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It appears I have my first-ever nomination for the Australian Shadow Awards. My essay "A Shared Ambition - Horror Writers in Horror Fiction" (Midnight Echo #12) has been shortlisted for the Rocky Wood Award for Non-Fiction and Criticism. This is both a surprise and an honour.

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After a lengthy hiatus, the magazine of the Australian Horror Writers Association returns for its 12th issue. As well as fiction from the likes of Angela J Maher and Matthew R Davis, it features my new essay, "A Shared Ambition - Horror Writers in Horror Fiction".

"On 15 September, 2016, Little, Brown & Company announced a new book by James Patterson and Derek Nikitas, entitled The Murder of Stephen King. On 22 September, 2016, it was announced that this work would be withdrawn, because the authors "didn't want to cause Stephen King or his family any trouble." (www.thewrap.com)."

I had already been thinking about the ways in which the figure of the horror writer was used in works of horror fiction, from S.K.s various avatars to depictions of Mary Shelley. The saga of this aborted book crystalised these thoughts into another wildly ambitious research project, that led to me finally watching a whole episode of Quantum Leap. Trust me: real horror writers wear muslin.

Electronic copies of Midnight Echo #12 may be acquired here or even here.

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Weirdbook #37 is now available from Wildside Press. Amongst its multitudinous delights is my latest poem, "Tattered Livery"! Those who attended Poetry Readings 2.0 at Conflux 13 did receive a sneak preview, but this version will last longer and involve less arm waving. Unless you count the cover illustration, of course.

The inspiration for this work was very simple. I was reading the original King In Yellow tale cycle by Robert W Chambers-- you know, the one that predates Lovecraft and has nothing to do with the mythos at all-- in the grip of a mild fever.

"A paradox awaits their eyes,
A courtier in beggar's guise.
A ragged, jagged, mad array
and yet suggestive of the day
when I, perhaps, was much like them.
A most ingenious strategem!..."

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Out of "The Kite", "The Necromancer's Question" and "The Cat's Cortege... guess.

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For those who simply can't get enough of me performing my own poetry, I will occupying a slot at the Demonic Industries at 4.00 pm, Sunday, 15th October.

Demonic Industries is an initiative by some literary-minded folk including my fellow Theatre of Blood alumni Irving Gregory. It stages readings, performances and lectures "...exploring the erotic, exemplum and extraordinary around us." These take place on Sunday evenings at the old Temperance Society hall, 122 Smith Street, Summer Hill, Sydney. Like everything else in the inner city, it has been converted into a quirky bar.

In keeping with the theme, I will be performing "The Kite", "The Cat's Cortege" and "The Necromancer's Question". I may reprise "Tattered Livery" from Conflux 13, if there is time. So come along, and you will also catch "What the Caretaker Saw" by an as yet unknown presenter!

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It's hard to believe, but it has been five whole years since my poetry collection and first solo book was published by P'rea Press.


Editor Charles Danny Lovecraft, compositor David E. Schultz and designer David Schembri all did a wonderful job with this release, which has been described as "...a rich, eccentric miscellany of dark music, skilfully crafted and strangely wrought." (Ann K. Schwader) and "...a carnival of life's cruel and grotesque side, with much pageantry and dark laughter." (K, J. Bishop). It includes such oddities as the Rhysling-nominated "The Kite" and "The Soldier's Return", as well as "The Feast of Mistrust", which has been described as "an involuntary epic" (me, in the instalment I wrote for the Blood and Spades column in the HWA newsletter). The entire Predation City triptych, consisting of "The Bat's Boudoir", "The Cat's Cortege" and "The Rat's Repast". Perfomance pieces, such as "The Torturer's Confession".

Nicely illustrated, if I do say so myself, including an interview and a bibliography that was comprehensive at the time, I am still as pleased as punch with this volume. In fact, I'm going to share with you the very first poem it includes.

The DEAD leave no token
But DECAY and fade:
Shall our bond be broken
By this new DECAYed?
O lest our lives resume
DeluDEAD and faDEAD,
I declare this volume

Should you wish to explore, http://www.preapress.com/books.php?isbn=9780980462579 is the way to go. Or, should you wish to see me in full swing as The Torturer, then head straight here!  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9Ex-RSQP0rc


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