Sinister Slices ~ May 2009

Welcome back to our cavern of chilling machinations. It’s time for this months update of new releases to tickle your morbid bone.

Don’t forget to email your submissions to


Writing Queensland Magazine May 2009

So you want to write scary movies? Making money from monsters.

by Mark David Ryan

Available from: Queensland Writer’s Centre

If you’re a writer with a passion for scary movies, a wordsmith who watches the occasional horror flick and writing your own has crossed your mind, or a writer who terrifies readers with an interest in screenwriting, then there has never been a better time to write Aussie horror flicks. This article introduces the horror genre’s core characteristics, issues to consider when crafting a horror flick, and provides tips for getting scripts into the hands of producers.

Sinister Reads ~ May 2009

Welcome back to our decadent den of nefarious deeds. Here we have this month’s new releases for you to sink your teeth into.

Don’t forget to email your submissions to



Cruel Summer ~ Pre-order Now! ~

by Matt Venne

Illustrated by Daniele Serra

Tasmaniac Publications

ISBN: 978-0-9803868-8-2RRP: $14.00 US (free shipping within Australia)

Release date: July 25th 2009

Available from: Tasmaniac Publications, Horror Mall, Jeff ‘n’ Joys Quality Books.

Cruel Summer is a dark coming-of-age tale, set in the summer of 1985 against the very real backdrop of the atrocities committed by the infamous serial killer who came to be known the world over as The Night Stalker.

When young Jim Craine learns about The Night Stalker’s bloody rampage through the Los Angeles county neighborhoods that surround his small hometown, he begins to realize that life isn’t as idyllic in his suburban neighborhood as he had once believed.

As the blood spilled by the Night Stalker swirls into an ever-tightening whirlpool that threatens to suck Jim into its deadly abyss, the young man will come to discover that some of life’s greatest horrors are those that are quietly scratching at the thin stucco walls between happiness and sorrow.


A haunting coming-of-age story about that shadowed land from which none of us emerges unscathed – our own childhoods. Don’t be fooled by his easy, conversational voice, either – Matt Venne is going to take you to some dark places… all the more heart-wrenching for being real.” Author Michael Marshall.

Cruel Summer manages to be intensely personal, nerve-wracking, deeply humane, down-and-out nasty, and compulsively readable all within the space of fewer pages than it takes most perennial bestsellers to get started. This is the real stuff, folks: a heart very much in the pulps of the 40s and 50s, with timeless sensibilities, and a pace that makes most Richard Stark and Joe Lansdale novels look like they’re standing still. This one’s a sharp kick in the gut, heart, and head. Strap in and open to the first page. Have bandages ready. And your living will up to date.” Gary A. Braunbeck – 5-time Bram Stoker Award-winner – Coffin County, Far Dark Fields.


Beneath the Dark Ice

by Greig Beck

Pan Macmillan

ISBN: 9780330425490

RRP: $32.99 AU

Release date: May 2009

Available from: 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)


Sinister Slices ~ April 2009

Greetings from this, our decadent den in cyberspace!

Our menu today consists of a variety of short fiction and articles pertaining to our beloved craft of writing. So pull up a chair and make yourself at home. You never know who’s head might roll this way.



Monstrous: 20 Tales of Giant Creature Terror

Six-Legged Shadows
by David Conyers & Brian M. Sammons

Permuted Press
ISBN 13:9781934861127
Price: $US14.95
Available from: Permuted Press
Release date: January 2009

After an absence from Earth for fifty-thousands years, a starship of human colonists return home to find their world dramatically changed. Humans are no more, wilderness has replaced civilisation, ice-shelfs cover the northern continents and grass has grown to gigantic sizes. The returning colonists soon fear what else might have grown with the flora, and that it might hunt them even now.


“A great little sci-fi terror fest that is reminicent of the Twilight Zone in every way. I loved it!” –

“A nifty H.G. Wells-ish collaboration from David Conyers and Brian M. Sammons that packs a clever finale” Horror Fiction Review


adfh3 Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror Volume 3
Editor: Angela Challis

The Wildflowers
by Marty Young

Brimstone Press
ISBN: 978-0-9805677-0-0
ISSN no.: 1835-4904
Price: $24.95
Release date: April 2009
Available from: Brimstone Press, Indie Books Online and most bookstores (including Dymocks and speciality retailers)


Borderlands 11

Disney’s World
by Jay Caselberg

Dirty Paper Wings
by Felicity Dowker

To Kill a Lesser God
by Mark Farrugia

Release date: April 2009
Available from: Borderlands


The story so far… 2009.

Well here it is folks! Can you smell the fresh ink?

From the macabre minds of members of the Australian Horror Writers’ Association, Sinister Reads is proud to introduce new, fascinating forays into the darkness and beyond.

Note from the team at Sinister Reads ~ The backlist will be updated as more submissions come in from AHWA members. If you think your book should be on the list, please email us and we’ll send you the submission information.




New Dark Voices 2
by Brett McBean, Ronald Damien Malfi, Nick Mamatas

Delirium Books
ISBN: 978-1-934546-06-2
RRP: US $16.95
Available from: Horror Mall and

Delirium’s annual anthology-series spotlighting the talents of tomorrow continues with New Dark Voices II. Edited by Brian Keene, NDVII features three brand-new, terrifying, genre-bending novellas by underground favorite Ronald Damien Malfi, the critically acclaimed Nick Mamatas, and hot Australian writer Brett McBean.




Editors: Mark S. Deniz & Amanda Pillar
Illustrator: Reece Notley

Morrigan Books
ISBN: 978-91-977605-0-8
RRP: AU$19.00 – including a $2 donation to the Paul Haines Cancer Fund
Available from: Morrigan Books, Fantastic Planet, Dymocks Southland and Pulp Fiction Books – Brisbane.

In every room, there is a story. In this hotel, the stories run to the wicked and macabre. Well-crafted psychological and supernatural horror offerings await you, each written by a master storyteller. Whether you are looking to be shocked, disturbed or out-right frightened, Voices will have something to titillate your nerves and make your hair stand up on end. Leave the lights on and brew a strong cup of tea, the voices in the room plan on keeping you up all night.


Check out Dark Wolf’s Fantasy Reviews.



The Nobody
by Tom Piccirilli
Illustrator: Alex McVey
Introduced by Norman Partridge

Tasmaniac Publications
ISBN: 978-0-9803868-7-5
RRP: $22.95 (free shipping within Australia)
Available from publisher via: Tasmaniac Publications

Cryer once had another name, but he can’t remember it.

The man he used to be was stabbed in the head by an assailant. After months of catatonia Cryer awakens in a mental facility to find that his former life is almost completely forgotten. He knows his wife and daughter have been murdered – he saw them die moments before his own assault – but his shattered mind is incapable of retaining their names. Or even his own.

Now Cryer is free again and trying to track down an elusive killer through his own unknown past. But how do you investigate the murders of your loved ones when you can’t remember them? When you have no idea who your friends or enemies were? Where you lived and worked? And what secrets you might have once had and failed to keep?

And how is he supposed to deal with the little man who keeps crawling in and out of his skull?

Cryer is a nobody now, but that won’t stop him from finding a vicious murderer and making him pay.


“THE NOBODY is a dangerous exploration into the mind and soul of man. Piccirilli’s beautiful prose allows us to take a peek into the abyss of our consciousness and shine a light into those places that warmth has long ago forgot.   You cannot read this book and not be changed.” Larry Roberts – Bloodletting Press.

“Part vigilante procedural, part hard-boiled PI yarn and part examination-of-post-loss-survival weepie, THE NOBODY is Tom Piccirilli at his uncompromising best. A roller-coaster ride? You bet. A page-turner, even? Yep, no question. A palpable atmosphere, larger-than-life characterisation and impeccable plotting? They’re all there.”
Peter Crowther – PS Publishing.

“Shocking, tragic, beautifully written, insightful and nuanced, mournful and uplifting —
everything we’ve come to expect from Tom Piccirilli, done to perfection. From its brutal opening scene to its heartfelt final pages, The Nobody is Pic at his finest.”
RJ Sevin – Creeping Hemlock Press.




Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror Volume 3
Editor: Angela Challis

Brimstone Press
ISBN: 978-0-9805677-0-0
RRP: $24.95
Available from: Brimstone Press, Indie Books Online and most bookstores (including Dymocks and speciality retailers)

The latest volume in the annual, critically-acclaimed ‘year’s best’ anthology series. Zombies and vampires lie within but there are much more disturbing dangers to be found. Australian dark fiction mines deep into the darkest corners of the imagination and the results are seductive and deadly. Be warned: read these stories with the lights on and the door locked!



Deadly Desire - full rough cropped

Deadly Desire

by Keri Arthur

US: Bantam
ISBN: US: 978-0553591156 or 0553591150

UK & Aust: Piatkus / Hatchette Livre
ISBN: UK & Aust: ISBN 978-074-990934-5 (074990934X)

Guardian Riley Jenson always seems to face the worst villains. And this time’s no different. For it’s no ordinary sorceress who can raise the dead to do her killing. But that’s exactly what Riley expects to find at the end of a trail of female corpses used—and discarded—in a bizarre ritual of evil. With pressure mounting to catch one fiend, another series of brutal slayings shocks the vampire world of her lover, Quinn. So the last thing Riley needs is the heat of the upcoming full moon bringing her werewolf hormones to a boil—or the reappearance of a sexy bounty hunter, the rogue wolf Kye Murphy.

Riley has threatened Murphy with arrest if he doesn’t back off the investigation, but it’s Riley who feels handcuffed by Kye’s lupine charm. Torn between her vamp and wolf natures, between her love for Quinn and her hots for Kye, Riley knows she’s courting danger and indulging the deadliest desires. For her hunt through the supernatural underworld will bring her face-to-face with what lurks in a darkness where even monsters fear to tread.



by Shane Jiraiya Cummings
Illustrated by Andrew J. McKiernan

Brimstone Press
RRP: $16.95
Available from:  Brimstone PressIndie Books Online, and most bookstores (including Dymocks and speciality retailers)

Shards is dark fiction at its shortest and sharpest. Each shard is an imaginative fragment, broken, sharp, and poised to draw blood. Every story is illustrated by the darkly imaginative Andrew J. McKiernan.



Phantasy Moste Grotesk ~ Limited Edition ~
Felicity Dowker

Corpulent Insanity Press
Available from: Corpulent Insanity Press


“A dark carnival of intoxicating delights.  Dowker is one of Australia’s rising talents and a writer to watch.” Will Elliott, author of The Pilo Family Circus.

“With Phantasy Moste Grotesk, Felicity Dowker has created a nightmarish world that combines the mood of a good old-fashioned horror tale with gruesome freak show imagery.  There is also a violent undercurrent of emotional strife which makes this an impressive and disturbing novella.” Jordan Krall, author of Piecemeal June and Squid Pulp Blues.

“Once you’ve read this fantastic book, you’ll never look at Ferris wheels the same way again.” Bradley Sands, author of It Came from Below the Belt.

Check out more reviews at ASif!HorrorScope and Brenton Tomlinson.


The story so far… 2008.

Here’s your chance to take a look at some of the pieces that have come out over the last few years.

All of the books listed here are confirmed available for purchase. Follow the links to secure your copy.

Note from the team at Sinister Reads ~ The backlist will be updated as more submissions come in from AHWA members. If you think your book should be on this list, please email us and we’ll send you the submission information.



Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror Volume 2 (2007 edition)
Editor: Angela Challis

Brimstone Press
ISBN: 978-0-9802817-2-9
RRP: $24.95
Available from: Brimstone Press, Indie Books Online,
Fantastic Planet and Dymocks Southland.

The best and darkest Australian short stories in one book! Each of these tales explore the darkness of the human condition. Ghosts, monsters, alien gods, sadists, the forsaken, and the deranged all lie within. Australia’s best dark fiction writers will scare the hell out of you.


Black Box
Editor: Shane Jiraiya Cummings

Brimstone Press
RRP: $12.95
Available from: Brimstone Press, Indie Books Online, and Fantastic Planet

What’s inside the Box? Nearly 100 of the darkest, most surreal flash fiction stories from 80 of the hottest horror and fantasy authors, music from the best Australian alternative, gothic opera, metal, and hip hop artists, and electronic galleries of dark art from the finest Australian and emerging international artists. Black Box is a two-disk set (e-anthology and bonus audio disk).


Wild Child Publishing
RRP: $5.95 USD
Available from: Wild Child Publishing & Fiction Wise

“For weeks, I have tossed and turned in my bed in turmoil over whether to publish this. But the people of this town must be warned. Everyone must be aware of the danger lurking in the dark, waiting.”

Samhane. Just a sleepy town in the rolling hills of northern England. A nice place to live.

Few people know the truth…. Read more

Donald Patterson travels to Samhane in pursuit of a sadistic murderer and rapist. Unless Donald reaches Orchard House by midnight, his fiancee will be the star of the next torturous broadcast….

Brian Rathbone and his son are already in Samhane, hired by the mayor. Specialist exterminators, their talents have helped to deal with the ‘little problems’ that have begun to massacre the residents. But as events take a more sinister turn, Brian wonders about the true reason they are there….

Blood and carnage. Pain and suffering. Desire and sweet chaos.

Welcome to Samhane.


“Russell has a talent for story telling… and at such a good price you should grab a copy.” Withersin Magazine

“I can’t wait to read Russell’s next novel.” R.Scott McCoy, Necrotic Tissue

“Compared to some of the top authors in the genre.” Word Weavers