Liz Argall, one of our Machine of Death Vol 2 writers, was asked to do a reading at FOGcon later this month and has chosen to read from the story she wrote for us. That means that those of you lucky enough to attend the reading will get to hear part of a truly amazing story from Vol 2.

When and Where: FOGcon will take place March 30 – April 1 at the Walnut Creek Marriott in Walnut Creek, California. As you might guess from the name, FOGcon is held in the San Francisco/Oakland area. So if you’re nearby, think about stopping by to hear Liz read! The reading itself will be at 8pm on Friday, March 30, in the Santa Rosa Room. The same reading will also feature Vylar Kaftan and Christine Yant.

What: The story that Liz will be reading from is called “BLUNT FORCE TRAUMA DELIVERED BY SPOUSE”, which will be published in the next volume of Machine of  Death. Liz’s story takes the Machine of Death premise very seriously and explores the consequences of feeling trapped by fate — as well as positive responses to some seemingly hopeless circumstances. Set in modern day Australia, this is a wonderfully written story with vivid, naturalistic characters you won’t soon forget.

Liz has this to say about her story:

There are a lot of cliches about Australia, so it feels awkward to write about sometimes, even though I spent a bit of time growing up in the bush.  This story was inspired by the land of my childhood — the bittersweet grief and love and helplessness of caring for country in drought. It was inspired by the strength and courage of colleagues and residents of Toora women’s refuge – working at a women’s refuge was my first job out of college.

It was also inspired by the memory of a woman whose name I cannot remember. During our training we were told the story of an incredible woman in the UK who left her abusive husband and started talking about it, back when nobody spoke about such things. She did all sorts of amazing things, founding refuges, public speaking, survivor support… I wish I could remember her name, so I could make this story in her memory… thus far the internet has not yielded a name.

Who: In case you’re not familiar with Liz’s work already, you can find out more at her website. We’re really thrilled that Liz chose this story to read at FOGcon, and we can’t wait to share it (and more than thirty other stories!) with everybody when Vol 2 is published later this year. if you’re able to attend the reading, we’d love to hear your thoughts!

Some more about Liz:

Liz’s work has been published in a range of journals and anthologies including The Pedestal Magazine, Pseudopod and Strange Horizons. Her previous incarnations include circus manager, refuge worker, research officer for the Order of Australia Awards, and extensive work in the not-for-profit sector. These days she is a freelance writer, and is an occasional artists’ model.