Some of my small press associates have been talking about awards already, what with the Aurealis Awards just dusted and the Australian-hosted Hugos coming soonish. It seems all the talk in the novella category is centred on Peter M. Ball’s Horn and Paul Haines’ Wives, which is fair enough, because they’re both fine stories, each have the Aussie small press social media machine rah rah-ing for them, and both were nominated for (or in Paul’s case, won) an Aurealis Award.
I will get to discussing my favourites for the Ditmar Awards later this year, but I’ll use this post as a placeholder to mention Andrew McKiernan’s fine novelette “The Message” from Midnight Echo #2 (while shorter) is also worthy of mention in the company of these other works. I’ll also put forward my own novella Phoenix and the Darkness of Wolves, which lacks the network of supporters that Horn and Wives has received but is probably the strongest piece of fiction I’ve had published to date.
Compounding Phoenix’s outsider status is the fact it was published in December and was not entered into the Aurealis Awards. It is also not eligible for the Australian Shadows Award (as I’m the director and all my work has been excluded).
But yeah, Phoenix is beginning to receive notice, with BT at HorrorScope posting the first review last month. Phoenix is a post-apocalyptic fantasy story, grand and personal at the same time; a story of despair and redemption, but dark enough in places to be harrowing, if not downright horrific. As BT says:
“A richly Australian piece which will strike a chord with any connoisseur of dark tales. This is not a story full of rendered body parts, impatient sex or chilling tension, but it does have a core of vast proportions which lingers with the reader long after the final page has been consumed. Like the country it’s set in, there is an epic scale to all the facets of this easy read.”
If this sounds even vaguely interesting to read, it’s still available as a cheap (less than $3) ebook from publisher Damnation Books or from Amazon [Kindle] [paperback], Scribd [ebook], Tor [paperback], or Barnes & Noble [paperback].
Posted in: Phoenix and the Darkness of Wolves