All the Strange Little Girls


I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!

Hooray! As of 4 days ago Strange Little Girls is a real, live book you can hold in your hands (or on your kindle) and read and marvel over! For a little taste of exactly what is inside this treasure box of an anthology, head over to Belladonna Publishing for a delicious teaser of each of the stories.

I’m so in love with the cover art of this book, and the interior art is just as sumptuous. If you pick up a copy, I’d love to know what you think!

Something Strange

Belladonna Publishing have just announced the release date for Strange Little Girls: 14 March! It contains my story “Pretty Jennie Greenteeth”, which explores the perils of underestimating both middle sisters and stories told to scare children.

Here’s what editors Camilla Bruce and Liv Lingborn have to say about the anthology:

Strange Little Girls

Strange Little Girls are made of sugar and spice, and something not quite as nice…
The strange little girls are orphans and changelings, suburban princesses, housewives, nuns and monsters. They are quirky and sweet, terrifying and heartbreaking. All of them a little lost, brimming with their own uniqueness.
In this strange little book of nineteen tales, Lotte goes swimming with her new fishy friends, Rin is freshly dug up, D’arcy strikes a bargain with the midnight mailman and Adelaide enters the mysterious House of Infinite Diversions. Our girls must fasten their bonnets and straighten their skirts to battle otherworldly dangers and challenging circumstances, internal struggles and doubts – and maybe find out who they really are.

Strange Little Girls is now available for pre-order from Amazon if you are quick!

The Never Never Land is out!

The Never Never Land
The Never Never Land

Hooray! On Sunday evening we launched The Never Never Land, containing my new story “Adventure Socks”, at Conflux 11. Nicole Murphy did the honours, noting that “Everything is better with dinosaurs”,  and that happily Never Never Land does not disappoint on this score. We had readings by Cat Sparks, from her story “Dragon Girl”, and Shauna O’Meara (who also did the amazing cover and interior artwork) from her story “To Look Upon A Dream Tiger”.

Nicole Murphy – “Everything is better with dinosaurs”
Editors Ian McHugh, Mitchell Akhurst and Phill Berrie
Elizabeth Fitzgerald and Shauna O’Meara

I am really proud of my story in this anthology – and I’m thrilled to be sharing a table of contents with such a talented bunch. There are a swag of authors in Never Never Land with established and even award-winning careers, along with a handful of new authors for whom this is their first publication. Congratulations CSFG and everyone involved for putting out another fantastic anthology.

*All photos by Cat Sparks, used with permission.

It’s here! The End Has Come!

The End Has Come
The End Has Come

Whoohoo! It’s wild and free!

Today is the release date for The End Has Come, the last volume in the Apocalypse Triptych edited by John Joseph Adams and Hugh Howey, containing my story Wandering Star.

Here’s what it says on the cover:

Famine. Death. War. Pestilence. These are the harbingers of the biblical apocalypse, of the End of the World. In science fiction, the end is triggered by less figurative means: nuclear holocaust, biological warfare/pandemic, ecological disaster, or cosmological cataclysm.

But before any catastrophe, there are people who see it coming. During, there are heroes who fight against it. And after, there are the survivors who persevere and try to rebuild.

THE APOCALYPSE TRIPTYCH tells their stories.

My story, Wandering Star, is a bit of a funny one, because it’s not strictly about what happens after the apocalypse. It’s built of glimpses from both before and after the apocalypse, and is about loss – loss of the future, but also loss of the past.

The End Has Come contains new stories from the likes of Seanan McGuire, Elizabeth Bear, Ken Liu, Jonathan Mayberry, Nancy Kress, Charlie Jane Anders, Hugh Howey and loads more. At the moment it’s available in trade paperback and for Kindle from Amazon, with other ebook formats to follow on 1 August.

I hope you enjoy it.

New story: Wandering Star!

I have been sitting on this news for a long time, now, but I’m really thrilled to announce that my story Wandering Star, will be appearing in the third book of The Apocalypse Triptych, The End Has Come, edited by John Joseph Adams of Lightspeed Magazine, and Hugh Howey, author of the New York Times bestselling novels WoolShift, and Dust.

The End Has Come

Quite aside from the editors, there are some stellar names in the table of contents of this anthology, and the previous two Apocalypse anthologies have come out to great reviews.

Out on 1 May!

I really hope you enjoy it.

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.

So far so good

I’ve just finished the second draft of a new short story – my first for 2015. I got it done in time for the February session of my writing group’s short story critiquing circle, and they gave me some excellent and very positive feedback. Now I need to let it sit for a bit, and maybe get one more set of eyes to run over it before I start sending it out into the world to find its way.

It feels good to have a new short just about ready to go, because I’ve been focussing a lot on novel projects recently. These offer a whole other kind of gratification, but they really are the long game. It’s very easy to feel like your writing career is going nowhere while you chip away at your novel-sized wordcount, or navigate your way through the slog of trying to find an agent or a publisher. Also, just from the perspective of writing satisfaction, the great ideas you want to get down take a lot longer to realise in novel form than in short form. This one only took a few days to knock out the first draft.

Plus, even though my trunk is largely empty right now for all the right reasons, it’s not good for it to stay that way for long. It feels good to start filling it up again.

Now, usually I have a really clear recollection of where the inspiration came from for a story. Usually it’s an image. But for some reason, even though I only started writing it two weeks ago, my recollection of where this one sprang from has all got a bit muddy. I think it might have changed direction somewhere along the way, and now I can’t remember what kicked it off.

So, in lieu of my source inspiration, have a picture of some beautiful art from Jack Pine Studios. It may be relevant!

Iris blue hand blown glass egg, Jack Pine Studio
Iris blue hand blown glass egg, Jack Pine Studio on Etsy

Music for an Ivory Violin – reviewed on Tangent!

Aurealis #74
Aurealis #74

I’ve finally had a chance to do some catching up on stuff, and look what I found: Chuck Rothman has reviewed Aurealis #74 on Tangent Online! He says Music for an Ivory Violin is:

 … an interesting tale of a unique form of revenge that avoids some of the problems with revenge stories.

Well. That’s quite good to hear. Thanks, Chuck!

(I wonder what revenge story problems I’ve avoided?)