March 4th, 2008


The internet is a truly cool place

From benpeek

Back in April 2005 Ben Peek, on his weblog The Urban Sprawl Project, undertook to interview as many Australian speculative fiction writers as he could and to publish those interviews over the course of a week. Each interview was only short, some five questions in all, and was aimed primarily at getting a brief look at the author's latest work, what they were currently working on, and what they thought of the then current state of the speculative fiction field in Australia. He called it the "2005 Snapshot".

In August 2007, the ASif! (Australian SpecFic in focus) crew, along with a guest or two, decided to follow Peek's lead and came up with their own 2007 Snapshot. They finished up interviewing 83 authors, up from the 43 in Peek's original.

At the end of 2007, Karen Chisholm (of the Aust Crime Fiction weblog), Damien Gay (of Crime DownUnder) and Perry Middlemiss (of Matilda) decided a similar snapshot of Australian crime fiction was required.

Over the past couple of months these three have conducted a number of small, five-question interviews with a wide variety of Australian crime fiction writers and will begin publishing them across the three weblogs, starting Monday March 3, 2008.

If you are at all interested in the current state of Australian crime fiction, you'll find this series very entertaining and, hopefully, illuminating.


How very cool. I'm quite looking forward to checking this out - I like me some crime fiction.

2012 Sneak Peek: The Introduction

I thought I'd break up the posting of story sneak peeks to show you a bit of the behind the scenes stuff for the 2012 project - the reasoning behind the why and wherefore. Below is Ben and my introduction to the book.



When we were discussing project ideas, early in 2007, we asked ourselves what kind of anthology we would like to read. What were the things that attracted us, as readers? What makes a story memorable to us?

What we came up with was this; that what we wanted, most of all, was to read stories about things that mattered. Not ideas that were clever, not writing for the sake of writing, not stories with nothing more to say than “I am a story. Read me because I am”. We wanted stories that demanded their authors be passionate; stories about concerns that were important to all of us. We wanted to read stories that stuck in our minds, clawed at our guts and wrung us out like a sponge, leaving us deeply affected, even changed, by the end. We wanted to read stories which asked not merely who we might become, but who we might want, or need, to become.

We stand at an important point in history. We are facing challenges on many fronts which are forcing us to address the way we live and the assumptions upon which we have built our societies. For the first time in history we will see the selection of a non-white male as Presidential Candidate for one of the major parties in the USA. We will watch as the American population chooses between the white male status quo and an alternative for their next President. We have watched in our own country as the status quo was overthrown in our recent election, and the impact that has already had in terms of issues such as reconciliation, the environment, industrial relations and free speech. And we watch on as other countries around the world struggle with their own issues such as freedom of speech, terrorism, disease, access to drinking water and fuel resources, and democracy.

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We hope this book makes you think, makes you imagine, makes you care, and most of all, makes you act. Because that is where hope for humanity truly lies.

Be among the first to read 2012 - still available for prepurchase at $20.

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