New Milestone – Interzone Magazine

I’m thrilled to announce that my story “Memories of Fish” has just been accepted by the awesome folks at TTA Press and will appear in the next volume of Interzone Magazine. It is a story of virtual reality tourism in a dangerous, climate-change-afflicted future Earth.

I have wanted to publish with Interzone ever since I started writing sci fi, so this is a huge milestone.

I really hope you like the story when it comes out.

S

A little stream near St Columba Falls in Tasmania. This is why I write.

New Artwork!

I was fortunate to be commissioned to create website headers for the Noted Festival in Canberra in May. Here are the images.

CABINET OF CURIOSITIES – which is about tools writers use.

WORDS BY NOTED STAFF

NEWS

WHAT I’M READING

I went minimalist with the colouring on these to keep the images bold and eye-catching. Hope you like them.

Shauna O’Meara

Last Outpost

My military science fiction novelette, “Hashtag WhiteBitch” (#WhiteBitch), has made it into the table of contents for the Last Outpost anthology by Bascomb James of Pushpin Books.

Because a large chunk of my stories, even those that come in the form of over-the-top RPG-Starship-Troopers-the-movie style tales, are ultimately about climate change, this one revolves around a freshwater war on a Canadian glacier. There are soldiers. There are loads of drones and robots.

And there is a truckload of footage beaming out from the warzone.

This is future war, seen live on home TV.

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One of the heroes from the story (because I like to draw headers for my story posts). This is a rough pencil sketch overlaid in Photoshop colour.

Anyway, hope you check out the anthology when it arrives.

The Laugh Contagious

I’m really delighted to announce that my clown doctor horror story, “The Laugh Contagious,” has been chosen for the first volume of the Let Us In trio of anthologies by Time Alone Press.

You can check out the list of authors here.

Be sure to scroll to the bottom of the list to check out the incredible cover art by Sergio Diaz. It is truly stunning and I can’t wait to have it on my shelf.

Edited to add – for reasons unknown to myself and the other writers, the project was pulled at the end of 2016.

New Story up at The Worcester Journal – Photo of a Tiger

The Worcester Journal has just published its summer edition of short stories, reviews, memoirs and cultural insights and I am proud to say that my flash fiction piece Photo of a Tiger has been included in the lineup.

This story was written well before the recent, untimely death of the silverback gorilla, Harambe, at the Cincinnati Zoo; however the very public and controversial passing of that endangered animal did once again bring to the forefront of public discourse the role zoos play in the preservation of endangered species, which is the central theme of my story.

At what point does a species preserved in a zoo environment become so generationally imprinted upon man and so accustomed to captive life and divested of the learned behaviours essential for wilderness survival that it ceases to be a wild animal at all?

At what point does such an animal cease to be of value for species survival and, instead, become merely a component of the human entertainment industry?  

I don’t necessarily dislike zoos. They serve as a means to connect the human heart to the plight of the nature, that those who care might want to save it. And they preserve those species that can be brought back from the brink, that they might one day repopulate the wild places set aside for them. Where zoos become problematic is when they become living museums of otherwise extinct animals; when they serve as little more than storage bays for species whose wilderness has long been turned to crop and plantation and buried beneath the waters of hydroelectric dams with no intention of it ever being returned to its natural state. When this happens, zoos become sad and morbid places and the animals pacing the cages within, with no memory of their culture and what it is to hunt and run free, little more than shameful reminders of what man has stolen from the Earth.

The latter, I fear, will be the ultimate plight of the tiger.

My Writers of the Future Journey – Day 6 – 11th April 2014 – Part 2

We were buzzing after our trip to Bang Printing and, despite the bouncing of the bus, many of us took the opportunity to get our books signed by the other writers and artist contributors to the anthology (like Pokemon – one simply must catch them all!).

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The Challenger Learning Center at the Columbia Memorial Space Center is one of many Challenger Centers established by family members of the seven astronauts that passed away when the space shuttle Challenger disintegrated shortly after take-off in 1986. The role of the centers is to educate children about the wonders of space discovery so that they might also be inspired to dream big and perhaps take up this incredible field of science and adventure themselves.

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The center is an amazing place. Its ambition to inspire thinkers and dreamers to imagine and invent new possibilities for our future goes hand-in-hand with the reason many of us writers write some of the science fiction we do.

Our guide for the day:

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Inside the center, we were greeted by the wonderful June Scobee Rodgers, widow of Commander Dick Scobee and one of the founding members of the Challenger Centers. She has been a supporter of Writers and Illustrators of the Future for many years and even came to our awards ceremony. I was most honored to sign my story in her book.

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The center is full of amazing displays and interactive learning. Our group had a ball.

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I did not excel at paper plane design:

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Just like movie stars, astronauts have also made their mark in cement blocks.

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The center has a replica NASA mission-control room where groups of children can guide those in a neighbouring ‘space shuttle’ room to carry out missions on such remote places as the moon and Mars.

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In my happy place …

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We also got to visit the ‘space shuttle’ room, where interactive modules had been set-up to give us a taste of some of the duties one might need to perform as working astronauts. We even had to go through an airlock to reach it!

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We also got to program Lego robots to travel along set paths on a board and collect items. This was loads of fun and I wish we’d had more time as I wanted to perfect it!

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I found the collage at the entrance to the center in Downey very moving. Made up of hundreds of photos of the seven Challenger astronauts who died in their prime, both life and career-wise, it didn’t just represent the tragedy of losing such clever, talented, driven scientists and family members, but the joy and inspiration of seeing members of the human race striving to live out their dreams and passions.

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