Focus 2014: highlights of Australian short fiction

It’s that time of year again, and the new Focus anthology is now out in the world! Just AU$3.99 in ebook (mostly US$2.99 hopefully!) on all platforms, including Kindle, Kobo, and everything else at Smashwords (which will filter through to iBooks, hopefully soon).


Looking for a taste of the very best science fiction, fantasy and horror short stories around? The third of an annual series, Focus 2014 collects an elite selection of work which has received acclaim via national and international Awards commendations.

Focus 2014: highlights of Australian short fiction features work by…
Alan Baxter – Shadows of the Lonely Dead
Deborah Biancotti – The Executioner Goes Home
Thoraiya Dyer – Wine, Women and Stars”
Dirk Flinthart – Vanilla
Faith Mudge – Signature
Charlotte Nash – The Ghost of Hephaestus
Tansy Rayner Roberts – Cookie Cutter Superhero
Angela Slatter – St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls
Cat Sparks – The Seventh Relic
Kaaron Warren – Death’s Door Café
Sean Williams – The Legend Trap
Kathleen Jennings – Illustrations and cover art

Focus2012-Cover2To celebrate, we’ve made the very first volume of the series, Focus 2012: highlights of Australian short fiction, absolutely FREE for a very limited time! Featuring award-winning and commended work from 2012, the book is an excellent taster of the very best Australian speculative fiction. Get it free on Kindle / Kobo / Smashwords or search at your preferred etailer…

Focus2013-CoverFocus 2013, the second volume, is also now reduced to US$2.99 on all platforms. (Kindle / Kobo / Smashwords)

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Win a copy of Striking Fire by Dirk Flinthart (and other news!)

Goodreads Book Giveaway

Striking Fire by Dirk Flinthart

Striking Fire

by Dirk Flinthart

Giveaway ends October 01, 2015.

See the giveaway details
at Goodreads.

Enter Giveaway

Pre-orders of the Striking Fire ebook are now available at your preferred e-tailer (Kindle / Kobo / Smashwords) and print pre-orders through the FableCroft shop!

Join us for the launch at Conflux in Canberra on Saturday October 3, 2015.

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Announcement: new anthology!

I’ve said before that one of the big advantages about being a small press is the ability to leap on a project when one presents itself. Cranky Ladies of History was one such book, which we were able to produce thanks to the generosity of our crowdfunding backers.

specfactionNow we’re delighted to announce another book that has only come into being quite accidentally, in a confluence of events sparked by my reading a fantastic story by an Australian author, and then ignited thanks to the generosity of the group SpecFaction in the form of a financial grant intended for just one purpose: to produce an anthology showcasing Australian spec fic.

To this end, FableCroft is putting together a collection of Australian speculative fiction stories that deal with very provocative and/or confronting themes, but with purpose – they will be pieces that perhaps make readers uncomfortable because they are a bit too hard-hitting or close to the bone, but which do so in order to interrogate these themes and ideas, and make a point about the world we live in.

With a working title of In Your Face, the book will be made up of both original and reprinted work. We are privileged to have gained permission to include the novella “Wives”, by the sadly missed Paul Haines, and already have several original works under consideration as well. We aim to launch the book at Natcon in Brisbane in March 2016 and look forward to bringing it to you!

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Dirk Flinthart’s STRIKING FIRE: cover reveal and TOC

We’re very excited to share the cover design for Dirk Flinthart’s forthcoming short story collection, Striking Fire. Designer Amanda Rainey has done a gorgeous job with it (as usual!) and we’re so pleased with the result!

Striking Fire cover-1


We can now also announce the final table of contents for the book, which will be launched on Saturday October 3, 2015, at Conflux in Canberra. It’s a cracker of a book!

the first martian (original to collection)

the flatmate from hell

the ballad of farther-on jones 

collateral damage

eschaton and coda

faith (original to collection)


fortitude valley station, 2.15am

a friend in the trade (original to collection)



no hard feelings (original to collection)

the fletcher test

the last word


tough (original to collection)


one night stand

gaslight a go go

parity check

night shift (original to collection)

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ANNOUNCEMENT — Focus 2014: highlights of Australian short fiction contents

LogoFableCroft is delighted to announce the contents of Focus 2014: highlights of Australian short fiction. The third installment of our annual Focus series collects an elite selection of work which has received acclaim via national and international Awards recognition. 

St Dymphna’s School for Poison Girls by Angela Slatter
Wine, Women and Stars by Thoraiya Dyer
Vanilla by Dirk Flinthart
The Legend Trap by Sean Williams
The Seventh Relic by Cat Sparks
Death’s Door Café by Kaaron Warren
The Ghost of Hephaestus by Charlotte Nash
The Executioner Goes Home by Deborah Biancotti
Signature by Faith Mudge
Cookie Cutter Superhero by Tansy Rayner Roberts
Shadows of the Lonely Dead by Alan Baxter

Focus 2014 will be available in ebook on all platforms in September.

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The long and the short: some reviews!

9780992553456While we were in Sydney over the weekend, attending the NSW Writers Centre’s Speculative Fiction Festival (see my Storify here), the Future Fire’s comprehensive review of Cranky Ladies of History hit the internet. Reviewer Valerie Vitale had some thoughtful comments, including: “…a collection of stories definitely worth reading … informative and very engaging on an emotional level. It is a fascinating and inspiring parade of great women…

Our most recent re-release, Glenda Larke’s Havenstar has also been getting some new love, with reviewers on Amazon saying things like: “Larke has created a fantastic yet thoroughly credible world…” and “I cannot recommend this book too highly.”

And I just came across this snappy review for Insert Title Here via Amazon, in which the reviewer calls the book: “literate and entertaining” 

The short ones are appreciated too, thank you readers!

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Reviews rolling in

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 9.55.45 amIt’s always a buzz when new reviews come in for our books, so I can’t quite believe I neglected to post about this first one for Phantazein from SQ Mag when it was published in April! Among other wonderful things, reviewer Sophie Yorkson says: Each and every one of the stories in Phantazein leapt off the page at me with a vivacity and clarity of storytelling. 

Thanks Sophie! And thanks also to reviewer Rivqa on Goodreads who said the book is: Beautiful and glorious. Stories to linger in the quiet corners of one’s mind.

9780992553456Stephanie Gunn reviewed Cranky Ladies of History for the Australian Women Writers Challenge, unpacking the book quite comprehensively and saying: …all of the stories in this book are excellent … I’d like to think that somewhere in the past, these women are looking up and thanking the authors and editors for shining a light on them in all of their glorious crankiness.

We also have not one but TWO reviews in the new issue of Aurealis magazine (#81). Deanne Sheldon-Collins looked at Cranky Ladies of History and notes that the book: showcases historical fiction, but touches of surrealism and folklore embrace the speculative nature of rewriting history.

ITH CoverDeanne also reviewed Insert Title Here, recommending that: If you want immersing but varied fiction, insert this title into your reading list.

Thanks Deanne!

As always, a massive thank you to every single person who takes the time to review one of our books, whether extensively or just a few sentences on Goodreads or Amazon etc – it’s so very appreciated!

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Monsterful announcement

I realised I neglected to make a formal announcement here about the status of the Monsterful anthology we announced earlier this year; Twitter and Facebook notifications were made, and the information removed from this site, but I didn’t actually post on the blog.

Regretfully, we have put the project on indefinite hold in order to focus on other books. Please see our submissions page for open calls. We still hope to bring the book to life at some stage, but now is not the right time.

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Reviews and Convention-going news…

Alex Pierce reviewed Cranky Ladies of History over at Goodreads and said so many lovely things, including (among a glimpse of each story in the volume): Look, it’s just great. A wonderful range of stories, of women, of styles, of close-to-history and far (but still with that element of Truthiness). Thanks Alex!

Tsana of Tsana Reads and Reviews also gave Cranky Ladies the thumbs up, saying: …interesting and fascinating are the two words that best describe this collection.

Guy Salvidge wrote a comprehensive piece on Epilogue for Bruce Gillespie’s SF Commentary #89, and noted that: It’s a testament to the strength of the Australian speculative fiction field these days that’s there not one weak story in the anthology…

Thanks to you all, and to everyone who takes the time to review one of our books – it is always appreciated!

Continuum table

Wonderful intern Katharine and I joined a large number of our favourite people in Melbourne for Continuum 11 last weekend. We had a great time, were on some panels, and enjoyed chatting with (and selling some books to) the con-goers throughout the weekend. In lieu of a proper con write-up, I did a Storify :)

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New reviews and a bit of news…

Screen Shot 2014-09-13 at 9.55.45 amRiver from Cherry Blossoms and Maple Syrup did a lovely little review of Phantazein, saying: My favourite story in the collection easily was The Nameless Seamstress by Gitte Christensen. Such a vivid and gripping story about a seamstress! Also Tansy Rayner Roberts did a story and it was also made of fabulous. Seriously, there’s some fantastic stories in this collection, and it’s worth checking out.

It was delightful to see a great review of Cranky Ladies of History over at Marianne de Pierres’ website, where reviewer A.V. Mather notes that the “contributing authors are as talented and diverse a group as you could expect to find in Speculative Fiction today” and that “What you have here is a treasure chest in which you will find a very eclectic collection of sharp and glittering delights…”

Thank you both, and to everyone who takes the time to review one of our books – it is most appreciated!

We would like to draw your attention to the fact that Cranky Ladies editors Tansy and Tehani will be joined by a number of the authors from the book to chat about various cranky ladies of history on a panel at the Continuum 11 convention in Melbourne this weekend! Our panel is at 6pm on Sunday June 7, but the whole program looks absolutely amazing! Tansy is one of the guests of honour at this convention, and will be talking herself hoarse on a bunch of great topics, and you can find Tehani on several other panels, or in the Dealer Room peddling books for most of the weekend. Hope to see you there!

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