SJC: flash fiction factory


It’s official: Ticonderoga Publications is publishing my first fiction collection, SHARDS: Forty Short Sharp Tales, this October.

As the name suggests, SHARDS contains forty flash and short stories. Each story is lavishly illustrated by Andrew J McKiernan of Kephra Design, who is also the Art Director for Aurealis magazine.

SHARDS will feature several originals specifically written for the collection, as well as work that first appeared in Shadowed Realms, Dark Wisdom, Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, Apex Digest, Borderlands, Shadow Box, Book of Shadows, Doorways, Simulacrum,, Antipodean SF, and more. SHARDS includes stories that have been honourably mentioned in the Aurealis Awards and in Ellen Datlow’s Year’s Best Fantasy & Horror anthology, and on the recommended reading list for the Year’s Best Australian Science Fiction & Fantasy anthology.

That’s 40 stories, 40 illustrations, and a generous amount of interstitial material that forms a narrative thread. This will not be your average fiction collection.

SHARDS will be published as a limited edition trade paperback and a signed 30-copy numbered edition. If you like your stories quick and dirty, or you’re into something different but with all the trimmings, or even if you want to support an Aussie publisher trying something new, then pop over to Ticonderoga Publications. Pre-orders are available now.

Russell at Ticonderoga Publications is also soon to release the Fantastic Wonder Stories anthology (with my novelette “Yamabushi Kaidan and the Smoke Dragon”), The Workers’ Paradise anthology (a Marxist political swipe with science fictional leanings), and a reprinted Lewis Shiner collection, Love in Vain (with two extra originals). If my collection doesn’t appeal, I’m sure one of these, or the excellent Troy by Simon Brown, would make a great addition to your bookshelf.

Ticonderoga represents new, cutting-edge (mostly) Australian fiction. Tired of the forumlaic dross perpetuated by the mass market? Here’s your chance to do something about it!


Submissions are going very well, and the quality of work is really, really pleasing. I’ve said the bar has been raised for Black Box. Some of the rejections so far may have made Shadow Box, but with good stuff so far from the likes of Will Elliott, Lee Battersby, Paul Haines, and Kirstyn McDermott, I’m not settling for less.

This is a charity project (for AHWA) and I’d like it to be a genuine showcase of Australian (and international) dark fiction talent. So what are you waiting for? Send me a sub (or 5)! Turnaround time is very good thus far (a week or less). Guidelines are here.

For the especially interested, I’m sporadically recording some Black Box observations and updates on the Shadowed Realms/Brimstone Press Readers Forum. Drop in for an update and some tips. Forward-thinking discussion and questions are always welcome!