Review: Insert Title Here edited by Tehani Wessely

InsertTitleHerePublished by: FableCroft Publishing
ISBN 13: 9780992553418
Published: April 2015
Pages: 416
Format reviewed: Proofing copy from Publisher
Site: Publisher Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five
Lists: Recommended

Tehani Wessely reports that this is the darkest anthology she’s put together. Having read most if not all of her anthologies, this certainly caught my attention. On reflection having read this, I would have to agree – here we have an anthology where every single story is heart-breaking or grim or absurdly strange and wonderful, and all are incredibly read-able. A handful demand full novels set in the world using that idea or world-building, and all make me want to look for the author’s other work (if I haven’t already!)

FableCroft are going from strength to strength with each anthology better than the last – which is saying something. This one is due for release in April for Swancon in Perth, and I can’t recommend it highly enough!

2B by Joanne Anderton

I’m slowly turning into Anderton’s biggest fan or something. What a way to start an anthology! This is an incredibly strange, magical and wonderful story of a town where things grow on trees, such as pencils and car tyres. Glass flowers sprout from the security cameras the Councilmen install (which is really beautiful imagery, I love it!) Also, an incredibly peculiar thing happened to the residents of the town which I won’t go into (spoilers, sweetie) but it’s enough to deeply unnerve you, despite what a wonderful miracle it is.

Anderton’s writing is slightly distant and yet very personal, showing us how the main character Chloe appears to others and also her thoughts and views on the world and those she comes into contact with. The world is probably the most interesting part of this strange tale, leaving you wanting more. Who wants a novel using this idea? I know I do!

Oil and Bone by Dan Rabarts

Set in New Zealand, Anaru and Piripi are escorting Englishman Clark through the Southern Alps to make some money on the side of a journey they have to make anyway – to retrieve something that was stolen from them.

This is a piece that involves words of another language other than English (Māori), and it does it well, using them smoothly so the reader knows what the word means at all times, and also adding another depth to this piece, presenting the culture in a welcoming way. The tale itself however isn’t as welcoming, as it’s a tale for searching for things that may be best left where they’ve found themselves. It’s grim and twisted and delightfully dark, full of action and a bit more dark.

Almost Days by DK Mok

‘Gainful employment, on the other hand, only happened to me after I’d died.’

That’s a pretty good way at catching a reader’s attention – with a line like that, one simply must read on to find out what that involves.

This is the kind of tale where the plot needs to be a surprise, which leaves me with less to tell you now – all I can say is that this is a delightful piece that really makes you wish you had a chance at playing in their world for a time (but perhaps not for very long, I think I’d find it stressful having that much responsibility!) and that the characters are delightful. This piece has very beautiful imagery and a very, very satisfying ending.

Collateral Damage by Dirk Flinthart

In a world where military actions have been completely monetised, done strictly by contract, Mariko has now left her previous position of being head of a mercenary company in favour of forming a brokerage with a plan to bring down the now-corrupt brokerage system entirely.

This is quite a fun piece, whilst being technical and deep in the world of war and the complex systems that make it all possible. Though the plot is strong, it’s the characters that drive this one with an incredibly satisfying ending (in a different way from the previous short) as you cheer Mariko along, and the sassy closing line doesn’t hurt matters either.

Her Face Like Lightning by David McDonald

Full disclosure here, David is a mate and lately I get to proofread some of the pieces he completes. That aside, I honestly think he’s getting better each and every piece I get my hands on – now we’re just hanging out for a novel sometime soon, David!

Poor Horatio is minding his own business one night, staggering drunk, when he’s accosted as he leaves an inn. When he comes to he discovers his attacker is a giant, sent by a scary woman who knows exactly who Horatio truly is.

The dialogue in this is sharp and witty, starting to remind me slightly of Scott Lynch’s work. We see the beauty and brutality of Heaven, we see a diverse cast with an intensely developed backstory for a short story, and wow, what an ending.

This is easily one of my favourite pieces in this anthology.

Empty Monuments by Marissa Lingen & Alec Austin

Discovering an entire planet that’s completely devoid of life – bacteria included – is certainly worrying, baffling, thought impossible. Parmesh is driven to distraction by it, but Meleiana, pilot of the Zhang He, seems to think it can all be explained. They and others are there to map solar systems, catalogue lifeforms and match what they find to previous builders so they can try decode who’s responsible for that particular part of space. As they look closer, things appear to be stranger and stranger, and going by how the rest of the anthology has been so far, you start getting a little worried as to what they’re going to discover.

This piece does an excellent job of explaining what they’re all doing to a reader who has little-to-no scientific background and knowledge. It’s also excellent at building up to a whole big something, making it impossible to put down until you discover just what’s going on here. It’s also excellent having a main character who doesn’t know science either – she’s just there to get them there and get them out – and it works marvellously as a window into the plot.

Then wow. This ending? It really packs a punch, and really leaves you thinking. What would we have done if we’d discovered the same thing?

Beyond the Borders of All He Had Been Taught by Alan Baxter

Barran is the Guardian of the Temple of the Relic. Sometimes he protects the temple from people sent by other nations trying to steal the relic, and sometimes it’s people sent by the king to test Barran and make sure he’s still worthy of the title. With this great honour comes a lot of time for thought though, as Barran hasn’t left the temple since he was 19 and confirmed in the service. He understands blind faith and the value in it, however perhaps it isn’t as simple as that.

This is quite an engaging story, though I would have liked to see more of the character Belane. The ending especially works well; this is a well measured short story that delivers well.

Circa by Caitlene Cooke

Circa is a time-traveller – not much more needs to be said to explain why this short is particularly excellent. This piece deals with the balance in the universe, and how two instances of the same person or object cease to exist in the same universe – it causes a seizure, the universe can’t handle it. It also shows what happens if someone is dragged through time – spoiler alert: it’s not pretty.

This piece is packed full of action and quick-thinking, as Circa has to figure out a way to save herself or if not that, make the best of a bad situation. This is complicated and timey-wimey and pretty dang-excellent.

Living in the Light by Sara Larner

Another excellent beginning that makes it impossible not to read on: ‘My child turned into a hummingbird. He was a premature birth, so I expected some complications.’ This also works well to set the tone, as the tale results in a slightly unnerving, magical and incredibly sad piece of literature. As someone who’s seen far too many doctors (though not for anything as severe as poor Clara) I can relate to the mother not wishing to take her child to the doctor, but you can feel her growing panic also, even if you’re not a mother.

This piece is written with a sort of distance, and you get the feel of the mother taking a step back to try to understand what on earth is happening here. You become transfixed by the pace of what becomes normal for her, and then increasing as sometime as simple as a night-light going out spells something much more significant. The ending packs a punch like so many others in this anthology, but for this one my mouth dropped open as it all fell into place. This one is certainly one that’ll last with me.

Always Another Point by Alexis Hunter

Jenna is trapped on a ship, suffering double miseries and on the run. Another piece where the less said about the plot in this review means better reading for you on your first read of this anthology.

You can only read on with sympathy for this one, hoping she gets out okay and gets a chance to heal – from more than one heartache. This piece parallels many issues and discrimination we have in the world today, and is also incredibly sad. However, it also ends in hope. This is a strong piece that needs to be read, and I can’t recommend it highly enough.

Footprints in Venom by Robert Hood

Agul Tana has a job – to save New Uruk by bringing back old King Gilhamesh which shall somehow fix their troubles. Though the new world is suffering the same troubles that ruined our current Earth they’ve long left behind, the founders have looked to ancient religion and mythology for the answers.

This is a complex piece that involves the goddness Ishtar and deals with the surreal. It’s emotive and sensual and certainly contains a lot of big ideas that are worth pondering for a time, even if it means putting down the anthology for a few minutes to do so.

Salvatrix by Marianne de Pierres

Ralph is a shearer, who sometimes works for a place rumoured to lock up the mistress when the Governor is away. Places like this are always good for gossip when you have different tier levels of servants and workers, but Ralph reckons there’s some truth to it – especially when one of the housemaids he’s diddling, Liza, is upgraded to the mistress’ attendant. The mistress is also incredibly beautiful, and Ralph soon finds himself entangled in something he couldn’t dream of walking away from, especially as it turns out Ralph may be connected to her in more ways than a simple shearer.

This is written with an easy hand, capturing the lingo used of the time such as slang for the cigarettes and lifestyle, smoothly weaving this all together into something a bit mystical and fantastic. This makes the outback a little magical, and makes you wonder of the possibility of what could be happening out there in the little towns of ours where there’s few eyes and ears to record what they’ve witnessed.

Ministry of Karma by Ian Creasey

Anthea, pregnant, is looking to the tarot and other mystic signs for knowledge, but it’s only fretting her as every omen seems to be bad and gloomy. Using a dowser she’s come to discover what kind of lives her unborn son has previously experienced, but the news can only be grim when the dowser advises to call her husband back into the room once she’s done, so they can receive the news together.

The idea behind this one is really dang interesting – and quite true of what already happens today, and what could continue happening if the testing they’re speaking of being available does eventually become commonplace. I’d certainly love a novel set in this world, perhaps at the start of Anthea’s working life or when everything started to change. This has got miles and miles to discover through it, and another one of my absolute favourites in an already-strong and fantastic anthology.

Reflections by Tamlyn Dreaver

Hana has lived her whole life on the moon with her mothers, who run research on the atmosphere and why it’s failing. Though she knows she’s being difficult, Hana doesn’t want to leave and this manifests in pouts and whines to no effect – they all have to leave. Then Hana discovers something wonderful.

What I liked about this one was how realistic it was – you’d have to read the end to see what I mean, but I’m glad it didn’t go in the direction I was expecting. This is short and sweet, strong and well written. It’s also good pacing against the previous piece which is quite a bit longer, so they make good juxtaposition against each other.

Sins of Meals Past by Matthew Morrison

Written in second person – which is not common and hard to pull off successfully as it is done here – we are a nurse who’s helping an old man who is slowing dying in his own home rather than a hospital or care facility. He has all the things necessary, and each scene describes in minute detail how every faculty of the nurse is attended to – what order things are done in, where the waste is thrown, how a patient is observed and moved around. This old man we’re attending to however is quite peculiar, and you only get more and more unnerved by it all as we read on.

Like one of the previous pieces in this anthology, here we have a short story that explains something I personally don’t know about – medical terms galore, and uses them so expertly and fluidly that we easily understand what’s going on, and almost feel like we’re almost equipped to do what we’re reading we’re doing. This is a fairly deep story, another that will surely last with me for a long time.

The Final Voyage of Saint Brendan by Tom Dullemond

Captain Brendan is sailing under Fleet captain Plymouth, hunting down and/or chasing down islands. Island hunters, they’re trying to harpoon a small island as their own great island is dying. They’re London’s last hope, and the speech Plymouth gives Brendan surely leaves him something to think about.

This another short piece that packs a good punch, grim and dark but feeling completely right in the actions they take. This reminds me a little of one of the more recent Doctor Who episodes, in the best of ways.

One Who Knows by Darren Goossens

Sara and a few others are stationed on a planet to collect various kinds of data. Sara’s role is to observe and be-friend the local population of region 2138B4, and currently she’s closest to Eng, who is pregnant. With medical training Sara offers her abilities to the group for scratches to precent blood-poisoning and such, but is told she won’t be able to be present for the birth, as this is only for certain, very few and very specific people to attend. This doesn’t stop her from monitoring the huts themselves at the time of the birth though, which means when something goes wrong, she knows about it and makes her way there from the base with haste, and begs to be allowed to help.

This is quite a delicate piece, hitting the heart-strings and showcasing many different characters with quite a lot of depth with such few lines to them each. Deceptively simple, this shows that you don’t need action in a short story when characters drive it so damn well.

The Last Case of Detective Charlemagne by Kathleen Jennings

This one begins with an extract discussing said detective, telling us that they’re a long-running series of pulp crime novels, and it works exceptionally well in wishing they existed! I always love to read about writers and their writing, and this is no exception, with the added bonus of witty dialogue that really adds to the style of pulp crime fiction.

There are multiple layers to this one, leaving the reader to find more to think on after a re-read. It also has such a sad but true line near the end which I won’t spoil by writing here – it really needs to be read through the natural course of the short story in order to pack the punch it gives. This short story will speak miles to those who read voraciously.

The Winter Stream by Daniel Simpson

Another incredibly hard-to-read, sad piece that involves family and the complete and utter sadness that can come from it, as well as the sacrifice for something so utterly worth it, but still – what a life to have. There’s quite a few pieces in this anthology that follow this style – be sure to read this anthology with breaks so you don’t get completely morose over it! (In a good way, it’s such an emotive collection of works.)

This follows a man who has been looking after his very young son, Lucas, for an extraordinarily long time. He’s an old man now and growing increasingly worried for the future – the rest of the family having been unable to cope with the situation, and having left them behind a long time ago. As a reader you’re left wondering what you would have done in their situation – would you have been unable to do anything but what the father has chosen to do, or would you join the side of seemingly everyone else? This also speaks on what it means to be human, and whether such a thing can be counted so simply to the seven signs, as is documented in here. A heartbreaking piece that’s really well written.

The Falcon Races by Thoraiya Dyer

This is the type of short story I could never hope to do justice with for a review. Irrumburri is the first protagonist that we meet, and we see her receive a phone call from her husband to say he’s been unfaithful to her. She calls her sister to talk about how awful he is, even though they “disagree on almost everything in life”. Karima is the second protagonist we follow, Irrumburri’s sister. Then we have Solomon, her son. Together we see a well-rounded view of their family, and what troubles them.

This short story has an incredibly deep blend of cultures in it, some which feel very close to what I see each day, living in this part of Australia. It does culture very well, showing how strong it is in their lives and how it leads their every breath. This is an incredibly well done piece, one I would expect to see used in classrooms up here in future.

The Art of Deception by Stephanie Burgis

Hrabanic used to be the most famous swordsman in the region, but since he was fired by the archduke, he’s turned into almost a nobody. His landlady and love has to go home, soon, to the White Library – and with that, my interest is certainly piqued. He promises to keep her safe which she takes as a promise to go with her to this dreaded library, and from here he has no option but to go with her.

This piece was a whole lot of fun – epic fantasy through and through, another that makes me wish we had a whole novel of these characters and this world. This is one of those character-driven pieces with the added bonus of an excellent magic system which gives us an incredibly strong ending to this anthology, which is strong overall. Sometimes in anthologies you find a short story or three doesn’t manage to capture your interest or you just can’t bring yourself to continue reading it… in this anthology however, each and every single story is as strong as the next, and all were supremely readable. Tehani Wessely has done a stand-out job with this anthology!

Review: Cold Comfort by David McDonald

ColdComfortDMcPublished by: Clan Destine Fictions
ISBN 13: 9780992492557
Published: December 2014
Format reviewed: eBook from author
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five

Firstly, to preface, I’m friends with the author but I won’t let that cloud my judgement – it had better be good, David, so this is an easier review to write! (I say before I start reading it…) – we’re friends in a ‘tease mercilessly’ and watch the other be beaten at pool kinda way (even if he won’t be joining us for Swancon/Aurealis Awards in 2015 and is running off to New Zealand instead… we’ll forgive him at some stage…) With that disclaimer aside, onto the review.

Cold Comfort is a collection of three short stories, two which have been published previously, and one that is appearing for the first time.

Cold Comfort (first published in ‘Epilogue’ by Fablecroft Publishing)
Ice spiders, snow bears and deadly cold are only most obvious of the dangers a young trader faces as she searches for the secrets of the Elders on a post-apocalyptic Earth.

Ultimately this is a tale of hope. It starts off a little slow, lulling you almost into a false sense of security that it’ll be a short story of travelling and hardship but ultimately finding strength through everything – but no. The story continues, taking Vanja through injury and attack from wild creatures to what could be safety – a dome in the snow that has an outpost of people where she can trade her wares and such. The short would have been satisfying at that alone, but there’s a whole lot more to it than that. This short could easily be expanded into a novella or novel with all the history and hints it carries with it, much like the slight mentions of what built certain things in Scott Lynch’s The Lies of Locke Lamora.

What I love about this one is what’s not said. We are seeing a world trying to cope after all the horror and excitement have since past – this is dystopian without the melodrama, everything is simply cold hard fact (cold comfort, indeed) and a strong female lead who is willing to make the hard journey in order to spread the truth.

Through Wind and Weather (first published in ‘Deck the Halls’ by eMergent Publishing)

A rebellious pilot races against time to make a vital delivery to a planet in need. But in the face of the worst solar storm in years, his only ally is a sentient spaceship who is an outcast even to its own kind.

Much shorter now (at just five pages on my eReader of choice) we have Nick who is flying a rather lovely semi-sentient ship, who knows just when to have certain minor malfunctions to shut up certain bosses. Rather like the TARDIS in Doctor Who that swears it was she who stole the Doctor, rather than the other way ’round.

Though I hesitate to mention it, reading this so soon after the incident concerning Air Asia flight QZ8501 (thought to be lost due to lightning strike, after losing contact near an incredibly violent monsoon trough) it certainly put the story into a certain kind of respect that shows how truly dangerous it all is.

This piece is much more sciencey than the one previous, and would truly excellent on screen. And it’s so sweet! Truly fitting for the Christmas themed anthology ‘Deck the Halls’, it fits rather well into this collection also, going from the theme of hope to good will.

Our Land Abounds (original to this collection)
In a world divided by war and wracked by food shortages, the Republic of Australasia is an oasis protected by its isolation and the Border Patrol. But, a chance encounter leaves a weary veteran asking whether the price of plenty is too high.

Now we have Kessler in this original piece, showing us hints of what Australia has become. He’s a solider of ‘Cairns’, showing that war has come to Australia. ‘What’s left of Sydney’ is quite ominous, and I know many who would get a kick of hearing how Tasmania now is the home of the new capital of Australia, seeing as Canberra is deemed to be too close to the epicentre of whatever it is that happened.

This turns into quite a chilling tale, showing people hanged for being illegal immigrants and teachers reported for saying things like Australia should share what it has with the less fortunate. We have a sneak peek at what Australia could turn into (and not very far off, too) and it’s really quite unnerving. We really are the lucky country, but seen here it shows how easily that could turn into something sickening.

McDonald surely is one to keep an eye on – you only have to look at his list of achievements for confirmation. I can safely rate this collection five out of five with the knowledge it was deserved, as it has action, thoughtful commentary and excellent characters – I always love the character-driven pieces. And, as stated in my bit about his first short Cold Comfort, I’d love to see his work in a longer sense to see what he can do with more room and time. If he can achieve that much world building in so few pages, what else can he accomplish? No pressure, David.

2014 Snapshot – David McDonald


David McDonald is a Melbourne based writer who works for an international welfare organisation. When not on a computer or reading a book, he divides his time between helping run a local cricket club and working on his debut novel. In 2013 he won the Ditmar Award for Best New Talent, and in 2014 won the William J. Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism or Review. His short fiction has appeared in anthologies such as “The Lone Ranger Chronicles” from Moonstone Books and “Epilogue” from Fablecroft Publishing. David is a member of the Australian Horror Writers Association, The International Association of Media Tie-In Writers, and of the Melbourne based writers group, SuperNOVA

1. You’re currently revising the first draft of a fantasy novel – can you tell us about it, and what we can look forward to? Or what short stories do you have being published in the near future?

Haha accountability! The reality is that the fantasy novel is still at the first draft stage. I like to think that I have grown as a writer, and a person, and as part of that I have realised that a lot of the stuff in that novel is quite derivative, and there are also some aspects that I realise are rather problematic. I still think it is a novel worth writing, but it needs a lot of work and I have been focussed on other things. If I had to describe it I would call it urban fantasy noir – and if I was feeling particularly bullish, Raymond Chandler meets Stephen King.

I continue to write short stories as they are my favourite form, and I am excited to have just sold a story to Fablecroft for their “Insert Title Here” anthology. Looking at the lineup it is a huge honour to see my name there. I have a soft spot for Fablecroft, too, they published my first Australian sale. Plus, they are one of the best small presses out there.

I don’t normally like to mention things until I have signed a contract, but they announced all the accepted pitches so it won’t hurt! I am currently working on a story for the Cranky Ladies anthology. It’s a very competitive list so I am not getting my hopes up, but I’d love to be involved with such a worthwhile project.

2. Am I right in saying you currently have fourteen short stories published? Such as Set Your Face Towards the Darkness in Great Southern Land, and Homecoming in ReDeus: Native Lands – if you got the chance, out of all your short stories, if you could turn one into a novel or longer piece, which would you choose?

Epilogue-CoverThat’s right, though some have been translated and reprinted. I have to say that I never assumed I would even get one story published, so it is a wonderful feeling to have that many out there—though hopefully there will be many more!

If I went by the number of comments to that effect, I would have to say “Cold comfort” from the anthology, Epilogue. I have had a number of people tell me that they want to know more about the frozen, post apocalyptic world that Vanja travels through, and I have been encouraged to turn it into a novel. There is certainly scope for that, it just comes down to time (like anything). I think leaving people wanting more is the sign of a good story, so it is validating that people have responded that way. And, I was delighted when Clan Destine Press agreed to reprint “Cold Comfort”, hopefully it will continue to attract calls for more of Vanja’s adventures.

I do try and hint at larger worlds in most of my stories, so I’d hope that they all have the seed of a longer work contained within. “Venus Transiens” is set in the same universe as the sci fi novel I am working on, as is a completed but unpublished short story.

3. It seems you have a lot on the horizon! Your blog speaks of a science fiction novel and a YA novel written in collaboration with a US author – the real question here is, can you tell us about any of them?

I am in the enviable position of having had a number of exciting opportunities present themselves this year, the key is to actually put in the hard work and not let them go to waste. I hate to do the whole vague thing, but I don’t like talking too much about things that aren’t definites. But, I have had the opportunity to pitch for some big projects so we will see how much more exciting news I have to share at the next snapshot.

The science fiction is military sci fi, and has some interest from an agent. But, it still needs some work. I am hoping to have that in submittable form by the end of the year. It features a conquered Earth and a galaxy spanning alien Empire.

The collaborative YA novel is…sci fi/espionage I guess. It came about because the author I am working with wanted to set her next novel in Australia and told me she would either email me constant questions about Australia, or we could write it together. How could I say no? Collaboration is an interesting experience, and we are still feeling our way, but I have high hopes for the novel—it’s a lot of fun.

4. What Australian works have you loved recently?

I had the privilege of being a judge for the anthologies and collections category in this year’s Aurealis Awards, and there were some amazing books submitted. It made judging it really hard!

I particularly enjoyed Kirstyn McDermott, Cat Sparks and Jo Anderton’s collections, but they were by no means the only quality works we had a chance to read. If you read our judge’s report I think it would give anyone a wonderful place to start.

I haven’t been reading as much Australian spec fic as I should, though, and that’s something I hope to change. My TBR pile is huge, and most of it is Australian.

5. Have recent changes in the publishing industry influenced the way you work? What do you think you will be publishing/writing/reading in five years from now?

David McDonaldI find that I very rarely buy physical books anymore, which saddens me. I love the physical artefact of a book, and I don’t think they will ever disappear completely, but ebooks are so much more convenient when it comes to travelling and for the simple fact that they take up so much less space. Plus, I generally have more than one book on the go at any time. I find that for reading, I buy ebooks, and I buy most of my paperbacks at launches or other places where I want them signed so they can sit on my shelf because of their significance to me.

In terms of how I work I am not sure how much recent changes have affected me. I started writing when electronic submissions were already more common than snail mail, and I can’t imagine writing by hand! The big thing for me is that there are all of sudden more opportunities for short stories and, especially, novellas and novelettes. Because of the changes in the way books are produced and marketed, I think the risk factor for publishers has lessened.

There also seems to be a rise in the number of small presses producing work that is just as high quality as the major publishers, but perhaps more innovative and daring. This means that trying to follow commercial trends isn’t as important as it once might have been. Good stories will find a home somewhere, even if they don’t fit the normal mould.

The rise of online magazines has, again, increased the number of opportunities. For example, Lightspeed has become a market I aspire to, even though it doesn’t do print at all, and has risen to the top tier very rapidly.

Five years from now? Wow. That seems so far away! I hope that in five years I have a few novels out and that I have a number of professional short story sales under my belt. If I don’t, I will be more than a little disappointed with myself—I will only have myself to blame.


This interview was conducted as part of the 2014 Snapshot of Australian Speculative Fiction. We’ll be blogging interviews from 28 July to 10 August and archiving them at SF Signal. You can read interviews at: 

Snapshot 2014


Snapshot has taken place four times in the past 10 years. In 2005, Ben Peek spent a frantic week interviewing 43 people in the Australian spec fic scene, and since then, it’s grown every time, now taking a team of interviewers working together to accomplish!

In the lead up to Worldcon in London, we will be blogging interviews for Snapshot 2014, conducted by Tsana Dolichva, Stephanie Gunn, Kathryn Linge, Elanor Matton-Johnson, Nick Evans, David McDonald, Helen Merrick, Jason Nahrung, Ben Payne, Alex Pierce, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Helen Stubbs, Katharine Stubbs, Tehani Wessely and Sean Wright. Last time we covered nearly 160 members of the Australian speculative fiction community with the Snapshot – can we top that this year?

To read the interviews hot off the press, check these blogs daily from July 28 to August 10, 2014, or head on over to SF Signal for a roundup post of our 189 total number of interviews!

Alex –
David –
Elanor –
Helen M –
Helen S –
Jason –
Katharine –
Kathryn –
Nick –
Sean –
Stephanie –
Tansy –
Tehani –
Tsana –


Personally, I handled the following interviews:

Joanne Anderton

Rowena Cory Daniells

Mitchell Hogan

George Ivanoff

Barry Jonsberg

Glenda Larke

David McDonald

Karen Miller

Garth Nix

Tansy Rayner Roberts

Claire Zorn

Review: Epilogue anthology edited by Tehani Wessely

epiloguePublished by: FableCroft Publishing
ISBN 13: 9780980777055
Published: June 2012
Pages: 240
Format reviewed: eVersion
Site: Author Site
Goodreads: Book Page
Stars: Five out of Five

‘Epilogue’ is the latest anthology published by Fablecroft, and edited by Tehani Wessely.

Within, we are welcome to twelve short stories that show us what happens after the end of the world. Here, we have hope.

The first story captivates you right from the start, a wonder of world building and depth from a few subtle paragraphs and is easily one of the best short stories I’ve ever read.

The anthology continues, taking us on to a world of technological grafting, time travel and the different time streams we become part of depending on a simple answer generating a fork in our path, and on to a time of escape into the life of a journeyman, and how a life can be saved because of it.

We also see what computer viruses could be someday, what a dystopian world could demand of us, and how creepy monsters could be, even when they’re family.

A race without mobile lips, a female traveller battling snow and more, a drover looking for hope and also how loving books could save you someday. Then we have the immune grave digger.

A highly recommended anthology all ’round.

The contents are as follows:

‘Sleeping Beauty’ by Thoraiya Dyer

‘Time and tide’ by Lyn Battersby

‘A Memory Trapped in Light’ by Joanne Anderton

‘Fireflies’ by Steve Cameron

‘The Fletcher Test’ by Dirk Flinthart

‘Ghosts’ by Stephanie Gunn

‘Sleepers’ by Kaia Landelius

‘Solitary’ by Dave Luckett

‘Cold Comfort’ by David McDonald

‘Mornington Ride’ by Jason Nahrung

‘Only the Books Survive’ by Tansy Rayner Roberts

‘The Last Good Town’ by Elizabeth Tan

Epilogue is highly recommended, and can be ordered here: Fablecroft store.

This review was originally posted at SentientOnline on the 1st June 2012.