…ask me about anything I’ve written, and I’ll tell you the genesis of its title.


The Dante’s Inferno Test has banished you to the Fifth Level of Hell!

The river Styx runs through this level of Hell, and in it are punished the wrathful and the gloomy. The former are forever lashing out at each other in anger, furious and naked, tearing each other piecemeal with their teeth. The latter are gurgling in the black mud, slothful and sullen, withdrawn from the world. Their lamentations bubble to the surface as they try to repeat a doleful hymn, though with unbroken words they cannot say it. Because you lived a cruel, vindictive and hateful life, you meet your fate in the Styx.

Here is how you matched up against all the levels:

Level Score
Purgatory (Repenting Believers) Very Low
Level 1 – Limbo (Virtuous Non-Believers) Very Low
Level 2 (Lustful) Very High
Level 3 (Gluttonous) Very High
Level 4 (Prodigal and Avaricious) Very High
Level 5 (Wrathful and Gloomy) Extreme
Level 6 – The City of Dis (Heretics) Extreme
Level 7 (Violent) Very High
Level 8- the Malebolge (Fraudulent, Malicious, Panderers) Very High
Level 9 – Cocytus (Treacherous) Very High

Take the href=”Dante Inferno Hell Test


We’ll be on our way to drop Aiden off at his father’s. Then we’ll swing by to pick up my brother, who’ll then drive us to the airport.

Much anticipation building!


The awards season continues: the world’s longest shortlist has just been announced, that is, this year’s nominations for the Western Australian SF Awards, or Tin Ducks to their friends.

Luscious and I have scored mentions, as has anybody else, it seems, who has ever heard the words ‘Western Australia’ and ‘Science Fiction’ in the same sentence.

Anyhow, for your voting pleasure, the complete list. Make yourself a drink first:

Professional Long Work
* Eclipse, K A Bedford
* The Colour of Magic, Dave Luckett
* The Truth About Magic, Dave Luckett
* Blade of Fortriu, Juliet Marillier

Professional Short Work
* I Can Make You Famous, Lee Battersby, Shadow Box e-anthology
* Pater Familias, Lee Battersby, Shadowed Realms 3
* Hush, Lyn Battersby, Shadow Box e-anthology
* The Memory of Breathing, Lyn Battersby, ASIM 17
* Hear No Evil, Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Borderlands 4
* Ian, Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Ticonderoga Online 5
* Solid Rock, Cathy Cupitt, Borderlands 4
* Coup De Grace, Stephen Dedman, Borderlands 4
* Watch, Stephen Dedman, Never Seen By Waking Eyes (Prime)
* Hooked, Martin Livings, Borderlands 5
* Bad Film Diaries, Grant Watson, Borderlands 4
* The Seasonal Collector, Jo-Ann Whalley, Borderlands 4
* How Green was their Love, Tess Williams, Borderlands 4

Professional Art Work
* Coup De Grace, illustration, Colin Sharp, Borderlands 4
* Cover, Sarah Xu, Borderlands Issue 4
* Horror series, Ruby Cadaver, Swancon 2005 art show
* Make your own pet, print, Shaun Tan, Swancon 2005 art show
* The Big Picture Book, Brian Choo

Professional Production (any medium)
* Bad Film Diaries, Grant Watson, Borderlands Issue 4
* Borderlands Issue 4, Borderlands Publications Inc.
* Borderlands Issue 5, Borderlands Publications Inc.
* Shadow Box e-anthology, edited by Shane Jiraiya Cummings & Angela Challis
* Shadowed Realms, edited by Angela Challis
* Ticonderoga Online, edited by Lyn Battersby, Russell B Farr, Liz Grzyb

Unpaid or Fan Written work
* Blue (text), Bec Handcock
* Chaosmanor, Elaine Kemp
* Gynaezine 3, edited by Gina Goddard, Emma Hawkes

Unpaid or Fan Art Work
* Blue, Bec Handcock, Swancon 2005 art show
* CD sculpture, Stephanie Bateman-Graham, Swancon 2005 art show
* Changing Skins series, Sarah Xu, (exhibited at Swancon 2005 art show)
* Dragon quilting, Callum Watson, Swancon 2005 art show
* Gynaecon T-shirts, Sarah Xu
* Nothing Better: A short presentation on why I have to leave, Bec Handcock, Swancon 2005 art show
* Photograph of Carreg Cellen, Elaine Kemp, Swancon 2005 art show
* Reflective Moods, Sarah Xu, Swancon 2005 art show
* Stamp artworks, Emma Hawkes, Swancon 2005 art show
* The View from Glastonbury Tor, Elaine Kemp, Swancon 2005

Unpaid or Fan Production (any medium)
* A Brief History of Friendship by Cathy Cupitt
* Consensual A Trois, edited by Dedman, Kemp, Cupitt
* Fandomedia 2005, Ju, the professional lap cat
* GenghisCon 2005, The GenghisCon committee
* Gynaezine 3, Emma Hawkes, Gina Goddard
* HorrorScope, edited by Shane Jiraiya Cummings et. al.* Swancon 2005, Swancon XXX committee
* The Simono Restrospective, Simon Oxwell, Swancon 2005


With 4 days until we jet out to the Aurealis Awards, the Australian Horror Writers Association have announced their shortlist for the 2006 Australian Shadows Award. And I’m on it.


The full listing is:

The Grinding House by Kaaron Warren
Shadow Box edited by Shane Jiraiya Cummings and Angela Challis
Pater Familias by Lee Battersby
Father Muerte and the Flesh by Lee Battersby (Not bad for a story I haven’t seen in print yet…)
The Red Priest’s Homecoming by Dirk Flinthart

The shortlist will be presented to the Guest Judge to decide upon the winner, and that winner will be announced in April/May, with the award presented at Conflux 3, 9-12th June in Canberra.

A nice boost to the confidence just before the AAs, and another notch in what’s turning out to be rather a positive writer-guy week. With Erin and Connor off to school over the next two days, I’m revved up and breezy for getting some good wordage down before we fly out.


I’ve been meaning to blog this for blooming ages, but keep getting distracted. Born out of a discussion between myself, Martin Livings, Shane Jirayia Cummings, and Stephanie Gunn, a poll:

What should be the next flavour Coca Cola puts on the market?

a) Tuna Coke
b) Feta Coke
c) Wasabi Coke

Vote on the message board.


Because we just can’t get enough of change at Work-In-Progress House, Luscious and I have put into effect something we’ve been talking about for a while now: I have left work, and shall be staying at home in my new role as House Husband and Full-Time Dadthing, and the Luscious One will take on the role of Bacon Gatherer. Part one of that mission has been to return to something she did a while back, with some success: my beautiful wife is a Nutrimetics Consultant.

Nutrimetics is a life-long commitment for Lyn: she’s been using the products since she was 10 (she won’t let me reveal her true age, but it is a whole number between 35 and 37…), so it’s something she believes in strongly. For readers of this blog, we’ll be posting regular specials for party bookings and catalogue orders, so if you’re looking for cosmetic and skin health solutions, contact her and have a chat. You’ll find an online catalogue here, or for the full catalogue, you can email Lyn and she’ll send one out to you.

As a start-up, book a party before the end of March, and you’ll receive not only a deluxe facial (worth $45) but an Aromatherapy Body Massage Oil valued at $25!

Also, until the 10th of March, the following special packs are available. Buy one, and you’ll also receive a free facial:

Hand Indulgence Pack
5 Step programme featuring:

1 Hand and Nail Treatment Crème
1 Intensive Hand and Nail Soak
1 Cuticle Treatment Crème
1 Body Massage Oil
1 Nail Colour of your choice

Value $137.00
Only $ 70.00
Save $67.00

Inside The Office And Out Pack

1 Ultra-Care Day Lotion
1 aromatherpay Foot Balm
Value $79.00
Only $52.00
Save $27.00

Lyn particularly recommends the latter pack. The Ultra-Care Day Lotion is an essential daily moisturiser that smoothes the skin and is quickly absorbed so that your skin feels softer and smoother while being protected against harmful sun exposure. It’s also a protection against the harmful rays emitted by computer screens. If you’re reading this now, invest in it! 🙂

Song of the moment: Leather Tori Amos


Have a look what my publisher sent me today. Don’t you just want to buy it? I know you do.

Observant, long-time readers may note the change of title 🙂 Really observant, really long-time reders may remember it was the original title when it was first picked up by Prime. I’m grateful that Prime supremo Sean Wallace has decided to go with it: it’s always been my favourite option, and I’ve been a real pain in the arse, agitating to keep it all this time. And it’s led to artist Gary Nurrish creating this magnificent cover.

Happy author.

Buy me. Buy meeee…….


Borderlands 6 is out. My story The Imprisonment of Marianne sits between its covers, and just as excitingly, Luscious’ The Hanging Tree is in there as well! Read this one: it’s proof that The Memory of Breathing was no one-off.

Lyn’s recent story in the Redback issue of Shadowed Realms prompted Horrorscope to say this:

Starting the issue off is Lyn Battersby’s Edges. Talk about dysfunctional relationships! There are some nice transitions between ‘characters’ here that very effectively resolved my initial feelings of unease into fear. The main character’s terror and desperation are palpable but, in the end, it’s five against one… not good odds for saving a relationship.

It goes on to say that this issue is the strongest one so far, boding well for both SR and my darling, who continues to make Ben Peek look like an idiot.

In good writing news, the lack of a computer in recent days has forced me back to a notebook and pen. With limited time at my disposal due to the current overly-busy lifestyle, I set myself a target of 300 words per day: a modest total to be sure, but one I hadn’t achieved for the entirety of this year. Four days later, I’ve managed it every day, am working on two new stories, and feel like I’m achieving something at last.

Maybe, just maybe, after a few false dawns so far this year, I might be able to get this career back on track. Let’s see, shall we? I’ll drop a weekly tally in to track my progress, and y’all have permission to razz me if I don’t keep up.


Clarion South 2007 applications are now open.

You have no excuse. Get them in. I’ll be there, tutoring in the 2nd week, and you’ll also suffer at the hands of Rob Hood, Simon Brown, Gardner Dozois, Kelly Link, and Janeen Webb. How can you not want to do this?

Apply now!


One of the goddamn best people I’ve ever met, a man of whom I cannot speak highly enough, one of the best pals I’ve made in writing: Robert Hoge has an LJ. Flist him.


We had ourselves a low-key Valentine’s Day this year: we’ve bought each other so many things as we moved into the new house that adding something just for Hallmark Day seemed a little, well, over the top. I mean, when your wife can walk through the door and give you a hard-cover graphic biography of Jimi Hendrix drawn by Bill Sienkiewicz and 2 Hendrix CDs for no other reason than she knows you’ll love them, why do you need to have the greeting card industry set aside a day for you?

So we just took the phone off the hook; moved the TV and DVD player into the bedroom and threw Love Actually at it; uncorked the wine; made up a plate of cheeses, dried fruits, and grapes; and simply relaxed into each other’s company for the night.

It was bloody wonderful.


So Gary Megson has resigned as manager of Nottingham Forest.

About fucking time.


I know you have a need to know:

We’re down to the bathrooms, ladies and gents. The tilers were supposed to be here in the last couple of days to do their thing, but will soon arrive on Monday after my “Where the fuck were you?” phone call. Once they’ve done, the electrician will arrive to move the power points four inches up the wall so we can fit the new vanities in. Which will be duly fitted, followed by taps, soap holders, towel rails, the showers, the new toilet for the ensuite, and me, having my first non-hand-held-shower-head shower for three weeks, sighing with something approaching ecstacy as the water cascades down my back (don’t think visually).

Everything else is cosmetic: we have a miniskip full of dead plant life, and at least another one to go. The compost bin has been installed into a corner of the garden and is busily, uh, sitting there doing the composting thing. Boxes are being opened, emptied, and folded. We’ve discovered a new Mecca– Bunnings has been replaced in my affections by Howard’s Storage World, (I kid thee not), where today I picked up a bike rack so we can stop using the entire patio as a bike repository. Yesterday it was an eight-drawer movable table for Lyn’s painting supplies. I loves it. It is my precious. And slowly, out of the debris of broken boxes and dust, a home is emerging.

Housewarming invitations are beginning to be discussed 🙂


A gratuitous Connor shot, because he’s so frigging gorgeous.

I can make my Daddy mushy like that

Song of the Moment: San Jacinto Peter Gabriel


Been a while, innit? The days have been catching up with me recently, and the old computer has spent the last few days in the shop getting de-scary-sounded. Anyway, on with the show:


It was Erin’s first day at kindy last Monday. First day at kindy? But she’s just left the womb started to walk said her first words stopped using her dummy….

She’s four years old, and at kindergarten. And I can’t quite catch up to the idea. But there we were, Luscious and I, walking her through the school grounds, helping her put her bag on its hook and her hat in its box and pinning her badge on and finding her chair…. and taking about a million pictures. All the while the kindy-veteran mothers were looking on with all the indulgence they could muster towards the obviously first time parents (This is Lyn’s 4th experience!).

I was a very sniffly Dad as I walked away with my teary eyed wife. Erin, as is her wont, was right at home and can’t understand why she only gets to go two days a week instead of five like her big brother. She’ll learn….

So grown up, and ready for anything


Luscious took Darth Barbie out to dinner last week to celebrate Secret Women’s Goings-On. I stayed out of the way as they got themselves ready, but when they sashayed out to show the end results off, I was stunned. I’ve known Cassie for 3 years now, and when did the awkward kid turn into a stunning, confident, creature of such elegance?

Gonna have to start polishing my shotgun…

Babes on film


take the WHAT BAD BOOK ARE YOU test.

and go to mewing.net. not as good as reading a good book, but way better than a bad one.


Today marks 5 years since I made my first story sale.

The Divergence Tree was published by Orb in their June 2002 issue, making it the 4th story to see print.

Half an hour after the acceptance for The Divergence Tree, I received an email from the Writers Of The Future, telling me that Carrying The God had placed third in its quarter, making me the 1st West Australian to win in that competition.

5 years ago, today was a good day.

Song of the moment: All Along The Watchtower The Jimi Hendrix Experience


Received a phone call from the stylish and altogether frabjous Jason Nahrung last night. Not only a denizen of our all-time favourite city, Brisbane, Jason does journalism-guy stuff for the Courier Mail, and wanted to interview Luscious and myself with an eye to the upcoming Aurealis Awards.

Which was no pain at all, as he is a complete gentleman and a delight to chat to. And I still owe him a beer, so it was a chance to remind him of my obligation. Excuse me, barman, I have no children with me this trip!

Our reputation as the single-entity-with-two-names continues to grow…


Luscious fans! Get yourself over to Anna Tambour’s website and read this month’s featured story, a new and previously unpublished Lyngram entitled Simeon The Monkey. It’s weird, touching, and of the usual stratosphere-high Luscious quality!

In double-good-news-with-chips, no less than 2 authors have recommended The Memory of Breathing for the Bram Stoker Award, and ASIM have nominated it for the Speculative Literature Foundation’s Fountain Award.

Is wot me and Arfur would call a nice little earner…


Happy birthday Aiden! Hope you made out like a bandit! (He certainly did at our end: a bike with all the accessories, and a CD rack, and a DIY T-Rex skeleton kit with poster and replica claw, and a double-barrelled lava lamp. Lucky bugger. Wish I was 13 muttergrumblerazzumfrazzumenvywhingejealousy…..)


Check out the bottom of the page to see the latest shiny banner-toy. Yessiree, yon author-boy is now a member of the Australian Horror Webring. Follow the ‘next’ to see who else is a member.

Do we get sandwiches?


The Tin Ducks and the Ditmars are open. If you’re a member of (respectively) Swancon and the Natcon, you can nominate and vote.

No pressure, but in 2005 I gave the world:

I Can Make You Famous, Shadow Box, October
Shadowed Realms Issue 8, November
The Devil in Brisbane, Prime Books, October
Murderworld, Andromeda Spaceways In-flight Magazine Issue 18, April
Love Me Electric, Consensual a Trois, March
(The Aurealis nominated…) Pater Familias, Shadowed Realms, Issue 3, January
(The appearing in Year’s Best Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror…) Father Muerte & The Rain, Aurealis Issue 33, January

No pressure.


The house continues apace. The original office has become Connor’s bedroom, as the desk we bought for Lyn is bigger than the room 🙂 So our office/reading room/studio now takes up the first third of the house, and Connor’s original bedroom is now the playroom.

Got that? 🙂

By my reckoning, in the last week I have seen: 60+ allen bolts; 200+ screws; 8 flat packed items of furniture; one quarter of a tonne of dust of various types; 8 cuts; 26 scratches; and three rooms almostnearlyjussssstabout finished…

And the bathroom guys come on Monday.

I confidently predict a liveable home environment by Christmas.