A dystopic vision: The Ark by Annabel Smith

When I first heard about Annabel Smith's project, The Ark, I was intrigued. Here was an excellent literary author (I'm a big fan of her novel Whisky Charlie Foxtrot) tackling not only speculative fiction, but a whole different format. The Ark is about the inhabitants of a sealed seed vault, in a near future where resources are rapidly dwindling. … Continue reading A dystopic vision: The Ark by Annabel Smith

Best Australian Stories 2014, ed. Amanda Lohrey

I've really enjoyed reading this year's Best Australian Stories (which includes my story 'Too Solid Flesh', originally published in Island 137). One commonality I found between the stories, which reminded me of the power of fiction (what it can do), was an emotional complexity that can only be 'shown', not explained. For example, in Julienne van Loon's 'Bring … Continue reading Best Australian Stories 2014, ed. Amanda Lohrey

Captives reviewed in Cordite

Jo Langdon has written a beautiful and perceptive review of Captives for Cordite Poetry Review. 'The space beyond the stories is essential, and the words themselves appear with an illusory ease and simplicity.' Read the rest here. Captives is widely available, including from the publisher, Readings, Booktopia, Avid Reader, Fishpond (free worldwide shipping), or your local bookstore. The ebook is available on Kindle, Google Play, iBooks, Kobo & more.

Review of The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion in The Australian

I reviewed The Rosie Effect, Graeme Simsion's follow-up to The Rosie Project for the Weekend Australian. It's a warm read, and a successful sequel. Following is an extract from the review. — As with the first book, these incidents are humorous and cause cringing; the reader observes the miscommunication, the unravelling, and longs to step in as an … Continue reading Review of The Rosie Effect by Graeme Simsion in The Australian

Bodies, effort, straws: The Special by David Stavanger

I had the pleasure last night of launching The Special by David Stavanger, winner of the 2013 Thomas Shapcott Prize. The book is published by UQP and available now. David and I didn't know each other beforehand, but connected through words (in emails, but mainly through our work) and it was a wonderful night, with much warmth. … Continue reading Bodies, effort, straws: The Special by David Stavanger

MWF 2014, Flashing the Square, Memory Makes Us

Melbourne Writers Festival has been fantastic so far. Stimulating keynotes from Helen Garner and Chris Hadfield, and I really enjoyed yesterday's panel 'Crossing Cultures', about cultural hybridisation. There were some great insights into contemporary China from Zhang Tianpan: contemporary China is very complex, but also very simple. There are many commonalities with the West—'we all … Continue reading MWF 2014, Flashing the Square, Memory Makes Us

Appearance on Jennifer Byrne Presents: Envy

I was honoured to be a guest on Jennifer Byrne Presents, an offshoot of the First Tuesday Book Club, to discuss one of the seven deadly sins, envy, along with Greg Sheridan, Lyndon Terracini and Kate McClymont. The show aired on 19 August on ABC, and will be available for a limited time on iview. There's also an outtake … Continue reading Appearance on Jennifer Byrne Presents: Envy