Peter Temple’s Truth



Temple, Peter (Text publishing: Australia, 2009, ISBN 9781921520716)

Peter Temple’s Truth reads like an Australian television miniseries. You can even see where they would show the tits.

The novel’s beauty comes from the vividness of its writing. We leave it with afterimages of “sharp-toothed skulls” and “beer cartons blown flat against the fences” still glowing behind our mind’s I. We can still hear the footsteps on the “gap-planked verandah” and the “rip and flap of a loose truck tarp in the nearest yard”. Continue reading

Some Poetic Observations Of The Human Condition



Laurie Lee (1969) ISBN 0-14-00-3318-1

I cannot fully convey to you what a treasure this book is. This is the vivid, wry, deeply felt and wonderfully, beautifully written account of a young man, the author himself, walking out the door of his English family home deep in the English countryside, to seek his fortune, to find himself, to find his road in life. By a path of almost whimsical-seeming choices, the author found himself eventually in London, and eventually leaving England to try his luck on the Continent. And then he found himself in Spain, walking on foot town-to-town, supporting himself with his violin – and this put him in exactly the right time and the right place to experience the Spanish Civil War when it erupted around him. Continue reading

Near Future SF Done Well



Brian Azzarello (writer) (2011-12)
Penciller: Eduardo Risso; Letterer: Clem Robins; Colorists: Patricia Mulvihill & Giulia Brusco

Spaceman was released as a nine-part series of monthly comics in 2011-2012 from Vertigo (the imprint of DC for grown-ups), and is now available as a deluxe graphic novel edition. By writer Brian Azzarello and penciller Eduardo Risso, Spaceman is among the best hard science fiction produced in any medium, film, TV or book in the last ten years. Continue reading



This shows the trails of some minuscule specks of colour as they emerge from three moving bodies. Each body and all the specks of colour that emerge from it accelerate towards one of the other bodies with a constant magnitude of acceleration: the yellow specks and the body that emits them accelerate towards the body that emits green specks, the indigo specks and the body that emits them accelerate towards the body that emits yellow specks and the green specks and the body that emits them accelerate towards the body that emits indigo specks. Each speck fades as it moves. Continue reading

These Are Not Your Teenage Fears; They Are The Fears Of Today’s Teenagers



Suzanne Collins (2008, 2009, 2010)

The Hunger Games: ISBN 978-1-407132-07-5

Catching Fire: ISBN 978-1-407132-09-9

Mocking Jay: ISBN 978-1-407109-37-4

There is certainly no need to convince anyone to buy more of Suzanne Collins super-successful series, but I think there still may be a need clear up some confusion about this series and point out that if you haven’t read it, you probably should and why. Continue reading

Valley of Segola



Chapters 13-14 (quotes taken from the Lamsa version, Holy Bible, ISBN for example 9780060649234)

As he nears the land of Canaan, Moses sends ahead scouts to reconnoitre the terrain. He directs them to ascertain both the enemy’s strength and the fertility of their land.

To their delight, the land appears fertile, Continue reading

Three Tone Tan



Chandler, Raymond (Houghton Mifflin, 1950, ISBN 0394757653)

In his remarkable essay, The Simple Art of Murder, Chandler points out that, in the real world, using elaborate means to commit a murder, disguise one or to fabricate an alibi will only serve to incriminate the perpetrator. It gives a methodical police force too much to work with. Instead (if I comprehend Chandler’s meaning), just bludgeon the victim with some commonplace object found near the scene of the crime and when the police ask for your alibi, tell them to go fuck themselves. Continue reading

The Military Experience in the Age of Reason

Duffy, Christopher (Wordsworth Editions Limited: Hertfordshire, 1998, ISBN 0710210248)

I find I have a copy of The Military Experience in the Age of Reason on my bookshelf. I assume I must’ve purchased it for its cover art. Could I ever, in sincerity, have doubted the general tenor of that ‘experience’? Could I have imagined that soldiers woke up in the morning and thought, “My do I enjoy catching diseases out here in the mud. Not a day goes by that I don’t thank providence for the string of circumstances that led to my becoming an artillery target in the Austrian Plumed-Hat Corps.”?

Some Current Illusions: Then and Now


A while ago, some years ago now, I was hunting for a copy of Becoming a Writer by Dorothea Brande, and stumbled on another book, Vera Brittain’s 1947 On Becoming a Writer. Vera Brittain was in her day a very famous pacifist thinker and writer who drew on her experiences and thoughts about the Second World War. She is still known and talked about today, although whether she is much remembered outside of academic circles or them who listen religiously to ABC Radio National I can’t say. Continue reading

Decades Of The 20th Century



Yapp, Nick (c. 1986 onwards) several volumes inc. ISBN 3829005229

Getty Images publish a remarkable series of photobooks called Decades of the 20th Century. Besides the usual shots of counterrevolutionaries storming Cuban beaches, the Beatles and parading Nazis, we see Castro batting a baseball out of the ballpark and Emperor Hirohito meeting Mickey Mouse. Continue reading

Cromwellian Tales

Wolf Hall


Hilary Mantel (2009) ISBN 978-0-00-723030-4

Reviewing Wolf Hall presents problems. The first is simply: what more can be said? This is  a Man Booker Prize winning author. In the front of the edition I own there are no less than five and a half pages of glowing review excerpts. That seems like publishing overkill to me, but then again I am not a publisher of great novels nor a marketer of them.  Continue reading

  • You might also like

    • Worlds Of Imagination Run Riot

      WHITE CLOUD WORLDS vol I&II Paul Tobin, Editor (ISBN 978-1-86950-824-1 & 978-0-47321-504-0) White Cloud Worlds (volumes I & II) are anthologies of science fiction and fantasy art from New Zealand illustrators. The ‘white cloud’ in the title is from Aotearoa, the Maori name for New Zealand, which means ‘Land of … Continue reading