11 04 2018

I’ve been slow to provide purchase links for my new hard-SF short story collection, Wide Brown Land: stories of Titan. There’s a reason for that: two days ago, I was dropped by the book’s publisher, Peggy Bright Books, who have promptly removed almost all mention of the preceding collections and novellas of mine which they had published over the years. I’m still in the dark as to why this decision was made, though it seems unlikely to have been made on purely financial grounds. While I continue to respect PBB as a publishing house—they have been very good to me over the years—I can no longer direct prospective purchasers of my books to the PBB site as a purchase option, because the books are suddenly no longer available through them.

Where this leaves the wider availability of the titles—which at this stage largely means their presence on Amazon—I’m as yet unsure. At time of posting, none of my titles (Rare Unsigned Copy, Difficult Second Album, Flight 404, The Gordon Mamon Casebook, Matters Arising from the Identification of the Body, Wide Brown Land) has yet disappeared from Amazon, but the wheels of behemoths grind slow (if indeed behemoths have wheels) and so I cannot yet be sure that any paperback-copy options will reflect a title genuinely obtainable from the distributor. (If I receive clarification on this matter, I’ll provide an update.) And both Matters Arising and Wide Brown Land are still showing as ‘available’ through other sites such as Book Depository and B&N. The ‘instant gratification’ option of an e-book purchase of any of the titles (mostly restricted to Amazon, though Wide Brown Land is, I believe, also available elsewhere) would, for the moment, appear more secure: if an ostensibly-available e-book title isn’t deliverable, then I would assume the transaction is voided. For what it’s worth, here are the Amazon e-book links for my recent Sir Julius Vogel Award winning novella Matters Arising, and for my brand-new Titan collection, Wide Brown Land. While I hope that they will continue to remain available into the future, I cannot for now be certain of that.

Further clarification, I hope, will follow.


A quick spruik …

26 01 2014

… which I’ve been slow to get to.

I’ll just pass this on, on behalf of Liz Bright:

“For the Australia Day weekend Peggy Bright Books (www.peggybrightbooks.com) is running a special!

Buy e-copies of Flight 404, The Gordon Mamon Casebook, and Rare Unsigned Copy (all by Simon Petrie) and The Whale’s Tale by Edwina Harvey for just $1.99 each. E-copies of our anthology, Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear, only $2.99 Email Liz (editor@peggybrightbooks.com) for payment details, This special is NOT available through our website.”

(And an explanatory note, to anyone sensibly querying the relevance of posting details of a weekend sale on a Sunday evening: the Australia Day weekend also encompasses Monday January 27th, so there is still something like 27 hours of sale time remaining, at time of posting.)

If time permits …

14 07 2013

… before the expiry of my hotel wifi connection, I’ll squeak in this quick update on events at Au Contraire 2.

Regeneration_342_520I got in early on Con Crud, coming down with something throat-nasty on the Friday night. But I managed to get to the launch of Regeneration, the new Random Static anthology in which, miraculously, I have a story. I’ve only read two of the shortest contributions so far–Matt Cowens’ and Grace Bridges’–but if they’re any indication of the antho’s overall quality, it promises to be a corker read. (Hopefully I didn’t give throat-nasty to too many of the good and the great of NZ specfic gathered at the launch …)


And I was at hand for the Sir Julius Vogel Awards, where I was delighted to act as proxy acceptor for Les Petersen’s SJV award for Best Professional Artwork, for the cover of thePeggy Bright Books Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear anthology co-edited by Edwina Harvey and me last year.

'Flight 404' cover (artwork by Lewis Morley)

And I can also report that the SJV award for Best Novella / Novelette went to ‘Flight 404’, cover shown above. Pretty damn happy about that, actually. (Even if I am now tasked with having to get not one, but two robust and pointy awards trophies through airport security. They will, needless to say, be in checked baggage rather than carry-on.)


There’s more to add, of course, about the opportunity to once again meet friends in fandom, to make new acquaintances, and to generally soak in what might be called the vibe of the thing, but if I write too much the wifi will cut off before I can post so I’ll leave it at this for now. Also, I have to sleep before needing to waken in three-and-a-half hours, to catch a woefully early flight out of Wellington.

But — and I suspect you know the voice in which this should be intoned — ‘I’ll be back’.

The SJV ballot has been announced

23 04 2013

The ballot for this year’s Sir Julius Vogel Awards has been announced.


I’m tickled pink to see two stories from ASIM on it, in the Best Short Story category:

“Hope is the thing with feathers”, Lee Murray, Royal Society of New Zealand

“Dying for the Record”, A. J. Ponder,  Arc/ The Tomorrow Paper

“Paint By Numbers”, Dan Rabarts,  Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, issue 55

“Wearing the Star Cloak”, Darian Smith, Wily Writers audible fiction

“Better Phones”, Grant Stone, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, issue 56


And the Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear artwork gets a look-in, in the Best Artwork category:

Les Petersen, for the Cover of Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear (Edited by Edwina Harvey and Simon Petrie), Peggy Bright Books

Matt Cowens, for the Cover for Steam Pressed Shorts (by Matt and Debbie Cowens), Steam Press


And the line-up for the Best Novella / Novelette category is:

Flight 404, Simon Petrie, Peggy Bright Books (Appears in Flight 404/The Hunt for Red Leicester)

Fire, Escape, M. Darusha Wehm, Self Published (http://darusha.ca/stories/fire-escape-sample/)

The Hunt for Red Leicester, Simon Petrie, Peggy Bright Books (Appears in Flight 404/The Hunt for Red Leicester)


If you use the link at the top of the post, there are links to much of the content. I haven’t included these for brevity (and a lack of time right now), but those interested in making an informed choice (and if you’re eligible to vote, this should be you) are encouraged to check them out. I’m honoured to be up against Darusha, I’m impressed with the number of contributions from SpecFicNZ members, and I wish everyone nominated the very best of luck.

The 2013 Ditmar Award ballot has been announced …

27 03 2013

… and ‘Flight 404’ is on it, in the Best Novella / Novelette category, in the distinctly daunting company of Kaaron Warren’s ‘Sky’ and Margo Lanagan’s ‘Significant Dust’.

Space has also been found on the ballot paper for Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear in the Best Collected Work category, for Les Petersen’s wonderful cover art, and for Jo Anderton’s chilling ‘The Bone Chime Song’ in the Best Short Story category. The Best Artwork category also includes Nick Stathopoulos’s brilliant cover for ASIM‘s tenth anniversary issue.

The full ballot is online here, with a link to an online voting form and instructions for postal and email voting. Voting closes at 11.59 pm AEST, Thursday 25th March, and is only open to full or supporting members of the 2012 (Continuum 8) or 2013 (Conflux 9) Natcons.

It’s an impressively diverse ballot, and I wish the best of luck to all those shortlisted.

Some positive feedback

11 03 2013

M. Darusha Wehm clearly knows her way around a mystery story. She’s the author of the cyberpunk-noir Andersson Dexter mystery series, and the brains behind the brand-spanking-new online crime-fiction zine Plan B (which, by the way, you should definitely check out).  A few days ago, she posted this summary of her 2012 reading experience. I was tickled all shades of pink to see Flight 404 get a rec as one of the stories she’d particularly enjoyed: ‘On the face of it, this story is about what happens to the missing spaceship, but it’s really about how the choices we make affect our futures, how we interact with the memories of people from our past, how we strive to be true to ourselves.

And Tsana Dolichva–author, reviewer, astrophysicist, and scourge of sciencefailing fiction–has blogged her review of Flight 404. Modesty (and a sense of online etiquette) prevents me from quoting the entire review, but you can follow the link. My favourite part of the review is probably this one: ‘It was also nice to see non-trivial sociological issues — Charmain’s gender identity — tackled in a hard science fictional setting. (I’ve seen Bujold do similar, but I don’t think it’s otherwise very common.)‘ She gives it four-and-a-half stars and summarises: ‘Flight 404 was an excellent read and I highly recommend it to all fans of science fiction. I will definitely be searching out more of Petrie’s work in the future.’

It’s always great to get a positive review. It’s particularly heartening when these reviews or endorsements are made by people who are experts in pertinent fields (Wehm with crime fiction, Dolichva with physics and space; plus, of course, they both write SF themselves). And it means, I guess, that I should follow through on my plans for what happens next in Charmain’s story …

And so it befinishes

5 03 2013

The Kindle Select freebie for Flight 404 has now drawn to a close. It’s a little too early to say what, if any, impact it’s had–while hundreds of people have downloaded copies of the novella, it’s impossible to say what fraction of those has done so because, hey, free stuff, and what fraction is genuinely interested in reading the story. Obviously, there’s an ego-boost in seeing the download score tick over. But there’s also a ‘what now?’ feel, once it’s over. Wait and see, I guess. But I hope the downloaders like the story.