On Spec Magazine “The Glorious Aerybeth” by Jason Fischer

onspeccover On Spec Magazine are Canada’s premier speculative fiction magazine, and their latest issue has just been released into the wild like a moose on a maple-syrup powered dirt-bike, busting mad moves in the pristine forest and just daring you to look at him funny. Ahem.

In this issue, my story “The Glorious Aerybeth” can be found. It’s a pure science fiction story (which is unusual for me to write) and I had oodles of fun writing it. Blood-ships trawling the galaxy looking for murder and profit…a disgraced noble sent on an archeological dig…a thunderous mutiny, and the ultimate fall from grace.

You can read the magazine as an e-book here, and a print version will soon be available here or where magazines are sold.

Another review of Everything is a Graveyard

Hey folks! Have had fun during Author August (especially my visit to Flinders University yesterday) but I’ll blog about everything in earnest when August is done and dusted.

In the meantime, I’ve just spotted another Fischery review in the wild, this time from my long-beloved Antipodean SF. 10 years ago to the month they published my first short story, now they are reviewing my book of short stories! Lovely circular serendipity, that.

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Anywho, of my book EVERYTHING IS A GRAVEYARD, reviewer Jean M Gordon says:

“I’m not generally a fan of the macabre, and I tend to like my post-apocalypses full of triumphant remnants of humanity. I am, however, a fan of things done extremely well, and this book fits the bill.”

“Fischer has created several distinct worlds in this short book. Some completely unfamiliar, many quintessentially Australian, and a couple that beg for their own full length story to explore their potential complexity. All of them are vividly drawn and memorable. Possibly too memorable.”

Thanks Jean! For the rest of the review, please click on the following link:

http://www.antisf.com.au/antisf-reviews/1417-everything-is-a-graveyard-by-jason-fischer

These folks are wonderful and gave me my start, so make sure to stop by and read the other stories and reviews – fun awaits you!

Cthulhu: Deep Down Under

As a writer I like it down, dirty and weird, and it doesn’t get any weirder than the Cthulhu mythos. I was tapped on the shoulder a while back by Aussie writer and editor Christopher Sequira to submit to an Australian-themed Cthulhu anthology he was co-editing. I don’t think I’ve ever said yes to a project so fast!

These folks have attracted some great local writers and artists attached to this project, and the artwork that accompanies each story is simply outstanding. I was lucky enough to work with Shauna O’Meara who gave my story “The Dog Pit” one of the best illustrations I’ve ever had!

The project is getting its official launch at the Armageddon Expo, details as found below. Coming in at over 500 pages, I’m going to have to clear off a Cthulhu-sized space on my brag shelf.

More info about the launch here:

http://armageddonexpo.com/au/comics-sci-fi-fantasy-trading-cards/cthulu-deep-down-under

Karaoke Fisch

I do love me some karaoke. For many years now I have taken a skillset long honed in the shower and the car, applied it to a pub setting, and had a ball. Like a ronin with a microphone, I will step up, gird my loins, and belt out “Mustang Sally” with fervor.

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Couple years back, I entered the Karaoke World Championship, and got through to the state finals. It’s serious biz, and involves costumes, stagecraft, the discreet application of a rent-a-crowd, and being able to carry a tune in more than a paper bag. So much fun!

So this year, I’m doing it again. I have got through to the venue finals at my old stomping ground the Rex Hotel, so the next few weeks will involve polishing up the old voice-box, trying out a few different songs, and getting everything ready for the big night.

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This blog is usually about writing and other high-minded pursuits, so I think it only fair to balance things out with the details of my dodgy crooning. More to follow, as once more I tilt at the title!

Your pal,

The Karaoke Fisch.

Author August!

August seems to be the time of year I crawl out from under my rock, put on a pair of pants and make some public appearances. This year being no exception, I shall be at the following events:

  • Collins Booksellers, Edwardstown – National Bookshop Day (9th August , 1:30pm-2:30pm)
  • Flinders University, Writers and Their Worlds – (21st August,  12pm)
  • Dymocks, Adelaide (23rd August, 12pm)

At each of these events I’ll be selling the new print run of my zombie apocalypse novel “Quiver” (snazzy new cover as pictured below) and my short story collection “Everything is a Graveyard”. The Flinders University event is part of a series of intimate author talks, and I’m really looking forward to chatting to folks about my experiences with writing, dispense some hard-won advice, and generally chat about word-wrangling.

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If you find yourself in the neighbourhood, drop by and say gudday!

Curly Potato On A Stick

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99% of this blog is dedicated to my writing endeavours. I will make an exception for this.

TODAY I ATE A CURLY POTATO ON A STICK. A whole potato, cut into a continuous spiral, deep-fried and smothered in salt. It’s moments like these that make you realise humanity is a worthy thing.

I’m considering making this my new author photo. SO GOOD.

[normal transmission resumes]

What Comfort There Is

In the near future, I’m entertaining the thought of self-publishing some odds and ends as an e-book. One project I enjoyed being part of a few years ago was the Daily Cabal, a mad exercise in masochism where our group produced a new piece of flash fiction every day. In practice our individual contributions were a new entry every week or fortnight.

And it was HARD. I think there’s a truism somewhere that shorter writings are more difficult than longer. I can blurt whole chapters of dribble out of my brain, but encapsulating an entire entertaining idea in 400 words or less? Bloody difficult, that.

Anyway, here’s one of my favourite short-short stories for your enjoyment. The working title for this kinda-sorta gonna happen collection is “Day One of the Fog”, I’ll keep you posted here on how that’s going.

WHAT COMFORT THERE IS

By Jason Fischer.

Old Syd disproved the rumour with one mad dash; it ended in a bloody game of cat and mouse, those bastard machines chasing him from street to street, finally cornering him in a neatly presented cul-de-sac. They toyed with him for hours before his screams stopped. Wet weather does nothing to dull their sensors.

So yes, we are in the end times. Our species fails, huddled indoors, dreading each sound. My frightened cadre are hiding in an opulent mini-mansion, though we haven’t eaten properly in days. An old suburb lies just within walking distance, and it’s a race between us and humanity’s killers. We do our best to scavenge from the old places, even as the suburbs are recycled and turned into neat streets, freshly painted town-houses, acres of immaculate lawns.

It seems ironic that we are being wiped out by a cliché. An uprising of artificial machines, sure. But these are not the instruments of war, rather those of peace. Construction crews, serving a purpose that our laziness corrupted, simplified. Build. Gather. Build more.

What seemed a great solution to the housing crisis turned into unguided madness. Materials gathered from existing structures. Whole forests razed for lumber. When the builders began to destroy suburbs and cities holus bolus, these mad machines were destroyed. This achieved little, given the machines’ instructions to “generate sufficient crews to achieve the task”, and those left built themselves quicker than we could take them out. They looked upon our actions as a genocide, and the best we could do simply raised their madness to apocalyptic levels.

With intelligence came survival traits, so they’ve done their level best to grind us out of existence. But still, they continue the task, and one by one we die surrounded by perfectly designed streets, neat commercial hubs, empty warehouses and marinas.

Our enemy is simple, but amazingly efficient. They prowl the old highways, pouncing upon those cars which brave our dead nation’s asphalt veins. Nowhere to go anyway. Forklifts and dozers lurk in each street, blood running from their tines, while the yellow necks of diggers and cranes lurk overhead, watching for us. Waiting patiently for runners.

Our final creations have outdone us, yet in our twilight hour we are as gods. For our killers are truly alive, and we have created this life. I have seen them mourning the machines which our partisans have destroyed, metal buckets clanking together sorrowfully as the construction crews give comfort to each other. They attend their dead, dismantling them reverently, engines and sirens roaring into the night.

Whenever they hold a funeral, we know it’s time to leave the neighbourhood. They get really vicious afterwards, which tells me they’ve discovered revenge and are more human than we.

Aurealis Magazine review of “Everything is a Graveyard”

I have loved Aurealis Magazine for a long, long time (I think I’ve still got issue #2 somewhere). It was a great moment when I sold them a story, and they’ve published three of mine now. This was one of my go-to sources when I was first learning about Australian genre writers, and I always got a kick out of the extra material – the reviews, the occasional essay, and of course all the gorgeous artwork.

So it’s especially awesome to see these folks print a review of my short story collection “Everything is a Graveyard” (from Ticonderoga Publications).

Reviewer Alex Stevenson of Aurealis Magazine says:

“Jason Fischer’s new collection of short stories, Everything is a Graveyard, might perhaps be more accurately titled ‘Everything is going to kill you’. Featuring dimension-shifting, soul-sucking witches, a ravening horde of undead camels, and murderous, amputation-happy rednecks—among other things—Everything is a Graveyard is full of messy endings for the few poor souls who inhabit its post- apocalyptic worlds.”

and

“Tremendously imaginative and a great deal of fun, Everything is a Graveyard makes up for what it lacks in depth with buckets of gore, thrills, and laughs. Zombies, classic Australiana, violence and black humour all abound, and fans of schlock horror should find a lot to enjoy.”

The rest of the review can be read here:

http://aurealisblog.wordpress.com/2014/05/21/aurealis/

Further information about Aurealis Magazine itself can be found here – honestly, it’s just a great read:

http://www.aurealis.com.au/

New Review of “Quiver”

Well, to be honest, I’m not sure how old this review is, but I stumbled across it in my travels the other day. Of my novel Quiver, reviewer Scott T Barnes says: “Quiver correctly focuses on the human reactions to a zombie apocalypse rather than on the zombies themselves. Zombies are in fact a force to push people to the breaking point, equivalent to a sinking Titanic, a horde of orcs, or an infernoing tower.”

Of my protagonist Tamsyn Webb, Scott says “She is competent, funny, determined-but-vulnerable, and very believable. The kind of girl I would have given up my entire comic book collection for, for a single date.”

I’ve asked Tamsyn how she feels about this, and while the jury is out on a blind date, she’s comic mad and will at least swap you some archery lessons for something new to read. She likes Red Sonja, Conan, anything with the X-Men, and anything weird and indy.

“I love the book’s title. It comes from a quiver of arrows, of course, but implies so much more. I can just picture naked living-dead flesh quivering as the zombies shamble forward, and the quiver that goes up Tamsyn’s spine as she nocks her arrow…”
YES. I love it when folks get what I’m trying to do. Mission accomplished! Thanks Scott.

Scott’s full review can be found here:

https://sites.google.com/a/newmyths.com/nmwebsite/books-we-are-reading/quiver