Updatery, updated

18 10 2018

A couple of weeks back, I backgrounded recent and upcoming happenings in my orbit. It seems both apposite and timely to provide a short update on this…

First, as foreshadowed in the previous notice, I’ll be signing and selling books at BookFace in Gungahlin, from 1 to 2 pm this Saturday (20th Oct). Or more reliably, I should say I’ll be seated at a signing table during that time; whether there’s any signing or selling is in the hands of the customers. If you’re in a position to drop by during the appointed hour, whether to chat, to peruse, or to purchase, you’d be most welcome.


One of the books I’ll have at the signing is 80,000 Totally Secure Passwords That No Hacker Would Ever Guess (as recently reviewed by the ever-perspicacious Tsana Dolichva: the grab from her reading of the collection is ‘there’s much to enjoy here’, but I’d encourage you, as always, to check out the full review). 80K TSP (one of the disadvantages, of course, of giving a book a long title is that it’s a long title) is also featured among many other low-priced Australian specfic offerings in Ashley Capes’ imminent Oztober promotion, which runs from the 19th to the 21st of October (hence, I’m guessing, the promotion’s name). There’s enough specfic on offer to constitute the perfect ebook TBR pile, so give Oztober a look, here. (Link may not yet be active; if not, I’ll edit for activity as it comes onstream.)

Updatery: Oct 2018 edition

3 10 2018

Conflux 14 has been and gone. It was a lot of fun to catch up with familiar faces, many of them from interstate (or from NZ), and to meet new ones. Traditionally, Conflux is something where I forget to do something that needs to be done, and this time around that was visiting the art show, which was just a short walk from my base in the dealer’s room but which I totally neglected to check out. Next time!

80K_TSP_cover MZE_cover_reduced

With Conflux over, it means both 80,000 Totally Secure Passwords That No Hacker Would Ever Guess and Murder on the Zenith Express have now been irretrievably released into the wild, and are available wherever omnipresent books are sold. 80,000 Totally Secure Passwords was launched at the con by the wonderful Craig Cormick: it’s always a major egoboo when a much better writer than oneself says such appreciative things about one at a launch, and the book seems to have been received well generally. Murder on the Zenith Express emerged with a little less fanfare, but did feature as one of a dozen books that were touted by their authors at the con’s Book Love Fest, a kind of speed-dating book-promotion thing, if that makes sense.

But the bookish star of the con was clearly the CSFG’s A Hand Of Knaves anthology (edited by Leife Shallcross and Chris Large, and with Shauna O’Meara’s cover artwork on display in the image below), which was launched on Sunday evening in a boisterous and brilliant event run by the boisterous and brilliant Rob Porteous and attended, if my calculations are correct, by around 70% of the antho’s contributors. As one of the behind-the-scenes forces producing the antho (slushwrangler and layout artist), as well as a contributor, it was great to see it get such well-earned attention.


In post-Conflux developments, there are a few events during the next month at which I may be encountered. First up, on Saturday 13th October, I’ll be endeavouring to sell books and badges (and perhaps a few creepy dolls) to innocent bystanders at the annual Impact Comics Festival in Garema Place, from 10 until 4.

A week later, which according to my Earth calendar would be Saurday 20th October, there’s a Gungahlin Town Festival intended, I believe, to celebrate the putative completion of work on the Gungahlin-to-Civic light rail connection (though the skeptical among us might suggest that such completion may not in fact be complete as of that date). In any event, I’ve been drafted into helping the excellent local bookstore Book Face with their participation in the festival; I’ll be signing books (and hopefully selling some) at the bookstore’s signing table, between 1 and 2 pm.


And on Saturday 3rd November, I’m participating in one of the panels during the Writing NSW science writing event Quantum Words, an exploration of  the interaction between science and culture. I’m chairing the noonday panel on ‘Writing the Universe’, alongside poet P S Cottier, Indigenous writer Cathy Craigie, and astronomer Fred Watson. For those interested, tickets for Quantum Words (which is an all-day festival) are available via the link above. Maybe I’ll see you at one of the above events!



7 09 2018

In somewhat-arbitrary numerical order:

(1) Final cover art for the CSFG’s latest anthology, A Hand of Knaves (edited by Leife Shallcross and Chris Large, and scheduled for release at the end of this month) has now been unveiled:


The cover art is by Shauna O’Meara, who’s also provided some exquisite internal art for the antho.

(2) The programming for Conflux 14 (29 Sept—1 Oct) has now been announced. I’ll be most often found in the dealers’ room, seeking to remuneratively downsize my collection of self-penned print artefacts, but on Sunday 30th there are several other demands on my time:

9.30 am (Panel): The Unconventional Hero’s Journey, with Abigail Nathan, Gillian Polack, Rob Porteous and Dave Versace

12.45 pm (Book launch): my new collection 80,000 Totally Secure Passwords That No Hacker Would Ever Guess, to be launched by Craig Cormick

2.30 pm (Panel): Holy Shark Repellent, Batman (the gadgets and resources for the wannabe hero), with Alistair Ott

5.45 pm (Book launch): A Hand of Knaves (see item (1) above), featuring a cast of thousands, or at least several

(3) A recent story acceptance: my insidious little flash piece, ‘Silverware’, has been picked up by Ion Newcombe at AntipodeanSF. It’ll be appearing in AntiSF‘s November issue, which curiously enough is due out in November. Ion has informed me that it’s my twenty-third piece of fiction in AntiSF

(4) A recent review with a long backstory: Back in 2010, in the wake of Rare Unsigned Copy‘s release, I ran a competition offering a free copy of the book to the entrant with the most noteworthy Google namesakes. The competition was won by Nicholas White, who posted a review of RUC within the past week.

(5) There are a couple of events scheduled for the month or so after Conflux, but I’ll post details on those another time.

Sundry publication news

31 07 2018

By way of finishing the month with a spot of updatery, I can report (1) that my unthemed short fiction collection, 80,000 Totally Secure Passwords That No Hacker Would Ever Guess, now has a cover:


The photography on the 80k TSP cover is by Lewis P Morley, as is the modelwork depicted. (Among his other talents, Lewis is a skilled modelmaker and has seen a fair bit of work as a propmaker for locally-produced movies, including some big name ones. I understand the unit depicted is also to serve as a spaceship console in a home-produced short Supermarionation-style movie of his own, which should be well worth seeing.)

(2) My upcoming Gordon Mamon space-elevator-murder-mysteries-with-puns collection, Murder on the Zenith Express, has taken its first steps towards physicality: I’ve received copies of the printed proofs. (There’s still a longish lead time before its release, on the first of October, but it is on its way.)

(3) The perspicacious Mark Webb has released a review of Matters Arising from the Identification of the Body. As always, you can click on the link for the full review, but here’s a snippet:

Matters Arising packs a lot into the novella length. As well as setting a good pace, Petrie uses the extra space of a novella to flesh out the main character nicely, showing glimpses of family and other background information which creates a much stronger connection between reader and protagonist.


(4) The number of local bookshops now stocking my books has doubled, with Bookface (in Gungahlin Marketplace) carrying copies of Matters Arising, Wide Brown Land, and Flight 404. So you can now find them in the wild there as well as at Harry Hartog’s in Woden. (They’re also, of course, fairly widely available from online stores, but sometimes it’s nice to make purchases face-to-face with an actual human…)

Upcoming collection TOC reveal

16 06 2018

It is a truth universally acknowledged that a single author in possession of a good number of published short stories must be in want of a collection.

…well, perhaps not. But I have such a collection in the pipeline, largely to replace the now-out-of-print Rare Unsigned Copy and Difficult Second Album. The new collection, which should be released to the wild at the end of September, includes some of the stories from RUC and DSA—but none of the Titan stories, and no Gordon Mamon, to avoid unnecessary duplication—as well as a healthy infusion of newer pieces. It’s a mix of serious SF and humorous stories.

It’s called 80,000 Totally Secure Passwords That No Hacker Would Ever Guess.

Here’s the TOC:

Product Warning
Jack Makes a Sale
All the Colours of the Tomato
Working Girl
The Fridge Whisperer
Running Lizard
You Said ‘Two of Each’, Right?
The Speed of Heavy
Talking with Taniwha
Half The Man
Tremble, Quivering Mortals, At My Resplendent Tentacularity
The Assault Goes Ever On
Dark Rendezvous
Must’ve Been While You Were Kissing Me
The Day of the Carrot
At the Dark Matter Zoo
Suckers for Love
The Thirty-First Element
Against the Flow
Reverse-Phase Astronomy as a Predictive Tool for Observational Astronomy
November 31st is World Peace Day
Mole of Stars

I’ll do a cover reveal closer to the release date.