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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10 Things About Cat Sparks’ ‘Ishtar’!

In addition to giving us a sneak about about the world in her Ishtar story, Cat Sparks has also written the top 10 Things about her tale!!

10 Things about Ishtar:
(‘The Sleeping and the Dead’)

10.    The nuns collate their scriptures from a myriad of ancient sources: celebrity cookbooks, women’s magazines. That glossy paper made it right through Armageddon, barely blackened by the pyres of burning Bibles.

9.    She likes tattoos inked before the fall. Everything from hot rods to baby feet. Jesus, naked ladies, dragons.

8.    Storm clouds sully the horizon. Vast, voluminous boiling things, cauldrons of corrosive isotopes and acid flashback.

7.    Windborne apparitions linger like imprints, remnants of better places, better days.

6.    Women worship at her feet. The walking dead whose wombs still pulse with blood.

5.    Ishtar has heard the skulls speak on more than one occasion, a fact she keeps hidden from the nuns.

4.    The ossuary endures.

3.    Death stalks the surface. The men were safer in the Underworld. Much safer.

2.    Memories are as unreliable as seasons.

1.    A deity cannot attain salvation. She must create it.

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Ishtar: The Sleeping and the Dead

The wonderful Cat Sparks, author of ‘The Sleeping and the Dead’ from Ishtar, has written about her world and the ideas behind her story. It is a must read!

‘The Sleeping and the Dead’

It always bothers me when stories portray characters who are centuries old as reasonable people possessed of rational human perspective. Gods, by their very definition, cannot be sane in the way that term applies to you and me. Entropy is relentless. Time corrodes, empires rise and fall while a god still stands. How could millennial loneliness not leave incomprehensible scars?

The Sleeping and the Dead is a portrait of a world that has eaten itself alive. Birth has become an abomination, hope a blight upon the landscape. The would-be mothers perpetuate Hell. The crazy nuns are the ones who’ve got it right.

Consumer culture inherited the god it deserved, all mood swings, grace and flaming retribution. My Ishtar is an amnesiac deity. The turmoils of post-civilised dischord have lulled her into a state of exhausted ennui. She doesn’t remember why she does the things she does. Her fertility clinic is perpetuated as a half-baked gesture towards the tedium infusing and permeating the aching years.

Assisting hopeful mothers doesn’t interest her in the slightest. She does it because she’s bored of death and its grim accoutrements. Anna Ishtar has wallowed way too long in her own intellectual mire. She’s not quite crazy, just teetering on the brink.

Daisy and her nuns smell the raw power on her, even if Ishtar herself has mislaid her origins and purpose. That a god walks among them comes as no surprise, for they are blessed and theirs is holy art.

Who is Thomas to her really? No one, so she makes him someone; her quest a mere diversion to while away the hours.

Cat Sparks

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Ishtar – One month to go!

It’s hard to believe that there is only 1 month left to go until Gilgamesh Press’ first book, Ishtar, will be launched!! It will be available as an ebook first, then print, so there will be no delay in getting to the good stuff within the covers. Authors Kaaron Warren, Deborah Biancotti and Cat Sparks deliver 3 amazing novellas.

Due out 13th November 2011!

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Ishtar: Sparks

From Kaaron Warren’s blog:

“Sometimes when I’m reading one of Deborah Biancotti’s stories I feel actually, physically, chilled to the bone. That’s how good she is.

‘And the Dead Shall Outnumber the Living’

The true spark for my upcoming Ishtar novella was when Mark Deniz asked me to contribute to an anthology that would feature a past, present & future setting. Some sparks are pragmatic, I guess… “

To read the full post, click here!

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