I was also saddened to hear along the grapevine of the decision by Angela Challis to pull the plug on the excellent ezine Shadowed Realms. SR has been a good market for me, publishing a couple of stories, paying well and quickly, and providing me with a haven to try things wilder and more extreme than my usual fare. As a reader, I was always entertained, which is not a claim I can make for every magazine I visit.

I’ve seen the view expressed that, while it’s a shame SR is gone, it’s not so bad for writers because Brimstone Press, SR’s parent company, will still have projects on the go. Such comments, as always, miss the fucking point a wee bit: Shadowed Realms was a damn good magazine, and for quite some time was the only SFWA eligible market Australia had to offer the world. It was significant, and any time a significant magazine folds up its tent, it makes a writer mourn.

I gave it two stories, and in return it gave me money, exposure, an Aurealis award, two friends, and a lot of fine reading experiences. I’m going to miss it.


A little late I am, to add my voice to the mourners, but I was saddened by the recent death of Kurt Vonnegut. Like John Sladek and Stanislaw Lem (amongst others) before him, he represents the passing of a group of authors who went a long way towards freeing me from the constraints of my school years, and showed me ways of thinking, and just as importantly, ways of expression, that had been hidden from me. Cat’s Cradle in particular, spun me a long way from the course upon which my teenage mind was set. And since I first read of it, I have been an adherent of the notion of karass: that group of otherwise unlinked personages who, for good or bad, impact upon your life and influence your path. It has remained central to many of my views of family, community, and friendship.

As such, Vonnegut sits central to my own karass, though of course we never met, and I knew no more about him than I read in his books.

And, you know, go take a flying fuck at a rolling doughnut remains just about my favourite statement of dismissal ever 🙂

When it came time to read a work in memoriam, as I did with Lem and Sladek and all the others, I found myself reaching for Wampeters, Foma and Granfalloons, his book of essays from way back when. From that book:

I have been a soreheaded occupant of a file drawer labelled ‘science fiction’ ever since (the publication of Player Piano) and I would like out, particularly since so many serious critics regularly mistake the drawer for a urinal.

Goodbye, Kurt.


Wowser. I’ve been away from all things netty for a week or so, so I missed the occasion of the 50 000th visitor to this fair blog.

A raised glass to everyone who’s visited. On behalf of the band and myself….. ‘ere, where’s me band gone?


So what do you expect when your 14 year old Bonus son announces that he’s going to cook dinner on Saturday? Especially when, the last time he discussed cooking tea, you discovered that his recipe for satay beef was 1) get some beef 2) cover it with satay sauce 3) throw the jar away ?


What did we get?

Oh. My. Gawd.

Whole baked fish with lemon and baby potato stuffing, and a fresh tossed salad. I had a bloody foodgasm, let me tell you.

Then, to top it off, a couple of nights later he decides to make dessert, and presents us with apple and peach waffles with custard.

I’m keeping him……