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.



The Writer and the Critic: Episode 19

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 month on The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond spend some time discussing the results of the recently announced Aurealis Awards. Ian valiantly attempts to pry a little out-of-school talk from Kirstyn, who convened the Horror judging panel, but Kirstyn just as valiantly resists the spilling of any beans. Well, mostly. You know how persistent Mondy can be.

And from the Department of Filthy Lucre, Kirstyn and Ian are pleased to announce the opening of a brand spanking new Writer and Critic Zazzle Store from which their loyal listeners can purchase all kinds of yummy merch! Okay, there’s just one design available right now, but it’s very classy. Inspired by last episode’s conversation about stick figures, which was in turn inspired by listener feedback from Mark Webb, Kirstyn has designed a female stick figure logo which is now splashed across shirts, badges, stickers, mugs and a whole heap of other swag. Why is the stick figure female? The more important question is, why is it male? Go on, you know you want one.

Female Stick Figure

Around the 26:20 mark, discussion turns to the first of the two books for the podcast, Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti, which Ian recommended. Ishtar, an anthology from Gilgamesh Press which includes a novella by Deb, is tangentially mentioned and garners a bonus mini-review from Kirstyn. At 45:00 they switch over to Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan (also known as The Brides of Rollrock Island outside of Australia), which was Kirstyn’s pick. Ian mentions this review of the book by Abigail Nussbaum and, for listeners wanting to know more about the writing of the novel, Kirstyn suggests watching this interview with Margo. Sea Hearts was expanded from a highly acclaimed novella of the same name, which can be found in the X6 anthology from Coeur de Lion Publishing.

Bad Power and Sea Hearts

If you’ve skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please check back in at 1:25:10 for final remarks and some exciting — and exhausting! — announcements about future episodes. Kirstyn and Ian would also like to thank the wonderful Charles Tan for creating a Pinterest board of all the books they have review on the podcast so far. There’s really quite a lot of them!

Next month, The Writer and the Critic hits the road once more to record its second live podcast in front of an audience at the Continuum 8: the National Science Fiction convention in Melbourne. Their very, very special guests will be Alison Goodman and Kelly Link, who have recommended The Crystal Singer by Anne McCaffrey and The Scorpio Races by Maggie Stiefvater respectively. (Ian and Kirstyn have wisely decided not to choose books of their own because, well, four people talking about four books in less than two hours would be a frantic kind of madness.) Read ahead and join in the fun!


Shirley Jackson Award Nominees Announced!

Shirley Jackson AwardsThe nominees for this year’s Shirley Jackson Awards has been announced and it’s so wonderful see Australian author Deborah Biancotti make the list for her novella, “And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living”, published in Ishar  by Gilgamesh Press. Ishtar is a superb anthology featuring not only Deb’s piece but also two other interwoven novellas by Kaaron Warren and Cat Sparks, and it’s been nominated for an Aurealis Award. I highly recommend the book for anyone interested in seeing the truly top-notch work that Australian spec fic writers are producing right now.

The Awards will be announced on 15 July 2012 and the full list of nominees can be found here. Hmm, looks like a mighty fine reading list to me …

The Shirley Jackson Awards recognise outstanding achievement in the literature of psychological suspense, horror, and the dark fantastic. They are voted upon by a jury of professional writers, editors, critics, and academics, with input from a Board of Advisors. The awards are given for the best work published in the preceding calendar year in the following categories: Novel, Novella, Novelette, Short Story, Single-Author Collection, and Edited Anthology.