Meanwhile, Down in Australia…

As we circle our wagons and prepare for an assault on the news coverage of the Aussie horror genre industry, below is a quick update of all that’s been happening here over the past month or so. Sure, it’s a long post, but that only means there’s been a lot going on that hasn’t been covered. So, to ensure this doesn’t happen again, SEND US YOUR DEAD – er, NEWS! We want to hear from you if you have some news to share, or if you’ve heard of a horror-related opportunity or event.


The Australian Horror Writers Association had their AGM on October 6, and welcomed in a new committee lead by new president Mark Smith-Briggs. They’ve kicked off their reign in a controversial way by placing their showcase magazine, Midnight Echo, on hold while they review its future. However, they have clearly stated that ME is not being shut down, only postponed. Look out for big things from the committee in the coming months.


More on the AHWA: in October, the AHWA published the Australian Horror Writers Sampler 2013 (Kindle edition only), which provides a taste of the works of seven Australian horror/dark fiction writers (Shane Jiraiya Cummings, David Conyers, David Kernot, Troy Barnes, Matthew Tait, Kim Faulks, and Jay Caselberg), with the talented Greg Chapman designing the cover. The sampler also contains links to the various author’s works, plus interviews and further information on the work. It’s available from Amazon for $0.99.


Greg Chapman released the novella, ‘The Last Night of October,’ a refreshing Halloween tale published by Bad Moon Books, on October 31, featuring illustrations by the author himself and an introduction by the Queen of Halloween, Lisa Morton. The novella is picking up great reviews and is well worth a read. It’s available as a trade paperback from Bad Moon Books for $15.95 and in digital copy from Amazon for $2.99.

“A soon to be classic of Halloween literature that further cements Greg’s place as one of the greats working in dark literature today (…) Greg has delivered a story that you will want to read again and again as you get ready for our favorite time of the year. Nothing gets me in the mood for the Halloween season more than a good Halloween story, this isn’t a good Halloween story, this is a great Halloween story” –Peter Schowtzer, Literary Mayhem



Marty Young’s debut novel, 809 Jacob Street, was also published on October 31 by Black Beacon Books. The monster house calls to them all, but what will they find when they open it’s door?

“Marty Young’s 809 Jacob Street dragged me through the gutter, and had me enthralled with every page. The story explores so thoroughly a nightmare of tortured emotions and madness that it’s hard to believe it isn’t autobiographical. The characters, especially Joey Blue, are that convincing. This is a writer cutting his own way through horror, and I can’t wait to see where his journey takes him. I, for one, will be watching from here on out, because he made me a fan with this book.” Joe McKinney, Bram Stoker Award-winning author of Flesh Eaters and Dead City

809 Jacob Street is available in paperback from Black Beacon Books for $18.95 (includes worldwide postage), and in digital format from Amazon for $3.99. There’s also a gritty blues song performed by David Schembri to go with it.

809 Jacob Street


Former AHWA President and author of Hammered, Geoff Brown, has started a new publishing venture called Cohesion Press. Their first publication was an ebook reprint collection by the brilliant Kaaron Warren, called ‘The Gate Theory.’ Cohesion is also working on ‘SNAFU: An Anthology of Military Horror’ featuring five of the big names of the genre: Jonathan Maberry, Weston Ochse, James A Moore, Greig Beck, and Joseph Nassise. Apart from these solicited authors, they are open to submissions for the anthology. See the website for more details. Cohesion is accepting pre-orders for the book too, with special limited editions of all formats available.


Furthermore, Cohesion has also just announced its next title, the novella ‘Ronnie and Rita,’ by Deborah Sheldon. The title will be available soon in all eBook formats.

“Sheldon perfectly portrays the resignation to mediocrity that permeates many of the working/middle class neighbourhoods … and the desperate things they’ll sometimes do to break away.” Addam Duke, Crime Factory Magazine


David Conyers co-edited (with Brian M. Sammons) the mass market anthology ‘Undead and Unbound: Unexpected Tales from Beyond the Grave’ (Chaosium Inc.) back in August. The anthology features stories by Cody Goodfellow, Gary McMahon, William Mieke, our own David Schembri, and more.

‘Undead & Unbound celebrates those who have returned from the grave — in all their glory and in whatever form they take. You will find the famous blood-drinkers and flesh eaters here, but also ghosts, patched-together reanimates, fiends of myth and folklore, and some not-so-easily-identifiable creatures from beyond the grave.’

The anthology is available from Chaosium Inc. for $17.95 and from Amazon.

Undead & Unbound


The Canberra Times newspaper published an article in time for Halloween listing ‘ten books guaranteed to scare you witless’. The list, which was compiled with input from Australian horror writers, was dominated by Stephen King (The Shining, It, Pet Sematary, and Salem’s Lot), along with a number of classics (Dracula, The Complete Tales and Poems of Edgar Allan Poe, Frankenstein, The Exorcist, and The Turn of the Screw), and the mind-bending House of Leaves by Mark Z. Danielewski.

Also mentioned in the article were a number of books by AHWA members, including The Pilo Family Circus by Will Elliott, The Dead Path by Stephen M. Irwin, and Living with the Dead by Martin Livings.


ScaryMinds is back up and running again on a new server after a long hiatus. ‘ScaryMinds is dedicated to exploring home brewed movies and literature from Australia and New Zealand. If you like movies such as Australia or The Year My Voice Broke then you are at the wrong site. If you dig Mad Max, Undead, or Wolf Creek then dive on in like a wild thing. Don’t believe us? Check back regularly as we continue our mission of digging under every rock to discover what’s happening, whose doing what, and what the state of play is in horrorland Down Under.’


Continuing his brilliant work on exposing long lost and forgotten Australian colonial horror/gothic fiction, James Doig will be releasing the neglected Aussie horror classic, Twisted Clay, written by Frank Walford (first published in 1933). The UK author/editor/publisher, Johnny Mains is bringing it under his Noose & Gibbet imprint, complete with a restoration of the original cover. Twisted Clay is about a teenage, lesbian Jill-the-Ripper. Look for this in late 2013/early 2014, and in the meantime, you can read about this book here, or check out what Doig has to say about it here (spoiler alert!).


Matthew Tait’s short story collection ‘Ghosts In A Desert World’ has been released for the first time in paperback. Under the auspices of HodgePodge Press, this second edition is revised and expanded, and also includes a previously unpublished novelette called ‘Mutability of the Flesh.’ It is available from Amazon in both print and digital formats.

“The depth is there, the atmosphere is there, making this one of the best examples of this genre I’ve had the pleasure to read. This collection not only shows that the writer has the chops to go places, but that he should be there already.” Daniel I Russell, author of Shadow Award nominated CRITIQUE


Award-winning NZ writer Paul Mannering has released a revised edition of his novel, Tankbread, through Permuted Press. Tankbread is available from Amazon in print and digital formats.

“Paul Mannering’s TANKBREAD is a guts and glory joyride into very dark territory. Very nasty and lots of fun!” Jonathan Maberry, New York Times bestselling author of DEAD OF NIGHT and DUST & DECAY

Mannering also recently won 1st and 3rd place in SpecFicNZ’s 2013 Halloween drabble writing competition.


Alan Baxter has just signed a three book deal with HarperVoyager for a new urban grim dark series, to be published between July and December next year. Keep an eye out for more details as this will be a series well worth reading.

Baxter’s new weird western ghost story has also just been published in the Halloween issue of Beneath Ceaseless Skies magazine #133.


Jason Fischer‘s zombie/post-apocalypse based collection called ‘Everything is a Graveyard’ will be published through Ticonderoga Publications on November 11, 2013. Pre-orders can be made here.

“He flicked the coin onto the table and it spun lazily, resting on tails. An eagle, squatting on a cactus, snake held aloft in its beak. Cinco pesos, the worn script read . . . ” Within these covers, you will find murderous dropbears, zombie kangaroos and undead camels. Poignant endings to the world mash-up with muscle car battles, featuring feral killers that make Mad Max look like the Disney channel. Everything is a Graveyard delves into the fantastic, the horrifying, the sad and the just plain weird.


Jason’s also had some deep thoughts about zombies, the Apollonian-Dionysian dichotomy, and how Romero’s “Land of the Dead” finally makes sense to him.


Australia’s own Halloween expert, Gillian Polack, was interviewed on the history of Halloween on ABC Sydney (by Dominic Knight). The interview fittingly ran on October 31, but unfortunately isn’t available online. If we find a podcast of the interview, we’ll post it.


Australian writer/director Stuart Simpson has entered his 3 minute short film called M is for Mutant! into the ABC of Death 2; The Search for the 26th Director competition. The short is available online. Voting ends on November the 14th, with the top 12 entries announced on the 15th.


Do you run/own a horror-related business based in Australia? If so, let us know and we’ll post in on Horror Net Australia, your one stop online Yellow Pages of all that’s horribly good! It’s THE place to go to be seen.


And finally, don’t forget to check out Sinister Reads to see all the latest releases by members of the AHWA. It’s the place to go to find your next book.


Have we missed anything? More than likely. If so, let us know.

Notions Unlimited: new genre bookshop opens – news

The good news for fans of Australian dark fiction — but most importantly, for Melbournian fans — is that a new genre bookstore has opened in the Victorian suburb of Chelsea.

Notions Unlimited Bookshop, is the twisted brainchild of Chief Zombologist, Chuck McKenzie; award-nominated author, Aurealis and Australian Shadows judge, former reviewer for HorrorScope, Chief Editor of the zombie-themed NecroScope blog, and a well known figure in the Australian dark fiction community.

Notions Unlimited Bookshop specialises in science fiction, fantasy and horror titles, as well as paranormal romance, media tie-ins (Doctor Who, Star Trek, The Walking Dead, etc), graphic novels, manga comics, role-playing supplies, related art and non-fiction publications, and a selection of esoteric and New Age books.

They have a major focus upon Australian small-press, stocking pretty much the entire back-catalogue of titles from Ticonderoga, Twelfth Planet Press, Mirrordanse, Couer de Lion, LegumeMan and Brimstone (including copies of Black Magazine!), plus selected publications from Agog!, Tasmaniac, Aurealis/Chimaera and Fablecroft. They’ve even managed to track down copies of some hard-to-get titles from Martin Livings (Carnies), Guy Salvidge (Yellowcake Springs), A. K. Wrox, Leigh Blackmore, and Rocky Wood.

That’s a pretty extensive list for those looking to dive head first into what Australian speculative fiction has to offer, or even if you just want to fill the gaps in an existing collection.

In keeping with owner Chuck McKenzie’s usual community spirit, Notions Unlimited Bookshop offers free meeting and seating facilities to genre groups (such as book groups, writing circles and gaming collectives). They also support local genre authors and publishers through regular signings and book launches, and future in-store events are rumoured to include community open days and mini-conventions.

From all indications, Notions Unlimited Bookshop is going to be much more than just a bookstore — it’s a place for the genre community to gather and support the Australian speculative fiction industry — and Thirteen O’Clock wishes owner Chuck Mckenzie and his staff all the best for its success.

Notions Unlimited Bookshop can be found at Shop 9, Chelsea Beach Arcade, 426 Nepean Hwy, Chelsea, VIC 3196.

Or, you  can catch up with them on their blog or on facebook and twitter.

2011 Aurealis Awards finalists announced – news

Thirteen O’Clock would like to congratulate all the finalists for the 2011 Aurealis Awards.

Recently announced by SpecFaction NSW, organisers of the 2010 and 2011 Aurealis Awards, here is the full list of 2011 finalists:


  • The Undivided by Jennifer Fallon (HarperVoyager)
  • Ember and Ash by Pamela Freeman (Hachette)
  • Stormlord’s Exile by Glenda Larke (HarperVoyager)
  • Debris by Jo Anderton (Angry Robot)
  • The Shattered City by Tansy Rayner Roberts (HarperVoyager)


  • “Fruit of the Pipal Tree” by Thoraiya Dyer (After the Rain, FableCroft Publishing)
  • “The Proving of Smollett Standforth” by Margo Lanagan (Ghosts by Gaslight, HarperVoyager)
  • “Into the Clouds on High” by Margo Lanagan (Yellowcake, Allen & Unwin)
  • “Reading Coffee” by Anthony Panegyris (Overland)
  • “The Dark Night of Anton Weiss” by D.C. White (More Scary Kisses, Ticonderoga Publications)


  • Machine Man by Max Barry (Scribe Publications)
  • Children of Scarabaeus by Sara Creasy (HarperVoyager)
  • The Waterboys by Peter Docker (Fremantle Press)
  • Black Glass by Meg Mundell (Scribe Publications)
  • The Courier’s New Bicycle by Kim Westwood (HarperVoyager) – read our review


  • “Flowers in the Shadow of the Garden” by Joanne Anderton (Hope, Kayelle Press)
  • “Desert Madonna” by Robert Hood (Anywhere but Earth, Couer de Lion)
  • “SIBO” by Penelope Love (Anywhere but Earth, Couer de Lion)
  • “Dead Low” by Cat Sparks (Midnight Echo)
  • “Rains of la Strange” by Robert N Stephenson (Anywhere but Earth, Couer de Lion)



  • The Broken Ones by Stephen M. Irwin (Hachette)
  • The Business of Death by Trent Jamieson (Hachette)


  • “And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living” by Deborah Biancotti (Ishtar, Gilgamesh Press) – read our review
  • “The Past is a Bridge Best Left Burnt” by Paul Haines (The Last Days of Kali Yuga, Brimstone Press) – read our review
  • “The Short Go: a Future in Eight Seconds” by Lisa L. Hannett (Bluegrass Symphony, Ticonderoga Publications)
  • “Mulberry Boys” by Margo Lanagan (Blood and Other Cravings, Tor)
  • “The Coffin Maker’s Daughter” by Angela Slatter (A Book of Horrors, Quercus)


  • Shift by Em Bailey (Hardie Grant Egmont)
  • Secrets of Carrick: Tantony by Ananda Braxton-Smith (black dog books)
  • The Shattering by Karen Healey (Allen & Unwin)
  • Black Glass by Meg Mundell (Scribe Publications)
  • Only Ever Always by Penni Russon (Allen & Unwin)


“Nation of the Night” by Sue Isle (Nightsiders, Twelfth Planet Press)

“Finishing School” by Kathleen Jennings (Steampunk! An anthology of fantastically rich and strange stories, Candlewick Press)

“Seventy-Two Derwents” by Cate Kennedy (The Wicked Wood – Tales from the Tower Volume 2, Allen and Unwin)

“One Window” by Martine Murray (The Wilful Eye: Tales from the Tower Volume 1, Allen and Unwin)

“The Patrician” by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Love and Romanpunk, Twelfth Planet Press)

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through words)

  • The Outcasts by John Flanagan (Random House Australia)
  • The Paradise Trap by Catherine Jinks (Allen & Unwin)
  • “It Began with a Tingle” by Thalia Kalkapsakis (Headspinners, Allen & Unwin)
  • The Coming of the Whirlpool by Andrew McGahan (Allen & Unwin)
  • City of Lies by Lian Tanner (Allen & Unwin)

CHILDREN’S FICTION (told primarily through pictures)

  • The Ghost of Annabel Spoon by Aaron Blabey (author and illustrator) (Penguin/ Viking Books)
  • Sounds Spooky by Christopher Cheng (author) and Sarah Davis (illustrator) (Random House Australia)
  • The Last Viking by Norman Jorgensen (author) and James Foley (illustrator) (Fremantle Press)
  • The Deep: Here be Dragons by Tom Taylor (author) and James Brouwer (illustrator) (Gestault Publishing)
  • Vampyre by Margaret Wild (author) and Andrew Yeo (illustrator) (Walker Books)


  • Hidden by Mirranda Burton (author and illustrator ) (Black Pepper)
  • Torn by Andrew Constant (author) and Joh James (illustrator ), additional illustrators Nicola Scott, Emily Smith (Gestalt Publishing)
  • Salsa Invertebraxa by Mozchops (author and illustrator) (Pecksniff Press)
  • The Eldritch Kid: Whiskey and Hate by Christian Read (author) and Michael Maier (illustrator) (Gestalt Publishing)
  • The Deep: Here be Dragons by Tom Taylor (author) and James Brouwer (illustrator) (Gestault Publishing)


  • Ghosts by Gaslight edited by Jack Dann and Nick Gevers (HarperVoyager)
  • Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2010 edited by Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Ishtar edited by Amanda Pillar and KV Taylor (Gilgamesh Press) – read our review
  • The Best Science Fiction and Fantasy of the Year Volume 5 edited by Jonathan Strahan (Night Shade Books)
  • Life on Mars edited by Jonathan Strahan (Viking)


  • Bad Power by Deborah Biancotti (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Last Days of Kali Yuga by Paul Haines (Brimstone Press) – read our review
  • Bluegrass Symphony by Lisa Hannett (Ticonderoga Publications)
  • Nightsiders by Sue Isle (Twelfth Planet Press)
  • Love and Romanpunk by Tansy Rayner Roberts (Twelfth Planet Press)

The Aurealis Awards ceremony will be held on the evening of Saturday 12th May at the Independent Theatre in North Sydney. Tickets are now available through the Aurealis Awards website:

Ticonderoga Year’s Best cover revealed – News

The Year's Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2011Ticonderoga Publications have revealed the cover for The Year’s Best Australian Fantasy & Horror 2011 in all its glory over at their website.

The collection is now available for pre-order, and the full table of contents will be announced soon by editors Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene.

Click on the image to see a larger version, or go straight to the Ticonderoga article at

Australians Nominated for Bram Stoker Awards – News

Horror Writers Association President, Rocky Wood, has issued a press release announcing the nomination of three Australians for the 2011 Bram Stoker Awards. The ‘Stokers’ are considered the world’s premier literary awards for the Horror Genre and Thirteen O’Clock sends its heartiest congratulations to Kaaron Warren, Rocky Wood and Jack Dann for their nominations.

The press release reads:


Three more Australians have joined the ranks of those nominated for international literary awards – this time the Bram Stoker Award, the premiere literary Awards in the Horror genre, for the year 2011. The Awards will be presented at the World Horror Convention in Salt Lake City on 31 March 2012. More information here:

The Awards are named for Bram Stoker, the author of Dracula, and are regarded as the premier horror genre awards each year. Previous winners include Stephen King, Joyce Carol Oates, Ray Bradbury, Anne Rice and Ira Levin.

Rocky Wood, from Melbourne, has been nominated for a Bram Stoker Award in the Non-Fiction category for his book Stephen King: A Literary Companion (McFarland, 2011).
Wood, who lives in South Yarra, has been a non-fiction writer for 30 years. His nominated work is the latest in a series of books on Stephen King’s works. “Obviously, it is very exciting to be nominated for such a prestigious international literary award, one that has been won by idols of mine such as Stephen King, Ray Bradbury and Peter Straub,” he said, “I’m also pleased that writing by an Australian has been recognised by my peers in the HWA.” The book covers all of King’s published works, putting them in context and revealing many little known details, including King’s inspiration in many.

Wood, who is also the first non-American President of the Association, will attend the Awards Dinner in Salt Lake City, Utah on 31 March.

For further information and interviews contact: Rocky Wood . Please note Rocky suffers from Motor Neurone Disease. His speech is badly impacted by the disease and he prefers contact via email.

Kaaron Warren, from Canberra, has been nominated for the Bram Stoker Award in the Short Fiction category for her story, All You Can Do Is Breathe.

Warren has been publishing fiction for twenty years, with three novels and three short story collections in print. She has twice won the ACT Publisher’s and Writers Award for fiction, along with the Canberra Critics’ Circle Fiction Award, the Ditmar Award, the Aurealis Award and the Australian Shadows Award. This is her first international nomination, and she says, “I’ve long used the Bram Stoker Awards as my reading list of excellent fiction for the year, so I’m thrilled to be on the shortlist alongside two of my favourite writers, Stephen King and George Saunders”. The short listed story explores our obsession with survivors.’ Kaaron is on Twitter @kaaronwarren and her webpage is

Jack Dann has been nominated along with his fellow editor Nick Gevers, for the Bram Stoker Award in the Anthology category for Ghosts By Gaslight (Harper Voyager, 2011). Dann is a multiple-award winning author who has written or edited over seventy-five books, including the international bestseller The Memory Cathedral, which was #1 on The Age Bestseller List, and The Silent, which Library Journal chose as one of their ‘Hot Picks’ and wrote: “This is narrative storytelling at its best… Most emphatically recommended.” He is also the editor of the anthology Dreaming Down-Under (with Janeen Webb), which won the World Fantasy Award in 1999, and Dreaming Again, which Bookseller+Publisher gave a five star review and chose as their ‘Pick of the Week’. Dann lives in South Gippsland and Melbourne, and his website is