Man, I have been all over the interwebbernets in the wake of The Corpse-Rat King Approacheth Day TM (That’d be TODAAAAAAY).

If you need persuading to part with some readies, allow me to point you to the following reviews:

Not to mention I’ve been interviewed by a bunch of people. 

Not to mention guest blogging. Oh, there has been guest blogging:

And if you still need persuading, what else can I do but offer you a bitching mega-extract courtesy of Pat’s Fantasy Hotlist?

Enjoy it, my fine fellows, for tomorrow we die! Well, not really. But enjoy it anyway.


Now, what about the rest of you?

If you’re the kind of old-fashioned fuddster who’d prefer to hold a real, live, dead-Brazilian-rainforest copy of the book, well, you probably think the Earth is one of God’s old silicon implants gone rogue and that women look pretty damn hot in a bustle and scold’s bridle.

Or you just like books. It’s all cool.

So: what do you have to do to get your greedy little hands on a paper copy of the greatest book ever written by a fat bearded bloke called Lee who lives in Mandurah?

Take a photo.

Okay, take a photo and send it to The Corpse-Rat King email address

Okay, take a photo on one of three themes. Have a guess what they are (Hint: there are three words in the title of the book). Then send your photo as an attachment to the Corpse-Rat King email address.

Make sure you do the following:

  • ·         Use either the word ‘Corpse’, ‘Rat’ or ‘King’ in the subject line, depending on which category you’re entering.
  • ·         In the body of the email, give me your name and postal address
  • ·         If you’re under 13, this may not be the book for you, in which case snap up a YA book from sister imprint Strange Chemistry to help ease the pain of missing out. Possibly one with unicorns. Or robots that change shape. Or unicorns that get caught in the gears of a robot as it changes shape…
  • ·         Only send me one photo per email, and don’t send me more than one for each category.
  • ·         Don’t get all smartarsey with photoshop or paintbox or fuckupyoursnaps.com or anything like that. People who use those things are never half as clever as they think they are. Just take a photo, and be clever and amusing and funny and all that without getting all digital and downloady about it.
  • ·         Make sure  the photo is a jpg and keep it under 1M in size. Better still, compress it down to document size, so that Idon’t have to when I post them.
  • ·         Keep in mind that judging is extremely subjective, and I’ll pick the ones I like, rather than the ones that might represent the best use of the technology blah blah blah. So be original. Funny is good. Sensewunda is good. “Fuck me, get a load of that!” is very good.
  • ·         Decisions are final, and any attempt to lobby or influence me may result in demands for cash, money, cup final tickets or Lego, depending on what I feel like on the day, and how close you live to a Lego theme park, and whether Forest ever make another Cup Final. Let’s be honest, we couldn’t make the finals of the Johnstone’s Paint trophy right now. Let’s be honest, we’d probably struggle with the FA Trophy. But I digress. And depress myself.
  • ·         Send your entry in before midnight, Saturday 18 August, Western Australian time (GMT + 8).

One Sunday 19 August I’ll post my 3 favourite photos from each category here and on my Facebook author page. Voting will remain open until Sunday 26 August. 

The entry in each category with the most votes will win a signed non-renewable-resource copy of The Corpse-Rat King. Copyright remains always with you, and all entries will be shitcanned deleted after the close of the competition, so rest assured I shan’t use them for any nefarious promotional, exploitative, unauthorised or onanistic purposes.

Except maybe for one or two of the Rat ones.

Any questions?

Sigh. Yes. The categories are: Corpse. Rat. King. Got it?

Good. On you go, then.


So, what we really need to do is give away some free copies of The Corpse-Rat King, don’t you think?

Here’s what we’re going to do:


If you’d like to win a copy of the e-book version, log on to my Facebook author page and ‘like’ it. 

Every couple of days from here until September 1 I’ll put out a shout. Be the first person to shout out a page number between 7 and 395 and I’ll post an excerpt from that very page of the novel. 

Two randomly selected posters will win electronic copies of the book come September 1st, so don’t despair if you’re not the first to post– put something up anyway and you’ll go in the draw to win the e-books.
In fact, we’re already doing just that, so, in the interests of catching you all up, have the first couple of excerpts, courtesy of people who already had the sense to follow my page.

The still.
It was the only object in the room. Marius reached out a hand and pushed against it, wincing as the hot wood seared his palm. The heavy cask refused to move. Marius closed his eyes. That much liquid, in a barrel that solid, must weigh almost two hundred pounds. It was his only recourse. There was no time to think about it. Marius frowned, recalling the ease with which the dead warrior had lifted him from the ground. He must weigh nearly as much as the barrel, yet the soldier had hefted him without an ounce of effort. The dead had their own strengths, the soldier had said. And he was dead, was he not? At least, his body was. It bore all the hallmarks of being so. Perhaps it had the same strengths.
Page 54, thanks to Matthew Tait

They lay on opposite sides of the fire, listening to the rain thunder against the rock shelf outside. Marius stared out the dimly-lit entrance, willing on a sleep he felt neither necessary nor welcome. Anything to avoid another conversation. Then Gerd spoke once more, and the hope was shattered.

“You know, this reminds me of home.”


“This. It reminds me of being at home.”

Marius contemplated the hard rock beneath his hip, the wind and spray chilling him from outside.

“How? You grew up in a village.”
Page 69, courtesy of Daniel Simpson

The old man cleaved the stickleprick bush without stopping, stick arms waving like a pair of spindly black machetes, cutting a path through the bushes at a pace that would have impressed a charging elephant. Marius watched him disappear into the gloom of the forest. Within moments the man was out of sight, but the sound of breaking vegetation continued for several minutes. Marius listened to the crashes of destruction fade into the distance, then turned back to the mule. They stared at each other. Marius’ gaze slipped down to the sand at his feet. No footprints spoiled the ground between the cart and the forest.

“Well,” he said. “What do you make of that?”

There’s another shout-out happening almost immediately, so don’t you think you’d better be getting to it?


Oh, it is official.

The cover art for The Corpse-Rat King has been unveiled on the Angry Robot website and oh, it is so lovely.

Am I chuffed? Am I fucking what! So much more beautiful than I had hoped for, it’s the work of Nick Castle, who has provided covers for the likes of Nora Roberts, Ellis Peters and Donald Westlake, so I am in some very nice company indeed. I may be slightly biased, but I think this is a thing of beauty.

Go on, be honest. You really want to buy it now, don’t you? Well, come September, and we’ll all be rubbing this cover against our cheeks and making soft little mewling sounds.

Okay, well, I will. The rest of you should maybe just read it…


Over at the Angry Robot website, I’ve joined in their 12 Days of Christmas series of guest posts with a missive discussing my somewhat… convoluted… relationship with that time of year when we teach children that it’s okay for a drunk, fat stranger to force cattle to pull heavy loads across millions of miles without rest, feed or palliative care whilst he commits several million B&Es to leave gifts for small children without anyone ever once mentioning the concept of grooming….

You’ve been with me long enough to know what I’m like. Won’t it be fun exposing the Angry Robot readers to my way of thinking? >:)

The whole post is here. Go, read, comment, scare the shit out of the Angry Robot overlords when they realise how many of us there are……



That’s how many novels were submitted to the Angry Robot Open Submission Month, back in March. And after 9 months, 3 novelists have emerged as new Angry Robot authors.

3 out of 980.

And I’m one of them.

As of late last night, Perth time, all the agent-robot negotiations have ceased, contracts have been signed and returned, blood has been spilled, sperm has been frozen in jars, children have been sent to labour camps, bios have been written, announcements have been posted, and I can now officially announce that The Corpse-Rat King and a sequel, titled Rising Dead (until I can convince the Angry Robot overlords I have a better title) have been bought, with the first to appear late in 2012 and the second in 2013.

You may consider me more than a little rapt 🙂