A BIG SHOUT OUT FOR MY HOMEY

 

A massive raise of the glass to one of the loveliest people in the Australian literary industry, Kate Eltham, who will be leaving her role as CEO of the Queensland Writers Centre in October to take over the reins as Director of the Brisbane Writers Festival.
 
The QWC is a fantastic organisation: in my honest opinion, the best writers organisation I’ve worked with, and they’ll survive Kate’s departure with aplomb. But Kate is a very good friend, and this is just the sort of challenge that she can take on and make her own. Kate’s got an unbelievable set of skills, knowledge and charisma, and the BWF is going to be that much more rewarding an experience for bringing her on board. It’s a real coup for them.
 

IN BETTER NEWS

Some major word to my homey Mark Farrugia, who suffered under my tutelage back in the day as part of the AHWA’s mentorship scheme. One of the stories we worked on, Allure of the Ancients, has found a home in Midnight Echo #5 in comic book format.

I’m still to receive my AHWA member copy of ME#5, so now I have a reason to really look forward to it.

WORD

To my buddy Grant Stone, whose story Wood has been published in New Zealand’s premier SF market Semaphore. I worked on this story with Grant when he placed himself under my dubious care through the Australian Horror Writers Association mentorship scheme, and I’m pleased as punch to see it hit print, and also to note that it’s as creepy and icky-making as it was when he first sent it to me.

Go, read, enjoy, send him your creepy stalker love….

YOIKS, AND AWAY!

Lastly, a fond farewell to Perth writer, cartoonist, actor, and all-round fine fellow Grant Watson, who has taken his ball, his wife and cats, and his massive talent, and skedaddled to Melbourne on the flimsy pretext that he’s got a job there and quite fancies the notion of a regular pay cheque and the chance to eat every now and again.

The are few people in the Australian SF community I respect as highly as Grant, so it’s somewhat paradoxical that I welcome his moving several thousand kilometres away– after all, I don’t see a time or place where we’ll ever meet in the flesh again because of it– but I think Melbourne is going to be a boon for him: he’s a big talent, and I firmly believe he’d just about exhausted his opportunities in the small sphere of influence that Perth afforded him. Ensconced within a bigger community, with exponentially greater opportunities to further his craft, I think he’s going to bloom like a triffid in a school for the blind. And I think Australian SF fans, not to mention cartooning and theatre fans, will be the beneficiaries.

The very best of luck, Grant.

ON THE SUBJECT OF COFFEE WITH FRIENDS

A big hulloo to Michelle & Adrian Bedford, with whom we shared a happy and enjoyable couple of hours yesterday talking about everything from novels to paleontology geekery to airliner geekery to finding the benefits of driving through Kwinana at 10pm on a Friday night, all in the warm and friendly confines of that coffee house of note– Toddler Town playgym in Morley.

It’s been too long since we sat and chatted with two of our favourite people in such a relaxed and enjoyable manner.

WHO’S A CLEVER BOY THEN?

Oh, you meet some weirdos in our line of work, you really do.

One of the nicest, and frankly, most attractive, is the Manchild known as John Robertson: fanboy, bon vivant, wearer of natty purple jackets, and as of quite recently, winner of the national Green Faces Comedy Competition, the final of which was held in Canberra. Swanconners already know John’s non-stop and wildly inventive comedy style, so it comes as no surprise that he’s beginning to garner wider attention. Those who haven’t seen him in action (and those who have) should catch him at Lazy Susan’s Comedy Den tomorrow night and Friday.

Let me lick your shoulderblades……

THIS MAN IS A HIGHLY REGARDED AUTHOR

I’ve always like Pat Rothfuss. Way back in 2002, when I attended the Writer’s Of The Future workshops in LA, Pat came to my rescue in a big way. Let me ‘splain–

Partway through the week, we wrote a story, and several of them were picked out to be critted by the group. One was a crime story, set south of the US/Mexico border, and, well, it didn’t paint Mexicans in the best of all possible lights. In fact, I thought the damn thing was racist, and showed a very American contempt towards a less affluent and tertiary production-based culture. And I said so. Now, the workshop had 17 participants. I’m from Australia. Tom Brennan was Liverpudlian. And Seppo Kurki was a Finnish guy living in Japan. Guess where everyone else came from?

I was rounded on in no uncertain terms. All the arguments came out (including that old classic, the “You don’t understand, they’re just like that” line of reasoning). Things got heated, and I took some comments I wouldn’t take in a place I can walk home from. When we broke for lunch, everyone zigged, and I zagged. The last thing I wanted was to be around the group that had delivered such a verbal mauling (One of my over-riding memories of the week was just how personal that argument became, and how quickly) Had one of the co-ordinaters offered us a spare plane ticket at that point, I would have been gone.

Pat caught me up about a street and a half away. He steered me to a little Mexican cafe where we ate some truly awful burritos, drank several gallons of Coke, and he sat and listened to me be upset, cheered me up, made me laugh, and just generally acted like the adorable and lovely-natured pal that all who meet him immediately know him to be. I went back after lunch, and though the week wasn’t as it had been before, I got through it and came home at the right time.

Since then, Pat’s gone on to bigger things. He’s an award winner, author of the oodles-selling Kingkiller Chronicles, listed in various Year’s Best Reads-type lists, is widely announced as ‘One To Watch’ and generally considered a warm and sensitive lover by all.

You might have guessed by now: I have huge respect for the guy.

Until I saw this photo 🙂

You know that joke about “But you fuck one goat”? Dude, you’re a furry! :)))))