As you may have noticed, I’ve been listening to a lot of David Bowie lately, and I’ve been fortunate in not just having the singles-friendly Changes: The Best of… on the turntable, but the more comprehensive Platinum Collection, which means I’ve discovered a lot of tracks I had perhaps heard of, but never actually heard (Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps) for example)

I’d always been aware of the Science Fictional influence on much of his early work: anybody who listened to FM radio in the 80s was unable to avoid tracks like Space Oddity, Life on Mars?, and Ashes To Ashes. But what has surprised me (although I really don’t know why it does) is just how damn good Bowie is at playing with Sfnal concepts in terms of pure storytelling. Viewed as a short story collection, the themes and storylines that run through the three disc collection, particularly the 1969-74 stuff, as is a strong as anything I’ve read recently in traditional text-on-dead-wood.

By way of examination/encouragement, a partial list of Bowie songs from the triple album, all Sfnal in nature to a larger or smaller degree.

Space Oddity
Oh! You Pretty Things
The Prettiest Star
Life on Mars?
The Man Who Sold the World
Ashes To Ashes
Scary Monsters (And Super Creeps)
Up the Hill Backwards
Loving The Alien


Alisa Krasnostein, driving force behind Australian Specfic In Focus, has banded together with the likes of Tansy Rayner Roberts and Gillian Pollack and launched a new speculative fiction ezine.

New Ceres is something slightly different: a shared world ezine, run under Creative Commons licence, where every story and article builds towards a ‘bible’ detailing the life and times of the inhabitants of a Terran-settled planet that has placed severe limitations upon the technology and societal norms under which they live.

It’s a genuinely interesting project, and one I’m taking a long look at submitting to, once the right idea arrives (I have a couple of vague stirrings, but that might just be the muesli I had for breakfast…)

Issue one features fiction by Tansy RR, Maxine McArthur, and Dirk Flinthart, which makes it worth the price of admission, even without all the other cool stuff available. Check it out.

Song of the moment: Modern Love David Bowie


Blakey turned 12 yesterday! Which means we take him out for a big-ass dinner tonight, and get to give him his presents (which are cool even by our standards) and we let him drink Coca-Cola from now on, and we get to spend all weekend making age jokes, and…..

Happy birthday, B!

Song of the moment: Loving The Alien David Bowie


If you’re an LJ user, and you’re wondering why my leebattersby address looks like leebattersby, the answer’s simple: I’ve grown tired of the LJ community and the running battles I am drawn into for expressing my opinions, and I’ve deleted my account.

Register for the Battersblog feed if you can’t be bothered coming here directly to read my news.


The great news, for me at least, is that the time I’ve released to myself by doing so has resulted in a burst of writing energy, and as writing was the reason I got into this gig in the first place (and the only part of the whole shooting match that gives me unconditional pleasure), I’m feeling like I’ve made no better decision in ages.

To whit, the last two days have seen another 390 words on In From the Snow, and 1161 on Mister Snopes. The latter is particularly pleasing, as I’d been stuck at a problem point for some time, and I’ve blown past it and almost up to completion. One section more, and the beast, she is killed.

It’s come thudding back to me: what have the likes Terry Dowling, Ted Chiang, Howard Waldrop et al been doing while I’ve been getting caught up in silly little side games? Could the answer be: writing?


I’ve been thinking a lot about my career lately: what it means to me, where I want it to go, what I need to put behind me, what I need to concentrate on….

One thing that stands out is how few markets I’ve attained overseas: I’ve got a lot of Australian magazines in my bibliography, but give the list a quick scan and it quickly becomes apparent that I haven’t made a concerted enough effort to establish myself in the wider scheme of things.

So from now on, at least for a while, I’m going to be taking a long, hard look at alternatives to my current sending procedures. I love my Australian magazines, I subscribe to a number of them and I’ll never stop sending them my stuff. But-

I’ve prepared a list of 50 or so markets, tiered in sets of attraction. The likes of F&SF, Asimov’s, and Brutarian speak for themselves. But I’m interested in what you’re reading: any favourite magazines? Where, and why? Let me know, and I’ll have a look at them for my own self-centred purposes 🙂

Song of the moment: John, I’m Only Dancing David Bowie
Reading: Haunted Chuck Palahniuk. Still waiting to find out what all the fuss is about.