Shane Jiraiya Cummings has been acknowledged as “one of Australia’s leading voices in dark fantasy”. Shane is the author of Shards, The Smoke Dragon, The Mist Ninja, Requiem for the Burning God, Phoenix and the Darkness of Wolves, and the four volumes of the Apocrypha Sequence (Deviance, Divinity, Insanity, and Inferno). He is the editor of the Amazon #1 bestselling anthology Rage Against the Night, award-winning non-fiction publications HorrorScope and Black: Australian Dark Culture, as well as Shadowed Realms (creative director), Shadow Box, Black Box, Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror Volume One, Midnight Echo #2, and Robots & Time.
Shane has had more than one hundred short stories published in Australia, New Zealand, North America, Europe, and Asia, and his work has been translated into Japanese, French, Spanish, and Polish.
In May 2011, two of Shane’s e-books, The Smoke Dragon and Apocrypha Sequence: Deviance, became bestsellers on Amazon. The Smoke Dragon peaked at #4 on the Kindle epic fantasy bestseller list, #92 on the Kindle genre fiction bestseller list, and #167 on the Kindle free e-books bestseller list. Deviance reached #12 on the Kindle short stories bestseller list, #20 on the Kindle Horror bestseller list, and #277 on the Kindle free e-books bestseller list. The Smoke Dragon also reached #219 on the Barnes & Noble science fiction & fantasy bestseller list.
Shane’s shorter stories are showcased in Shards, a dark flash fiction collection illustrated by Andrew J. McKiernan (Brimstone Press, 2009). Shane’s affinity with very short stories through Shards and edited publications such as Shadow Box, Black Box, and Shadowed Realms has seen him acknowledged as a “master of flash fiction”. A full length collection, The Abandonment of Grace and Everything After, is forthcoming.
Shane has also dabbled with comic book script writing. He has had a couple of short graphic stories published in Australian comic anthologies, and he has scripts in development for a comic book series.
With Angela Challis, Shane co-founded Brimstone Press (2004) and Black: Australian Dark Culture Magazine (2008). Shane has edited several anthologies, and he was the founder and managing editor of HorrorScope: The Australian Dark Fiction Blog and the guest editor (with Angela) of Midnight Echo Issue #2. Also with Angela, Shane co-founded ground-breaking online magazine Shadowed Realms (published from 2004 to 2007) and the Australian Dark Fantasy & Horror ‘year’s best’ anthology series, which ran for three annual issues (co-editing the first volume).
In late 2011, Shane released the e-book edition of Rage Against the Night, a charity anthology featuring the megastars of horror: Stephen King, Ramsey Campbell, Peter Straub, and many more. This special anthology – to raise funds for author and Horror Writers Association President Rocky Wood in his battle against motor neurone disease – peaked on Christmas day 2011 at #13 on the Amazon anthology bestseller list. The print edition was released in April 2012. In March 2014, Rage Against the Night Kindle edition became the number #1 bestselling horror anthology on Amazon USA, in May 2014, the anthology topped the Amazon UK horror anthology bestseller list.
Shane has won two Ditmar Awards, and his fiction, editing, and critical/review work has been nominated/shortlisted for the major Australian speculative fiction genre awards (including the Australian Shadows Awards and Aurealis Awards) more than twenty times. He has also been shortlisted for Spain’s Premios Ignotus, and his work has twice made the preliminary ballot for the Bram Stoker Awards.
Shane served the Australian Horror Writers Association as Vice President from 2008 to 2010, as Media Manager from 2006 to 2010, as an Australian Shadows judge in 2007 and 2008, and Awards Director from 2009 to 2011. His major achievements on the AHWA Committee include expanding the Australian Shadows Award into Australia’s premier horror fiction award by introducing prize money and additional categories and spearheading the united genre author campaign (uniting AHWA with the Romance Writers of Australia and Sisters in Crime Australia) against the Productivity Commission’s recommendation to abolish Parallel Importation Restrictions.
Shane was also Convenor of the Aurealis Award Horror panel in 2007, a graduate of the Clarion South SF writers’ workshop in 2005, and he has for many years been an Active member of the Horror Writers Association.
Although a prolific fiction writer, Shane is also well known for his genre non-fiction. He has been nominated for the William Atheling Jr. Award for Criticism or Review twice, and he has interviewed high-profile authors and celebrities such as Alice Cooper, Charlaine Harris, Shaun Tan, and Fiona Horne.
In 2014, Shane completed a Bachelor of Applied Arts (Creative Writing) with Whitireia New Zealand (Wellington, New Zealand). His major work for the course was the completion of the first Yamabushi Kaidan novel, Circle of Tears. He also possesses an Advanced Diploma of Arts (Professional Writing & Editing) and a Certificate IV in Website Design.
In his day job, Shane is a successful media professional. He has served as editor/content director for a number of print and digital publications, including roles as Editor-in-Chief of NZME’s education and health publishing division and Managing Editor at Medical Forum.
Aside from writing, Shane has been a qualified martial arts instructor, with black belts in Iga-Ryu Ninjutsu and Sports Chanbara. He was also the New South Wales and Australian Chanbara Grand Champion. The name Jiraiya (lit. “Young Thunder”, after the legendary ninja Jiraiya) was bestowed upon him in his youth by Ninjutsu Grand Master Kazuo Crando Saito. Shane occasionally fights with swords in his spare time – when he’s not writing and editing.
He also enjoys other creative hobbies such as playing the guitar and photography.
Shane grew up in Sydney, Australia, raised a family in Perth, Western Australia, for 15 years, before spending three years in Wellington, New Zealand. He returned to Sydney in 2015 and lives in the Southern suburbs with his partner, Angela.