April 1st, 2008


Twelfth Planet Press Novella Series (repeat announcement)

Twelfth Planet Press is looking for unique novellas to publish in a novella series.

I expect to publish one to two novellas a year in this ongoing series. I am looking for speculative fictional stories between 20 000 and 40 000 words in length. I am especially looking for strong, tightly written pieces with subject matter that may tend towards not fitting into the usual specfic novella outlets.

Word count: 20 000 to 40 000 words
Genre: science fiction, fantasy, or horror
Payment: A$250 advance for the story plus 8% royalties
Reading period: Now to July 29th 2008
Submit: send your story as an rtf attachment to twelfthplanetpress@gmail.com

(There will be a second reading period towards the end of 2008 and into 2009)

King Hits

I was talking the other day with my folks about this new phenomenon about these parts - the king hit. See, it used to be that when guys (mostly) got a bit worked up, after having too much to drink, there'd be some argy bargy and some threats in various directions, maybe a punch or two thrown and then their friends would pull the warring parties apart and everyone would walk off, maybe yelling some obsenities in their wake.

Lately though it seems to all have gotten a lot nastier and darker with these king hits. One punch and your opponent is down and out for the count. And in some cases, down with such force that hitting the ground renders the punch lethal. What I don't understand is ... the king hit itself. Surely, something that accurate or with such power, can only be delivered due to previous experience? I mean, I'm not tall or strong or buff. I'm also not at all knowledgable on martial arts. So it seems to me that I'd have almost no chance of delivering a king hit. Where does all this anger and violence come from?

I'm following the Nick D'Arcy saga ... obviously. I note that his mother has gone on record saying that this behaviour is highly uncharacteristic for him. And I seriously have trouble believing it. If he had gotten drunk, after the trials, and caused a fuss with some argy bargy in a public place, that would be one thing. But one hit, which they are now saying was with his elbow, to Simon Cowley who now has to go into surgery, may lose his teeth and has several bones in his face fractured? How does that happen on your first punch?

Australian swimmers, up till now, have been a rather clean bunch. And ... well, I like em that way. It seems that Gen Y might have to work a bit harder to fit in with their elders. I kinda hope that Nick D'Arcy is not allowed to go to the Olympics. I mean, he was already being coached on his behaviour. This event is also about representing your home country in a global space. Can we really trust him to behave? I don't.

2012 Sneak Peek: I Love You Like Water by Angela Slatter

I still have a couple of the stories left to preview from the 2012 anthology. Here's Angela Slatter's piece set in a world where water is so scarce that people have been driven to do desperate things for survival.


The desert laps at the edge of the city – what used to be a conurbation is now one city short. The place where two cities met is a sand trap. The inhabitants of the place that got swallowed, the hardy few who stayed, are referred to as ‘sand crabs’. Doctors say the mutations have begun, slight but definite, and within a few generations, perhaps, there will be something on two legs that can live unaided in the uber-desert we’ve carelessly created. For now they are just strange, shambling things, living on the edges, only coming out at night, not quite dangerous.

Sometimes I watch from the hermetically-sealed balcony until it seems I have a wallpaper of sandy beige on my eyes. I almost forget there’s an apartment behind me: furniture, big screen plasma tv, all the mod-cons. Sometimes I think if I turn around it will all be gone, swept away by sand. Sometimes I think I can feel the grains against the wet membranes of my eyes, gritty, scratching, embedding themselves into my soft tissues. When I get to that point, I know it’s time to turn away, to get the eye drops chilling in the fridge and enjoy their cold, slightly oily touch. Then I watch a disk, something with a lot of water in it: Jaws, The Poseidon Adventure, Deep Blue Sea – not Waterworld, though. You have to have some standards.

It’s been harder to look away, since Sophie left – nothing I want to look at in the apartment anymore.

Buy your own copy of 2012 for A$20.

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