YearsBestTiconderoga

The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2015 is out, and includes my short story “A Hedge of Yellow Roses”, which was originally published in Hear Me Roar, and also won a Ditmar!

“A Hedge of Yellow Roses” is the story of Vermeille, a vagabond knight (perhaps), who bears three messages out of a kingdom torn by revolution, and on the way stumbles across an old farmhouse and its enchanted, enchanting residents.

The Year’s Best also has all these other most excellent reasons for buying it:

 

  • Joanne Anderton, “2B”
  • Alan Baxter, “The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner”
  • Deborah Biancotti, “Look How Cold My Hands Are”
  • Stephen Dedman, “Oh, Have You Seen The Devil”
  • Erol Engin, “The Events at Callan Park”
  • Jason Fischer, “The Dog Pit”
  • Dirk Flinthart, “In the Blood”
  • Kimberley Gaal, “In Sheep’s Clothing”
  • Stephanie Gunn, “The Flowers That Bloom Where Blood Touches Earth”
  • Lisa Hannett, “Consorting With Filth”
  • Robert Hood, “Double Speak”
  • Kathleen Jennings, “A Hedge of Yellow Roses”
  • Maree Kimberley, “Ninehearts”
  • Jay Kristoff, “Sleepless”
  • Martin Livings, “El Caballo Muerte”
  • Danny Lovecraft, “Reminiscences of Herbert West”
  • Kirstyn McDermott, “Self, Contained”
  • Sally McLennan, “ Mr Schmidt’s Dead Pet Emporium”
  • DK Mok, “Almost Days”
  • Faith Mudge, “Blueblood”
  • Samantha Murray, “Half Past”
  • Jason Nahrung, “Night Blooming”
  • Garth Nix, “The Company of Women”
  • Anthony Panegyres, “Lady Killer”
  • Rivqa Rafael, “Beyond the Factory Wall”
  • Deborah Sheldon, “Perfect Little Stitches”
  • Angela Slatter, “Bluebeard’s Daughter”
  • Cat Sparks, “Dragon Girl”
  • Lucy Sussex, “Angelito”
  • Anna Tambour, “Tap”
  • Kaaron Warren, “Mine Intercom”

 

 

Surrender: Illustration Friday/February header

Did I mention I have a new story out in issue 31 of Lady Churchill’s Rosebud Wristlet? I do! It is called “Skull and Hyssop” and is an airship adventure, introducing the would-be-dashing Captain Moon, an enigmatic Weatherfinder, and Eliza Blancrose (who always wears a very smart hat). I say “introducing” because I have started a story about Eliza’s arrival in Poorfortune, and What She Found There.

Here is the full table of contents:

Fiction

Jessy Randall, “You Don’t Even Have a Rabbit”
Goldie Goldbloom, “Never Eat Crow”
Kathleen Jennings, “Skull and Hyssop”
Owen King, “The Curator”
Sarah Micklem, “The Necromancer of Lynka”

Nonfiction

Nicole Kimberling, “Crazy-Sexy Agriculture = CSA”
About the Authors

Poetry

Lesley Wheeler, “Four Poems”

Cover

Ursula Grant

The two pictures in this post are older drawings which date from the early drafts of the story, when I was still trying to work out the look and feel I wanted – from recollection it spun off a glimpse of the figurehead of the Cutty Sark, a girl with whom I used to work, and the idea of “steampunk but blue”.

Illustration Friday: Heights

The worst:

  • I had a horrible moment on Saturday night in which I actually found cultural-studies-speak useful for explaining something. Took me a while to get over.

Some less confronting but still disconcerting moments of the week

  • A friend telling me, “I am in ur bed, nibbling ur toes”. Seriously, what the? Is there anyway I can *not* misinterpret that?
  • Considering costuming choices for next year’s Supanova. Aimee may go as Rose and/or Howl as both require the same hair. I can’t remember who I am going as.
  • A line-up of people telling me my story was wonderful. I’d find it easier to accept if someone would criticise it.
  • My carefully honed ability to become ill when confronted with pet scatology letting me down at the moment of truth.
  • Realising my answers to Woman’s World’s questions ran over 5000 words (though, to be fair, they asked an awful lot of questions). So, yeah, there’s a lot of context surrounding that article.
  • Finding scrawled in my notebook the question “Was Men in Black a reworking of Horton Hears a Who?” Discuss.

Not so terrible but still somewhat disturbing:

  • Kidnapping, Cannibalism and Singing Telegrams: Darkhorse Presents presents an 8 page Wondermark comic. Always odd.
  • Mama’s little darlin’ loves‘…: A short story from Martin Livings which has changed the way I think about presents (from his series of Tuesday short stories).

And not disturbing at all (in a negative way – in a positive way it has ruffled my equilibrium delightfully) but relevant because the title of this post is from one of his books:

  • A new Shaun Tan book is coming out! Tales from Outer Suburbia! If the scattered pictures I have seen are from it, it promises to be beautiful in a way only a book in which a waterbuffalo giving directions captures perfectly a certain suburban serenity can be. And I was right – I did see his name in the Horton credits. He was involved “at an early stage” so I won’t hold the movie against him.

I make a point of reading everyday, and sometimes on weekends when I don’t want to read a book I associate with bus travel and coffee in McDonalds, I pick up odd volumes at home – Labyrinth manga, histories of King John and bound volumes of Windsor Magazine. As a result of which I am left cold by internal inconsistencies, fascinated and frustrated by introductions to books that keep sinking down in the pile of Books to Read and calling friends and saying “Oh. My. Word!”

Oh. My. Word.
This last is because the story I read this weekend was just the sort of story that Anne Shirley and Katy Carr and The Story Girl and Jo March and their friends-and-relations read and wrote and swooned over and learned through the trials of life not to write anymore. Exactly.

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