Thursday, March 7, 2024

Where the Cross Turns Over: Another Story Collection


The second and last short story collection for me. (There may be another novella omnibus, yet.) 

This one aimed to include all the stories that didn't make it into The Strangest Places for some reason, but largely because, as the sub-title states, they were in some way Australian-based.

As with Places, there's a mix of published and unpublished pieces. The back cover copy on the print edition explains the title, and describes the contents well enough:

"Old-time Australian drovers, walking cattle thousands of miles to market, are said to have planned their night-watches by the stars. 'Call me when the Cross turns over,' they would say, 'or when the Pointers are clear.'

These stories happen where the Cross turns over: a regional urban Australian backyard, a regional suburban housing development, a state capital, over a century ago; an Outback waterhole. Another regional townscape, whose characters end off-Earth, a future planed those fauna are, at the least, unusual. But even the Outback can prove . . . weird, here.

 Included here are "Slick," the first short story I ever published, and which still astonishes me when I happen to glance through it, "The Cretaceous Border," which is probably my *most* published story - two separate re-prints -  and "An Offer You Couldn't Refuse," probably the most fun to write, with its glances at so many SF tropes, from Spielberg-type flying saucers to IT geniuses and on to ETs. Then there's "The Sharp-Shooter," written for an antho whose proposition was a spacefaring colony that wants to live as if in the 18th Century, and "Due Care and Attention," which is actually historical fiction, though based round a real person, the first woman doctor in Brisbane, my state capital. Last but by no means least, and again built on a "real life" base, is "Acreage": it takes a look, through something like a horror trope, at one of the most bloody of Queensland murder cases, which remains unsolved to this day.

Looking over this collection, my first thought is, somewhat selfishly, how much fun I had writing them. I hope any readers will find a lot of "fun" - if not all funny-type fun - in reading them.

You can find Cross at Bookview Cafe for an ebook - you will need to Convert for Kindle reader, and do NOT heed the outmoded bookshop injunction to use Mobi for Kindle. There isn't a Mobi edition, because Amazon don't use it any more. 

 And for the paperback version, direct to Amazon:



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