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 has had more than one hundred short stories published in Australia, 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.
With Angela Challis, Shane co-founded Brimstone Press and Black: Australian Dark Culture Magazine. 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.
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 at #13 on the Amazon anthology bestseller list and #60 on the horror bestseller list. The print edition was released in April 2012.
Shane has won two Ditmar Awards, and his fiction, editing, and critical/review work has been nominated for every Australian speculative fiction genre award (Aurealis Awards, Australian Shadows Awards, and Tin Ducks). He has also been nominated 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. He was also Convenor of the Aurealis Award Horror panel in 2007 and a graduate of the Clarion South SF writers’ workshop in 2005.
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.
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, and Fiona Horne.
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 still fights with swords in his spare time – when he’s not writing and editing.
Shane was born and raised in Sydney, is based out of Perth, Western Australia, and currently lives in Wellington, New Zealand with his partner, Angela.