Asylum Seekers, False Advertising and the National Anthem

Beneath our radiant Southern Cross
We’ll toil with hearts and hands
To make this Commonwealth of ours
Renowned of all the lands
For those who’ve come across the seas
We’ve boundless plains to share
With courage let us all combine
To advance Australia fair
In joyful strains then let us sing
Advance Australia fair

asylum seekers


The Writer and the Critic: Episode 20

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!

Here are the show notes:

This episode of The Writer and the Critic is recorded LIVE in front of an actual audience at Continuum 8, the National SF Convention, with two very, very special guests: authors extraordinaire Alison Goodman and Kelly Link. Your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, talk with Alison about her new project, a dark supernatural Regency trilogy which may or may not involve gowns, bonnets and a large bloody knife. Kelly reaffirms her love of short fiction — recommending “The New Mother” by Lucy Clifford along the way — while reluctantly confessing that she might be considering writing a novel of her own. Certainly, if Holly Black has anything to do with it!

Alison Goodman and Kelly Link

Because  reviewing four books in a single podcast would be an act of no small madness, Kirstyn and Ian wisely decide to leave the recommendations for this month to their guests. Alison has chosen The Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey (discussion begins at 17:50) while Kelly has brought along The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater (48:20).

The Crystal Singer and The Scorpio Races

Inspired by the online exploits of Jim C. Hines, Ian attempts to reconstruct the pose illustrated on the cover of The Crystal Singer. He does rather a marvellous job:

Ian Mond

If you’ve skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please tune back in around 1:16:50 for final remarks. Kelly would also like to make two additional recommendations that listeners might enjoy, The Hearts of Horses by Molly Gloss and the Flora Segunda series of books by Ysabeau Wilce.

Writer and the Critic live at Continuum 8

(photo: Art Bébé Promotions)

Next month’s episode features yet another special guest, editor and fellow podcaster, Jonathan Strahan, who has recommended Galveston by Sean Stewart for Ian and Kirstyn to read.

Ian has picked Akata Witch by Nnedi Okorafor while Kirstyn has chosen The Drowning Girl by Caitlin R. Kiernan. It will possibly be their longest podcast ever. Okay, okay, it’s already been recorded and, yes, it is definitely their longest podcast ever. Make sure you bring along a comfy chair!



You are now listening to a multi-award-winning podcast — a fact which Kirstyn and Ian did not yet know while recording this episode. Because this episode was in fact recorded before the awards were announced. We’re not living that much in the future! But Ian would explode if he had to wait until the next recording to announce that The Writer and the Critic has won both Chronos and Ditmar Awards for Best Fan Publication. Ian and Kirstyn are ever so chuffed, and would like to thank all their listeners as well as everyone who voted for them. (They would also like to apologise to Galactic Suburbia for being so shocked and overwhelmed that they failed to notice the GS standing ovation in the back row. They promise to ovate in an upright posture the next time GS wins an award so they too can be blissfully ignored. It’s only fair.)

But yes, awards! Look! Proof! Plus a random monkey!

Happy Award Winners!


Interim: Twelve Planets Podcast at Embiggen Books

I’ve been very remiss in reporting back about the fabulous Continuum 8 last weekend, and I hope to rectify that very soon, but here’s a little podcast I wanted to get up ASAP. Because of the convention, a whole bunch of normally interstate folks were in Melbourne and so it was deemed an appropriate opportunity for most of the Twelve Planet authors to get together and record an interview. There were nine of us altogether, as well as our indomitable publisher, Alisa Krasnostein, and Ian Mond very kindly volunteered to host and ask questions. The podcast was recorded at Embiggen Books, which I am ashamed to say I had not previously visited, and which I am somewhat fearful to say I will now visit a little too often … It was great fun to catch up with everyone, if somewhat daunting to be in the same room as all these tremendously talented women!

Anyway, the podcast is now available for direct download and streaming from the website or via subscription from iTunes. Hope you enjoy it!

Here are the show notes:

In collaboration with Twelfth Planet Press and recorded live at the beautiful Embiggen Books in Melbourne, The Writer and the Critic is delighted to present a special podcast dedicated to the critically acclaimed Twelve Planets series of short story collections.

Twelfth Planet Press

Join host Ian Mond as he interviews Twelve Planet authors Deborah Biancotti, Narrelle M. Harris, Deborah Kalin, Margo Lanagan, Rosaleen Love, Kirstyn McDermott, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Lucy Sussex and Kaaron Warren, along with publisher Alisa Krasnostein. It’s a fun, informal conversation which — and this is how you know it’s not an official Writer and Critic episode — goes for less than 50 minutes! You’re welcome.

Twelve Planets at Embiggen Books

Photographs by Jason Nahrung

The Twelve Planets are twelve boutique collections by some of Australia’s finest short story writers. Varied across genre and style, each collection will offer four short stories and a unique glimpse into worlds fashioned by some of our favourite storytellers. Each author has taken the brief of 4 stories and up to 40 000 words in their own direction. Some are quartet suites of linked stories. Others are tasters of the range and style of the writer. Each release will bring something unexpected to our subscriber’s mailboxes.


Farewell, Ray Bradbury

Dearheart, let us sit by the fire
this fine October eve
and drink dandelion wine
and wait
for some wicked thing
to come
set up its carnival.

“Go to the edge of the cliff and jump off.
Build your wings on the way down.”

Ray Bradbury
(August 22, 1920 – June 5, 2012)

Halloween Tree

Joseph Mugnaini’s cover illustration for The Halloween Tree by Ray Bradbury

Aussie Spec Fic Snapshot 2012

Aussie Spec Fic Snapshot 2012Tansy Rayner Roberts interviewed me for the Aussie Spec Fic Snapshot 2012 and the result has just gone live on her blog today. Among other things, I rabbit on about podcasting and my new novel, Perfections, which will come out later this year. The Snapshot is a fantastic project and I’ve really been enjoying the interviews I’ve found time to read so far. I’m looking forward to a huge catch up session after Continuum. There are so many to get through  this year, which I think says quite a bit about the current good health of the spec fic scene here in Australia. It’s certainly very inspiring!

The Aussie Spec Fic Snapshot has taken place three times over the past eight years. In 2005, Ben Peek spent a frantic week interviewing 43 people in the Australian spec fic scene, and it’s only grown since then, now taking a team of interviewers working together to cover the field. In the lead up to Continuum 8 in Melbourne, the following brave souls have been blogging interviews for Snapshot 2012:

Check out their blogs daily from June 1 to June 7, 2012. You can also find the past three Snapshots at the following links: 2005, 2007 and 2010.


“She Said” now on Audio over at Pseudopod

I’m crazy-busy getting ready for Continuum and our triple podcast recordings this week — whoever thought that was a good idea? — but I had to pop in and let you all know that my short story, “She Said”, has been recorded by the the good people over at Pseudopod: the sound of horror and is now available for downloading and streaming. Or if you’re already a subscriber to Pseudopod, no doubt it will be queued up and waiting for you.

“She Said” is still one of my personal favourites and Christopher Reynaga did a brilliant job of bringing it dramatically to life for audio.  It was admittedy a little weird at first to hear the narrator’s voice with an American accent — the story is written in first person — when Josh has always been very much a Melbourne boy in my head! But it was truly fascinating to hear a different interpretation of my words, with different inflections and speech patterns. I’m very grateful to Pseudopod both for accepting the story and for producing it so professionally. If you get a chance to have a listen, I hope you enjoy it.

The story was originally published in Scenes from the Second Storey (ed. Amanda Pillar & Pete Kempshall, Morrigan Books, 2010), and subsequently won both a Ditmar Award and an Australian Shadows Award. It has been reprinted in The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror (ed. Talie Helene & Liz Gryzb, Ticonderoga Publications, 2011).