Category Archives: Aiki Flinthart

A Tribute to Aiki Flinthart

Looking for a Christmas gift for the reader in your family? ‘Tribute’ is an anthology inspired by the brilliant, late Aiki Flinthart, and edited by the incredible Jan Henderson. It will be available from the 15th of October, but it’s available for preorder from Amazon AU, Booktopia, and Angus & Robertson Online. I have a story in this book, but I am the least among the other contributers to this anthology.

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Filed under Aiki Flinthart, Anthology, Springfield Writers Group

Feeling Sad

One of the best people I know passed away on the last day of January.

Aiki Flinthart was on the cusp of becoming truly famous. She was going to run her ‘Fight Like A Girl’ workshop at WorldCon – and people might think that the Covid lockdown had postponed that until WorldCon could be safely run again. However, Aiki found out well before WorldCon2020 that she was living on a shortened schedule. In January 2020, she discovered she had tumours in her brain, her lungs, and liver, and she was dying.

Aiki – being Aiki – didn’t let this slow down her plans, just alter them. She managed to put together an AMAZING anthology, with people like Neil Gaiman and Robert Silverberg. Seriously, go buy Relics, Wrecks, and Ruins. Aiki was an editor’s editor. She kept coming to meetings of our writing group, inspiring us all to keep writing NO MATTER WHAT. She managed to get an Aiki Flinthart residency up and running at the Queensland Writers Centre. She kept writing the whole thirteen months she lived after the cancer diagnosis.

She was worried the brain tumours would strip her of her intellect. That didn’t happen. She was still signing books and making plans right up until the last week in January, when the cancer was steamrolling its way through her body. I could never be so brave!

On a personal level, we had some phone calls that made us both weep. And laugh. And swear. She gave me a crown to remind me that I am a queen of writing. We got together for coffee and gossips, and can’t I tell you how much I appreciate her sharing some of her precious time with me.

Other people have written eulogies that surpass anything I could say about Aiki. She was a fighter, physically, she lived twice as long as first advised, but being a fighter was also a part of her personality. I don’t mean she was a grump that picked arguments; she fought to be a better writer, a better friend, a supporter of the writing community, a better wife and mother, and she shone like a bright, brave blade in a drawer of plastic knives.

I was very lucky to have known her, and even luckier to have her as a friend. I would wish that on all of you, to have a friend as wonderful as Aiki Flinthart, but there will never be another Aiki.

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Filed under Aiki Flinthart, Personal experience

What Books Should You be Buying? part 1

Image result for Blackbirds sing

Where to find ‘Blackbirds Sing’.

What books should you be purchasing with your hard-earned cash? Well, come closer, beloved reader, and I will give you some excellent recommendations. This is the first of three posts about recommended readings. You can give them as gifts, buy them for your summer holiday reading, or just as a treat.

Blackbirds Sing, by Aiki Flinthart, is going to be considered a classic in future years. It is a series of interlocked tales, embroidering a story arch into a rich tapestry. It is set in an alternative past. Flinthart has quite a few successful novels under her belt, but this is a new venture for her. There is still plenty of action, but the intricate interweaving – of the characters and settings – is rich, deep, and wonderful. The illustrations by Caitlyn McPherson are glorious.

Pamela Jeff’s Five Dragons is an anthology of dragon stories, including a Steampunk dragon tale. Yes… she had me at Steampunk dragon. If I say anything else, you will just think I’m gushing.


Five Dragons: A Dragons of Eridan Collection by [Jeffs, Pamela]

Where to find ‘Five Dragons’

Gillian Polack is one of the best writers in Australia (and the world), using her academic background to strengthen her narratives, making them compelling reading. I can recommend all her books, but I have a particular fondness for The Wizardry of Jewish Women, with its haunted lemon tree. The Year of the Fruitcake is her latest book. I think. I haven’t read her books in order of publication, because you don’t need too. They stand on their own merit.

The Year Of The Fruit Cake Front Cover With Text

Where to find ‘The Year of the Fruit Cake’


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Filed under Aiki Flinthart, Australian Author, Australian Steampunk Author, Book Review, Books & reading, Caitlyn McPherson, Gillian Polack, Pamela Jeffs, Recommended Reading, Steampunk