There’s a meme going round Facebook at the moment– I write a bunch of things about myself, you comment, I give you a number, you right that many facts about yourself, people comment you give them a number. In the interest of flooding the available worldly attention span with uninteresting snippets of forgotten whatevers about myself like everybody else, I hereby present 10 things you might not know about me that you’ve been able to live happily without knowing up until now but that will change the way you view the world and contribute to world peace and feeding the starving to the poor…..

1. I was the Dux of my Primary School.

Unlike normal schools, who wait until all the marks are in and then just give the gong to the kid who topped the lists, Coolongup Primary school decided they wanted to up the ante way back in 1982 and do things differently. They corralled the top ten students and forced us to perform for their entertainment, sitting tests, interacting with the teachers at a morning tea, and most importantly, writing and delivering a spoken presentation on a subject of our choice with the use of palm cards. Thanks to previously undiscovered talents for speaking off the top of my head and remembering notes without needing to refer to my painstakingly prepared bits o’ card in my sweaty palm, I came out on top. Which must have pissed off the 9 kids who had better marks than me, but there it is. Who’s laughing now, I say!

2. If my parents were greedy, I’d sound much more exotic.

According to my late mother, when she was pregnant an acquaintance of the family offered her and my father a fairly stonking sum of money (memory says 1000 pounds, in 1970 working class Midlands money) to name me Carlos.

She’s dead now, so I can’t confirm the finer details, but for the sake of a grand, I could have work silk shirts and seduced women by crooning in a warbly Julio Iglesias kind of way.

3. I’m a genetic freak with the extremities of a swamp monster.

Both my feet have webbed toes, and I’m the only person I’ve ever met with a webbed earlobe.

One of ussss… one of usss… one of usss…..

4. I see your jump, and triple it.

When I was a much smaller person than I am now, I represented the town of Narrogin at the state Little Athletics championships of 1979, finishing 6th in both the 200 metres and triple jump. I received two certificates and a shiny vinyl competitors patch for my efforts. Not to mention a trip to Perth to compete at the Perry Lakes stadium, and a brand new tracksuit. Now I don’t even get out of bed for less than $10 000…..

5. Instead of being fat, middle aged, and hating an administrative job, I could be fat, middle aged, and hating a job where I kill little foreign people.

When I was 17 I applied for, and was accepted into, the Australian Defence Force Academy. two days from stepping on to the plane to fly to Canberra I had a major crisis of confidence and scrapped the whole thing, choosing instead to go to Curtin University and study creative writing. I still have a letter my mother wrote me from her death bed, wherein she lies through her teeth and tells em I was never a disappointment to her. Waaaaaaaaaaay not what she said at the time. So when I make that joke about running away from my highly-paid job to become a poet, I speak from experience.

6. I once persuaded WWE wrestlers to prank-call my brother at 4am.

In 2002 I flew to LA to attend the Writers of the Future workshops, with a brief early morning stop at Melbourne airport. By coincidence, I was flying out on the same plane as a troupe of WWE wrestlers who had put on a show the night before. Apart from the rather hilarious experience of being pulled over for a hand-luggage check next to Kurt Angle, I found myself walking through the departure lounge amidst these walking mountains, at which point I was overcome with a giggling fit. the two nearest guys– Rakichi and Ken Shamrock– heard me: they looked tired, and grumpy, and must have thought I was laughing at them because they turned around and growled “What’s your problem?” at me. I pointed at a bunch of nearby fans: “Do you reckon they’re going ‘There’s Rakichi! And Shamrock!…. Who’s the fat guy?'”

At which point they glanced over, broke up laughing, and we were temporary besties for the rest of the walk to the plane.

I’m no wrestling fan, but my brother, who was tucked up in bed back in Perth, was. Huge-time. I’m hanging with two guys he would give his left nut to hang with. There’s a pay phone coming up. What else was I going to do?

Turns out, he didn’t react well to two loud American voices shouting at him to wake the fuck up at 4 in the morning. I did explain who they were. Eventually. When I got back from the States. Don’t know why he wasn’t happy then, either…. 🙂

7. I collect comedy LPs in the original vinyl.

Some things just sound better with that surface hiss: blues, rockabilly, and radio comedy, for example. I haven’t had an LP player in years– Lyn bought me one that was supposed to connect to your computer but we could never get it to work and in the end, I gave it to my bonus son Blake who has a similar passion for vinyl records. But I still have a pretty extensive collection of Goon Shows, Frost Report, Lenny Bruce, Round the Horne, Beachcomber, George Carlin and the like.

8. I’m Lance Private Eccles, but most people call me by my nickname….

Some years back, I co-wrote a Goon Show fan production with the brilliantly funny author and fellow Goon fan Dave Luckett, which we performed with fellow fans at the Swancon SF convention. Called The Goon, Goon Hills of Earth, it was recorded, and contains a brilliant Luckett performance as Ned Seagoon. If I work out how to upload sound-only files onto Blogger, I’ll share it.

Your nickname? What is it?
(The Dreaded Batter Pudding Hurler of Bexhill-on Sea)

9. I’ve seen Curly Sue 42 times and still don’t want to kill myself.

It’s true. Curly Sue is a Jim Belushi movie. That’s all you need to know about its general level of quality. I spent a year working as an usher at the first cinema to open in Rockingham, the town where I grew up, and part of my job was to stand at the back of each session to make sure the attendees weren’t slashing the seats, setting fire to each other, or shagging the armrests. I saw Point Break before it was released, but I also saw Star Trek V nineteen times. And Curly Sue 42 times. That’s not even 42 separate Jim Belushi movies, which is the fifth sign of the apocalypse. That’s the same unfunny, cringingly awful, painful Jim Belushi experience, again and again and again. And people wonder why I hate humanity and all you stand for.

10. I can’t stomach the taste of jelly beans.

And it’s a self-inflicted injury: I ate a kilogram of jelly beans in one sitting while watching a late night Creature Feature, back when i was a teenager, and it made me so sick I couldn’t even smell a jelly bean for the next 25 years without it making me ill. I’m happy for others to eat them, now, but still can’t bring myself to actually place one in my mouth. Even the thought of feeling that slithery sugar crunch between my teeth brings me out in shivers.


A silly little meme currently rolling around Facebook. Thanks to Kat Campbell for putting it in front of my bored eyes:

‎1 – Go to wikipedia and hit random. The first random wikipedia article you get is the name of your band.
2 – Go to quotationspage.com and hit random. The last four or five words of the very last quote of the page is the title of your first album.
3 – Go to flickr and click on “explore the last seven days” first picture, no matter what it is, will be your album cover.
4 – Use photoshop or similar (picnik.com is a free online photo editor) to put it all together.
5 – Post it with this text in the “caption”.

My effort– “What You Get If You Don’t” by Ma-Ubin. (Photo: MG9912 by Suki)


There’s a meme wandering around Facebook, and seeing I did it there, I may as well do it here too coz, frankly, I really never get tired of revealing stuff about myself. So:

Rules: Once you’ve been tagged, you are supposed to write a note with 25 random things, facts, habits, or goals about you. At the end, choose 25 people to be tagged. You have to tag the person who tagged you. If I tagged you, it’s because I want to know more about you. (Of course, I’m not going to tag anybody, but you should. You definitely should)

1. I can raise both eyebrows independently

2. I can form my bottom lip into the shape of two upward-pointing tusks, Gamorrhean Guard style, by biting down on the middle portion and pushing the rest up.

3. I spent three years in the early 90s working as a stand-up comedian. Badly.

4. I once smacked Billy Bob Thornton in the face with a cafe door.

5. I was once taken into police custody whilst wearing an eight-foot high pink rabbit suit and carrying a three foot long double-ended dildo along a public thoroughfare.

6. The second and third toes on both my feet are webbed.

7. I have an extra earlobe.

8. I once at 2 kilograms of jelly beans in one sitting. Since that day, I can’t bear the smell or taste of them.

9. I really only became serious about writing after deciding I would never be good enough to make a living as a cartoonist. I still wish I was better.

10. I completed one semester of a graphic design diploma, during which time I met my first wife, and decided I’d rather spend the time with her.

11. I love fish but hate seafood.

12. I am estranged from my only sibling because of the way he treats his children and ex-wife.

13. I have climbed the Sydney Harbour Bridge.

14. I met my beautiful wife Lyn at a science fiction convention. I married her at one, too.

15. I am, and have been since I was a child, a full-blooded atheist. I genuinely cannot understand how anyone can believe in something as silly and superstitious as a giant, remote deity that brings everything into existence and then sets down rules by which any individual has to run their lives. I am also married to one of Jehovah’s Witnesses. So there’s *one* interesting conversation we can have 🙂

16. I receive regular chiropractic adjustment to treat a 17 degree kink in my spine between my shoulder blades, which I suffered in a car crash in 2001. After my first adjustment I regained 1 1/2 centimetres in height.

17. I have arm-wrestled Sean Astin, and lost 3-0.

18. I am a keen follower of Nottingham Forest football club and am listed as a ‘notable supporter’: http://www.nationmaster.com/encyclopedia/Nottingham-Forest-FC#Notable_supporters

19. My ambition is to make a living from my writing, in order that I can spend more time with my wife and kids, and work on developing myself as a visual artist– I want to achieve success in multiple artistic disciplines, a la David Bowie or Spike Milligan. I’m desperate to do this before I turn 45. That gives me seven years.

20. I have visited 5 of Australia’s states (including the one in which I live), and have driven other people’s cars in 4 of them.

21. I am a big fan of Boris Karloff, and have passed this down to my oldest son. I even made him a Karloff tee-shirt to wear to a con once. What’s more, he wore it! I have also managed to inflict both my teenage boys with my deep love of pre-WWII horror movies.

22. As a child, I had several teeth removed because my mouth was too small. That is the only time I have had that accusation levelled at me.

23. I have shot one kangaroo; caught two fish; hugged one tiger; kissed one boa constrictor; eaten two grasshoppers; and ridden three elephants, four camels, two horses, and a donkey. Which was pregnant.

24. My favourite flavoured milk is Brownes Egg Nog Chill. My favourite ice cream is Memphis Meltdown Gooey Raspberry. I am having one of each this afternoon in an attempt to flavour my way through the ridiculous heat of the day.

25. I can confidently lay claim to being the 2nd most northerly-living speculative fiction writer in the Perth metropolitan area, and I’m only 2nd because my beautiful wife writes speculative fiction and sleeps on the north side of the bed.


1. How do you get past the annoying Issues when writing?
My only annoying Issue is my own dedication, or lack of it. I still have massive lapses, so I’d say that’s one that’s not yet dealt with at all 🙂

2.Would you have liked to attend Clarion as a student?
Not Clarion South- most of the tutors who have taught there I consider peers, rather than mentors. One of the US Clarions, or Odyssey, maybe, but I’m never going to have the money so it’s all a bit moot.

3.What is your superpower?
The power of failure.

4.What is your biggest issue with your own writing?
How long is a piece of string? I hate every single aspect of my writing. I’m not good enough, successful enough, famous enough, talented enough, skilled enough, whatever enough. I keep plugging away in the hope that one day, maybe, I’ll craft something worthy of being remembered. But frankly, most days I think I’m slipping farther from that goal the harder I try.

5. Who’s writing *always* provides you with pleasure, and you’d be happy to read their shopping list?
Nobody. Even writers I’m big fans off, like Jonathon Lethem and Chuck Palahniuk, have had at least one stinker, which means I approach each book with a slight veing of caution. Of course, I’m still approaching their books, so perhaps that’s a sign that I retain faith in their ability to satisfy me.


1. What is, ultimately, your dream writing gig?
Full time, on my own cognizance, choosing whichever project interests me as I go. My writing fantasies revolve not so much around any particular ‘dream project’, although there are certain media tie-ins that would be fun, but around the fantasy of independence, answering to nobody but myself. Yup, I’m destined to die disappointed 🙂

2. Why did you choose to get married at a Swancon?
All but a few people we would have invited were going to be there anyway, we’d already paid for the venue by booking a membership and room, and the idea of combining something traditional and non-traditional suited our attitudes at the time.

3. Zombies have been big lately, but I personally think they’ve peaked again and the impetus has died off. What’s the next big trend in horror?
Penguins. You heard it here first.

4. Who plays you in the film of your life?
Hmm. I’d like some great heroic actor of the age– a Burt Lancaster or Laurence Olivier. I’d be more likely to get Dom Deluise or Cheetah.

5. Tell me – as briefly as you like – a treasured childhood memory.
I don’t really have any treasured childhood memories: mostly, even the good times were tempered by bullying, or isolation, or upheaval. Perhaps– evenings during school holidays in my late teens, wandering along the seafront by my home, alone or with one or two friends, eating a hotdog, standing outside both the darkness of the beach and the lighted strip of shops, feeling like the world existed without me and all I had to do was observe as I wished. How’s that?


Okay, I bit, over at Grant’s and Callisto’s LJs, so by the rules of the game I have to pass it on. So:

1. Leave me a comment saying, “Interview me!”
2. I will respond by asking you five questions. I get to pick the questions.
3. You will post the answers to the questions (and the questions themselves) on your blog or journal.
4. You will include this explanation and an offer to interview someone else in the same post.
5. When others comment asking to be interviewed, you will ask them five questions. And thus the endless cycle of the meme goes on and on and on and on…

Gwan then.


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 QuizGalaxy.com


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 QuizGalaxy.com

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.