Meerkat Press is delighted to announce we’ll be publishing CALVARIA FELL by Cat Sparks and Kaaron Warren in early 2024. The collection will include previously published stories from both authors, including a new novella from Kaaron, a new novelette and three new stories from Cat.
We developed the idea for a collaborative collection when talking about the direction some of our stories are heading in. Kaaron read Cat’s Some Kind of Indescribable and Cat read Kaaron’s The Emporium, and we realized they inhabited a similar world, one of global choices and local consequences.
We wanted a name that tethered these stories in one place, and Calvaria Fell is where we landed.
Calvaria is the top part of the skull, comprising five plates that fuse together in the first few years of life. Story collections work like this; disparate parts melding together to make a robust and sturdy whole.
The calvaria tree is also known as the dodo tree, famous because it adapted to being eaten by the dodo; the seeds need to pass through the bird’s digestive tract in order to germinate. When the dodo became extinct, the tree almost did as well. Fortunately, biologists discovered the process also works through the digestive tracts of turkeys. This symbolizes what we are envisioning in this collection; a time in the future, in a world something like ours, when environmental challenges dictate the way we live. It isn’t a didactic series, more a look at what might be. Some stories will touch lightly on this, but all will have that sense of a shared world.-Cat Sparks & Kaaron Warren
Cat Sparks is a multi-award-winning Australian author, editor and artist. Former fiction editor of Cosmos Magazine, she also dabbled as a kitchen hand, video store manager, assistant library technician, media monitor, political and archaeological photographer, graphic designer, guest lecturer, festival director, panelist, fiction judge, essayist, creative writing teacher and manager of Agog! Press, which produced ten anthologies of new speculative fiction. In 2012 an Australia Council grant enabled her to study with Margaret Atwood in Key West, Florida. In 2017 she co-edited Ecopunk! speculative tales of radical futures with Liz Grzyb.
Cat has a BA in visual arts (CAI), a postgraduate certificate in editing and publishing (UTS) and a PhD in creative writing (Curtin), the latter concerning the intersection of ecocatastrophe science fiction and contemporary climate fiction.
Cat’s debut novel, Lotus Blue (Skyhorse, 2017) was shortlisted for the Compton Crook, Aurealis and Ditmar Awards. Her collections, The Bride Price (Ticonderoga, 2013) and Dark Harvest (Newcon, 2020) were nominated for Aurealis Awards and won Ditmars for Best Collected Work in their respective years.
Eighty of her short stories have been published since the turn of the millennium and her 25 awards for writing, editing and art include winning the Peter McNamara Conveners’ Award twice.
Cat is an environmental activist and keen traveler currently obsessed with photographing adorable birds and grungy walls.
Shirley Jackson award-winner Kaaron Warren published her first short story in 1993 and has had fiction in print every year since. She was recently given the Peter McNamara Lifetime Achievement Award and was Guest of Honor at World Fantasy 2018, Stokercon 2019 and Geysercon 2019. She has also been Guest of Honor at Conflux in Canberra and Genrecon in Brisbane.
She has published five multi-award winning novels (Slights, Walking the Tree, Mistification, The Grief Hole and Tide of Stone) and seven short story collections, including the multi-award winning Through Splintered Walls. Her most recent short story collection is A Primer to Kaaron Warren from Dark Moon Books. Her most recent novella, Into Bones Like Oil (Meerkat Press), was shortlisted for a Shirley Jackson Award and the Bram Stoker Award, winning the Aurealis Award. Her stories have appeared in both Ellen Datlow’s and Paula Guran’s Year’s Best anthologies.
Kaaron has been reading SF since she plucked the Nebula Award anthologies off her father’s bookshelf at around ten. She loves the possibilities Science Fiction presents, as a writer and as a reader. “Air, Water and the Grove,” in this collection, won the Aurealis Award for SF, while both “Witnessing” and “68 Days” were shortlisted. Her most recent books include the re-release of her acclaimed novel, Slights, (IFWG Australia) Tool Tales, a chapbook in collaboration with Ellen Datlow (also IFWG), and Capturing Ghosts, a writing advice chapbook from Brain Jar Press.