Tag Archives: peter m ball

Friday Links Has Pink Polka Dots

Thanks to Charles Tan for putting up my guest post, “Oops I got History in my Fantasy (again).”

Voyager also put up a Flappers With Swords post of mine: Food For Thought in Fantasy Fiction.

The Mary Sue interviews Rachel Weil, the creator of Femicom, a web museum of “girly games” which seeks to archive and provoke discussion about those most-derided computer games: the ones with all the pink. It’s a great, crunchy discussion about how products “aimed at women” can simultaneously alienate male and female gamers, but also how the gaming community is so quick to disassociate itself with games thought of as feminine.

Mamaguilt, which I think is my new favourite blog title, has started a ‘Sheroes’ page to inspire us with amazing female heroes whenever the internet gets us down. Wonderful stuff, and I love some of her choices. Mary Beard for the win!

Karen Healey talks about Why I Write Diversity, and it’s an important post which I will probably need to link people back to many times in my future life. *bookmarks*

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Apex Magazine #30

I was sure I had already blogged this, but possibly I just tweeted and podcasted and then fell over. Lynne Thomas (of Chicks Dig Time Lords and the SF Squeecast) has just had her first edited issue of Apex Magazine go live, and it includes an article by me!

The article is about why Australian spec fic writers seem to skew so hard towards writing about icky sinister things instead of, you know, sunshine and beer and prawns. I talked to a bunch of writers (Margo Lanagan, Deborah Biancotti, Kaaron Warren, Peter M Ball, Trent Jamieson, Kirstyn McDermott, Jason Nahrung, Cat Sparks, Rob Hood and Richard Harland) who are well known for their dark, weird short fiction, and they came up all sorts of brilliant answers to my sometimes-silly questions.

You can purchase individual copies or subscriptions of Apex here, and the content of the issue is also available (temporarily) for free on their home page.

Best Australian Short Spec Fic 2010

We’ll be posting our Best Of The Year lists over at Last Short Story shortly – which means it’s time to put together my Australian list!

2010 was a great year for short fiction – a lot more fantasy and slipstream than SF, especially on Australian shores. Plenty of Aussie authors were getting published, both locally and overseas, and there were a few excellent single author collections from Kaaron Warren, Marianne De Pierres and two from Angela Slatter – though with the exception of Sourdough, they were mostly reprints. It’s certainly nice to see more Australian women having their work collected, something that has been a shameful omission in previous years.

My Absolute Favourite Spec Fic stories by Australian Authors in 2010 were:

Margo Lanagan, “The Miracle Aquilina,” Wings of Fire
Thoraiya Dyer, “Yowie,” Sprawl
Elizabeth Carroll, “The Duke of Vertumn’s Fingerling,” Strange Horizons

Also Highly Recommended:

Peter M Ball, Bleed, Twelfth Planet Press
Peter M Ball, “One Saturday Night, With Angel,” Sprawl
Thoraiya Dyer, “The Company Articles of Edward Teach,” The Company Articles of Edward Teach/The Angalien Apocalypse
Dirk Flinthart, “The Best Dog in the World,” Worlds Next Door
Margo Lanagan, “A Thousand Flowers,” Zombies vs. Unicorns
Garth Nix, “To Hold the Bridge,” Legends of Australian Fantasy
Angela Slatter, “Lost Things,” Sourdough and Other Stories
Angela Slatter, “Lavender & Lychgates,” Sourdough and Other Stories
Angela Slatter, “Under the Mountain,” Sourdough and Other Stories
Angela Slatter & LL Hannett, “The February Dragon,” Scary Kisses
Cat Sparks, “All the Love in the World,” Sprawl
Kim Wilkins, “Crown of Rowan,” Legends of Australian Fantasy

Honourable Mentions:

Peter M Ball, “L’esprit de L’escalier,” Apex
Peter M Ball, “The Clockwork Goat and the Smokestack Magi,” Shimmer
Deborah Biancotti, “Never Going Home,” Sprawl
Simon Brown, “Sweep,” Sprawl
Stephanie Burgis,** “Speaking English,” Belong
Stephanie Campisi, “How to Select a Durian at Footscray Market,” Sprawl
Marianne De Pierres, “Mama Ailon,” Glitter Rose
Paul Haines, “Her Gallant Needs,” Sprawl
Jennifer Moore,** “United,” Belong
Angela Slatter, “The Dead Ones Don’t Hurt You,” The Girl With No Hands
Angela Slatter, “Brisneyland By Night,” Sprawl
Angela Slatter, “The Shadow Tree,” Sourdough & Other Stories
Angela Slatter, “Dibblespin,” Sourdough & Other Stories
Angela Slatter, “The Story of Ink,” Sourdough & Other Stories
Angela Slatter, “The Bones Remember Everything,” Sourdough & Other Stories
Anna Tambour, “Dreadnought Neptune,” Asimov’s
Kaaron Warren, “Hive of Glass,” Baggage
Kaaron Warren, “Sins of the Ancestors,” Dead Sea Fruit
Scott Westerfeld, “Innoculata,” Zombies vs. Unicorns

** not actually Australian authors but published in an Australian anthology.

Galactic Suburbia #19 The Greco Roman Edition Show Notes

New episode is up on iTunes! You can also download it directly, or stream it from our Galactic Suburbia site.

While Alisa is away, Alex & Tansy play… in ANCIENT GREECE! We talk awards, the end of publishing as we know it, stressful feminist debates, Vonda McIntyre, Twitter fiction, Stargate, and whether there’s enough Greek & Roman mythology in modern fantasy.

Tansy wins WSFA Small Press Award for Siren Beat

Last Drink Bird Head Award Winners

John Joseph Adams takes over from Cat Rambo & Sean Wallace as editor of Fantasy Magazine

Realms of Fantasy dies – farewell notes from the publisher and editor Shawna McCarthy

Wiscon committee disappoints through inaction
and then finally moves to disinvite Elizabeth Moon as GoH
(warning, many of the comments on that one are pretty awful to wade through)
Reaction posts from Cheryl Morgan and Catherynne M Valente.

Paul Collins on how the ebook revolution isn’t working so well

Cat Valente on tedium, evil, and why the term ‘PC’ is only used these days to hurt and silence
Peter M Ball on how white male privilege uses requests for civility to silence the legitimate anger of others.

on Vonda McIntyre’s “Dreamsnake”, a controversial Hugo winning novel from 1979 which has been out of print for 10 years and an interview with Vonda McIntyre about the book.

What have we been reading/listening to?

Tansy – Death Most Definite, Trent Jamieson; Blameless, Gail Carriger, Bleed by Peter M Ball, “Twittering the Universe” by Mari Ness, Shine & “Clockwork Fairies” by Cat Rambo, Tor.com.

Alex – Silver Screen, Justina Robson; Sprawl; Deep Navigation, Alastair Reynolds; The Beginning Place, Ursula le Guin.
abandoned Gwyneth Jones’ Escape Plans
listening to The 5th Race, ep 1 (Stargate SG1 fan podcast).

Pet Subject
Classical mythology in modern fantasy. Can it still work? Do you have to get it ‘right’?

Book mentioned:
The Firebrand, Marion Zimmer Bradley
Medea, Cassandra, Electra by Kerry Greenwood
Olympic Games, Leslie What
Dan Simmons’ Ilium and Olympos
Gods Behaving Badly, Marie Phillips
Troy, Simon Brown
Margaret Atwood’s Penelopiad and Jeanette Winterson’s Weight, also David Malouf’s Ransom – along the same lines as Lavinia by Ursula Le Guin
Robert Holdstock’s Celtika, Iron Grail, Broken Kings

Please send feedback to us at galacticsuburbia@gmail.com, follow us on Twitter at @galacticsuburbs or on Facebook, and don’t forget to leave a review on iTunes!

I have portals; I know things

Gah, it’s been one of those days. The kind that makes you wish you had the kind of life where staying in bed all day was actually possible. Still, I have the recording of Galactic Suburbia tonight to cheer me up!

Over at the Voyager blog, I talk about my favourite fictional cities, and ask what your favourite SF/fantasy city is!

Someone on my LJ (hello anonymous person!) sent me an awesome link to this great “redesign Wonder Woman’s costume” art contest.

I also found (via @thirtysix on Twitter) a brilliant essay on the incidental misogyny in cyberspace, and the way that gaming businesses have failed their female customers. It’s an incredibly intelligent piece which includes a historical perspective on gaming & female characters in games, from the POV of a woman.

Over at Twelfth Planet Press, Alisa unveils two of the beautiful books she has coming out in time for Worldcon, with design by the ever talented Amanda Rainey: Bleed by Peter M. Ball (the sequel to the hugely successful fantasy noir Horn) and Glitter Rose, a boutique collection by Marianne de Pierres, the queen of Australian science fiction.

Snapshot 2010: Peter M. Ball

hornPeter M. Ball is a Brisbane writer who attended Clarion South in 2007. His novella, Horn, was published by Twelfth Planet Press in 2009 and his most recent short stories have appeared in Strange Horizons, Apex Magazine, Shimmer, and the Interfictions II anthology. He can be found online at www.petermball.com.

1. Horn has had such great feedback, from reviewers and readers. How
are you following it up, and are we going to see Miriam Aster in full-length novels someday?

The impetus for Horn was essentially a dare that raged out of control, so the question of what comes next has been looming ever since I started talking to Twelfth Planet Press about the possibility of doing more with Aster. Right now I’m working on a second novella that Twelfth Planet has scheduled for release later this year, and there’s a half-finished draft of a third novella floating around my computer as well. My goal is to use the three books to create a kind of triptych of the relationship Aster has with the faerie and the queen-in-exile Anya Titan, making connections for the people who want them to be there while keeping each as a stand-alone story.

An Aster novel may come one day, but there’s an economy to the novella that suits the Hardboiled Detective genre elements I’m playing with in her stories. This means I’d either be writing a very short novel – the kind that publishers tend to shy away from – or I’d need to find another angle on the character that’d give me the scope to expand.

2. Over the last year or two you have regularly appeared in overseas genre magazines such as Strange Horizons and Fantasy, and several high profile anthologies. What advice would you give to Australian writers who want to break into the overseas markets?

Don’t overcomplicate it. I wrote stories, I submitted them to overseas markets, and I repeated the process with dogged persistence until editors started saying yes. It’s exactly the same thing you do when submitting to Australian markets, except the overseas markets have slightly larger slush piles and tend to be in a position to pay a little better.

Befriend some Americans. You’ll need them to send you stamps if you want to submit to several of the more recognised print markets, since they’ll require a SSAE with your submission and International Reply Paid Coupons are generally more trouble than they’re worth.

Duotrope and Ralan are useful, but they’ll take time away from your writing if you let them. Actually, hell, lets be honest: Duotrope will eat your soul if you’re the type to start agonising over response times. Don’t let it. Distract yourself by writing a new story instead of wondering what it means that an editor has held your story for 70 days when the market average if 68. It’ll work out better for everyone involved.

3. What’s next for Peter M. Ball? What have you been working on, writingwise, and what are your goals for the next couple of years?

I’ve got stories coming up in Weird Tales, Electric Velocipede and a few other magazines, plus some projects with Twelfth Planet press that includes the novellas mentioned above. I’m also working on a novel, Black Candy, that I’m hoping to get finished in the first half of 2010.

Beyond that, the plan is basically write, write some more, and keep writing until someone takes the keyboard away and tells me I have to stop.

4. Which Australian writers or work would you like to see on the Hugo shortlists this year?

A bunch of friends have been recommending Australian writers for the Campbell award and I’m surprised by the fact that Angela Slatter wasn’t on their lists. I suspect folks are assuming she’s not eligible for various reasons, but she is (I checked) and she really deserves to be there – the fact she’ll have two separate short-story collections available by the end of 2010 is testament to the quality of her writing. Seeing friends like Chris Green, Jason Fischer, and Lisa Hannett on the Campbell list would bring me similar glee, and Lisa’s story In the Lot and In the Air was one of the stories from 2009 that really seemed like it should get more attention than it did. Rob Hood gets my vote for Best Fan Writer thanks to the Undead Backbrain, and I’d like to see any number of the Australian editors on the list – possibly too many, at this point – so I’ll go with the obvious in Jonathan Strahan and Alisa Krasnostein. I could go on, possibly indefinitely, so I’m going to stop myself there and acknowledge that seeing any Australian on the Hugo listings will bring me joy. Even as I type this I’m getting little pangs of regret about some the names that aren’t on my list (Paul Haines! Sean Williams! Karen Miller!), so it isn’t like we have a shortage of talented folks who deserve it.

5. Are you planning to go to Aussiecon 4 in September? If so, what are you most looking forward to?

Yep, I’ll be there. I’m primarily looking forward to the various launches that have been announced, finding a comfortable spot to chat with old friends who wouldn’t have gathered if the worldcon wasn’t happening, and generally indulging my inner geek for a few days. The usual con stuff, I guess, but since it’s my first worldcon I’m not entirely sure what else to expect.

Previously in Snapshot: Marianne De Pierres, Richard Harland, Karen Miller, Margo Lanagan, Ben Peek, Narelle Harris, Paul Collins, Damien Broderick, Shane Jiraiya Cummings, Angela Slatter, Dion Hamill, Garth Nix, Tansy Rayner Roberts, Trudi Canavan, Thoraiya Dyer, Keith Stevenson, Juliet Marillier, Gillian Polack, Jason Fischer, Alisa Krasnostein, Tehani Wessely, Amanda Rainey, Justine Larbalestier, Rowena Cory Daniells, Glenda Larke, Adrian (K.A.) Bedford, Kaaron Warren, Nicole Murphy, D.M. Cornish, Deborah Kalin, Jonathan Strahan, Alan Baxter, Gary Kemble, Lezli Robyn, Kate Eltham, Robert Hoge, Will Elliott, Trent Jamieson, Felicity Dowker, Jack Dann, Lee Battersby

Snapshot interviews will be blogged from Monday 15th until Sunday 22nd Feb.

To read them hot off the press, check these blogs daily:

Will we beat 83 this time? If you know of someone involved in the Scene with something to plug, then send us an email at 2010snapshot@gmail.com.

Twelfth Planet Press Freebies

sirenbeat3In honour of it being awards season, Twelfth Planet Press is offering free e-copies of Horn, A Book of Endings and SIREN BEAT through the month of February.

If you’re eligible to nominate in the Hugos or the Ditmars, obviously we’d love it if you thought any of the above works were worthy of your nomination. (not sure when the Ditmars are opening for nominations but it’s sure to happen eventually)

Even better, if you enjoy reading your free e-copies, consider buying a hard copy of your favourite Twelfth Planet Press book. Indie press appreciates your support!

Wives (and other Hugo recs)

Paul Haines is offering his acclaimed novella Wives in free electronic copy for anyone who asks. This is an awesome, epic piece of Australian horror/post-apocalyptic science fiction from last year, and if you’d like to see some Australian content on the Hugo ballot, this would be a marvellous one to support.

Wives isn’t just a great piece of fiction, it’s an important piece of fiction.

Here is what I said about it in Last Short Story last year:

For me, the brilliance of Paul Haines is that he writes stories I hate, about people I hate (and I don’t mean mild revulsion, I mean actual HATE), and yet I can’t pull my eyes away. “Wives” is his best work to date, an utterly hideous vision of the near future, exploring issues that are already very relevant to many people – the lack of women sticking around in country Australia, the sociological effect of preferring male children to female and, oh yes, the ingrained misogyny that hovers just out of sight in our culture. Haines exposes the ugliest sides of human nature in this epic story of “Bridal Services,” rape and slavery, told through the eyes of a narrator so utterly screwed up by his circumstances that it’s hard to blame him for the despicable, thoughtless way that he speaks, lives and acts. This is post-apocalyptic fiction at its best and worse, because there is no apocalypse. There’s just us.

(in discussion with my fellow LSSers about “Wives,” I said “I don’t know whether I want to nominate it for the Tiptree or BURN IT TO THE GROUND.” Yeah, that. Just that.)

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