Fabulous New Review of Perfections

Perfections by Kirstyn McDermottKyla Ward has reviewed the paperback edition of Perfections over at Tabula Rasa. I guess she kinda liked it:

With only a slight shift of perspective, this could be a razor-edged depiction of the worst month in the lives of two sisters. The month one ends a four-year relationship. The month their mother dies. It could be that story; only then readers like me wouldn’t touch it. Readers like me need the gloss, the promise of something beyond. And that is exactly where the horror of Perfections lies.

The full review lives here.

And, of course, it would be remiss of me not to take this opportunity to remind you that copies of Perfections can be snagged over at Twelfth Planet Press in both print and digital formats. :-)

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New Story in Review of Australian Fiction

Review of Australian FictionI have a surprise new publication today! Not a complete surprise, obviously, but not one I expected to happen quite this soon. The latest edition of Review of Australia Fiction (Volume 12, Issue 3) features two novellas — my own “By the Moon’s Good Grace” and “The Fate of All Wens” by Tessa Kum. Released fortnightly, the format of RAF is an unusual one in that an established Australian author is chosen by the editor to helm each issue and they, in turn, choose an emerging author to partner with. There are no genre or length considerations, which means there have been many a speculative fiction author grace its virtual pages over the years.

When I was asked to contribute, I knew immediately that I wanted a story from Tessa Kum and was thrilled when she was able to say yes. Tessa is a sharply intelligent, emotionally intense, and extraordinarily mindful writer who, for various reasons, has not published terribly much in recent years. I have never read a piece of hers that I didn’t love and “The Fate of All Wens” is no exception. (I still think about “Acception” from time to time. Still. That story slew me.) Put simply: her voice expands our genre; its absence would only diminish it. I am so very glad that she is speaking again.

For my own part, “By the Moon’s Grace” is the first of the pieces I am writing for my PhD and I’m delighted to see it released into the wild in my first year of candidacy. As some of you might know, I’m working with fairy tale narratives in my research and creative work and this novella takes “Little Red Riding Hood” for its jumping off point. There might be wolves.

Each issue of RAF is available to purchase individually or you can take out a subscription for an entire volume (6 issues). It’s well worth the read and if you haven’t come across it before then this issue is obviously the perfect place to start!

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Cranky Ladies of History TOC

Cranky Ladies of HistorySuch exciting news! The Table of Contents for Cranky Ladies of History, due to be published by FableCroft next year, has just been officially announced and it is a corker. I am so pleased and proud to have my story, “Mary Mary” — about author, critic, philosopher, and pre-feminist Mary Wollstonescraft — included in the anthology. It’s a very different story to what I’ve written in the past and I suspect I shall pen a brief blog post about it, and about Mary, at some stage in the non-too-distant future, but for now, let’s all just bask in the glow of all these wonderfully cranky ladies of times past:

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Author Provisional Title Cranky Lady A little detail…
Joyce Chng “Charmed Life” Leizu Chinese empress who discovered silk
Amanda Pillar “Neter Nefer” Hatshepsut Egyptian ruler
Barbara Robson “Theodora” Theodora, wife of the Byzantine Emperor, Justinian the first Wife of the Byzantine Emperor, Justinian the first
Lisa Hannett “For So Great a Misdeed”  Hallgerðr Höskuldsdóttir Icelandic woman
Garth Nix “The Company of Women” Lady Godiva Anglo-Saxon noblewoman
Juliet Marillier “Hallowed Ground” Hildegard of Bingen German writer, composer, philosopher, Christian mystic, Benedictine abbess, visionary, and polymath
LM Myles “Little Battles” Eleanor of Aquitaine French queen & mother of dynasty
Foz Meadows “Bright Moon” Khutulun Central Asian warrior
Laura Lam “The lioness and her prey” Jeanne de Clisson French pirate
Liz Barr “Queenside” Mary Tudor (Mary I of England) Queen of England
Deborah Biancotti “Look How Cold My Hands Are” Countess Bathory countess from the renowned Báthory family of nobility in the Kingdom of Hungary. She has been labelled the most prolific female serial killer in history
Dirk Flinthart “The gift of freedom” Grace O’Malley Queen of Umaill, chieftain of the Ó Máille clan sometimes known as “The Sea Queen of Connacht”
Faith Mudge “Glorious” Elizabeth I Queen of England
Havva Murat “The Pasha, the girl and the dagger: The story of Nora of Kelmendi” Nora of Kelmendi Albanian warrior
Kirstyn McDermott “Mary Mary” Mary Wollstonecroft English writer, philosopher, and advocate of women’s rights.
Thoraiya Dyer “Vintana” Queen Ranavalona I of Madagascar, also known as Ranavalona the Cruel Queen of Madagascar
Stephanie Lai “The dragon, the terror, the sea” Cheng Shih Chinese pirate
Jane Yolen SACAGAWEA SACAGAWEA Lemhi Shoshone woman, who accompanied the Lewis and Clark Expedition, acting as an interpreter and guide, in their exploration of the Western United States
Kaaron Warren “Another week in the future” Miss CH Spence Scottish-born Australian author, teacher, journalist, politician and leading suffragist.
Sylvia Kelso “Due care and attention” Lilian Cooper British-born Australian doctor
Sandra McDonald “Cora Crane and The Trouble with Me” Cora Crane American businesswoman, nightclub and bordello owner, writer and journalist.
Nisi Shawl “A Beautiful Stream” Colette French novelist and performer
Liz Argall “Oodgeroo is Not Yet Your Name” Oodgeroo Noonuccal Australian poet, political activist, artist and educator.

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The Writer and the Critic: Episode 40

The latest episode of our podcast is now available for direct download and streaming from the website or via subscription from iTunes. Feedback is most welcome!

On this episode of The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, begin with a lengthy discussion about authors, reviewers, and fans in view of the rapidly changing dynamics of author/reader relationships and power structures in publishing. This was sparked off by an excellent and thoughtful essay, “Don’t Attack Reviewers”, written by Jonathan McCalmont and published on his Ruthless Culture blog. You should go off and read the entire essay. Seriously.

This two books up for critique this time are Dust Devil on a Quiet Street by Richard Bowes (beginning at 24:30) and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (1:03:10). During the discussion of the Fowler novel, this review by Dan Hartland is mentioned.

fowler_bowes.jpg

If you’ve skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, then it’s safe to return at 1:38:50 for some brief final remarks.

The books that will be featured on the next episode are Hild by Nicola Griffith, chosen by Kirstyn, and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, which Ian has recommended. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2013

The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2013It’s always an honour and a delight to have a story selected for the Ticonderoga Publications series The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror, edited by Talie Helene’s and Liz Gryzb. The 2013 volume contains many fine works of Australian speculative fiction, including my own “Caution: Contains Small Parts” from the collection of the same name. Take a gander at the most wonderful ToC then scamper off to place your pre-order here.

Table of Contents:

Lee Battersby, “Disciple of the Torrent” (Tales of Australia: Great Southern Land)
Deborah Biancotti, “All the Lost Ones” (Exotic Gothic 5 Vol I)
Trudi Canavan, “Camp Follower” (Fearsome Journeys)
Robert Cook, “Glasskin” (Review of Australian Fiction Vol 5 #6)
Rowena Cory Daniells, “The Ways of the Wyrding Women” (One Small Step)
Terry Dowling, “The Sleepover” (Exotic Gothic 5 Vol II)
Thoraiya Dyer, “After Hours” (Asymmetry)
Marion Halligan, “A Castle in Toorak” (Griffith Review #42)
Dmetri Kakmi, “The Boy by the Gate” (The New Gothic)
David Kernot, “Harry’s Dead Poodle” (Cover of Darkness Magazine)
Margo Lanagan, “Black Swan Event” (
Griffith Review #42)
S. G. Larner, “Poppies” (Aurealis #65)
Martin Livings, “La Mort d’un Roturer” (This is How You Die)
Kirstyn McDermott, “Caution: Contains Small Parts” (Caution: Contains Small Parts)
Claire McKenna, “The Ninety Two” (Next)
C.S. McMullen, “The Nest”( Nightmare Magazine)
Juliet Marillier, “By Bone-Light “ (Prickle Moon)
David Thomas Moore, “Old Souls” (The Book of the Dead)
Faith Mudge, “The Oblivion Box” (Dreaming of Djinn)
Ryan O’Neill, “Sticks and Stones” (The Great Unknown)
Angela Rega, “Almost Beautiful” ( Next)
Tansy Rayner Roberts, “The Raven and Her Victory” (Where Thy Dark Eye Glances: Queering Edgar Allan Poe
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Nicky Rowlands, “On the Wall” (Next)
Carol Ryles, “The Silence of Clockwork”  (Conflux 9 Convention Programme)
Angela Slatter, “Flight” (Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales)
Anna Tambour, “Bowfin Island” (Caledonian Dreamin’)
Kaaron Warren, “Born and Bread” (Once Upon a Time: New Fairy Tales)
Janeen Webb, “Hell is Where the Heart is” ( Next)

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The Writer and the Critic: Episode 39

The latest episode of our podcast is now available for direct download and streaming from the website or via subscription from iTunes. Feedback is most welcome!

On this episode of The Writer and the Critic, your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, begin by addressing listener feedback about high fantasy and narratives of power which followed on from the discussion at the end of the last episode recorded at Continuum 10. They would also like to draw your attention to some Links of Relevant Interest:

Ian then provides a brief but thoughtful (and spoiler-free) review of War Stories: Modern Military Science Fiction, a crowd-funded anthology edited by Jaym Gates and Andrew Liptak, which he highly recommends.

The two books up for critique on this episode are We See a Different Frontier: A Postcolonial Speculative Fiction Anthology edited by Fabio Fernandes and Djibril al-Ayad (beginning around 22:05) and Long Hidden: Speculative Fiction from the Margins of History edited by Rose Fox and Daniel José Older (1:01:35).

The reviews and articles mentioned during the discussion can be found via the following links:

If you’ve skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:53:05 for final remarks.

For the next episode, Kirstyn has chosen We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler while Ian is recommending Dust Devil on a Quiet Street by Richard Bowes. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction

snaphotlogo20142I’ve been busy this last week finishing a PhD story which decided it wanted to be a novella, but meanwhile the 2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction has bee running since 28 July and will continue for the rest of this week. The wonderful Alex from Galactic Suburbia has interviewed yours truly right here.

To read all the interviews hot off the press, check these blogs daily from July 28 to August 10, 2014, or look for the round up on SF Signal when it’s all done.:

This year’s interviewers:

You can also find archives of past Snapshots at the following links: 2005, 2007,  2010 and 2012.

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