, editor of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #43

Friday, 4 February 2011

New Look Website

I decided to clean up my website today, and include a Latest news section, which also functions as journal entry. I figured I was already entering all my news on my blogspot journal, so I might as well combine the two.

I've added further details on my upcoming The Eye of Infinity novella, and I'll add some details about Cthulhu Unbound 3 when I have the go ahead to release news on that one.

I'm going to do some more work on by bibliography and other content, but it's a start.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Cthulhu's Dark Cults in Preliminary Bram Stoker Award Ballot

Fantastic news, Cthulhu's Dark Cults has just made the preliminary ballot for the 2010 Bram Stoker Awards in Superior Achievement in an Anthology. Not only that, Shane Jiraiya Cumming's "Requiem for the Burning God" included in Cthulhu's Dark Cults made it in the ballot for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction.

Also shortlisted for Superior Achievement in an Anthology is Scenes from the Second Storey edited by Amanda Pillar and Pete Kempshall (Morrigan Books). My openning story "Dream Machine" appeared in that fine collection.

The list of Australian nominations can be found here.