On re-reading my Swancon post, I think I was running the risk of being a whiner (sleep deprivation definitely plays tricks on the mind), so it’s time to dwell on some very positive things that have happened lately.

1. A number of my stories, along with those from a few other members of the Australian Horror Writers Association, have been short-listed for development into a horror-themed television series being considered for the ABC. It’s very early days, and I’m being realistic about it all (chances of this getting off the ground are relatively slim), but the exciting thing is at least an Australian horror series is being considered for mainstream Australian TV. It’s fantastic to be on the periphery of something like this, with a chance my work and that of guys I respect could be actual make onto the small screen being a real motivator. Aussie horror rocks! Aussie horror writers rock!

2. New HorrorScoper Brenton Tomlinson (BT to his mates) has written a tremendously positive review of Apex Publication’s Gratia Placenti anthology. All bias aside, Gratia Placenti is a small press gem – it follows in the steps of Apex’s Stoker Award-nominated antho Aegri Somnia, and in my opinion is a far superior book. It was only published in December, and if you’re looking for an excellent slice of the horror genre, pick yourself up a copy!

My story in Gratia Placenti – “The Cutting Room” – is probably my best horror story published to date. Here’s what BT had to say about the story:

“The Cutting Room” by our own Shane Jiraiya Cummings is an amazing tale that many of you will already be aware of. This was the first time I’d had the pleasure of reading it. Shane easily translates the cold and clinical world of the morgue onto the pages and then adds a good measure of dark to disturb the reader. Then he twists, repulsing and yet drawing in the viewer so in the end, the tale will linger in the minds of the anthology reader for some time to come.

3. Speaking of HorrorScope, I couldn’t be happier with how the ‘dark little zine that could’ is progressing. The six new ‘Scopers are just freakin’ awesome, and have provided some timely new blood to augment the phenomenal work done by the founding editors. This month, we have broken the record for the number of posts in a month (65, with 2 days to go) and we’re soon to reach 100,000 visitors to the site. I’ve also just added the ability to do run polls on the site, with the first poll (on reading preferences) live on HorrorScope tonight. Go and vote!

I should also add that Robert Hood’s winning of the Ditmar Award for Best Fan Writer was incredibly well-deserved. Rob’s reviews on HorrorScope, his website, and his blog (plus various other venues) are amazingly insightful and staggering in volume. Nice one, Rob!

On a more thoughtful note, it occurs to me that given there was no official announcement or media release issued, if the Ditmar and Tin Duck Award winners weren’t posted on HorrorScope (and also ASif), there would not be a public record of them. It’s a small point given the positivity and professionalism surrounding the Swancon awards ceremony, but one worth noting for future awards.