Story News!

ASIM60_frontcover-722x1024Cerberus Roars!

Care for a bit of dieselpunk, or maybe some surreaselpunk? Dada, the first story written together with my writing band Cerberus has just been released, in Issue #60 of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine. (Once Issue #61 goes live, that link will need to be updated. I’ll try to remember. If I haven’t just click on Back Issues and scroll to the bottom).

Cerberus is a writing band comprising the weird and wonderful talents of the Discorobot himself, Grant Stone, and the one and only Hairy Mango, Matthew Sanborn Smith. This is our first published piece and we very much hope it won’t be the last. Giant robots! Homicidal machines! Strange loves that we may never understand! What more could you want in a story?

ASIM 60 is available in print, PDF, epub, and mobi.

Ministry ProtocolThe River Speaks!

Have you been hanging out for the audio version of Ministry Protocol – Thrilling Tales of the Ministry of Peculiar Occurrences? Well, here it is!

Included in this collection is the audio of my story, Where the River Shines. There’s a sample below for your teasery pleasure. Yay! Kiwi Steampunk!



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Baby Teeth takes a chunk out of Tales to Terrify

baby-teeth-audio-coverIf you’ve been keen for a taste of the Baby Teeth audiobook, now is your chance. The most excellent Stephen Kilpatrick, who is now running the show over at the Tales to Terrify podcast, has recently released a special episode featuring an introduction by yours truly and six – yes, SIX – stories from the book, as produced by Dynamic Ram Audio.

These stories are:

Caterpillars, by Debbie Cowens (Australian Shadows Award winner, Best Short Story, 2014), narrated by the author;

White, by Grant Stone, narrated by Dan Rabarts;

Winter Feast, by Elizabeth Gatens, narrated by Tanja Milojevic;

The Birthday Present, by Sally McLennan, narrated by Jenni Sands;

Peter and the Wolf, by Lee Murray, narrated by Chris Barnes;

The Dead Way, by JC Hart (Australian Shadows Award finalist, Best Short Story, 2014), narrated by Amanda Fitzwater.

So for almost an hour of flash horror fiction in your ears, please head over to Tales to Terrify and have a listen.

If you like what you hear, the audiobook can be purchased from Proceeds go to Duffy Books in Homes, to support the work they do getting kids reading books and loving words.

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RIP Larry Santoro

Larry-at-the-mike-500x480It was with a great deal of sadness that I heard, a couple of weeks ago, of the passing of Tales to Terrify host Larry Santoro. Larry was a cut-and-dried vocal talent behind the mic, and a gentleman and a scholar to boot. I never met Larry, but we had many dealings via email with regards to the podcast, and I always felt honoured to be a part of his circle of colleagues.

Larry was kind enough to promote Baby Teeth while we were running our crowdfunding campaign, giving us a serious boost which was massively appreciated.

He will be truly missed, both by his family and friends, and by the many fans of his writing and his podcasting talents.

On a related note, I’ve got another narration live on the podcast, in show #132. Set in South Africa, The Immaculate Particle, by Charlie Human, was a challenge to record, but I gave it a damned good shot, I think. Fantastic story, too. Brutal and chilling.

TTTcover.2014JulyGo download the show and have a listen. Be sure to leave a comment, or even go along to iTunes, and leave a rating or review of the podcast. Maybe even drop a penny in the donations jar on the way past.


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The Great ‘Writing Process’ Blog Hop

Honorary Kiwi M. Darusha Wehm (she’s actually Canadian, but so am I, so we’re all cool here. All cool. Eh.) tagged me into this little Writing Process Blog Hop, a couple of weeks ago now, and as I’m working through my insane list of Things That Must Be Done, it has jumped to the top. Cos it can hop, see. See?


Darusha is a Canadian writer, global sailor, and her SF novel Children of Arkadia is soon to be published by Bundoran Press. She currently lives on her boat in Wellington Harbour, and is great fun to sit down and have a beer with. You should try it sometime.

So the way this blog hop works is that tagged authors answer four questions about their writing process, and then tag one or more authors themselves. So here we go.

1) What are you working on?

At the moment I have a couple of short stories written which I’m editing with a view to submitting when they’re ready, one being dieselpunk and the other being dark fantasy. I’m also in the midst of an editing pass over a cyberpunk novella before I hand it over to my collaborative writing band, Cerberus, to rework and bring to a whole new level of wierdness and awesome (we don’t have a website yet, but you can visit our Tumblr, if you like). I’m also deeply invested in a collaborative horror/crime novel with Baby Teeth co-editor Lee Murray, and I’d love to tell you more about that, but then I’d have to, I dunno, kill you or something. And that sounds like work that I just don’t have time for, so don’t make me, awright? As well as all that, I have two other novels in progress – a dark fantasy/comic work, and a gothic horror apocalyptopunk story. Beats having nothing to write, right?

2) How does your work differ from others of its genre?

I try to bring a very local voice to my writing. Over the past two years, I’ve had three Kiwi Steampunk stories published, with a fourth recently accepted. All of these stories have appeared in international publications, and I like to think that I have an opportunity here, as a Kiwi writer, to bring more of New Zealand to a wider audience, where our country is so often underrepresented.

I also identify as being of Maori descent, and while this has not impacted heavily on my published work to date, I have found myself wanting more and more to write stories which will delve into this. One thing I took away from Continuum X in June was the responsibility of those of us who can write, who have a voice, who might dare to think they have a platform, to respect the underrepresented and to tell those stories which belong to us, and which are not being told elsewhere. There is a weight to this, which I have been feeling as I tackled my most recent story, which is an alternate history dieselpunk story centred around the Maori Battalion serving during the First World War. I just hope that my words will validate the conviction I’ve been feeling of late to do what I can to dutifully and honourably be a voice for not only New Zealand, but also for my iwi, my hapu and my whanau (tribe, extended family and immediate family).

3) Why do you write what you do?

I started out writing lengthy fantasy novels because that’s the sort of thing I always enjoyed reading, though I often worried that I was simply imitating rather than genuinely creating. Nonetheless, it was all part of surmounting the mythological 1 million words you apparently have to write before you can say you’re a writer, so with that behind me, I put aside all pretense to being a novelist for a while and moved onto writing short fiction instead. This was also driven by the fact that about that time we had a baby in the house, and sleep deficits rendered concentration on longer projects impossible, while short stories were far more manageable. That proved to be a worthwhile diversion, as I’ve now sold a dozen stories, garnered several award nominations and a couple of wins, and brought in a little bit of money doing so. Currently I try to balance both forms, as I’d love to have some full-length novels floating around out there in the world as well.

Everything I write falls under the umbrella of Speculative Fiction, with a tendency towards the dark. The big issues that affect us as a species lead me to writing SF with a view to exploring where humanity as a race is destined – for better or worse. Questions of where we draw the line between real and unreal, possible and impossible feed my penchant for fantasy. The possibility that beneath this veneer of civilisation we’re never more than a few meals away from our savage, animal sides and that, for some, not even this much is required, informs my horror stories. By looking past the faces the world shows us and wondering what’s there beneath the surface, we might see something truly terrifying.

Because fiction is about more than story and setting and character and craft. It’s also about asking questions. The “why” of fiction is why I write. I might not give you the answers – in fact, to do so would be contrary to the “why” of it all.  But asking questions, being curious, is what makes life interesting. And, of course, you might need to find that question yourself, and what you find might not be what I thought I was asking. But that’s the fun of it.

Fiction is examination, a reflection of who we are, what we see and don’t want to see. I write to get a glimpse of what might be. Somewhere in there, you’ll find equal amounts of hope and terror. Just doing my bit to keep the universe level.

4) How does your writing process work?

That’s the great unanswerable question, isn’t it? But I can give it a go. You see, much of the time, my writing isn’t so much a process as it is the meeting of habit and opportunity. Basically, i’m in the habit of sitting down and writing whenever I have a spare moment, which isn’t that often between keeping up a full-on technical management day job and being a Dad to two awesome and intense kids. I write early in the morning and after the kids’ bedtime in the evening, and sometimes words happen. Sometimes less so. Sometimes more.

In general, I’m more pantser than planner. I tend to start off with no plan, just with words rolling out without anything thought through, and as I get into it, characters and places and stories take shape. Most of this I do longhand, scribbling in A5 notebooks in an illegible scrawl I like to think of as a secret alphabet that only I can read but which I know is actually just an illegible scawl that only I can read. Somewhere in that process, one of three things will happen. Either I realise that the story is going nowhere and it gets abandoned. Or I grasp that there is a story there, beneath the words, but I’m not going to find it by carrying on down this path, at which point I start a second draft straight onto the computer. And sometimes, I make it all the way to the end. And wonder how I got there. Oh, and sometimes I start writing straight onto the computer, usually when I have a slightly more well-formed idea in mind. Because I’m nothing if not inconsistent.

Once I make it onto writing on a keyboard -whether as a first port of call, or after working on a longhand draft- a couple of things happen. First, I can actually research details as I go. This sucks up time, but it’s worth it for all the reasons research is good. Adding authenticity to the story, educating myself, all of that. I also find it harder to avoid dropping in to Facebook and losing time socialising, but that’s the price we pay, don’t we? But with all of these things out of the way, I get words cranking. Usually, this is a matter of starting with the longform text and copying it over, but inevitably things evolve and shift and polymorph, until by the time I get to the end, the story has taken on a whole new form I wasn’t expecting. Basically, I open up the gates to the chaos beyond, and all manner of twisted, self-determining protoplasm pushes its way through onto the page.

When I get as far as editing, that’s when I have to reassert the human voice of reason, whip my characters back into line, and try to polish up something that people would want to read. Sometimes I do this right away, sometimes after a break, then I get my dearly-loved beta readers to tell me that I’ve smeared fistfuls of meaningless sludge across their computer screens, I go back and revise and rethink and rewrite and scrap entire worlds in my hunt for a good story, until I have something that resonates clean and clear and beautifully broken. I don’t know how I do that. I just lose myself down there in the words and the worlds, and hope every time that I’ll find my way back out. So far, so good.

So, what’s the point of this, if you’re a writer looking for a bit of insight into how some unlikely guy with a funny name has managed to sell a bunch of stories, snag a couple of awards, and collect a following of people who might like to read more of what I squeeze out from the grey matter, or that strange space beyond? Well, there’s only one rule about writing that you need to know, and be ready to read all the rest, and throw them out if they don’t suit you, but you can’t ignore this one: Write. Writers write. Unless you’re doing that, the rest of the rules are redundant. That’s the one rule I’ve always stuck to. I write, every day if I possibly can. Sometimes it’s only a couple hundred words, or a page, or even a blog post about how I write, but if a day goes by that I break that rule, I know it’s a day I’ll never get back. So I try to keep it, every day. It doesn’t matter what. And with time, that habit of always working on something, however small a bite of the pie it might be, has meant that nowadays every time I’m writing, I know that I’m either creating something new that will one day be something worth showing to people to read, or I’m working on my craft with words that no-one will ever see, or I’m racing towards the end of another unexpected journey that my characters have taken me on, a story that must be completed so that they can rest.

There are a lot of voices in a writer’s head. The most important thing to remember is which ones to listen to. Tune out the ones that whisper to you about self-doubt and self-loathing, and listen to the ones that come from other places, with stories that must be told. Because those are the voices that we have a responsibility to listen to.

Right, now I’ve gone on about that for far too long, and it’s time to hand off the reins.

Debbie CowensTag!

For my next trick, I’d like to welcome Debbie Cowens to the Great Writing Process Blog Hop. Debbie is the winner of both the Sir Julius Vogel Award, and the Australian Shadows Award, and is co-author of Mansfield with Monsters, from Steam Press, as well as the story collection Steam Pressed Shorts and the Lovecraft-Mansfield mashup novella, At the Bay of Cthulu.

Over to you, Debbie!

Posted in Books, Life, Making Plans, Short Fiction | 2 Comments

Continuum X Wrap-up

007So much awesome, so few words.

Attending Continuum X as the FFANZ delegate has to be one of the most amazing things I’ve done as a writer to date. I met so many great people, many of them folk I have known online for quite a while, but also many whom I met for the first time once I arrived in Melbourne.

I had absolutely NO time for sightseeing. Every day was chock-full of stuff happening, from panels and talks I wanted to sit in on, to those I was a panelist on, to talking and drinking coffee and chattting and just being caught up in the moment, and everything that was going on. I met many of my Australian writer idols friends, and tried my best to maintain both my dignity as a writer and indulge my squee factor as a fanboy.

Melbourne was a most accommodating place to stay, and I must thank most profusely, over and over again, my friends Rachael and Eric who let me stumble into their house in the dark every night and collapse into their spare bed, only to be gone again straight after breakfast, and who then even drove me to the airport on the day I left. Thanks, guys. Much appreciated.

The highlight of the convention, for me at least, had to be Ambelin Kwaymullina’s Guest of Honour speech, which brought into very sharp focus the role of writers, particularly speculative fiction writers, to take up the responsibility of tackling diversity and respecting the voices of the under-represented in genre fiction. I have been hoping to see her speech crop up online, it was that good, but I haven’t seen it yet. However, she did post an article over at the Wheeler Centre last week, which is along similar lines and worth a read.


(L-R) Jo Anderton, Amanda Pillar, me, and Alan Baxter

Other particularly high points were getting a selfie with Alan Baxter, Joanne Anderton and Amanda Pillar, sitting in on a Kafeeklatsch with Jim C. Hines and a bunch of most excellent Aussie fans, sharing dinner and a beer with IFWG publisher Gerry Huntman and Cohesion Press’s Geoff Brown, and then the following night doing the same with Tehani Wessely, Tansy Rayner-Roberts, Elanor Matton-Johnson and others, and then attending the Ditmar Awards and presenting the award for Best Fan Writing to Sean Wright. But really, it was all good. Better than good. It was great.

So I must pass on a huge thanks both to the FFANZ people who made my trip happen, and also to the ConX committee, who were so welcoming and made my stay such a good time.

I will be producing a trip report as part of the fundraising efforts for upcoming FFANZ delegates, so keep an eye out for that. Also, as I’m now administering the New Zealand half of the FFANZ fund, I’ll be involved in organising the next two exchanges. In 2015, an Australian will be coming to New Zealand for our Natcon, which will be Reconnaissance in Rotorua over Easter Weekend, and then a New Zealander travelling to the Australian Natcon in 2016, wherever that might be. For more information about that, please head over to Facebook and drop a Like on the FFANZ page. If you’re interested in being considered for either of those trips, then send us a message there.

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Australian Shadows Awards

Shadows TrophyLast week, hot on the heels of my return from Continuum X in Melbourne, the winners of the Australian Shadows Awards were announced.

I hadn’t even had time to blog about Baby Teeth making the shortlist for Best Edited Work, or about how Debbie Cowens’s contribution to the anthology, Caterpillars, and JC Hart’s The Dead Way had both made it into the Best Short Story category, busy as I was.

The Australian Shadows Awards are run by the Australian Horror Writers Association (AHWA) and are open to all residents of Australia, New Zealand and Oceania, so it’s a big pool with a lot of very talented creators in the mix. Just to make the shortlist, not once but three times, was an exciting milestone for Baby Teeth, but given the quality of the competition, I was already in the “I’m happy our book and these stories just made the shortlist” mindset. Because seriously, it was tough competition.

Baby Teeth was up against Midnight Echo Issue 9, edited by former AHWA president and now publisher at Cohesion Press, Geoff Brown; StarQuake 1, the Best Of offering from Gerry Huntman’s SQ Mag and edited by Sophie Yorkston; and A Killer Among Demons, edited by Craig Bezant and featuring some of the real heavyweights of Australian dark fiction. So as you can see, I thought that a nod towards our humble little book was really nice.

I was not, by any stretch, expecting to win.

So when Lee Murray text me somewhere past 11pm on Thursday night to say, basically, OMG We WON!!! I wasn’t sure if I was dreaming or not.

And then to see that Debbie had won Best Short Story, up against JC, John Paul Fitch, CS McMullen and Joanne Anderton, I was equally stunned. And kinda euphoric. Because, winning is good.

I fumbled out some half-sleeping half-dreaming acceptance speech on the Facebook forum, Lee followed this up with a far more coherent one, and the buzz continued for most of the next day on the social media forums.

Congratulations to all the finalists. The quality of the competition is a testament to the excellent state of the horror and dark fiction market in this part of the world right now, and long may it last.To have won these two categories says something more about the state of dark fiction and small press in New Zealand, and that’s something that we can all be proud of.

Congratulations to the winners in all categories:

Best Novel: 809 Jacob St, by Marty Young

Paul Haines Award for Long Fiction: The Unwanted Women of Surrey, by Kaaron Warren

Best Collected Work: The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, by Joanne Anderton

Best Short Story: Caterpillars, by Debbie Cowens, in Baby Teeth – Bite-sized Tales of Terror

Best Collected Work: Baby Teeth, Bite-sized Tales of Terror, edited by Dan Rabarts and Lee Murray

Also, huge thanks to the organisers and judges who run the awards. It’s a massive task, with stacks of reading (there were 116 pieces in the Short Story category alone), and they have carried out their role superbly. Round of applause, please.

baby-teeth-audio-coverI’d also like to thank everyone who has had a part in Baby Teeth: the many contributors who gave us such excellent stories; the proofing and editorial team, and everyone who gave us advice on things from contracts to cover design to promotion and marketing; our fantastic publisher, Marie Hodgkinson at Paper Road Press, who took a chance on this book; Lee Murray, for stepping in as my co-editor and making the whole thing infinitely more manageable and more professional that it might’ve been if I’d been juggling all the balls on my own; and most especially, thanks to my lovely wife Chrissy, who must be so sick of hearing about Baby Teeth by now, and is dreading the day I say, “So, I saw this thing on Facebook, and we thought we might do another little book…”

Baby Teeth is available in paperback and ebook formats from all major online outlets, and the audiobook will be available soon. Proceeds from sales of the book go to children’s literacy charity Duffy Books in Homes.

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Finding Me at Continuum X

The programme for Continuum X has been released,

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and all I can say is: Holy Crap, Friday, is going to be a long day.

First up, I’ll be getting up at 3am NZ time on Friday the 6th of June, which will be 1am Melbourne time, to make it to a plane, which will take me to Sydney and then another on to Melbourne. I’ll arrive, get settled with my fantastic friends who are letting me crash in their spare room for the duration of the con, and then I’ll be heading down to the hotel to make my presence known. I’ll be appearing at:



We Do This Stuff So You Can Write About It: People with unusual jobs or hobbies are invited to come talk about them and answer questions, so writers (and the simply curious) know more about what they’re like and what pitfalls to avoid when writing about them. For my part, I’ll be there to talk about working with electricity, and surviving in the film industry. With Amanda Elliott, Alex Matti, Gillian Polack, Fran La Fontaine.

Straight over to:


The Writing’s on the Tablet – Technology for writers: How do tablets, smart phones and other gadgets change the way we write and what are the most effective ways to work with them? How can writing software help writers plan out their work and keep track of themes, character development, time lines, etc? With Adam Brymora, J. R.Hargenrader, Tracy Joyce, Andrew Macrae.


Opening Ceremony!



In Conversation – FFANZ Delegate Dan Rabarts: New Zealand author and fan Dan Rabarts is interviewed by PRK about New Zealand fandom, writing, spec fic, and sailing.


The Dark Arts: What makes magic “black magic”? From mind control to the power of love, a look at the way fantasy tends to differentiate the magic of villains from that of heroes. What are the cliches and what do they say about how we differentiate “good” from “evil”? With Darren Sanderson, Tracy Joyce, Leisl Leighton, Norman Cates.



Lost Origins: Plato’s Atlantis was a warning of a corrupt society, but Atlantis is often depicted as a lost paradise. Stoker’s Dracula was a terrifying monster, but modern vampires are often romantic figures. Shelley’s Frankenstein’s monster was a thinking creature, but horror movies made him a

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mindless monster. Why do we evolve old mythologies to suit modern tastes, instead of just creating new ones? And do the originals lose out or gain something in being reimagined? With Jason Nahrung, Amanda Pillar, Leisl Leighton, Norman Cates



Romanpunk: Why should the Victorians have all the anachronistic fun? Let’s conquer the moon and build aqueducts on Mars. With Liz Barr, Tansy Rayner Roberts

With any luck, I’ll have something useful to contribute to one or more of these panels. The rest of the time, I’ll either by slipping into panels and workshops that spark my interest, or I’ll be looking for coffee, or I’ll be in the bar, or something. Probably buying more books than I can carry home and scrounging around for autographs. If you’re going to be there, come find me. Looking forward to meeting a whole bunch of fine new people across the ditch!

You can find the full programme, with all the panels and workshops and all the excellent folk who will be attending and partaking, over here.

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Going to Melbourne!

Well, it’s official: my bid to attend Continuum X, the 53rd Australian National Science Fiction Convention being held in Melbourne this June, under the auspices of the FFANZ programme (Fan Fund of Australia and New Zealand), has been successful.CX banner image On the back of a record number of votes, the New Zealand writing

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and fan community have made their voices heard, and they have said that they would like little ol’ me to stand up and represent us across the ditch.

I’m honoured by this, and I will do my utmost to put this country’s best foot forward. I’d like to thank everyone who thought I was worthy of a vote, and especially Paul Mannering, Lee Murray and Geoff Brown who backed my original bid with FFANZ.

So what now? Well, aside from representing New Zealand, I am now also the administrator of the fund, which means that the road to raising funds for the 2015 delegate starts now. I will be seeking donations of books and other things which I can fit into a suitcase to take to Melbourne and auction off as a part of the fundraising effort. I will be contacting some people directly, but if you would like to donate something, and earn my undying gratitude in return, please drop a comment here and I will get in touch.

Look out Australia,

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And the winner is…

So, this happened over the weekend:

SJVs and books

I’m still in a state of shock, after leaving the Sir Julius Vogel Awards ceremony on Saturday night in Auckland with two of the coveted trophies, one presented together with co-editor Lee Murray for Baby Teeth, in the category of Best Collected Work (we’re still working out a custody plan, but it’s all very civil – so far), and one in the category of Best New Talent.

Blown away. That’s all I can say. I know I put the suggestion out there, but to not only make the final ballot but also win the award is just mind-boggling. I am stunned and awed, and on the night, standing up there to receive it, I was, for once in my life, pretty much lost for words. It was a great feeling.

So here, officially, I’d like to thank a few people.

First up, for Baby Teeth, I want to thank Lee Murray and Marie Hodgkinson,

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my co-editor and publisher respectively, without whom this project would not have had the shine that it does. Also, all the contributors (all 27

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of you), and all our PledgeMe backers who helped make it a reality. To everyone who publicised and promoted and gave the project a life of its own beyond the book. To everyone who nominated and voted for it in the SJVs. You’re all awesome. May your nights not be haunted by the pitter-patter of little, clawed feet…

In the Best New Talent category, for a start I’d like to thank everyone who nominated and voted. This means a huge deal to me, and I can’t thank you all enough. But winning was the end result of a lot of work, and a lot of time, and a lot of trust. I’d like to thank all the editors who accepted my writing and worked with me to iron out the messy stuff: Jacob Edwards, Amanda Pillar, Scott H Andrews, Liz Grzyb, Anna Caro, Juliet Buchanan, Gabrielle Harbowy, Pip Ballantine, Tee Morris, Angel Leigh McCoy and Scott Vandervalk; My writing circle, who have beta read stories and given me feedback and helped me improve my craft: Grant Stone, Lee Murray, Matthew Sanborn Smith, JC Hart, Mark English, Elizabeth Gatens, and many more besides; My sister Sandra, who reads everything I write, even the stuff she doesn’t like (not a zombie fan, Sandra), and has done

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for as long as I can remember; And most especially, my lovely wife Chrissy, who has supported and encouraged my dreams to be a writer since she first met me so long ago, who tolerates the hours I spend with my head in other worlds, and who I can honestly say I would not have made it this far without having her at my back the whole way. I am a very lucky man indeed.

So, where to from here?

Well, I have at least two more short stories slated for publication later this year, and plenty more out on the submission merry-go-round and being written. But this year I intend to move a little bit away from short fiction and focus more on selling my existing body of longer work, complete some unfinished novels, and do more collaboration with the great writers I’ve become involved with over the past couple of years. 2014, I decided a while ago, was to be the year for finishing things that needed finishing. So that’s what I’ll be doing. If I go quiet in the social media sphere, you’ll know why.

But, if you’d like to help me get to Mebourne in June to attend Continuum X, the Aussie SFF convention, then you can. I’m currently in the running for the FFANZ fan fund, which will pay for me to travel to Melbourne and represent New Zealand fandom. Voting is open until Sunday, May 4th, and costs $5 NZD each (all proceeds go towards the travel fund). If you’d like to help me get there, download the form at this link, fill it in and email to jan DOT butterworth01 AT That is also the PayPal address for payment of the $5 donation.

Once again, thank you all. I hope that my future endeavours will be a worthy reflection of the recognition you have all shown in helping me win this award.


Posted in Awards, Conventions | Leave a comment

SJV Awards 2014

All That GlittersThis has come to be a consistently exciting time of year for me – the day that the SV Final Ballot is announced. I’ve had three nominations over the past four years, one for non-fiction and two

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for short stories, but this year is something else again.

This year, I have two short steampunk stories, All That Glitters and Waking the Taniwha, in the short fiction category. The flash fiction horror anthology I co-edited with Lee Murray, Baby Teeth – Bite-sized Tales of Terror, appears on the ballot in the Best Collected Work category. And last but not least, I have been included in the Best New Talent category, which is both humbling and exciting all at once.

cover-rough-final-1As well as that, two stories from Baby Teeth are

on the final ballot for short fiction (Jan Goldie’s Love Hurts and Piper Mejia’s Lockdown), and Lee Murray has also made the ballot for her novella Cave Fever. Baby Teeth authors Eileen Mueller and Alicia Ponder are also there on the short fiction ballot, as are Matt and Debbie Cowens for their novella At the Bay of Cthulu, and Anna Caro with her novella This Other World. So our little book and its contributors have made a very strong showing on this year’s list.

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Best Collected Work category is Regeneration, which includes my short story Mother’s Milk. Like I’ve said elsewhere, whatever happens on Awards Night, there are bound to be celebratory drinks all round.

Congratulations and best of luck to all the finalists.

If you haven’t had a chance to read or listen to these stories yet, please go ahead and do so. Also, Paper Road Press plan on making a free e-version of Baby Teeth available for

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interested readers during the voting period, so keep an eye out for that.

Regeneration_LRGAnyone attending Conclave II, the National Science Fiction and Fantasy Convention 2014, being held in Auckland over Anzac Weekend, can vote on the SJVs, as can any supporting member or any member of SFFANZ, whether attending the convention or not. Do please take the time to look into all the nominated works and consider becoming a part of this celebration of Kiwi Speculative Fiction by voting in the awards.

You can find the full list of finalists here.




Posted in Awards, Short Fiction | Leave a comment