New Release: Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies

IFWG is very excited to announce the release of its second of three new anthologies this year, Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies, edited by Deborah Sheldon. This is a particularly unique anthology for us, as it is the very first that is sourced from a fiction callout, with the exception of four commissioned pieces.

Some of our commissioned authors include Jack Dann, Kaaron Warren and Sean Williams, and we certainly attracted amazing additional talent from the Australian shores: Geraldine Borella, Renee De Visser, Jason Fischer, Tracie McBride, Rebecca Fraser, Gary Kemble, David Kuraria, Paul Mannering,  JM Merryt, Samantha Murray, Robyn O’Sullivan, Kat Pekin, Antoinette Rydyr, Charles Spiteri, HK Stubbs, Matt Tighe, Mark Towse, Ash Tudor, and Janeen Webb.

“This anthology is the culmination of a great deal of work,” said Gerry Huntman, Managing Director of IFWG,” and Deb Sheldon has done an amazing job. It was her idea and we gladly played along – we were particularly attracted to the concept of an Australian Body Horror anthology, and yet elevated with a good dose of literary horror. Is this work disturbing? Definitely. But it is also amazingly thought-provoking.”

Kudos should also be given to Keely Van Order who was challenged to provide the artwork and design of our cover. All of us in IFWG certainly believe she nailed the brief.


A selection of the darkest Australian fiction.


Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies taps into anxieties, painful memories and nightmares. Here, your worst fears come true.


Penned by established authors and fresh new voices, these stories range from the gothic and phantasmagorical, through the demonic and supernatural, to the dystopian and sci-fi.


Prepare for a visceral, frightening read.


Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies is now available for purchase world-wide, through bricks and mortar stores and online, in print and ebook formats.

New Release: Cthulhu Deep Down Under Volume 3

IFWG is proud to announce the release of the third and final volume in its Cthulhu Deep Down Under series, edited by Steve Proposch, Christopher Sequeira and Bryce Stevens. We say ‘final volume’ but we aren’t necessarily holding to it: what we can say is that the series was conceptualised for three volumes, and we have delivered.

The publication of these three volumes was ambitious: we wanted to have as many of the talented Australian horror and weird fiction authors possible to contribute to Antipodean Lovecraftian fiction, and we believe we succeeded. We even had a small detour a few years ago publishing Cthulhu: Land of the Long White Cloud and gathered a fine selection of New Zealand authors. This was a four-year journey (with a COVID-hiatus of one year thrown in), and it has been a great ride.

“Two things stand out in this final volume,” said Gerry Huntman, Managing Director of IFWG. “Firstly, the title only has one reprint, so a lot of original content is contained between its covers. Secondly, along with a great introduction by Cat Rambo, we have a series closure essay by Jack Dann that deserves to be featured in itself. Bravo to all contributors!”

Finally, special mention should also be given to Steve Santiago, the cover designer for all three volumes and the New Zealand addition. For the three volumes we challenged him to present iconic Australian settings, and it ended up a great success: Sydney Harbour Bridge, the Australian outback, and in this final volume, the Daintree Rainforest.


In the story that first established the monstrous cosmic terrors of his Mythos writer H. P. Lovecraft said “We live on a placid island of ignorance in the midst of black seas of infinity…” 

Which makes it all the more fitting that the adepts of Lovecraft’s vision writing today would choose to unveil ever-evolving and terrible fears besetting those that live on the largest island on the planet, and force the protagonists of some startling new horror fiction tales in this book to face, indeed, not placidity, but their own black seas of infinity…and madness.

Again, some of the greatest scribes of the weird and startling from the land down under bring you brand new stories in the Lovecraftian genre, taking you from the realms of contemporary Australian cities, to the blood-soaked, post-colonial past (touching the powerful original cultures of the land), and even hinting at the disturbing future of Terra Australis.

You will fear a sunburnt country.

Tales of terror by Alan Baxter, David Conyers, Julie Ditrich, Jason Fischer, Steve Kilbey, Steven Paulsen, Steve Proposch, Alf Simpson, Cat Sparks, Maurice Xanthos. Introduction by Cat Rambo and Afterword by Jack Dann.


Cthulhu Deep Down Under Volume 3 is now available in Australia, UK, Europe, and New Zealand in all good bookstores, bricks and mortar as well as online, print and ebook formats. It will be released in North America 30 June 2021.

Excellent Reviews of Jack Dann’s Shadows in the Stone

In the latest edition of Asimov’s Science Fiction, a wonderful review has been posted for Jack Dann’s Shadows in The Stone, a powerful alt-history fantasy published back in November 2019.

It reminds us that COVID-19 has had a serious effect on the publishing industry and our products published late in 2019 and early in 2020, have not had the opportunity to be marketed as well as we wanted. And yet, we appreciate quality magazines and ezines continuing to review our work, even if some time has passed – we thank them.

To remind readers of the awesomeness of Jack Dann’s latest novel, we would like to pick three particularly notable reviews:

Asimov’s Science Fiction, reviewed by Peter Heck (current issue)
Much is said, and all glowing, but his closing paragraph is notable:
“Dann has always been willing to color outside the accepted lines of genre fiction, while drawing on a stunning range of source material to ground his visions. If you’re in the market for something completely different—in the best possible way—Shadows in the Stone fills the bill.”

Galaxy’s Edge, reviewed by Richard Chwedyk (Jan 2020)
Again, a glowing review, including:
“At heart, I believe, Dann is a science fiction writer, which is why his alternate worlds of magic and wonder are so unquestionably vivid. He scrutinizes angels and demons as if they were aliens from a newly-discovered world. He creates his own physics to allow for magic, and follows its rules fastidiously. And, like many a good science fiction writer, he measures the consequences of great power practiced by we ever-fallible humans. It’s what we do.

And Jack Dann does it brilliantly.

Into the bargain, we get a phantasmagorically brilliant cover by ever-reliable Bob Eggleton.

Now that’s class.”

Locus, reviewed by Paul Di Filippo (Dec 2019)

“With flavors of the work of Gene Wolfe and John Crowley, James Morrow and K.J. Parker, Dann’s new book is guaranteed to take the reader on a whirlwind journey of danger and enlightenment behind the cardboard reality we mistake for the universe’s true substance.”

We want to remind readers of these reviews and what Jack Dann’s masterpiece can offer to them. Next year, with an expectation that industry sales figures will improve, IFWG will be taking steps to roadshow its many new titles that were meant to be published in 2020, as well as ensuring that those that were caught on the cusp – such as Shadows in the Stone – are given an opportunity to be properly showcased. Stay tuned.

Taking Submissions – Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies

final front cover spawn_TEMP

THE SUBMISSION PERIOD IS NOW CLOSED

Deadline: 31 August 2020
Payment: 6c per word for original stories, 2c per word for reprints (Australian currency)
Publisher: IFWG Publishing Australia (co-published in North America through the IFWG Publishing International imprint)
Note: Open to Australian writers only (citizens, residents and ex-pats)

To be edited by award-winning author Deborah Sheldon, Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies will comprise stories from Australian writers obtained via commission and open callout. The commissioned writers are the multi-award-winning and bestselling authors Jack Dann, Kaaron Warren and Sean Williams.

On-spec submissions are welcome from Australian writers of every persuasion including non-parents. Ideally, stories should be between 1500 and 5000 words, give or take. (Stories significantly longer than 5000 words would have to be outstanding.) Reprints will be considered, but must not be available for free anywhere online—the anthology will have only a small number of reprints, regardless. Artwork by commissioned Australian artists will complement selected stories.

The anthology will be a visceral, frightening read. Each story must nominally tick the box of “body horror” but there is no restriction on subgenre: anything from sci-fi to fantasy to gothic to supernatural to psychological and beyond will be given equal consideration. Feel free to play with the theme and not take it too literally. Ideally, your story should make the reader feel uncomfortably aware of their physicality, morbidity or mortality.

While graphic violence and swearing are acceptable, submissions must have a literary bent. Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies aims to deliver an elegant—and elevated—anthology of body horror.

What to avoid:

  • Gratuitous gore used purely for shock value.
  • Familiar tropes, such as Rosemary’s Baby, The Handmaid’s Tale, the face-hugger/chest-burster from the Alien film franchise, Martians kidnapping and impregnating female Earthlings, and so on.
  • The submission of first drafts, often indicated by spelling and grammatical errors.

Required rights:

  • First worldwide electronic and print rights in the English language, exclusive for one year, and non-exclusive rights thereafter.
  • For reprints, non-exclusive rights apply.
  • If the story is subsequently reprinted, please credit Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies (IFWG Publishing Australia) as the original publisher.

How to submit:

  • Your story must be in a Word document, double-spaced, Times New Roman in 12pt.
  • Your name, contact details and word count should be on the first page above the title.
  • Use double-quotation marks, single space after full stops, first-line indents, page numbers, and Australian-English spelling. No tabs and no double-returns between paragraphs.
  • Send to Deborah Sheldon at spawnsubmissions@gmail.com with the story title and your name as the Subject heading.
  • In the body of your email, provide an author bio of about 100 words (give or take), and include your Australian citizen/resident/ex-pat status.
  • If your story is a reprint, provide the full details of its first publication in the body of your email, with links if possible.
  • You can submit more than one story. Submit each story in a separate email.
  • Stories that require anything more than line editing or adjustments for house style will be rejected. Please submit only polished work of a high standard.
  • No simultaneous submissions, which means do not submit your story to another market at the same time.
  • Give yourself the best possible chance—please do not ignore these guidelines.

Response issues:

  • All acceptance and rejection emails will be sent by 31 October 2020.
  • No feedback will be offered for rejected stories. Please don’t ask.
  • Do not resubmit a rejected story, even if you have made substantial changes.
  • Accepted writers will receive payment via PayPal or bank transfer within 30 days of publication.
  • Accepted writers will also receive an ebook and one complimentary paperback.

Important note about the publication date

Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies was originally slated for release in February 2021. In response to the economic turndown caused by the coronavirus pandemic, IFWG Publishing Australia has decided to delay release of every upcoming new title. Therefore, Spawn: Weird Horror Tales About Pregnancy, Birth and Babies will be released later in 2021, with a strong likelihood of a mid-year publishing date.

Crowd-funding for a hardback edition, which would include illustrations for each story, is also being considered.

IFWG Publishing Australia will provide further updates on the anthology’s publication schedule in due course.

EDITED 25 Sept 2020.

Title Video: Shadows in the Stone

IFWG is very pleased with the response to Jack Dann’s latest novel, Shadows in the Stone, and to celebrated this, we have a wonderful promo video here for your viewing pleasure.

Shadows in the Stone is available world-wide from every quality book store, online and bricks and mortar.

New Release: Shadows in the Stone by Jack Dann

SHADOWS IN THE STONE - FRONT COVER

IFWG is over the moon with the release of Jack Dann’s dark fantasy/alt-history novel, Shadows in the Stone. For those in the know, it could be seen as a sequel to Dann’s award-winning novel, The Memory Cathedral. “This is a work of art,” said Gerry Huntman, Managing Director of IFWG, “and while I seldom edit for my company, I couldn’t resist. I had to read the book three times to edit as I was too distracted by the eloquence, research, and deep understanding of history and religion. This is a novel we absolutely had to publish.”

Shadows in the Stone: A Book of Transformations is now published world-wide, in hardback and trade paperback print forms, and also available worldwide in multiple ebook formats. The cover art is by the wonderful artist, and multi-award winner, Bob Eggleton, and the design is by Marianne Plumridge. The internal pages of the title include numerous reproductions of The Paradise Lost of Milton, with illustrations designed and engraved by John Martin, 1827.

Kim Stanley Robinson says: “Shadows in the Stone joins Dann’s The Memory Cathedral, The Rebel, and Promised Land, as one of his deep plunges into historical characters we thought we knew, but whose true natures have never before been seen so clearly and dramatically. It’s an amazing gift Jack has.”

Chelsea Quinn Yarbro says: “Jack Dann has gone beyond alternate world to alternate universe in this stun­ning take on the Renaissance. His language is eloquent, his characters wholly engaging—this is a book to lose yourself in. You’ll be the richer for it.”

The author of The Age #1 bestselling novel The Memory Cathedral returns to Renaissance Italy with a transcendent vision of the ultimate battle between good and evil.

In Shadows in the Stone Jack Dann creates a fully-realized, living, breathing universe, a universe where the Vatican is in Venice, Jehovah is really a lesser god known as the Demiurge, and the magus John Dee’s experiments with angels are true and repeatable. Here you’ll discover a nun who has the expertise and agility of a Ninja warrior, the reincarnated snake goddess known as the Daughter of Light, the famed Florentine magician Pico Della Mirandola, a young magus who is part stone, the Knights Templar of the Crimson Cross, the sapphire tablet: the most secret of the Dead Sea scrolls, and a 15th Century dirigible kept aloft by imprisoned souls. Here you’ll find wild adventure and Machiavellian subtlety, treason and heroism, love and carnality, joy and loss, magic, machines, the cosmic machinations of angels, demons, gods, and half-gods; and the absolutely breathtaking vistas that are their battle grounds.

New York Times bestselling author Kim Stanley Robinson has compared Shadows in the Stone with Susanna Clarke’s Jonathan Strange and Mr. Norrell, calling it “such a complete world that Italian history no longer seems comprehensible without [Dann’s] cosmic battle of spiritual entities behind and within every historical actor and event.”

Join Jack Dann’s protagonists—Louisa Morgan and Lucian Ben-Hananiah—and the fellowship of The Dark Companions in their apocalyptic battle against the Demiurge—described in the forbidden Gnostic texts as the demon god Yaldabaoth… and known to us as Jehovah.