Saturday, July 22, 2006

Tumble and Golf Courses of the Old West

It's been an extremely quiet year for me on the short story front. Not a bad writing as a sort of career year, hey, I sold my first kid's book - contract finally signed, thank you - published my first book of short stories, and won an Aurealis Award, none-of-which suck. But the shorts haven't exactly been coming that quickly, though I'm happy with what I'm writing almost none of it is ready for publication. 2007 should be good, and, even if it isn't, and, as frustrating as that can be, I'm enjoying the process, the act of writing what I'm writing, everything else is just icing on the writing cake.

Anyway adding to my list of nice things that have come from stuff already published one of my stories made the ASIF recommended reading list.

ASIF is an Australian SF review site. Very much worth checking out if you want to get an idea of what's going on in Australian SF. (And check out the discussion forum, Cat Sparks is the featured editor - very interesting, but Cat's always interesting and entertaining, and too damn talented.) Mix it with Tansy Rayner Robert’s , Jonathan Strahan's and Ben Peek's blogs and you've got a very nice overview - all thoughtful and far more erudite views on writing (and other stuff) if that's your bag.

Anyway, the story "Tumble" (you can check it out here *)is one of my favourites so it was good to see that at least a couple of other people had read it, and liked it.

I totally dig Leone westerns, and it's sort of a western. I like the terse patter, the guns, and the long shadows. When I was editing K.J. Bishop's "The Etched City" one of the things I loved about that book (actually what wasn't there to love about it?) were the opening scenes set in the Copper Country. Few books have ever captured that sense of the West - but a west viewed through the lens of Sergio Leone - so well.

Getting back to my story - it's my blog, and I can brag if I want to - "Tumble" is also the only story I've ever set in Gunnedah - well, a fantasy Gunnedah, with a fantasy golf course hotel. My dad, who is also a dead keen fan of Westerns, loves his golf, so we never lived far from the golf course. That golf course was a big part of my childhood. I liked the dams it contained, the curious swans and geese, its quiet darkness. It always seemed to be waiting for something, a particular moment perhaps, when it might rise up in a cloud of drowned golf balls and angry geese and go shuffling off into the dry land beyond the town. Never did.

I guess it’s still waiting.

*just ignore my lame-arse introduction, I hate those things.

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