“Searching for Cidalisa” published in Aurealis #96

Cover of Aurealis #96 features two faceless men

Cover art by Brenda Bailey

My short science fiction story is now available to read through Smashwords. It’s directly inspired by my Master of Information Science studies, featuring Google AI and rogue databases. I was thrilled to see the artwork by Andrew J McKiernan, he did a fabulous job of the Boolean too (you’ll have to buy the mag to see the artwork though, sorry)! It’s the first time I’ve had a story illustrated, and I absolutely love it. The issue will set you back a mere USD$2.99, so get onto it!

***

In my dreams, I searched the databases. Input search query, examine results, refine search query. Fields, proximity operators, even the antiquated Boolean queries—I tried every combination I could think of, all night, until I woke in the morning in a haze of exhaustion, eyes glued together, mind overloaded. I’d thumb my earLink on and mumble the names of the databases into my journal so I knew which ones I’d searched. It was habit born of delusion. Once I’d had my first coffee I deleted the cloud entries. Those databases didn’t exist anymore. My fevered dream searching was pointless. Unresolved issues are the root of repetitive dreams, I’d read.

What was I looking for? Information. Answers. And maybe, an end to the tension in my shoulders, the ache in my gut. Closure.

I was searching for Cidalisa.

From the blurb: “Aurealis #96 features Patrick Doerksen’s ‘Extracts from a Life of Science Fiction’, a poetic meditation on the nature of science fiction and humanity, S G Larner’s ‘Searching for Cidalisa’ which explores a near future society of implanted memories and rogue databases, and Annika Howells’ eerie and lyrical ‘Obsidian River’ that will live with you long after you’ve finished reading.”

The Heart is an Echo Chamber available to buy

Last week was the launch of The Heart an an Echo Chamber, a chapbook of vignettes that respond to Jodi Cleghorn’s work ironically titled No Need to Reply. THiaEC as we fondly call it is my debut as a cover artist, and I’m now very good at drawing hearts.

The chapbook is limited edition and can be bought here.

TABLE OF CONTENTS

The Heart is an Echo Chamber – Lois Spangler
It Couldn’t Be – Tom Dullemond
Untethering – Adam Byatt
Letting Go – S.G. Larner
Pits – Kristen Erskine
The Princess of Swords – Helen Stubbs
Starless – Ben Payne
Emerging, Closure – Rus VanWestervelt

front-cover

Women and parkour: Dangerous Women Project

If you head on over to the Dangerous Women Project, you’ll be able to read a reflective essay I wrote about parkour, women, and the gendered nature of public space.

Go visit See & Do to check out the work they’re doing, and for some videos, their channel on Vimeo is well worth checking out.

And a plug for the Brisbane Parkour Association, who run women only workshops for women who may feel a bit intimidated about just turning up to one of the mixed classes. It’s a good way to break the ice.

“Three Trophies” on Ellen Datlow’s long list of honourable mentions

On Monday I got a notification on Facebook that made me go frantically scrolling through a very long list of names. Ellen Datlow‘s long list of honourable mentions for her Best Horror of the Year was out. And I’d been pinged…

And there it was.

You’ll have to scroll a bit, and that’s only Part 2.

I’m super honoured Ellen liked my story, and considering my lacklustre year of writing, thanks to uni and work and children, it’s a much-needed boost.

The story in question,”Three Trophies”, is a dark fairytale-style short story and can be read here.

Poetry & Place Anthology 2015

A new poetry anthology is out now and it features my poem “Heat, Flies and Cane Toads”, which was originally published in Tincture Journal #7. There are some amazing poems in there all themed around the notion of place.

There is a giveaway on Goodreads you can enter, it closes soon though!

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Click on the cover image above to find links to places to buy, it’s available in ebook and print book. Look, proof of print!

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Print copy is pretty!

Semester ends, monstrousness, and Ellen Datlow’s list

I kissed my last uni assessment goodbye on Friday. So I’m finished for the year, and looking forward to the next few months to reset and re-balance. I looked at my list of things I wanted to get done this year and I was amazingly naive about the impact uni would have on my life, and in particular my writing.

I forgot to post about it, but Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year 7 was announced, and while I didn’t make the ToC (not that I was expecting to) I did get a mention on her recommended reading list. “Chasing the Storm” is free to read at SQ Mag, if you haven’t already. To say I was shocked is an understatement.

I kind of lurked at the periphery of GenreCon this year, as I was 1) worried I wouldn’t get assignments finished in time and 2) a bit broke. We did manage to gather for some drinks last night and I mentioned that I didn’t particularly consider “Chasing the Storm” to be a horror story. Of course, it doesn’t really matter what the author’s intent is, if readers think it is horror then it is (and my issue wasn’t a dislike of the horror label, as I’m quite fine with other stories of mine being labelled horror). It took some reflection to realise what I worry about is people reading my story, thinking it isn’t horror (which is fine, they can think that!) and then deciding that I can’t write horror. And of course there’s this whole “women can’t write horror/sci-fi” thing that goes around and I get all :-/ about that and that’s why I feel a little anxious. So yeah, just read it without expecting it to be anything other than what it is, ok? 😉

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Oh and yeah, this was something I did about a month ago, but I didn’t get around to sharing. I haven’t done much with it yet though.

“Kneaded” has been selected for Ticonderoga’s Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2014.

The little story that could. “Kneaded” has picked up another Year’s Best berth!

Table of Contents:

  • Alan Baxter, “Shadows of the Lonely Dead” [Suspended in Dusk]
  • James Bradley, “The Changeling” [Fearsome Magics]
  • Imogen Cassidy, “Soul Partner” [Aurealis 74]
  • David Conyers & David Kernot, “The Bullet & The Flesh” [World War Cthulhu]
  • Terry Dowling, “The Corpse Rose” [Nightmare Carnival]
  • Thoraiya Dyer, “The Oud” [Long Hidden Anthology]
  • Jason Franks, “Metempsychosis” [SQ Mag]
  • Michelle Goldsmith, “Of Gold and Dust” [Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine 60]
  • Michael Grey, “1884” [Cthulhu Lives: An Eldrich Tribute to H.P.Lovecraft]
  • Stephanie Gunn, “Escapement” [Kisses by Clockwork]
  • Lisa L. Hannett & Angela Slatter, “Vox” [The Female Factory]
  • Gerry Huntman, “Of The Colour Tumeric, Climbing on Fingertips” [Night Terrors III]
  • Rick Kennett, “Dolls for Another Day” [The Ghosts & Scholars Book of Shadows: Vol 2]
  • Charlotte Kieft, “Chiaroscuro” [Disquiet]
  • SG Larner, “Kneaded” [Phantazein]
  • Claire McKenna, “Yard” [Use Only As Directed]
  • Andrew J. McKiernan, “A Prayer for Lazarus” [Last Year, When We Were Young]
  • Faith Mudge, “Signature” [Kaleidoscope: Diverse YA Science Fi]
  • Jason Nahrung, “The Preservation Society” [Dimension6]
  • Emma Osbourne, “The Box Wife” [Shock Totem: Curious Tales of the Macabre & Twisted #9]
  • Angela Rega, “Shedding Skin” [Crossed Genres]
  • Tansy Rayner Roberts, “The Love Letters of Swans” [Phantazein]
  • Angela Slatter, “The Badger Bride” [Strange Tales IV]
  • Cat Sparks, “New Chronicles of Andras Thorn” [Dimension6 Annual Collection 2014]
  • Anna Tambour, “The Walking-stick Forest” [Tor.com]
  • Kyla Ward, “Necromancy” [Spectral Realms #1]
  • Kaaron Warren, “Bridge of Sighs” [Fearful Symmetries: An Anthology of Horror]
  • Janeen Webb, “Lady of the Swamp” [Death at the Blue Elephant]

The anthology is scheduled for publication in late October. 🙂 You can pre-order at Indie Books Online.