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Meerkat Press Signs Steve Simpson’s The Purpose of Reality, a Two Volume Set of Poetry, Short Fiction, and Art.

We are excited to announce that Meerkat Press will be publishing Steve Simpson’s two volume collection THE PURPOSE OF REALITY in 2022: LUNAR, a collection of poetry, and SOLAR, a collection of short stories. Both books will also include Steve’s unique artworks. We were first introduced to Steve’s talent when his story, “Jacinta’s Lovers,” appeared in our first anthology, LOVE HURTS, and we’re so happy to continue the relationship with this acquisition.

The Purpose of Reality (Lunar)

A poetry collection. Here is a selection of the beings within:

The detective, who carelessly morphs into birds and insects, and cannot choose between brooding and moping, until a stylish greyscale client with retrolescent highlights appears.

The Kraken, who takes the opportunity to do some shopping when a container ship is lost at sea.

Proteus, Homo Sapiens Beta, who discovered fire and put it out, who created a rudimentary encyclopedia that he pedaled across Gondwanaland on weekends.

Millie, the intrepid librarian, unperturbed by the Dark Solarian or the fearsome kilowasp, who insists that her underlings pay for bibliotactical losses.

The adorable Deija Thoris, Martian Princess of Glass, whose fans line the streets waving Windex spray. Wollongong will never be the same, because her armies have razed it to the ground. “No-one will miss it,” she reassured an infatuated follower.

The Purpose of Reality (Solar)

A story collection. Here is a selection of the beings within:

Timid sparrow Wilda was mined for the almadoreine in her brain by the friendly Onsarians, aliens who brought so many benefits to São Paulo. “Almadoreine serves no purpose,” the mayor said. But Mekô, the jaguar god, had set her dreams on fire, and now her nails needed trimming, quite often.

At Claire’s school, the walls were cardboard, and her chain-smoking math teacher never allowed numbers to be mentioned. He used a drawing of a press to flatten slices of air into tissue paper for kites, and he was Claire’s favorite, because all the other teachers were ghosts. One day, with a little pasta and a little mambo, everything changed.

The negentropy wars didn’t end the world, there were survivors, and in Santarém, the gringo electrician needed medicine to save his daughter’s life. To get it, he had to cross the Amazon River, where the Negentropy Horizon divided Brazil. The locals believed you could look across the river and see directly into hell. The electrician wasn’t superstitious, but he decided netting was a good idea, to keep the insects off.

Aldona worked in the Damasco Auto scrapyard, and when the electromagnet on the crane burned out and dropped the blue Passat, no-one saw the electric-winged shape that had been trapped by the magnet. After all, there was nothing to be concerned about: the alien space fleet had been driven away by the earth’s nuclear defenses.

Steve Simpson lives in Sydney, and he’s never been able to work out exactly what he does, although he would probably feed the cat if he had one. In 2013, he won a Canadian writing contest, and since then, his poetry and short stories have appeared in various magazines and anthologies. In the visual arts, works created with his image evolution software have been shown at several exhibitions, and he recently developed a unique system for generating art from mental states via EEG (brainwaves). In the sciences, he’s published over 200 research papers, most recently in clinical neurology. Awards include the Peter Doherty Innovation Prize, for WeldPrint™, technology to make vehicles safer.


The Bridge Blog Tour & Giveaway

J.S. Breukelaar’s new novel THE BRIDGE Blog Tour is coming June 21st and we’re starting the giveaway right now! Enter to win a $50 book shopping spree. More to come on the book and the tour.

Meera and her twin sister Kai are Mades—part human and part not—bred in the Blood Temple cult, which only the teenage Meera will survive. Racked with grief and guilt, she lives in hiding with her mysterious rescuer, Narn—part witch and part not—who has lost a sister too, a connection that follows them to Meera’s enrollment years later in a college Redress Program. There she is recruited by Regulars for a starring role in a notorious reading series and is soon the darling of the lit set, finally whole, finally free of the idea that she should have died so Kai could have lived. Maybe Meera can be re-made after all, her life redressed. But the Regulars are not all they seem and there is a price to pay for belonging to something that you don’t understand. Time is closing in on all Meera holds dear—she stands afraid, not just for but of herself, on the bridge between worlds—fearful of what waits on the other side and of the cost of knowing what she truly is. 


a Rafflecopter giveaway


Crystal’s Library – Book Review – 6/21
Jessica Belmont – Book Review – 6/22
Speculative Fiction Showcase – Excerpt – 6/22
Speculative Fiction Showcase – Interview – 6/22
The Qwillery – Excerpt – 6/22
Largehearted Boy – Play List – 6/22
Vol. 1 Brooklyn – Guest Post – 6/22
The Magic of Wor(l)ds – Interview – 6/23
Paul Semel – Interview – 6/23
Sadie’s Spotlight – Interview – 6/24
Motherofzombiedragons – Book Review – 6/24
Tomes and Tales – Interview – 6/25 – Interview – 6/28
Books and Zebras – Book Review – 6/28
The Next Best Book Club – Guest Post – 6/29
Big Indie Books – Guest Post – 6/29
BforBookReview – Interview – 6/30
TKentWrites – Book Review – 7/1
All Things Jill-Elizabeth – Excerpt – 7/2

J.S. Breukelaar is the author of Collision: Stories, a 2019 Shirley Jackson Award finalist, and winner of the 2019 Aurealis and Ditmar Awards. Previous novels include Aletheia and American Monster. Her short fiction has appeared in the Dark Magazine, Tiny Nightmares, Black Static, Gamut, Unnerving, Lightspeed, Lamplight, Juked, in Year’s Best Horror and Fantasy 2019 and elsewhere. She currently lives in Sydney, Australia, where she teaches writing and literature, and is at work on a new collection of short stories and a novella. You can find her at and on Twitter and elsewhere @jsbreukelaar.

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Eugen Bacon

Cover Reveal: Mage of Fools by Eugen Bacon

We are really excited to reveal the cover of Eugen Bacon’s upcoming novel: MAGE OF FOOLS, which will be published in March 2022. An Afrofuturistism tale set in the socialist country of Mafinga—plagued by climate change. Mafinga needs a savior as the socialist state is sick from the ravages of a dictator and his sorcerer. Jasmin’s strength is in books—what she knows might cleanse Mafinga of its deadly pollution. MAGE OF FOOLS is a story about the spirit of humanity, and free will. It’s about hopes and dreams, country, liberty and belonging. A secret story machine tells of fate, love and promise, charted by bold authors and their indelible scripts.


In the dystopian world of Mafinga, Jasmin must contend with a dictator’s sorcerer to cleanse the socialist state of its deadly pollution.

Mafinga’s malevolent king dislikes books and, together with his sorcerer Atari, has collapsed the environment to almost uninhabitable. The sun has killed all the able men, including Jasmin’s husband Godi. But Jasmin has Godi’s secret story machine that tells of a better world, far different from the wastelands of Mafinga. Jasmin’s crime for possessing the machine and its forbidden literature filled with subversive text is punishable by death. Fate grants a cruel reprieve in the service of a childless queen who claims Jasmin’s children as her own. Jasmin is powerless—until she discovers secrets behind the king and his sorcerer.


IT HAPPENED in slow motion. Jasmin ran inside the castle that stood atop a hill. She raced up the winding staircase, hands moving along its mahogany rail shimmering with sheen. The Heidi dress she wore, a flowing thing that plunged down her waist and touched just above her knees, rose and fell with her running. No belt, just front buttons going all the way down. She lit up a flight, up another, up, up. She rose with such thrill, such rush, all the way to the nursery in the northeast tower of the marble-coated monolith. She flung herself into the rotary room—it slowly moved, revolved: a sundial or a snail-paced merry-go-round. It was a tavern with faint music in the background, an odd melody, the hiss of a snake and a soft clash of cymbals. Arched doorways, pillars rimmed with gold. Bracelets of orange-flamed candles at half-mast. Along the walls hung dimly lit paintings inside veils of cloud, each with a version of the Garden of Eden. Eve leaning towards a behemoth serpent. Eve offering a glowing red apple to Adam. Eve and Adam running naked from an ash-haired God—a voluptuous woman full of breasts.

Jasmin caught sight of the children and her heart swelled. Two-year-old Mia in her unicorn pajama set, tiny shorts and a T-shirt. Four-year-old Omar in his all-over flying dragon jammies. They lay on the floor, head to head, as the nursery spun.

“My goatlings.”

Mia puckered up at the sight of Jasmin. Omar’s eyes filled with reproach. Days and days of their mother’s absence. She dropped to her knees, threw her arms wide. The children yanked out of their moment, soared within reach, fell into her breast.

. . . Pause.

Pause for a moment, that wasn’t the beginning of the story. Rewind, back, back down the stairs. Jasmin tearing backwards, down a flight, down another, down, down. Her rush, her thrill ebbing, as she moved away from the nursery, out of the castle with its white walls and white doors, mirrors everywhere. She walked backward along light-splashed lawns and their gardens full of blood-red flowers. She moved, not at a furious pace—just faster than slow. Back, back beyond the Ujamaa monuments of togetherness, sculpted hands of a village holding aloft a naked, black toddler with fat legs and plump cheeks. Back past the courthouse and its long windows, golden drapes in hourglass shapes, bound at the waist by melancholy ribbons. The courthouse splashed with lights from a trail of monster eyes hanging off the ceiling. A dais where the royals sat to give judgement. People went through the entryway peaked with spikes and never walked out.

Rewind all the way to the egg shuttle—it had no wings—where you entered coordinates into the console and the vessel took you for an intergalactic ride. The same shuttle that had seen the Neutral Zone, where you gazed at planets like Peridot and Tourmaline and they blinked brighter than jewelry. The shuttle that once lived in the land of Exomoon that had no shortage of xeriscape plants, its wild blooms, cacti and succulents, its sky of gargantuan rings by day and tiny moons by night. There, citizens changed color in more spectrum than chameleons. Same shuttle that airlifted Jasmin to her execution.

Granite entered Jasmin’s stomach as the vessel glided to height, then bulleted forward. As the starlit night stretched into the horizon, Jasmin was a prisoner in a silent egg in the sky. She looked down and saw the people of Ujamaa Village in a gather. They gazed up at the egg flickering with incandescent lights as it climbed higher into the skyline with its cargo. Jasmin wondered if, on the face of it, despite the crowd’s helplessness, some carried questions about what died, what lived, and the power of a crowd. She wondered if, one day, a turning point would swing without warning in Mafinga. And when that happened, if the same mob that stood with limp hands and gazed with bleak eyes at dusk and the egg soaring up the sky towards its scatter of stars, would reach the edge of its stupor, finally tremble and come to life in a murmur that lit up to a roar.

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Ariadne, I Love You

Cover Reveal: Ariadne, I Love You by J. Ashley-Smith

We are seriously stoked to unveil the cover of J. Ashley-Smith’s upcoming ARIADNE, I LOVE YOU novella! Once again J. knows just how to reach in and leave scratches on a reader’s heart in this haunting and poignant tale. So enjoy the cover for now, and sign up for our newsletter to keep up with news of its release.



J. Ashley-Smith

Jude is dragged out of Alt Country obscurity, out of the dismal loop of booze and sadness baths and the boundless, insatiable loneliness, to scrub up and fly to Australia for a last, desperate comeback tour. Hardly worth getting out of bed for—and he wouldn’t, if it weren’t for Coreen.

But Coreen is dead. And, worse than that, she’s married. Jude’s swan-song tour becomes instead a terminal descent, into the sordid past, into the meaning hidden in forgotten songs, into Coreen’s madness diary, there to waken something far worse than her ghost.

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