There’s 5 or so hours left between me and January 1st. To be honest, I don’t give much of a rat’s: I’ve never once woken up on the morning of January 1st and thought “Oh my goodness, the world seems completely different to the one I went to sleep in. Lawks-a-lordy, what a fresh start this portends!” (Or, you know, words to that effect.) It’s a calendar thing, an arbitrary line drawn between ‘then’ and ‘now’, and whilst I guess I’m grinchish about it, there you are: I’ll still have to do the dishes tomorrow, and clean the bedroom, and staying up past midnight will only mean I’ll be tired and grumpy while I do them.

Still, as arbitrary underscores go, it at least draws people into examining the year just gone, and into making outlandish promises to themselves that they have neither the intention nor ability to keep. Let’s be honest: if you’ve never climbed the Matterhorn wearing only a yamulka and a willy-warmer before, being a year older and fatter ain’t gonna make it any easier. But, call ’em resolutions, or goals, or emotional signposts to a better me or whatever, we all do it, and so do I, and so I have.

It’s quite simple, really:

I’m too fat. I did well at the start of last year. I went from 110kg down to 93, and was feeling the benefits. Then I got complacent, I got lazy, yadda yadda whatever, and the wheels fell off. Onto my stomach. So, having proved I can do it once, I get the opportunity to do it again. 13 kilos by the end of the year. That’s one a month plus one, and will bring me down to 90kg, which is still too heavy but better than where I am. Plenty of exercise, better foods, better eating practices, you know the drill (More to the point, I do). And no booze, thanks to the gout, which will be easy, because I’m not that much of a drinker and I prefer my ankle to the taste of beer.

I’m not a novelist. Well, I could have been, this year, but in the end, Napoleone’s Land was just one hurdle too difficult to sell– the book was fine, barring rewrites, but the difficulty in getting publishers to look at a novel containing Aboriginal spirituality, written by an unknown white guy, defeated me. I’ll come back to it, no doubt, when I’ve got a credit or two to play with, but right now, my priority is to finish Corpse-Rat King and get it sold, and finish the first draft of another novel. I have five or six in various states of decomposition, from a 40K draft of Public Savants to 5K and a full plot outline for The Last Death of Vaz Te, to the TV script of Cirque that I could adapt… there’s plenty to be going on with. I’ll likely be around the interwebs even less next year than in 2008 (my google hits quartered over the course of the year), but that’s all part of moving on, I hope.

My house is not perfect. Don’t get me wrong, I love my house, and I love the life my family leads here. But it’s not perfect, as anyone who’s pulled up to the front garden can attest. And truth be told, I spend my money on the wrong things: for the price of that graphic novel I could have fixed that hole in the downpipe at the back of the house, and the price of that DVD could have bought a can of paint for the garden wall. If I do one thing a week, that’s 52 areas of my home I could improve by the end of the year, and 52 ways I can give my family a better lifestyle. I’ve lived inside a Work-in-Progress for too long,

And that, apart from a bunch of family goals that remain private property, is it, really. 2008 was one of those years where you endure the bumps because you can see the plain sailing beyond. Only three things will matter in 2009: my well-being, my writing, and my family.


  • Agh: remember when ‘Snap Crackle Pop’ described your breakfast cereal and not your back?
  • Forest 3-2 Norwich, and we’re out of the bottom three for the first time this season. You beautiful Reds!
  • So that would be *my* 4yo wandering round the house, snapping bubble wrap and shouting “Who done a popoff?” every time it pops.
  • No better way to spend a summer holiday afternoon than down the pool with the kids. All hail the inventor of the water slide!
  • What’s the point of sending me all those emails promising me a larger erection when I’m taking anti-inflammatories?


  • There is nobody as inconsolable as a 4 year old boy who has lost his new Ben 10 thongs he got for Christmas
  • 2009 has started and I’ve already clocked my first gym session of the year, Don’t you all feel bad for waiting until Jan 1st to catch up?
  • Also: ouch, my everything hurts.
  • @matociquala It’s okay: Russell Davies will be gone very soon, and then Dr Who can go back to being not shit for a while.


You have a sexual hidden talent

You have a sexual hidden talent. You might not look it but you are a dynamo in bed. Most of your lovers think that it is from years of practice, but really, you were just born with it.

Take this quiz at


You fit in with:

60% scientific.
80% reason-oriented.

Your ideals mostly resemble those of an Atheist. You value objective proof over intuition or subjective thoughts. You enjoy talking about ideas and tend to have a lot of in depth conversations with people.
Take This Quiz at

If I can quote Iago from the animated Aladdin movie (and I think I can): Oh, what an amazing surprise. I think I’m going to have a heart attack from that surprise.


  • 2009 starts tomorrow*. You have been notified (*- for me, anyway. Y’all can start whenever you’re ready, but I need to get back to work)
  • I shall join the list of twitter announcements and let you all know that Gardner Dozois has bought sweet fuck all from me for anything 🙂
  • A whole extra second has been added to 2008! Now I have time to be interested in Adam Sandler movies!
  • So tonight it’s be KFC and BSG. Put ’em all together and what have you got? KFCBSG…..
  • So that’s my last fast food for the foreseeable future eaten. Now I shall drink my last beer. Yes, I have taken my anti-inflammatories….
  • Am I the only one who thinks ‘The Yes Man’ just looks like a not-particulalry-original revamp of ‘Liar Liar’?
  • @seanlindsay It can be done– Shadow of The Vampire is a highly original revamp/re-imagining, but this sure doesn’t look like one
  • They look like us, they act like us, some have been programmed to think they are human… Cylons are Liberal Party volunteers, man!
  • @seanlindsay The problem with fickle minxes is knowing what to feed them…
  • Got me a Twitter Grade of 79/100 from @grader. See: I’m ranked 95,930 out of 788,106


….at precisely 23:59:60 at Greenwich, England, on New Year’s Eve, there will be a one-second void before the onset of midnight and the start of the New Year.

A timeless void, exactly one second long. A space in the continuum: no time; no forward chronological momentum; no measurement of our passage through the universe. Exactly one second of nothingness. An irreversible split between 2008 and 2009. Emptiness, everlasting, with no guarantee that the universe will start again on the other side. The void. The vaccuum. A glimpse into the other side of consciousness.


Exactly one second long.

Now I have somewhere to store my appreciation of Adam Sandler’s film career! 🙂


  • Forest 2- 4 Doncaster, and our manager sacked!! What a fucking disaster.
  • Family is not a matter of blood– family is the village you build around yourself with ties more important than any accident of genes
  • Which is to say: we had a wonderful family occasion today, with the family that we have created between us, no matter where they started
  • Somebody. Please. Kill Noel Fielding. That’s all I ask.
  • Frankie Howerd- Rather You Than Me. David Walliams as Frankie. Heartbreakingly sad docudrama


  • Christmas Day + gout = the innate understanding that I am now a teetotaller.
  • Help me: I’m waist deep in a pile of Disney Princess dolls, Wii games, guitars, omnitrixes, twist ties and wrapping paper, and I can’t move!
  • The Colbert Xmas Special: Willie Nelson singing about the 4th Wise Man giving a gift of dope to the baby Jesus– comic fucking GENIUS
  • Boxing Day: traditionally when Masters rewarded servants. We gave the kids their presents today. Coincidence?
  • Half time, Man U/Stoke nil-all, me listing what I’m unsatisfied with in my life and want to change: 45001 unsatisfied people in my house
  • Short version: too fat, too unfit, too not-novelist, too poor, too shoddy house, too crap gardens. Action plan seems somewhat obvious…
  • On the other hand, you all look great! Especially you.


We don’t do the traditional capitalist Western Christmas thing at the Batthome: Lyn’s religious beliefs are such that she does not partake, so those of us who do, do it in as compromisey a way as possible so that we all get a taste of what we want from the season. This year, Erin and Connor are spending the day at their Nanna’s house (who Christmasses LARGE), while Aiden is at his Dad’s (it’s his turn). Lyn and I will be enjoying each other’s company alone, with a side trip to her brother and sister-in-law’s place to eat, drink, and play with our neice for a couple of hours. Come boxing days, the Triffbattlets return, and we settle in for a day of justusness.

So to all who partake, in whatever form of seasonal celebration you choose, may it be happy and fulfilling and full of frood. And to those who choose not to partake, best wishes to you too: imho the right to choose not to partake is as important as the right to join in, and I hope that the coming week is a good one for you.

And to all of you, thanks for dropping by this year. I’m taking a few days off, so big walloping ones for a killer 2009, everyone.

I have a cheese platter, a four-pack of Guinness, and a beautiful wife. I’m gonna go and enjoy them all now 🙂


2008: International Year of Meh.

1. What did you do in 2008 that you’d never done before? Have a story podcasted. Nanowrimo. Visited Adelaide. Pitched a television series. Joined Twitter. Joined Kingdom of Loathing.

2. Did you keep your new years’ resolutions, and will you make more for next year? No. I don’t do resolutions. Too busy running in place just to appear like I’m managing

3. Did anyone close to you give birth? Jasoni and Kate, a little baby boy.

4. Did anyone close to you die? Nope.

5. What countries did you visit? Adelaide? No, wait, that’s not another country, is it? What is it again? Oh, that’s right: 1973!

6. What would you like to have in 2009 that you lacked in 2008? A novel sale.

7. What dates from 2008 will remain etched upon your memory, and why? Swancon weekend– having it forcefully presented to me how I was perceived by the local SF community enabled me to step back and concentrate on greater goals.

8. What was your biggest achievement of the year? Pushing The Corpse-Rat King past 70 000 words– I think this novel, when it’s finished, will be the one that changes my career in a significant way.

9. What was your biggest failure? Failing to advance on so many fronts: personal, professional, and financial. I’d like to think that 2009 will represent a quantum leap for me.

10. Did you suffer illness or injury? Gout in my right ankle, although this year really was the year of the Connor injury– axe wounds, shovel wounds, underside of bicycle wounds….

11. What was the best thing you bought? Lawn for the backyard, which enabled us to put up a sandpit, and a swing set, and give our kids a proper place to go outside and play. Now the garden looks and feels like a place we want to spend some time around.

12. Whose behaviour merited celebration? Lyn. No matter what fears she may possess, she always faces them head on– witness earlier this month, when my afraid-of-heights wife went abseiling off tall buildings with her work mates. Aiden, as well, for the continuation of his journey towards adulthood. I have never met a 15 year old more ahead of his age in terms of maturity, trust, and comprehension. He makes me immensely proud. Cassie continued her downward spiral for much of the year, only to start December by introducing us to her fiance, with whom she’s in love, and a whole new positive attitude towards her life that provided a cooling tidal wave of relief. My big hope for next year is to see her continue to set her life on the right path. Lastly, it’s worth mentioning the American voters, who were at least willing to take a punt on positive change. Fingers crossed it all works out for them.

13. Whose behaviour made you appalled and depressed? The Perth fan who came out of this year’s Mumfan awards and started to openly pimp herself for the award by listing her ‘achievements’ and loudly declaring how much she’d love to win the award some day, thereby pointing out her complete non-understanding of the award, as well as her level of egocentricity and shallowness. Subsequent behaviour has only confirmed it. The members of the local SF community who waited for the perfect opportunity to give me a kicking, then didn’t hold back when it arose.

14. Where did most of your money go? Ummm……. (turns about, looking for money)…. the garden, I guess.

15. What did you get really, really, really excited about? Nothing much. It was a year of steadiness, rather than massive spikes of emotion.

16. What song will always remind you of 2008? Johnny The Horse, by Madness. Had a big impact on me, as the lyrics and general air of sadness that permeates the song really struck home.

17. Compared to this time last year, are you:i. happier or sadder? ii. thinner or fatter? iii. richer or poorer? More content, and happier with my home life, although sadder about many other aspects of my life– work, Perth SF, et al.

18. What do you wish you’d done more of? Completing novels and pushing my career ahead.

19. What do you wish you’d done less of? Being distracted from my life goals. Focussing on the weights of the present rather than those aspects of the future for which I’m bearing them.

20. How will you be spending Christmas? All the kids will be at grandparents’ and/or other parents’ houses for Christmas Day, leaving Lyn and I to enjoy the day together. Boxing Day we’ll all be back together.

21. Who did you meet for the first time? The extended Fischerios, and sales staff across the Adelaide area.

22. Did you fall in love in 2008? Possibly developed a slight man-crush on the workshop area of the Adelaide air museum. But, you know, I met the love of my life when I met Lyn, so it’s easy to stay in love.

23. What was your favourite TV program? Top Gear. Blackpool. Dexter. Life on Mars.

24. Do you hate anyone now that you didn’t hate this time last year? Some contempt for certain individuals, but not outright hate. You save that for people who are worth it.

25. What was the best book you read? A toss-up between Happy Like Murderers- The True Story of Fred and Rosemary West and Bind, Torture, Kill- The Inside Story of the Serial Killer Next Door. Both stunning, revelatory works on a subject that abhors and fascinates me in equal measure.

26. What was your greatest musical discovery? Madness’ 1996 album Wonderful, which is. The Fratellis, whose first two albums have added swagger and bounce to our playlist.

27. What was your favourite film of this year? It’s been a very Hollywood year in the Batthome. Kung Fu Panda was a hoot, as was Iron Man, which wasn’t particularly great as a movie, but was certainly great as an excuse for my inner 8 year old to go utterly spaz. The Dark Knight was mesmerising, especially Heath Ledger’s performance. Special mention to The Golden Compass, which was such a towering pile of shit that it romped in for worst film of the year in January!

28. What did you do on your birthday, and how old were you? 38, and it was all low key. The kids’ birthdays are the big ticket birthday item round our parts– Lyn doesn’t do birthdays, and I get a lot more excited about the kids’ ones than my own.

29. What one thing would have made your year immeasurably more satisfying? Contentment in every direction. 2009 may provide this: 2008 was one of those years where you endure the bumps because you can see past them to the clear, flat plains ahead.

30. How would you describe your personal fashion concept in 2008? Oh, let’s just accept that I don’t have one and leave it at that.

31. What kept you sane? My family, their belief and love for me, and their delightfully deluded assertion that I know what I’m doing.

32. What political issue stirred you the most? The US election dominated everything, although I was interested to see how much of the supposedly right-on, leftie attention was focussed on Barack Obama’s skin colour. In a truly equitable culture, only his qualifications for the job would matter.

33. Tell us a valuable life lesson you learned in 2008. Don’t mistake a loose collection of people with similar interests for friends.

34. Quote a song lyric that sums up your year. Well, it hit home hard enough that I place it permanently at the top of this blog, so the choice is farly obvious, in the end:

Would you believe he came out well
He had a bright inquiring mind
His family knew that he’d go far
If he applied his time
But he started out standing on corners
And talking out loud, too loud
You see he couldn’t believe in himself or the world
Or anything he heard
Will you remember his name?

—–Madness, Johnny The Horse


  • Well *that* didn’t pan out- back home from work because of pain. Wireless connection and my bed for the rest of the day
  • @matociquala You know, male character default number of testicles is two. Just saying…. 🙂
  • Quantum of Solace: a series of explosions that once met a plot at a party but can’t quite remember its name.
  • Corpse-Rat King has passed 70 000 words and is now encouraging me to get back to writing every day instead of being such a slack-arse
  • Off to have a blood test now. I know I have some, I just need to find out if it can pass a test.
  • How to get a path nurse to like you– offer referral, say “Hi, my doctor gave me this gift certificate…”
  • Blood test over: I got a 72.
  • @thesciphishow Never underestimate the value of a good freak show 🙂
  • Crisps, alcoholic ginger beer, BSG box set, the boys, and my beautiful wife. The evening, she is booked.
  • Just for the record #1- my wife is the Queen of roast dinners
  • Just for the record #2- Galacticapalooza does *not* roll easily off the tongue
  • @jstrahan Capricalooza!


Over at Sci-Phi Journal, they’ve had a change of format, and right now you can download You Pretty Thing, my story from January’s issue, for free. That’s right, peeps: you can listen to an entire story, read by Rick Stringer, and still have all of your free-money-for-free-from-the-bank-of-Rudd left at the end!

While you’re there you can also pick up stories by Geoff Maloney, Michael Spence and Karl Johansen, and all for free, I tells ya, freeeeee!

You should probably just go straight there now.


  • Sick day two. Swollen ankle day two and a bit. Two episodes of Top Gear saved on Foxtel IQ. Morning would appear to be taken care of.
  • New couch arriving this morning, just in time for me to lie on it all day.
  • Have to go to hospital for an ultrasound on my ankle in case I have blood clots. Looks like another day off work at least.
  • Ultrasound shows no blood clots. Which means I probably have gout. At 38…………………………. shit.
  • @thesciphishow Haven’t tried Frisky Dingo, but love the others, as well as The Brak Show and Aqua Teen Hunger Force (though the movie stank)
  • @thesciphishow The all-time best, though, is The Venture Brothers. Go Team Venture!
  • Sitting in a cafe, waiting to go in and watch ‘Four Holidays’, wondering if we’re about to make a horrible mistake
  • ‘Four Holidays’ not a *complete* mistake, but I could have waited until it was on weekly hire and not felt ripped off at paying $1.95 for it
  • One publishing house following another’s tweets? Could that be the world’s crappest industrial espionage? 🙂
  • TV taglines I want to hear: “The 21st century is when everything changes. Except for you. Sorry.”


Check out the sidebar: I’ve added a couple of new widgety things to make visiting here more… widgety.

You can now become a follower of the blog, and/or join a Battersblog Community via Google Friend Connect. Damned if I know what either of these thing actually do, mind you, but that’s not the point, surely? 🙂

I consider myself a facilitator….


A couple of days worth, in lieu of actual content (Tomorrow, my dears, tomorrow)

  • Perception is nine-tenths of the law
  • Meet for lunch to discuss work, end up deciding to redecorate the entire house. It’s another day with Lyn and Lee!
  • @seanlindsay My hero was getting attacked by a dead guy wielding a hoe with intent. It was his only option 🙂
  • One is quite capable of ignoring one’s inner fanboy until one reads the sentence “Stan Lee has accepted your friend request”
  • Greg Proops, but then, don’t we all?
  • Sentences you really want to hear from your wife at age 38– “Maybe your kness hurt so much because you have gout”
  • Sinead O’Connor singing “She Moved Through The Fair”. Oh God, my heart is breaking.
  • And then I read the first line of page 269 of ‘Choke’, and that’s when I began to laugh my arse off.
  • @drewbeatty Actually, we *all* dislike your neighbours. Somebody really should tell them.


Gakked from my darling wife, the first of the end of the year round-ups:

Post the first line of the first blog entry for each month:

January: Check it out! The first issue of new magazine Sci Phi Journal, with stories by the likes of Stephen Dedman, Geoffrey Maloney, and yours truly.

February: It had to happen: the A-Boy turned 15 on Saturday, and for his present, we acceded to his desire to invite a whole bunch of friends to go paint-balling.

March: So we’re back, after a week in Snoozing-By-Sea.

April: According to Westnet, yesterday’s welcome-to-the-run-up-to-winter thunderstorms knocked out our local server, and they’ve no idea when it will be back on line.

May: The Katharine Susannah Prichard Speculative Fiction Awards 2008

June: One of the most outlandishly talented of my Clarion South students, Peter Ball (he of the unicorn porn physics) has a story up at Fantasy Magazine this week.

July: Goddamn, it’s been a year for losing genius’. Now George Carlin is dead, aged 71.

August: This Sunday, 17th August, at 3pm, the Chairperson of KSP, the CEO of the Shire of Mundaring and the Competition Judge – that would be me – will present the awards to the winners of the KSP Speculative Fiction Competition.

September: From their weekend trip to their Nanna’s, my cool kids:

October: Seanie, you’re my best and oldest friend, and you know how it is: some days, you don’t choose the music, it chooses you.

November: Over at the Specusphere, they’ve posted a review of The Beast Within, and we all come out of it rather well, don’t you think?

December: Ugh.

What does it all mean? Write your answers on the back of a brick marked What Does It All mean? and send it to anybody but me….


This year’s list of Aurealis Awards finalists has now been released, and it is with some measure of chuff that In From The Snow has made the shortlist for Best Horror Short Story.

Reaching an awards shortlist is always an achievement: you’re competing with every story published by every Australian across an entire year, and banking that 5 disparate judges whose qualifications can be as little as “I want to do it” or as much as “Dr of SF at SF University of The Future” will agree to not hate your story as much as they hate everybody else’s, and that’s assuming you’re even nominated– In From The Snow was nominated by Harper Collins, who published it, but in the science fiction category. I nominated it within the fantasy and horror fields myself (if you’ve read it you’ll understand why it could be considered any one of the three). There are no guarantees: reaching the ballot means you’ve been given a ticket to the lottery, nothing more. Under those circumstances, to be held up as one of the 5 best stories of the year, in any field, feels like a significant achievement.

It would be nice to win. Hell, it’s great to win. I’ve been fortunate to do so once before, and it’s one hell of a good feeling. It’s a quality field- if you picked up a magazine and saw Trent Jamieson, Deb Biancotti, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian McHugh on the contents page, you’d be a happy camper. But I have one advantage they don’t: I’m quite willing to kill and impersonate them for as long as it takes to get my hands on the gong. After all, I already wear Deb’s underwear….

Check out the full list of nominees for these year’s awards. I’ve a lot of friends there (waves), and there’s a lot of damn fine material. Pick one, buy it, read it. Let me know what you think. I’d be surprised if you were disappointed.