Monday, May 26, 2014

Latest Stories (including Kisses by Clockwork) and Current Reads

Latest story releases: "The Tic-Toc Boy of Constantinople" in Kisses by Clockwork and "Submerging" in Overland Journal Issue 214, Autumn

"Submerging" in Overland Journal 214, Autumn can be ordered here:

There's some truly courageous articles in the journal, as well as three other stories, so it's well worth the read - as is every edition of Overland.

In fact it's Overland's 60th anniversary. That's sixty years of courageous dissent; sixty years of trailblazing for authors; sixty years of standing up for the wrongly marginalised; sixty years of meaningful provocation against those who lack compassion, and sixty years of fighting those who support anti-egalitarian ideologies. That's 60 pretty special years.

And "The Tic-Toc Boy of Constantinople" in Kisses by Clockwork will be released at a mega-launch party at Continuum (the national convention)  at the Intercontinental Rialto in Melbourne on Saturday the 8th June starting at 2pm.

Wish I could be there - it's a Perth tyranny of distance type of thing.

Needless to say, the story is a different work from "Submerging". Steampunk is a whole fascinating genre in its own right, including very stylistic art and craft. As usual, I'd imagine that there will be a little magic for all types of readers in Liz Grzyb's (Ticonderoga Publications) latest anthology. It's a pleasure playing a small role in it (or at least a good 20 page role). I can't wait to plunge into the steam-filled pages myself. I've set the timer on: tic-toc, tic-toc, tic-toc...

You can pre-order Kisses by Clockwork at

And after the launch Kisses by Clockwork will be available from Amazon Books, Book Depository or Indiebooksonline:

Congrats to Liz Gryzb and all the writers involved. 

Currently Reading: Just finished The Pure Gold Baby by Margaret Drabble. The ideas, commentary on society, and Drabble's rhythm, all scintillate. Its pitfall, however, is the distant narrative voice (distant from the story rather than cold and distant), which fails to captivate for the novel's entirety. It does, however, work superbly in patches.

The Pure Gold Baby isn't a bad read but the observant quasi-Victorian point of view needs to be more engrained within the story. I think it may be the case of a fine writer not being at her best here, or perhaps, Drabble is enjoying a dose of self-indulgence that ultimately over-weighs the reader.  

I'm also reading Dangerous Women ed. George RR Martin & Gardner Dozois. It's a compilation of stories and novellas with some real meat on them. Some standouts so far include: Joe Abercrombie's "Some Desperado", which is an action-packed Western with superb prose. After being slightly disappointed by Queenpin, Megan Abbott shows more than just the goods here with a wonderfully structured story that few writers could execute in the brilliant and psychologically intricate "My Heart is Either Broken".  "Wrestling Jesus" by Lawrence Block is a fun story of rugged 'old-school' masculinity. "Neighbors" by Megan Lindholm is easily the best story exploring issues relating to dementia that I've ever read and "Shadows For Silence in the Forests of Hell" is my first introduction to Brandon Sanderson and it's a pleasant surprise. More highlights to come.

Happy reading and writing!


  1. Always enjoy your reading roundups. I recently read Wind in the Willows, which made me hungry. Annihilation by Jeff Vandermeer (a Lovecraft inspired tale of horror and woe inside Area X) which creeped me out a little, but not enough to make me buy the second book in the trilogy (yet). I like that there is a genre called the 'new weird' though. Someday I hope to write a story that falls into that.

    I read Paul Theroux The Great Railway Bazaar, which I unfortunately found too long and repetitive to finish. I usually enjoy Theroux' witty commentary, but the book was written when he was much younger, and much more arrogant, and it shows.

    I still haven't finished the Luminaries by Eleanor Catton, which is like knowing there is a shitload of caviar in the fridge, but I just never feel like eating it. I'm eating cake as I write this.

    I'm almost finished Cloud Atlas by David Mitchell, which I've come to conclude is vastly overrated. With 10% remaining, I feel that all the cleverness never really amounted to anything clever enough to justify all the stories that are included. There is one story (and a story in this book goes for around 100 pages) that is written deliberately in the style of a cliche'd crime thriller set in the 80s, and it, unfortunately is only slightly clever on the page where you realised why its included in the omnibus. But then there is the other 99 pages, which is a rather uninspired crime thriller set in the 1980s. The first and last stories (in timescale) are easily the best, the rest just feels like heavy paper.

    1. Thanks, Mark! Wind in the Willows was the first 'novel' that I read back in Year One! Have to take a look at it now, especially seeing that it made you hungry.

      Think you'll certainly write a new weird story if that's what you want to do - although figure you might already have. Have both the Vandemeer novel and Cloud Atlas on my long reading list - so nice to hear your thoughts.

      Haven't yet tackled Theroux.

      Great to hear from you and look forward to your next short film or short story!