The Never Never Land


How could this have slipped my mind? My only excuse is that I’ve been crafting a new story, so my brain has been very much off in another world entirely in the last couple of weeks.

On 3 February, the Canberra Speculative Fiction Guild announced the table of contents of their upcoming anthology The Never Never Land, and my story Adventure Socks is in it!

Congratulations to everyone involved. The lineup is fantastic, and includes a bunch of authors I’m very proud to sit alongside, as well as some new names.

I have to thank my fiddle teacher, the extraordinarily gifted artist Jacqueline Bradley, for the inspiration for this one. She makes sculpture using familiar objects in quirky, unexpected and thought provoking ways. While this story is not a direct response to any specific piece of hers, the idea behind it sprang from a conversation we had and feels to me like it has perhaps captured a tiny spark of the homely, whimsical spirit of her work.

Strange Little Girls



Here is an announcement I make with much excitement. Belladonna Publishing has announced the table of contents for its upcoming anthology, Strange Little Girls,  and I’m in it!

My story Pretty Jennie Greenteeth will be appearing in it, alongside another favourite Australian writer of mine, Angela Rega.

And just look at that art! *Swoons*

Aurealis #74: out now!

Aurealis #74 is now available, and includes my new story, Music for an Ivory Violin.


Here’s what they have to say about this issue:

In this issue we feature Imogen Cassidy’s ‘Soul Partner’, an urban fantasy gumshoe pastiche with some original touches, and Leife Shallcross’ creepy and engrossing ‘Music for an Ivory Violin’. Chris Large brings some thoughtful silliness with his ‘When a Jedi Should Think Twice About Bringing a Knife to a Gunfight’, and Stephen Higgins continues his SF’s Sacred Cows with Asimov’s Foundation.

I hope you enjoy it!

New story: Music for an Ivory Violin

New story coming out next month!

This one is called Music for an Ivory Violin, and will be in Aurealis magazine #74, coming out in September.

It’s a little darker than the other stories I’ve had published to date, and is one of those where the idea lurked around in the back of my mind for literally years before one day the story just came spilling out. I think that was one of those nights I ended up having to get up and just write, because there was just no way I was going to go to sleep once this tale started taking form.

And this makes it two stories out this year, which is a record for me.

My beloved fiddle. Doesn't get brought out nearly as much as it should.
My beloved fiddle. Doesn’t get brought out nearly as much as it should.

The Blue Djinn’s Wish – reviewed!

I had a really long day today. Up at 5 am to head off to Sydney for work; long day full of meetings; back on a plane at 6 p to fly home. Then, once the plane landed, we sat on the tarmac for ages waiting to taxi back to the airport. Fortunately, they let us turn our phones back on, so I jumped on FaceBook to while away the time.

And look what I saw!

Use Only As Directed

A link to a new review of Use Only As Directed by Melbourne writer and astrophysicist Tsana Dolichva; and look what she has to say about the antho and  my story!

There is a wide variety of stories contained within; every story sticks to the theme, but there are a lot of very different interpretations. I appreciate the lack of homogeneity and the novelty of getting something completely different each time I picked up the anthology.

My favourite stories were “The Blue Djinn’s Wish” by Leife Shallcross, “Future Perfect” by Janeen Webb and “Home Sick” by M Darusha Wehm.

She goes on to say of The Blue Djinn’s Wish

Easily the best genie story I’ve ever read. The princess who finds the magic bottle is happy and already has everything she could wish for, but will that last?

Now obviously this blog is where I blow my own trumpet, so to speak. But I’ve gotta say a big thank you to Tsana for taking the time to review UOAD and saying such lovely things about my story. I’m still kinda new at this, but the thrill of hearing that someone has enjoyed one of my stories is something I don’t think will ever get old.

Thanks, Tsana!

New story! With bonus review!

2014 started with a bit of a bang for me, with three story sales fairly early on. The first of these is about to be published in the latest Peggy Bright Books anthology, Use Only As Directed, edited by Simon Petrie and Edwina Harvey. It will be launched in June at Continuum in Melbourne. (You can see the intriguing cover art by Lewis Morely below)

In it is my latest story, The Blue Djinn’s Wish! I’m excited about it because I love this story and I’m thrilled it’s finally out there in the world. But wait, there’s more! The first review is up, it’s very favourable…and my little tale got a mention.

 The Blue Djinn’s Wish by Leife Shallcross was a gentle story of a djinn and a young girl granted the traditional three wishes. However what comes of that is far from traditional – and a terrific riff on an old tale.

This is the my first review ever, and what a lovely one it is. Thank you, Steve Johnson. I’ve now got my e-copy of the book, and am looking forward to reading what the other authors have on offer. I’m in quality company, so my expectations are high!

Use Only As Directed