World Fantasy – Call to Australian writers and publishers

Some projects come around again, and are very welcome indeed. Back in 2005 I went to World Fantasy in Madison, Wisconsin. It was a great convention, and I had a ball. Before the convention Garth Nix suggested we should put together a catalogue of forthcoming Australian fantasy and science fiction to give away at the convention, and hold a big party. The party was the social event of the convention and really rocked. It was Garth’s idea, and Deb Biancotti, Trevor Stafford and Justin Ackroyd worked very, very hard along with people from the Convention (especially Jim Minz) to make it a huge success. I kinda rode along on everyone else’s coattails, but had fun too, which was cool.

Anyway, a couple months back we began to think we might do it again, and, with a lot of hard work from Trevor, Deb, and Garth (but not me – you’re seeing a pattern by now), we’re all set to do it again. There’ll be a wondrous catalogue given out to all of the members of WFC, and a big party. The details are still coming together, but here’s the deal. We need information for the catalogue. We’re going to list any new books scheduled from October 2007 through to October 2008 in the catalogue. We’ll provide rights info and so on, so interested publishers in the US can follow up on the books if they’re interested. We’re also going to include information on Australian writers generally. If you think you might be interested, or have a book coming out, send us your information. Here’s the full media release…

Media Release: New initiative to help Australian authors break into US market

They’re not hoping for Harry Potter levels of success, but the organisers of a new initiative to connect Australian fantasy and science fiction authors with American and other international publishers expect that it will result in book deals and a higher profile for Australian writers in general.

The project, coordinated by ACT Writers Centre Chair Trevor Stafford, New York Times-bestselling author Garth Nix, renowned editor Jonathan Strahan and award-winning writer Deborah Biancotti, has at its core a print and web promotional booklet that will feature forthcoming books to be published in Australia in the year ahead, writer profiles and contact information for authors, agents and publishers.

In November the booklet will be distributed at several events in New York City, including a reception at the Australian Consulate for key publishing figures. The booklet will also be given to delegates at the World Fantasy Convention in Saratoga Springs, New York, a significant international industry event which gathers together several hundred agents, publishers, booksellers, librarians and other essential publishing decision-makers and gatekeepers.

“The catalogue will allow us to showcase Australian writers in the genre and we hope will result in book deals with publishers in the United States, United Kingdom and in translation,” said Stafford. “Publishing is often about connecting a work with just the right person, and this catalogue will make Australian books much more visible to potential publishers and agents.”

The catalogue will cover all forthcoming Australian speculative fiction book-length works that are to be published from October 2007 to December 2008, and will include an appendix for all Australian writers in the genre, whether they are writing novels or short fiction. The project has been assisted through funding from Copyright Agency Limited and the Literature Board of the Australia Council. It is being coordinated under the auspices of Conflux, which stages annual science fiction conventions in the nation’s capital. Conflux 4 will be held from September 28 to October 1, 2007. Authors and editors are invited to submit details of forthcoming books or short writer biographies at by August 31, 2007. The catalogue will be available for download in November.

The spring winds tighter…

I think we’re entering a three month period of near total meltdown. Gack. If I can find time (and motivation) to post on a regular basis, you’ll have the chance to see one man spontaneously run around in circles again and again, until all that’s left is a little smear of butter.

This morning John Clute reviews Jay Lake’s Mainspring over at I’m still reading, and enjoying, the novel, so I’ve not hit the bit where he suggests that the spring winds down a bit, but I agree that it’s a very good book. I’m enjoying it a lot, and you should check it out, if you haven’t. Makes me wonder if he’s going to write any ‘Mainspring’ short stories. Adventures on board the Bassett could be fun.

I was also more delighted than I can say to see that Small Beer (hi Gavin!) is going to publish John Kessel’s next collection, The Baum Plan for Financial Independence and Other Stories, in April next year. I’m an unabashed lover of Kessel’s short fiction, and can’t wait to get him to write something for one of my projects. In the meantime, everyone has to buy this book. Go and pre-order it. Now. Go on.

Tonight I’ve got to finish editing this month’s Locus columns – I’m running late – and book my travel to the US for World Fantasy. I think, maybe, I’m beginning to get excited about it. I know where I’m going, I know when, and I’ve decided I’m not renting any suits when I’m there, so it should be fun. And I’ll get to see CHARLES and Liza and Amelia and Jason and Sharyn and just lots of people. I can’t wait.