by Amanda Pillar
As rain falls across the country and the skies lower their brooding brows, it might be worth remembering that not everyone who turns their collar up against the wind is human.
It’s these characters — the inhuman detectives and the delicious dames — that are the subject of Damnation and Dames, the latest anthology from Ticonderoga Publications (and the child of Liz Grzyb and myself).
The anthology treads beyond the edges of noir and into the blurred world of the paranormal — or ‘paranoirmal’, as it should now be called. This collection includes some of the best stories I’ve had the pleasure of reading in either genre, and I’m not just saying that because I helped select them.
Damnation and Dames was released into the wild on April 6th and 7th, with two launches taking place. One was at the Notions Unlimited Bookstore in Melbourne and the other, at the 37th annual Swancon science fiction and fantasy convention in Perth.
In true spirit, the book was introduced in Melbourne (knife in hand) by local femme fatale and author Kirstyn McDermott, and in Perth by the wonderful Margo Lanagan. Melbourne’s launch was a relaxed affair, where local authors such as Jason Nahrung, Kirstyn McDermott, Chuck McKenzie (owner of Notions Unlimited) and Lezlie Robyn were present to discuss the book and indulge in a glass of wine or three.[Plus Dark Matter and the Minion 😛 not to mention other welcome supporters – editor’s note]
The culmination of Liz’s and my idea (decided in a moment of insanity during last year’s Swancon) was a book filled with laughter, darkness and some truly uncanny moments. Where else will you find stories of moonshine and shoes, giant zombie apes, and trolls who dream of stardom? Damnation and Dames exudes the elements of noir with characters based firmly in the paranormal realm.
Damnation and Dames includes work by some of the strongest names in the Australian speculative fiction scene; Robert Hood, Nicole Murphy, Jay Caselberg, Lisa L Hannett, and Angela Slatter, as well as several rising stars such as Pete Kempshall and Penelope Love.
Damnation and Dames is available now from Amazon, Notions Unlimited Bookstore and Ticonderoga Publications, plus all good four-armed trench coat stores.
Sadly I arrived too late for the formal launch as this was another of those days when I went to two events scheduled to conflict. This is why I don’t have any photos of Kirstyn launching the book – Nalini