Wednesday, April 30, 2008

The web freaks me sometimes

I'm acting photo editor at work for the next two weeks, so I've been paying more attention than usual to Flickr.

Check out most recent uploads - 4.600-odd in the past minute. All kinds of photos, from arty to family snapshots to just plain weird.

I found this excellent photo of Dan Deacon at the Coachella Festival, blogged it at Articulate and then commented on the photo page. Within minutes, Mick O had posted a comment back at Articulate.

Until I found that photo I'd never heard of Dan Deacon, or the Coachella Festival, and certainly not of Mick O! Now I've got a relationship with Mick O. I mean, obviously it's a very shallow one but it's a seed, and some of these seeds will grow.

I've also recently renewed my acquaintaince with Facebook - for better or for worse. :) Since giving up on it a while back, they've introduced this "People you may know" feature. It's bizarre, seeing all these people you very barely know, you may have met once, or people from your deep, dark past. I'm not sure if it's a good thing or a bad thing, but it will definitely change many people's lives, if only in a small way.

These are just a couple of tiny, tiny examples, but I sometimes get the sense that the wired world is on the verge of something.

And as a writer, it all feeds into the subconscious (along with all the juicy tidbits of knowledge I pick up off Wikipedia).

(P.S. This blog post is also a test of Writer, a nifty little web-based word processing program. You write stuff on it, then can save it, email it, post drafts to your blog. It's pretty cool)

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Courier-Mail article

Brisbane writer and journalist Jason Nahrung has done a very short interview with me for the Courier-Mail about my One Book Many Brisbanes win.

You can read it here...

Friday, April 18, 2008

“Untethered” wins One Book Many Brisbanes spot

I can now happily reveal that my short story “Untethered” has won a spot in the Brisbane City Council’s One Book Many Brisbanes anthology.

Given that this is by far the biggest competition I’ve ever won and, let’s face it, could be the biggest I ever win, there’s a few people I’d like to thank.

My wife Amelia. Writing is hard at the best of times, but when you’ve got two kids under five, it’s a real challenge finding the time. Amelia isn’t really into horror and science fiction, but she has always helped me find the time when I’ve really needed it. Without her help, “Untethered” either would not have been finished by the deadline, or would not have been polished to the extent that it was.

I’d like to thank the Vision Writers group, especially those who found time to do a last-minute critique of “Untethered”. The feedback, most of which I acted on, was obviously on the money! I’m very grateful to Rowena Lindquist for introducing me to Vision a few years back. I’m not the most active member, but it’s good to be able to connect with other speculative fiction writers, even if only via the internet.

And while I’m thanking writing groups, I’d like to extend this to the Australian Horror Writers Association and Queensland Writers Centre. People sometimes think writing is a lonely hobby and, while the actual sitting down and typing is a solitary experience, there is no shortage of camaraderie for those who wish to seek it out.

A big thanks to all the editors who have published my stories over the years, especially those who have offered me feedback and helped me improve my craft. I’d like to single out Angela Challis (Brimstone Press) for special thanks. I sold my first story to Angela’s Shadowed Realms. It gave me a lot of confidence going forwards. Since then, she has been very supportive of my writing.

Finally, I’d like to thank David Kowalski. David didn’t have any input into “Untethered”, but our chats over the past few months have made a big difference to my attitude to my writing. Earlier this year I was thinking about putting writing “on the back burner”. David’s limitless enthusiasm is a large reason I’ve persevered, and hopefully that decision will bear fruit over the coming years.

Wednesday, April 16, 2008

About Gary Kemble

(Photo by Amelia Kemble. Hi-res version at Flickr)

Hi, I am a writer, journalist and blogger based in Brisbane, Australia. If you’re reading this bio much after September 21, 2010, please email me for something more up-to-date.

I've written stories all my life. While I identify myself as a 'horror' writer (or more broadly a speculative fiction writer) I've had a variety of stories published, including literary, romance and thriller. I do love horror, zombies in particular, and I think I identify with the 'outsider' status that comes with focusing my writing on the dark side.

I had my first short story win on September 10, 2001. Since then, my short fiction has been published in magazines, anthologies and online in Australia, the US and the UK. Zombie schlockfest 'Dead Air' was picked up by Australian Dark Fantasy and Horror and received an honourable mention in the 21st Years Best Fantasy and Horror.

I've had two wins in the One Book Many Brisbanes competition. Time travel story 'Untethered' won in 2007 and sf/horror tale 'Bug Hunt' in 2009.

'Feast or Famine' - the story of two Australian journalists trapped in a bunker in Afghanistan - has been published in the landmark Australian horror anthology Macabre: A Journey Through Australia's Darkest Fears.

I work as a journalist for ABC News Online, where my roving brief includes coordinating ABC News's social media strategy.

In 2005 I helped establish Articulate, the ABC’s arts weblog, and was an active contributor until the blog's demise earlier this year, mostly covering the speculative fiction beat. I am now a sometimes contributor to The Buzz. My non-fiction has also been published in Black: Australian Dark Culture and Writing Queensland magazine.

In 2010 I blogged AussieCon 4, the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, thanks to help from Arts Queensland.

In 2006 I blogged Conjure, the 45th National Science Fiction Convention. My coverage of speculative fiction in both Articulate and ABC News Online has been twice nominated for the Ditmar Award for Professional Achievement.

In 2007/08 I was on the judging panel for the Australian Shadows award, the top award for Australian writers of dark fiction and horror.

I am a member of the Australian Horror Writers Association, Vision Writers and the Queensland Writers Centre.

I live in Brisbane's leafy western suburbs with my wife and two children.

Monday, April 07, 2008

James Doig on Australia's horror heritage

I have just interviewed James Doig on his Australian Gothic and Australian Nightmares anthologies of vintage Australian horror/supernatural fiction.

"I guess there is a danger here that we're becoming homogenised, subsumed by the latest Hollywood blockbuster. Just as the regional ghost story in the United States and Britain has pretty much disappeared, there is a danger that national traditions will go the same way. Too many modern stories have their roots in American popular culture - Stephen King, Hannibal Lector, Night of the Living Dead - rather than our own traditions.

"That said, I should say that our best writers have their own unique, distinctly Australian, voices. Terry Dowling, Margo Lanagan and Lucy Sussex are as good as anyone writing today, and there are many more who are right up there."

Read the full feature on Articulate...

Wednesday, April 02, 2008 a meltdown waiting to happen offers a place for hacks to vent about the trials and tribulations of being part of the 4th estate.

My prediction? Meltdown within a week!