An illustration from my fairy tale, The Cobbler Mage, illustrated by Rebekah Pearson. Published by Little Fox Press.
|Posted by Angie on October 30, 2016 at 8:40 PM||comments (0)|
My story Borrowing Wings is now live at Syntax and Salt’s special edition: Myths, Monsters, Legends and Fairy Tales: It is a story about goose girls and a library that loans out wings taken from fairy tales, changelings and Da Vinci models.
You can read it here: http://syntaxandsalt.com/project-tag/special-issue-october-2016/
|Posted by Angie on October 21, 2016 at 8:00 PM||comments (0)|
My very lovely and talented friend, Suzanne J Willis has a story Invisible Boys accepted as part of this amazing anthology.
Here is a bit of background about the anthology from the editors:
“This anthology developed out of our love for the complexity and diversity of the state--features reflected in both the landscape and the people that inhabit them,” said Jaym Gates and J. Daniel Batt, the editors of Strange California. "California sprawls across a multitude of landscapes and has amassed a history full of the strange and unusual. There are secrets in the desert. Secrets in the cities. Strange and unusual happenings in the odd, dark places of the coastal state."
The anthology is being funded by a Kickstarter – it has only 6 days to go and is just over halfway funded and looks like it is going to be an awesome anthology that needs to be published! And I want the world to read Invisible Boys!
So, if you can support this, please go to the following link
https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jasonbatt/strange-california-a-speculative-fiction-anthology" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/jasonbatt/strange-california-a-speculative-fiction-anthology
|Posted by Angie on June 25, 2016 at 4:10 AM||comments (0)|
Tomorrow is the 2016 Australian Fairy Tale Society's Conference: Into the Bush: its Beauty and its Terror and I'm pleased to say I am doing a reading of my story, The Bush Bride of Badgery Hollow there.
Tomorrow's program is attached here:
|Posted by Angie on May 16, 2016 at 12:00 AM||comments (0)|
On May the 1st, Fae Visions of the Mediterranean was published. Edited by Valeria Vitale and Djibril al-Ayad, and published by Futurefire.net Publishing, it is an anthology dedicated to the folkore and mythos of the Mediterranean. This week I’m delighted to share with you all an interview with one of my fellow authors, poet and classicist, Jenny Blackford.
Jenny, your poems have been published in Westerly, Australian Poetry Journal, Strange Horizons, The Pedestal Magazine and more. Can you tell us a little about how you discovered poetry or how it found you?
It's so long ago it's hard to say! My mother and her father definitely read me all sorts of excellent poetry when I was tiny. My father, who grew up in Howlong, a tiny Australian bush town on the NSW-Victorian border, insisted on reciting Bush Verse at great length, which as a kid I found excruciating.
I have no idea when I wrote my first poem, though I spent years of my childhood sending poems in to the Sydney Herald kids pages, and occasionally getting published there. When I was 14 or 15, one of my poems won the Hunter Valley Research Foundation poetry prize, which was a pretty big deal for schoolkids around Newcastle, NSW. This wasn't great for my (already minimal) street cred in rough-as-guts Swansea High, but the English master was delighted. The poem was reprinted in Dolly, which was a much meatier (and less celebrity-obsessed) magazine back then. I had no idea at the time how unusual it was to get a paid publication in a mass-circulation magazine – I just took it for granted!
Sadly, I had a hard time with the English teacher imposed on me for my last two years of the fancier high school I had to go to so I could pursue my Latin studies. She managed to sap my confidence in anything Eng Lit-related. I loved my intensive Classics degree at the University of Newcastle, but I was too busy translating Greek and Latin poetry to write anything of my own. Then when I jumped sideways into computer networking, I didn't have the creative energy for anything but literary criticism.
When I left my day job in 2001 and got back to creative writing, I started with short stories, which all my literary friends were writing. Gradually, though, I wormed my way back to my first love, poetry.
As a poet and classicist, can you tell us what inspires or fascinates you about the folklore, myths and legends of the Mediterranean?
That's a hard one! I fell in love with everything about the ancient Mediterranean as soon as I encountered it. I can't remember a time when all things ancient Greek and Roman (and Egyptian, Punic, Syrian, Etruscan et al) didn't fascinate me - including, of course, their folklore, myths and legends. I do remember being tiny, and startling adults by telling them that I was going to study Greek and Latin when I grew up. And I did study them – right up to halfway through my still-unfinished PhD in comparative ancient religion, "The Tripartite Godhead in Indo-European Religion": Mediterranean myth and legend in one far-too-big-to-digest bundle.
3. Tell us a little about your writing process. Did you draw inspiration from nature, music or art for your creative process?
My poetry generally comes straight from my unconscious. I'll be doing something completely different – cooking, or gardening, or talking to friends – and a phrase or a sentence will come into my mind and demand to be written down. The poem then accretes around those words, little by little, coming from all the stored-up baggage in my head. And that includes thoughts and memories of nature, music and art, as well as wide reading in all things Ancient Greek and Roman – poetry, plays and stories, plus any number of reference works. I've read SO much about nymphs over the years!
4. What inspired you to write this poem? Was it based on any historical or mythological source?
Nymphs are big in Greek literature – for example, the beautiful nymph Calypso, on whose magical island Odysseus spent seven blissful years during his slow way home to his faithful wife Penelope back on Ithaca. But they were even bigger in folk belief. Few Greeks would have doubted that areas of natural beauty, especially springs, streams and trees, were inhabited by nymphs – tall, beautiful, immortal supernatural women. Nymphs are even referred to in Socrates' serious philosophical dialogues! In the Phaedrus, he even says he is speaking poetically because he is numpholeptos (or nympholeptus in the more usual Roman transliteration) – he is seized/inspired by the nymphs who obviously inhabit the nearby trees and stream where he and Phaedrus are talking.
In folk belief, nymphs were uncannily like British fairies – the dangerously beautiful fairies of "Thomas the Rhymer" and "La Belle Dame Sans Merci", not cute little flower fairies. Greek nymphs replaced healthy babies with sickly changelings, and sometimes stole men away from family and friends, taking them somewhere time and space moved differently.
And why, I wondered, was it always men? What if a woman fell in love with a dangerously beautiful nymph?
5. Who are three poets you think readers should know about?
I love the great classical Greek poets Sappho and Euripides, and Roman Catullus, but it's close to impossible for anyone to make a translation that really conveys their original meaning while still being real poetry. Their work is just too lyrical and dense with multiple meanings. Closer to our modern times, I couldn't go past WB. Yeats, the Irish master of poetry, but Gerard Manley Hopkins and Dylan Thomas are also wonderful. Closer still to me in time and space, Judy Johnson and Jean Kent right here in Newcastle, NSW, and Melinda Louise Smith not so far away in Canberra, ACT, are amazing poets. (I should add that Jean and Melinda are both published by award-winning Sydney imprint Pitt Street Poetry, which was responsible for the beautifully-illustrated little pamphlet of my cat poems, The Duties of a Cat, in 2013.)
Jenny Blackford is a poet and writer based in Newcastle, Australia. Her poems and stories have been published in Australian Poetry Journal, Cosmos Magazine, The Pedestal Magazine and more. Her poetry prizes include first place in the Humorous Verse section of the Henry Lawson awards 2014, second in the W.B. Yeats Poetry Prize for Australia 2016, and, most recently, first in the inaugural Connemara Mussell Festival Poetry 2016. In late 2013, Pitt Street Poetry published an illustrated pamphlet of her cat poems, The Duties of a Cat. Legendary feminist Pamela Sargent called her 2009 historical novella set in ancient Greece, The Priestess and the Slave, “elegant”. www.jennyblackford.com.
|Posted by Angie on May 3, 2016 at 7:20 PM||comments (0)|
Fae Visions of the Mediterranean has been released today! I'm thrilled to have my story, The Return Of Melusine appear in this anthology. This volume contains stories in many languages of the Mediterranean, all rich in the folklore of this mysterious sea.
|Posted by Angie on April 27, 2016 at 5:20 AM||comments (1)|
Fae Visions of the Mediterranean, edited by Valeria Vitale and Djibril al-Ayad and published by The Future Fire is an anthology centred around the sea myths and folklore of the Mediterranean. Being a first generation Australian and my parents migrating here from the Mediterranean as adults, I was eager to see what the book would read like. Excitedly, I submitted a story, The Return of Melusine. To add to that excitement, my story of mermaids that frequent the lagoons of Venice was accepted.
When people talk about mermaids, our minds often go to Hans Christian Andersen’s The Little Mermaid. Many don’t know of the mermaids of the Mediterranean – there are those sirens featured in Homer’s The Odyssey, there is a merman in Abdullah The Fisherman and Abdullah the Merman in the Arabian Nights, and the mermaid Partenope in the South of Italy that people leave ricotta cakes for on the shore.
Growing up in a migrant Sicilian household in Sydney, Australia, I was raised on such stories – particularly by my grandmother who was fond of telling tales. They changed each time they were told and sometimes had different endings but the mermaids and monsters were there. The sea was full of them.
We would go to bay in Brighton Le Sands in summer; it is still a popular seaside spot facing the airport and the oil refineries in Sydney and although far away from the Mediterranean, it is populated by migrants who have come from there. As a child I would immerse myself in these waters, a far cry from the Mediterranean, and imagine myself a mermaid. I would blow bubbles in the water and imagine the secret messages reaching the mermaids in caverns.
Years later I identified with mermaids for different reasons. Mermaids are symbolic for me with duality in nature, personal identity and a sense of self. I think a lot of mermaid myths deal with these themes – how much of yourself do you give in relationships? Do you deny an aspect of your authentic self in order for someone to love you? When Melusina tells her lover he is not to interrupt her when she is taking bath, she is claiming some space for her self, to authentically be. These days, when I want solitude and a sense of reclaiming self, I take a soak in the tub. There are a lot of truths in these tales of scale and skin about authenticity and personal space.
I think this is where the fascination with mermaids for us all lie. Their duality, their deep love and desire for others juxtaposed with their desire for space for self and to authentically be.
I am very excited to know that I am in an anthology centred on the sea of my origin:
Fae Visions of the Mediterranean
An Anthology of Horrors and Wonders of the Sea
2016, Futurefire.net Publishing
Edited by: Valeria Vitale and Djibril al-Ayad
Stories and Poems by: Jenny Blackford, S. Chakraborty, Rhys Hughes, Claude Lalumière, Adam Lowe, Christine Lucas, Kalina Aïch, Vladimira Becić, Kelda Crich, Álvaro Mielgo Gallego, Maria Grech Ganado, Lyndsay E. Gilbert, Hella Grichi, Louise Herring-Jones, Simon Kearns, Mari Ness, Mattia Ravasi, Angela Rega, Urša Vidic and Dawn Vogel
Translators: Arrate Hidalgo, Dunja Ševerdija
Cover art by: Tostoini
comes out on May 2nd, 2016. http://press.futurefire.net/p/fae-visions.html
|Posted by Angie on March 28, 2016 at 7:20 PM||comments (0)|
It was with much regret that I missed out on attending the Aurealis Awards over the Easter weekend and missed out on the festivities that surround this celebration of Australian speculative fiction. Here is the list of winners taken from the Aurealis Awards website. Congratulations to all the nominees and winners. What a wondrous line up!
BEST CHILDREN’S FICTION
A Single Stone, Meg McKinlay (Walker Books Australia)
BEST GRAPHIC NOVEL / ILLUSTRATED WORK
The Singing Bones, Shaun Tan (Allen & Unwin)
BEST YOUNG ADULT SHORT STORY
“The Miseducation of Mara Lys”, Deborah Kalin (Cherry Crow Children, Twelfth Planet Press)
BEST HORROR SHORT STORY
“Bullets”, Joanne Anderton (In Sunshine Bright and Darkness Deep, AHWA)
BEST HORROR NOVELLA
“The Miseducation of Mara Lys”, Deborah Kalin (Cherry Crow Children, Twelfth Planet Press)
BEST FANTASY SHORT STORY
“The Giant’s Lady”, Rowena Cory Daniells (Legends 2, Newcon Press)
BEST FANTASY NOVELLA
“Defy the Grey Kings”, Jason Fischer (Beneath Ceaseless Skies, Firkin Press)
BEST SCIENCE FICTION SHORT STORY
“All the Wrong Places”, Sean Williams (Meeting Infinity, Solaris)
BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVELLA
“By Frogsled and Lizardback to Outcast Venusian Lepers”, Garth Nix (Old Venus, Random House)
To Hold the Bridge, Garth Nix (Allen & Unwin)
Bloodlines, Amanda Pillar (ed.) (Ticonderoga Publications)
BEST YOUNG ADULT NOVEL
In The Skin of a Monster, Kathryn Barker (Allen & Unwin)
BEST HORROR NOVEL
Day Boy,Trent Jamieson (Text Publishing)
BEST FANTASY NOVEL
Day Boy,Trent Jamieson (Text Publishing)
BEST SCIENCE FICTION NOVEL
Illuminae, Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff (Allen & Unwin)
SARA DOUGLASS BOOK SERIES AWARD
The Watergivers [The Last Stormlord (2009), Stormlord Rising (2010), Stormlord’s Exile (2011)], Glenda Larke (HarperVoyager)
THE CONVENORS’ AWARD FOR EXCELLENCE
Letters to Tiptree, Alexandra Pierce and Alisa Krasnostein (Twelfth Planet Press)
|Posted by Angie on February 23, 2016 at 7:35 PM||comments (1)|
Strange Little Girls are made of sugar and spice, and something not quite as nice...
The strange little girls are orphans and changelings, suburban princesses, housewives, nuns and monsters. They are quirky and sweet, terrifying and heartbreaking. All of them a little lost, brimming with their own uniqueness.
In this strange little book of nineteen tales, Lotte goes swimming with her new fishy friends, Rin is freshly dug up, D'arcy strikes a bargain with the midnight mailman and Adelaide enters the mysterious House of Infinite Diversions. Our girls must fasten their bonnets and straighten their skirts to battle otherworldly dangers and challenging circumstances, internal struggles and doubts – and maybe find out who they really are.
Edited by Camilla Bruce and Liv Lingborn.
Table of Contents:
Fairy Tale Ending by Terra LeMay
Deep Down by Tim Jeffreys
The Cottage of Curiosities by Annie Neugebauer
Black Flower Butterfly by Rich Hawkins
Beehive Heart by Angela Rega
Annabelle’s Sleepover by Jan Stinchcomb
Bones in Boxes by Frances Pauli
Marco Polo by Calypso Kane
Teeth Bite Harder in the Dark by Sierra July
Sisters in the Art of Dying by Megan Neumann
The Empty Birdcage by L. Lark
Cedar Lake by Ekaterina Sedia
Pinhole by Tantra Bensko
From Strangers by Ephiny Gale
D’arcy Gray and the Midnight Mailman by Ian MacAllister-McDonald
Pretty Jennie Greenteeth by Leife Shallcross
Where Summer Ends by Colette Aburime
We Have Always Lived in the Subdivision by Karen Munro
House of Infinite Diversions by Aliya Whiteley
I'm really excited to have a story included in this anthology and to be ToC buddies with the lovely Leife Shallcross!
You can buy a print or ebook copy here!
|Posted by Angie on February 23, 2016 at 5:30 PM||comments (0)|
Look what arrived in the post! So excited to be part of this anthology! Featuring stories by writers including Ken Liu, Alan Baxter, Kaaron Warren, Sean Williams and Michelle Jager and edited by Sophie Yorkston - this is a lovely tome of tales!
You can order your copy at https://ifwgpublishing.com/stores/" target="_blank" rel="nofollow">https://ifwgpublishing.com/stores/
|Posted by Angie on February 22, 2016 at 10:40 PM||comments (0)|