Tuesday, October 18, 2011
New episode of Coode St Podcast with guest Ursula Le Guin http://bit.ly/nK3IQp
Five questions for Jo Anderton, author of Debris « by Patty Jansen bit.ly/oUZP8G
Check out Deborah Biancotti’s "On Burnout" series of posts with a bunch of Oz & Int authors & editors bit.ly/nTxeSR
Off the Shelf: Emily Rodda - RN Book Show - 12 October 2011 bit.ly/mXdyAs
Alan Baxter: “I’ll be here on Saturday. If you're in Brisbane and a writer, come along!” bit.ly/qW2ETs
Book List: Graphic Novels and YA/Classic graphic novel adaptations for teens j.mp/r2HEOJ
Cat Sparx received an Australia Council Emerging Writer's Grant. bit.ly/qNbiDo
A life cut short - The West Australian on Sara Douglass yhoo.it/qjIwvw
Australian fantasy writer Sara Douglass dies of ovarian cancer | The Australian bit.ly/rdcLqN
Booked! Greg Egan, Author, ‘The Clockwork Rocket’ bit.ly/mRVW8m
Take Five with Keri Arthur, Author, ‘Darkness Unbound’ ow.ly/1xH1SE
Tehani Wessely: I posted the first episode of The Book Nut! Wherein Alex Pierce & I discuss books we teach & those we'd love to teach: bit.ly/oC6Kci
Alison Goodman invited by the The Wheeler Centre to take part in "Two Sides of the Story" on Tues 22 Nov 7-8pm. Free Event. http://wheelercentre.com/calendar/event/fantasy/
On indie press: Paul Collins | A conversational life bit.ly/nfhX4L
Final Draft Podcast | Peter Docker, author of The Waterboys bit.ly/rsjsLT
Mourning Goats Author Interviews: #23 Max Barry bit.ly/qX8EwQ
Michael Pryor launches George Ivanoff's GAMERS' CHALLENGE - YouTube bit.ly/o3zQx9
Friday, September 30, 2011
Review by Carissa Thorp
Rye seeks to leave Weld, the isolated walled city he calls home, in search of his brothers who left years ago to find and stop the evil source of the Skimmers, flying creatures that enter the city every night and kill anyone they can. He’s joined by Sonia, a young girl orphaned by the Skimmers, and they emerge on the other side of The Golden Door, they don’t know where, in a land that is unlike anything they were brought up to expect of the Barbarian lands. Adventures ensue and new friends are made.
I’ve never read a book by Emily Rodda before, in spite of knowing her name and popularity. Having seen the television series based on her Deltora Quest series, though, I can see similarities between the two tales; quests, young leads, magical objects, puzzles, etc. Thankfully, fans of her previous work should enjoy this series without worrying too much about “sameness”, and as a new reader, I found The Golden Door immediately appealing. Rodda’s skill as a writer is very much in evidence. It’s lovely to start a book and feel drawn in, effortlessly, to a tale of likeable characters in interesting situations. I particularly liked the way the consequences of Rye’s early life in an enclosed city (never seeing or experiencing hills, for example) are explored. A good place to start reading Rodda if you or the young people in your life never have before.
Wednesday, March 2, 2011
Tuesday, March 1, 2011
Friday, February 25, 2011
Review by Christine Tursky Gordon
Turkey in 2027 is a member of the EU, the meeting point of West and East, and of Christianity and Islam, a place of nanotech sweatshops, power struggles, hidden and open religious history, and the driving pulse of business amongst the heat and the smell of spices. Cosmopolitan, crowded, dynamic Istanbul seeps through on every page; McDonald captures the culture, the voice, and the atmosphere of the city just as evocatively as he did for readers in Brasyl.
In The Dervish House McDonald pulls together disparate characters whose stories dovetail in a seven-day-long ticking clock buildup of tension. A boy with a damaged heart sees a terrorist explosion on a tram through the remote camera on his BitBot and realises that someone else also has a hidden robot watching those who flee the aftermath. Necdet runs from the tram, amazed to be alive, but soon starts seeing djinns and spirits interwoven with the scenes of his daily life. Leyla misses the explosion, misses her job interview but finds work in a relative’s nanoware startup and must negotiate with both family and local criminal groups to secure funding. Adnan snorts nanoware brain enhancers just like his commodity trader colleagues, but he plans a massive fraud involving radioactive Iranian gas while his antique trader wife Ayse is offered an outrageous sum to quietly find a mythical artefact. Greek-out-of-water Georgios is a retired economics professor with a poisoned past of radical activism who is suddenly, incongruously invited to join a government think tank.
The implications of the terrorist attack trickle slowly into the open as the characters follow their own paths, looming larger and darker than anything the government could have expected. McDonald has created a rich, vivid thriller that is beautifully written.
Thursday, February 24, 2011
Win a Pamela Freeman omnibus edition of The Castings Trilogy in our February Subscriber Newsletter Competition
Review by Lachlan Huddy
It’s all looking rosy for Mark Burrows at the outset of this near-future fever dream. Sure, there's some unfortunate more-or-less-global devastation wrought by climate change, but Burrows's native Britain has escaped the worst of it and the retired spy is looking forward to fatherhood. Cue the One Last Job. Burrows is called back into service and shipped out to Florida—better known now as the Storm Zone care of, well, guess—in pursuit of his ex-comrade and brother-in-law, Charles Ashe. Ashe has become something of a messiah to the various minorities and extremist groups who, unwelcome in an America now run by iron-fisted evangelical Christians, call the Storm Zone home. So begins Burrows’s descent into, yes, the heart of darkness. Nothing wrong with ripping off an English classic so long as your head and heart’s in the right place, and Miller’s intentions are fittingly noble in seeking to highlight the dangerous political forces at war for America’s soul. Of course Sunshine State suffers in comparison to its forebears (Ashe’s sympathetic villain also owes much to Milton's Lucifer of Paradise Lost), but playing runner-up to the canon is no shameful thing. Some have complained of Miller’s overwrought prose, and to be sure the pages turn a little purple at times, but it isn’t wanton; the technique builds atmosphere and sucks the reader irrevocably into the mind of a maddening man and a mad, mad world.
Wednesday, February 23, 2011
Wednesday, February 16, 2011
Review by Carissa Thorp
Miles Vorkosigan, Imperial Auditor (ie Investigator) of Barrayar, travels to the planet Kibou-daini to look into the business of cryo-preservation, an industry which is an obsession on Kibou-daini and has shaped the planet’s culture and political structure for ill. Fate provides Miles with access to the real story behind the PR and gives him the opportunity to protect Barrayar’s interests as well as undo an injustice.
I'm a big fan of Bujold and have been really looking forward to another Vorkosigan novel. It was worth the wait, especially because of the promising complications birthed by this novel for future books. However, this isn't a book I'd recommend to someone who hasn't read any Vorkosigan books before. Thankfully, because of the generosity and forward thinking of Baen and Bujold, I can let readers know that all Bujold's novels in this universe have been made available to download as ebooks, in a variety of formats, providing newcomers a way to try out the series, become addicted from the first chapter, then go out and buy all the books in hard copy, including Cryoburn. Which one do I recommend you start with? Cordelia's Honor, an omnibus edition that includes the novels Shards of Honor and Barrayar, starring Miles' mother and father; they provide a great background of the "universe" and the history of major series characters. It’s where I started and they remain among my favourites.