There's a lot going on before Christmas
New books, special offers, Damnation Games and Slippery Hunt
Hello! How’s it going? If you’re anything like me, this time of year tends to get a bit stressful. The massive infatuation we have culturally with Christmas and the end of one year leading to the beginning of the next is always a bit heavy for me. It’s partly due to personal traumas around this time of year (that I don‘t need to bring you down with) but it’s also just the whole excess that leaves a sour taste in my mouth. As soon as we get past Halloween I find myself looking forward to January. On the other hand, I also love to see just how much my kid enjoys everything about Christmas. It’s largely because of the presents of course (leading us back to that whole excess thing) but it’s also that I can reimagine the magic when I see it through a child’s eyes. That’s what we seem to move ever further away from as we age. But I will endeavour to embrace the spirit of kindness and goodwill, as I do each year. Aside from anything else, those are things well worth aspiring to.
And in the spirit of giving, I have some gift ideas for you. (See how I lamented the excess of the season then immediately and shamelessly segued into talking about stuff that’s available? I’m a bag of contradictions. I contain multitudes. Shut up, I have to eat.)
But it is all good stuff!
Last month I dropped a surprise book. And Fire Poured Forth is a mini-collection, 6 Tales of Military Horror. It collects my five previously published SNAFU military horror yarns and includes a brand new, never before published one as well. So if that’s your bag, click through to grab a copy.
And talking of grabbing a copy, signed books make excellent presents for people you like. You can order any of my books as a signed paperback by clicking on them here, but I also have a special Christmas bundle offer. All the details and links you need are right here, but in short it’s your choice of three signed books, a limited edition Welcome to the Gulp enamel pin and a few signed postcards, all for a special discounted price.
And in big personal news, a first for me:
My first anthology as editor is now out in the world. Clan Destine Press asked me if I'd like to edit an anthology for them and the supernatural horror and crime beast called Damnation Games was born. I invited a slew of amazing authors and opened general submissions to the Australasian Horror Writers Association and the spread of stories I got blew my mind. This really is a special book. The wonderful cover art is by the talented Luke Spooner of Carrion House. Here's the table of contents:
Gene Flynn - "A Bitter Yellow Sea"
Alan Baxter - "The Question"
Chris Mason - "Miss Jam"
Philip Fracassi - "The Resident"
Aaron Dries - "Kookaburra Cruel"
Gemma Amor - "The Zoo"
Rick Kennett - "The Faces in Morgan Alley"
Lee Murray - "The Hungry Bones"
Robert Hood - "Dangerous Specimens"
Kaaron Warren - "Remnants and Bad Water"
Gemma Files - "Black Cohosh"
Joanne Anderton - "The Infinity Effect"
Gabino Iglesias - "The End Will Emerge from the Filth"
Maria Lewis - "The Invited"
John F.D. Taff - "Ghost Gun"
Dan Rabarts - "Spool"
Cina Pelayo - "She sleeps, nor dreams, but ever dwells"
J Ashley-Smith - "Men Without Faces"
Kyla Lee Ward - "The Value of Graves"
What a stellar list of amazing authors that is. You can get your copy now, wherever books are sold. Here's a few links to get you started:
Ordering direct from the publisher is good:
In Australia: https://www.clandestinepress.net/products/damnation-games
Book Depository is always a winner as it has free shipping worldwide:
And of course, there's also the dreaded 'Zon, and all formats are now showing up there:
Those are US Amazon stores, but for your own country the link is exactly the same, just change the .com bit to .ca or .co.uk etc.
I really hope you'll give this book a go - I'm incredibly proud of it and guarantee you won't be disappointed. Reviewers, bookstagrammers, booktok, etc. please hit me up if you'd like a review copy.
So what else is happening? Well, I thought my in-person stuff was done for 2022, but we’re squeezing one more in! I was lucky enough to be invited to be a guest at the special Xmas Oz Comic-Con in Melbourne across the weekend of December 10th and 11th. If you can get along I’d love to see you there - come and say hello. I’ll have heaps of books and pins and stickers and all that good stuff with me. All the details at the Oz Comic-Con site here.
Meanwhile, it’s no news any more that Elon Musk is doing all he can to fuck up Twitter. It makes me very sad because Twitter has always been my favourite social media. It’s by far the best place for writers and readers and I’ve made great friends there and found incredible career opportunities too. If it dies, I’ll be a bit devastated. And it might not. Despite the emerald-heir’s best efforts, it may yet survive. But it may also survive as a hideous right-wing pit of hate and bigotry. Which is as good as dead to me. We’ll have to wait and see on that front. Regardless, there’s been a mass migration to all kinds of potential alternate online places to hang out.
One of the popular choices seems to be Mastodon, and I did set up an account there a while ago, but it’s just such an inaccessible platform. It’s unnecessarily complicated, I’m not really a fan. Other options have cropped up, but for my money, the one that is leaps and bounds ahead of all others is Hive Social. It’s got a lot of glitches at the moment as it’s quite new, but it seems to have the best of all social media stuff and I really like it there. I think it has the potential to become quite central and it’s already attracting a lot of bookish folks, which is aces. It’s only a mobile app at the moment, but a desktop/browser version is apparently in the works. I’m @alanbaxter over there. If it sounds interesting, hit me up on Hive right here (this’ll only work on mobile currently) and see what you think.
Okay, last thing. Sorry, this has been a bit long and rambling. But I just wanted to share this one with you all. I was invited to contribute to an anthology (which I can't talk about yet, but the news will surely be out soon) and I decided to write a heist story for it. The main character is dodgy Aussie called Charlie Hunt, known as Slippery to his mates. And the story was accepted. I'm so pleased to have created a small-time crim called Slippery Hunt. I know it’s kinda juvenile, but it’s also just so Aussie and it makes me happy to spread that kind of stuff around the world. I can't wait for you all to meet him next year.
All right, that’ll do for now. Thanks for hanging out with me and do get in touch through any of the usual channels if you feel like it. Until next time, be well, be kind, stay weird.