Seb Doubinsky’s Missing Signal is the first of his books I have read and I look forward to reading more – and to dip into his expansive world building.
The adage that ‘less is more’ is key to my impression of Seb’s style, as it is lean, fast-paced and thoughtful in choice of words. The style is not suited to some types of work – but this is hardly an issue as it perfectly matches Doubinsky’s purpose. He paints a dystopian world and setting, and yet there is a strong humanity intermingled in it, albeit mysterious and oscillating in and out of the plot. Using a subversive agent as the protagonist allows for the story and insights to be concentrated, staccato-fashion, enabling the reader to take a roller-coaster ride.
Above all, I enjoyed the X-Files/sci-fi plot – effectively managed – but used supremely well as a foil for insights into our own society with its warts and pimples. Doubinsky is certainly a perfect example of a writer that can easily straddle speculative fiction with what may be called the experimental literary genre.
I certainly will be seeking out all of Doubinsky’s work.
NB: I purchased this book at World Fantasy Con (Baltimore 2018) at roughly the same time meeting Seb Doubinsky, having had my interest piqued.
It is with great pleasure that I announce the sale of my middle grade novel, Guardian of the Sky Realms, to US-based Meerkat Press, as well as an as-yet unnamed sequel. Guardian will be published in January 2020, and the sequel in 2021.
Guardian of the Sky Realms is a reprint purchase, while the sequel will be handed over to Meerkat Press with first publishing rights. I am very confident that my babies have been placed in capable, professional hands.
I have just come back with my family (Jenny and daughter Erin) from the States, as part of a quality-time holiday. As a background, early this year I asked Jenny if it was alright with her that I took a week out going to World Fantasy Con 44 in Baltimore – a big deal as Erin is autistic and at times she is high maintenance (not to suggest this is endemic). Jenny’s response was well played and I liked it – why not go to LA for two weeks, and I can do a quick fly-in/fly-out to Baltimore for the Con. Plan set and paid for.
Baltimore was amazing and my first world con. Highlights include:
Having a wonderful dinner at a seafood restaurant with Kaaron Warren, Joe Haldeman (and his lovely wife and sister-in-law), Janeen Webb, Dena Taylor, and many others.
Seafood was a highlight in itself.
Meeting so many great writers, and developing almost instant-friendships.
Attending insightful and entertaining panels and presentations (particularly liked Kaaron’s Australian landscape presso)
Visiting Edgar Allen Poe’s grave (and the atmospheric gothic church next to it)
Being able to impart (and take on) quality publishing/distribution knowledge among peers
And on an important professional level, successfully pitching two writing projects that still need to go through an assessment process, but have progressed beyond my expectations. More on this if they bear fruit.
Yes, Baltimore was fantastic (the domestic jet hopping was another story) and professionally, very important for me and my publishing imprints.
I viewed the LA wing of the holiday initially as an emphasis on having Erin experience the time of her life – and it worked. But having said this, boy I had a great time. Disneyland and Universal were mind-blowing, particularly the virtual rides etc (I rode the Pirates of the Caribbean 4 times, as I did the Harry Potter virtual), and I can honestly say Disneyland does make you feel happy. We bought tickets to Mickey’s Halloween Party, and it was worth every cent – at 6pm non-ticket holders left Disneyland, leaving thousands of partygoers (as opposed to tens of thousands of visitors) and rides ended up having queues lasting but a few minutes in many cases. I left the party early to connect to a flight to Baltimore, but Erin and Jenny partied beyond Midnight.
Erin loves basketball and is a fan of the LA Lakers. Managed to get tickets to a home game and the three of us had an amazing extravaganza presented to us. Again, well worth the investment.
We visited the Tar Pits and other notable attractions in LA. We even experienced Target US and Walmart shopping in Burbank. That was an experience.
LA is a huge, bustling city but we found everyone we met were friendly and upbeat. We felt welcomed and it did make a difference.
Happy to see my dark piece, Brown Eyes, appear in the July 2018 edition of Bards and Sages Quarterly. Good to see a story set in a familiar Melbourne locale appear in an international format publication. It’s all about guilt.
While I wasn’t able to attend the entire Continuum 14 convention in Melbourne, I had a whale of a time.
As a resident of Melbourne for a good number of years now, I have always wanted to attend my local speculative fiction convention, and for most of the years I have been here, I’ve managed to make it. Early years saw me in the vendors space, selling IFWG books, but now that I have distributors to do that for me, it was a double bonus to turn up as a writer, and lightly as a publisher.
I have to admit the publishing hat was most pleased – IFWG Publishing Australia managed to nab two 2017 Australian Shadows Awards (Best Edited Work, Best Collected Work) – the details can be found here. And, as usual, a bit of schmoozing – that is, a lot of the publishing business seems to generate in the corridors and lunch/dinner tables. All very good.
I attended a few panels in my interest areas, and spent a lot of time catching up with old friends, and making new. As usual, there’s an opportunity to meet some friends who I have up to that point only interacted through social media – a bonus!
While the convention is still carrying on into Monday, I can say that it was an enjoyable, and professionally fulfilling experience.
Pleased to have my dark fantasy short story, ‘Brown Eyes’, sold to Bards and Sages. An unusual piece that starts in the Museum of Antiquities in Cairo, and finishes on Queen’s Bridge over the Yarra in Melbourne. I believe it will be published in July 2018.
Pleased to see my flash piece, ‘How the Mighty Fall’ joining an excellent TOC in Trickster’s Treats #1: Tales from the Pumpkin Patch, edited by Steve Dillon. All stories had to be 666 or less words – mine ended up something like 660. All the stories are grouped under sub themes – mine under ‘carnival’ which is apt for a Circus story…
Quite excited to have my mashup alt-hist/steampunk/dark fantasy short story, The Place Where Two Eagles Meet, accepted for the CEA Greatest Anthology project, by Celenic Earth Publications, and contributing to an attempt at the Guiness World Record for the largest anthology ever published.
I am very much pleased to have my flash fiction piece, Journey to the Depths, included in Oscillate Wildly Press’ anthology, Anemone Enemy, edited by Claire Fitzpatrick. The anthology is a horror-themed collection of flash fiction stories associated with the sea – something I can’t resist. I have wonderful writers sharing the TOC with me, including Deborah Sheldon and Lee Pletzers.