Archive for the ‘Anthologies’ Category

Mansfield with Monsters

I want to spread the word about an amazing new book project some folks I know have done.

It is called Mansfield with Monsters, and has been authored by Debbie and Matt Cowens (an amazing writerly duo) and put out by Stephen Minchin’s Steam Press.

Katherine Mansfield is one of New Zealand’s most famous and influential writers. While her work is well known, many will be surprised to learn that the ‘accepted’ versions of her stories are often pale reflections of the original manuscripts.

Mansfield with Monsters is the first time that Mansfield’s vision of the supernatural has been published in full – a dream that she often spoke of in her correspondence with occultist Aleister Crowley and American author H. P. Lovecraft. Matt and Debbie Cowens have pieced together recently recovered fragments of her work, recreating Mansfield’s beloved tales as they were first written, complete with vampires, ghouls, and alien monsters. These versions will shock and delight those in the literary community who always suspected that there was more to Mansfield’s work than we had been led to believe.

Mansfield once wrote, “don’t lower your mask until you have another mask prepared beneath—as terrible as you like—but a mask.” While we may never know Mansfield’s true face or fate, Matt and Debbie Cowens are proud to draw back the public mask of one of our most beloved authors to reveal the more chilling one beneath.

Here’s a cool video interview with the authors.


Mansfield with Monsters is available from and from bookstores across New Zealand.

I just bought my Kindle copy and can’t wait to read it.

Now go get yours.

Mary Had a Unicorn

Recently, I mentioned that my mythpunk unicorn story, “Mary Had a Unicorn,” was coming out in June in the Australian-published anthology, Light Touch Paper, Stand Clear.

Well, the time has finally come for the book to launch this weekend at UnConventional in Auckland, New Zealand, followed by a launch at Continuum (I am choosing to ignore’s the Con’s subtitle: Craftonomicon because hey, I don’t even know what that means) , the 51st Australian National SF Con in Melbourne, Australia.

Since I am geographically impaired, and can’t be at either launch, I thought I’d celebrate in my own way by offering a teaser of my story. So, here you go:

Mary Had a Unicorn

The last thing on earth Mary Maloney wanted was a unicorn. She wasn’t an addict, no matter what they said at the welfare clinic. Sure, she used sometimes just to have some fun, or when she was down. But who didn’t? It wasn’t any different than the booze her dad tanked. Or the pot he smoked. But you didn’t see anyone assigning him a freakin’ genetically engineered, one-horned parole officer.

They made her pick out the unicorn herself. They had them all in a little room, one of those big-windowed rooms pet shops have at the very front to display puppies. There were seven of them, all white and no taller than her knees, but they didn’t play or romp, or do anything cute like that. They just stood in a huddle with their shimmery horns jutting in various directions. Except one stood away from the rest, and Mary chose that one.

After that, they took Mary and her dad to a little side room, and brought the unicorn in. While the clinic lady read Mary’s dad all the instructions and he signed papers, Mary was supposed to bond with it or something. She sat in a chair. The unicorn stood in a corner, pointed its horn at her, and quivered, which Mary thought was a good sign. If it was scared of her, all the better.

“It’s a female,” said Clinic Lady, smiling. “Since she first came in, we’ve called her Patience, but you can give her another name if you’d like.”

“Whatever,” Mary said.

“Now, before you take her home,” Clinic Lady turned back to Mary’s dad. “I am required by law to ask you if you’ve emptied your home of all poisonous, noxious, and illegal substances.

“Of course,” said Mary’s father. “Everything on the list.”

The list had been e-mailed to Mary’s dad a week before and had included insecticide, non-organic cleaning supplies, weed killer, turpentine, paint thinner, gasoline, oil, tobacco products, prescription and over-the-counter medication, alcohol, coffee, and of course, illicit drugs. Most of the household stuff her father had locked in the garage, except his booze, which he’d polished off last night, and the coffee, which he’d finished this morning.

“Alrighty then. She’s all yours,” said Clinic Lady, bending down to put a pink nylon leash around the unicorn’s neck. She handed the other end to Mary. “The leash is just a precaution until you get her home,” she explained. “Unicorns imprint very quickly onto their new owners. By tomorrow morning she’ll be glued to your side, and at school they usually just sleep under the desk at your feet.”

“Peachy,” Mary said. She knew this whole unicorn thing was never going to work, but her dad had insisted on applying for it, and he’d even paid the hefty copay out of his booze money, so at least this time she wasn’t the only one going to suffer.

When they got it to the car, the unicorn leapt into the back seat, folded its willowy legs beneath itself, and was asleep by the time they drove out of the parking lot.


Here is the rockin’ list of other contributors for LTPSC.

Joanne Anderton, “The Bone Chime Song”

Sue Bursztynski, “Five Ways to Start a War”

Brenda Cooper, “Between Lines”

Katherine Cummings, “The Traveling Salesman and the Farmer’s Daughter”

Thoraiya Dyer, “Faet’s Fire”

Kathleen Jennings, “Kindling”

Dave Luckett, “History, Theory and Practice”

Ian McHugh, “The Godbreaker and Unggubudh Mountain”

Sean McMullen, “Hard Cases”

Ripley Patton, “Mary Had a Unicorn”

Rob Porteous, “The Subjunctive Case”

Anna Tambour, “Murder at the Tip”

I’m thrilled to be on that list and can’t wait to get my copy in the mail soon and do some reading.


Tales for Canterbury Ebook

The Ebook version of Tales for Canterbury is now available.

Tales for Canterbury is a short story anthology loosely themed around survival, hope and the future. All profits of this anthology will be donated to the Red Cross Earthquake Appeal. The anthology contains 34 stories, including my new magical realism story, The Bus to Nostalgia, (and of course, one by Neil Gaiman) and is edited by Cassie Hart and Anna Caro.

Wondering about the paperback hardcopy version? It is at the printers now. You can order the ebook version or pre-order the paperback at Random Static publishers.

I hope you’ll support my broken city, Christchurch, in its earthquake recovery, and me personally, by purchasing this wonderful book and spreading the word on your blogs and website, and to friends and family.

Tales for Canterbury

Tales for Canterbury – a collection of short fiction published to raise money to help those affected by the recent Canterbury Earthquake (Yes, the one that hit my home city of Christchurch and the surrounding areas) – is now available for pre-order at Random Static.

Edited by local writers and SpecFicNZ members Cassie Hart and Anna Caro, the anthology is centered around the themes of survival, hope and a positive future. It includes fiction by overseas and local writers, including Jeff Vandermeer, Tina Makereti, Cat Connor, Sean Williams, Neil Gaiman, and Ripley Patton:)

Due out mid April, the ebook version will be in .pdf, .epub and .mobi formats and is $12 direct from Random Static. The print version is priced at $24.95 and includes free shipping within NZ (international shipping also available) and comes with a free giftwrapping option. Anticipated release date for the print version is the end of April.

Night-Mantled: The Best of Wily Writers Volume 1

I am happy to announce that my short story, A Speck in the Universe, is now available in the anthology Night-Mantled: The Best of Wily Writers Volume 1 being put out by my amazing friend and fellow-writer/editor Angel McCoy.

I love the cover because it looks like a combination of my hooded avatar and my actual picture. That is sooo cool!

It is available now at:

Out of the darkness come the monsters, the mysteries, and the miracles that engage our minds and engorge our hearts.

This collection of short stories from exceptionally wily writers will take you from looking over your shoulder to pondering the wonders of the universe and back again.

The Speculative Fiction podcast chooses only the best two stories per month from its submissions and records them for your listening pleasure.

This volume collects Year #1’s best of the best.

Author Lineup:

  • Alan Baxter: “Stand Off”Jennifer Brozek: “Honoring the Dead”SatyrPhil Brucato: “I Feel Lucky”Nathan Crowder: “Ink Calls to Ink”Richard E. Dansky: “Small Cold Thing”Seanan McGuire: “Julie Broise and the Devil”Lisa Morton:“Sane Reaction”Ripley Patton: “A Speck in the Universe”Grant Stone: “The Salt Line”Joel A. Sutherland: “The Death of Captain Eugene Bloodcake and the Fall of the Horrid Whore”Bruce Taylor: “The Prey”Mark W. Worthen: “The Minimart, the Ruger, and the Girl”

The Future of the Sky in Free Podcast

A Foreign Country – New Zealand Speculative Fiction

A short story anthology edited by Anna Caro & Juliet Buchanan.

This podcast presents 2 stories from the anthology – The Future of the Sky by Ripley Patton (A big thank you to Angel Leigh McCoy for her great podcast reading) and Miramar is Possum Free by Richard Barnes. It’s released under a Creative Commons Attribution, Non-commercial, No Derivative Works license.

From “Strange creatures are loose in Miramar, desperate survivors cling to the remains of a submerged country, humanity’s descendants seek to regain what they’ve lost, and the residents of Gisborne reluctantly serve alien masters. The visions of New Zealand – and beyond – painted in this collection of short stories are both instantly recognisable, and nothing like the place we know.

A Foreign Country brings together the work of established authors and fresh voices to showcase the range of stories produced by New Zealand’s growing community of speculative fiction writers. Humorous, disturbing, intriguing, cautionary, and ultimately hopeful, these tales tell of worlds where the boundaries between human and animal are blurred, babies are not what they seem, desperate measures are in place to ward off disaster, and flying standby can be a big mistake.

The anthology includes stories by: Philip Armstrong, Richard Barnes, Claire Brunette, Anna Caro, Matt Cowens, Bill Direen, Dale Elvy, J.C. Hart, Paul Haines, Miriam Hurst, Tim Jones, Susan Kornfeld, Juliet Marillier, Lee Murray, James Norcliffe, Ripley Patton, Simon Petrie, Brian Priestley, Marama Salsano, Lee Sentes, Janine Sowerby, and Douglas A. Van Belle.”

Check out to buy the paperback.


Ripley Patton lives in a 22-foot camper in the woods of Southern Illinois with a cat named Lemmy. Her two young adult children, a daughter and a son, are her favorite people. When Ripley's not out exploring nature and getting her hands dirty, she's usually reading or writing a book.

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