The Never Never Land Launch
The CSFG anthology The Never Never Land was just launched at Conflux 11 in Canberra this very day. It’s edited by Mitchell Akhurst, Phillip Berrie and Ian McHugh, which is a good indicator that it’ll be a good read. An even better indicator is the presence of a story of mine — ‘Ghost Versions’, on page 155 to be exact.
Getting a story accepted is a rare event for me and on its own enough to make me extremely pleased. What’s even rarer — in fact, never happened before — is that I attended the launch and met the people I had been working with via the interweb.
The great thing about the theme is that it is unapologetically Australian. Sometimes when I write a piece I ask myself — where am I going to send it? And if the piece is highly Australian in tone and setting, the rumour mill suggests ‘to someone in Australia’ is the only answer. Is this true? I don’t know. I do know that a lot of stories by Aussies that make it into international magazines seem rather transatlantic (or just English, if in Interzone) in tone, though Ian McHugh said that he did not find it a problem, and he hits Asimov’s and the like with admirable regularity.
So it was a fun story to write, if not light in tone.
The other unusual thing about the whole experience was that they kind of knew me.
I’ve been publishing short fiction for a horribly long time — over 20 years — but never more than one here, one there, never in a pattern. The oddest thing anyone said today was that when they saw my story they didn’t think it was ‘typical’ of me. That they even had a conception of what was typical surprised me (and rather pleased me, I have to say).
And now, when I’m writing, I’ll be thinking…someone is watching.
For me, that’s a scary story.