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Bleeding Out of 2020

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Well, 2020 was a year, huh? Bushfires. Murder hornets. A pandemic. 100 days in lockdown. The US presidential election. We’re in the home stretch now and… well, looks like Christmas is cancelled in Australia’s biggest city, so I guess it’s not done with us yet. I was sick of hearing about all of this six months ago, so I won’t drone on about it.

Despite all the pain and death and aggravation, 2020 was a pretty good year for me and I have no cause to complain. I was very lucky to be in a position where I was already working from home a couple of days a week. I have worked remotely, on and off, for a dozen years, so it was no hardship at all. Working from home gave me more time to work on my Masters thesis and more time to spend with my son. I listened to a lot of new music, trapped in my office for months on end. I didn’t read nearly enough books–turns out that losing my commuting time also wrecked my reading habits–but I hope to rectify that next year.

It was a very busy year, with school and work taking up a lot of time. I published only one piece this year–a horror short called “Tolerance to Iron” in Midnight Echo #15–but I signed contracts for two other shorts (a reimagined Sherlock Holmes piece and a reimagined Dracula piece), as well as my fourth novel, X-Dimensional Assassin Zai through the Unfolded Earth. The two new shorts should be out next year and the novel in 2022.

2021 was also the year that my pard Jason Fischer and I signed a distribution deal with Novella Distribution, which saw the books in our Argonautica line available in actual bricks-and-mortar stores, which was pretty cool. While our publishing plans are a bit delayed due to 2020 being… what 2020 was… next year we will be rolling out at least one new title: GO TO HELL, the sequel to Fisch’s beloved novel QUIVER. I’ve read it and I promise you ain’t seen a zombie novel like this one before.

Also, my graphic novel Gourmand Go is complete, and I’ll soon have the second issue of my villain anthology, Smiling Damned, ready to roll. Here’s the naked cover art, illustrated by the excellent Cristian Roux. It’s going to be a gorgeous book, containing three Yakuza stories illustrated by Cristian, Henry Pop and Mike Athey, all coloured by Simon Robins, and I think you’ll like it. If you’re a murdering psychopathic gangster.

Smiling Damned #2 cover by Cristian Roux

What’s in store for 2021? Well, I dunno. More writing, more reading, and less school, I’ll hazard. Maybe even a holiday.

Speaking of which, I hope you have a good break and a happy new year. You bloody deserve it.


— Jason Franks

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