Archive for March, 2010

From the Shadows …

Posted in Awards Announcements on March 26, 2010 by ahwasinisterreads

Some monsters should never be disturbed.

Some demons should never be summoned.

Some people should stay dead.

I guess these guys never got that memo …

You know who you are. Your pilgrimage across the deserts of Hell are well documented from behind the thin veil of your fiction. You’ve been there – you’ve seen evil; where it lives, breathes and breeds. Your horrors are too vivid to be flights of fancy. We know that you feed the beasts that inspire you. That’s why they let you live.

You write of them often. I wish I could say it was to warn us, but your words draw us in and deliver us beyond the veil and into the abyss of your imagination. You lead us to them; the latest victims to your insatiable muse. You tell us not to scream but we defy you. Our only solace comes from the echo of our last breath as we close the book.

Behind our eyes linger the scars of our encounter.

Through your words we have become the haunted.

It’s every horror writer’s dream to scar the psyche of their readers with characters that haunt them in those quiet moments before sleep. It’s a legacy passed between friends as they thrust a copy of the book at their nearest and dearest, feeding the creatures within a fresh mind to torment. The writers you are about to meet are living that dream as their stories continue to menace the selection panel and sink their claws into the judges.

And now it is your turn to catch a glimpse of their world.

Step up and succumb. You might enjoy it.

Australian Shadows Award Nominations for Long Fiction

Deborah Biancotti is an Australian author of urban and dark fantasy. Her first published story won an Aurealis Award and her first collection, A Book of Endings, was shortlisted for the 2010 William L. Crawford Award for Best First Fantasy Book.

A Book of Endings is a collection of 21 of my short stories in the dark genres of horror, urban fantasy, dark fantasy, call-it-what-you-will. We roughly cut up the stories into three acts or types: end of days, end of the world, end of an era. We kinda did that just for fun, but when one reader asked how the end of the world could occur before the end of an era, I realised that I was trapped in what Freud would call the paradox of the ego: I can’t picture the end of the world without imagining that I’d survive it. Ah, Freud, you crazy, cigar-chewing coke addict. I hate when you’re right.

Deborah is now working on her first novel, working title Broken set in contemporary Sydney where the subconscious world is reaching out and snatching people up. She likes to think it’s a work of fiction. She has new fiction coming out in time for the 2010 WorldCon in Melbourne, including a novella set in contemporary Sydney from Gilgamesh Press. She also has an upcoming essay on ³No Country for Old Men² in Twenty-First Century Gothic: Great Gothic Novels since 2000.

She continues to write short stories and refer to herself as a ‘tired idealist’. You can find Deborah online at her homemade website, or her lj blog, or her favourite interwebby outlet, Twitter. Say hi, she likes that.


Honey Brown lives in country Victoria with her husband and two children. She has been writing novels and screen plays for seven years, and during this period wrote Red Queen. Before settling down she worked and lived in various remote places around Australia. She spent her childhood in Tasmania, growing-up in a convict built house. In her late twenties she was involved in a devastating farm accident, and now lives with challenges of a spinal injury.

In writing Red Queen my intention was to strip back the apocalyptic genre to the bare necessities. I considered how isolating a worldwide catastrophe would be; far from having all the details and knowing the facts, a survivor would know very little. The fear of the unknown would be ever-present. I wanted the novel to be sparse, and the characters raw. Having a woman as the antagonist was a natural decision – in a psychological thriller, a woman could do justice to the sly and manipulative behavior that was needed. I enjoyed writing Red Queen. The characters took on a life of their own, and surprised me with the things that they did. In the end the novel wrote itself, and I typed fast, trying to keep up.


Paul Haines was raised in the ‘70s, in the wrong part of Auckland, New Zealand. After completing a degree in the frozen, drunken depths of Otago he wound up working in computers and was eventually lured by sex and money to Australia in the ‘90s. Vowing to never call it home, he now lives in Melbourne with his wife and daughter. He is the author of the collections Slice of Life (The Mayne Press, 2009), Doorways For The Dispossessed (Prime Books, 2006) and the forthcoming The Last Days Of Kali Yuga (Brimstone Press, 2010). He has won the Aurealis, Ditmar, Sir Julius Vogel and Chronos Awards for his efforts.

Wives was inspired by a footnote in my travel guide to China, stating that young women were being routinely kidnapped for wives due to short supply and a growing demand. It started off as the perfect 2,500 word horror story but evolved into something quite different, coming in at just under 38,000 words. It took me over four years to write it in three major sittings. I lost confidence after every sitting and sat there wondering just what the fuck I was doing writing something as nasty and evil and all too fucking true-blue close-to-the-bone, mate, as this. My Great Australian Novella.

Fair Dinkum. What did you say? Do ya wanna go? Cunt!


Stephen M. Irwin‘s debut novel, supernatural thriller The Dead Path, was born in a lovely and restful three-month space between corporate writing jobs. It was adopted by Hachette Australia, who gave it a good clean and very pretty clothes, then set it loose among the unsuspecting public in mid-2009. Like the nasty thing it is, it has spread – initially to Europe, and later this year to the continent and on to China. Stephen is quietly hoping no one will be spared. He is boning up on his pumpkin-carving skills in anticipation of the book’s release by Random House in the US this October. In the interim, he has his TV writer’s mask on and is working on a new Australian crime series, after which he is returning to his second novel, with which – he confesses – he is giving himself the willies.

I’m determined that people realise Brisbane is a most unsettling place.

(He is speaking, I’m sure, in terms of fiction writing. But don’t pick up any strange, leering pumpkins, just in case.)


We wish all the nominees the best of luck on April 5th, 2010 … but rest assured, evil wins no matter what.

Sinister Reads ~ March 2010

Posted in Awards Announcements, Book Launches, Book Signings, General Information, New Releases, Pre-order, Sinister Slices on March 15, 2010 by ahwasinisterreads

This month we have gone above and beyond to chase down the latest Aussie horror. Our minions returned to the office battered and bruised (well to be honest, they were like that before they left. FYI – makeshift ice hockey during the lunch break – not a good idea)  to ensure you’re getting nothing but fresh ink from some of Australia’s most diabolical minds.

If you need to make a submission or you have any questions (or know first aid), please email us.


The Australian Shadows Awards finalists have been announced!

Ok, Ok – we’ll cut straight to the list. Put the drill down …

Long Fiction

The Dead Path: Stephen M Irwin (Hachette Australia)

Red Queen: H. M. Brown (Penguin Australia)

Slights: Kaaron Warren (Angry Robot)

Wives: Paul Haines (X6, Coeur de Lion Publishing)

A Book of Endings: Deborah Biancotti (Twelfth Planet Press)

Edited Publication

Grants Pass: edited by Jennifer Brozek & Amanda Pillar (Morrigan Books)

Festive Fear: edited by Stephen Clark (Tasmaniac Publications)

Aurealis #42: edited by Stuart Mayne (Chimaera Publications)

Short Fiction

The Message: Andrew J. McKiernan (Midnight Echo #2)

Busking: Jason Fischer (Midnight Echo #3)

The Gaze Dogs of Nine Waterfalls: Kaaron Warren (Exotic Gothic 3)

Six Suicides: Deborah Biancotti (A Book of Endings)

The Emancipated Dance: Felicity Dowker (Midnight Echo #2)

We’ll be running profiles of our finalists over the next couple of weeks. Be sure to check back in and find how much of their soul they sacrificed to keep their muse happy.

In other awards news ~ Paul Haines is at it again. Slice of Life has picked up the 2010 Chronos Award for Long Fiction adding this this publication’s list of accolades. Congratulations Paul on your continued success!

We’re going to take this opportunity to congratulate the AHWA’s Flash & Short Story Competition winners. Eugene Gramelis took out the Flash Fiction category with his piece Labour Pains while Jason Fischer won the Short Fiction category with Busker. Both winning pieces can be found in Midnight Echo #3. And congratulations to those that received Commendations: Matt Tighe (Where waves Die), Clare Fernado (Perfect Setting for a Horror Movie), Felicity Dowker (That Which We Create), Tim Baker (The Thing That Ate Him) and Ahmed Hafez (Where Are You Stars).


Sinister Gatherings

In-human Book Launch

Toni Jordan (Addition Text Publishing) is launching In-human at 2pm Saturday 20 March 2010 at Sun Bookshop Yarraville, Melbourne.

Refreshments will be provided.

If you’re interested in attending, please RSVP Transit Lounge

If you would like your book launch or signing promoted here, please email us.


Sinister Reads

~ Pre-order ~ The Sex Doll: A History

by Anthony Ferguson

McFarland & Company, Inc.

ISBN: 9780786447647 (Softcover)

ISBN: 9780786456628 (e-Book)

RRP: $35.00 US

Release date: Autumn 2010

Available from: McFarland & Company, Inc.

This scholarly study of the centuries-long history of fornicatory dolls examines the enduring obsession with creating an idealized, silent female sexual object and the manifestations of this desire through the ages in mythology, literature, art, philosophy and science. This particular sexual impulse has been expressed in a great variety of forms such as statues, mannequins, sex dolls, and gynoids (robots). In particular this study focuses on the evolution of the sex doll through its original incarnation as a sack cloth effigy, through the marketing of inflatable dolls, to the current elaborate cyber-technology figures, in an attempt to discover the hidden drives and desires which fuel this ongoing fantasy of creating a perfect, powerless, silent partner.

With an entire chapter dedicated to devil dolls and gynoids in horror literature and cinema, this resource could add a new dimension to your next novel.


The Phantom Queen Awakes

Edited by Mark S. Deniz & Amanda Pillar

Illustrated by Cecily Webster & Reece Notley

Morrigan Books

ISBN-10: 9197760595

ISBN-13: 9789197760591

RRP: $20.00 US

Available from: Amazon Books, Amazon Kindle, and Morrigan Books

The Phantom Queen, goddess of death, love and war, returns to strike fear into the hearts of mortals in the anthology, The Phantom Queen Awakes. Meet a washerwoman on the shores of the river; cleaning the clothes of the soon-to-be-dead; try to bargain with the capricious goddess of war; hear the songs of the dead as they cry for justice; walk with heroes of the past. Revisit the world of the Celts; a land of mystical beauty, avarice, lust and war through stories told by Katharine Kerr, C.E. Murphy, Elaine Cunningham and Anya Bast, among many other talented authors.


Beneath the Dark Ice

by Greig Beck

Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9780330425490

RRP: $32.99 AU (Trade Paperback), $19.99 AU (Paperback)

Available from: Big W and Pan Macmillan

When a plane crashes into the Antarctic ice, exposing a massive cave beneath, a rescue and research team is dispatched. Twenty-four hours later, all contact is lost.

Captain Alex Hunter and his highly trained squad of commandos are fast tracked to the hot zone to find out what went wrong – and to follow up the detection of a vast underground reservoir. Accompanying the team is an assortment of researchers, including petrobiologist Aimee Weir. If the unidentified substance proves to be an energy source, every country in the world will want to know about it, some would even kill for it.

Once inserted into the cave system, they don’t find any survivors – not even a trace of their bodies. Primeval hieroglyphs hint at an ancient civilisation, and an ancient danger.  Within hours, one of the party will die, and begins the race to find a way to the surface while being hunted by a creature from Earth’s very dawn.


His debut novel Beneath the Dark Ice has all the ingredients of a late night page-turner: a remote and dangerous setting, a rugged hero with an Achilles heel, a vicious and deadly villain, geopolitical intrigue and cutting-edge science. Throw in a feisty heroine and a band of elite soldiers, put them in the ruins of an ancient civilization and pit them against a mythological creature, and it’s a recipe for compulsive reading.” 
Lachlan Jobbins, Good Reading Magazine

A fast paced, fun and fantastic debut from a great new talent. Perfect escapism.” Paperchain Books.

Beneath the Dark Ice – In a word: GRIPPING.” Malcolm Tattersall, Townsville BULLETIN.

An exciting read! A successful mix of spy thriller, psychological drama, and scientific primeval action novel – with just a touch of the Jules Verne.” Anne Dickson, Rodney Libraries.

Exciting from beginning to end. Rated 4/5 Stars – Lesevergnügen (Reading Pleasure) .” Eva Hüppen – Lesser-Welt, Das Literaturportal (German Review)


Deathless Love

by Adrian Scott

Renaissance e-Books

ISBN: 9781615081905

RRP: $3.95 US

Release date: February 2010

Available from: Renaissance e-Books

Dominique DeVayne, mother of Phillip, the two year old showing lycanthropic tendencies, has fallen in love with Joe Byrne, right-hand man to Ben Hall, notorious bushranger. In a blazing ending, Dominique is caught between the police and Joe, and her son is left with no guidance through the horror that plagues his life as he journeys towards teenage-hood.


Sinister Slices

You Have to Leave Wanting & Untitled

by Jenny Breukelaar

Published in: Retort Magazine

Available from: Retort Magazine


by Shane Jiraiya Cummings

Published in: Legumeman Free Series

Available from: Legumeman Free Series

The Traps of Tumut

by Bill Congreve

Published in: Aurealis 43

Available from: Aurealis


The Facts of Fiction

Whither culture? Australian horror films and the limitations of cultural policy

by Dr Mark Ryan

Published in: Media International Australia: Incorporating Culture and Policy, no. 133, pp. 43-55

Available from: QUT ePrints

At Breaking Point? Challenges for Australian Film Policy through the Lens of Genre (horror) Films

by Dr Mark Ryan

Published in: Australian and New Zealand Communication Association Conference (ANZCA 09)

Available from: QUT

A new day breaks for the Aussie film industry

by Dr Mark Ryan

Published in: The Courier Mail

Available from: The Courier Mail