Great Aussie anthologies to watch out for

2010 has been a great year for the release of Australian anthologies with a dark bent (or should that be bent and dark?). Some of these I’ve been involved with, some I haven’t. But given that the artistic side of writers tends to exert more sway than the commercial, I thought I’d make up for it by giving some bloody excellent anthologies a plug. They are, in no particular order:

Macabre: A Journey Through Australia’s Darkest Fears

Edited by Angela Challis & Dr Marty Young, Brimstone Press.

Explore Australia’s dark literature past, present, and future all in one landmark anthology! From the very earliest colonial ghost stories through to grim tales of modern life, Macabre will take you on a journey through the dark heart of Australian horror. With classic stories from Australia’s masters of horror alongside the best of the new era, Macabre is set to be the finest dark fiction anthology ever produced in Australia.

Contributors include Henry Lawson, Barbara Baynton, Mary Fortune, Marcus Clarke, Terry Dowling, Rick Kennett, Kaaron Warren, Robert Hood, Richard Harland, Kirstyn McDermott, Stephen M. Irwin, Will Elliott (and many, many, many more!)

Buy from Brimstone Press or all good bookstores.

Scenes from the Second Storey (Australian edition)

Edited by Amanda Pillar & Pete Kempshall, Morrigan Books

Each story in this collection has been inspired by a track from the album of the same name by The God Machine. Quirky, dark, insightful, and sometimes downright disturbing, these tales reflect the emotions and images our authors experienced when they heard ‘their’ song from Scenes from the Second Storey.

Contributors include Martin Livings, Kaaron Warren, David Conyers, Cat Sparks, Paul Haines, Andrew J. McKiernan, Stephen Dedman, Trent Jamieson, and more.

Buy from Morrigan Books.

Cthulhu’s Dark Cults

Edited by David Conyers, Chaosium.

Journey across the globe to witness the numerous and diverse cults that worship Cthulhu and the Great Old Ones. Lead by powerful sorcerers and fanatical necromancers, their followers are mad and deranged slaves. The ancient and alien gods whom they willingly devote themselves are truly terrifying. These cults control real power, for they are the real secret masters of our world. Chaosium’s Call of Cthulhu is an endless source of imagination of all things dark and mysterious.

Contributors include Cody Goodfellow, John Sunseri, Penelope Love, David Witteveen, Oscar Rios, David Conyers, and more.

Buy from Amazon.

Scary Kisses

Edited by Liz Grzyb, Ticonderoga Publications

A collection of paranormal romance with bite. On the menu is a tasty selection of heroines and heroes: time travellers, vampires, zombies, ghosts, witches, trapped spirits, dragons, wizards, monsters, even cartoons. From sweet to sexy, these stories will seduce.

Contributors include Martin Livings, Felicity Dowker, Nicole R. Murphy, and more.

Buy from Indie Books Online.

Festive Fear 2

Edited by Stephen Clark, Tasmaniac Publications

Anthology of original dark stories set around the Christmas period. Tales that will encourage you to check and recheck doors and windows are securely locked, that you know exactly what ingredients went into the punch before taking a sip, and evokes a heart murmur every time you hear  Merry Christmas!

Contributors include Paul Kane, Tim Curran, B. Michael Radburn, G. N. Braun, and more.

Sold out before it’s December release!

Dark Pages 1

Edited by Brenton Tomlinson, Blade Red Press

A collection of dark stories to delight and disturb, including tales of fantasy, science fiction and chilling examples of the macabre. Blade Red Press has gathered some of the best writing talent in the world to compile an anthology of sublime quality. It is full of exquisite tales of disturbia that will leave you unable to put the book down. When you finally do, you’ll never look at people the same way again.

Contributors include Marty Young, Martin Livings, Felicity Dowker, and more.

Buy from Blade Red Press.

I’d expect these anthologies to feature prominently in next year’s award season. Speaking of which, if there are any HWA members out there interested in any of these anthologies for Bram Stoker Award consideration, contact me and I’ll see if I can arrange a PDF for you!