(Disclosure: I received an electronic copy from the publisher for review purposes via Netgalley.)

“The Beauty” takes place in a post-apocalyptic world where disease has wiped out the entire human female population. It is narrated by Nate, a young man living a simple and settled existence in a small rural community of boys and men. He holds a special role in the community, that of storyteller. It is a role that he clearly deserves with the distinctive voice that author Aliya Whiteley gives him, a voice that is at once poetic and crystalline.

The community’s life is thrown into chaos with the arrival of The Beauty – mute and faceless fungoid creatures that have arisen from the graves of women and taken on strangely alluring feminine forms. Some literally and figuratively embrace The Beauty as embodiments of love; as Nate says, “The Beauty offer comfort, sex and softness. What else is there?” Others fear and distrust the Beauty – and when the extent of their power becomes fully apparent, the divide widens, with violent and catastrophic consequences.

“The Beauty” is an exemplary representation of New Weird, a subgenre variously described as “cutting edge speculative fiction with a literary slant”, a borderless combination of science fiction, fantasy and supernatural horror, and fiction that “subverts clichés of the fantastic in order to put them to discomfiting, rather than consoling ends.” It is exquisitely crafted, astonishingly creative, and discomfiting as hell.

Dan O’Brien and Steve Ferchaud have done it again! Mobsters, Monsters & Nazis will be a six-story illustrated series that will launch on Halloween and conclude right around Christmas. It is equal parts noir, pulp, Lovecraft, and detective fiction with enough intrigue and mystery to keep you hanging on.

It is available for pre-order starting today, so be sure to grab and let everyone know about it!

You can pre-order it for only $2.99 by clicking on the cover below or by following this link:

I’m beyond excited to announce that Disquiet is out now from Creativia Publishing. Disquiet is an anthology of poetry and fiction from Australian and New Zealand authors. As the title suggests, a common thread weaves its way through these stories and poems – a dark, discomforting, unsettling thread.

Disquiet contains two of my short stories, “Riding the Storm” and “The Truth About Dolphins”. The first, set in rural Australia, is a story about secrets and lust and elemental forces given human form. The setting for the second is based on my old hometown in New Zealand; it may appear at first to be a revenge tale, but there’s a lot more going on beneath the surface (literally and figuratively) if you are brave enough to look.

This anthology also has me listed on the front cover as co-editor alongside fellow Kiwi writer John Irvine, although I don’t think the title of “editor” entirely encapsulates the way this book came into being; it started off as a joint project of just John’s and my work, a collection of stories and poems set in the Antipodes, then we included a third author, then he suggested a fourth, then somehow it metamorphosed into an anthology involving 17 authors. So what would that make John and I – compilers? Overseers? Conspirators?

The paperback of Disquiet is available from online book retailers (or feel free to jot down the ISBN and go pester your local bookstore to order a copy), with the ebook due out from Amazon any day now.