Archive for September, 2010

The Zombification of Fiction

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Sadhbh’s talked about Feed, by Mira Grant. Will’s talked about World War Z, by Max Brooks. And EVERYONE has talked about Pride and Prejudice and Zombies, Seth Grahame-Smith’s masterpiece (disasterpiece, perhaps?). Yet there are other zombie books out there, threading their fingers through the literary soil, hoping their hungry groans will reach the ears of […]

Brains Wanted at Baltimore University

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

And I thought it couldn’t get any better than a Harry Potter course. Well, it’s at least comparable. The University of Baltimore in the US has offered a particular subject called English 333. Sounds typical, right? Well, it’s been dubbed by the participant students taking the course as “Zombie 101”, because the entire course is […]

In-Flight (Almost No-Flight) Entertainment

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

This blog comes to you a little late and from halfway around the world. I’m in South America, despite the, er, best efforts of the Brazilian Consulate-General. It appears that the BCG has a policy of not acknowledging whether they’ve received your visa application and passport, not telling you where your visa application is at, […]

Spring Cleaning and Book Breeding

Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

Spring has sprung and I need to face facts. My bedside book collection has got completely out of control. When I first landed in Sydney in 2006, I planned to go backpacking about Australia for two years. When you are upping sticks every eight weeks you have to stick to the Two Bag Rule mentioned […]

50 Books You Can’t Put Down

Monday, September 13th, 2010

It’s that time of the year again. The Get Reading campaign kicked off at the end of last month and for the first time they’re offering an iPhone app to help readers connect with books. The app is free from the App Store, and I’m surprised to say that it is excellent – far more […]

Where in the World is Lisbeth Salander Pt 3

Sunday, September 12th, 2010

Ebook distribution is, as I said in my last post, a massive, complex problem that will probably never have a simple one-size-fits-all solution. Nonetheless, in this post I’ll try and cover some of the ways this problem may be overcome, at least in part. We have to assume, looking forward, that publishers are unlikely to […]

More Aussiecon 4 Memories

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Yesterday I started babbling on about the 68th World Science Fiction Convention, but ran out of space. Today I’m back on the same topic. The Ford Street Publishing table in the Dealers’ Room. One of the major literary events at a Worldcon, aside from the exclusive publishers’ parties (to which I didn’t score any invites […]

Wolf Hall: Surprisingly Readable

Saturday, September 11th, 2010

Villains are so much more engaging when they have a heart, dontchathink? I have been ashamed for too long – Wolf Hall has had pride of place on my bookshelf for months now, and I’ve barely poked it. I only wish I had got to it sooner, because once I picked it up I could […]

Book By Accident And In Reverse

Friday, September 10th, 2010

I’ve talked before about whether films live up to books’ standards, but there’s one much-loved film that many people aren’t even aware is a book. Until recently I was one of them—I came to the book by accident and in reverse long after I’d fallen in love with the film. I’m talking, of course, about […]

Aussiecon 4 Memories

Friday, September 10th, 2010

The 68th World Science Fiction Convention is over! Five days of panels, talks, signings, parties, awards and other related stuff, has ended. People from all over the world are making their way home… or perhaps sightseeing across Australia before departing our golden shores. I’m now sitting in front of my computer at home in Melbourne, […]

VIDEO POST: Burnt Snow by Van Badham

Friday, September 10th, 2010


Friday, September 10th, 2010

Totally Twins is the new fun series for readers aged 9+ from New Frontier. The books that follow the life of twins Persephone and Portia are written by Aleesah Darlison and illustrated by Serena Geddes. Both Aleesah and Serena have been at Kids’ Book Capers this week talking about their career journeys. Aleesah is back […]

Gabrielle Williams Q&A

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

One of the great things about Get Reading! is that I’ve had a fantastic chance to meet authors from other states I haven’t crossed paths with before – one of those authors is the fantastically entertaining Gabrielle Williams, who I sat down with while in Melbourne to talk about all things Beatle Meets Destiny. Okay, first […]

TRAILER: Burnt Snow by Van Badham

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Burnt Snow by Van Badham Sophie is in the last term of Year 11. She’s used to moving around with her accountant father and free-spirited mother, so the move to a small town on the South Coast in NSW doesn’t seem too out of the ordinary – at first. As Sophie negotiates teenage preoccupations with […]

TRAILER: Lost on Earth by Steve Crombie

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Lost On Earth by Steve Crombie “The only way I am coming home is by bike or by box,” Steve Crombie writes when he first hits the road, travelling 90,000 km from Australia to the Arctic Circle via South America. It takes him two years. He suffers from dehydration, starvation and disease. He rebuilds his […]

REVIEW: Sicilian Food by Mary Taylor Simeti

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

I make no secret of my shameless and insatiable need for cookbooks and books about food, nor is my particular interest in Middle Eastern, North African and Mediterranean food one I’ve kept hidden so, when I was presented with the opportunity to review a book on Sicilian food it is no surprise that I grabbed […]

Judges decide on six shortlisted titles for Man Booker Prize

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

Peter Carey, Emma Donoghue, Damon Galgut, Howard Jacobson, Andrea Levy and Tom McCarthy are today, Tuesday 7 September, announced as the six shortlisted authors for the 2010 Man Booker Prize for Fiction. For over four decades the prize – the leading literary award in the English speaking world – has brought recognition, reward and readership […]

Burn Before Reading

Thursday, September 9th, 2010

This week’s top book story is not, unfortunately, a story of a great new novel or a literary award. Look up books in the news this week and what you’ll find is the planned burning of two hundred Qur’ans in Florida. Church pastor Reverend Terry Jones says he and other church members plan to burn […]

Where in the World is Lisbeth Salander Pt 2

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

In my last post I wrote about the issues facing ebook distribution in Australia as it pertains to territorial copyright and parallel importation. To recap: the current situation is that if I want to buy an ebook that is published by a US or UK publisher in Australia it is more than likely impossible. I […]

FROM DISNEY TO TOTALLY TWINS – Meet Illustrator, Serena Geddes

Wednesday, September 8th, 2010

Illustrator, Serena Geddes has always enjoyed drawing, scribbling and creating spot cartoons of fellow work colleagues. In 1996 she was accepted as a Trainee In-betweener for Walt Disney Animation Australia, a career path she never knew existed. Disney offered an intensive 3-month training program to become an In-betweener, and once through, areas such as life-drawing, […]

“And the award for best zombie goes to…”

Tuesday, September 7th, 2010

Back in July we interviewed Seanan McGuire, author of the Tody Daye series and “science fiction zombie political thriller” Feed, for this blog. When I was speaking to her, she had been nominated for a Hugo and was packing for AussieCon4 in Melbourne. The Hugo Awards have been running since 1953, and are awarded to […]

Time to Get Reading – and score your free book

Monday, September 6th, 2010

Did you know that the Get Reading! Campaign for 2010 has started.  Purchase one of the 50 Books you can’t put down from Boomerang Books and you’ll get a free book! The 50 Books You Can’t Put Down guide for 2010 is available to browse or download on the all-new beefed-up website, as well as […]


Monday, September 6th, 2010

Four years ago Aleesah Darlison realized she could awaken her dreams of being a published author by writing when the kids were asleep and still be a mum. I could have the best of both worlds! I also realized I wanted to write for children so I started learning ‘the craft’ properly for the first […]

Your Dress Is Tucked Into Your Underpants

Saturday, September 4th, 2010

Day three of the Brisbane Writers Festival saw me sitting on a panel. I know, a mention beforehand would have been handy for those of you keen to heckle, but I was so incredibly nervous I didn’t tell anyone. Not even my mum. She found out about 9pm last night and changed her plans to […]

Introducing Steph Bowe and GIRL SAVES BOY

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

I know introducing Steph Bowe online is like introducing Google, but still… This is for the 5 people who don’t know who she is, and was initially written as an introduction for a book event today: I’ve been tasked with introducing Girl Saves Boy. Now, I know the importance of a good introduction. Call me […]

The Male Megan Stack

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Readers of this blog and people who’ve engaged in any kind of general, passing conversation with me will know that I came back from the Byron Bay Writers Festival rabbiting on about how I discovered knock-out author Megan Stack. It’s now day two of the Brisbane Writers Festival and I think I’ve found the male […]

Message from Get Reading! – Outdoor Reading Rooms

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

The first Get Reading! Outdoor Reading Room was open over the weekend in Sydney’s Hyde Park and it was a huge success. For a gold coin donation to the Indigenous Literacy Project, people enjoyed the sunshine, relaxed in the comfy furniture, browsed the 50 Books You Can’t Put Down and chatted to visiting authors Judy […]

Sulking at Stig and Bieber’s baby bangs – when is it too soon for a bio?

Friday, September 3rd, 2010

Today I am wearing my cranky hat, and it’s all the Stig’s fault. This week the news was full of the fact that the BBC had lost a ruling to keep his identity a secret. Racing driver Ben Collins, the man who plays the white-suited and helmeted driver on the Top Gear television show, will […]


Friday, September 3rd, 2010

I loved Belinda Jeffrey’s Brown Skin Blue and had been looking forward eagerly to the release of her new book Big River, Little Fish. I wasn’t disappointed. Big River, Little Fish is another Belinda Jeffrey’s book that’s hard to put down. It tells the story of 15-year-old Tom Downs struggling to fit into a world that […]


Thursday, September 2nd, 2010

Dead In The Family by Charlaine Harris Reviewed by Molly Dead In The Family, #10 in the Sookie Stackhouse series, is definitely no let-down. Loyal and dedicated fans who have read the previous books in the series will not be disappointed. The novel is still action-packed and realistic in its depiction of Harris’ supernatural world, however in […]

Where in the World is Lisbeth Salander? Pt 1

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Those who have dipped their toes into the chilly waters of ebook purchasing have likely done so through an international portal like Amazon. But when you buy an ebook from Amazon, where is your money going? Are you buying that book from an Australian publisher? Or is it going to a big American or British […]

Sean Williams talks Star Wars Part 2

Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Last time around Sean Williams told us a little about writing novels set within the Star Wars universe. Today, he’s back for Part 2 of the interview… How much freedom do you get in writing a Star Wars novel? A surprising amount, I’ve found, within certain restrictions. Obviously you have to write something appropriate for […]


Wednesday, September 1st, 2010

Brown Skin Blue, the acclaimed debut YA novel from Belinda Jeffrey was inspired by her brother’s wedding. About ninety people flew to Darwin for the wedding-many family and friends from SA and QLD – and we spent about a week before the wedding – and then again afterwards – touring the major sights of the […]