Nothing to see here today, folks. The Luscious One has been in bed due to extreme sickeryness; writing continues to be sporadic and slow; and once I shuffle the houseful of not-quite-as-quiet-as-they-think-they’re-being kis out of the house I’ll be able to go out and deal with the front garden while TLO has a much-needed nap.

So in the absence of actual content, I give you the gift of music:


Driving home from the Worlds Next Door launch, Lyn spots Venus out the car window and points it out to the kids, which prompts us to have a conversation about the planet, and why it’s so bright, and all of that sort of kiddie-inspiring sensawunda stuff. Shortly afterwards….

CONNOR: (gasps) Venus is following us!
ME: Oh no! Maybe it’s stalking us!
LYN: Maybe it’s because women are from Venus, and it can see there’s two girls in the car so it’s attracted to us and wants to be with us!
ERIN: Yeah, or maybe it’s just that Venus goes around the sun the same way Earth does so it looks like it’s moving at the same speed Earth is.

Well. Yes. Maybe it’s that.

Fuck you, childhood world of magic.


to Tehani Wessely and Fablecroft Publishing for a fantastically successful launch for their Worlds Next Door anthology on Thursday night.

Lyn rose from her sick bed to come with me, and the littlies dressed up– it was brilliant to see, at the launch of an anthology for children, just how welcome children were to the launch. Trust me, it’s not always the case– with cake, balloons, colouring in at a table, and story readinsg for the kids it was a well thought-out and festive occasion, which was rewarded with high attendance and good sales. It bodes well for a fledgling company that’s headed by an intelligent, savvy, and forward thinking operator– again, not always the case, particularly in small press SF– with good product.

We had a damn good time, and it was nice to be able to catch up with people like Simon Haynes and Alisa Krasnostein, who we’ve not seen in far too long.


… the conversation you have with the peoiple who hand out “How to Vote” pamphlets, which is the same every time, and invariably goes like this:

ME: No thanks, guys, I’ve already decided.

SOME DODDERING OLD OCTEGENARIAN WITH A LIBERAL PARTY OR FAMILY FIRST T-SHIRT ON: Some variation of a didmissive snort or croaky plea to reconsider and put things in the “right” order if I want to save Australia for White Jesus and get rid of all the niggers, brownhatters and young people.

ME: Seriously, do you really think I waited until 10 seconds before I line up to start thinking about this?

SDOOWALPOFFTO: Assorted sputtering while the Greens hander-outerer sniggers.

There’s probably a really good reason why they have a sausage sizzle near the front door and not a gun stall…


I’ve been at home for two days, looking after the kids whilst Lyn and Aiden are abed with horror cases of bronchitis– the warning on the pack of antibiotics says “Not suitable for gorillas of a delicate disposition”, I swear……

I did, however, manage to get the iPod cranked up while dropping off a Tupperware order for my darling wife this evening, and stumbled across a couple of songs I haven’t heard in ages, both of which reminded me of what a little rocker I am, deep down in that weaselly black ravine I call a soul.

Firstly, a band that I was never a huge fan of while growing up– where I lived, there were two types of males: those who liked AC/DC and those who could read. So I needed a little bit of time in civilised company, where the ability to use two different forms of cutlery in the same meal didn’t mark you out as some sort of mutant, before I could appreciate just how hard these boys could rock. Once I did, however, I added several choice cuts to the playlist, from which they have rarely moved.

Despite that, I rarely appreciate the appeal of Bon Scott– smelly, drunken little bogan stoat that was way too much like those who made my after-school hours a misery as he was. I’m a Brian Johnson man, I have to say: Geordies being a much more appealing variety of lout to my untrained eye.

This song, however, has to just about rank as their most rockingy rocking moment of rock, and Scott’s performance is pure cheek. Do as I did: crank it really fucking loud, and try not to crash whatever you’re driving at the time….

My second offering comes straight from the Get Out of Gaol Free Card of my soul: Lyn and I have always had a joke “Get Out Of Gaol Free” celebrity– that one famous person who, should they turn up unexpectedly one night during a rainstorm, we’d be able to say “Yes” to without consequences.

Or in my case, say “Geronimo!” to….

As most everyone who knows her knows, Lyn’s is geeky bignose brilliant-comic-writer-turned-pretty-damn-average-novelist Neil Gaiman.

Mine, since the age of nine, I tells you, is the single hottest leather-clad babe to pull on a guitar and get sweaty. And to all those who cry “denial” about her sexuality, I simply put my fingers in my ears and cry lalalalalalalalalalalalalalala to you all…..

Maybe it’s the era I grew up in, or the kind of girls I dated, but to me, despite all the effing and blinding that goes on around me, and despite all the, shall we say, medical ways of describing the sexual act, there’s always been something really dirty about the title of this song: it’s as if everything that needs to be described is common knowledge, and all that’s necessary is the agreement. Maybe it’s that sense of anticipation: the moment of pause, the deep breath before you dive into the hot and sweaty stuff. Maybe it’s just that the 70s were slightly more innocent than today, and my inner child still lives in that twilight time before anybody asked me to touch anything.

Whatever, in a world of hip-hop, sexually explicit lyrics, and open sexuality, I still think this is the dirtiest song ever written.


(PS: Do you think Lyn would complain if I took a screen capture at 58 seconds in and used it as my wallpaper?)


A quiet couple of weeks in the Batthome, as the madness of recent months settles down and we all return to some sort of routine. I’ve managed to squeak in the tiniest bit of writing, which has whet my appetites once more, there’s been some writing-related stuff abounding, so I’m still somewhere in the remotest touch with my inner writer-guy, even if I’ve fallen well out of touch with the writing world—as noted during the week by Martin Livings, when I admitted I knew nary a whit of the wedding he’s been talking about for over a year on his blog. (What can I say? Out of touch I am.)

Still, stuff does abound: I received my contributor copy of Australis Imaginarium, which contains my Australian Shadows Award-winning story The Claws of Native Ghosts. A pretty book it is, to— editor/publisher Tehani Wessely has put together a fine collection of tales spanning the last 20 years of Australian SF publishing, all themed towards a modern myth-making that makes the book a uniquely Australian reading experience, from Lucy Sussex’s 1990 tale Red Ochre right through to Ian McHugh’s Once a Month On a Sunday, from last year’s ASIM 40. Quite often, the small press has to stand out from mass market publishing by virtue of the quality of its product, and the artwork, paper weight, and font styles are all of the highest quality. This is a lovely book, in a bunch of ways, and if you’re interested in my work, it’s a lot easier to find Claws in this volume than in its original publication, so I thoroughly recommend picking it up.

I’ve also received news of another reprint sale: one of my older pieces, The Divergence Tree, which appeared way back in the Orb 3 / 4 double issue in 2002, has been picked up for the intriguingly-named Devil Dolls & Duplicates anthology, coming out soon from Equilibrium Press. Not much news about this one as yet, other than that tantalising title, but I shall pass on news as I receive it—if the stories live up to the title this could be a thoroughly enjoyable little volume to pick up.

The Luscious One and I also headed out on Saturday morning to attend the inaugural meeting of The Rockingham Full-Time/Part-Time Writers Group, which I mentioned in my last post. It’s been a while since I’ve bothered being part of a writing group, but the continued interaction and goal-setting will, hopefully, be good for my decidedly slack efforts of late, so once we’ve found ourselves a dedicated meeting space (a bunch of tables near the coffee grinder at Dome being, perhaps, not ideal), it’ll be good to have those regular little interventions now that I am decidedly in absentia as far as the local SF scene is concerned. Please, Writing Gods, let me have product soon….

Lastly, just for kicks, I’ve collected a few free samples of my wordage that have found their way onto the internet over the last few years—check out the *Free Lee* feature on the sidebar for a smattering of interviews, stories, and poems that are out there for your amusement and otherwise.

Hey, while I’m at it, have some youtubery for fun:


So I’m drawing with the kids after dinner tonight, and, you know, we’d watched Walking With Dinosaurs with dinner, and, you know, Erin was drawing a tyrannosaurus, and Connor was drawing a stegosaurus, and, you know, I wasn’t reeeaaalll sure what I was going to draw…..

Wot choo lookin’at, you ugly Paki triceratops poof?

Skinosaurus. Because I am the drawing equivalent of the bloke who comes out of the shower after yowling the house down and announces “Never been formally trained…” to his bleeding-eared family….