At The Edge – Submissions now open!

I’m very pleased to announce  that I am involved in a new anthology project. Together with Lee Murray and Paper Road Press, we are now taking submissions for At The Edge.

We’re looking for speculative fiction short stories, covering the range of horror, science fiction, and fantasy. At The Edge will be an anthology of stories about the edge of civilisation, the fringe of reason, the border of reality, by writers from the edge of the Earth.

Stories should  be between 3,000 and 10,000 words, with payment based on word count. For full details on what we’re looking for and how to submit, head over to Paper Road Press.

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Narrations and Story News Ahoy!

ITH-CoverI’m very pleased to announce that I’ll have a story coming out in the upcoming anthology Insert Title Here, from Aussie small press Fablecroft Publishing, alongside fantastic authors like Alan Baxter, Joanne Anderton and Thoraiya Dyer. Oil and Bone is another work of Kiwi steampunk, with an awfully dark edge. The book’s due to be launched at Swancon in Perth over Easter. Exciting times.

On another note, my short story, The Crooked Mile, which appeared in Beneath Ceaseless Skies in 2012, has been selected for a BCS Best of Weird West anthology, to be released later in the year.

I’ve also had a couple of new narrations pop up the past couple of months. One is a story by Lavie Tidhar, The Mystery of the Missing Puskat, on the crime podcast Plan B, and the other is a horror tale over on Tales to Terrify; Thank You for Choosing Evil, by Christopher Munroe. If you like short fiction that makes you think, both of these tales are worth your time.


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Story News: ‘Endgame’ published in ‘Fat Zombie’

large_FatZombie_EbookCoverMy short story Endgame is now available as part of the anthology Fat Zombie, a collection of stories of unlikely survivors of the apocalypse edited by Wellington author Paul Mannering and published by Permuted Press.

I had a lot of fun writing this one, which starts out with a good dose of humour and twists itself into some pretty dark places by the time we reach the brutal end. Fun.

In this book you’ll also find a story by Baby Teeth author Sally McLennan, and Aussie horror author Martin Livings, as well as several new writers. I’m looking forward to getting my copy and reading all the stories. It’s available in print and ebook from all the usual places.

There’s also been talk of a Wellington launch of some kind, with Sally and Paul and myself, so if you’re local, keep an ear out. Be good to see you there.


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New Narration at Tales to Terrify

TTTcover.2014JuneI’ve got a new narration up, over at the Tales to Terrify podcast.

Episode 148, from November 14, 2014, includes the short story Green Thumb, by Nebula Award-winning author Nancy Kress.

This is a story of obsession, creeping madness, and manipulation. Fun stuff!

Go have a listen, and never do the gardening again.

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New Flash Fiction wins Spooky Story Contest!

spookystories-300x300For Halloween this year, SpecFicNZ, New Zealand’s national organisation for writers of speculative fiction, ran a flash fiction contest, looking for spooky stories of up to 500 words. The competition was judged blind by Bound author, Alan Baxter.

I entered a couple of pieces, and one of them, Bridge, took first-equal place with a story by Jo Tomlinson. I was pretty stoked about that.

You can read the story, along with the other winners, at the SpecFicNZ website.

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Guest Post – Matthew Sanborn Smith

Cover art copyright © 2014 Galen Dara

Cover art copyright © 2014 Galen Dara

Cerberus co-writer and fellow creator of the weird, the macabre, and the fantastic, Matthew Sanborn Smith, has some big news about a short story collection he wants to let you know about, and as an added bonus, he’s letting me share one of those stories here today. You can find the collection at Amazon, right now. Take it away, Matt!

Thanks, Dan, for letting me hang out here today. The Dritty Doesen is my first collection, and it’s packed high with my least reasonable stories, as you’re about to discover with this sample story. The collection contains this and eleven more stories with behind the scenes looks at how each of them came into being. I’m even throwing in a stunning cover by the talented Galen Dara! Enjoy!



When Martin’s head began to split he suspected a problem. In his blastroom he first noticed the sudden middle part in his hair and wondered if his mirror software had gone buggy. Then he felt a little furrow going down the center of his scalp. He couldn’t recall anything special earlier, like a sudden axe to the head. Then again, it was the nature of such a trauma that he might forget it.

“Hugh?” he asked, for that was what he called his house, “Did I get hit in the head with an axe or something today?”

“Not that I know of,” Hugh said. “Although you were out for a couple of hours. I don’t trust my remotes with my money.”

“Hmm,” Martin said. “Hmm. Hmm. Hmm.” He’d been for lunch with his fresh new sister/self, Martina. But a lunchtime axe to the head would have been fully healed by now.

Continue reading

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Book Launch: The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales

91TvtSRgs4L._SL1500_Very shortly, I’ll have my first ever children’s short story coming out, in the anthology The Best of Twisty Christmas Tales. The story is titled Jack in the Box, and tells a tale of a naughty elf who really, really wants a hot dog on Christmas Eve.

As well as being available in all the usual online places, there will be a book launch on Thursday, November 13th, at the Children’s Book Store in Kilbirnie, Wellington at 6pm. We’d love it if you could come along and join us.

10% of all proceeds from book sales will be donated to Muscular Dystrophy New Zealand. So please consider supporting the book, and get some excellent stories to share with your kids this Christmas, from authors like Joy Cowley, Peter Friend and Dave Freer.

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SJV Time Again

SJVs and booksIt’s that time again: Nominations are now open for the SFFANZ Sir Julius Vogel Awards. I have a couple of stories that are eligible for the ballot, which I’ll share below, and there have also been a few works which have really stood out for me this year which I think you ought to consider. Anyone can nominate for the SJVs, and it’s free, so if there’s a work out there by a Kiwi writer or artist or fan, please do consider participating in our national SFF awards, and show your appreciation.

The categories are:

Professional Categories:
Best Novel
Best Youth Novel
Best Novella or Novelette
Best Short Story
Best Collected Work
Best Artwork
Dramatic Presentation
Best Production/Publication
Best New Talent

Fan Categories:
Best Fan Writing
Best Fan Artwork
Best Fan Production/Publication

Special Awards:
Services to Fandom
Services to Science Fiction, Fantasy or Horror

For my part, I have four short stories which are eligible this year. They are:

Children of the Tide (Horror)

Keeping an Open Mind (Horror)

Jack in the Box (Childrens)

Dada (Dieselpunk) – Collaboration with Grant Stone and Matthew Sanborn Smith

And there are a few more works and people I would like to recommend you check out, as they are worth the recognition.

Novel: Engines of Empathy, by Paul Mannering (Paper Road Press, 2014)

Novel: Dawn’s Early Light, by Philippa Ballantine and Tee Morris (Ace Books, 2014)

Novella: Trading Rosemary, by Octavia Cade (Masque Books, 2014)

Short Story: Inside Ferndale, by Lee Murray (SQ Mag, 2014)

Short Story: Always Falling Up, by Grant Stone (Use Only as Directed, Peggy Bright Books, 2014)

Production: Baby Teeth – Bite-sized Tales of Terror Audiobook (Eds Dan Rabarts & Lee Murray, Produced by Chris Barnes)

New Talent: AJ Fitzwater

NOTE: This is my blog, so these opinions are my own entirely, and have nothing whatsoever to do with any fan or writing group that I might be associated with. I reserve the right to update this list with impunity as I think of other works I like. If you think I’ve missed something amazing, please leave a comment so I know to check it out.

Go forth! Read! Nominate! Get involved!


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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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