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cover_art_teaser_2As promised earlier in the week (although perhaps somewhat later than hoped), I have uploaded a sample chapter of my upcoming action science fiction novel Bifrost and you can see it…


As I have also mentioned, this is my 3rd-draft version of this chapter and there may be changes between now and publication day, but I’m pretty happy with the chapter as it stands and any changes will hopefully be minor.

So, please read and enjoy this (very early) chapter of Bifrost and keep your eye out for more news on its release date!!

And yes – of course, there’s another tiny teaser for the Bifrost cover just above in this post!


cover_art_teaserJust this morning I received the sample from the completed cover art for Bifrost!!!! I am VERY excited about it. I’ve given you a tiny sneak peak here!


Very shortly, I will have the final, full-resolution copy in my hot little computer and will commence work turning it into an actual cover (complete with a title and perhaps even my name somewhere!).

I am also in the process of engaging the services of an editor for Bifrost (again – super excited).

Now…all of my excitement aside, I have decided that because Star Wars: The Force Awakens opens in December and (as previously mention) it appears that the writers and I have been drinking coffee from the same beans, I am going to publish a sample chapter or two (let’s see hot it goes) here on Please understand that though these will be as polished as I can make them in the short time I have – these will not be the finished product and there may be changes here and there as we move from now until release day (an as-yet undetermined date in early 2016).

Keep your eye on this site for when the sample chapter goes up and please give me any feedback you have once you’ve read it!!


g_greerYou may well ask: How can someone who identifies as a trans person support an organisation which allows a person with clear and stated transphobic opinions to give a lecture?

To me it’s obvious – she is not being asked to speak about transgender issues.

Germaine Greer is an icon of the womens’ liberation movement; a product of a very ugly time in our society’s past when women were treated as little more than property, an accessory to be admired, yet not heard. Greer grew up, as all women did in those days, seeing the hatred and violence directed at the suffragettes who came before her, suffering and seeing the hatred and violence directed at her – all for nothing more than being female and daring to imagine she could have a say. Greer chose to use all of that frustration she felt as a woman living under this oppression and to direct it into making a stand.

Many of the things she has said and written have been bold, confronting, angry and made her the target of hatred from almost every male who heard about it. This seemed to make her only more staunch in her views. I don’t agree with a lot of the things she says and yet I respect Germaine Greer for what she has done and the voices she has allowed to be heard.

Like many heroes of a time and of a moment, however, Germaine Greer is not perfect. Obviously for all of you people who are flawless of character, this must seem strange. Greer harbours many opinions which, though they allowed her to focus and drive through the ocean of negativity she had to navigate during the infancy of feminism as we know it, they have no place in the world today. Greer’s belief in herself and her bravery in the face of untold opposition is what has made her a hero of feminism and she will not change her stripes today just because a comparatively small number of people demand that she do so.

I don’t believe Germaine Greer will ever change her opinion of trans women (though it would be interesting to know her views on trans men). From what I derive from her stance, she believes that to be a woman, one must face the challenge of being a woman from birth – make your way through sexism, the absurd expectations of society that you must “look your best” all the bloody time, menstruation – all of the challenges faced only by those who grow up female.

Though I may not agree with it, I actually understand this argument. I don’t believe that being born with a vagina necessarily makes you a woman (there are many exceptions to this rule), but I understand that very, very few trans women could possibly understand what it truly is to be born as and grow up as a female.

Equally, though, very, very few people born female could understand what it truly is to be born in a gender you do not identify with and face the hate, violence and negativity which so sadly often accompanies the lives of trans people.

In this respect trans people and women are not so very different.

In looking over all of this, you may well say “But hey – you just said her opinions have no place in the world of today!” and you’d be partially right: her stance on the very existence of trans people has no place in the world of today, in fact she has not repeated her hateful opinions for decades and she said as much very recently. She is an intelligent person and I believe she realises her opinions don’t gel with today’s more open and understanding society which is why she hasn’t aired them for a very long time.

And her lecture at Cardiff University IS NOT ABOUT TRANSGENDER ISSUES – the lecture is entitled “Women & Power: The Lessons of the 20th Century“. It is a historical look over the womens’ liberation and feminist movement in the 20th century and how women have managed to fight their way to the right to vote, to legislated (if not real) equal-pay, to legislated equal rights and to the highest, most powerful jobs in the world. It is also a lecture on the work still to be done. I personally think it would be fascinating.

But now (misguided, in my opinion) activists are backing Germaine Greer against an opinion wall. If I know anything about Germaine Greer it is that she is at her most vocal – her most forthright when she is backed against a wall. And so she has made it clear that she has not changed her opinion of trans women. Important note: her opinion.

But if her task at the university is not to discuss transgender – why must we silence her on all subjects? In reality the trans movement only started gaining traction in the last 5 years, so it has little place in a brief university lecture about women in the 20th century!

I would absolutely support a ban on Germaine Greer if she were being asked to speak on the subject of transgender* because I feel her opinions are deeply negative, spiteful and ill-informed, but this lecture is absolutely not that. It is a lecture the subject of feminism and womens’ rights and on the history of the issue. On that subject, I think you could find few more important voices than Germaine Greer.


*  Unless it were a debate because I love arguments and I also love winning them

Ranger Smith in Jumpsharkoid’s spacecraft. From Yogi Bear – definitely not Star Wars*.

!!SPOILER ALERT!! If you are one of the very odd people I know trying to avoid all social media, clips screenshots or information about the upcoming Star Wars film The Force Awakens, read no further (and understand that I think you are odd for trying to live in a time-bubble as if streaming video & a 24-hour news cycle never happened). Oh and that image you didn’t click on because you broke into a cold sweat isn’t from the new Star Wars film*, no…um…it’s from a lost episode of Yogi Bear where Ranger Smith climbs into a cave only to find an alien spacecraft and that annoying green martian who completely ruined the Flintstones. “Jumpsharkoid” I think his name was.

So…My WIP I’ve been working on for the last two and a bit years (Bifrost) just happens to introduce the MC with what appears to be a nearly identical scene to the new Star Wars film (a female scavenger in a desert landscape working through a huge, wrecked spacecraft).

This really is annoying me because it’s a completely freaking cool scene I don’t want to change and now (because I can’t get Bifrost released before The Force Awakens) it’s going to look for all the world like I ripped it off. Which I most certainly DID NOT!! I wrote that scene over 2 years ago.

I cannot believe this has actually happened. I only JUST watched the latest Force Awakens trailer (Trailer 3) and it was like watching another person’s take on my scene. Which was strangely cool, but also extremely worrying.

Anyway…I suppose the Pollyanna takeaway is that my ideas are just as completely awesome as Lawrence Kasdan & J.J Abrams’ ideas (hopefully even better!), but it’s feeling a little like I’m going to have to modify my intro for the Witch**.



* This is a complete lie

** OOPS! Spoiler alert! ;o)

Like every other Tiger fan, I have been recovering since Sunday. Like many Tiger fans, in the week leading up to the Elimination Final, I downloaded the “All for the Finals” wallpaper and put it on every device I own.

Like every one of those fans, for the last week I’ve felt the sting every time I read the word “Finals”.

Now I like my Richmond Football Club wallpapers and I figured rather than take down the 2015 wallpaper for the off-season, I thought I’d make some modifications so that the Finals desktop wallpaper (which I thought was great) so that it was off-season friendly. I’ve hosted it on the site below for you to download.

These are not official wallpapers, but they are slightly modified official wallpapers (as in I did not create these, I just modified them). RichmondFC – please let me know if you need me to take them down or whatnot, but also feel free to host them on your site for everyone to download for the off-season.










Geelong conducting tryouts for Season 2016...

Geelong conducting tryouts for Season 2016…

It has taken five long years, but the hard work put in by people in the football media and the footy-going public claiming the end was nigh for Geelong has finally paid off with the Cats certain to miss the 2015 finals (barring some sort of multi-club drugs scandal). Certainly these people* take the award for persistence.

The Geelong Cheer Squad will have to finally fold up and store their “Too old, Too Slow, Too good” banner after being able to proudly hold it aloft in each of the 2011, 2012, 2013 and 2014 seasons. Even if Geelong win the Premiership in 2016, with an average age lower than the AFL Commission’s average golf handicap, the Cats’ list could hardly be referred to as “Too old”.

The cleanout of champion senior players is inevitable at the end of season 2015, so the rebuild process cannot begin quick enough and senior coach Chris Scott has been seen scouting polo fields, synchronised swimming tournaments and sepak takraw courts in the Bangkok ghetto searching for even more left-field project recruits. When asked by a semi-conscious drunk (me) about his presence at the Thai foot-volleyball court, Scott replied: “We have plenty of time to develop players now. No need to take ready-made players from steeplechase and gymnastics anymore.”

Wise words.

The real question for the coach, however, remains: how long can the Geelong Board put up with this lack of success? The last time Geelong failed to make the finals (2006), they held a sweeping internal audit which resulted in then-coach Mark “Bomber” Thompson being told that if the Cats didn’t win the Premiership in 2007, he’d be sacked. Only a run of three consecutive Grand Finals and two Premierships saved Thompson from the axe. An axe which finally fell in 2010 when the Cats did not make the Grand Final.

It has been this sort of robotic ruthlessness which has seen Geelong become the powerhouse it is today. Only Chris Scott’s promise to win the 2011 Premiership secured him the senior coach job at the end of 2010. Now that they have failed to make the finals – how long can Scott truly hang on as coach? Surely he must be almost as under-the-pump as Nathan Buckley who famously promised to win the Premiership, the Superbowl and the Olympics in order to secure the top job at Collingwood.

Still, with the number of Premiership players likely retiring at season’s end, Geelong is nothing if not spoiled for choice when it comes to coaching candidates.

The off-season should be one of the most interesting in recent memory with so many greats of the game retiring, so many clubs (not Geelong) actually in a position to win a flag and the sports journalist fraternity FINALLY caught up with the footy public in being sick of the Essendon drugs scandal.


* I will call them “these people” to take the spotlight off the fact that I was one of them.

bop_searchSo far the new writing regime (as detailed in This Blog is Somewhat the Victim of Fear) is going at a level I will call “well”. I have revised five complete chapters since I wrote down my intentions and started back into my novel Bifrost (4 weeks now) and I am VERY eager to get into the next few chapters which are some of my favourites in the novel (and yet still need some serious revising).

The only exception to my new regime’s success is 5am Writers Club which former or present member can attest is a very challenge club in which to stay a member!! Continue to either sleep through or turn off my alarm. But tomorrow’s another day!

This renewed desire to get things done on my novel is a welcome change to the rut I was in leading up to and whilst I was on our awesome holiday to LEGOLand and some other place I forget*. It made me wonder to myself as I was sweeping the kitchen floor the other night: what the hell has changed recently? Why do I suddenly have the drive to write?

I went over the weeks leading up to the holiday: nothing special, was getting a bit stale at work (needed a holiday), was reading books, was thinking about football a lot. Maybe that was it – maybe it was football. But then it was still football season back in March when I was KILLING it on Bifrost and actually finished the damn thing. So what is it?

Then I realised – back in mid-late 2014, after consuming all the Guardians of the Galaxy I could handle I’d decided to go and read a bunch of comic backissues which covered some of the seminal story arcs in comic history that I’d (for whatever reason) never read: The Infinity Gauntlet, The Mark Waid run on The Flash, Spider-Man: Maximum Carnage – that sort of thing. I was reading comics every night (and on public transport)…(and whenever I got time) and I was super-vibed about geting work done on my book.

Many weeks ago, when I saw the leaked footage of the Suicide Squad movie, I decided to go and check out the Suicide Squad backissues (yes, even the first run from the 80s & 90s). I also felt this was a good time to start reading Gail Simone’s work on the Secret Six because Gail is completely awesome.

Then all of a sudden I’m wicked vibed to get onto my revisions. It was comics all along! It wasn’t books or movies or TV or the web (as if) – it was comics!

So here’s to comics. Bring on the backissues and bring on the revisions!!


Site Redesign

under_constructionFinally I decided to get rid of the old dodgy background and replace it with a new dodgy background. Hopefully with this new background you can actually read the text and the site looks just a bit less like a mySpace page.

You’ll probably notice (aside from the ability to read the text) the FEEDS section on the right-hand side. This (though pretty) is unfortunately static, unlike the upcoming addition of my Twitter and (possibly) Facebook feeds. In the meantime the static feeds you see are tiny teasers for Bifrost, the Metsas Mountains and armour both featuring pretty prominently in the story (though the tiny version of the armour status you can see doesn’t really give much away).

There will be more changes in the coming weeks as I get time to work on the site (usually instead of Monday Night Games…sorry gents).

And yes – that is a picture of two construction workers in China walking out on the end of a crane without any sort of safety harness. I took the picture myself. It was crazy. It was also raining.


Not Like This

One of Goodes' many, many, many speccy marks

Now I will always love my Tigers above all other teams, but our local AFL team is the Sydney Swans and I’ll freely admit that I’ve always had a soft spot for the Red and White.

I watch more of their games live than any other team, so I suppose it’s hard not to like them just a bit and given 4yo has latched onto the Swans as his favourite team, I reckon that soft spot is there to stay. I never enforced any rule like Dad’s “everyone has a different team” and yet I ended up with a Tiger (7yo), a Giant (6yo), a Swan (4yo) and Co-Consul continues to deny that she’s a Bomber (like a lot of Bomber fans at the moment I suppose). I love the diversity of our footy family because it means I get to watch more football (reckon Dad was onto something).

Because I’ve been able to watch the Swans since I moved to Sydney, I watched as their 2005 Premiership unfolded, their 2006 campaign end in defeat and their 2012 Flag cement their spot as one of the power teams of the early new millennium. I’ve watched Adam Goodes develop from a gifted young rookie, to a Rising Star, to a gifted, yet injury-prone ruckman, get moved back out to the midfield to become a superstar, dual-Brownlow Medallist, dual-Premiership player and co-Captain, four-time All Australian, three-time Bob Skilton Medallist and Australian of the Year.

I respect the footy ability of every superstar the game has produced, but Adam Goodes is one of the few I feel is as deserving of respect for their work off the field as they are for their work on it.

I’ve never met the man personally, but from what I’ve seen on TV, live in games, live on the sidelines and heard about him – he’s a driven, passionate man with a quiet, considered demeanour. He seems a man who wants to set an example for young people of all backgrounds, but particularly for young Indigenous people whom he feels the deepest kinship. He is a man who can help make this country a better place to live and wants to make that difference with all his heart.

I have the utmost respect for Adam Goodes, for what he has done for the game of Australian football in New South Wales, for what he has done for young people and what he has done for the profile and respect Australians pay to Indigenous people. I respect him even more for the way in which he has gone about it – I have never heard Adam Goodes speak disrespectfully about anyone or anything, he has always maintained not only his calm, considered demeanour throughout his career, but has also dealt with the spotlight and the media with a class you don’t often see. Goodes has worked through the Sydney Swans in schools, raising money for charity, publicly spoken out against incidents of racism and with his 2005 Premiership teammate Michael O’Loughlin, has set up the Go Foundation which helps Indigenous kids complete their school educations and hopefully encourage them to bigger and brighter things than if they had dropped out. In our most recent generations of school-goers, 68% of Indigenous kids dropped out of school before they finished Year 12 compared to only 28% of non-Indigenous kids. Despite what the far-right paper the Daily Telegraph may have said (I won’t link to their “article”, but you can look it up) – this man deserved every bit of his Australian of the Year honours and then some.Adam Goodes with his Mum after he won the Rising Star in 1999

It saddened me to read this morning that Adam Goodes was considering hanging up the boots, not because his body could no longer take the rigours of football as many aging stars find, but because opposition crowds continue to boo him when he gets the football. It saddened me not because I think it’s true, I would think a competitive sports person like Adam Goodes would eat that sort of opposition heat and fire back with superb football (as he did) and perhaps the odd war dance (see – class), but rather it saddened me because people might actually believe that it’s true. That a man of this stature could be brought low by a bunch of half-pissed idiots in the opposition crowd.

Now for all that’s been written about the racist overtones of the booing of Adam Goodes, I don’t believe the phenomenon began as a racist thing. I personally think it began as a reaction to a couple of diving incidents. These incidents Goodes has said himself he’s not proud of, but many, many superstars have been caught diving – recent 400-game player Brent Harvey is a perfect example. Smart players, you see, will do almost anything to win and Boomer and Adam Goodes I think are cut from the same competitive cloth. Star players also seem to get an easier ride from umpires because they are star players and both Goodes and Harvey have certainly had their share of star treatment on-field. Some years ago, after a couple of questionable on-field incidents, opposition crowds started to boo Boomer Harvey, but the Kangaroos faithful quickly picked it up and decided to own it with the “BOOOOOOOOOOOMER!” cry every time he touched the ball. Now it’s a Kangaroos war cry.

The fact that the booing of Goodes has continued, I think indicates that it has now become about race, as the sadly inevitable racist elements of every crowd latch onto the booing and join in – thinking that they can suddenly get away with expressing the racism which our increasingly educated society has forced them to hide away in recent years.

Well I’m here to say that they can’t. We’re not going to accept people booing this man for any reason – particularly for the absurd reason of his cultural background!

Goodes as Co-Captain winning the 2012 PremiershipWhat I’d like to see is one of two things: either everyone who attends the next Swans match to call for any booers to shut up or for Sydney Swans fans to take a leaf out of the Kangaroos book and own it. Make it a war cry of your own “GOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOODES!” You’re going to need to publicise the ownership so that everybody knows it’s you and not these other wankers, but why not? Own it! It worked for Boomer.

But whichever way, I’d like everyone with half a brain cell to stand up for one of the greatest players to ever play the game – one of only fourteen players to ever win two Brownlow Medals – stand up for a champion of not only the Sydney Swans but of the sport of Australian Football, stand up and show respect to an Australian who has done many things to make this country better, stand up for a man who, unlike many of these booing idiots who claim to be proud of an Australia they’ve had nothing to do with improving, should be able to walk away from the game proud of his achievements and the respect he has earned from them.

Goodes could well have been planning to hang up his boots at season’s end anyway, but this blight on the game should not be the closing chapter of Adam Goodes’ playing career. He should be respected as one of the great players ending his career in style as part of the Sydney Swans team which made their 6th successive Finals appearance and their 12th in 13 years.


hawksAs the AFL community at large turns its attention toward the seemingly unstoppable Hawks and bookmakers continue to shorten their odds of the Flag heading to Glenferrie Oval for a third straight year, the early favourites in Fremantle, despite still sitting on top of the ladder, are looking a little tired after their 9-0 start to the season.




dockers_trainingFew could deny that the Dockers’ results since the bye in Round 12 – even the unconvincing wins over bottom-4 opponents – are proof that their stamina is flagging. But if history is anything to go by, then all is not what it seems when the Dockers cross the white line in mid-to-late season.

Whilst at the helm of St Kilda, Fremantle coach Ross Lyon was well known for punishing his Saints on the training track in the lead-up to the finals and July-August was when the pain began (for the players and the fans).

In Round 16, 2009 the Saints were a game clear on top of the ladder (sound familiar?). They comfortably beat top-8 sides Adelaide and the Bulldogs, then in Round 18 only just snuck past a Sydney team languishing in 11th spot, then went on to lose two of their final four matches against opposition either vying for 8th spot (Essendon) or out of the race entirely (North Melbourne). The Saints went on to finish on top of the ladder in the home-and-away, but lost to Geelong on the big day.

It was a different story in 2010 when the Saints under Lyon had just gone down to Collingwood in Round 16, they drew with Hawthorn in Round 17 and were sitting outside the top-4. With their position in the 8 anything but a certainty, Lyon said in an interview that the team weren’t in a position to “flatten out” in matches due to training overload. Interestingly, 2010 was the closest the Saints got Premiership glory, drawing with Collingwood in the first Grand Final before being soundly beaten the following week in the rematch.

By 2013 Ross Lyon had made the switch west and the Dockers, despite sitting in 5th, had the luxury of a soft draw leading into the finals. A review of the results and comments from Lyon would indicate that the 2nd-year Dockers coach brought forward the timeline for his punishing training burst in order to make a tilt for the top-4. Coming off what Lyon called a “really heavy training load”, the Dockers lost to Richmond at the MCG in Round 16, then proceeded to win every match until Round 23 when (the team’s position in 3rd assured) Lyon elected to leave most of his stars in Western Australia and team which more closely resembled the Dockers WAFL Reserves than the best-22 were handed a thrashing by the struggling Saints at Aurora Stadium. That the Dockers caused one of the upsets of the season the following week in Qualifying Final against the Cats vindicated Lyon’s decision to not only leave the stars at home the previous week, but also the heavy training load in June-July.

Perhaps their result in the Grand Final against the Hawks two weeks later suggests the heavy load went a little TOO early to pay the ultimate dividend.

This year, given the Dockers are a game clear on top of the ladder, two games clear of the 3rd-placed Hawks and have a run home which the coach could conservatively pencil in as at least 4-5 wins, one suspects Ross Lyon has his players’ pushing themselves harder than every before at every training session right now (several weeks later than 2013). The extra training load will likely be a factor in every match up until the last few when the whip will have been put away to allow the players’ bodies to build up strength ready for them to explode into the last couple of home-and-away rounds and the Qualifying Final.

With the exception of very few, the members of this Dockers team will still feel the pain of the 2013 Grand Final loss to the Hawks and with their position on top of the ladder, they will each know what it takes to not only get to the big day, but also how it feels to get there only to fall short. The Dockers are hungry.

dockers_huddleFeeling the training load most of all will likely be the Dockers youngest and oldest players. Possibly the reason for the drop-off in form of Captain Matthew Pavlich. Is this the mighty Docker’s last season? Will the thought of seeing the greatest player their club has ever seen go quietly into the night without having tasted Premiership glory drive them to take it now?

Only time will tell, but one thing’s for sure – we shouldn’t write off the Dockers just yet.


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