March 31st, 2008


Monday morning

UGh! I was all cheery this morning and texted work people to organise me popping by our favourite cafe on the way in.

But it was not to be!

It's been raining here for a couple of hours - maybe since I went to bed, I wasn't sure. It's like the middle of winter here even though yesterday was a fantastic, blue skyed day. It's the kind of day that reminds me of Europe and the USA - cause I always travel in our summer holidays. Anyway, it's cold and wet and dreary.

And I got out of the car with a full cardboard tray of coffees and in 2 secs the tray split in half and coffee went everywhere. $20 of coffee gone in a moment.


And I had 9 hours sleep last night too.


Last Short Story

I really enjoyed catching up with almost all the Last Short Story crew at Swancon - we did a panel with Jonathan Strahan on reading lots of short stories in small spaces of time. I enjoyed it and got a lot out of it. There were some great questions from the audience too.

It left me with a few things to think about too - on the nature of reading, on how reading (I read usually by length - shortest stories first, but I also sometimes play games in the spreadsheet - read alphabetically or whatever) can influence your experience. And of course whether the experiment itself affects the result - can you truly be onjective of short story 40 in the one sitting?

We probably talk more amongst ourselves on all those things than we have publicly. Surely people would get bored of our reading woes and tales? I must say though that I would like to mix up my LSS technique this year. As I said, I read by length which means I have a higher proportion of novellas to read at the end of the year than I do throughout it. I also tend to leave stories that I think I am going to really like till later. So if I'm trying to knock out 40 or 50 shorts in a particular evening and I come along something that looks interesting or well written, I put it aside to come back to it later. So what that means for me is that by November I have a bunch of really long, really good stories to read and not enough time left to read them.

In any case, talk of the project at Swancon has gotten me invigorated to get back into it. And I amused that I think I have been really slack because I have only read 260 short stories in the last 3 months. However, there are already 1098 stories in the spreadsheet so I'd better get cracking.

Sir Julius Vogel Awards

I haven't yet blogged about how proud I am that Lucy Sussex's story "Mist and Murder" from New Ceres Issue 2 tied with "Fendraaken" by Kevin G. Maclean (ASIM 30) for Best Short Story in the Sir Julius Vogel Awards in NZ at the Easter weekend. Lucy's story picks up the characters La Duchesse and Pepin that Tansy Rayner Roberts created in Issue 1. Lucy makes them her own and runs with them in a very cool little murder mystery. But she never ever veers from the characters that Tansy set up. And that makes it very very cool and fun to read.

The New Ceres website is currently down due to technical issues. It should be fixed soon and along with that, I think I have a New Ceresian announcement to follow.

Congratulations also to Paul Haines whose collection Doorways for the Dispossessed won Best Anthology.

And also special congratulations to Ross Temple who won Best Fan Writing for his livejournal: I love your blog Ross and your service to the NZ sf community.

Fear and Loathing in Perth

So, intellectually I knew that when I put out a call for submissions of novellas that that would mean that people would send me, like, novellas.

But I think maybe I didn't fully think through the reality of that.

Which is to say ... people have started submitting novellas. For me to read.

And this was way funnier when it was Jonathan reading for Eclipse 2.

(Submit your novellas to I'm looking for works around the 20 k word mark. Payment is via an advance and then royalties.)



It's amazing how much better you can feel about the world just by picking up your own crap, folding it and putting it away where it belongs.

How did I make such a mess last week when I wasn't even here?!