Deep Magic Fall Issue

Deep Magic, Fall 2018 Issue. Ed: Jeff Wheeler

If you follow my social media pages, you’ll know that I have a story out in the Fall 2018 issue of US-based ezine, Deep Magic. Look at this stunning cover; don’t you want to fly away to these adventures?

If you bought the mag and read, please head over to Amazon or Goodreads and leave a short review. It really helps metrics and authors like me!

I very much appreciate the selections Jeff Wheeler made with this issue. Each story has women at its beating heart, and drive the outcomes to embrace their own stories. Put alongside, it creates a

I’m sharing the TOC with 4 other fine authors. Without further ado…

Charity West, Love in the time of holodecks

Charity is clearly my writer sister. Love in a time of holodecks follows Katyn through treacherous mines into immersive entertainment (she slipped a little reference in to Star Trek – that’s my kind of writer!). Katyn’s desperately needed time out is interrupted by an intruder from the upper echelons of her world and he’s ruining the fantasy. Without ruining the story, there’s the Wild West, chase scenes, betrayal and romance. Our stories are each other’s natural companions, and I’m thrilled to share a TOC with Charity.

Cameron Johnston, The Dying Glass

A young girl’s mother is to be dedicated to the Temple of Mirrors in search of her god. The people in the mirrors live and she communicates with her deaf daughter in their own sign to tell her that it is all very wrong. An intriguing premise with excellent world building and one fierce protagonist whose disability is an asset. My first reading of Cameron’s work and I will definitely search out some others.

Tim Boiteau, The Ropemaker

A sing-song fairytale piece, this follows the Ropemaker and the hunt for her king. Dark and more than a little weird, it’s a little slice of darkness in the Fall Issue that adds nuance to the whole collection. The gender-flip in this piece reflects how troubling the treatment of the ever-after ending is.

Noel Wallace, Dream of Glass, Walk on Thorns

A fairytale in the best traditions of dark curses and magic, but coloured with sweet sisterhood and loyalty. Byrony, cursed with bones of glass, sets out to face the witch who condemned her. Her unlikely companion, loyal but aged knight, Sir Vermont, accompanies her or faces dismissal. The bravery of the princess resonated–she goes to face down a being of great power with the only defence being her love, mind and compassion.

Recent reading, October 2018

It’s been an age since I blogged regularly, and I have half a dozen reviews I should have done, so I will write short reviews and post them up in other places later this week.

Angela Slatter, Verity Fassbinder trilogy, Vigil & Corpselight

Vigil, Verity Fassbinder series, Angela Slatter. Jo Fletcher Books.A little late to the Verity party, I whittled down by TBR pile to finally pick these up. Verity Fassbinder is a detective for the weyrd (read magical and fantastic creatures of fable and yore) of Brisbane, who you meet in Vigil, at the murders of sirens. Verity haunts familiar parts of the city – which I treasure seeing lovingly sketched in fiction – to hunt down the culprit. In Corpselight, she hunts angels and a missing baby, all while pregnant herself. Verity faces literal hell to get answers.Corpse Light, Verity Fassbinder series, Angela Slatter. Jo Fletcher Books.

Verity is a snarky bad ass, tromping all over. She’s an entertaining headspace to inhabit and I like the transposition of old-world creatures in current-day Australia. These works are quite different to Angela’s Bitterwood Bible and others, which I think are still my favourites, but these books don’t stop long enough to let you linger. The last in the trilogy, Restoration, is out now, so if you love seeing Australia in your fiction and a good detective story completed, this trilogy is for you. It’s definitely skipping to the top of my list.

Cat Sparks, Lotus Blue

lotus-blue-sparksTalk about desert settings and we immediately leap to thoughts of Frank Herbert’s Dune, but Cat turns that trope around to comment on environmental destruction, climate change, survival and war.

We follow Star and her sister on caravans winding through deserts, brimming with fatal storms, man-eating lizards and relics of an ancient war. While buried and mostly forgotten, the technical monstrosities built by ancient civilisations wait only to be reactivated.

I loved the worlds of this book: the land ships, lizards, sentinels. Still with clueless kids landing themselves and possibly the whole world in trouble. Lotus Blue is one of my favourite reads of this year.

Nnedi Okorafor, Binti: The Night Masquerade

Binti: The Night Masquerade, Nnedi Okorafor. Tor pubIn the last of a trilogy of novellas, Binti has returned home from intergalactic university with her friend, Okwu. Inalterably changed, she faces rejection from her own conservative society for the changes she’s undergone. Her father’s people, Enyi Zinariya, have called on her to keep changing and broadening her understanding. And there’s a war brewing between her planet and Okwu’s people, the Meduse. She’s far from home when the hostilities start and it may take all her skills as a harmonizer to put it right.

A fine conclusion for this trilogy which I have reviewed before (Binti). A journey of coming to accept yourself and others for who they are. I’d highly recommend embarking on the whole set.

The Everlasting Sunday, Robert Lukins

Robert Lukins, The Everlasting Sunday. University of Queensland Press.The Everlasting Sunday magnificently captures the atmosphere of a post-WWII English home for wayward boys. There’s rambling adventures, clandestine meetings with jazz and alcohol, cemented together with a flawed yet interesting cast, and rounded out with the sort of friendships made only during the tough times.

Once he hits full stride in the novel, Robert’s work is an evocative exploration of the setting and characters. His voice in the novel retains the very best type of story-telling from classic English literature, in keeping with the period. We keep our protagonist at arm’s length throughout the narrative and the ending leaves the reader with many questions still unanswered. Events of the climax felt at odds with the rest of the narrative in its brutality.

Overall though, a highly engaging and well executed debut – congratulations Robert! (I know Robert through work so it’s a special thrill to read his work.)