Damn, but whilst I’ve been off lounging about the beach crapping about with artists, but people have only gone and bought stories and the like from her Lusciousness and myself.

Where, I hallucinate you asking? Funny you should bring it up….

This friendly little fellow is the cover to Midnight Echo 7, unfortunately harmless. He’s the official magazine of the Australian Horror Writer’s Association, and undoubtedly the nastiest little read you’ll read this year, at least until issue 8 comes out. It contains my short story Ghosts of You, which is quite unpleasant, and I say that with all the love in my heart. 

Purchase ye here.

Next to him… the nasty Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2011. His tiny fangs cause creeping ulcerations of the skin, and his pages contain Europe After the Rain, a story originally published in Fablecroft Publishing’s After The Rain anthology and which I thought had disappeared with a dull whoomph of disinterest, so I’m pleased to see it up and about and being appreciated. 

YBAFH11 can be found at Ticonderoga Publications.

And coming soon… my prize, ASIM 56. Isn’t she lovely? And so deadly. Her pages contain twice as many Battersbys as that of other magazines. You see, her contents include The Blind Pig, that is to say a modern fable of the depression by my beautiful wife Luscious as well as my own Comfort Ghost, and eventually… oh sod it, i can’t keep that up.

Everyone knows ASIM is a ripper of a magazine. Their website is here, and I’ll let you know when the issue is due to come out. The Blind Pig is the best short Lyn has ever written, and if you know Lyn’s writing, you’ll know what that means: you want a copy of this magazine, and you want it ASAP.

And if that isn’t enough to make you wonder at just how many people you can fool all of the time, be sure to check out Bete Noire in July, where my poem Three Messages will appear. 


That’s right, after all the chatter and begging you to be patient, the vulture has landed!

12 stories, 3 poems, artwork by 8 talented artists, an interview with Charlaine Harris (author of the Sookie Stackhouse novels), and featuring the creepiest cover known to mankind courtesy of the outstandingly talented Perth artist Justin Randall.

Costing only $3.50 for a shiny pdf and only $10 if you want us to murder some flora on your behalf. It is, in my humble and entirely non-biased opinion, the single greatest collection of dark fiction in the history of mankind.

Look at those names: Jenny Blackford, Geoff Maloney, LL Hannett, Jason Crowe, Clarion South alumni and rising stars Dan Braum & Christopher Green…. Don’t you just feel your nipples hardening? Don’t you just want to reach for your mother’s credit card and sneak off to the AHWA shop while she lies comatose in front of Wife Swap clutching a half-empty bottle of cooking sherry?

You’ve really got no excuse have you?

There’s an interview with Horrorscope here if you’d like to know more about the hand inside the puppet behind the mind behind the issue, and I’ll even give you a taste of my editorial if it’ll help persuade you. Here, look:

As I reach the halfway point of my life I have seen monks immolate themselves to protest foreign wars; passenger aircraft driven into buildings; subway air-conditioning used as a tool of religious terrorism. My mother lived through the euphemistically named “Irish Troubles”: even after a decade of living in Australia she was afraid of being in a crowded cafe with a discarded backpack. She was born during The War. Which War? The one big enough and wide-ranging enough that we simply call it “The War”. Atomic science followed. It didn’t give us Godzilla, but Russian orphans with missing limbs and swollen jaws, acromegalic and cancer-shriven. Serial killers are celebrities: we watch movies about Gacy, Bundy, Zodiac, see Jack Unterweger live on television. Serial killers as legend—Hannibal the hero, jaded Jigsaw, delightfully ditzy Dexter. It puts the cream on its hands. It pays to watch vicariously.
What was once feared is risible.


I was nervous during the ceremony. Although I fumbled with the ring at one point, I managaed not to drop it, and my nervousness was accepted as part of the standard jitters. During the photographs I was ushered to the side as Alice and her bridesmaids took centre stage and hammed it up for the photographer, flouncing around in their silk dresses and looking, I thought, a little tarty. Feeling spare, I moved away and leant against the trunk of a weeping willow. From this aspect, I had an even better view of Charles than I had before. His body, still caught by the snag, bobbed gently up and down with the flow of the current. I admired the neat cut across his throat and the way his body had been sliced open to allow his intestines to swim free in the murky water of the Murray.

— Sleeping Dogs by Geoffrey Maloney and Andrew Baker


Apologies for missing Wednesday– things and stuff and junk arose, which I’ll mention in the next post or two (it’s dead exciting). Until then, enjoy:

The problem with poison is that it can grow stale. The first one hundred times, you know, it was interesting. Then you start recycling. You start tasting the same poisons you’ve already had. You start having de ja vu.

“I’ve died this way before,” you think. And you have. That’s the problem. There are only so many poisons in the world, and so many ways to take them.

So you start to combine them. Mix hemlock and cypripedium. The first is cold, you remember, and the second burns. You combine the two, hoping for something crazy, something that will take your head clean off, separate your teeth from your jaw. All that happens, instead, is a mild burn. The fire from before, that first fire, it’s absent. All that’s left is something lame, something unoriginal, something worse than pure.

— Poison or the Knife by BL Hobson


Under a streetlight, no sudden moves. Looking like a lost motorist. Give directions, he thought, like a good girl. Don’t be scared, he said to himself.

She walked back and leaned over to peer into the window. Even with the streetlight, he flicked on the dome. The girl was a good yard onto the sidewalk, not getting within reach of the window. Not yet.

“Excuse me, ma’am,” he started. She smiled at that. Good.

God. He swallowed. Braces.

— Carnal Knowledge, by Don Norum


“This very day they descend on Paris.” The Monk stabbed a finger westward and heads swung around to follow his gesture. Odile shrank back against the wall. “Swathed in their black finery, borne on the backs of Catholic servants!” Pain flared in Odile’s head, the sickle-thorn burying deep.

“These crimes, this effrontery, can not–must not!–go unchallenged!” One of the strangers, a red-capped young man, leaned in to his neighbour. His neighbour nodded vigorously.

“The Calvinists and Lutherans have no desire to simply go their own mistaken way in peace.” The Monk’s face twisted into a snarl, baring yellowed teeth, and the thorn dug deeper with each word. “They would see us crushed in their wake, rent and devoured and shat upon the earth!”

— The Hand of God, by Jason Crowe


What did she think she was doing? She looked at her babies, snoring in their bassinets, and nearly abandoned her plan. They might not mind if we stay, she reasoned, as she got up to tuck blankets around their shoulders. They’ll never know what we’ve lost.

A few bars of ‘Happy Birthday’ drifted in from the other room; her mother warming up for later.

Theresa ran her tongue around the thick scars inside her mouth, then clenched her teeth. “Mum?”Her voice was too quiet. She inhaled, exhaled slowly, tried again. “Mum?”

“What?” came Evelyn’s voice, echoing from the kitchen.

“I forgot to get candles for the cake. Can you run out and get some? I’m going to give the kids a feed before everyone gets here– and we can’t have the party without candles.”

— Tiny Drops, by LL Hannett