Monday, June 2, 2014

Countdown: 2 Weeks until Remnants to Recent Years

The first volume of collected short works completed, revised and prepared for publication or published in 2013 releases in 2 weeks and 5 days’ time.

Remnants to Recent Years consists of short stories, flash fiction and poetry, explorations of fantasy, science fiction, speculation, real-world and real-life commentary, language and word play in general.

Some of the short stories in have been released as stand-alone works, as part of An Anthology of Blades, or both. Rather than buy them one by one, you can find them all in this volume. These stories are:

  • Old Magic
  • The Runaway
  • Corporate Loyalty
  • Pigs Might Fly
  • Gods in the Lianreida
  • The Buried Blade
  • A Battle of Minds


Remnants to Recent Years is scheduled for release on June 21, 2014.

Here’s an extract from one of the longer pieces in the collection:

I wrote Old Magic sometime in 1996, and don’t remember much of why. It is part of a time when I was exploring the idea of a person belonging, and of being tied to a particular place because of their heritage—their bloodline. And, yes, I was living in Melbourne at the time.

Heather stood amidst the wreckage of the city in the cold, grey light of dawn. She felt the soft mist of the newly fallen rain settle on her arms. Constant and clingy, the rain reminded her of gum leaves, silver-grey with the same misty drops. It brought to mind the sharp scent of eucalypts on a damp mountainside, a scent that momentarily eclipsed the smell of sodden cement and bitumen in decay.
The rain formed a patina of dew over her hair, making the top layer matt so that heavier droplets rolled from her head and down the back of her daypack. Heather wiped a hand across her eyes, clearing away the moisture that clouded her vision, clearing the momentary glimpse of silver-barked trees from before the leaning buildings.
The north of the city was dead. She had searched it for life, just as she had already searched through its north-western reaches. She had found only the emptiness of abandonment and decay.
St. Albans, Sunshine, Footscray, Essendon and now, it seemed, central Melbourne. Once they had teemed with life. Now, they were only scars on a landscape the bush was rapidly moving to reclaim as its own.
Heather had survived the bombings and the first wave of plagues. She had survived the petty warlords, and the anarchy that had followed the sudden loss of contact with the rest of the world. She had even survived the second wave of sickness. There had to be others.
Sighing and shaking her head so that raindrops scattered from her hair, she noticed what had once been a small cafe. Shaking her head again to clear the ghostly images of gumtrees reflected in the remains of the cafĂ©’s plate glass windows, Heather crossed the road towards it. Perhaps she would find food there.
The cafe made her think of drier nights when the footpaths had been full of crowds, and trams had rattled down the streets. It reminded her of moonlit walks in the park beside St. Kilda Road, and of feeding the possums in the trees, forbidden as that was.
Clambering past the broken glass in the shattered front window, she stepped into the cafe. There were reminders of old gangs and overlords all around her. They ranged from the paint-spattered walls to the bullet-riddled body at her feet. Something about the corpse caught her attention, made her pause. Heather moved slowly into the cafe, studying the body as she went.
The body was wrong. Something… It clicked as she reached the door leading to the back of the shop. The body hadn't started to smell yet.
Heather paused and sniffed again. Definitely. The body was new, fresh. It hadn't been killed by the second wave of plague, but by something long after the plague had passed; it hadn't even begun to swell.
Something scratched at her brain, the ghost gums crowding around, demanding her attention. Her instinct for trouble was warning her away from the window's open jaggedness. She obeyed it, slipping quickly to one side, and wondering when danger would strike.


If you would like to read more, Old Magic is available as a stand-alone story, or can be found as part of this collection.

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