This issue features stories by Robert Hood, Steve Cameron and Cat Sparks. Sparks and Hood both won Ditmars this year for their fiction, so the magazine is well worth checking out. Especially considering the price!
I ticked those boxes. My first ever publication was a story called Shipwrecked which was published in issue 163 back in January 2012.
Given that I met the criteria, I put in a submission and was very pleased when Nuke accepted my submission for the flash fiction piece Authentic Empathy. Authentic Empathy will be my 10th story published in Antipodean, and I remain very grateful to Nuke for all the support he has given my work over the last couple of years.
In September 2014 Antipodean is at issue 195, so issue 200 won’t come around until next February. I’ll be very interested to see what else Nuke does for the anniversary.
A full list of my published stories can be found on my bibliography page.
Ion “Nuke” Newcombe is the latest victim of my interviewing technique. Nuke is the editor in chief of the Australian online magazine Antipodean SF and a long time supporter of the speculative fiction scene. Full disclosure: Nuke has published some of my flash fiction and has been both an inspiration and provided valuable support to my writing, making it doubly fun to be interviewing him.
Antipodean SF has been going since 1998, and Nuke has some fascinating insights into trends that have happened in the SF scene over that time. He also has some great insights into the world of flash fiction. Check out the show notes for more details, then get your listening ears on.
Many thanks to Nuke for not only putting up with my questions, but providing such an interesting and wide ranging set of answers!
In the 2014 Snapshot, I was fortunate to be interviewer Jason Nahrung’s final interview (edit 23/8/2014: actually he snuck one extra in after me – but I was his final interview at the time I wrote the original post!) in what must have been an absolute mad scramble. In fact, pop over to Jason’s blog and read a much better description of the Snapshot process . Don’t worry, I’ll wait.
Welcome back. Now I’m going to direct you back over to Jason’s blog to read his interview with me. I know – making you go all the way over there and back, just to make you go all the way over there again. I am a cruel and fickle friend, make no mistake.
While answering the fiendish questions Jason posed, I realised this is the first time I’ve been interviewed because of my involvement in the field. It was an odd sensation.
I understand that links to the collected Snapshot interviews will be archived at the SF Signal website. I’ll provide a more precise link once it becomes available.
The full list of all 2014 Snapshot interviews is now up on the SF Signal website right here.
This website is an affiliate of Dimension 6, where you can download each issue.
Issue 2 – (July 2014)
Issue 2 features:
‘At Dawn’s Speed’ by Dirk Strasser
Swift and her tribe have been running their whole lives, because the touch of the sun brings the ‘silvering’.
‘Upon a Distant Shore’ by Alan Baxter
Astronaut Anatoly Novikov wanted a mission that would inscribe his name on the ages. Finally he got one.
‘He Ain’t Dead’ by Robert N Stephenson
It’s simple really. Don’t mess with native American burial mounds.
Recently, our podcast was nominated for a Ditmar (which are the Australian national voted speculative fiction awards) in the Best Fan Publication in Any Medium category. It was a great honour to be nominated, however we were up against some absolutely fantastic competition (the likes of Galactic Suburbia, The Writer and the Critic, The Coode St podcast – all of which are up for the internationally recognised Hugo award this year). I don’t know about the others, but I spent quite some time practicing my gracious loser face, in case the television cameras panned to me when they announced someone else won.
(What do you mean it wasn’t broadcast on national television? What about local television? You mean that was just some guy with his own video camera? Sheesh)
There were a lot of awards to give out (the Victorian Chronos Awards, the Ditmars and a few additional individual awards that defy classification), but MC’s George Ivanoff and Narelle Harris did an excellent job keeping things moving. Soon enough we got to our category, and I sat in the audience with what I hoped was a congratulatory grin on my face.
And then we won!
It was a shock, I can tell you. Sean Wright, our intrepid leader and absolute backbone of the Galactic Chat podcast, led us up on stage and before I knew it we were each being handed a trophy.
Sean and Alex did the talking for us on stage, but I’d like to use this post to thank my fellow interviewers (Sean Wright, Alex Pierce, Helen Stubbs and David McDonald) and in particular thank our fellow nominees – I listen to all the other podcasts and always take a huge amount of enjoyment from them and both fanzines listed have a long and distinguished history in the Australian speculative fiction scene. I’d also like to thank Jason Nahrung and Keith Stevenson, who were the very patient subjects of my newbie interview techniques during the qualifying period.
Congratulations to all the winners on the night, in particular Sean Wright who also took home the Best Fan Writer award.
And most importantly, thank you to everyone who voted for us. You know who you are.
For a full list of all nominees, you can go here. At the time of writing, a list of the full results hadn’t been published, but I shall come back and edit this post when they have.
The results are on Wikipedia now.
If semi-urban Australian fantasy with an elderly protagonist isn’t quite your style, you can still check out the other excellent offering which include:
- Girl with the Crooked Spine by Jason Sturner – an unusual fantasy about a unique girl and a misfit boy who meet in the Field Museum in Chicago.
- A Learned Man by Melinda Brasher is a fantasy inspired by La Leyenda de Bolsa Salgado, an El Salvadorian folktale.
- Khuminay and the Axe-Wielding Psycho by Barton Paul Levenson. In it, there’s a creature named Khuminay and there’s at least one murder via an axe.
- Between the Covers by Kathryn Yelinek takes place partly on Earth and partly on another world and explore the topic: what do you do if your memories of yourself aren’t reliable?
- Forgetting by David E. Hughs is another memory related story.
On the non-fiction side is the ‘Spec Fic in Flicks’ column by Marty Mapes. This edition the topic is “An Alien Perspctive on the Human Condition”.
This edition also contains an interview with author Brian McClellan. McClellan writes epic fantasy, specifically, The Powder Mage Trilogy.
I hope you enjoy Showdown and the rest this edition of Electric Spec.
I wasn’t sure I was going to be able to make any conventions this year. Life has been quite hectic and while I’ve made enough accommodations to fit in some writing every day, I didn’t think I’d be able to get away for a whole long weekend.
But my very understanding wife, perhaps sensing the need for me to have some down time, suggested that I head to Melbourne for the convention. I suspect I’m going to need to look after the kids one weekend in the near future so she can get away as well!
I’m arriving on the Saturday morning and leaving Monday morning, so I’ll miss the very start and very end of the convention. But that should still leave plenty of time for catching up with friends and generally imbibing the goodness that is a SF convention.
If you’re going to Continuum and you see me around, make sure you come up and say hi.
I have become a patron of the arts! Well, of an art. “How did this happen?” I hear you ask. No, no – too late. You’re committed to hearing an answer now.
As Jeeves (*) was driving me down to the Opera House to smoke cigars and laugh at student protestors with my wealthy mates, it occurred to me that with my fabulous riches came the obligation to be seen to support the arts. Of course I don’t want to actually hang around with creative types. Bohemian grungy plebs with their dreadlocks and their communism. No, I was delicately balanced on the horns of a dilemma. How did I maintain my social status by being able to talk about the “worthy” causes I supported, without actually touching any of the people involved in them?
Jeeves pointed out that the Internet was handy for the whole not-actually-physically-interacting thing. After I had him roundly whipped for speaking to his betters without permission, I had a sudden thought. It occurred to me that the Internet is handy for the whole not-actually-physically-interacting thing. So I sought out causes whose worth I could talk about and donate to without actually meeting any of the artists.
And that was how I came across Musketeer Space, an initiative by Tasmanian writer Tansy Rayner Roberts.
To quote from the artist herself:
Musketeer Space is a (mostly) gender-swapped retelling of The Three Musketeers by Alexandre Dumas, one of my favourite all time books, as a space opera. The gender-swapping aspect is part of the experiment – I wanted to challenge some of my own preconceptions about gender and narrative, and taking a classic novel apart like this is a fun way to do it. Plus I love space opera, the kind with heightened drama and romance, and I think there’s nothing wrong with mashing up spaceships with swashbuckle.
Roberts will be publishing one chapter a week of this interesting sounding book, and the first chapter is now online on her website. She also gives an update on the experience of using Patreon to gather ongoing funding.
I highly enjoyed the first chapter and decided to dip my toe in the waters of patronising by pledging a monthly amount. There are some interesting advantages in pledging at higher levels, and while I don’t need a fictional spaceship named after me (my membership of a nameless secret society dedicated to maintaining clandestine contact with our alien overlords means I have an actual spaceship named after me), the idea of getting extra information from the author in the form of a regular newsletter certainly appealed.
So if you, like me, yearn to add “Patron of the Arts” to your resume, why not head over to the Musketeer Space Patreon page and get involved.
(*) of course it would be a wild coincidence if someone called Jeeves actually decided to become a butler/driver. So wild that I won’t insult your intelligence by pretending that is actually what happened. I made him change his name when he came into my service of course.
Who are Electric Spec? In their own words:
Electric Spec is a not-for-profit speculative fiction magazine published four times per year. Our primary goal is getting great speculative fiction into the hands (or screens) of readers. Since 2005, we’ve been publishing short stories from authors all over the world. We’ve worked with all kinds of authors, from published professionals to new writers. We also believe in the value of the editorial process, and we edit every story we publish.
Electric Spec have recently published a blog article announcing some of the first line up for their next edition (including me!), which can be found here.
I’m really excited to work with Lesley and the rest of the Electric Spec editorial team on bringing Showdown to life. The edition is due to be published on May 31, and I hope you read and enjoy my story.