Market News: ‘How the Mighty Fall’ sold to Trickster’s Treats #1, ed. S Dillon

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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…

The chap-book-sized title is on sale now:

Print at Amazon

eBook at Amazon



Market News: Journey to the Depths in Anemone Enemy anthology

Journey to the Depths Cover

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.

Do yourself a favour and purchase this lovely book.

Market News: Flash Fiction Story, Roland’s Merry Christmas, Included in AHWA Anthology, Hell’s Bells

It is with pleasure that my flash fiction piece, Roland's Merry Christmas, is included with a wonderful group of flash fiction stories by notable and excellent writers – all of whom (myself included) are members of the Australian Horror Writers Association. The theme can easily be determined from the cover:

It is available in ebook format through Amazon and Smashwords.

Market News: ‘An Incident at Prnjavor’ published in The Worlds of Science Fiction, Fantasy & Horror

I've been looking forward to this. I wrote a particularly tense military horror short story, 'An Incident at Prnjavor', set in the Eastern Front of WWI – a geographical region much less covered than the Western Front in literature. Very proud of it, and was pleased it was picked up by an Australian publisher (Altair Australia, editor Robert N. Stephenson).

The print version will be appearing in a few months, but in the meantime, you can purchase the book for free HERE. Kindle sells it as well, at the minimal price possible. 18 stories from around the world, to share and enjoy.

Market News: Short Story to be published in The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror (2014)

Excellent news that I can finally announce: Ticonderoga Publications have included my horror piece, Of the Colour Turmeric, Climbing on Fingertips (first published in Night Terrors III anthology, Blood Bound Books, 2014) in The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror – 2014. This is a very respectful nod by the Australian speculative fiction community, and also gives me a great sense of satisfaction as I really loved writing this story. The announcement is here.

The list of fine authors I will be sharing the TOC are:

  • Alan Baxter, “Shadows of the Lonely Dead” [Suspended in Dusk]
  • James Bradley, “The Changeling” [Fearsome Magics]
  • Imogen Cassidy, “Soul Partner” [Aurealis 74]
  • David Conyers & David Kernot, “The Bullet & The Flesh” [World War Cthulhu]
  • Terry Dowling, “The Corpse Rose” [Nightmare Carnival]
  • Thoraiya Dyer, “The Oud” [Long Hidden Anthology]
  • Jason Franks, “Metempsychosis” [SQ Mag]
  • Michelle Goldsmith, “Of Gold and Dust” [Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Maga 60]
  • Michael Grey, “1884” [Cthulhu Lives: An Eldrich Tribute to H.P.Lovecraft]
  • Stephanie Gunn, “Escapement” [Kisses by Clockwork]
  • Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter, “Vox” [The Female Factory]
  • Gerry Huntman, “Of The Colour Tumeric, Climbing on Fingertips” [Night Terrors III]
  • Rick Kennett, “Dolls for Another Day” [The Ghosts & Scholars Book of Shadows: Vol 2]
  • Charlotte Kieft, “Chiaroscuro” [Disquiet]
  • SG Larner, “Kneaded” [Phantazein]
  • Claire McKenna, “Yard” [Use Only As Directed]
  • Andrew J. McKiernan, “A Prayer for Lazarus” [Last Year, When We Were Young]
  • Faith Mudge, “Signature” [Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fi]
  • Jason Nahrung, “The Preservation Society” [Dimension6]
  • Emma Osbourne, “The Box Wife” [Shock Totem: Curious Tales of the Macabre & Twisted #9]
  • Angela Rega, “Shedding Skin” [Crossed Genres]
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, “The Love Letters of Swans” [Phantazein]
  • Angela Slatter, “The Badger Bride” [Strange Tales IV]
  • Cat Sparks, “New Chronicles of Andras Thorn” [Dimension6 Annual Collection 2014]
  • Anna Tambour, “The Walking-stick Forest” []
  • Kyla Ward, “Necromancy” [Spectral Realms #1]
  • Kaaron Warren, “Bridge of Sighs” [Fearful Symmetries: An Anthology of Horror]
  • Janeen Webb, “Lady of the Swamp” [Death at the Blue Elephant]

Market News: Science Fiction Collection to be published in 2015

I am over the moon with the news that a large selection of my reprint and original science fiction short fiction, spanning about 6 years, will be collected in a book by Cohesion Press (the same publishers of my young teen fantasy novel, Guardian of the Sky Realms). A lot of details are still to be sorted out, but a great wad of short stories and a novelette are in the publisher's hands, and the lights are green for next year. Stay tuned, folks.

Market News: ‘The Past Catching Up’ published in Badlands anthology

I have a good track record with Westerns, be they horror, weird, steampunk, or a strange fusion of two or three. In this case I am pleased to have a weird/horror piece, 'The Past Catching Up'. in Dead Guns Press' anthology, Badlands. It is available in print at the moment, and presumably ebook soon. Come on over and read a quality Western Horror book, by a very good specialist independent publisher.

Badlands Cover

Market News: The Cutpurse From Mulberry Bend to be published in The Best of Penny Dread Tales

I am chuffed to have my steampunk piece, 'The Cutpurse From Mulberry Bend' – which was first published in Penny Dread Tales III: In Darkness Clockwork Shine – accepted for The Best of Penny Dread Tales. This anthology grabs the best steampunk stories from four volumes of Penny Dread Tales, which is a nice compliment. I believe this new anthology will be released in a few months, and will be published by Wordfire Press, via Runewright, and edited by Christopher Ficco.

News: ‘The Crab Woman’ to be published in Our World of Horror anthology

Happy to announce that my short story, 'The Crab Woman', was an early acceptance to the Eldritch Press pro horror anthology, Our World of Horror. The partial TOC will be announced by Eldritch Press in a few days.

Aside from being a pro sale, I am over the moon to see this story getting accepted. It was sold on first submission, which is a nice hit rate, and I had the great pleasure of having Kaaron Warren be my beta reader on this–her time spent on it, and the valuable feedback, was integral to this story, set on in the island nation of  Vanuatu, being as polished as it is. Kaaron is a very generous writer.

Our World of Horror

Book Review: The Gate Theory by Kaaron Warren (Cohesion Publishing)


I had the misfortune of only being exposed to Kaaron Warren's fiction for the last few years – I wish I followed her career from the start. She is a truly wonderful writer of the disturbing, and has evocative prose. The Gate Theory is not an original fiction anthology but collects some of her best work in the period 2005 to the present day, and they deserve a solid gathering in a single title. You could call it a 'best of' work except that I was blown away last year with her collection, Through Splintered Walls, where none of the stories represented are in this work. Nevertheless, there are definitely stories in this work that will blow you completely away.

All in all, most of Warren's work in The Gate Theory are reflective of her greatest strengths: the ability to disturb (to the degree of horrify) readers, and to taste, smell and feel what is being invoked in her stories. I will pick on several of the stories, although in passing I feel compelled to say that 'The History Thief' is the least of her stories in the collection, in the sense that it is the odd one out (it is in fact an excellent story). While all the other stories in the anthology are strong treatments of the dark, 'The History Thief' has less in-your-face prose and is more of a fantastical mystery.

'That Girl' is one of Warren's Fiji stories influenced by her stay in the island nation, although on a number of levels it could have been set in other places. Nevertheless Fiji's backdrop is vivid, incredibly so, and has the right mystery and association with older cultural practices to springboard a backstory of horror experienced by a young woman. Warren paints a horrifying story of rape and cover-up, and for much of the story there is also a tangible fear of the supernatural; yet at the end, without lessening the throttle, we are exposed to what is the true horror – that of the subjugation of females in this society – and which can easily extend far beyond. A deep, well-written piece.

'Dead Sea Fruit' is my favourite story in the collection. It is a piece describing the personal horrors of anorexia in excruciating detail, iterating consistently through the length of the short and adding a tangible, bona fide supernatural dimension. The antagonist wasn't evil through-and-through, and the protagonist isn't a stable figure – she was entering the lion's den and the reader's tension-meter shot up with concern for her. The ending was a perfect closure, but with hardly any happiness for anyone. This story is soaked in death, and with one exception, was long and agonising.

'The Gaze Dogs of Nine Waterfalls' is a horror story, but of a highly unusual, perhaps Bizarro nature. Another Fijian short. I liked this story perhaps for less obvious reasons than some readers may usually expect. The idea of a world-treking business to find highly unusual breeds of dogs, often intertwined with the supernatural – and readily accepted by the protagonists – is novel, interesting, entertaining. The adventure to obtain a most unusual breed in Fiji, protected by a gigantic, old, and deadly canine is also very good reading. However, what I liked most was the protagonist, Rosie, a person who is an efficient, cool adventuress, and devoid of what we would understand to be human compassion, and who is, I believe, a sociopath. She is not likeable, and this is what intrigues me about the story as it leads the reader along with interest and yet there is little, if any, sympathy for her. Most stories fail with that basic structure but this one doesn't, and I think it's because of the Bizarro, weird storyline that raises the reader's eyebrows every few paragraphs.

I left a few stories out and leave it to you, the reader, to fully explore. Kaaron Warren is undoubtedly one of the world's leading short fiction horror writers, defined by her mastery of disturbing prose. You would do yourself a disservice to miss this work. Anyone who rates The Gate Theory below 4 stars out of 5 are either maniacally against the horror genre, or are trolls. I give it 5 out of 5, although if the scale was out of 10 I would give it 9, as Through Splintered Walls sets her benchmark for perfection.

The ebook can be purchased at Amazon.