Wednesday, November 30, 2005

I'll never write another word.

Why bother?

There is nothing left to write:

Thanks for the memery...

I stole this from Martin Livings' blog:
If you read this, if your eyes are passing over this right now, (even if we don't speak often) please post a comment with a COMPLETELY MADE UP AND FICTIONAL memory of you and me. It can be anything you want - good or bad - BUT IT HAS TO BE FAKE.

When you're finished, post this little paragraph on your blog and be surprised (or mortified) about what people DON'T ACTUALLY remember about you.

Tuesday, November 29, 2005

Flux Capacitor

I just constructed a
Flux Capacitor out of a tightly coiled rubber band, and three map pins.

Cool, huh?

Now all I need is 1.2 "jiggowatts" of power...

Monday, November 21, 2005

The Tangled Dead

I entered the Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest Halloween competition for a Science Fiction Ghost Story (2000 word max), which closed for submissions last Friday. The top 12 submissions are being forwarded to a celebrity panel comprising Ben Bova, Jason Marchi, and M.M. Buckner.

Writing as an unknown from New Zealand is such an uphill battle, so getting exposure to genre stalwarts such as them is a fantastic prize in and of itself.

This e-mail came from Apex Digest editor Jason Sizemore today:

Congratulations! Your story was selected as one of the
twelve sent to our finalist panel of Ben Bova, Jason March, and M.M. Buckner.

The panel will be choosing a winner and top four in the next three to
five days.

Jason Sizemore

Perhaps more significantly for me, is that my entry The Tangled Dead is the first completely original prose (unrelated to previous work) I have written since Whiskey in the Jar (Aoife's Kiss #11, Dec 2004).

The prizes for the competition are:

First Prize:

  • $100

  • Publication of story in issue four of Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest.

  • Subscription to Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest (if already a subscriber, four issues will be added to their subscription).

  • "Alien Head" Apex t-shirt
  • Interviewed in the January 2006 edition of Apex Online.
  • Signed copy of Orson Scott Card's "Characters and Viewpoints"
  • Signed copy of Mary Doria Russell's "The Sparrow" and "Children of God"
  • Signed Special Limited Edition Hardcover of Brian Keene's novel "Terminal". This is #199 of 400.
  • Printer proof signed copy of Barry Maher's cult novel "Legend"
  • Signed paperback copy of Bryan Smith's novel "House of Blood"
  • DVD Box set of X-Files "Black Oil" donated by
  • DVD Box set third season of "Roswell" donated by
  • DVD of movie "Written in Blood" signed by director Simon Cox and cast
  • "Sin-Jin Smyth" movie poster signed by director Ethan Dettenmaier and cast
  • Signed copy of Steve Savile's rare "Houdini's Last Illusion"
  • Signed UK hardcover copy of Sherrilyn Kenyon's "Sins of the Night"
  • Signed galley copy of M.M. Buckner's latest novel, "War Surf"
  • Signed paperback copy of JA Konrath's "Whiskey Sour"
  • Signed CD from Midnight Syndicate - The Thirteenth Hour
  • Second, Third, and Fourth Prize:
  • $25
  • Subscription to Apex Science Fiction and Horror Digest (If already a subscriber, four additional issues will be added to their subscription)
  • Publication of story in Apex Online

  • Tuesday, November 15, 2005


    Check out ASif! (Australian Specfic in focus!) – launched today with over 50 reviews by 22 reviewers of Australian speculative fiction and comics! The site aims to double review every Australian publication, author and artist of specfic. A big task, but someone's gotta do it.

    The aim is to have all the low-down you need to find out what you want to read and where you need to go to buy it. And for the next month, there are freebie prizes, including a copy of the forthcoming Shadow Box CD, for spiffy answers to the online treasurehunt! Go there!

    Sunday, November 13, 2005

    Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #20

    Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #20

    Editor Stuart Barrow points out in the opening pages of Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #20 the need for speculative fiction to have an element of fun if it wants to cross the divide between “uh-huh” and “hey, cool!” Barrow’s other editorial offering of note is the Gastronomicon, a SpecFic story and recipe book, which certainly suggests he is strong in his conviction.

    And to a large extent, in ASIM #20, Barrow has succeeded in delivering his intended story collection. ASIM #20 manages to capture simple effective storytelling more akin to the new Doctor Who TV series than to the self-important bloat and pseudo-gravitas of Star Wars I-III (Barrow’s own comparison). The stories are of consistent quality and the interior art by feature artist Brian Smith is similarly consistent throughout the magazine.

    Barrow proudly declares in his opening that he has picked a ghost story, an old-school dystopian science fiction story, a conspiracy story, a psycho ex-girlfriend story, a robot story, and a page three girl courtesy of Brian Smith.

    The villain! This reviewer thumbed through page after page looking for gratuitous nudity, but alas - when found, it turned out to be another frelling robot!

    (The detailed version of this review can be found at the AsIF website opening November 15)

    Saturday, November 12, 2005

    Modranecht wins Christmas Karnage

    The competition results over at The Wicked Karnival were announced today. Tom Moran posted the following:
    There is one story in this competition that, in the judges' minds, stood above the rest in creativity and, well, the ability to really get under your skin. The winner of the fourth Killer Kritique contest is:

    MONDRANECT by Bryn Sparks

    Bryn's effective use of the non-conventional 2nd person voice not only displayed a wonderful command of language and storytelling, it also thrust the reader directly in the middle of this sick, disturbing tale. I for one bit my nails down to the skin as I read. This story stuck in my head LONG after I finished it, and I've gone through it three times now. The ambiguity of the narrative lends it a nightmarish feel and, well, that thing in the yard is just horrific! Congratulations, Bryn--you've earned it.

    Monday, November 07, 2005


    Mainline Sequence
    Apex Digest Online - November 2005

    Mainstream Superhero comic literature has always dabbled with alternate reality editions and storylines. Memorable examples include Bizarro Superman, who rules a cube-shaped world full of distorted Superman and Lois Lane duplicates, and the original Justice Society of America/Justice League of America team-up in issues 100-102 (Aug-Oct 1972) of Justice Society of America.

    The tendency of comic mainstays to be reinvented or re-examined through alternative reality 'what if' scenarios has spawned an entire sub-genre of slipstream lines such as the DC 'Elseworlds' series. The various titles in the series provide a platform for examining characters through different lenses, and exploring possibilities that could never make it into the 'prime reality' storyline. Perhaps one of the more interesting 'what if' stories in that series is Mike Barr's "Batman: In Darkest Knight" title illustrated by Jerry Bingham, wherein Bruce Wayne, instead of Hal Jordan, becomes the Green Lantern for the space sector including Earth.

    Keep in mind that the real Green Lantern's power ring is only limited by the will power of the wielder. Remember also that the real Batman has no 'super' hero powers, and is sustained and made mighty through the exercise of his will power. What do you get if you put those two ideas together? The Green Lantern creed is "In brightest day, in darkest night".

    They didn't name the book "Batman: In Brightest Day".

    'Nuff said.

    The slipstream movement is not limited to DC titles. Marvel have an excellent series out (available in a trade paperback collection) called "Exiles". A group of six characters from various marvel titles have been sent on missions through the multiverse to correct timestream errors in each of those realities. Once each mission completes, the group move on to the next mission. Dead members of the group are immediately replaced.

    The cool thing about the series is not the ongoing plot (which becomes somewhat of a background) but rather the opportunity to see well known characters in roles utterly unlike those more well known to us. Wolverine is sometimes a hero, sometimes a villain, and in one arc he is the crippled inheritor of Charles Xavier's role as director of the institute for training young mutants.

    The alternate reality setting allows the various writers to have a field day with no holds barred. Earth gets wiped out several times, main characters die off like flies, chaos, mayhem, and lots of soul-searching about what it means to be a super hero ensues.

    Slipstream print literature tends to be Philip-Jose-Farmer intense, or Robert-Heinlein dumb. In comics, however, it has a rich tradition and most importantly... it's fun.

    'Nuff said.