At first, I didn’t think I could come up with a good set of new talent recommendations, primarily because I read less short fiction last year. However, when I put my mind back to some of the great debut novels from last year, everything fell into place.
The ‘new talents’ I’ll put forward are:
- Stephen M. Irwin (author of The Dead Path, shortlisted for the Australian Shadows Award and Aurealis Award). Irwin is my pick for this category. The Dead Path is an awesome debut horror novel and has been picked up by enthusiastic publishers in the UK and USA, making him a global threat (but in a cool kind of way).
- H. M. Brown (author of Red Queen, winner of the Aurealis Award for horror novel). Another strong debut novelist with a bright future ahead (and her second book, The Good Daughter is out this month but it appears to have more of a YA/lit slant rather than spec fic).
- Greig Beck (author of Beneath the Dark Ice and Return of the Prophet). Greg flew under my radar somewhat in 2009, but he’s now released two supernaturalish action thriller (in the Matthew Reilly vein) and is definitely a guy to watch.
- Deborah Kalin (author of Shadow Queen and Shadow Bound). Deb’s debut fantasy novel in early 2009 was a promising effort, and she has some good credits amongst her handful of published stories (Shadowed Realms, Postscripts). Definitely a rising star!
- Jason Crowe. Jason caught my attention with a gritty, surreal story in Midnight Echo #2 (“Losing Tahlia”). It’s a rare Australian story set in a beachside suburb, and blends dark magic, sacrifice, and surfie culture seamlessly. Jason has followed up with stories in Midnight Echo #3 and #4, ASIM, and pro-zine Shroud.
- Pete Kempshall. The other short story writer on my list. The first story I read of Pete’s was his creepy crime thriller in Voices. Since then, Pete’s kicked on with several stories sold to publishers such as Apex Publications, Morrigan Books, and Twelfth Planet Press. He’s also debuted as an editor with Morrigan, co-editing Scenes from the Second Storey with Amanda Pillar.
- Christopher Green – a belated entry (see the comments) but certainly worthy. Chris has racked up a few Aurealis Award and Australian Shadows Award nominations in short order and is deserving of your consideration.
Several members of the AHWA crit groups appear to be doing well, but I haven’t read much of their work (yet). For their feats, check out the AHWA crit group page. The most prolific writers of these groups are:
- Mark Farrugia
- Amanda Spedding
- Alan Baxter
Any other suggestions on awesome new talents are very welcome!
So that’s it from me. I’m going to summarise my Ditmar posts this weekend as a convenient guide for any interested parties. Keep an eye out for it soon!
Posted in: writing