We are super excited today to see that Stephanie Burgis’s wonderful novelette “The Art of Deception” from Insert Title Here has been shortlisted in amazing company for the WSFA Small Press Award! Huge congratulations, Steph! Full press release below.
Ray Thompson reviewed The Rebirth of Rapunzel in issue #77 of Historical Novels Review, saying: Forsyth’s argument is convincing, her prose clear, and the insights into the tale’s influence on her own work, especially Bitter Greens, fascinating. Definitely recommended.
And Steph4 on Amazon says: “…a five star work…”
“A Friend in the Trade” from Dirk Flinthart’s collection Striking Fire made it onto Ellen Datlow’s Honorable Mentions list for her The Best Horror of the Year volume 8, as did “2B” by Joanne Anderton, “Salvatrix” by Marianne de Pierres, “Sins of Meals Past” by Matthew Morrison, “Oil and Bone” by Dan Rabards and “The Winter Stream” by Daniel Simpson (from Insert Title Here). Congratulations all!
In Aurealis #90, reviewer Rebecca McEwen says The Rebirth of Rapunzel is: “…an immersive and engaging examination of the significance of a woman who, in the end, saves herself.”
In a gorgeous recent review of Joanne Anderton’s The Bone Chime Song and Other Stories, J. Ashleigh Smith over at Goodreads says the collection is: “… alive with gnarled, unusual stories, with weird, memorable worlds, every one rendered in spare, vivid prose.”
Also at Goodreads, Rivqa says that the anthology Insert Title Here is: “A very strong, very dark anthology featuring some wonderfully unique voices.”
To help Ditmar voters make a choice between all the amazing finalists on the ballot, we’re offering a free download of “2B” by Joanne Anderton (from Insert Title Here) and “Look How Cold My Hands Are” by Deborah Biancotti (from Cranky Ladies of History), both shortlisted for the Best Short Story category.
To download your copy, click here.
This link will be live until Ditmar voting closes – ENJOY! And if you love the stories, keep in mind that the books they come from are just as awesome, and you can grab them in print or ebook from your favourite retailer, or at the FableCroft shop page!
In the Aurealis Awards, special mention to Dirk Flinthart, finalist for Best Collection for Striking Fire AND for Best Horror Novella with “Night Shift” from the collection, Joanne Anderton, shortlisted for Best Science Fiction Short Story with “2B”, and DK Mok, shortlisted for Best Fantasy Short Story with “Almost Days” (both stories being from Insert Title Here). It’s also super exciting to see Focus 2014: highlights of Australian short fiction on the Best Anthology list.
The complete shortlists are available on the Aurealis Awards website, and showcase some of the absolute best of Australian writing produced in 2015 – such an honour to be part of it!
For the Ditmars, it’s fantastic to see Joanne Anderton double up with “2B” on the Best Short Story ballot, alongside Deborah Biancotti’s creepy Cranky Ladies of History story “Look How Cold My Hands Are”. The Cranky Ladies anthology also made the Best Collected Work ballot, and Kathleen Jennings’ gorgeous cover and internals for the book are shortlisted for Best Artwork. Editor Tehani Wessely is also on the ballot for the William Atheling Jr Award for Criticism or Review for both the team efforts of “Squeeing Over Supergirl” (with David McDonald) and “Reviewing New Who” (with David McDonald and Tansy Rayner Roberts). If you were a member of Swancon last year, or of Contact 2016 this year, you are eligible to vote, so please do (for ANY of the fabulous work shortlisted!).
Congratulations to everyone appearing on these shortlists – it really shows the strength of Australian speculative fiction.
Author of the new short story collection Striking Fire, Dirk Flinthart, has been diving into his archives and posting some free fiction on his website. Highly recommended if you would like a taste of his work!
Dirk has also been posting some musings on the dimensions of storytelling:
Part 1: Telling Stories
Part 2: The Nifty Idea
Part 3: Make It Bleed
He says some pretty interesting things about writing and stories, and I recommend the posts highly!
Thanks to everyone who takes the time to review our books — it’s hugely appreciated!
Editor Tehani is in very excellent company in the SF Mind Meld asking the question “The books that made us love science fiction and fantasy” (and is super excited to be part of her first Mind Meld!).
Stephanie Gunn reviewed Insert Title Here for the Australian Women Writers Challenge 2015 (not all the contributors are women, or Australian, but we appreciate her including it!). Stephanie says she “loved the darkness of this anthology … and all of the stories were worthwhile reading” and “…this is an extremely strong collection. The stories are varied, and I suspect that most readers will find at least one or two which speaks to them. Highly recommended.” Cheers Stephanie!
Ju at The Conversationalist comprehensively reviewed Cranky Ladies of History and notes: This book is both a pleasure to read, and gives you some small insight into the historical significance of several women, mostly those who are forgotten by modern history. It’s not that the book is educational exactly, but it does make you want to learn more, to study these women and their lives.
Speaking of Cranky Ladies, we currently have a Goodreads giveaway open internationally for two copies! Even if you already have one, they make excellent gifts, and Christmas is coming…
A different Stephanie reviewed Phantazein a while ago, over at the No Award blog, noting that it “expands beyond Western fairytales” and is a “fun read”. Thanks Steph!
Delighted to see stories from Phantazein in Ellen Datlow’s Best Horror of the Year Recommended Reading list, including Faith Mudge’s “Twelve” and Suzanne J Willis’s “Rag and Bone Heart”. Several other Aussies and plenty of great company on that list too!
Angela Slatter is interviewing the contributors to Focus 2014 over at her blog. Check them out here.
Alex Pierce includes some FableCroft news in her latest Aurora Australis column at Tor.com.
While we were in Sydney over the weekend, attending the NSW Writers Centre’s Speculative Fiction Festival (see my Storify here), the Future Fire’s comprehensive review of Cranky Ladies of History hit the internet. Reviewer Valerie Vitale had some thoughtful comments, including: “…a collection of stories definitely worth reading … informative and very engaging on an emotional level. It is a fascinating and inspiring parade of great women…”
Our most recent re-release, Glenda Larke’s Havenstar has also been getting some new love, with reviewers on Amazon saying things like: “Larke has created a fantastic yet thoroughly credible world…” and “I cannot recommend this book too highly.”
And I just came across this snappy review for Insert Title Here via Amazon, in which the reviewer calls the book: “literate and entertaining”
The short ones are appreciated too, thank you readers!
It’s always a buzz when new reviews come in for our books, so I can’t quite believe I neglected to post about this first one for Phantazein from SQ Mag when it was published in April! Among other wonderful things, reviewer Sophie Yorkson says: Each and every one of the stories in Phantazein leapt off the page at me with a vivacity and clarity of storytelling.
Thanks Sophie! And thanks also to reviewer Rivqa on Goodreads who said the book is: Beautiful and glorious. Stories to linger in the quiet corners of one’s mind.
Stephanie Gunn reviewed Cranky Ladies of History for the Australian Women Writers Challenge, unpacking the book quite comprehensively and saying: …all of the stories in this book are excellent … I’d like to think that somewhere in the past, these women are looking up and thanking the authors and editors for shining a light on them in all of their glorious crankiness.
We also have not one but TWO reviews in the new issue of Aurealis magazine (#81). Deanne Sheldon-Collins looked at Cranky Ladies of History and notes that the book: showcases historical fiction, but touches of surrealism and folklore embrace the speculative nature of rewriting history.
As always, a massive thank you to every single person who takes the time to review one of our books, whether extensively or just a few sentences on Goodreads or Amazon etc – it’s so very appreciated!
A nice mix of new reviews to report – thank you as always to the amazing readers who take the time to share their thoughts.
In a truly wonderful review of Cranky Ladies of History over at Goodreads, Catherine Heloise notes (among lots of other lovely things) that: the truly impressive thing about this anthology was that there really were no weak stories. Every story was compelling and fascinating in a different way; some were strict historical fiction, others had a touch of fantasy, fairy tale, myth, or even science fiction to them, and all were ordered with a keen eye to the stories that surrounded them. I’m not sure how best to describe this, but in my experience, at least, it’s rare to find an anthology which is put together in such a satisfying way.
Over at Marianne de Pierres’ blog, Joelene Pynnonen reviews Insert Title Here, noting it has: …consistently astounding world-building. Story after story explores unfamiliar realms – and story after story succeeds in making those realms blindingly convincing. As the title suggests, the possibilities in these stories are endless, and some of the worlds are so lovingly rendered that they would be more suited to a novel.
In a lovely review of Phantazein in Aurealis #79, Deanne Sheldon-Collins calls the book: Atmospheric and lyrical, confronting but readable, it proves that even something not meant to exist can be worthwhile.
Cybelle over at Heroines of Fantasy discussed Guardian, calling it: “an outstandingly engaging read and works well as a stand-alone novel” and noting that “the pacing of this novel is impressive, and the characters are wonderfully rich”.