Jan 29, 2013

Book Release - The Wild Girl by Kate Forsyth


Long time readers will remember my review of Bitter Greens last year and an accompanying audio interview I did with Kate Forsyth.

In that interview we briefly talked about the book Kate was writing about Dortchen Wild, the woman who gave the Brother’s Grimm a significant amount of their content.

The release date is set for mid march this year but I thought I would give you a little heads up.


The History:

Dortchen first met the Grimm brothers in 1805, when she was twelve. One of six sisters, Dortchen lived in the medieval quarter of Cassel, a town famous for its grand royal palace, its colossal statue of Herkules, and a fairytale castle of turrets and spires built as a love nest for the Prince-Elector's mistress. Dortchen was the same age as Lotte Grimm, the only girl in the Grimm family, and the two became best friends.

In 1806, Hesse-Cassel was invaded by the French. Napoleon created a new Kingdom of Westphalia, under the rule of his dissolute young brother Jérôme. The Grimm brothers began collecting fairytales that year, wanting to save the old stories told in spinning-circles and by the fire from the domination of French culture. Dortchen was the source of many of the tales in the Grimm brother's first collection of fairy tales, which was published in 1812, the year of Napoleon's disastrous march on Russia.

Dortchen's own father was cruel and autocratic, and he beat and abused her. He frowned on the friendship between his daughters and the poverty-stricken Grimm Brothers. Dortchen had to meet Wilhelm in secret to tell him her stories. All the other sisters married and moved away, but Dortchen had to stay home and care for her sick parents. Even after the death of her father, Dortchen and Wilhelm could not marry – the Grimm brothers were so poor they were surviving on a single meal a day.
After the overthrow of Napoleon and the eventual success of the fairytale collection, Dortchen and Wilhelm were at last able to marry. They lived happily ever after with Wilhelm's elder brother Jakob for the rest of their lives. [source]

What to expect

One thing that I really enjoyed with Bitter Greens was Kate’s attention to detail and the elements of history she was able to shine a light on – the events that seemed so unlikely that they must be fiction, which did in fact turn out to have a considerable basis in recorded history.

I expect we will see the same again - a great tale and an unearthing of another hidden female storyteller.


ISBN: 9781741668490

Published: 18/03/2013

Imprint: Vintage Australia

Extent: 560 pages

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Jan 27, 2013

Knights Of Badassdom Official Trailer #1 (2013) - Peter Dinklage Cosplay...

I wish to hell they'd hurry up with this movie, I first heard about it over a year ago.

Jan 26, 2013

A Trifle Dead final cover revealed


Another Amanda Rainey cover and this time I think she has really outdone herself.  This book makes me want to eat trifle and read…but not kill people.

A Trifle Dead is the debut novel of stunning new crime writing talent Livia Day*  the first of the Dealines imprint from Twelfth Planet Press


You can preorder your copy now.

* it should be noted that I have only read the first chapter, but then Livia Day occupies the same brain space as Tansy Rayner Roberts so, I sure it will be excellent.

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New eBook solution from Booktopia

Booktopia_Online_Bookstore_120x90I announced last year that Booktopia was going to stop selling Google ebooks.  Not that they had much choice in the matter – Google had decided to stop supplying books to third party providers.

The crew at Booktopia have come up with a solution that allows them to build their own catalogue of eBooks and still enable you to access any Google eBook purchases you made.

Here’s their letter:

Dear Sean,

As a customer who has bought eBooks from Booktopia in the past we want to let you know of changes to the Booktopia eBook offering from January 28th, 2013. 

The main messages for you are that from January 28th, 2013:

  • You CAN continue to read all Google eBooks you bought from Booktopia before this date
  • You CAN continue to buy and read eBooks from Booktopia and keep and read your Booktopia eBooks in your Booktopia account library
  • You CAN download the NEW BOOKTOPIA READER APP for both Apple and Android devices to read on your phone or tablet
  • You CAN read both Google AND non-Google eBooks you purchased from Booktopia on the App
  • Google will no longer be supplying eBooks to retailers worldwide, so we launched a new eBook range AND the Booktopia Reader App for you to use instead of Google Play

Some details...

We are building up a new, exciting eBook range for Booktopia customers.  Also, to increase our independence from Google's eBooks, we have launched the free Booktopia Reader app for both iOS (iPhone, iPad, iPod) devices, and Android - specifically customised for Booktopia customers; you can use your Booktopia login to access your Booktopia eBook library and read all the eBooks that you have bought from us, (Google or otherwise) without having to create a Google account to download and use Google Play.  You can also download your eBooks to your eBook device as per normal , via Adobe Digital Editions, but using your Booktopia username and password for authentication; again without needing a Google account.

So on January 28th, we are turning off the Google eBook collection for sale on our website and continuing with the replacement providers who don't require you to create any extra accounts and can be read on your Apple or Android device with the Booktopia Reader, or on your dedicated eReader device.

We hope that you continue to enjoy your eBook experience with Booktopia and continue to look for great bargains and excellent customer service from the Booktopia team.

Buy an eBook, download our free Booktopia Reader app and tell us what you think.

Is there a downside?

The only downside is that because you HAD to use Google Play to read Google eBooks on your iOS or Android device, and Google Play doesn't read eBooks that are not from Google, you therefore will not be able to use Google Play to read any eBooks you buy from Booktopia after this date  (because the eBooks are not from Google). 

HOWEVER, you can download the Booktopia Reader onto your iOS or Android device and read both your Google eBooks and your new eBooks you purchase from Booktopia. That's why we built the app specifically for Booktopia customers - so you can access your whole library - both previous Google eBooks and new eBooks - at the same time in the same place.

If you have an eReader device, you can still read your old AND new eBooks; as usual you will need to have the Adobe login that you downloaded your old eBooks with in order to read them (because of the account  that is attached to every eBook at the time you first downloaded it).  However all old and new eBooks will appear in your library, and you can use your Booktopia username and password to read your new eBooks.You do not need your Google login anymore.  Adobe Digital Editions prompts you for which ID you need when you download an eBook - your old Adobe ID or your Booktopia ID. As time goes on and you read more eBooks, you will only need to use the one Booktopia ID and not worry about anything else.

A bit of background...

A day before Easter 2012, Google announced that it was going to cease distributing eBooks through all retailers worldwide on January 31, 2013.  This came as a surprise to us as you can well imagine, as Booktopia was arguably the most successful eBook reseller for Google worldwide. 

We took the announcement in our stride (as we do!) and immediately put plans in place to replace Google as an eBook supplier on our site while continuing to offer a great eBook product to the Australian market with the level of service we are famous for. We announced to our customers the news from Google, and set about sourcing alternative eBook providers, which we integrated and launched quietly just before Christmas 2012. So on Monday we are turning off just the Google eBooks as they won't be able to supply.

If you have any questions, please don't hesitate to contact us through your Message Centre in your Booktopia account or contact our Customer Service team.

Thanks and Happy Reading!

Steven Traurig
CIO and Co-Founder

Booktopia Pty Ltd


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Booktopia Free Shipping in celebration of Australia Day

first-australiansBooktopia has free shipping on again - instructions at the end of the post.

So in honour of Australia day I thought I would push some Australian content.

In DVD’s, First Australians is a good series. Anyone proudly wrapping themselves in an Aussie flag today should gain an understanding of our less than proud history. It’s not all poppies and slouch hats.

bully-beef-balderdashAnd while on that topic, you could also check out Bully Beef and Balderdash which takes a look at some of the myths surrounding the AIF.

But for the Speculative Fiction peeps it might be worth taking a look at Threshold , a series that come out in 2005, starring none other than Peter Dinklage and Brent Spiner


For the Margo Lanagan fans it might be worth checking out the hardcovers of some of her books, including the overseas editions.

Have a happy Australia Day.






Here’s their instructions:

The FREE SHIPPING promotion code is: HOLIDAY

Simply place an order before midnight Monday the 28th January (wherever you are in Australia) with the promotion code HOLIDAY and you will receive free shipping on your order. The promotion code can be used as many times as you, or your family and friends, want on any orders between now and then.

To receive free shipping on any order YOU MUST TYPE the WORD.

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ISF # 3 Hits the Newsstands

isf-hauke-3-january…do we have newsstands anymore?

Any who, ISF #3 is out and its available for free download. 

It features yours truly in the reviews column, but you're going to want to be reading the Fiction.

Roberto and the team have lined up:

  • Simon Jones (Australia)
  • Crystal Koo (Philippines)
  • Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro (Brazil)
  • Fernando Pina (Portugal)

A truly international election.  Get it FREE below. 

ISF # 3 Download

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Jan 25, 2013

Quick Update


  1. My column in ISF 3 should be out very soon.
  2. Got a rejection a week or so back and haven’t sent my story out again
  3. Have two pieces of short fiction on the go.
  4. I have posts and review jobs backed up the wazoo
  5. I secured a ten week job that turned out to be twenty
  6. I want to strangle the internet (although not at the moment as it’s working)

Hopefully I will have some more content later on today.

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Jan 23, 2013

Wednesday’s Links form an interesting pair

dispoUsula K LeGuin raises concerns over moves in Britain to allow corporations to snap up “orphaned books” with little or no effort on the behalf of said corporations to locate the owners of the copyright. Read Kidnapped and be concerned.


EXISTENCE-coverDavid Brin writing at Locus Online educates us on The Idiot Plot in  David Brin: Our Favorite Cliché — A World Filled With Idiots…, or,Why Films and Novels Routinely Depict Society and its Citizens as Fools. He takes a good hard look at the tendency of movies to highlight the lone individual who is the only one that can see the evil government/corporation conspiracy and to cast the citizens as clueless idiots.


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Jan 22, 2013

The current state of the Bookonaut

seanandWell, January evaporated or was stolen by Aliens.  Seriously I don’t know where its gone.

So as usual I am trailing behind on reading and reviews (my own strict and unrealistic guidelines) and my second podcast.  My internet service has degraded, first back to speeds that were reasonable to work with and then yesterday to the point where I couldn’t load basic Gmail for 3 hours.

I have been jumping through hoops, waiting for a replacement dongle to arrive from Adelaide, testing said dongle and experiencing the same crappy service regardless. 

Tomorrow I must travel to the Clare Valley to test the dongles at a secondary location before my provider will send a request through to Optus to check to see if anything was wrong.

Thankfully I will be picking up The Walking Dead series 1&2.

I bought a new computer from Harvey Norman…never again. 

I ordered a laptop and Norton’s 2013.  Prior to this, I contacted them asking if it was possible for them to delivery it via postal service as couriers seem incapable of delivering to our door even when I give them satellite photos (seriously you only have to make three turns to get from Harvey Norman to my house). I was advised twice that it was okay, the second time rather abruptly.

And low and behold I order it online and get a call saying that I can’t use the postal service and the courier charge to my rural area 2 hrs. from Adelaide is $80 not $15). If they could drop it off at a work location ( I work from home)

It gets better though.  The Norton’s which was bought as part of a cash back enticement was set to run out the day after I ordered.  Note, this fact i.e. the date of expiry, was not advertised on their website.

So now I must wait until I next travel to Adelaide to pick it up.

On the job front.  A pearler of a job seemed to land in my lap with minimal effort. I am still waiting  four hours later for a call back that I was advised would be made in two. So easy come easy go.

I should stop whinging and write.

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The Ironclad Imagineers launch Spacelord Mofo


IroncladImagineersLocal Adelaide creatives Pat McNamara and David G. Williams are launching their “Ass kicking, kick arse, post apocalyptic, space western love story” this Thursday on DriveThruComics.com.



What the hell is The Legend of Spacelord Mofo?

Its a digital comic with a difference.  I’ll let the boys explain:

In short, it's a full-color, super-awesome quality comic, written and illustrated specifically for the digital storytelling medium, and presented panel by panel in a cinematic widescreen format (or, Cinegraphic as we like to call it), with weekly Parts released FREE to read online, or to download.

It’s free on their website here, but

As of 12.05am, Thursday, 24th January, almost a year to the day since the first panels went live on the Mo Fo website, the Complete, Uncensored and Full 1920 x 1080 HD Episode # 1 will be live and available to buy and download from DriveThruComics.com - and what does one get for their $1.99? Well...

Episode #1 Digital Download includes:

196 Panels of Uncensored and Full 1920 x 1080 HD Mo Fo Action!
Spacelord Mo Fo Theme Music by Seb Hudson
28 Page 'Why Digital?’ - The Comic Evolution Featurette.
22 Page Meet the Ironclad Imagineers & Making of Featurette.

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Mourning Cloak released

mourning-cloak_webRabia Gale has released her new 22,000 word novella, Mourning Cloak.  I came across Rabia last year through Australia’s own Jo Anderton, who works closely with her as a beta reader and a collaborating writer.

Rabia has a broad range of writing from reimagined fairy tales to science fiction and fantasy.  She’s one of those largely undiscovered self published gems.

I have reviewed he works Shattered: Broken Fairy Tales and Rainbird.

I purchased Mourning Cloak without a shadow of a doubt that I will get very good value for money.

If you are interested you should sign up for her Newsletter too as she provides list members only access to short stories and discounts for her other works.

Y0u can find her at her website and sometimes on twitter.

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Jan 21, 2013

Still an old white man telling women how to behave

You’d have to be living under a rock or enjoying an internet free rural paradise (my internet’s been out again) not to have noted the furore caused by the bumbling oafishness of David Koch, the Business journalist turned morning show host on the nation’s leading Breakfast variety show.

He’s generally an affable bloke, outside of his area of expertise (finance) he’s a bit of a soft touch, sort of what you’d require in a morning show host. 

If you can forgive him the collection of groan worthy jokes he puts out and the fact that he’s chairman of Port Adelaide Football club. He’s not too bad, like an affable uncle who thinks he’s still funny. 

Relatively harmless.

But he chose to weigh in on the issue of breastfeeding, was criticised for it and was unrepentant.

He clarified his position such that he believes women have a right to breastfeed in public (actually it’s the law, regardless of what he thinks), but that he thinks they should be discreet about it, classy even.

Perfectly reasonable one might say. Except of course that I’d be hard pressed to think of a time that I have seen women breastfeeding indiscreetly (and I come across a few in running the Mums and Babes session in my Library work).

In reality it’s not really a problem is it -  the majority of Australians  are not assaulted by the sight of milk laden mammaries to the point of revulsion.

Bikini covered bosoms on Sunrise are another matter entirely though eh?

Yet here we have a high profile media figure expressing an opinion on it, letting women know (ever so affably) what he thinks they should do.

Everyone has a right to an opinion, to express it, is his view. 

Yes, everyone can have an opinion they’re as common as the aperture that I’d suggest Koch has his head in inserted in.

The trouble is not everyone has a platform to send that opinion nationwide. 

One could argue that to broadcast your opinion widely, it had better be an informed one. Because for all the unthinking oafs on television, there are hundreds of unthinking viewers out there willing to take their opinion as gospel.

I suspect Koch is adamant that he won’t back down because, he’s been caught out being an oaf, expressing an opinion on something he has no experience or knowledge of and he’s so used to being in a position of power and knowledge, so used to being perceived and perceiving himself as the nice guy, that he can’t cope with the challenging reaction.  He’s not a bad guy, he’s not a misogynist, he must think.

No he’s just an old white guy letting the girls know how they should behave. Reinforcing cultural myths surrounding women.  Contributing to that cultural bias that means we have discussions about breastfeeding, or how women who get raped should have been dressed more discreetly.

Standing steadfastly by an opinion is not a good thing when that opinion is opposed by well argued points of view. The bigger person has the courage to reflect, see that they were wrong and admit it.

It gets harder to do the older we get, the less challenged we are in our spheres of influence.

And Koch is a privileged old man, atop the celebrity talk show pile.

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Jan 18, 2013

Vote Margo for Australia’s Favourite Novelist

seahBooktopia is running a poll on their website for Australia’s favourite novelist, it’s a bit of fun and their final list includes a number of speculative fiction authors. 

So if you really don’t want to vote for Margo (unlikely I know) there’s some other folk to select.

So go here, Margo appears towards the bottom of the checklist.



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Jan 17, 2013

Indian SF Magazine

isf-final1For those readers of speculative fiction that might want to take a trip away from familiar western speculative fiction please take a gander at Indian SF magazine.

Don’t worry there’s some reprints of Ken Liu and other writers you might know as well as stories and reviews of Indian authors who you might not.

It’s free to download, in English, in multi formats ie pdf, mobi and epub.


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Jan 16, 2013

Fablecroft eBooks

AftertheRain_lg_mediumAnother bit of info that seems to have slipped under the radar.  Fablecroft have released a couple of last years titles as eBooks.  I spotted these two at Wizards Tower Books run by the lovely Cheryl Morgan.

Epilogue-Cover-195x300I can recommend Epilogue, as I have the Paperback version.  After the Rain I haven’t had the pleasure of reading.

And If I recall correctly there’s another anthology due out later this year called One Small Step.  Keep your eyes peeled Tehani ( has a good eye for quality authors


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Aspiring Singaporean Genre Writers–Checkout Vellum & Ink


Joyce Chng and Joelyn Alexandria have started Vellum & Ink, a service that aims to help facilitate some home-grown genre fiction gems, and promote the Singaporean voice through quality fiction created with artistic integrity and creativity.

Aside from their own works, the founders offer:

  • copy-editing services,
  • plot & book reviews,
  • book launches & readings,
  • literary presentations & facilitations,
  • as well as research & fact-checking for the budding writer, publisher, or book store.

You can check out their online presence here.  I hope to interview Joyce for the second instalment of the Adventures of a Bookonaut podcast, when I can sort out the internet issues I am currently experiencing.

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Joanne Anderton collection from FableCroft Publishing

Jo-Anderton-photo-225x300Somehow Fablecroft kept this announcement under their hat. 

Ditmar award winning Jo Anderton, author of Debris and Suited is putting out a collection of short stories called The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories.

I have read Debris and The Bone Chime Song and can heartily recommend Joanne Anderton to anyone who wants their fantasy, unique and fresh. If I could write like Joanne I’d be very happy.

Will mark this one down on the calendar.

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Jan 15, 2013

Coming soon - International Speculative Fiction Issue 3


isf-hauke-3-january…featuring me in the reviews column.

The issue will be available for free download from the ISF website in around 10 days or so - I will keep you posted.

So in the meantime cast your eye of the wonderful writers Roberto and the team have managed to secure for you in the table of contents below.

I love the cover too and what’s that the guy is reading I wonder?




Ricardo Loureiro (Fiction Editor)


Simon Jones (Australia)

Crystal Koo (Philippines)

Gerson Lodi-Ribeiro (Brazil)

Fernando Pina (Portugal)


Jess Nevins – Pulp Scifi under German, Russian, Japanese and Spanish Totalitarism


Cristian Tamas interviews Professor Arielle Saiber with a focus on Italian SF


Sean Wright Reviews two Singaporean International Speculative Fiction Anthologies

Jorge Candeias Reviews three Short Stories written by International Speculative Fiction Authors


Hauke Vagt (Germany)


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Jan 14, 2013

Sentients of Orion NOW in E-Book in USA

Soo_-us_all1Good news for Marianne de Pierres’ fans – the Sentients of Orion serious is now available from all major eBook retailers (bar Kobo which will be along shortly). 

Marianne also has an update on the graphic novel being illustrated by the talented Wayne Haag.

You can check the details out here.




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Jan 13, 2013

Post Marked: Piper’s Reach

I was fortunate enough to interview Jodi Cleghorn yesterday for the Adventures of Bookonaut Podcast Episode 2.  I’ll be talking more about Jodi and her work in some upcoming posts but for now I wanted to point you in the direction of a collaborative project that she has worked on with Adam Byatt.

It’s contemporary fiction in a unique form:

Post Marked: Piper’s Reach is an ambitious collaborative project between Jodi Cleghorn and Adam Byatt traversing an odd path between old and new forms of communication, differing modalities of storytelling and mixed media, all played out in real and suspended time. The project has at its heart a love of letter writing and music.

The letters are posted in “real time.”

Essentially Adam and Jodi wrote letters to each other, each writing the character of one correspondent. The were written in real time ie Jodi would send a letter and Adam would receive and send another back.  The project was then subject to the vagaries of the postal service.

Post Marked: Piper’s Reach aims are to:

  1. rediscover the love of letters (writing and receiving), and by extension, reintroduce readers to the form.
  2. write a serial narrative in a non-traditional form.
  3. write a serial which brings together the best of new and old technology to create a cross-platform merging of digital and paper, instant and delayed gratification, music and prose.
  4. work collaboratively.
  5. utilise an organic narrative development process to as closely model a real exchange of letters and reveal between characters.
  6. explore the different impacts real time and delayed gratification have on the process of writing, character and narrative development.
  7. participate in a writing project which is fun and does not require massive investments of time in editing and redrafting, which slots between, and complement, exisiting writing projects and professional relationships.

They have managed to write two seasons worth and a Christmas special.  The post are available on the website in order and you can download scans of the actual letters as well.

I am kicking myself that I hadn’t stumbled upon it earlier as I can now consume everything as fast as I want. 

Sometimes its better to delay the gratification.

I encourage readers to check it out.  Writers too, because I think its an interesting exercise in discovering an older form of narrative presentation.

Season 1

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Jan 11, 2013

Booktopia free shipping deal and fundraising

Those wonderful folks at Booktopia have a free shipping deal on until 16 January 2013 all you have to do is type the word SUNSHINE in the PROMOTION CODE FIELD ON THE LAST PAGE OF THE CHECKOUT PROCESS.

But what has that got to do with fundraising?

the-last-stormlordWell as you may or may not be aware I am registered as an affiliate with Booktopia if they carry a book I mention or review then I attach an affiliate link and if you go and buy from them through that link I get a small commission.

It’s taken me 18 months to earn $70 in commission fees(can’t withdraw it until it hits one hundred) so no, it won’t make me rich. 

What I am planning on doing though is rolling those funds over into paying for a pro account on Podomatic for the Adventures of a Bookonaut podcast which while costing me nothing at the moment will require more space by the end of the year.

So if you are:

  1. Intending on buying a book from Booktopia
  2. You read my reviews
  3. You like them
  4. You like the podcast

I will be really grateful is you choose to go through my links.There's a badge to the right that’s a general link and always shows on the landing page.

So there’s no hurry, I reckon I’ll get there by November, but I thought you’d like to know what I am striving for.


Now you could go straight to Booktopia’s bargain Fantasy links or Sci-Fi but if you are after a suggestion can I suggest Aussie author Glenda Larke there’s a good selection of her fiction at reasonable prices to down right fantastic.

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Friday Links is free fiction and girls with guns

owlGeez have I been busy.  Interview preparation, writing columns, writing fiction…I shudder to think how I am going to handle going back to work in February and doing everything else I want to do.

But without further ado here’s some links for you:

In line with my focus on International Speculative Fiction here’s a post from Kaz Augustin from Sandal press with a sampler of their 2012 fiction releases as well as  some commentary on covers with women toting firearms in Free Sampler now out plus #guns, guns, guns! #ebook

Lisa L Hannett has started writing a column for UK horror site This is Horror called Southern Dark.  Her first column Wide Open Fear: Australian Horror and Gothic Fiction is an excellent examination of recent Australian horror.

Author Sue Bursztynski is having a hard time  getting publicity for her book Wolfborn, released in the US without much fanfare.  Perhaps fellow bloggers with links to YA bloggers in the US can help.  Check out Searching For Review Blogs

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Jan 10, 2013

Muppets and A Memory of Light

A tip o’ me hat to Tom at Literarium for the news.

And sorry to those who came here looking for Kermit the frog.

Muppet: A person who is ignorant and generally has no idea about anything.

A Memory of Light was released today, to the hordes of Robert Jordan fans who have been waiting 20 years for the series end.  Unfortunately for some die-hard fans the eBook will not be released until April and they isn’t happy, leaving (at time of writing) 155 one star reviews on Amazon. 

Such passion from fans, so much passion that you’d think they’d be hanging on every snippet of information, like this from Tor, the publisher:

Tor Books has announced that the ebook edition of A Memory of Light, the exciting conclusion to one of the most epic fantasy series in existence, will be available for e-reader devices on April 9, 2013. The initial book release is scheduled for January 8, 2013.

Tor March 2012 <---quite some time ago

I find the actions taken on Amazon disappointing.  I can't help but see it as a bit of privileged dummy spitting.  The information on the book was out there and the reasons for the ebook's delay as well. 

Jordan’s widow wants it to soar up the NYT charts, maybe she wants the bookend to his career with glory, maybe she wants to get the best return she can. I’ll begrudge her none of those things; she supported him in his writing for all those years and writing good fiction is a several magnitudes harder than reading it.

You can give me a number of reasons why an eBook should be released at the same time – I’ll probably agree with some of them.  I can understand the disappointment that comes from expectations denied (The Hobbit showing in Australia two weeks after everywhere else).

A suitable response would be to contact Tor on their forums, write them,telling of your disappointment. If still angry to vote with your feet and walk away or buy it from some cheap retailer of books.

But for some that’s not good enough, they feel the need to attempt to affect sales of the book by sabotaging the amazon review process and lodging a one star protest.  Like we are trying to stop some evil megacorp from using whale fat to fry their burgers or something.

Reminds me of every privileged, eye bulging, angry customer who thought I had to worship the ground they walked when I worked in retail.  Seriously I teach teens who have better control than this.

This is not a real protest. This is privileged whining - when it comes down to it, someone's just disappointed they didn't get exactly what they wanted when they wanted it and they are acting like they have been personally violated.

Be disappointed, don't be a muppet.

Surely there's enough good fantasy out there to fill in that three month gap. Now go on crucify me in the comments.


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A call for international speculative fiction publications

I put out a call on twitter last night for recommendations of international speculative fiction authors. Sometimes 140 characters is just not enough to clearly explain what your are after. 

I did get a good response though with suggestions for Singapore, The Philippines and China.

The Project

I will be writing a review column for the e-zine International Speculative Fiction, my first column will appear in the January issue.

The Request

I am soliciting for review copies or contacts where I might be able to engage in a discussion with small press publishers.

Before I drown under the deluge I better explain what I am after:

  • Non-Anglophone authors primarily but that have
  • Texts written in English or translated to English
  • Authors of quality who don’t seem to have got the attention they deserve i.e. authors no-one seems to be talking about yet, someone like the next Nnedi Okorofor,  Dean Francis Alfar or Liu Cixin
  • Someone who might be a big name in their country of origin but who isn’t known in western speculative fiction circles.


I have no preference but considering the likelihood that we are looking at vast shipping distances, ebooks in epub format are ideal. I am looking at collections, anthologies, or novels.  I’ll rule out individual short fiction and magazines.


That I’ll read and review every book?  I can’t guarantee that.  I can guarantee that if it’s good and fresh that it’s got a good chance of making it to my reading list.  I do already, heavily promote Australian authors, Australian female authors, run this blog conduct interviews, and produce a podcast (which some of the authors who might come to my attention could feature on) and somewhere in their I have to fit in the work that pays me and talk to my wife as well.

So fire away, leave suggestions or comments.  Publishers or agents feel free to contact me at sbwright at gmail dot com with [International Review Request] in the subject field.

If in doubt suggest anyway.

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Jan 9, 2013

Ellen Datlow’s Fearful Symetries is a go

Ellen Datlow and Canadian publisher Chizine teamed up to produce a top notch horror anthology Fearful Symmetries.  For a while there it  looked like the project wasn't going to make to hit the funding target.  And well if Ellen Datlow and Chizine couldn’t pull of that kind of project then what hope for the rest of us.

It seems,however, it was a matter of just casting the call  for support a little wider.  Neil Gaiman and some other industry heavyweights kicked in some support in the form of tweets and posts and with 33 hours to go we have an anthology fully funded.

Check it out.

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Jan 7, 2013

Rejected–The Submission treadmill

seanandSo yesterday got another rejection of my first story.  It was expected but obviously I’d have been happy if that expectation was dashed.  I am chronicling my experience and my feelings as part of my “journey” to becoming a fiction writer.

I tweeted the result on twitter and got a number of very comforting and encouraging messages.  Not that I was fishing for pity.  But it was interesting to hear from both well published writers and those just a few steps ahead of me, that they have received hundreds of rejections.

Still it was hard going through the list of available markets and assessing which one to send it out to next.  Of course I had just read a brilliant story by Ken Lui the previous day which didn’t help – one of those stories that make you want to not bother writing because if they can have Ken Lui, they ain’t going to want Sean Wright.

But that’s the insecure writer in me talking, and as brilliant as Lui is, he wasn’t born writing Single-Bit Error, he had to get there the same way as everyone else.

So in the end I buried the insecure writer alongside the pessimistic inner editor (these guys must have brothers or clones, seriously you get rid of one and another pops up) and sent it out again.  If it’s out there it’s still working.  I can forget about it for a month.

I started another story too, which is good practice, it’s 400 words in and the concept is complete from beginning to end, so I feel good about finishing it.

So back on the treadmill. Learn to enjoy the making of the story not just the end product.

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Jan 6, 2013

Last Short Story Podcast Episode 1


The first regular season Last Short Story podcast is out.  There were two previous “pre-season” podcasts produced by Coode Street Studios as part of a “testing of the waters” both for the casters themselves and the audience.

In this Episode Ian Mond and Jonathan Strahan discuss the December 2012 issue of Clarkesworld and the January 2013 episode of Lightspeed.

You can stream from the player below or download here.



Lightspeed 32There’s honest and frank discussions of the works contained within those to publications. So if you plan to read them its probably best to do so before the podcast.  You will find the stories for free online, but please consider subscribing, you’ll get them in the much more readable ereader formats.

The stories discussed in from :Clarkesworld #75, December 2012 and Lightspeed #32, January 2013.  All the Clarkesworld pieces are available online, some of the Lightspeed stories are yet to tick over to free online status.


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Jan 5, 2013

International Speculative Fiction Issue 2


International Speculative Fiction is a free e-Zine featuring top quality writing from international authors (preference given to non-anglophone authors) of Speculative fiction.

I gave issue one a signal boost here.  You can download this issue here.  I suggest you do so, because I think its packed with diverse goodness.

It features fiction from Nassau Hedron, Lavie Tidhar and Ken Liu.

Cristian Tamas interviews Professor Rachel Haywood Ferreira, author of  The Emergence of Latin American Science Fiction and there’s a profile of cover artist Tomasz Maronski, whose work you will have seen if you’ve been reading Asimovs or Clarkesworld.

The fiction pieces are reprints, but it’s fine with me because although I have heard of each of the authors I haven’t yet come across them in any of my current subscriptions.  Your mileage may vary.

That being said editor in chief Roberto Mendes and team have done a fine job in selecting a trio of excellent stories.

Nassau Hedron gives us a mythic tale of love, tragedy and rebirth in  Siren Songs in Deep Time, Lavie Tidhar’s  Aphrodisia feels like the love child of 2312 and Neuromancer, a tale of obsessive love and holidaying in far future South East Asia. And Ken Lui’s Single-Bit Error, well I say read it, superb craftsmanship, beautiful imagery, I only wish any of the Philip K. Dick shorts I have read had half the artistry Lui displays in this piece.

You can’t get much better value than quality fiction at $0.00. Go Enrich your reading life.

Note:  ISF comes in pdf format.

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Two Ebooks for your enjoyment

badge-ebook_128As per the previous post here are two rough compilations of post series:

My 2012 Snapshot interviews

The Authors and Social Media series from 2011

I might have ago at trying to edit them somehow but am not sure if you can get an epub editor once you have the outputted epub file ie the epub is the end result, the editing done in the compilation stage.

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Creating eBooks of your blog posts

ebook_256This is a follow up of sorts from yesterday’s post, it’s part reference for myself and for any other interested readers.  You’ll notice the eBook image to the right—>, where you should be able to download either a .mobi or .epub file of my 25 most recent posts to read in comfort on your preferred device.

That’s all well and good, but its a bit of a shotgun approach.  I asked the developer of eBook Glue if it was possible to provide a way of selecting specific types of posts and it is.

As it currently stands Ebook Glue takes your RSS feed and simply compiles an ebook(.mobi or .epub) file from the 25 most recent posts.  My RSS feed is below:


I simply take this url and plug it into the field at Ebook Glue (note you don’t have to sign up but I have as it saves my feeds).


Creating eBooks from specific labels

Now let’s say I want to give you (and me) the option of downloading just my book reviews.  I would need to modify the feed to search for the Book Review label


Note: the %20 seems to indicate a space in the label, for single word labels it’s not necessary.

It will still only generate a file of up to 25 posts but it’s an improvement.


Capturing Multiple Search Labels

Lets say that I want to refine it even further though and search for multiple labels.  Say I want to be able to download all the Book Reviews that I have written for Margo Lanagan.


You’ll see above that all you need to do is separate the search terms with a  /



The developer has only been offering the service for 2 weeks, and plans to build upon it as it evolves and I presume he gets feedback from users.  I’d like to be able to create eBooks of all my reviews (somewhere in the vicinity of 70 post per year) and perhaps make ebooks of particular post series i.e. might have been handy for some of my work to be in ebook form for last year’s Ditmars.

So what do other bloggers think?


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Jan 4, 2013

Adventures of a Bookonaut in Epub or Mobi

seanandBecause I know that you just can’t get enough of this blog I have hunted down a service that will enable you to download the last 25 posts of this blog into an epub and mobi file(actually I didn’t hunt it down per se, it was showcased on Teleread). 

I know, am I not wonderful?

Seriously though, am I not wonderful.

Ok getting on with it.  It’s a service called Ebook Glue and it does a pretty good job of formatting posts into eReader formats ( to be honest I haven’t checked out the mobi file)but the epub was better compiled than one tested through DotEpub.

The site is in its infancy but I hope that as it devlops that i might be able to get filtered links so that I can compile an ebook of just my reviews for a certain year.

To download a copy of the 25 most recent blog posts go here.

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Verity! Episode 1 – The Snowmen

VerityEp01Episode one has arrived.  How did it go? Well pretty damn good for a first episode.  Sometimes a show needs a bit of settling in before it hits its stride, but these women of Who, these Mistresses of Time have got their game on.

Now if I can only differentiate the American accents. No matter.

The discussion on Moffat’s Christmas special was good and the breadth of knowledge and experience in the team meant that I got an inkling for tracking down some some Troughton era stories.

Download: verityep01.mp3 (runtime 1:00:48) 
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Jan 3, 2013

Twelfth Planet Press gets a makeover

tpplofoOne of my favourite Australian Small Presses, Twelfth Planet Press has just received a makeover, gearing up for what I will hope will be a bumper year for them.

Go and have a gander, perhaps buy some books.  Whether it’s paperbacks, hardbacks or eBooks, they do really have a diverse range of Australian speculative fiction.

If you re not sure where to start I can recommend the following books which I have reviewed:

eBook Review–Through Splintered Walls by Kaaron Warren
Book Review–Salvage by Jason Nahrung
Book Review–Showtime by Narrelle M Harris
Book Review–Cracklescape by Margo Lanagan
Book Review–Nightsiders by Sue Isle

eBook Review–Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts

Adventures of a Bookonaut: Book Review–Bad Power by Deborah ...

Book Review–Thief of Lives by Lucy Sussex - Adventures of a ...

eBook Review: Horn by Peter M Ball

Book Review–Glitter Rose by Marianne de Pierres

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Galactic Chat Episode 19: Ellen Klages

GCLogoIn this episode you will be relieved to hear Alisa’s voice instead of mine while she interviews Ellen Klages:

Ellen Klages’ short fiction has appeared in science fiction and fantasy anthologies and magazines, including The Magazine of Fantasy and Science Fiction, Black Gate, and Firebirds Rising. Her story, “Basement Magic,” won the Best Novelette Nebula Award in 2005. Several of her other stories have been on the final ballot for the Nebula and Hugo Awards, and have been reprinted in various Year’s Best volumes.

[read more]

It’s a very good interview by Alisa, asking some interesting questions and I am now going to have to hunt down some work by Ellen.

You can stream from the player below or download here

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eBook Review–Through Splintered Walls by Kaaron Warren


Though Splintered Walls is the most recent of the Twelve Planets series from Twelfth Planet Press.  And like the rest of that series, the quality is high, the selection of story and author perfect.

Splintered Walls follows the loose format of previous Twelve planets volumes with four stories – 3 shorts and a novella.

They are: Mountain, Creek, Road and Sky. Gemma Files in the book’s introduction  says of Warren that:


[she] has the true gift of spell-casting, the sort of deceptively direct, declamatory literary style which says: I simply have to speak a thing, and no matter how odd it may seem in the telling, it is instantly rendered so—solid, actual, honest, real.

And I am not going to argue. I also think that Warren, like Lanagan has given us a collection that is identifiably Australian without belabouring the point. I found each of the settings recognisable, each of them resonated at some level within me.

Mountain tapped into my experiences of driving through the Glasshouse mountains and long road trips with my family, Creek awoke memories of drownings in desert waterholes, Road, flashes of roadside death markers and Sky, well Sky made me look at my small rural community in a entirely new and not altogether comfortable way.

Her “declamatory literary style” makes for stories that you just slip into, they are matter of fact, uncontrived.  They could be “your” story until the reveal of course.

In looking back at the three shorter pieces I feel myself questioning which is truly horrific, the supernatural or the very real tragedy that occurs in the mundane?  I think it’s the mundane situations in these stories that effect me the most.  Once you get past the blood and guts in horror, past the suspense, it’s the empathy with characters, the horror they perform or are at the receiving end of that makes a piece work for me.

If you are into good, understated horror, horror in the everyday, then pick up this collection.

This book was purchased from the wonderful Wizard’s Tower Books.


This review is part of the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2013.  Please check out this page for more great writing from Australian women.




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