July 4th, 2007



The Australian Journal for Critical Review of Speculative Fiction has been shut down.

Most of you will probably not remember the earlier announcement to begin this, so the end of it will mean nothing to you, but I figure it is better said than not. There simply hasn't been enough response for the project to justify it, and rather than create something that is full of half measures and compromises, we've elected to close it, and to focus on the other projects that we've all got going. Over the years I've seen too many independent projects emerge that should have been shut down in the early stages to want to create something I couldn't, in all honesty, stand behind. If I am part of the creation--at any level--of a project, I have to be able to stand behind it and say, yes, this is something that you can, and should, read. It simply wasn't happening here, so Alisa Krasnostein (girliejones), Ben Payne (benpayne), Tansy Rayner Roberts (cassiphone), and myself, have elected to kill it now.

There you go.

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Sale to Lone Star Stories

Eric Marin (ericmarin) at Lone Star Stories has purchased 'Black Betty' for the October issue of the zine.

'Black Betty' is my pirate story, but it was inspired, structurally, by the story 'In a Bamboo Grove' by Ryunosuke Akutagawa, which was eventually turned into the film, Rashomon, by Akira Kurosawa. I've not seen the last, still, despite being a big fan of both Kurosawa and Toshiro Mifune, who stars in the film, but Akutagawa was a fine writer who, sadly, killed himself much to early in life. There's a current translation of his work out by Jay Rubin, who does half the Murakami output (he translated Murakami's most recent novel, After Dark), and even comes with an introduction by Murakami himself. Which may or may not be incentive for anyone to read the work, but I dug it, at the very least. At any rate, all that aside, I actually quite like 'Black Betty, and I'm pleased that it's going to see print, rather than sit in the back of my notebook, gathering dust. It's one of the stronger pieces of mine that will be published this year, I believe and, lets be honest, it's my take on pirates. Every author should get to do it once.

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