My Publisher has folded.

Satalyte Publishing is defunct.
I have managed to secure about twenty paperback editions of  ‘NIL BY MOUTH’ from them. These are available from me for AUD$15 plus postage. Contact me directly at I will even sign and dedicate them for you. 🙂

I am still writing. Both short stories (just missed out on a short story in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine (ASIM)) and novels. Attempted GloPoWriMo in April, but heart wasn’t really in it. 🙁

Maybe next blog will be good news. Yes?

Two new short stories published

Well actually, of the two, one is new, the other a republication.

Antares Anthology Vol 1, edited by David R. Grigg and MJ Kobernus (Nordland Publishing 2016) has now been published with a mixture of Australian Authors and others from around the world. My two short stories are:

“Nematalien” (p 51)

“Thirty Five Years” (p132)

Available from either

For the paperback edition, Australians will find the Createspace link offers the better postage
I’d say happy reading, but both are a little on the horror side, and one does not end at all happily, but the other does. 🙂

Nanowrimo or Na-no-write-at-all

Here it is the 10th day of Nanowrimo. I’m supposed to have 16000 words written by now, aren’t I?

I blame October. September is usually my hell month, but this year I came down with a really nasty bug on the 1st day of October and didn’t emerge from my sick bed till the month was almost over. Nanowrimo preparation time – nonexistent. So I cheated and picked a story I was planning to re-write anyway. There! Preparation done.

Now to write. First time in my life – blank page. Fidgets. Check Nanowrimo websites. Download what Patrick Rothfuss had to say. Don’t do this, don’t do that, write!

So I thought of all the things I had to do – aided by the neglect of the previous month. It’s spring here. Spring planting hadn’t been done, post winter pruning and weeding and … well you get the picture. Neglect had killed all my geraniums. Yeah, right, I hear you say. Nothing kills Geraniums. Well, news for you, they are susceptible to Black spot. My illness had meant no spraying. No spraying equals dead Geraniums. Had to be ripped out before further infecting my garden, didn’t they?

So … writing? Did a 1000 words one day. Then I went swimming (part of my regular healthy activity regime). Came back too tired to sit and write. End of 1000 words.

Then what, you say? I dunno. You tell me. Here it is at Day 10 and that is still all I have written, and there are so many things not being done because I’m supposed to be writing, aren’t I?

Oh well, another Nanowrimo with no writing. Maybe if I get all that other stuff out of the way …

Mini reviews of some Hugo Award Winners

Image result for jemisin fifth season images


Jemison, N.K.                  The Fifth Season

The only novel not on a puppy list!

I gave this five stars in Goodreads. It surprised me in a good way. I have tried to read NK’s work before but The Hundred Thousand Kingdoms read so much like a typical high fantasy I couldn’t even get past the three pages Amazon allows you to read for free.

Then this. This is sooo different!

 “This is the Way the World Ends”.

Marvellous hook, and she does not disappoint from then onwards.


Image result for neil gaiman sandman overture deluxe edition imagesWINNER BEST GRAPHIC STORY:

Gaiman, Neil                   The Sandman Overture (The Deluxe Edition)

Beautifully, wonderfully, illustrated by J.H. Williams III and (colourist) Dave Stewart, with a guest appearance by Dave McKean.

I loved this book so much I posted a five star review on Goodreads. If they had 7 stars available I would have given it that!

A real treat for the senses. The deluxe edition is an olfactory pleasure, tactilely delightful and visually stunning. Then there is the text!
I admit I found it occasionally confusing, especially in the beginning but the artwork – absolutely beautiful complex artwork by JH Williams III and Dave McKean – helped clarify what was going on.
This book is a real pleasure in all the ways that a real book has over an e-book.


Image result for images the martianWINNER BEST DRAMATIC PRESENTATION, LONG FORM:


Beautiful effects, almost zero violence, amazing protagonist who just kept going and going, even when it all appeared hopeless. Deeply thought provoking. I have no idea if the botanical science would work (several people have said not) but it seemed so plausible while viewing it.


Drander’s Back Story now available

Drander is my alien protagonist in my novel Nil By Mouth.

Her back story is now available from Paper Droids.

Suffer the Children. (Warning: mild political rant)

It’s been a while since I last blogged. That’s because I have been busy. Before Christmas my daughter and I took a cruise to New Zealand and after the New Year we took a cruise to New Caledonia. I might post some pictures about that some other time.

After the cruises I have been preparing my youngest (and me) for University. This means both my children are now independent young adults. Except they are not. They cannot be.

I calculated before Christmas how much each of us should be contributing to the joint coffers  per week.  It was a real eye opener.

I consider myself fairly frugal apart from the book (and cruise) purchases. I mean, we hardly ever eat meat, I have solar power and water tanks, I take quick showers, spend almost nothing on clothes (I do a lot of mending), grow some fruit and vegetables, etc, etc. BUT the cost of living at home – cruises excluded – turns out to be almost 1.5 times what my children will receive if they leave home and set up in a shared house with someone other than family.

i.e. The cost of living is almost 1.5 times what the government will give them to live on while they study full time.

On top of that if my superannuation runs out before I turn 67, I will be expected to be competing with them for low skilled work. I am too old to do the skilled professional work I was doing. My brain just doesn’t cope well with constant change any longer. This meant I had to stop work in that very skilled area. If I need to work again, I will be hunting out a low skilled job. How many employers when confronted with reliability, a government handout, and experience at compliance in the work place will choose a callow youth over an older person? So where do our youth get their start in life?  How can they find money to supplement their Youth Allowance? Or better still earn enough to not need a Government Handout?

To add insult to injury, the Government in its wisdom have decided I no longer have any dependents. They are both adults, aren’t they? But when either of them apply to the Government to receive Youth Allowance, MY income determines how much they are eligible to receive.

So my adult children are not independent. How can they be?

Pluto – not only demoted but now being replaced entirely!

In recent news Caltech astronomers Batygin and Brown have announced that they have found evidence of a 9th planet of sufficient size to affect objects in its path. They call it Planet 9, others are calling it the New Pluto, Planet X, or even (rather jokingly) Nibiru.


The six most distant known objects in the solar system with orbits exclusively beyond Neptune (magenta) all mysteriously line up in a single direction. Also, when viewed in three dimensions, they tilt nearly identically away from the plane of the solar system. Batygin and Brown show that a planet with 10 times the mass of the earth in a distant eccentric orbit anti-aligned with the other six objects (orange) is required to maintain this configuration.

Credit: Caltech/R. Hurt (IPAC); [Diagram created using WorldWide Telescope.]

– See more at:


Review of Award Winning ‘Tell Me Why’

My review can be found here:

Damn you Jim C Hines!

SLeeping Beauty 001For years I have been a subscriber to The Australian Ballet Company’s annual series of ballets. My favourites are what are now called ‘the story ballets’ – Nutcracker, Coppelia, Swan Lake, and Sleeping Beauty, amongst others. In the past I have adored this romantic tale of the prince waking his sleeping princess with a kiss.

I knew the old tale actually involved him getting her pregnant and her waking at the birth of her twins, but the ballet was so deeply inculcated into my psyche that the implications concerning consent never actually registered till I read Jim C Hines’ Stepsister series. The reality of so many of the favourite fairy stories were so different when seen from the victim’s (i.e. princess’s) view point.

To be fair, the liner notes in the program do point out that the original tale dealt with rape and cannibalism and infidelity (the Prince is already married), downloadbut the Australian Ballet’s version is an even cleaner version of the cleaned up version which the Grimm Brothers published. (And who reads liner notes anyway?) This version was a celebration of all things Royal designed as a gift to the then Tsar. The familiar Disney version has sprung from this version.

Brilliantly danced, beautifully choreographed, and splendidly costumed and staged, along with Tchaikovsky’s wonderful score, this is a real treat. The Australian Ballet Company never fails to delight.

But why, oh why, couldn’t I get Jim C Hines’ cry of ‘rape’ out of my head!

Review of Unnaturals

My review is published here: