The parking spaces outside the Emerald Hotel are seven minutes’ drive from work. The uber-groovy bookshop Fantastic Planet is another seven minute walk from there.

Chuck Palahniuk’s Haunted and the Datlow/Link/Grant-edited The Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror 2006 are now in my greedy little possession.

Don’t know what you’re doing this evening…..


Back in 2002, I jaunted my way over to the Writers of the Future workshop in LA, where I spent a week under the watchful eye of Tim Powers, learning clever writer tricks and buying souvenirs.

David D Levine was also in attendance, a fellow winner and student, having placed second in the same quarter in which I came third.

From the beginning, he stood out from the other winners for me. Not that I wish to bask in his reflected glory, but he seemed to me, as the week wore on, the only other attendant for whom writing was more than an enjoyment, for whom it was an obsession, a divine chore. David wore his writerly passion like a suit of armour: part dedication, part ambition, part overwhelming devotion to his craft. This isn’t to say the others didn’t show it, but David, he showed it every waking moment. It came off him in waves.

In that alpha male lizard-brain way that creatures of similar habit have when placed together I looked around and said to myself: Him. He’s the one. He’ll be the biggest competition to my world dominance and eventual climb to the unreachable pinnacles of glory and timeless fame.

Well, maybe not in those exact words 🙂 But something in me knew: this guy was going places.

Anyway, David won the Hugo for best short story this past weekend. There’s a tiny part of me that wants to pull my hair out and chuck a paddy, particularly given my current inability to climb out of the not-even-a-local-hero rut I’ve landed in. But the far vaster part of me, the part of me that sits underneath everything and keeps its hand on the rudder, knows: he’s my pal, and I’m proud as all hell for him. And I always knew: he’d be the one, out of all 17 of us, who’d climb the mountain first.

Well done, mate.


Boy, I like breasts. Big ones, little ones, round ones, flat ones, covered up ones, naked ones, cleavage-boasting ones and ones zipped up tighter than a zipped up tight zippy thing. Breasts, boobs, boosies, tits, funbags, love pillows, jugs, shirt potatoes, front buttocks, jubblies, I love ’em all. Of all the big pretend Charlton Heston Impersonator In the Sky’s alleged creations, breasts come very close to the top of my personal favourites list. Love looking at them, love touching them, love putting my face between them and saying “Mmmmmmmmmm.”

I’m a fan.

But I’ve always been aware of one simple fact when it comes to breasts: they don’t belong to me.

Seems like Harlan Ellison forgot that last weekend at the Hugo ceremony, and boy, hasn’t the SF world had the C21 fall in upon it in a big old way since then! The back and forthing has gone to and fro, hither and yon, and here and there like crazy. Forget all the the links: google ‘Harlan Ellison Connie Willis grab’ like I did, and you’ll find a place to start. It’s not exactly hidden, know what I’m-a sayin’ ?

I wasn’t there when it happened. I don’t know anything about Ellison and Willis’ relationship, pre-during-post or anywhere else the ceremony. His website has a half-arsed, trying to make a joke out of it, kindasorta without actually saying sorry apology of sorts. Sorta. Kinda. Self-justifyingly. I’m not going to comment on the rights and wrongs of that, either. But, you know, I’m a guy, I like breasts, I have a brain. So I will say this:

1. Connie Willis has, so I am informed, breasts.
2. Harlan Ellison grabbed one in a sexual or proto-sexual manner during the Hugo Awards ceremony. On stage. In front of the entire audience.
3. It appears he didn’t ask permission.

Them’s as appears to be the facks, offsuh, far as I can make out, once I strip away all the back and forthing, to-ing and fro-ing, hithering and yonning….

That, my friends, is sexual assault. End of story. I don’t give a shit how great a writer he is or isn’t; how much of a crusader for women’s rights, racial rights or chipmunk’s rights he has been in the past; whether it was just “Harlan being Harlan”; or whether the intent was comedic, satiric, or downright just plain drunk-drugged-senile-silly-whatever.

Sexual assault.

Where’s the argument?


I’d hate to be the guy that gets up at ten past six, it’s dark, he has his cup of coffee and reads his paper, goes to work, sits behind the desk, says nothing, never contributes. I’d hate to be that guy. –Jason Akermanis, Alpha #14, September 2006 issue.

Oh God. I’ve turned into that guy.


Because the fear and worry we went through because of his eyes wasn’t enough…..

Connor hasn’t been sleeping lately. A couple of hours in the early evening, then it’s 8+ hours of crying, being unsettled, screaming, the whole works. Lyn and I are swapping shifts every night, trying to get a couple of hours sleep at a time. Of course, we’re not. And during the day, well: he’s not eating, seems to have developed an allergy to moo milk but can’t stand soy (can you blame him? That looks like a greasy nut. Let’s milk it. Ugh), coughs like an 80 year old smoker, has a nose that won’t stop running….. he’s in awful shape. His speaking ability is limited, he gets high temperatures constantly, and has a running battle with chest infections and conjunctivitis.

We’ve been hither with him, we’ve been yon. The end of our tether is so far behind us we can’t remember what it looked like.

Yesterday, he was at the doctor. Again. And this time, he took a look at Connor’s throat. In particular, his tonsils. Which are swollen. Permanently. It looks like they’re causing all the problems, including sleep apnea. So now we have to take him to Joondalup Health Campus, where they’ll consider whether or not to tear his tonsils and adenoids from his body, and jam grommets into his ears.

He’s 21 months old. Isn’t it about time he got a break?


Reading the LJ of someone whose work you really admire, seeing that they’ve done the ‘ole Book meme, and realising the quoted page comes from your book.

I’m quite smiley.

(For those not in the know, the ‘ole book meme, thus:

1. Grab the nearest book.
2. Open the book to page 123.
3. Find the fifth sentence.
4. Post the text of the next 4 sentences on your LJ along with these instructions.
5. Don’t you dare dig for that “cool” or “intellectual” book in your closet! I know you were thinking about it! Just pick up whatever is closest.
6. Tag five people.)


…to Stephen Dedman, who has recorded his 100th short story sale under his own name.

Stand still for five minutes and let the rest of us catch up, will you?


Clean up day yesterday. Hired us a trailer, got stuck in. Took loaded-up trailer to the tip. I don’t know about you, but our tip weighs the car on the way in, weighs it again on the way out, and you pay a fee based on the difference in weight. (And oh, my nerdy interior rang with the voice of Peter Jones intoning “It is vitally important to get a receipt every time you go to the lavatory”….)

684 kilograms of rubbish I lumped into that trailer, with Luscious’ help.

No wonder I’m bloody knackered.


Huddersfield Town 1- 1 Nottingham Forest.


Ahem. I feel better now.

And as a comedy aside, what do I have in common with Torvill & Dean, Ian Paice, Andy Cole, and the Manic Street Preachers’ James Dean Bradfield?



After much prevaricating round the shrubbery, trial and error, and people much smarter than us telling us better ways to do things, Lyn and I are happy to announce the birth of the newest Battersby!

Don’t panic. It’s not another kid 🙂

It’s our website

Come on down, have a look, and say hi. As soon as I work out how the hell to do it I’ll be adding a guestbook, gallery page and message board, but for the moment we have news, bios, biblios, stories, links, and a bunch of other stuff to browse and peruse


Got a domain registered, got web hosting, and as soon as I get my shit together and create all the pages and upload them and stuff (Battersby’s guide to being crap at web stuff: when you even find WYSIWYG website builders complex and difficult to understand….)

battersby.com.au will live!

So now would be the time to let me know if there’s anything in particular you’d like to see on a website dedicated to Luscious and myself. And no, bombing co-ordinates do not count.

Song of the moment: John, I’m Only Dancing David Bowie
Currently Reading: Still on the Mirrorshades anthology. Just finished Stone Lives by Paul diFillipo and about to start Red Star, Winter Orbit by Sterling & Gibson