Sunday, 30 January 2011

Finalists for the International Aeon Award 2010

From the Albedo One website:

After great and heated debate, the Aeon Award judges have now chosen the top six stories from the shortlist of the International Aeon Award 2010 Short Fiction Contest. Choosing only 6 stories from an overall shortlist of 24 excellent works has been an agonising task, and it may be some time before the judges agree to talk to one another again! Below you will find the names of the top 6 shortlisted stories. Our congratulations to the authors, and our sincere commiserations to the authors of the fine stories that did not make the top 6. Thank you all for entering your excellent work and supporting the Aeon Award writing competition in its goal to promote the writing of fantasy, horror and science fiction.
  • Aethra
  • Pinocchio
  • Room of Empty Frames
  • Mandurang
  • Carnival
  • The Monster of Venice

The top 6 stories have now gone to our esteemed panel of Grand Judges, Ian Watson, Mike Resnick, Anne McCaffrey and Sam Millar, for the final decision on the three winning stories, which will win the Grand Prizes of €1000, €200 and €100, as well as publication in Albedo One. Author names have been withheld to ensure impartiality as the judging proceeds.

And finally, don't forget that the Aeon Award 2011 writing contest is now open to submissions!

Monday, 24 January 2011

Shane Jirayia Cummings Releases Requiem for the Burning God

Shane Jiraiya Cummings, who wrote the longest novella in Cthulhu's Dark Cults, has recently released that same novella as an e-book.

Evil festers beneath the mountains of Peru, and British Great War ace turned mercenary Captain Max Calder unwittingly stumbles into the thick of it! Confronted by Lovecraftian horrors, the machinations of a world-spanning conglomerate, and a lunatic song that haunts his every step, Calder may pay the ultimate price to save the world from danger. Requiem for the Burning God is a grand pulp adventure inspired by the darkest imaginings of the Cthulhu Mythos.

Purchase this and other Shane Jiraiya Cummings novellas here, at very reasonable prices too, $Us0.99 to $Us2.99.

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Midnight Echo #6 Submissions Closing Soon

This is a reminder to all those authors planning to submit a short story to Midnight Echo #6 for the science fiction special, the submission due date ends on 31 January 2011.

So far my co-editors (Jason Fischer and David Kernot) and I have had some good stories sent to us, but there is still space for more good tales. What I'm really keen to see are science fiction stories that really understand the genre, yet have a horror twist to them. While we've got some good stories, and many feature sci fi tropes such as spaceships, particle accelerators, cloning, genetic engineering and so forth, only a few have really thought about the science and technology and how they affect the futures they have imagined in a realistic way.

So, I'm looking forward to what writers out there come up with.

Full guidelines can be found here.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

The Black Seal #4 is coming

Despite my comments in my last post, it seems The Black Seal #4 is on its way, or so says editor and publisher Adam Crossingham in a recent discussion we have. He even informed me some of the articles I wrote way back in 2005 will appear, which I'm currently reviewing now. Here is the press release:

Sixtystone Press have released all current back issues of The Black Seal magazine as PDFs for sale. First published at the turn of the millennium through to 2005, issues 1, 2 and 3 of the "Magazine of Modern Horror Gaming" are now available individually or as a bundle.

Adam Crossingham, Managing Editor, commented that "All sales of The Black Seal #1-3 will go towards facilitating the publication of The Black Seal #4 and The Black Seal's Cthulhu By Arclight".

Now we just have to see if the other UK Cthulhu magazine of that era, The Whisperer, from Severn Valley Press follows suit...Surprised to see The Black Seal in PDF after all this time? So was Sixtystone Press.

Adam went on to say:"After a lengthy absence, a failure to foresee the importance of the PDF market, and a catastrophic hard drive failure The Black Seal is back from the dead and now available in PDF.

The survival of The Black Seal #1 and #2 is remarkable - all the Quark Xpress source files were lost in that catastrophic hard drive failure, but luckily two test PDF files were discovered on a flash drive and brought lovingly back to life."

Friday, 7 January 2011

The Return of The Black Seal

Many, many years ago (circa 2003 to be precise) I restarted my writing career in gaming writing for the Call of Cthulhu role-plyaing game. One of the first magazines to publish me was The Black Seal. It was a classy gaming magazine designed to support not only the Call of Cthulhu role-playing game, but the spooks and the mythos setting Delta Green.

The Black Seal only survived long enough to see three issues, as editor Adam Crossingham went on to edit Worlds of Cthulhu but there were some very fine articles in their pages, with authors such as Dan Harms, Ben Counter, Brian M. Sammons and William Jones. Unfortunately the magazine went out of print almost as soon as each issue came out, and so has been unavailabke until now.

Adam recently informed me that The Black Seal has returned in PDF format, now available at DriveThruRPG. Individual issues can be purchased here:
I appeared in issues 2 and 3, and many of may articles, particularly my role-playing gaming scenario "The Spiraling" was the basis for my Harrison Peel novella collaboration with John Sunseri, "The Spiraling Worm".

I had articles planned for The Black Seal #4, alas that magazine never came to be, but there was a pretty cool cover prepared by David Lee Ingersoll, which I've included below. Perhaps I should post some of those articles here on my journal.

Wednesday, 5 January 2011

Professional Author Photo

When I caught up with David Kernot over the Christmas holidays, his wife Olivia Kernot offered to take a professional photograph of me to use for author photos. The result is below, which is a vast improvement on what I had been using before, generally snaps I'd taken of myself in a hurry when they were need. I'll be updating my website soon with this photo.

Olivia has taken off in a big way as a professional photographer operating out of Adelaide. Some of her fantastic images can be found on here website, Spinifex Photography.

If you use this image please note the copyright (c) 2010 to Olivia Kernot / Spinifex Photography.

Harry Potter 7 Movie Review up at Albedo One

Yes, my reviews at Albedo One have kicked up a notch, with their new and exciting revamped website delivering all kinds of reviews, and very few of them from me. My latest however is Harry Potter and the Dealthy Hallows Part I movie review. Read it here.

Aeon Award 2011 Launched

Irish speculative fiction magazine Albedo One (with which I am a contributing editor) has announced the launch of the Sixth International International Aeon Award Short Fiction Contest. The Aeon Award is a writing competition, and its goals are to promote writers and writing in the speculative fiction genres.

The contest is open to writers from all nationalities for stories of up to 10,000 words long, that are previously unpublished in English. Grand Prize is €1000 and publication in Albedo One. Second and third place prizes are €200 and €100 euro and publication in Albedo One. The contest is open from January 1st 2011 to the end of November 2011.An entry fee of 7 euro applies, which can be paid online via PayPal on the Aeon Award contest guidelines page.

I got my tale "Black Water" shortlisted to seventh place many years ago, which then got me involved in working with the Albedo One team, so you never know what might happen if you enter.

Brian Keene Reviews Cthulhu's Dark Cults

Well the reviews keep coming. Two times Stoker Awarding winning horror author Brian Keene has placed Cthulhu's Dark Cults in his Top 10 read for 2010. He was particularly impressed with John Goodrich's tale:

In this Lovecraft-inspired anthology, editor David Conyers has done a commendable job of compiling a collection of first-rate tales by some lesser-known but certainly capable writers. Indeed, I was so impressed with most of the stories that after finishing the book, I had a list of new authors to Google. All of the tales deal with cults engaged in the worship of Cthulhu and other Lovecraftian deities. The stories run the gamut from literary to pure pulp (and I’m glad for that). While all of the tales are enjoyable, the stand-outs include “The Eternal Chinaman” by John Sunseri, “Perfect Skin” by David Witteveen, “The Devil’s Diamonds” by Cody Goodfellow, and “Captains of Industry” by John Goodrich (indeed, that last one is my favorite short story I’ve read this year). A worthwhile addition to any horror bookshelf.

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

Fantastic Review of "Dream Machine"

Just found this fantastic review of Scenes from the Second Storey by Shane Jiraiya Cummings on Horrorscope. I mean, I can't ask for a better review than this one:

Imagine this reviewer's surprise, then, when the first story in Scenes, "Dream Machine" by David Conyers, turned out to be one of the best stories of 2010! "Dream Machine" follows Adamson, a man literally pulling himself back together after countless years of torture in Hell. Satan raises Adamson up as Hell's Assassin and then the fun begins! Adamson's journey to learn his trade shows Conyers at his imaginative best. Not only that, as part of this training, the reader is offered glimpses into scenes from the other stories in the anthology (a literal pun on the anthology's title, particularly given the perspective with which Adamson views these scenes). Conyers prose in "Dream Machine" is much more assured than in his earlier work, and his seamless portrayal of a somewhat unsympathetic protagonist (in light of the reveal at the end) shows his growth as a storyteller. Dark, flawed, but sympathetic protagonists is a theme amongst many of the later stories.

Read the rest of the review here, which is very complementary to the whole anthology. Congrats to the editors Amanda Pillar and Pete Kempshall, and publisher Mark S. Deniz.

Saturday, 1 January 2011

Cthulhu Akrikus published by Rainfall Books

Just learnt today that my third chapbook with Rainfall Books, was released between Christmas and New Years, Cthulhu Afrikus. It features three stories, all concerning my "Masked Messenger" cycle of tales within the subgenre of the Cthulhu Mythos.

All three stories, "The Faceless Watchers", "Screaming Crawler" and "As Above, So Below" are amongst my earlier works, hence they've been published before but often in sources that are not easy for the casual reader to find, but not any more.

Thanks to for Steve Lines and his great job and editing and producing this chapbook, and for seeing this project through to completion.

HorrorScope Recommended Reading List 2010

Great way to start the new year, with several personal listings on Horrorscope's Recommended Reading List 2010, for both my fiction works and for stories in my edited anthology Cthulhu's Dark Cults, with recommendations for stories by Shane Jirayia Cummings and Penelope Love. The relevant extracts (for me) are as follows:

  • Cthulhu's Dark Cults, edited by David Conyers (Chaosium)
  • "Requiem for the Burning God" by Shane Jiraiya Cummings (Cthulhu's Dark Cults)
  • "Sweet As Decay" by David Witteveen & David Conyers (Macabre: A Journey through Australia's Darkest Fears)
Short stories:

  • "Dream Machine" by David Conyers (Scenes from the Second Storey)
  • "The Whisper of Ancient Secrets" by Penelope Love (Cthulhu's Dark Cults)
I'm particularly proud that "Dream Machine" got a High Recommendation, with three or more contributors recommending the work). Check out the full list here.