Sunday, June 29, 2008

Back Announce

Back from a marvelous holiday driving around Christchurch, not to mention spending a day on the Tranzalpine train racing through the snow.

Lots of announcements to make (and one I can't say anything about yet, but has me very happy indeed).

First of all there is this. I'm still not sure how I ended up there, but if an anthology with that line-up doesn't lift your game then nothing will. Now, I just need to finish my novella, it's the most space operaish thing I've ever written - but I think it has a real heart - so if I manage to pull it off, I shouldn't look so lacking. Hey, and those other folk are going to be brilliant. Who wouldn't want to read a new Paul Haines novella? Or, for that matter something of that length by Cat Sparks? And that's not even mentioning Terry Dowling, or Margo Lanagan, or Louise Katz. (Performance anxiety, much?)

Then there's this. Murky Depths has some of the art spreads up on their web page at the moment. Aren't they pretty?

Finally, we have. If you've ever wondered if I could have ever been a worse writer than I am now, well... you can get a chance at Avid Reader on thursday the 10th of July where I'll be reading from my fifteen year old self's sword and sorcery novel Stilloch of the Jakorich. I've just dug this out of a tin chest in the laundry. Here's a sample, well a very rough synopsis.

The details for the event are below (I can't wait to hear what Kim and Josie reading!):

Thursday, 10 July 2008, 18:00 - 19:30

Special Juvenilia QWC Wordpool.

Meet authors Kim WIlkins and Trent Jameson and Josie Montano as they get in touch with their inner young adult. There will be music and illustration by Terry Whidborne and lots of juvenille fun.

Location: Avid Reader Bookshop Contact

email: books at
ph 384603422

Saturday, June 21, 2008


Sometimes you shouldn't get what you wish for.

The Mist is one of those pivotal and deeply inspirational stories for me (Lovecraft's the Colour out of Space, is another). I read Stephen King's novella when I was sixteen, and it crouched in my brain and laid eggs there. There was an intimacy in that story, in the face of the inconceivably awful, that I found utterly compelling, and I'd always wondered what it would be like as a movie.

Well, the Mist is a fine movie, but the inconceivable is now conceivable*, and I kind of wish that I hadn't seen it.

Well, too late for that. Still, if you didn't fall in love with the novella when you were a wee nip, I reckon there's a lot to enjoy here, and if you did, well, maybe you'll be better at separating the two mediums.

*I kind of wonder if the person that designed the giant monster at the end of this movie was the same person that designed the monster in Cloverfield - a movie that had the advantage of not being based on a beloved childhood tale.

You're Never as Fit as You Think You Are

You get yourself a bike. You start riding, it's not that hard, which is cool. You don't forget how to ride a bike, eh.

Then you get to something little more than a slight gradient against a tiny breeze and suddenly you can barely make any headway. The muscles in your legs are burning and a little kid whizzes past you on their bmx (with none of those fancy gears your bike has) not even breaking a sweat.

I think it's going to be a while before I can ride anywhere useful - unless it's downhill

Book One is Done and a Lame Sketch

It has a beginning, a middle and an end, and I think it holds together well enough to subject it to readers.

It's even funny(possibly), and thrilling (maybe) and dark in spots - or it's awful, but awful is kind of okay at this stage, because I think I'm heading in the right direction, and if that means digging myself out of a whole heap of awfulness, so be it.

And I can go to NZ without feeling too guilty about a week of very little writing.

Now, here is a quick (lame) sketch of one of my favourite scenes in the book. That's the black swan Tuonela, and the squiggly thing on her back is Beth. They've just escaped the mad Script Editors, that ropey thing in the background is one of the ropes that keeps the curtains of the world from closing.

Oh, and here's a bit from the beginning, not the most elegant way to appear in another world:

Beth wasn't in the school auditorium any more, she wasn't anywhere she recognised at all, except on a stage, in a grand theatre, packed to capacity. Her migraine had just jumped up another notch, otherwise, she might have acted differently, demanded an immediate answer. But the world spun around her like a fairground ride. A horrible, dizzying sick-making ride.

Oh, no. Not now!

But there was nothing she could do. The blood drained from her face, and then, in another world, in front of thousands of people, Beth Williams threw up all over the stage.

Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Book One Almost Done

I've been busy getting the first book of the Players done. Well, this new draft. I'm a big fan of new drafts, I'm an even bigger fan of finishing them.

I'm actually at a stage with this where I'm almost happy to have people reading the book. My first drafts are always such a mess, but this draft is now possessed of a form, and even some sort of dramatic tension, will wonders never cease.

Between that and getting ready for the South Island, well...

Found out I'm tutoring at QUT next semester - just a few hours a week on the Short Story, but I had so much fun doing this last time, that I'm looking forward to it, once I get over the terror of the first class.

And now here's my favourite recent sketch of little Ziggy.

Saturday, June 14, 2008

Heading South

We're going here in just over a week, thanks to my wonderful house sitting sister, Jade (I promise the boys won't be any trouble). I've always wanted to go to the South Island, and, while I know a week isn't nearly enough, it's going to be cold and we're going to kick around mountains, and ride trains, and I'm even going to get some writing done - I hope.

Oh and then there's this. Is there anything more exciting than a new Okkervil River album?

Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Lighterman's Tale

Well, I was extremely chuffed this morning to hear from my bud Dirk Flinthart that my story The Lighterman's Tale is going to be Canterbury 2100. I'm very excited about this, because, for one, I'm sure it's going to be a pretty cool anthology, anything Cat Spark's Agog! Press produces is, and I put a lot of sweat and blood into my story - just trying to get the voice right.

Oh, and my bookshop owning mother-in-law, called me up today to let me know that they'd gotten their hands on a reading copy of this. Which I expect to be a rather fine anthology as well, and which also contains another story of mine that did not come easily to me, but of which I am awful proud.

See, I'm almost looking prolific.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Line War

Just finished (well, on Sunday, but I've been busy) reading Neal Asher's latest book Line War. Have to say that not only does it wrap up the Ian Cormac series satisfactorily, it's a damn fine action SF read, with all the explosions you could ever want, and an utterly thrilling sense of scale.

I really don't know anyone that does this sort of high octane Space Opera better. Highly recommended if you're looking for something entertaining, witty, and fast-paced. The Cormac books are Asimov's Foundation series strapped to a supernova.

Monday, June 02, 2008

It Never Rains But it Pours

That's Brisbane for you. Wet. Wet. Wet. Still, managed quite a bit of writing today (well, there wasn't anything else to do) and then sat down and got through quite a bit of Neal Asher's Line War. As usual, it's a highly entertaining read, certainly the perfect way to spend a wet evening.

Another entertaining (and free) read can be found here. I think Simon is really about to break out, and he certainly deserves it, I know* few writers that have worked as hard at their career as him. Check it out here.

*Not that I know Simon, but I've certainly admired his approach to his career.