Books! Birthdays!

Hey, it’s my birthday! This means I can wave my books around and suggest that, for a birthday present, you could buy a copy for yourself, or a library, or a friend! (Or borrow it from a library — that’s nice too!)

  • Flyaway is a beautiful creepy Australian Gothic novella/short novel, and is for those who appreciate fairy tales and sunlight and night in the trees — there’s a lot about it on this page. It has silhouettes!
  • Travelogues is a chapbook collection of glimpses from train windows. It’s for those who love travel, or trains, or landscapes, or Massachusetts or New York State or England, or the process of filtering all of those through language. You can read more about it in the posts under the “Travelogues” tag. All the pictures in this one are in words — it’s very much a written sketchbook.

Australian Shadows Awards — finalist

Flyaway is a finalist in the Australian Shadows Awards! Congratulations to fellow nominees in the novel category, Venero Armanno, Marty Young, and Matthew Tait — and to all the many wonderful nominees (and quite a few friends including but not limited to frequent co-conspirators and virtual neighbours Angela Slatter, Brain Jar Press, Joanne Anderton, Lisa L Hannett and Kali Napier!) in all the other categories.

List of finalists in "novel" category

The awards will be announced on Friday 11 June.

Barnes & Noble, Union Square!

Photo by Jennifer London for Sam J Miller

I pinched (with permission!) this photo Jennifer London took of Sam J Miller’s novel The Blade Between in the front of store display in the Union Square Barnes & Noble in New York, because my Flyaway is there too!

You can buy both books through all good bookstores. The Blade Between is published by Ecco/Harper Collins and Flyaway is published by in the USA and Picador in Australia.

I’ve written more about the two Flyaway covers here: Flyaway Cover Comparison.

Crawford Award finalists (including Flyaway!)

Congratulations to Nghi Vo for receiving the William L. Crawford Fantasy Award for The Empress of Salt and Fortune (, presented annually by the International Association for the Fantastic in the Arts (IAFA) for a first book of fantasy fiction.

The finalists are:

It’s an honour to appear on the list with them.

Locus Recommended — Flyaway!

The Locus 2020 Recommended Reading List has been published — a lovely list of very excellent short and long works, in a number of categories. All the ones that I’ve read on the list have been thoroughly enjoyable. And Flyaway is included!

Flyaway! The US edition arrives

My author copies of the (USA) edition of Flyaway had been been continually delayed by international postal situations. But yesterday I was busy setting up for Twelfth Night when a UPS van pulled up, and it was them! They are here!

They are hardbacks, smaller than the Australian edition, beautifully rough on the dust jacket and gleaming underneath. I just want to keep touching them. (The words are the same in both editions, but the US has gold foil and Australia has a few extra animals.)

They look so lovely!

I’ve talked about the different covers here: Flyaway cover comparison (I love them both, and the title typeface here particularly delights me).

You can buy this edition through good bookstores and the usual online suspects (and the details for the Australian edition are here), or read an excerpt first on

2020 in review: Things I wrote

2020 was the year of people saying, “I didn’t know you wrote!”. But I do! And now my mother has books to prove it.

US cover ( and Australian cover (Picador)

Flyaway, my Australian Gothic… novella or short novel, depending on how you count, was published this year. It was my very first book all of my own, and close to my heart because it was about the places I loved when I was small, and how I learned to see them through stories. And secrets and murder and bone-horses too, of course. It was published by in the US and Picador in Australia (and I’ve written about it a fair bit on here), and illustrated by me, and there is an audiobook (read by Felicity Jurd, whom I interviewed here).

Brain Jar Press

A few months after Flyaway, my second book came out. Travelogues: Vignettes from Trains in Motion is a chapbook of… well, it looks like poetry. It began as tweets. It’s a collection of moments of description from 9 train journeys in the USA and the UK (it’s also not illustrated, but here are some I thought about doing for it). It was surprisingly lovely to revisit those this year. I was also delighted to be one of Brain Jar Press‘s first authors — keep an eye on them! They’re doing interesting things. reprinted my story “Undine Love“, a tale of broken promises and bagpipes first published in Andromeda Spaceways in 2011. It’s related to Flyaway, and I made new illustrations for it, in keeping with the illustrations for Flyaway.

Strange Horizons

Strange Horizons published my (actually short) story “The Present Only Toucheth Thee“, which is either about soul mates or serial killing, depending on how you look at it. They also published an audio version of it, which was the first audio I’d had done of one of my stories.

Egaeus Press

And on December 5, Egaeus Press brought out a very limited edition anthology of poison stories, Bitter Distillations, including my story “Not To Be Taken”.

In addition, I sold three stories which are to be published next year: “On Pepper Creek”, “The Wonderful Stag, or: The Courtship of Red Elsie”, and “Gisla and the Three Favours.” More on those in due course!

In a more academic vein, my paper “Contracts and Calcifer, or “In Which A Contract Is Concluded Before Witnesses”: the transactional structure of Howl’s Moving Castle” was printed in The Proceedings of the Diana Wynne Jones Conference, Bristol 2019. Another paper was accepted for publication in February 2021: “Heyer… in Space! The Influence of Georgette Heyer on Science Fiction”, Georgette Heyer, History, and Historical Fiction, ed. Samantha Rayner and Kim Wilkins, UCL Press.

I also wrote and contributed to a number of articles, blog posts, interviews, and podcasts. Some of them are listed on the Flyaway page. Longer pieces included “Illustrating Flyaway: Kathleen Jennings on Creating Art and Prose Together” on, A Conversation with Kathleen Jennings (about illustrating the QLA winners) for SLQ, and “What I’m Reading” on Meanjin.

I’d also been wanting to post more here (prompted in part by Austin Kleon’s reasoning, which held true for me). I posted 274 times here, and 124 times on And quite a few of the posts on here were about the observation journal, which I think counts as one of this year’s writing achievements — I kept it from mid-January through to the week before Christmas, and am now taking a deliberate holiday for a couple of weeks (but I miss it).

Capalaba Library — author talk

This Friday 11 December 2020, from 2-3pm, I am delighted to be giving an author talk at Capalaba Library.

It’s free, but it’s limited to 20 people. Tickets can be booked through the library: book here.

Books will be available.

Flyaway among NPR’s Best Books!

Flyaway has been included in the NPR’s Best Books of 2020!

You can sort the full list by a number of categories, which I recommend doing as there are many and varied books on it. Jessica P. Wick’s review of Flyaway is here:

And you can buy Flyaway through all good bookstores and the usual online suspects.

Flyaway a favourite for Washington Independent Review of Books

Flyaway was included in the Washington Independent Review of Books’ “Our 51 Favourite Books of 2020“.

You can see their full list here, and Mariko Hewer’s review of Flyaway here.

And, of course, you can buy Flyaway from all good bookstores.