Cigarettes and Roses, by Ben Peek
The Desertion of Corporal Perkins, by Bill Congreve
The Hours Before Sunrise, by Bill Congreve
The Mullet that Screwed John West, by Bill Congreve
2005 short fiction (pdf)
2006 short fiction (pdf)
Not so long between installments, but again much as happened. The Year's Best Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy, and Lucy Sussex's A Tour Guide in Utopia both saw the light of day for the first time at Continuum in Melbourne. We were lucky enough to secure the services of Neil Gaiman to launch Lucy's collection, under chaotic circumstances, as it turned out.
Both books were well received at the convention, and have been particularly well received critically. The mass-market experiment with the Year's Best is working, but who said having a distributor would take care of all the work? We're having to push as hard with this as we have with any other title, but it's all work of a different kind. One of the frustrations is visiting a whole raft of bookstores in the local area (northern suburbs of Sydney), and finding no copies at all. Yet we hear of areas where it appears to have been well distributed. (Suburban Melbourne.) If only all sales reps were equally interested. So far about 500 have sold through the distributor. Over time, we need to double that, and hope for few returns.
Our latest title came back from the printer last week. Confessions of a Pod Person, is a collection, of funny, at times manic, SF and horror short stories by Chuck McKenzie. Most of MirrorDanse's efforts over the years have been quite serious, as I'm sure you've noticed. So we quite enjoyed a book that made us stop and laugh. You can find details of Confessions here. Chuck is launching the collection this weekend at the Fandomedia convention in Perth, where he is the guest of honour.
It's been a while. Much has happened on the MirrorDanse front since the last installment. We've decided to go mass market with The Year's Best Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy, edited by Bill Congreve & Michelle Marquardt. The book is distributed in Australia by Tower Books. Copy went to the printer about a month ago, proofs flew back and forth, and we've just heard that copies arrived in the warehouse this afternoon, 12 July 2005. We see our copies tomorrow. This is both exciting and a little scary. We have 2000 books to sell.
This coming weekend, July 16 2005, marks the launch of our new MirrorDanse Editions imprint. The organisation of MirrorDanse is simple. MirrorDanse Books will be the mass market imprint. Everything else will be grouped as MirrorDanse Editions. We did it this way so that the trade perception will go with MirrorDanse Books into the mass market.
The 'first' MirrorDanse Editions title will be Lucy Sussex's excellent new collection, A Tour Guide in Utopia. We expect copies this Thursday, and the title will be launched at Continuum 3 in Melbourne.
Forthcoming: Later in 2005 we will published Chuck McKenzie's first collection, tentatively titled Alien Space Nazis Must Die! There isn't enough genuinely funny SF in the world, but this book sure helps make up for the lack!
Great news! After ten years, six months and a few days (not that I was counting -- well not that much!), the mass market edition of Southern Blood is finally available! You can view the book here, and you can order a copy here! You can also read the introduction here.
At MirrorDanse, we think this is the best anthology of Australian horror yet published. Okay, we didn't get to publish it, but it was edited by MirrorDanse principal, Bill Congreve, and contains a story by the MirrorDanse webmaster, David Carroll, so we have a biased opinion. You'll have to read it and make up your own mind!
The MirrorDanse bookshop, library, library distributor, and school library catalogues will be mailed out in the next two to three weeks. If you want to have a look at any of our books in the flesh, all you have to do is go to your local library or local bookshop and ask.
I'll repeat that, supporting the local product, and getting to read a great book, is as simple as going to your local library and asking!
As I write this, it's late in July. We've received back from the printers our copies of Terry Dowling's The Man who Lost Red, with a new cover design which features Shaun Tan's original artwork. The book also features an updated bibliography, accurate through to mid-2003.
Late last week we also received back the bulk of our run of Chris Lawson's collection of stories, science essays, and science fun stuff, Written in Blood. Chris is a powerful hard-SF writer who has made a strong reputation for himself with only a small body of work. His stories are in the Greg Egan mould, the place where biotechnology, information technology and scientific extrapolation met character and society. This is one book we're proud of! Written in Blood was successfully launched at Continuum by Russell Blackford, who spoke on behalf of Chris (who was a guest of honour at the con). Thanks also to our printers airmailing a portion of the print run over from Perth. The remainder has now arrived, so have a look!
Both books should now be in your local SF shop. Alternatively, you can order from us!
Continuum (Cato Convention Centre, Melbourne, July 11-13) was a small but friendly convention. Much fun had by all! Also launched at the convention was Southern Blood: New Australian Tales of the Supernatural, edited by yours truly. This book has been around for ten years and a few months, ever since the publisher of Intimate Armageddons asked for a sequel back in 1993. In that time, what threatened to become the Australian Last Dangerous Visions grew to become what I feel is the best Australian anthology of horror yet published, with major contributions by Lucy Sussex, Rick Kennett, Sean Williams, Simon Brown, Rosaleen Love, Robert Hood, Terry Dowling, Deborah Biancotti, Stephen Dedman, and a host of newcomers. All the stories have been sumptuously illustrated by a range of artists including Nick Stathopoulos. Kate Forsyth was kind enough to launch the book, much champagne was drunk. The book has been published by Sandglass Enterprises, a publisher new to the genre, but you will still find copies available here. The first print run is only 100 copies, most of which will go to contributors and reviewers. The main print run of several thousand won't be available until late in the year, so if you want one of these, you'll have to act now!
Well, the celebration mentioned below was successful. Good time was had by all, Collins sold some books and are happy to repeat the event, and much networking was done. Afterwards, several people ventured out and joined up with the competition from Harper Collins's launch of Kate Forsyth's (writing as Kate Humphrey) Full Fathom Five at Gleebooks, virtually next door to Collins.
Not the ABC news: Terry Dowling's The Man Who Lost Red will be back from the printers in just days. Chris Lawson's Written in Blood, a volume of his best stories with some of his best non-fiction blended into the mix and a new interview with the author by Simon Brown, went to the printer over the weekend. We expect delivery in time for Continuum, a convention to be held in Melbourne over the weekend, 11-13th July, 2003, where Chris is Guest of Honour.
Both books can be ordered now using the pdf order form, or can be ordered from your favourite bookshop. For shops who regularly stock MirrorDanse titles, please see our stockists page.
MirrorDanse Book Launch
On Wednesday the 4th of June, Collins Superstore Broadway in Sydney is host to A Celebration of Australian Science Fiction with special guest Terry Dowling, which is also the official launch of new books from MirrorDanse Books: Terry's Rynosseros, plus The Wonder Years. Come along and join the fun.
The evening starts promptly at 6PM with a reading by Terry, and also includes a discussion panel on Independent Publishers and the Majors, with Bill Congreve, Cat Sparks, Rob Hood and Stephanie Smith (of Harper Collins).
Level 2, Broadway Shopping Complex, Cnr Bay St and Broadway, Broadway, 2007. Ph 9211 7749. 6PM - 8.15PM. Collins is also offering 10% off all SF dept. stock on the night.
Paul Di Filippo of Asimov's SF Magazine has recently reviewed the MirrorDanse book Passing Strange:
Edited by Bill Congreve, Passing Strange spans the spectrum of speculative fiction, from Cat Sparks's music-inspired cyberpunkish "100% M-Hype (TM)" to the supremely silly fantasy "The Were-Sofa" by Naomi Hatchman. Never less than competent and readable, many of these stories approach must-read status. But surely the finest in the volume is Kate Orman's "All The Children Of Chimaera". This tale -- of a Renaissance England where all the imaginary abominable creatures described by far-travellers truly exist -- summons comparisons to Ted Chiang's "Seventy-Two Letters". In a fairer world, this one would be on the award-ballots next year.
The full review is on the Asimov's website.
Breaking news! Rynosseros by Terry Dowling has just been reprinted by MirrorDanse. Terry will be appearing at Swancon and also at a major event featuring East Coast independent presses (such as MirrorDanse!) to be scheduled in the middle of May by Leigh Blackmore at Collins Broadway.
Going to the printers over the next couple of weeks will be a reprint of Terry Dowling's The Man Who Lost Red. MirrorDanse first published this title in 1994, and it went out of print within the year. The only change to the text has been to fully update the author's bibliography with all the fiction he has published during the intervening years.
Also going to the printers, and due to be released at Swancon in Perth over Easter, is Wonder Years: Ten Best Stories of a Decade Past, selected by Peter McNamara. This is a collection of the best stories Peter has come across in all his years publishing Australian SF and in acting as convenor of the Aurealis Awards.
This last year, 2002, was a good one for MirrorDanse.
Passing Strange, a new anthology of the best in Australian speculative fiction, edited by Bill Congreve, first saw the light of day at Swancon, in Perth, over Easter, 2002. Official launch parties were held at Cancon, in Canberra in May (where it was launched by Canberra writer, Michael Barry), at the Australian National Science Fiction Convention in Melbourne (launched by Stephen Dedman) in June, and also at Infinitas Bookshop in Parramatta in June (launched by previous owner, Graham South).
Immaterial: Ghost Stories by Robert Hood was published in April, with launch parties at Cancon, at the Melbourne Natcon (where it was launched very passionately by Jack Dann), and at Infinitas Bookshop in August. Both books have been well received by critics, and sales have been strong. Three stories from Passing Strange have been listed as honourable mentions by Ellen Datlow in her prestigious, Year's Best Fantasy & Horror (St Martin's), co-edited by Terri Windling.
Passing Strange was listed as the number two bestselling title for the year of 2002 at Infinitas Bookshop, western Sydney's premier SF bookstore. Congratulations to the number one title, Echoes of Earth, by Sean Williams and Shane Dix (Harper Collins).
Passing Strange has also been shortlisted for 'Best Collected Work' at the Ditmar Awards to be announced at Swancon over Easter. Also nominated were Cat Sparks for the Passing Strange cover, and Ben Peek, for his story 'Cigarettes and Roses'. Good luck to all!
Passing Strange contributor, Michelle Marquardt, came in at No. 4 with her debut title, the George Turner Prize Winning Blue Silence. Blue Silence has also been nominated for the 2002 Aurealis Award for Best SF novel, and for the Ditmar Award for best novel.
Robert Hood's story 'No. 7' from Immaterial has been listed as an honourable mention in the category Best Horror Short Story in the 2002 Aurealis Awards. We find out the news on March 28th at the award ceremony in Melbourne.
Please get in touch to let us know what you think of MirrorDanse Books. For purchasing information, please see the how to order page.
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