I’ve been loading all my out of print/out of copyright fiction onto Amazon – it’s become a pretty fun little project. If you have time, do drop me a review on Amazon and let people know what you think of the stories.
The latest collection to go up is THE ONE CALLED ZEEM. The collection contains all five Zeem stories. Three of them are pretty good, and one of them is fucking brillaint. One of them is kinda balls, though. Here’s the blurb:
“The witch is in the health-food aisle. If I stand on my tiptoes I can see her from my register, tossing a jar of organic pasta sauce from one hand to the other. She’s frowning at herself in one of the mirrors tucked above the vegetable shelves—practising her evil eye, I guess, or working on a hex. The other Tesco’s customers are giving her a wide berth, correctly assuming that a woman with a platinum blonde crew-cut and a leering devil tattoo on her shoulder is not one to be messed with.”
Zeem is a fairy. Not the kind with sparkling wings and magical dust, the Arabian kind that works at Tesco and keeps a large supply of perfumes, air fresheners and detergents on hand at all times. Because they’re delicious. Zeem was a soldier a very, very long time ago, but now he lives in a London tenement with a local DJ, an Irish thug with a heart of gold, a collection of immigrants and various small-time criminals. It’s a good life, even if sometimes he has to help sort of an invading demon, discuss politics with a homosexual vampire or remove a wayward spirit from outside the window on the third floor.
The One Called Zeem collects five previously published Zeem stories, following Zeem on his adventures through the streets of a myth-soaked modern England. The Perfume Eater (first published in Strange Horizons, 2007) pits Zeem and his neighbours against an enemy from the past and was short-listed for an Aurealis Award for Best Fantasy Short Story. In A Hat Full of Leaves (first published in Aurealis, 2009) Zeem is forced to seek help from a tattoo-loving witch when an overgrown homeless man causes trouble. The Flying Woman (first published in Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine, 2008) sees Zeem’s best friend and sometimes-lawbreaker Johnny Flannery attempt to quell the screams of something ancient and powerful. Johnny and Babushka (first published in Electric Spec, 2010) was reprinted as part of Year’s Best Australian Fantasy and Horror in 2011 and puts a very Zeem twist on a Christmas-style myth. Finally, What Would Luminael Do (first published in Reflection’s Edge, 2008) forces Zeem to navigate a tricky social and political situation as a local vampire is persecuted for his lifestyle choices.
Zeem is pretty normal for a thousand year old Persian fairy, he just manages to get involved in some abnormal situations. He’d rather be sitting at home watching TV and chugging a bottle of bleach. But that’s what you get for being nice.