Writing

Announcing the 2022 Aurealis Awards Judging Panels

I’m thrilled to be part of the judging panel for the 2022 Best Collection/Anthology. Enjoyed judging in the 2021 Best Horror Novel/Novella. Can’t wait to join the amazing Aurealis Awards teams again this year and see what great Australian speculative fiction is submitted!

Read the full post from the Aurealis Awards Committee below!!!


We are very pleased to welcome our 2022 Aurealis Awards judging panels. We had a massive response to our call out this year, and are delighted to …

Announcing the 2022 Judging Panels
reads, Recent Reads

You’ve Lost A Lot Of Blood

Publisher’s Description

“Each precious thing I show you in this book is a holy relic from the night we both perished-the night when I combed you from my hair and watered the moon with your blood.

You’ve lost a lot of blood . . .”


Review

I recently read Eric LaRocca’s second independently published novella You’ve Lost A Lot of Blood.

You’ve Lost a lot of Blood is a fictionalised presentation of the writings from Martyr Black and recorded conversations with his partner Ambrose Thorne. Martyr Black was accused by authorities of the serial murders of gay men whom he’d lured into relationships before killing them.

The story-within-a story is a novella supposed written by Martyr Black, focuses on Tamsen and her younger brother Presley, when Tamsen takes a job debugging a famous virtual reality game. Inevitably, things go terribly awry and the darker truth behind the mysterious game designer and the game becomes clear.

The final passages of You’ve Lost a lot Blood conclude of the linear storyline of Martyr Black’s infamous life and the plagiarism of various works from his victims throughout the years of his killing spree.

Final Thoughts

I was immersed in the beautiful and striking prose immediately. You’ve Lost A Lot of Blood has been described as being like an art installation and it’s certainly the feeling I had. The snippets of conversations between Martyr and Ambrose, the poems and novella, combine with a memoir-like passages by Black are all presented as a fictionalised volume itself. It’s an intriguing read, brilliantly written and a clever design.

Conclusion

You’ve Lost a lot of Blood is highly recommended for its literary skill, the unique presentation of writing ‘voices’ to reflect the different fictionalised authors is expertly done. Horror readers won’t be disappointed either with some truly distributing dark fiction aspects. An absolute must read!

reads, Recent Reads

Night of the Mannequins

Publisher’s Description

We thought we’d play a fun prank on her, and now most of us are dead.

One last laugh for the summer as it winds down. One last prank just to scare a friend. Bringing a mannequin into a theater is just some harmless fun, right? Until it wakes up. Until it starts killing.

Luckily, Sawyer has a plan. He’ll be a hero. He’ll save everyone to the best of his ability. He’ll do whatever he needs to so he can save the day. That’s the thing about heroes—sometimes you have to become a monster first.


Review

I recently read horror novella Night of the Mannequins by US author Stephen Graham Jones.

Night of the Mannequins follows a group of school friends in a final summer. In what begins as a ‘coming-of-age’ story quickly turns for a darker and more disturbing route as a mannequin adopted by the group for the summer takes on a life of its own.

Soon, the bodies begin to drop and exactly where reality ends and madness takes over becomes blurred. Equally blurred are the lines between hero and monster.

Final Thoughts

Night of the Mannequins was another brilliantly twisted tale from Stephen Graham Jones- now firmly cemented as my favourite horror writer. Disclaimer: I’m terrified of mannequins. The lure for me was Graham Jones’s skilful writing. This was a delightfully dark novella where nothing is as it seems and becoming a monster was one of them.

Conclusion

Highly recommended! For horror readers of the psychological, thriller, bizarre and supernatural. A great read.

reads, Recent Reads

A Dead Djinn in Cairo

Publisher’s Description

Egypt, 1912. In Cairo, the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities investigate disturbances between the mortal and the (possibly) divine.
What starts off as an odd suicide case for Special Investigator Fatma el-Sha’arawi leads her through the city’s underbelly as she encounters rampaging ghouls, saucy assassins, clockwork angels, and a plot that could unravel time itself.


Review

I recently read A Dead Djinn in Cairo by P. Djèlí Clark after many recommendations for this alternate history series.

Fatma el-Sha’arawi is a Special Investigator for the Ministry of Alchemy, Enchantments and Supernatural Entities. A flashy-dresser in male attire, she is unrepentant in a very male-dominated world.

Once she begins investigating the strange suicide of an ancient djinn – an unlikely case of death for djinn- she’s soon led to the City of the Dead in the slums of Cairo after reports of increased ghoul attacks.

In the City of the Dead, Fatma discovers another horrible death of an angel and clues to a cult active in Cairo. Soon, aided by a sultry assassin, Fatma el-Sha’arawi is in a race against the dawn to save the world from a cataclysmic event.

Final Thoughts

A Dead Djinn in Cairo is an amazing novella set in an alternate Cairo during 1912. The world building is fantastic with airships, clockwork angels, automaton servants and the magnificent but terrifying djinn.

Conclusion

A perfect short read for fans of alternate history, steampunk, dark fiction, horror, queer fiction and a fantastical blend of all genres. Highly recommended!

Short Fiction, stories

13 Lives of Alice Release


I’m thrilled to announce that 13 Lives of Alice, a dark anthology of Alice in Wonderland inspired tales for adults, was published by Black Hare Press on 7th December 2021.

13 Lives of Alice features my dark gaslamp fantasy “The House of the Cat Si” inspired by the Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland, folklore of the Cat Si, shapeshifting cat fey, and the historical inequalities and special expectations affecting women in Victorian society. “The House of the Cat Si” may contain themes and elements which may make some readers uncomfortable. If you’re interested in the research behind “The House of the Cat Si”, you can read more here.

If you’re interested in purchasing a copy in ebook, paperback or hardback of 13 Lives of Alice, you can find more details here.

Short Fiction, stories

Stories of Survival Release

Pleased to announce that Stories of Survival published by Deadset Press was released on 21 August, 2021. This speculative fiction charity anthology is in honour of Australian speculative fiction writer and mentor to many, the late Aiki Flinthart, with all proceeds going to the Melanoma Foundation to help with the fight against cancer.

This anthology includes many wonderful stories from Australian and New Zealand speculative fiction authors. Featuring my own Fae-inspired short story “Three Tasks for the Sidhe”, you can read more about the research behind the story here.


More details on how to purchase ebook or paperback copies of Stories of Survival can be found here.

Writing

2021 Ditmar SF Awards Nominations!

It’s that time to the year when Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers and fandom nominate favourite collections, short stories, novels and illustrated works.

Celebrating the best of our Australian writers and active members in fandom is a key goal of the Ditmar Awards. For writers and fans, here’s the eligibility list for 2020 – you can nominate your favourites here!

I have a few short stories eligible from 2020, so while you’re nominating favourites, also consider these if you’ve read and enjoyed my writing!

“A Handful of Dead Leaves”, Alannah K. Pearson [ACT], in Greed (Seven Deadly Sins 5), Black Hare Press.

“The Bargain”, Alannah K. Pearson [ACT], in Unnatural Order, CSFG Publishing.

“The Bull of Heaven”, Alannah K. Pearson [ACT], in Taurus: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Zodiac, Deadset Press.

“The Golden Lion-Monkey”, Alannah K. Pearson [ACT], in Leo: Speculative Fiction Inspired by the Zodiac, Deadset Press.

I would also like to draw attention to a few of my favourites for these categories from 2020:

Best Collected Works

Red New Day & Other Microfictions by Angela Slatter [QLD], Brain Jar Press.

Songs for Dark Seasons by Lisa L. Hannett [SA], Ticonderoga Publications.

Best Novel

Flyaway, Kathleen Jennings [QLD], Pan Macmillan Australia.

Best New Talent

Nikky (N M) Lee [NZ/WA], short stories including work in AntipodeanSF, Breach Magazine, Things In the Well and Deadset Press publications.

Get nominating as entries close midnight 15th August (+10 GMT). Support your favourite writers and active members in fandom!

reads, Recent Reads

Whispers in the Dark

Publisher’s Description

Two decades into an eternal sentence in the impenetrable Void for daring to rebel against the might of the Empire, and Agent Ivory is ready to give up on life entirely, even if the unseen Warden of the prison won’t ever let him die.

But when a mysterious voice in the darkness visits him in his isolation, the prisoner is determined to see the sun on his face once again, even if the outside world is not what it once was…


Review

I recently read Whispers in the Dark by Australian author K.B. Elijah, a novella blending science-fiction and dark fiction.

The protagonist, Agent Ivory, has been imprisoned in an inescapable cell, his body held in stasis where he cannot die nor have hope of escape nor rescue. From these bleak beginnings, it is the promise of hope that proves the greatest torment to Agent Ivory. Despite the improbable, Agent Ivory escapes the prison known as the Void, aided by the whispering voice only he seems to hear. Guided on his escape, Ivory cannot shake his paranoid thoughts of pursuit, of hope dashed should he fail to escape and seek revenge for his imprisonment. It is this dark offering which the Void failed to crush, the promise of hope that will prove to be Agent Ivory’s greatest weapon or failure.

Final Thoughts

Whispers in the Dark was an intriguing psychological story combining elements of science fiction and dark fiction, exploring the strongest emotion in the darkness, is always hope.

Conclusion

A great novella from a new voice in Australasian speculative fiction. Recommended for those who enjoy a psychological read, literary tale where dark fiction blends into science fiction.