Midnight Echo Issue 11 now available

What’s that rap-tap-tapping on your chamber door? It’s not some mocking raven – it’s the seriously unsettling Midnight Echo 11.

Edited by Kaaron Warren, Issue 11 is dedicated to all things sinister. With fiction by Deborah Sheldon, Jarod K Anderson, and Marija Elektra Rodriguez, poetry by PS Cottier and Michael Tugendhat, an exclusive interview with Wolf Creek 2 screenwriter Aaron Sterns, and the winning AHWA Short Story and Flash Fiction Competition stories, you know you’re in for a disturbing ride.

Midnight Echo 11 is available in pdf, epub and mobi. Get all three versions for AU$2.99 when you buy through MidnightEchoMagazine.com

Midnight Echo Issue 11

Cherry Crow Children is now available

By Deborah Kalin
Volume 12, Twelve Planets Press
ISBN 978-1-9221010-9-9
Cover design by Amanda Rainey
Also will be available as ebook
Published April 2015

For full details, including ordering information, go to Twelfth Planet Press.

Introduced by Kate Elliott.

Cherry Crow ChildrenTulliæn spans a fractured mountaintop, where the locals lie and the tourists come to die. Try the honey.

Briskwater crouches deep in the shadow of a dam wall. Ignore the weight of the water hanging overhead, and the little dead girl wandering the streets. Off with you, while you still can.

In Haverny Wood the birds drink blood, the dogs trade their coughings for corpses, the lost children carve up their bodies to run with the crows, and the townsfolk stitch silence into their spleens. You mustn’t talk so wild.

The desert-locked outpost of Boundary boasts the famed manufacturers of flawless timepieces; those who would learn the trade must offer up their eyes as starting materials. Look to your pride: it will eat you alive.

Sooner or later, in every community, fate demands its dues — and the currency is blood.

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The Female Factory by Lisa L. Hannett and Angela Slatter, has also since won the Aurealis Award for Best Collection.

In The Female Factory, procreation is big business. Children are a commodity few women can afford.

Hopeful mothers-to-be try everything. Fertility clinics. Pills. Wombs for hire. Babies are no longer made in bedrooms, but engineered in boardrooms. A quirk of genetics allows lucky surrogates to carry multiple eggs, to control when they are fertilised, and by whom—but corporations market and sell the offspring. The souls of lost embryos are never wasted; captured in software, they give electronics their voice. Spirits born into the wrong bodies can brave the charged waters of a hidden billabong, and change their fate. Industrious orphans learn to manipulate scientific advances, creating mothers of their own choosing.

From Australia’s near-future all the way back in time to its convict past, these stories spin and sever the ties between parents and children.

Australian Shadows 2014 shortlist

The Australian Horror Writers Association is thrilled to announce the final shortlist in the 2014 Australian Shadows Awards.

From the AHWA: “We believe this year’s short list represents the finest in horror fiction written or edited by an Australian or New Zealand author and first published in 2014 in the fields of short fiction, novella, novel, collection and edited works.”

Judges were asked to prepare a shortlist of up to five works from each award category, with a finalist to be announced from that shortlist on Friday, April 24.

The shortlisted authors and their works are (in alphabetical order):

Novel:
Jeremy Bates – Suicide Forest
Greig Beck – Book of the Dead
Lauren Dawes – Dark Deceit
Aaron Sterns – Wolf Creek Origin
Matthew Tait – Davey Ribbon

Short Fiction:
Alan Baxter: Mephisto
Alan Baxter: Shadows of the Lonely Dead
Rebecca Fung: Mummified Monk
Michelle Jager: Bones
Andrew McKiernan: Last Year When We Were Young

Edited Works:
SQ Issue 14 – edited by Sophie Yorkston
SNAFU – edited by Geoff Brown and Amanda J Spedding
Suspended in Dusk – edited by Simon Dewar

Collected works:
No shortlist, winner to be announced

Paul Haines Award for Long Fiction (novella)
Darcy Coates – Ghost Camera
Shane Jiraiya Cummings – Dreams of Destruction.
Robert Hood – The Shark God Covenant

A big thanks goes to the judges Natalie Satakovski, Bianca de Loryn, Christine Ferdinands, Lee Pletzers, Kathy Williams-DeVries, and Jay Caselberg who had the tough job of pouring over the entries and choosing the final shortlist.

Winners will be announced online via the AHWA Facebook page on Friday, April 24 at 8pm. If you haven’t already be sure to go online and follow the AHWA to get the winners as they drop.

Winners will receive an engraved trophy created by Creepy Collectables.

A Return to Wolf Creek

Is this Australia’s most iconic horror villain?

MickYes, without a doubt.

And while we wait for Wolf Creek 2 to be released in February to give us even more reasons to be terrified of the Australian outback, we can load up on all things Mick through the commercial release of two prequel novels that are now available from Penguin or at any good bookstores (paperback and digital formats). How good is this for Australian horror? Damn good!

The first is Origin: Wolf Creek Book 1 by Greg McLean and Aaron Sterns.

WolfCreekNature vs nurture turns out to be a bloodbath

The wide open outback offers plenty of space for someone to hide. Or to hide a body.

When wiry youngster Mick Taylor starts as a jackaroo at a remote Western Australian sheep station, he tries to keep his head down among the rough company of the farmhands. But he can’t keep the devils inside him hidden for long.

It turns out he’s not the only one with the killer impulse – and the other psychopaths don’t appreciate competition. Is Cutter, the station’s surly shooter, on to him? And what are the cops really up to as they follow the trail of the dead?

In the first of a blood-soaked series of Wolf Creek prequel novels, the cult film’s writer/director Greg McLean and horror writer Aaron Sterns take us back to the beginning, when Mick was a scrawny boy, the only witness to the grisly death of his little sister. Origin provides an unforgettably bloody answer to the question of nature vs nurture. What made Mick Taylor Australian horror’s most terrifying psycho killer?

“One of the great horror film heavies of the last 25 years” – Quentin Tarantino

“One of the best serial killer novels out there . . . destined to be considered a classic in future years” – ScaryMinds.com

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The second Wolf Creek prequel novel is Desolation Game: Wolf Creek Book 2 by Greg McLean and Brett McBean.

WolfCreek2Mick’s learning, and his schoolroom is a war.

When sharpshooter and killer Mick Taylor searches for a place to keep a low profile, he finds somewhere where his peculiar talents are appreciated: a war. And in Vietnam, an out-of-control sergeant takes the amateur murderer and turns him into a pro.

Back home, Mick makes use of the sick lessons the army taught him, when hapless tour operators bring a Kombi-load of sightseers out his way into the Western Australian desert. Two suspicious flat tyres deliver an engaged Japanese couple, a father and son, a US army vet and his girlfriend, and a couple of cute girls to Mick’s lair. Middle of nowhere, population one. The group finds themselves in hell, as Mick makes sure their once-in-a-lifetime tour stays that way. And though one of the drivers escapes and goes for help, Mick sees no reason to stop the killing spree.

In the second Wolf Creek prequel novel, the cult film’s writer/director Greg McLean and horror writer Brett McBean get to the heart of Australian horror’s most terrifying psycho killer. Is Mick Taylor possessed by some dark power in the landscape itself? Something ancient? Does the Red Centre demand blood?

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And if that’s not enough to terrify you, you can read what Director Greg McLean has to say about it all here.

Head on a stick, anyone?

ill at ease 2 now available

Following on from the critical success of “ill at ease” comes volume 2, featuring seven original horror short stories, all of them guaranteed to give you the chills. The anthology is published by PenMan Press and available from  Amazon in both print and digital editions.

Joining the original trio of Stephen Bacon, Mark West and Neil Williams this time are Shaun Hamilton, Robert Mammone, Val Walmsley and Sheri White.

You will descend into an underground train station to uncover a dreadful secret and watch in horror as a paradise holiday turns sour. You will see a bullied boy who’s helped by local history and share the anguish of a father, losing his child in a shopping centre. You will take a trip with a cancer sufferer and share the pain of a couple, desperate for a child. You will discover that history needs to be kept somewhere.

Seven stories, seven writers and you.

Prepare to feel “ill at ease” all over again.