Tuesday, 29 May 2012

“Winds of Nzambi” appears in Ticonderoga’s The Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Horror

Sometimes news comes pleasantly out the blue, and to discover recently that David Kernot and my collaboration, “Winds of Nzambi” would be appearing in Liz Grzyb’s and Talie Helene’s The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror, was exciting news indeed.

This was David and my first collaboration (we have another very different collaboration in the works) and we were earlier pleasantly surprised to discover that our story won the Australian Horror Writers Association’s Short Fiction Award for 2011, and was then published in Midnight Echo 6.
The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror features 32 stories and poems first published in 2011, from New Zealand and Australia writers, and published by Western Australian outfit, Ticonderoga Publications. The contents are:
  • Peter M Ball "Briar Day" (Moonlight Tuber)
  • Lee Battersby "Europe after the Rain" (After the Rain, Fablecroft Press)
  • Deborah Biancotti "Bad Power" (Bad Power, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Jenny Blackford "The Head in the Goatskin Bag" (Kaleidotrope)
  • Simon Brown "Thin Air" (Dead Red Heart, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • David Conyers and David Kernot "Winds of Nzambi" (Midnight Echo #6, AHWA)
  • Stephen Dedman "More Matter, Less Art" (Midnight Echo #6, AHWA)
  • Sara Douglass and Angela Slatter "The Hall of Lost Footsteps" (The Hall of Lost Footsteps, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Felicity Dowker "Berries & Incense" (More Scary Kisses, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Terry Dowling "Dark Me, Night You" (Midnight Echo #5, AHWA)
  • Jason Fischer "Hunting Rufus" (Midnight Echo #5, AHWA)
  • Christopher Green "Letters of Love from the Once and Newly Dead" (Midnight Echo #5, AHWA)
  • Paul Haines "The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt" (The Last Days of Kali Yuga, Brimstone Press)
  • Lisa L Hannett "Forever, Miss Tapekwa County" (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Richard Harland "At the Top of the Stairs" (Shadows and Tall Trees #2, Undertow Publications)
  • John Harwood "Face to Face" (Ghosts by Gaslight, HarperCollins)
  • Pete Kempshall "Someone Else to Play With" (Beauty Has Her Way, Dark Quest Books)
  • Jo Langdon "Heaven" (After the Rain, Fablecroft Press)
  • Maxine McArthur "The Soul of the Machine" (Winds of Change, CSFG)
  • Ian McHugh "The Wishwriter's Wife" (Daily Science Fiction)
  • Andrew J McKiernan "Love Death" (Aurealis #45, Chimaera Publications)
  • Kirstyn McDermott "Frostbitten" (More Scary Kisses, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Margaret Mahy "Wolf Night" (The Wilful Eye - Tales From the Tower #1, Allen & Unwin)
  • Anne Mok "Interview with the Jiangshi" (Dead Red Heart, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Jason Nahrung "Wraiths" (Winds of Change, CSFG)
  • Anthony Panegyres "Reading Coffee" (Overland, OL Society)
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts "The Patrician" (Love and Romanpunk, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Angela Rega "Love in the Atacama or the Poetry of Fleas" (Crossed Genres, CGP)
  • Angela Slatter "The Coffin-Maker's Daughter" (A Book of Horrors, Jo Fletcher Books)
  • Lucy Sussex "Thief of Lives" (Thief of Lies, Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Kyla Ward "The Kite" (The Land of Bad Dreams, P'rea Press)
  • Kaaron Warren "All You Can Do Is Breathe" (Blood and Other Cravings, Tor)
Special congratulations to Stephen Dedman, whose story “More Matter, Less Art” appeared in Midnight Echo #6 which David Kernot, Jason Fischer and I edited last year, to the talented team at Brimstone Press for Paul Haines "The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt" from The Last Days of Kali Yuga, and Jason Fischer for his inclusion.

The volume will include a review of 2011 and a list of recommended stories.
The Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2011 is scheduled for publication in July 2012 and can be pre-ordered at indiebooksonline.com. The anthology will be available in hardcover, ebook and trade editions.

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Planetary Resources

Here is an interesting site, a company called Planetary Resources that is planning private mining of asteriods for water and metals, with the ultimate intention of reviving the Earth's economy and making space travel a reality. Ambitious stuff, but exciting and worthwhile nonetheless.

This idea, if it came to fruition, could be the first real step towards minimising our impacts on environmental destruction on Earth, because ultimately asteriod mining will be much cheaper and less damaging to the planet than conventional mining is today. Also, the energy and water resources using in mining will similarly be lessened.

The Planetary Resources solution will not solve what I consider to be Earth's biggest problem, a population of 7 billion people. At a growth rate of approximately 215,000 people a day, space travel will never lessen over-population, we could never get that many people into space. We still need to solve problems at home, and that will ultimately have to come from lessening our need on travel (particularly airline travel), consumption of goods, food wasteage and a reliance on more recycling. Still, the asteriod mining solution, if or when it proves viable, will go a long way to helping.

To really make space travel worth while, we are going to need to build a Space Elevator. With costs ranging from $5000 to $20,000 per kilogram to get material into orbit with conventional rocket technology, a space elevator seems like the only viable option. Since space elevators need to be on the equator, countries like Eucador, Kenya, the Congo or Indoneisa could be very wealthy places in the future.

Perhaps viable space travel is not that far away.

Tuesday, 22 May 2012

Midnight Echo 6 Reviewed

Midnight Echo 6: The Science Fiction Horror issue edited by David Kernot, Jason Fischer and myself was recently reviewed at Thirteen O'Clock.

This particular issue is dedicated to fiction that marries the genres of science fiction and horror, which leads to some truly wonderful and creepy tales. I’ve always felt those two genres go hand in hand; the future often seems bleak and a lot of sci-fi tends to venture into darker territory anyway. There’s something for everyone here, from dystopian futures to hard sci-fi to Lovecraftian mythology ... All in all I can’t recommend this issue of Midnight Echo enough. I think you’d be hard pressed to find a better way to spend two dollars (and even the printed version is a steal at ten dollars). I have a feeling a subscription may be finding its way onto my credit card sometime soon. - Andrew Kliem

He also said this about David Kernot and my story in the magazine:

"Winds of Nzambi" by David Conyers and David Kernot is a unique and rather dark tale of Portuguese colonisation and gods brought to life.

Read the full review here.

Skyfall Trailer

James Bond is my number one favorite movie franchise. Casino Royale is in my top 10 favorite movies. So this fan gets excited when the trailer for Skyfall, a.k.a. Bond 23, is released. 

I just hope it's all smoke screen that the Quantum organisation is not in this movie, because I'd like to see this plotline continued.

Friday, 11 May 2012

Two Illustrations - Jupiter and The Eye of Infinity

The latest issue of Jupiter, 36 Sponde is out with my cyborg illustration on the cover. This was a character in a space opera novel I wrote a draft for some 20 years ago, which I plan to get back to one day in a completely new structure. Issue 36 is edited by Ian Redman and features new stories from Michael Sutherland, Greg McColm, Alexander Hay, Neal Clift and Dean Giles.

The other illustration is by the talented Nick Gucker, of a shoggoth infected human adapted from my novella The Eye of Infinity. Nick's illustration has been immortalised on a t-shirt produced by Scurvy Ink, entitled "Shoggoth Evolution", and is very cool indeed.

On related news, rumours have hit the Internet that The Eye of Infinity could soon be available in e-pubishing formats.