Monday, April 18, 2011

Aussie Year's Best

I'm just gonna post the press release verbatim:

Ticonderoga Publications is walking on sunshine to announce the contents for its inaugural Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Horror anthology.

Editors Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene have produced a list of 33 excellent tales by some of Australia's biggest names as well as some emerging writers.

The anthology collects 150,000 words of the best stories published last year from the Antipodes.

"We're pleased with the number of fabulous stories that were published in 2010 that we had to choose from,” Liz Grzyb said.

"You could hold this anthology up against any international collection - Australians rock for diverse voices, imagination, and compelling writing," Talie Helene added.

The stories are (alphabetically by writer):

RJ Astruc: "Johnny and Babushka"
Peter M Ball: "L'esprit de L'escalier"
Alan Baxter: "The King's Accord"
Jenny Blackford: "Mirror"
Gitte Christensen: "A Sweet Story"
Matthew Chrulew: "Schubert By Candlelight"
Bill Congreve: "Ghia Likes Food"
Rjurik Davidson: "Lovers In Caeli-Amur"
Felicity Dowker: "After the Jump"
Dale Elvy: "Night Shift"
Jason Fischer: "The School Bus"
Dirk Flinthart: "Walker"
Bob Franklin: "Children's Story"
Christopher Green: "Where We Go To Be Made Lighter"
Paul Haines: "High Tide At Hot Water Beach"
Lisa L. Hannett: "Soil From My Fingers"
Stephen Irwin: "Hive"
Gary Kemble: "Feast Or Famine"
Pete Kempshall: "Brave Face"
Tessa Kum: "Acception"
Martin Livings: "Home"
Maxine McArthur: "A Pearling Tale"
Kirstyn McDermott: "She Said"
Andrew McKiernan: "The Memory Of Water"
Ben Peek: "White Crocodile Jazz"
Simon Petrie: "Dark Rendezvous"
Lezli Robyn: "Anne-droid of Green Gables"
Angela Rega: "Slow Cookin' "
Angela Slatter: "The Bone Mother"
Angela Slatter & Lisa L Hannett: "The February Dragon"
Grant Stone: "Wood"
Kaaron Warren: "That Girl"
Janeen Webb: "Manifest Destiny"

In addition to the above incredible tales, the volume will include a review of 2010 and a list of recommended stories.

The editors will shortly begin reading for the second volume of The Year's Best Fantasy and Horror. Details are available from the Ticonderoga Publications website

The anthology is scheduled for publication in June 2011. The anthology will be available in hardcover, ebook and trade editions and may be pre-ordered at

Lice: The Final Solution

You know what? I'm tired of these little bugs.

We've just gone through the second phase of the hair-washing treatment. You're supposed to do it seven days after the first, to ensure that lice hatching from any surviving eggs get killed off. So here I am, once again reeking of ti-tree and eucalyptus, with a houseful of people who smell likewise.

This is stupid.

I'm going to send the kids back to the school. Sooner or later, one of 'em is going to bump heads with another kid who's carrying travellers. And eventually, it's all going to come home once more.

I'm tired of this shit. I'm tired of smelling like eucalyptus. I'm tired of arguing with Genghis and The Mau-Mau and Jake about putting this crap in their hair. I'm tired of periodically checking for infestations. I'm tired of suffering horripilations every time I find myself scratching my head.
Here's an interesting article for you: Waxing Kills Off Sexual Pest?

It talks about the troubles suffered by the Rotterdam Natural History Museum in its attempts to acquire a display specimen of the once-common Crab Louse, phthiris pubis. Apparently, they're having no end of difficulty laying hands on one of the little beasties -- and their best guess is that recent fashions in pubic waxing and shaving have made life very, very hard for the critters.

(Yeah. I have almost as much sympathy as you. I can hear a louse-sized violin playing right now...)

You get the picture, though. What with everybody going the Brazilian lately, crab lice are trundling down much the same path as the Dodo. And whereas a large, land-bound pigeon is actually an interesting sort of creature whose loss has been a matter of cultural note and some regret, a lack of pubic lice is by and large worthy of the same degree of mourning as, say, a sudden disappearance of bankers worldwide. Just to pick a random example.


We managed to kill off smallpox by vaccinating EVERYBODY. We're getting so close to wiping out polio in the same fashion that it's almost a done deal. I vote the next vile creature we target for extinction should be the common head louse.

It's easy. All it would take would be one, simple, co-ordinated World Shave Day. The UN can organise it. Barbers and hairdressers everywhere can do one completely epic day of business - and then go on holiday for a month. (What the hell. We could even pay them to go on holiday. It would be worth it!)

Meanwhile, the newly bald world would gather up all that hair, and just... bury it. Or burn it. Or whatever.

And that's it. No more head lice, ever. Gone, baby gone.

One single day of world baldness, and I'd never again have to smell like koala vomit.