The Grinding House, by Kaaron Warren.
The Grinding House
Kaaron Warren’s voice is clear, original and sharp as a surgeon’s scalpel. Her charactes, no matter how bizarre their evolution or environment, reach out to us as people, their struggles becoming our own, and her stories, although often unrelenting, are shot through with an optimism and affection for our frail, striving species. Kaaron Warren’s stories, filled with narrative energy, hum like power lines, and don’t let you go until you’ve read the last word in the last sentence. Best of all, and so rare in the field, she writes science fiction for grown-ups.
Simon Brown, author of The Chronicles of Kydan
Subtle depictions of future worlds, of stark contemporary settings and alternative realities are some of the wonders of Warren’s imagination. From science fiction to fantasy and eerie, soul-shaking horror. Warren’s words will reverberate in all of us.
The Grinding House is the CSFG’s sole single-author collection to date, presenting nineteen stories by Kaaron Warren. The book was edited by CSFG member Donna Maree Hanson, with a cover by Robyn Evans.
- “Fresh Young Widow”
- “The Glass Woman”
- “The Blue Stream”
- “The Hanging People”
- “A Positive”
- “The Missing Children”
- “Al’s Iso Bar”
- “The Left Behind”
- “Tiger Kill”
- “The Wrong Seat”
- “Skin Holes”
- “The Sameness of Birthdays”
- “The Speaker of Heaven”
- “The Smell of Mice”
- “The Grinding House”
- “Survival of the Last”
- “Working for the God of the Love of Money”
Of these nineteen stories, three were original to the collection: “Fresh Young Widow”, “The Smell of Mice” and “The Grinding House”. All of the others had previously appeared elsewhere – see the author’s entry in the CSFG Bibliography for details.
Awards and recognition
Many of The Grinding House’s stories have received awards and critical acclaim, before and after appearing in this collection.
- “The Blue Stream” was shortlisted for Best Fantasy Short Story at the 1995 Aurealis Awards and voted equal third best Aurealis short story in the magazine’s Reader’s Poll.
- “Skin Holes” was short listed for Best Horror Short Story at the 1995 Aurealis Awards, and received an Honourable Mention in the Year’s Best Horror And Fantasy ’95.
- “The Hanging People” was shortlisted for Best Horror Short Story at the 1996 Aurealis Awards.
- “A Positive” won Best Horror Short Story at the Aurealis Awards 1998.
- “The Glass Woman” was shortlisted for Best Horror Story at the 1998 Aurealis Awards.
- “The Left Behind” was shortlisted for Best Fantasy Story at the 2000 Aurealis Awards.
- “The Speaker of Heaven” was shortlisted for Best Fantasy Story at the 2001 Aurealis Awards.
- “Birthday” was the Aurealisxpress flash fiction winner in April 2002.
- “Bone-Dog” was listed in Ellen Datlow’s Recommended Reading List for 2003.
- “State of Oblivion” was shortlisted for Best SF story at the 2003 Aurealis Awards and appeared in Ellen Datlow’s 2003 Recommended Reading List.
The Glass Woman
In 2008 The Grinding House was republished in the US by Prime Books under the title The Glass Woman, with two additional stories: “Bone-Dog” and “In The Drawback”, the latter original to the collection.
In 2009 “A Positive” was turned into a short film by Bearcage Productions. In 2010 the film of Kaaron’s story won “Best Australian Short” at the Night of Horror international film festival in Sydney.