Brimstone Press Closing Down Sale

Macabre: a journey though Australia's darkest fears

Brimstone Press, the Australian small press who published Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears and the brand new Paul Haines’ collection, The Last Days of Kali Yuga, are closing their doors. Those two books will still be available in some stores (both online and off) but Brimstone’s own website has been taken down and they will no longer be selling any books directly themselves.

To clear remaining stock of all Brimstone titles, they are having a sale on the following books (prices exclude postage):

  • Shadow Box CD — $5
  • Black Box CD — $8
  • Book of Shadows — $5
  • Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror Vol.1 (2006) — $8
  • Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror Vol.2 (2007) — $13
  • Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror Vol.3 (2008) — $8
  • Macabre — $25
  • Shards (by Shane Jiraiya Cummings) — $8
  • The Last Days of Kali Yuga (by Paul Haines) — $20

With the exception of the last two titles, all stock unsold by 8th May will be pulped so get in quick if you want to grab a bargain.  I can highly recommend both Macabre and The Last Days of Kali Yuga — I finished reading Paul’s collection a couple of days ago and it’s a beautiful, horrible, mesmerising book.

To purchase, email Angela Challis on angela@achallis.com.au with your wish list and she’ll advise postage costs. (As a rough guide it will cost $10 for <500g parcel and $15 for a <3kg parcel, with international shipping more expensive.)

By the way, Melbournites, Paul Haines will be launching The Last Days of Kali Yuga at Dymocks Southland on Saturday, 2nd July. Despite the impressions you might get from his work, Paul’s one of the loveliest guys I know and he hardly ever bites. Drop by for a chat and a signed Kali Yuga! Full details can be found here.

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Australian Shadows Award winners announced!

AHWA

I awoke this morning to the wonderful news that my short story, “She Said” (from Scenes from the Second Storey), has won an Australian Shadows Award! I think this is one of the best stories I’ve written and I’m so very, very pleased to see it recognised.

This annual literary award is presented by the Australian Horror Writers Association and is judged on the overall effect – the skill, delivery, and lasting resonance – of horror fiction written or edited by an Australian.

From the Judge’s report:

The story that resonated the most with me, and which came back to me at odd hours of the day for a week after reading, was Kirstyn McDermott’s “She Said.” McDermott’s story embodies all the qualities of the others: sadness, cruelty, bizarreness, and originality. Her imagery is deeply disturbing because it seems so right in the story. She has created a man so evil, so foul, and yet so attractive and lovable that I was conflicted as I read as to whether he was really evil or simply misunderstood. This trick, I think, is what makes McDermott’s story a brilliant one.

If you’d like to read the story for yourself, Morrigan Books has made it available as a free download from their website. The link will only be valid for a limited time in the run up to the Ditmar Awards, for which the story has been nominated. (Also available at that same link is “The Blind Man” by Felicity Dowker, a fellow Ditmar nominee.)

Congratulations to all the Australian Shadows winners and nominees:

LONG FICTION: Under Stones by Bob Franklin (Affirm Press)

Also Nominated:

  • Madigan Mine by Kirstyn McDermott (Picador Australia)
  • The Girl With No Hands by Angela Slatter (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Guardian of the Dead by Karen Healy (Allen & Unwin)
  • Bleed by Peter M. Ball (Twelfth Planet Press)

EDITED PUBLICATION: Macabre: A Journey through Australia’s Darkest Fears, edited by Angela Challis & Marty Young (Brimstone Press)

Also Nominated:

  • Scenes From The Second Storey, edited by Amanda Pillar & Pete Kempshall (Morrigan Books)
  • Dark Pages 1, edited by Brenton Tomlinson (Blade Red Press)
  • Scary Kisses, edited by Liz Gryzb (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Midnight Echo #4, edited by Lee Battersby (AHWA)

SHORT FICTION: “She Said” by Kirstyn McDermott (Scenes from the Second Storey)

Also Nominated:

  • “Bread and Circuses” by Felicity Dowker (Scary Kisses)
  • “Brisneyland by Night” by Angela Slatter (Sprawl)
  • “All The Clowns In Clowntown” by Andrew J. McKiernan (Macabre: A Journey through Australia’s Darkest Fears)
  • “Dream Machine” by David Conyers (Scenes from the Second Storey)

As an added sweetener for me, the judge’s report for the Long Fiction category includes a lovely write-up of my novel, Madigan Mine:

Madigan Mine (Kirstyn McDermott) is a truly frightening novel of obsession and the paranormal, related in a recognisably Australian tone. With a gripping plot revolving around destructive relationships, addictive personalities, and genuinely Evil machinations, this novel is absolutely ‘unputdownable’, and may well come to be considered a genre classic against which future Australian dark fiction is judged.

Ah … I’ll be able to bask in the Australian Shadows glow for weeks!

Bram Stoker Awards Final Ballot

Macabre: a journey though Australia's darkest fears

Wow! The final ballot for the 2010 Bram Stoker Awards has been announced and my novella, “Monsters Among Us”, has been nominated for Superior Achievement in Long Fiction. This comes as a particular surprise, considering it wasn’t actually on the preliminary ballot — the Awards have a jury which can nominate an additional work per category if they feel something has been overlooked.

Also added to the final ballot by the jury was the book in which my story was published — Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fear edited by Angela Challis and Marty Young. It’s wonderful to see this landmark anthology getting international recognition. Congratulations to Angela and Marty, and to the rest of the Bram Stoker nominees. It is indeed a most impressive list:

Superior Achievement in a NOVEL

HORNS by Joe Hill (William Morrow)
ROT AND RUIN by Jonathan Maberry (Simon & Schuster)
DEAD LOVE by Linda Watanabe McFerrin (Stone Bridge Press)
APOCALYPSE OF THE DEAD by Joe McKinney (Pinnacle)
DWELLER by Jeff Strand (Leisure/Dark Regions Press)
A DARK MATTER by Peter Straub (DoubleDay)

Superior Achievement in a FIRST NOVEL

BLACK AND ORANGE by Benjamin Kane Ethridge (Bad Moon Books)
A BOOK OF TONGUES by Gemma Files (Chizine Publications)
CASTLE OF LOS ANGELES by Lisa Morton (Gray Friar Press)
SPELLBENT by Lucy Snyder (Del Rey)

Superior Achievement in LONG FICTION

THE PAINTED DARKNESS by Brian James Freeman (Cemetery Dance)
DISSOLUTION by Lisa Mannetti (Deathwatch)
MONSTERS AMONG US by Kirstyn McDermott (Macabre: A Journey through Australia’s Darkest Fears)
THE SAMHANACH by Lisa Morton (Bad Moon Books)
INVISIBLE FENCES by Norman Prentiss (Cemetery Dance)

Superior Achievement in SHORT FICTION

RETURN TO MARIABRONN by Gary Braunbeck (Haunted Legends)
THE FOLDING MAN by Joe R. Lansdale (Haunted Legends)
1925: A FALL RIVER HALLOWEEN by Lisa Mannetti (Shroud Magazine #10)
IN THE MIDDLE OF POPLAR STREET by Nate Southard (Dead Set: A Zombie Anthology)
FINAL DRAFT by Mark W. Worthen (Horror Library IV)

Superior Achievement in an ANTHOLOGY

DARK FAITH edited by Maurice Broaddus and Jerry Gordon (Apex Publications)
HORROR LIBRARY IV edited by R.J. Cavender and, Boyd E. Harris (Cutting Block Press)
MACABRE: A JOURNEY THROUGH AUSTRALIA’S DARKEST FEARS edited by Angela Challis and Marty Young (Brimstone Press)
HAUNTED LEGENDS edited by Ellen Datlow and Nick Mamatas (Tor)
THE NEW DEAD edited by Christopher Golden (St. Martin’s Griffin)

Superior Achievement in a COLLECTION

OCCULTATION by Laird Barron (Night Shade Books)
BLOOD AND GRISTLE by Michael Louis Calvillo (Bad Moon Books)
FULL DARK, NO STARS by Stephen King (Simon and Schuster)
THE ONES THAT GOT AWAY by Stephen Graham Jones (Prime Books)
A HOST OF SHADOWS by Harry Shannon (Dark Regions Press)

Superior Achievement in NONFICTION

TO EACH THEIR DARKNESS by Gary A. Braunbeck (Apex Publications)
THE CONSPIRACY AGAINST THE HUMAN RACE by Thomas Ligotti (Hippocampus Press)
WANTED UNDEAD OR ALIVE by Jonathan Maberry and Janice Gable Bashman (Citadel)
LISTEN TO THE ECHOES: THE RAY BRADBURY INTERVIEWS by Sam Weller (Melville House Publications)

Superior Achievement in a POETRY collection

DARK MATTERS by Bruce Boston (Bad Moon Books)
WILD HUNT OF THE STARS by Ann K. Schwader (Sam’s Dot)
DIARY OF A GENTLEMAN DIABOLIST by Robin Spriggs (Anomalous Books)
VICIOUS ROMANTIC by Wrath James White (Bandersnatch Books)

The winners will be announced in June 2011 over the Stoker Weekend.

Twelve Planets (and two reviews)

Twelfth Planet Press

This is something I’ve necessarily been keeping under my hat for a while, but now I am very proud to report the following update regarding the Twelve Planets series forthcoming from Twelve Planets Press:

Who Are the Twelve Planets?

Margo Lanagan, Lucy Sussex, Rosaleen Love, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Deborah Biancotti, Kaaron Warren, Cat Sparks, Sue Isle, Kirstyn McDermott, Narrelle M Harris, Thoraiya Dyer, Stephanie Campisi.

What Are the Twelve Planets?

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.

When Are the Twelve Planets

The Twelve Planets will spread over 2011 and 2012, with six books released between February and November each year. The first three titles will be Nightsiders by Sue Isle (March), Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts (May) and the third collection will be by Lucy Sussex (July).

How to Receive the Twelve Planets

The Twelve Planets will be available for purchase in several ways:

  • Single collections will be priced at $20/$23 International each including postage.
  • A season’s pass will offer the three collections of the season for $50/$65 International including postage and each sent out on release.
  • Full subscriptions to the series are $180/$215 International including postage and each sent out on release.

More information relating to upgrades, ebooks and distribution will be made available in due course. Please visit the Twelfth Planet Press website for more details.

In other news, two short stories of mine have garnered brief but satisfying mentions in reviews this month.

Scenes from the Second Storey (edited by Amanda Pillar and Pete Kempshall) received a lengthy and very positive write-up on HorrorScope in which Shane Jiraiya Cummings notes:

She Said” by Kirstyn McDermott is another standout, an almost painfully personal sketch of an artist, Josh, and his girlfriend, Mallory. There are strong surrealistic touches in this story, but unlike other, more bizarre tales, “She Said” is held together with well-realised characters and an internally consistent world. As McDermott says in her afterword, this story is about “masochistic muses”. There is a thread of need pervading this story, and that neediness feels dirty, both for the characters and the reader. Darkness doesn’t get much more personal than this.

Also in Horrorscope, the anthology Macabre (edited By Angela Challis and Marty Young) is highly recommended by Tony Owens who says of my piece:

Kirstyn McDermott’s story of Melbourne goths and a nasty little secret, “Monsters Among Us”, has the virtue of sounding like the author had eavesdropped on a real group of people. The dialogue has an exciting verisimiltude that is sometimes lacking in dark fiction.

And that’s probably more than enough preening for one day! Back to the bunker, McDermott.

Macabre on ABC Radio

Macabre: a journey though Australia's darkest fears

Brisbane writers Gary Kemble, Will Elliot and Stephen Irwin were interviewed by Richard Fidler on ABC Brisbane radio a couple of days ago. I missed it live on air, so it’s great to see that the audio file is now available to download online. The guys talk about the Brimstone Press anthology, Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears, as well as their own writing and horror fiction in general. Well worth a listen!

Macabre is an impressive anthology, showcasing a variety of Australian writers both past and present, and I’m very proud to have a story — “Monsters Among Us” — included within its dark-tinged pages. If you’re at all interested in horror and dark fantasy fiction, especially that with a decidedly Australian flavour, then this book really should be sitting on your shelves.

Macabre Now Available for Pre-Order

Macabre: a journey though Australia's darkest fears

Very exciting news!

The landmark horror anthology, Macabre: A Journey through Australia’s Darkest Fears (edited by Angela Challis and Dr Marty Young) can now be ordered through Brimstone Press.

The anthology retails for $44.95 and will be available in stores in October/November, but Brimstone Press are offering Macabre for sale at $30 + postage. The anthology will be shipped from Brimstone in September.

Macabre is a snapshot of the fears that have gripped Australians for over 200 years: the isolation of the bush, monstrous fauna, supernatural terrors, violence, war, terrorism, alienation, cannibalism, and murder. From the very earliest colonial ghost stories through to grim tales of modern life, Macabre will take you on a journey through the terrifying heart of Australian horror.

Macabre includes a detailed essay on the history of Australian horror, an Australian horror fiction timeline, and 38 stories from three eras (classics, modern masters, and new era originals) – at a massive 672 pages, Macabre is, without doubt, the most significant anthology of Australian horror ever published.

Contributors in the Classics and Modern Masters sections include Henry Lawson, Marcus Clarke, Mary Fortune, Barbara Baynton, A. Bertram Chandler, Kaaron Warren, Terry Dowling, Robert Hood, Stephen Dedman, Rick Kennett, and Sean Williams.

The largest section, the New Era, includes original stories from Will Elliott, Stephen M. Irwin, Kirstyn McDermott, Richard Harland, Martin Livings, Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Kyla Ward, Paul Haines, David Conyers, and Bob Franklin (and many more!).

Macabre will be launched at Aussiecon 4, the World Science Fiction Convention, in Melbourne on the weekend of September 4-5 (exact details of the launch will be publicised when they become available). The editors and many of the contributors will be in attendance to sign copies at the launch.

Macabre!

Macabre

Macabre

Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears will be published by Brimstone Press in time for AussieCon4 which is being held in Melbourne in September. The anthology has a truly awesome line-up of contributors, going right back to classic tales from the likes of Henry Lawson, Mary Fortune and A. Bertram Chandler, as well as showcasing new stories from many of the top writers working the darker side of the genre today. It’s an impressive list and I’m very pleased to have a story — “Monsters Among Us” — included. I can’t wait to get my hands on a copy!