November 29th, 2007


Funding for ASif

In the last couple of years, ASif, the Australian Speculative Fiction review site, has done a lot of good in bringing critical opinions about Australian work out. Before it came about, there was no venue for regular reviews outside erratically published magazines, and even then, those were far from comprehensive. Whether or not you're aware of it, the site has been a good influence on the scene here, and it would be a shame, I think, for it to stop growing and evolving.

Which brings me to my point:

ASif owner and editor in command and all've that, Alisa Krasnostein (girliejones), has recently had a change in life that has made cash a bit tighter, so she's holding a fund drive to help cover the costs of the site:

I am unable to subsidise the project costs for the current forseeable future and will be looking at several avenues to save this project. Running costs for ASif! currently mean postage. In 2006 the project cost me $500. This tripled in 2007 as did our review output. I hope that the trend will continue for 2008 as the profile and credibility of the project rises. However, the predicted costs are a bit staggering.

The postage costs relate to the fact that all hard copy material is posted to me and I post review copies on to reviewers. One option I am looking at is organising the publishing house to post the book to the reviewer and bypass me in the process. The issue with that is that about 80% of the books I receive I do not know are coming. Also, it requires reviewers to take review assignments before ASif! receives the book. Often, review copies sit in my office and wait for reviewer workloads to open up and have space for the review. I would think that if we cannot immediately place a review copy with a reviewer, we would lose the option to review. Not something I am cool doing. If anyone has a better solution, please put it forward!

In the meantime, in order to ensure that the enormous pile of review copies that came in while I was away get placed and that there is no break in review transmission, I am holding a Donation Drive. All monies received will be used in ASif! running costs.

You can even win prizes.

Also, as an aside, Alisa also points out that she's always looking for new reviewers, so if you want to get in and support the site that way, feel free to contact her.

Anyhow: donate something if you've a free couple of bucks, and pass the word round, also.
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Random Nothing (or Something)

Tomorrow, I have to go up to Nelson Bay for the wedding of my cousin. She's having it on a beach, which will hopefully hold nice weather, and not piss down. Yesterday, my grandfather turned ninety, and told me to bring cute girls to Xmas. If it was for him, or for me, I'm not quite sure.

This is a bit of a rambling update, I think.

I've been pleased with the response that Anna and I are getting from Nowhere Near Savannah, in that each week, more people seem to be getting behind it. I figured it'd be a slow burn of a thing, and it still is, but I'm quite satisfied with it's being received so far. Next week things are kicked up a notch, in that the plots begin to get laid down, and it's not just the funny. Of course, it still is. At any rate, we've forty nine weeks left, and Anna is up to week ten, and I'm up to week fifteen, so the pair of us are moving along well. Anna doesn't keep a webpage, by the way, but she's on facebook, and you can leave her messages there if you have the urge. Her page is full of lies, like her very conservative political outlook. Myself, I'm still trying to overcome my dislike for facebook--post content for the post content generation, Cat Sparks (catsparx) called it, and yeah, right? Some guy I went to school with found me the other week. In he's profile he's wearing an akubra, lives out in Dubbo, and is, unlike Anna, conservative in his outlook. Good thing we have that High School connection, otherwise we might have nothing to talk about.

Why doesn't he message me?


Anyhow: this week also saw the release of 'Possession', a new Red Sun story, and which B (bluetyson called "Busted and Shafted Return. 3 out of 5." Can't win them all, huh? The story is up and can be read, still, so you should.

Speaking of short fiction, I'm at the point where I have nothing written, and only three pieces in the line for next year.* I've got a couple of ideas, though, and it's really just a matter of getting my shit together and sitting down and writing. Everything is finding it's place since my return, so it shouldn't be so hard. Also, once I've got Across the Seven Continents of the Underworld finished, I'm even going to sit and write a novella, which by the looks of it will be called 'Convicts', and I reckon I'm going to use it to anchor together a collection, and then see if there's interest in that round. If it doesn't happen, you heard it here, first. If you've got some interest in what you'd like to see in it, drop it in the comments, because at this stage, there's nothing set down in ink.

Yesterday I turned in my New York Times piece, which will hopefully go down well. I think I might have to get some sort of decent head shot before the next week is up, which will more than likely involve me messaging L, who is doing the charity thing I mentioned before, and I will likely be able to convince to give me a half decent photograph.

Speaking of L, she sent a group email to the guys she has involved in her charity book this week. At the bottom was a note to one guy who had recently got a haircut. Apparently it was a really good haircut, because he'd just got offered fifteen grand for a modeling gig.

If only I'd been born with beautiful hair, huh?

Still, maybe it's time for me to get a wig and a haircut, and start bring in the cash from those fifty buck dirty porno jobs no one else wants. The glamour, it could be all mine. Incidentally, did you know Lydia Millet had a job at Hustler? This I loved, however:

Every book Millet writes is different from the last, which may be why she's had so many different publishers. The Washington Post has said that she's staked her novelistic reputation on taking chances, but Millet just says that she'd be bored to death if she had to repeat herself. Her books are satirical and political (she calls herself “left of liberal”), but never predictable.

Lydia Millet is my hero.

To end this post, I give you a video of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs 'Date With the Night', which I really dig the energy for.

* 'The Funeral, Ruined', in Paper Cities, 'David Bowie' in 2012, and 'The Nabokov' with Steph Campisi in The Surreal Botany Field Guide, which may or may not be out next year.
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