cat sparks

  • Ecopunk

    Ecopunk – speculative tales of radical futures
    Edited by Liz Grzyb and Cat Sparks
    To be published by Ticonderoga Publications in 2017

  • Ecopunk – speculative tales of radical futures

    Ecopunk – speculative tales of radical futures

    Edited by Liz Grzyb and Cat Sparks

    To be published by Ticonderoga Publications in 2017

    Human activity has forced the Earth into a new geological epoch.

    By 2050 the world’s population is expected to rise from the current seven billion to around 9.5 billion. The worst impacts will be felt by the world’s poorest people, victims of the developed world’s excesses.

    The Earth must brace itself for enormous changes in patterns of global temperature and rainfall, significant sea level rise, with huge effects on water and food security.

    Engineers and industrialists are currently faced with the challenge of inventing new sustainable technologies and the means of implementing them: technologies that may well improve our lives in ways we cannot yet anticipate.

    We are looking for optimistic stories envisioning the future of our world as we are impacted by and adapt to climate change. New narratives of radical transformation and sustainability.

    Stories exploring the end of carbon-capitalism, combatting inertia in our political systems, interrogating the technical and organisational challenges of clean energy generation, storage and distribution.

    Stories investigating nascent technologies and fossil fuel divestment, imagining pathways to the low-carbon world. Encouraging the belief that we will survive not only as a species, but as a civilisation by proposing alternatives to how we live.

    Stories showing how humanity can survive and flourish, despite looming uncertainty.

    We are not looking for post-apocalyptic stories of dystopia and wretchedness, but of confidence in our ability to meet the challenges our future will bring us.


    • Stories should be between 2000-10,000 words.
    • Original stories only: no reprints, multiple, or simultaneous submissions.
    • Stories should be emailed to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. in .doc or .rtf format.
    • The submissions period for unsolicited submissions is 15 May to 31 August 2016.
    • Manuscript format: double spaced, large margins, Times New Roman font, Australian English spelling.
    • Payment: 2 copies of print anthology and Aus 5 cents/word (GST inc., maximum payment AUD$500) on publication.
    Useful links:

    So, for example...

    • a story set on a seaweed/algae farm. The farmers are being bothered by pirates raiding their algae diesel supplies but the pirates end up giving up life on the high seas and joining the community, or coexisting with them. Or thinking about it at least.
    • a story set on a science vessel whose 5 year mission is to suck toxic plastic out of the Pacific
    • a story set on a part of the great pacific garbage patch that has hardened into land and become a brave new secret country...

    some ideas in here: (maybe a story about somebody building a home-made internet for their community) (a story set in a fire-resistant village, biologist investigates quick flowering edible crop that thrives in the wake of fire)

    We're looking for the normal kinds of human conflict which feature in any story, only set against a backdrop/environment in which humankind is actively attempting to make a better world or fix the old one rather than just sitting back and letting the apocalypse roll on over the top, with everybody sinking into cannibalism and another dark age.

    Or you can even mess with the form & do comedy:

    • a bunch of prepper/survivalist bankers holed up in a wall street penthouse attempting to keep the old world going while watching the new one begin to bloom on the water-filled streets below.
  • Ecopunk! contents revealed!

    We're really pleased to be able to reveal the stories selected by Liz Grzyb and Cat Sparks for the Ecopunk! anthology.

    Ecopunk! - speculative tales of radical futures contains 19 optimistic tales, selected by two award-winning editors, showing how humanity can survive and flourish, despite the looming uncertainty from climate change. The incredible line-up includes some of Australia's best science fiction writers.

    Adam Browne, “The Radiolarian Violin"
    Matthew Chrulew, “Future Perfect”
    Emilie Collyer, “From the Dark”
    Jason Fischer, “Milk and Honey”
    Tom Guerney, “The Mangrove Maker”
    Claire McKenna, “Mr. Mycelium”
    R. Jean Mathieu, “The City Sunk, “the City Risen”
    D.K. Mok, “The Wandering Library”
    Jason Nahrung, “The Today Home”
    Ian Nichols, “First Flight”
    Shauna O'Meara, “Island Green”
    Rivqa Rafael, “Trivalent”
    Jane Rawson, “The Right Side of History”
    Jane Routley, “The Scent of Betrayal, “
    Andrew Sullivan, “The Butterfly Whisperer”
    Janeen Webb, “Monkey Business”
    Corey White, “Happy Hunting Ground”
    Tess Williams, “Broad Church”
    Marian Womack, “Pink Footed”

    Ecopunk! will be published in 2017 by Ticonderoga Publications. Keep an eye on our website for more news.

  • The Year's Best of 2015 is coming soon!

    book cover - red robed figure in a dark urban settingThe latest volume in our award-winning Year's Best series, The Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2015 is weeks away. Editors Liz Grzyb and Talie Helene have selected 31 incredible stories, over 150,000 words, from Australia and New Zealand published in 2015.

    In addition, the volume features an indepth review of the genre in 2015 and a recommended reading list.

    The stories are

    • Joanne Anderton, “2B”
    • Alan Baxter, “The Chart of the Vagrant Mariner”
    • Deborah Biancotti, “Look How Cold My Hands Are”
    • Stephen Dedman, “Oh, Have You Seen The Devil”
    • Erol Engin, “The Events at Callan Park”
    • Jason Fischer, “The Dog Pit”
    • Dirk Flinthart, “In the Blood”
    • Kimberley Gaal, “In Sheep's Clothing”
    • Stephanie Gunn, “The Flowers That Bloom Where Blood Touches Earth”
    • Lisa Hannett, “Consorting With Filth”
    • Robert Hood, “Double Speak”
    • Kathleen Jennings, “A Hedge of Yellow Roses”
    • Maree Kimberley, “Ninehearts”
    • Jay Kristoff, “Sleepless”
    • Martin Livings, “El Caballo Muerte”
    • Danny Lovecraft, “Reminiscences of Herbert West”
    • Kirstyn McDermott, “Self, Contained”
    • Sally McLennan, “ Mr Schmidt's Dead Pet Emporium”
    • DK Mok, “Almost Days”
    • Faith Mudge, “Blueblood”
    • Samantha Murray, “Half Past”
    • Jason Nahrung, “Night Blooming”
    • Garth Nix, “The Company of Women”
    • Anthony Panegyres, “Lady Killer”
    • Rivqa Rafael, “Beyond the Factory Wall”
    • Deborah Sheldon, “Perfect Little Stitches”
    • Angela Slatter, “Bluebeard's Daughter”
    • Cat Sparks, “Dragon Girl”
    • Lucy Sussex, “Angelito”
    • Anna Tambour, “Tap”
    • Kaaron Warren, “Mine Intercom”

    This volume was successfully funded through a crowd-sourcing campaign, and will be the first time an Australian Year's Best genre series has run to 6 consecutive single-year volumes. The Year's Best Australian Fantasy and Horror 2015 will be available in hardcover, paperback, and ebook, in February/March 2017.

    The hardcover and paperback are available to pre-order at indiebooksonline.

    The editors will begin reading for the 2016 volume in due course. Please keep an eye on our website.

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