From the Wasteland is a 2022 project inspired by the TS Eliot poem The Waste Land (1922). Meet the writers creating speculative fiction short stories to celebrate the poem’s centenary.
Expect horror, fantasy, sci-fi, dystopia, queer romance, ghostly apparitions and even a smidge of hopepunk in this collection. Check back later for more news on this exciting project.
Meet the team
Story in progress inspired by: The Nymphs Have Departed (Part III, Line 175 of The Waste Land)
Austin Sheehan is an Australian writer of speculative fiction, a lover of language, literature and ’90s TV. Armed with a psychology degree, he went out into the world to study humanity, and now prefers the company of his wife and their greyhounds.
Austin grew up in Victoria’s high country, and despite living in Melbourne for the past decade, feels more at home amongst the mountains. You’ll often find mountains in his stories, whether sci-fi, fantasy or alternative history.
Aveline Perez de Vera
Story in progress inspired by: Fear in a Handful of Dust (Part I, Line 30)
Starting her career as a Linguist and currently working in Data Analysis (they use the same skills, honestly), Aveline never veers far from her love of patterns and words, especially exploring these across time and place. It’s no surprise that her writing focuses on speculative fiction with a particular emphasis on history and location. Her greatest desire is to be able to time travel. Until then, writing is the next best thing.
An avid voyager to more than 70 countries, during rolling lockdowns Aveline spends her travel money on illustrated collectable books (there’s nothing like reading in style!), and her extra time creating more speculative fiction. Her first published stories appeared in the ASF (Aussie Speculative Fiction) Zodiac anthologies Leo and Sagittarius.
After many years in the most liveable city of Melbourne, Aveline is now based in the never-tiring city of London, where she lives in an open relationship with her books.
Story in progress inspiration: These Fragments I Have Shored Against My Ruins (Part V, Line 430)
While working as a Remote Area Nurse, Ben fell into a writing career when a medical drama needed a consultant with broad experience on their storylining team. His writing CV now spans 20+ years and includes credits for Shortland Street, Neighbours, various childrens’ series, and awards, here and in the US, for a short film True Love, by Ignition Films.
Ben’s manuscripts are as diverse as the situations he’s found himself in and the characters he’s met. He’s now working on a Young Adult Trilogy set around the Pacific during the Second World War. The first book was shortlisted in the Emerging Writer category of the Queensland Literary Awards 2017.
Ben lives in a remote mountain valley in Tasmania with his wife, a large number of marsupials, some of which are carnivorous, and two very carnivorous rescue dogs.
Story in progress inspiration: Where The Dead Men Lost Their Bones (Part II, Line 116)
Cat Sparks is a multi-award-winning Australian author, editor and artist. Fiction editor of Cosmos Magazine from 2010-2016, she’s also been employed as a media monitor, political and archaeological photographer, and graphic designer. Cat was the manager of Agog! Press, which produced ten anthologies of new speculative fiction from 2002-2008.
Cat was born in Sydney and has travelled through Europe, the Near East, Indonesia, the South Pacific, The Greek islands, Mexico, North America and China. Her adventures so far have included winning a trip to Paris in a Bulletin Magazine photography competition, being appointed official photographer for two NSW Premiers and working as dig photographer on three archaeological expeditions to Jordan.
Story in progress inspiration: Winter Kept Us Warm (Part I, Line 5)
Clare Rhoden started writing stories as a young child and never really stopped. The author of four novels and many short stories, Clare lives in Bunurong country in the SE suburbs of Melbourne with her husband and a highly intelligent poodle-cross called Aeryn. She is a regular reviewer of speculative fiction for Aurealis magazine and writes features about historical novels for HNS Online.
Clare’s thought-provoking stories and accessible characters inspire hope and optimism through challenging times. Her novels range from the dystopian world of The Chronicles of the Pale trilogy, to her WWI novel The Stars in the Night, which is based on her PhD studies into the literature of the First World War. Her short stories range from sweet to devastating, happy-ever-after to the end of everything, and usually include a canine character.
Story in progress inspiration: Fiddled Whisper Music (Part V, Line 378)
EUGEN M. BACON is African Australian—her work has won, been shortlisted, longlisted or commended in national and international awards, including the Foreword Book of the Year, Bridport Prize, Copyright Agency Prize, Horror Writers Association Diversity Grant, Australian Shadows, Ditmar and Nommo Awards. Bacon’s creative work has appeared in Award Winning Australian Writing, Fantasy, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Bloomsbury and Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction.
Bacon’s creative work has appeared in literary and speculative fiction publications worldwide, including Award Winning Australian Writing, BSFA, Fantasy Magazine, Fantasy & Science Fiction, Bloomsbury and The Year’s Best African Speculative Fiction. New releases: Danged Black Thing (collection), Saving Shadows (illustrated collection), Mage of Fools (novel).
Story in progress inspiration: What are the Roots that Clutch, What Branches Grow? (Part I, Line 19)
Francesca Bussey is a musician and writer living on Wurundgeri country in regional Victoria, Australia.
Fran spent her youth playing in rock-and-roll bands and continues to squander her life with such pursuits. She’s also an academic and spends a lot of time tutting about the trajectory of higher education.
The pandemic has provided focus and now Fran is returning to her first love – writing fiction and poetry. Fran’s poems are being published in Beyond Alienation, Hatred and Terror: Compatriots with Love and Living-Kind.
Her story ‘What are the Roots that Clutch, What Branches Grow?’, written specifically for the From the Wasteland project, will be her first fiction publication.
Story in progress inspiration: Pressing Lidless Eyes and Waiting For A Knock Upon the Door (Part II, Line 138)
Geneve Flynn is an award-winning fiction editor and author.
She co-edited Black Cranes: Tales of Unquiet Women with Lee Murray. The anthology won the 2020 Bram Stoker and Shirley Jackson awards and shortlisted for the British Fantasy, Aurealis, and Australian Shadows awards.
Geneve’s short stories have been published in various markets, including Flame Tree Publishing, Things in the Well, and PseudoPod. Her story “They Call Me Mother” will appear in the Classic Monsters Unleashed anthology brought out by Crystal Lake Publishing and Black Spot Books. Her poetry appears in Tortured Willows: Bent, Bowed, Unbroken.
Geneve loves tales that unsettle, all things writerly, and B-grade action movies.
Story in progress inspiration: Death by Water (Title Part IV)
Grace Chan is a speculative fiction writer and doctor. Her writing explores brains, minds, space, technology and identity. Her debut novel, Every Version of You, will be published in September 2022 by Affirm Press.
Grace’s short fiction can be found in or is forthcoming from Clarkesworld, Lightspeed, Fireside Fiction and other places. She has been shortlisted for the Aurealis and Norma K Hemming Awards.
Story in progress inspiration: Rats’ Alley (Part II, Line 115)
Jeff Clulow is a reformed advertising writer who now uses his powers for good. His stories have been published by Raven & Drake in the UK, Black Ink Fiction in the US, Shooting Star Press in Australia and Midnight Echo, the magazine of the Australasian Horror Writers Association.
Jeff has been awarded an ‘Honourable Mention’ in the Robert N. Stephenson competition for short fiction in horror. His writing is inspired by folktale, mythology, and the notion that the old gods still walk among us. Jeff lives and writes in Sydney.
Laura E Goodin
Story in progress inspiration: Sweet Thames, Run Softly (Part III, Line 176)
Laura E. Goodin has been writing professionally for nearly 40 years. She attended the 2007 Clarion South workshop, and holds a PhD in creative writing from the University of Western Australia. Her novels After the Bloodwood Staff and Mud and Glass are available from Odyssey Books. Her stories have appeared in numerous print and online publications; her plays and libretti have been performed on three continents; and her poetry has been performed internationally, both as spoken word and as texts for new musical compositions. Laura serves as one of the editors-in-chief for Fafnir – The Nordic Journal of Science Fiction and Fantasy Research, and as an editorial advisor of the journal Science Fiction: A Review of Speculative Literature.
Story in progress inspiration: Who is the Third Who Walks Always Beside You? (Part V, Line 359)
Leanbh Pearson lives on Ngunnawal Country in Canberra, Australia. An LGBTQI dark fiction author inspired by folklore, archaeology and the environment, Leanbh’s fiction features in numerous anthologies. She has judged the Australian Shadows Awards and Aurealis Awards, is a recipient of an AHWA mentorship and a convention panellist.
When not writing, she enjoys exploring the Australian wilderness accompanied by her dog (the canine assistant). Leanbh’s alter-ego is an academic in archaeology, evolution and prehistory. Forthcoming 2022 publications include several novellas and novelettes.
Story in progress inspiration: There is Shadow Under This Red Rock (Part I, Line 26)
Louise Zedda-Sampson is a Melbourne-based writer, researcher and award-nominated editor. She writes nonfiction, and speculative and literary short fiction. Her writing has appeared in peer-reviewed journals, online and in magazines and anthologies. Louise’s debut book Bowl the Maidens Over was released in 2021.
Story in progress inspiration: We who were living are now dying (Part V, Line 329)
Nikky Lee is an award-winning author who grew up as a barefoot 90s kid in Perth, Western Australia on Whadjuk Noongar Country. She now lives in Aotearoa New Zealand with a husband, a dog and a couch potato cat. In her free time she writes speculative fiction, often burning the candle at both ends to explore fantastic worlds, mine asteroids and meet wizards. She’s had over two dozen stories published in magazines, anthologies and on radio. Nikki’s debut novel, The Rarkyn’s Familiar—an epic tale of a girl bonded to a monster—will be published by Parliament House Press in 2022.
Story in progress inspiration: A Wicked Pack of Cards (Part I, Line 46)
Rebecca Dale is a horror and contemporary fantasy writer from Sydney, Australia. Her works explore the crossroads between dreams, nightmares, trauma and the real world.
Rebecca grew up on the urban fringe and remains totally fixated on the gothic landscapes of inner and outer Sydney.
Rebecca studied ancient history, archaeology, linguistics and librarianship at university, and spent her twenties drinking too much coffee, working at public libraries, and hanging out at graveyards.
She lives in Sydney with an easily irked rabbit.
Story in progress inspiration: Then Spoke the Thunder (Part V, Line 399)
Rebecca Fraser is an award-winning Melbourne-based author, with a solid career of writing with influence across a variety of mediums. Rebecca’s genre-mashing fiction for children and adults has won, been shortlisted for, and honourably mentioned for numerous awards and prizes. To date, her publications include a middle grade novel, a short story collection, and over sixty short stories, poems, and articles in numerous Australian and international anthologies, journals, and magazines.
Story in progress inspiration: Dry Bones Can Harm No One (Part Line 390)
Story in progress inspiration: Exhausted Wells (Part V, Line 384)
Tee Linden is a writer based south of Sydney. Her work was longlisted for the 2019 Richell Prize and her short fiction has appeared in anthologies from Margaret River Press, Deadset Press and various literary magazines.
Story in progress inspiration: The City Over the Mountains (Part V, Line 371)
Timothy Law is a writer of fantasy, horror, detective and general fiction from a little town in Southern Australia called Murray Bridge. A happily married father of three children, family is very important to him. Many of his short stories and general musings can be found on his blog http://somecallmetimmy.blogspot.com.au/ or on the Parenting Express website http://www.parentingexpress.com/Stories/Memoirs/0171.htm
Since 2018 Timothy’s writing has been featured in anthologies published by SweetyCat Press and Black Ink Fiction amongst others. He regularly has stories included in The World of Myth Magazine and on Spillwords. In June of 2021 he was selected as Spillwords author of the month.