In which a random sampling of topics is covered

Hi all. Hope this blog post finds you well.

The 2016 Australian Speculative Fiction Snapshot just completed. Yours truly was interviewed, but don’t let that put you off checking out the whole shebang. The Snapshot is an excellent rounding up of what’s going on in the Australian scene – well worth checking out who’s doing what.

Note: at the time of writing, the 2016 front page linked into above does not have all of the interviews listed. Hopefully it will be up to date by the time you read this.

The Hugo awards were announced this weekend at WorldCon over in Kansas City. In yet another year of controversial nomination and voting practices, I was sad to see so many “no award” wins. I must admit that seeing the Hugos become an idealogical battleground in a away that artificially distorts voting patterns has made me a bit “meh” about them, so I haven’t paid as much attention to the shortlist/final awards as I might have in previous years. In previous years I have bought supporting memberships of the relevant convention so I could vote, but this year I couldn’t really be bothered. And that’s a shame.

It’s been great to seeĀ The Writer and the Critic podcast get back into its monthly groove. I’ve just listened to the latest episode, and while neither of the books interested me too much going in, the broader discussion about books that achieve longevity on best seller lists was quite interesting. Hopefully they’ll get back to more speculative fiction content though.

You may have noticed that I’ve started to republish one of my old stories on the website, over 5 parts. No real reason, just felt like it really. Part 1 of “Showdown” can be found here, and I’ll publish the last sections over the next few weeks.

I’ve almost finished the first draft of a novella length work – looking like it is going to come in at about 26k – 27k words. I’ll ship it around to a few venues, but if I don’t get much traction I might serially publish it as well. It’d be nice to get the publication credit somewhere, but I must admit that has been concerning me less lately. In this case, putting the words out there might just be the push I need to build up a bit more momentum. Anyway, still a fair bit of editing to do so I don’t have to make up my mind for a little while.

And finally, if you’re interested in general Australian SF news you should check out Alex Pierce’s column at Alex is much better informed than me – as her latest column demonstrates!

The Writer and the Critic episode 18

I don’t normally write posts about individual episodes of the podcasts that I listen to, but in this month’s episode of one of my favourite podcasts The Writer and the Critic they covered my feedback. And talked about it for a while.

I listen to a few podcasts, so I first became aware of the fact that my comments were talked about from a post on Sean the Bookonaut’s website (by the way, if you are in any way interested in the Australian speculative fiction community, Sean’s website Adventures of a Bookonaut is a “must subscribe” – he publishes news, book reviews and other pieces of general interest on a daily basis. Well worth checking out).

I knew which piece of feedback they would be talking about. And I became worried. Was my question so asinine that they had to devote significant amounts of time to mocking it? The question was related to gender and reading habits, had I inadvertently said something massively offensive? I immediately bumped The Writer and the Critic up to the top of my podcast listening list and listened in on my walk to work this morning.

Fortunately and to my everlasting relief, the presenters (Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond) actually liked my question and spent a good amount of time responding to it. If you’re interested, I’d definitely recommend going and having a listen. Suffice to say the answer was excellent, giving me much more food for thought.

My engagement with the broader speculative fiction community is unfortunately constrained by the business of life, so I really get a kick out of experiencing some of these kinds of interactions.