Ishtar launch!

[Taken from the post at the Morrigan Books site]

For those who are unaware, Morrigan Books‘ little brother, Gilgamesh Press, launched its first book at Continuum in Melbourne, Australia, last weekend.

Photo by Tom Bicknell

The launch was well attended, the book was a sell-out and the full picture slideshow can be found here:

Continuum 2012

Special thanks go to Kaaron Warren, Deborah Biancotti and Cat Sparks for their wonderful stories and of course to Amanda Pillar and KV Taylor for editing the book.

You can buy the book from Amazon

All hail Ishtar, goddess of love and war!


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Aussie Ishtar launch on Saturday 9th June at 2pm

If you’re keen to grab your copy of Ishtar and are in Melbourne for Continuum 8, then you need to come to the Ishtar launch!

Where: Continuum 8, Drummond Room.

When: Saturday 9th June at 2pm.

Who: Cat Sparks, Kaaron Warren and Deborah Biancotti will be there!

What: You can buy your copy, have it signed, and also chance winning the door prize!

Don’t miss out!!!

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Australian Ishtar Print Release!

Are you Australian? Do you love Cat Sparks, Deborah Biancotti or Kaaron Warren (or all three)?

Do you want to get your hands on a print copy of Ishtar?

Well, if you answered yes to any of the above, then you will soon be in luck!

The print copy of Ishtar will be launched at Continuum 8 in Melbourne, over the Queen’s Birthday weekend.

Cat Sparks, Kaaron Warren and Deborah Biancotti will all be present at this exciting event – so if you want your copy signed, please come along!

The time and venue are yet to be confirmed, but it looks to be taking place on Saturday June 9th.

And there will be a door prize!

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Ishtar receives Shirley Jackson Award nomination through Deborah Biancotti’s ‘And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living’

Full details and news of the other nominees can be found on the site:

The Shirley Jackson Awards Nominees

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Ishtar reviewed

The lovely Alan Baxter, from Thirteen O’Clock has reviewed Ishtar!

A snippet:

“This collection is a bold and clever book, with three writers taking very old stories and breathing new life into them. The Ishtar mythology on which the stories are based is renewed by the words of these three…the book as a whole is well worth your time.”

Full review is here.

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Ishtar  has been nominated in the best anthology category in this year’s Aurealis Awards, and Deborah Biancotti’s ‘And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living’ was nominated for Horror Short Story.

It is fantastic news for Gilgamesh Press’ debut book!!

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Ishtar available in print!

Ishtar is now available in print at

Don’t miss your chance to own this stunning collection!

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Ishtar released today!

The Second Assyrian Empire has arrived!

It is my great honour to be able to announce the first Gilgamesh Press book, Ishtar, not only notable for its main focus, the goddess of love and war but also for the three fantastic authors that have written the three novellas that make up the book: Kaaron Warren, Deborah Biancotti and Cat Sparks and, if that wasn’t enough, the two talented editors who have shaped the book: Amanda Pillar and KV Taylor.

Need more be said?


This novella collection is powerful, sexy and very, very deadly.

The 5 Loves of Ishtar: Kaaron Warren

Follow the path that the goddess Ishtar takes through the eyes of her most devoted worshippers, her washerwomen. Sharokin, Atur, Ninlil, Shamiran, Ninevah and Ashurina share in their goddess’ loves, losses and triumphs, as kingdoms rise and fall in the Land of Rivers.

And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living: Deborah Biancotti

In modern-day Sydney, male prostitutes are dying. Their bones have turned to paste and their bodies are jelly. As Detective Adrienne Garner investigates the deaths, she finds rumours of strange cults and old gods whose powers threaten her city and, ultimately, her world.

The Sleeping and the Dead: Cat Sparks

Dr. Anna remembers little of her life before the war, merely traces of the man she used to love. When three desperate travellers rekindle slumbering memories, she begins a search that takes her to Hell and beyond. A search for love and, ultimately, enlightenment.



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10 Things About Kaaron Warren’s ‘The Five Loves of Ishtar’!!

Dying to know just that little bit more about the ideas behind Kaaron’s story? Well, here’s 10 Things!

10 Things About Ishtar:
‘The Five Loves of Ishtar’

I don’t want to give my story way, so instead of listing ten things about Ishtar, I’m going to list ten things about washerwomen!

Ten things about washerwomen in history:

10.    The washerwoman has been known as scrubber, swabber, char, Mrs Mop, gleaner, picker, scavenger bird, crow and vulture, according to Roget’s Thesaurus.

9.    Cumulative Trauma Disorder (CTD) has been around for a long time, variously known as miner’s knee, tennis elbow or washerwoman’s thumb.

8.    The Night Washerwomen walk the land eternally, cursed for killing their own children. If they catch you, they will wrap you in their washing and drown you where their pool.

7.    The opposite of the Night Washerwoman was a real woman called Oseola McCarty, who washed clothes all her life, saving half of what she earned, until she had enough to establish a scholarship fund.

6.    The Washerwoman is an old profession. She was once known as Lavender. Other old jobs are the Kempster, or wool comber, the Pigman, or crockery dealer, and the Colporteur, or peddler of books.

5.    The Mormon Battalion of 1846 took along four laundresses.

4.    A few drops of kerosene or some peach-tree leaves are a washerwoman’s friend, because they will help to whiten the clothes.

3.    Hooch Girl is Vietnam War US slang for a Vietnamese woman hired by the American military as a washerwoman. John Wayne was slang for a can opener.

2.    Here is Paul Guigou’s Lavandiere.

1.    Ishtar’s washerwomen inherit their job and they serve her until the moment of their death.

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Behind Kaaron Warren’s ‘Five Loves of Ishtar’

Here at Gilgamesh Press, we want to continue with the sneak peaks into our debut book, Ishtar!

The first story in the Ishtar collection is a historical piece, written by the lovely Kaaron Warren. Here are her thoughts behind why she wrote her incredible tale:

‘The Five Loves of Ishtar’

When I first began reading for my Ishtar novella, I was living in Suva, Fiji. The public library has two shelves of history books, all of them predating 1970, most of them donated by departing diplomats. I had sporadic internet. I also had an anthropologist as a friend, who had brought with him his enormous library. So that’s where I started.

As I read, one message emerged to me; that Ishtar was a powerful presence over many millennia. The stories told of her were in the present; as if she had lived for those thousands of years and people had actual memories of her.

I wondered how she’d change over the years, and if time made her tired.

At the same time, I wondered about her companions, and one in particular. For a long time, I’ve been fascinated about the washerwoman in history, after watching a documentary by Terry Jones, where he said that there were washerwomen who travelled on the Crusades. Women risking their lives, suffering the hunger and the privations that the men suffered, yet never named, rarely mentioned. I have the image of them working tirelessly, scrubbing, washing, drying, only noticed if they failed to do their jobs.

I wondered what sort of washerwomen Ishtar might have, and what they might know. I thought that perhaps they would know every secret; you can’t keep things from the woman who washes your underwear.

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