Tag Archives: fiction

The Molenstraat Music Festival shortlisted for Aurealis Awards

aurealis awardsI’m thrilled that my novelette published last year in Asimov’s – “The Molenstraat Music Festival” has been shortlisted for Australia’s Aurealis Awards. With baited breath, I must wait until March 25th for the ceremony. Of course, I’m on the ballot with Garth Nix so it feels like a long shot.

Since the novelette is also a Readers’ Awards Finalist in the Asimov’s Awards, it’s currently available to read for free on the Asimov’s Science Fiction website, here,. In that one I’m up against the likes of Michael Swanwick and David Gerrold, so no holding my breath 🙂

Congratulations to everyone on the shortlists – especially my friend Steve Cameron for his story “Lodloc and The Bear”.

Good luck to all.

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The Root Bridges of Haemae in Aurealis

aurealis87My story “The Root Bridges of Haemae” is out now in Issue 87 of Australia’s Aurealis Magazine, edited by the renowned Dirk Strasser.

Described as “a resonant off-world story featuring a truly alien culture”, young alien Ribolee struggles with human and alien relationships.

This story made last semi-finalist in the Writers of the Future contest. I’m pleased that it’s found a home, especially with Aurealis.

The full issue includes stories by Ian Bell and Deborah Sheldon, as well as interviews and reviews. Available from Smashwords for $US2.99.

Aurealis is expanding. For a long time the publication had been restricted to submissions from Australian and New Zealand contributors, but now it’s going global.

Here’s the story’s opening:

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Human females survive the birth of their children.

Astonishing.

Ribolee ran this revelation around in her head again and again as she walked home from their camp.

Human females survive the birth.

And not only that, they sometimes have just one child. Imagine. A single child. How could that be? How could a species come to be with such a clear hindrance to its own survival?

Around her, the jungle dripped. The midday rains had been shorter today. She liked this time of year: summer almost here, but still cooler and the rains diminishing. The full seasons were far wilder: the dry of summer when the ground became bristlrboh dion hamilling and crackly, the leaves darkened and swelled, animals howled and rushed; the wet chill of winter when the rivers burgeoned, the ground became a swamp and the rain could last for suns on end.

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I’m lucky enough to have my story complemented by a wonderful illustration by Dion Hamill. Thanks Dion.

Changing Modes

DSCN2859b small Last night I finished the draft of my first novel of the year.

That’s change mode number one. For the previous twelve-plus months I’ve been focusing on short stories so have mostly been writing in the 3000 to 10,000 word range.

Writing a sustained story that’s 60,000 words long takes a different kind of process. Glad I did Dean Wesley Smith’s Pacing Workshop (non-affiliate link!) over summer. That gave me a whole new way to approach a novel.

Change mode two: once I finished the novel I got started on a literary short story. Each year in New Zealand there are a couple of big literary contests and I make sure I enter both. One of them has a prize of $10,000 – seriously! I guess my chances are about 1/10,000, but that’s better than that Lotto thing and I still get to send off my story to other markets when it doesn’t win (one of last year’s entries has just been accepted for Takahe, a NZ literary magazine, yay).

So I went from the validation at the end of that sixty thousand word hard sci-fi novel to the opening of what will be a 3000 word piece focused on language and character more than action and wonder. I hope I can pull it off.

And, yes. I got started on the story as soon as I finished the novel. I saved the file called “pirates 25 2 2014” and created a new file called “the accident 25 2 2014” and began typing. Some writers apparently take a week off after finishing a novel. Nice for some, I guess. I want to capitalise on that momentum and carry on with writing. Anyway, I have a daily word count goal to hit.

Oh, that busy bee in the sunflower? Just last week in the garden. Summer is really giving us a scorcher for the moment. I know most of you are practically snowbound at the moment – I hope the pic gives you some cheer.

Two more anthologies available – Dieselpunk and A Butterfly in China

dieselpunk cover
Two anthologies I edited for Static Movement have gone to press and are available now.

Dieselpunk – a rollicking bunch of full-on alternative histories, where big-bore piston engines rule. $14.99

Cover illustration by Ensuper – dreamstime.com

Also available here from Createspace.
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butterfly new cover small

A Butterfly in China , tales of the butterfly effect – a more circumspect group of stories where small beginnings lead to big problems. $12.99.

Cover illustration by Manabu Fukuhara – dreamstime.com

Also available here from Createspace.

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The Flower Garden in The Colored Lens

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My story “The Flower Garden” (under a pen name – Michael Shone) has just come out in the Spring 2012 issue of The Colored Lens. Available now on Kindle for $2.99, along with numerous other stories by some very fine writers.

“The Flower Garden” is a kind of a mix of my literary and sci-fi writings. Here’s the first page as a taster
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Greg Winden saw the living machine thing from the Lockheed’s window as the aircraft made its final approach into Garnet Hill. He’d always enjoyed seeing his father’s house from the plane whenever he flew in from Newark, but it was weird seeing a mechwurm just across the highway. He remembered his father grumbling about being so close to a flight path when planes came over. Garnet Hill was so small that there were only a couple a day, and nowadays the aircraft were so quiet you barely noticed them anyway. Really, his father had little to complain about.
The alien machine changed that. His house and garden were in its path. Both would be crushed under the thing.
Greg stared at it as the plane went by. His earset snapped off some photos.
The thing was like some ancient whale-sized bottom-dwelling sea creature. Bigger than whale-sized. Its black, segmented body would have looked little bigger than a snail, from the altitude, but the passing cars on the highway almost straight below belied its real expanse: they looked like toy cars. Like a kid’s micro-slot car set, with a fascinated frisky cat about to pounce on them. It had to be two hundred yards wide, and more than three times that in length.

Back from Vermont – reading, ebook and in print

My literary story “Back from Vermont”, originally published in Takahe, then reprinted in Midnight Train has now been published, with two bonus stories, through Triple V Publishing as both an ebook and in print.

Back from Vermont is one of my personal favourites – quirky and heartfelt and fun. It was fun to write and it’s nice to get it out there so many ways.

For those who happen to be in Palmerston North on Saturday October 13th, I’ll be reading the story (aloud) at the Palmerston North Book Fair at 11am. I will have copies of the book for sale ($11-), as well as some of my other books, and will do signings.

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Larry’s building a grand scale railway on the sidewalk right out in front of the house. And all along the street. Lisa’s furious, but the neighbors all want to ride. Includes bonus stories “Norwegians” (previously published in Literary Foray and “Steam Furnace” (first publication).

Front cover image by Giladm – Dreamstime

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ebook
($4.49)
Smashwords
filtering through to Nook, Kobo, Sony ereader and Apple soon
Kindle

Print (94 page paperback) – $6.49
Amazon