New story “Narration Blues” published on AntipodeanSF

One of my flash fiction pieces, titled “Narration Blues”, is in the latest addition of AntipodeanSF, an Australian publication.

It cannot be denied that “Narration Blues” is a silly story. I was listening to the voice over at the start of a fantasy television series, and I thought to myself “gee this is a lot of backstory – lucky they got the right person”. What if the hero died? Didn’t quite finish the quest? Gave up to become a carrot farmer? All that wasted destiny…

“Narration Blues” is the result.

As always, many thanks to Ion “Nuke” Newcombe, the editor of AntipodeanSF, for his support of my work. This is the 11th flash fiction piece that Nuke has published of mine, for which I am very grateful.

Aurealis Award results 2016

Congratulations to everyone who won an Aurealis Award this year. The Aurealis Awards are Australia’s premier judged awards, covering most areas of speculative fiction. The results are reproduced below, and the judges report makes interesting reading for those interested in the Australian scene.


When the Lyrebird Calls, Kim Kane (Allen & Unwin)


Negative Space, Ryan K Lindsay (Dark Horse Comics)


“Pretty Jennie Greenteeth”, Leife Shallcross (Strange Little Girls, Belladonna Publishing)


“Flame Trees”, TR Napper (Asimov’s Science Fiction, April/May 2016)


“Burnt Sugar”, Kirstyn McDermott (Dreaming in the Dark, PS Australia)


“Where the Pelican Builds Her Nest”, Thoraiya Dyer (In Your Face, FableCroft Publishing)


“Forfeit”, Andrea K Höst (The Towers, the Moon, self-published)


“Of Sight, of Mind, of Heart”, Samantha Murray (Clarkesworld #122)


“Salto Mortal”, Nick T Chan (Lightspeed #73)


A Feast of Sorrows, Angela Slatter (Prime Books)


Year’s Best YA Speculative Fiction 2015, Julia Rios and Alisa Krasnostein (eds.) (Twelfth Planet Press)


Lady Helen and the Dark Days Pact, Alison Goodman (HarperCollins Publishers)


The Grief Hole, Kaaron Warren (IFWG Publishing Australia)


Nevernight, Jay Kristoff (Harper Voyager)


Gemina: Illuminae Files 2, Amie Kaufman & Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)


The Rebirth of Rapunzel: A Mythic Biography of the Maiden in the Tower, Kate Forsyth (FableCroft Publishing)


Dimension6 issue 10

Dimension6 is a free speculative fiction magazine, produced by Coeur de Lion Publishing.

This website is an affiliate of Dimension6, where you can download each issue.

Issue 10 is just out, and features:

‘The Other City’ by Rjurik Davidson
It was the time of life when everything falls apart. He had to get out of the city. But where would he end up?


‘Glide’ by Natalie J E Potts
There are lots of species of Australian fauna that want to kill you. We just found one more.


‘The Seven Voyages of Captain Cook’ by Craig Cormick
Cook was a Company man on a voyage of exploration. The son that accompanied him was dead. And wanted him dead too.

2017 Ditmar nominations

The Ditmars are the primary voted awards for Australian speculative fiction (as opposed to the Aurealis Awards, which is a juried award). The 2017 ballot is out, and available for voting for any eligible member of the national convention (this year held in Melbourne at Continuum 13 – the 56th National Science Fiction Convention).

The ballot is filled with some wonderful people, and my warmest congratulations go to everyone who received a nomination. I especially wanted to note that a story published in AntipodeanSF (which has published many of my flash fiction pieces) made the ballot for Best Short Story. Congratulations Edwina (author) and Nuke (editor)!

I also noted that Dimension6, the free magazine published by Keith Stevenson, published 2 of the novella/novelette nominations – a fantastic effort showing Keith’s excellent eye for talent.

Best Novel

  • The Grief Hole, Kaaron Warren, IFWG Publishing Australia.
  • The Lyre Thief, Jennifer Fallon, HarperCollins.
  • Squid’s Grief, D.K. Mok, D.K. Mok.
  • Vigil, Angela Slatter, Jo Fletcher Books.
  • The Wizardry of Jewish Women, Gillian Polack, Satalyte Publishing.

Best Novella or Novelette

  • “All the Colours of the Tomato”, Simon Petrie, in Dimension6 9.
  • “By the Laws of Crab and Woman”, Jason Fischer, in Review of Australian Fiction, Vol 17, Issue 6.
  • “Did We Break the End of the World?”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Defying Doomsday, Twelfth Planet Press.
  • “Finnegan’s Field”, Angela Slatter, in
  • “Glass Slipper Scandal”, Tansy Rayner Roberts, in Sheep Might Fly.
  • “Going Viral”, Thoraiya Dyer, in Dimension6 8.

Best Short Story

  • “Flame Trees”, T.R. Napper, in Asimov’s Science Fiction, April/May 2016.
  • “No Fat Chicks”, Cat Sparks, in In Your Face, FableCroft Publishing.
  • “There’s No Place Like Home”, Edwina Harvey, in AntipodeanSF 221.

Best Collected Work

  • Crow Shine by Alan Baxter, Ticonderoga Publications.
  • Defying Doomsday, Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench, Twelfth Planet Press.
  • Dreaming in the Dark, Jack Dann, PS Publishing.
  • In Your Face, Tehani Wessely, FableCroft Publishing.

Best Artwork

  • cover and internal artwork, Adam Browne, for The Tame Animals of Saturn, Peggy Bright Books.
  • illustration, Shauna O’Meara, for Lackington’s 12.

Best Fan Publication in Any Medium

  • 2016 Australian SF Snapshot, Greg Chapman, Tehani Croft, Tsana Dolichva, Marisol Dunham, Elizabeth Fitzgerald, Stephanie Gunn, Ju Landéesse, David McDonald, Belle McQuattie, Matthew Morrison, Alex Pierce, Rivqa Rafael, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Helen Stubbs, Katharine Stubbs and Matthew Summers.
  • The Coode Street Podcast, Jonathan Strahan and Gary K. Wolfe
  • Earl Grey Editing Services (blog), Elizabeth Fitzgerald.
  • Galactic Chat, Alexandra Pierce, David McDonald, Sarah Parker, Helen Stubbs, Mark Webb, and Sean Wright.
  • Galactic Suburbia, Alisa Krasnostein, Alex Pierce, and Tansy Rayner Roberts.
  • The Writer and the Critic, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond.

Best Fan Writer

  • James ‘Jocko’ Allen, for body of work.
  • Aidan Doyle, for body of work.
  • Bruce Gillespie, for body of work.
  • Foz Meadows, for body of work.
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, for body of work.

Best Fan Artist

  • Kathleen Jennings, for body of work, including Illustration Friday series.

Best New Talent

  • T R Napper
  • Marlee Jane Ward

William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review

  • Kat Clay for essays and reviews in Weird Fiction Review
  • Tehani Croft & Marisol Dunham, for Revisiting Pern: the great McCaffrey reread review series.
  • Tsana Dolichva, for reviews, in Tsana’s Reads and Reviews.
  • Kate Forsyth, for The Rebirth of Rapunzel: a mythic biography of the maiden in the tower, FableCroft Publishing.
  • Alexandra Pierce, for reviews, in Randomly Yours, Alex.
  • Gillian Polack, for History and Fiction: Writers, their Research, Worlds and Stories, Peter Lang.

Needed – Beta Readers!

Recently, I’ve been working on a novella titled The Reclaimers. It is a fantasy, sitting at about 26,000 words. I’ve reached the stage where I’d like to recruit a couple of beta readers.

What I’m looking for is a couple of people who’d like to read some or all of the novella, and provide some feedback. It could involve anything from just reading the first couple of chapters and giving me a sense of whether you would read on (and why), through to reading the whole thing and providing some detailed comments.

I’m open to a range of readers. Don’t worry if you’re not a writer and don’t feel like you could provide “expert” advice. While detailed, expert feedback is very valuable, so is getting feedback from a reader who can just say whether something is working for them or not, even if you can’t pinpoint exactly why.

A few broad points about the novella to help you decide whether to volunteer:

  • It is a secondary world fantasy – no Earth historical settings!
  • There is a female protagonist and references to her having a same-sex romance in her past. Not being female and not having had a same-sex romance in my past, I would love to get a perspective on the main character and how authentic she feels from someone with more credibility than me.
  • There is violence. And swearing. It’s not quite grimdark (the violence isn’t graphic enough for that), but it certainly leans in that direction. If that’s not your cup of tea, then hold back!

If you’re interested, please email me directly at: mark (at) markwebb (dot) name or leave a comment below.

Publication – Narration Blues

Some excellent news over the summer, when Ion ‘Nuke’ Newcombe, the editor of Antipodean SF, picked up one of my flash fiction pieces, called ‘Narration Blues’.

‘Narration Blues’ will feature in issue 226 of Antipodean SF, due out in May 2017.

This will be the 11th flash fiction piece I’ve published in Antipodean SF, and I remain very grateful that Nuke has been such a big supporter of my work.

Welcome to 2017

Hi all,

After a long hiatus, I’m firing up the blog again. I’ve been thinking about what kind of content might be of interest, and will be making a few changes that I’ll roll out over the next few weeks.

I hope your end of year holiday period was happy, safe, productive and fun.

That’s all for today – more to come soon.

Monthly roundup culture consumed – October 2016

I’m a bit late with my October roundup – many apologies.


I finished the first book in Tansy Rayner Robert’s Mocklore series, Splashdance Silver – more detailed review to come for the Australian Women Writers reading challenge.

For anyone who has read and enjoyed Brandon Sanderson’s Mistborn series, the latest book (Mistborn: A Secret History) is a fun read. No point reading this book by itself – it only really makes sense if you’ve read the other books (or at least the first trilogy). If you’re a fan of the other books, you’ll like this one. It runs parallel to the original trilogy, fills in a  few blanks and brings back a favourite character. However, I must admit it has been quite a while since I read the original story and I spent half of this book trying to remember how it all fit together.

And finally I started on Revenger by Alistair Reynolds – more to say next month once I’ve finished.


I finished Luke Cage on Netflix – an excellent series. It was very refreshing to watch a show that deals with themes of masculinity, but does it in a way that is respectful to women. I loved the nods to the seventies as well – even though it is set in the modern day, it had a 70s aesthetic which was cool. I kept expecting the theme song from Shaft to kick in. It was also good to see Rosario Dawson playing a larger role in this series. Clearly she’s going to be the person that pulls the heroes from Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage and Iron Fist together, but she had a much bigger role in this series.

I just realised that The Expanse is also on Netflix. I’ll definitely be watching that one, the special effects and general look of it is amazing. Really liked the books, and keen to see a solar system sci fi series.


Got away to a movie in October – went to see Marvel’s Dr Strange. In some ways a very different Marvel Cinematic Universe movie, in other ways a lot of the same formula. I liked the way they brought magic in, some of the scenes were very trippy (a bit like Inception with buildings twisting and gravity going all weird). Enough humour to keep me interested as well.


A lot of family and work related activity in October, so not much more from me.

So, what have you been up to?

In which roundups, pleasing publication news and awards are contemplated

Hi all, I hope this blog post finds you well.

Aurora Australis is Alex Pierce’s monthly round up of Australian and New Zealand speculative fiction news, in particular focusing on publishing news, published at The September edition is out now, and well worth checking out if you like keeping up on the goings on of the Australian scene. While there are a few names I know listed this month, it is always pleasing to see a lot of names I don’t know – says good things about the health of the antipodean scene. Special shout out and congratulations to Zena Shapter for the announcement that her novel, Towards White, has been picked up  by the discerning people at IFWG Publishing Australia (Zena and I occasionally attend the same writing group, and I always get a kick out of seeing good news about people I have taken tea with!). Cat Sparks is also listed, as having released the cover of her new novel to the world.

Speaking of people it is a pleasure to take tea with, the very excellent Thoraiya Dyer’s upcoming novel, Crossroads of Canopy (book one in the Titan’s Forest trilogy), is now available for pre-order at Amazon (and other fine book retailers I’m sure). I’ve put my preorder in, and going off the quality of Thoraiya’s previous work, I’m very much looking forward to this as a post Christmas read (due out at the end of January 2017).

A reminder that submissions for the Aurealis Awards are open (and closing 7 December 2016), for works published in 2016. The Aurealis Awards are an Australian award which are judged by a panel (as opposed to the Ditmars, which are a popular vote). The awards are very prestigious in Australian circles, and there is a positively plethorific phalanx of 2016 judges lined up for the various categories, including the very excellent Rivqa Rafael, Robert Hood, Kirstyn McDermott and Ion Newcombe.

Tansy Rayner Roberts has been cleaning up her Patreon space, with new reward levels and goals. Roberts is one of the more innovative authors doing the rounds at the moment, and I’ve never regretted throwing my small amount of monthly support in her general direction. Well worth checking out.

The Coode St Podcast has had a run of really interesting interviews over the last few weeks, including Kelly Robson, Alastair Reynolds and Connie Willis, some of which were sourced at the recent world SF convention. The podcast is worth checking out if you’re interested in the history of the field and how it influences current writers.

I’ll publish the final part of my short story “Showdown” next week. What will I do after that? It’s easy to resist giving hints when I don’t know myself… In the meantime, feel free to catch up on parts 1, 2, 3 and 4!

Dimension6 – Issue 8 out now

Keith Stevenson over at coeur de lion publishing produces a regular magazine of Australian speculative fiction, called Dimension6 (you probably worked that out from the title of the post, clever reader that you are).

Dimension6 is shaping up to be an excellent barometer of the state of the Australian scene, and what’s more its free (can’t argue with that). You can download the latest issue directly from the coeur de lion website or get it here (this website acts as an official affiliate for the magazine).

This issue  contains a story ‘Going Viral’ by Thoraiya Dyer. Thoraiya always writes a good story, and ‘Going Viral’ is no different. But I’d draw your attention particularly to her short post-story discussion on the potential of Indonesian based science fiction, which I found very interesting.