Disclaimer: Tansy and Stephanie are friends. However, I’d purchased the subscription to RAF before I knew they’d have stories in it
I think I learned aDisclaimer: Tansy and Stephanie are friends. However, I’d purchased the subscription to RAF before I knew they’d have stories in it
I think I learned about Review of Australian Fiction through the Galactic Suburbia podcast while they were discussing Australian awards. It’s a really interesting idea – new Australian short fiction published every two weeks covering a wide range of authors. Plus the price – especially the subscription price – is incredibly reasonable for what you get.
This particular issue came out just before Continuum where Tansy was Guest of Honour and Stephanie was in charge of programming, so I knew I would be meeting both of them and wanted to read it before then. However, I wanted to read both stories again before I reviewed them – and I’m thrilled that they both stood up to my initial thoughts.
Both stories create worlds both familiar and completely new, but in totally different ways. In Fake Geek Girl we find ourselves in a world where magic is the Real and the philosophy and literature and engineering we know are the Unreal. It’s a story of family – both the family/family connections we come with and those which we build around us. We’re plunged into the middle of it all, into a group of friends revolving around the band three of them belong to – a band which sings songs about geeky pursuits, even though the charismatic lead singer isn’t directly involved in those geeky pursuits.
It’s a world where magic sits beautifully alongside the world we know so well. There’s social media and a magical equivalent, there’s fire detectors and excess magic detectors. But there’s also a tension there which is wonderful. It’s very much a world I’d love to see more of and characters I’d like more stories about.
The Dàn Dàn Miàn of the Apocalypse is set in an apocalyptic setting around Melbourne and also looks at family and communities – those we have and those we build. It’s firmly set into the consequences of climate change (you can read some more of Stephanie’s thoughts here – she’s passionate on the subject and it’s a great read) but particularly the human impacts and how that influences our relationships with each other. Plus the Dàn Dàn Miàn sounds fabulous. (Side note – reading this after our trip to Melbourne and our journey on Puffing Billy in a similar area was very different to the reading it before we went)
Review of Australian Fiction is doing some really interesting things, and I highly recommend supporting them with a subscription. If you’re not interested in that, though, I cannot recommend these stories enough. They’re thoughtful and interesting and contain great world building, while allowing the reader the scope to build the world a little ourselves.
(Disclaimer – I know the author through the internet)
Back in the olden days before I became a teacher, I completed an arts degree with a double major(Disclaimer – I know the author through the internet)
Back in the olden days before I became a teacher, I completed an arts degree with a double major in Ancient History. My real love was Ancient Athens (I even learned Ancient Greek), but I did have a certain fondness for the early empire.
Which, luckily for me, is what Love and Romanpunk is based around.
The book is part of the Twelve Planet series and consists of four short, related stories. In the first one, Julia Agrippina’s Secret Family Bestiary, we are introduced to the background to our story, told by my favourite of all Roman women (I studied Nero a little, so spent way too long designing collapsible boats with other wayward students. Did I mention we drank a lot of wine in the Ancient History department?) It turns out that the twists and turns of the early Roman empire where not caused by revolution and jealousy and a certain fondness for horses alone. Instead, there were numerous creatures and beings, some of them members of the ruling family. While we learn about the Roman world, which is kind of as we knew it, we are being fed information which sets up the next three stories – including the introduction of Lamia – Roman vampires.
In Lamia Victoriana, we follow these creatures to Victorian times. We then slip forward in history to a Roman City built in the Australian outback in The Patrician, before heading into the future in Last of the Romanpunks. Each story builds on the last, and I must admit that I really feel like I should read the whole lot again so that I can really understand it even better.
I don’t read a huge amount of short stories, but I understand that it’s a delicate balancing act to create fleshed out characters, without getting bogged down in lengthy character exposition. I think Love and Romanpunk does an excellent job of doing this, building on characters that we ‘know’ and creating characters that are very easy to care about. I would easily want to read more about the different ‘worlds’ we are introduced to.
I really loved this book and I would recommend this book to history lovers, of course, but also to people who aren’t usually interested in speculative fiction, but would like to dip their toes in a bit. The format is a great way to be introduced to Australian speculative fiction, and I look forward to reading more of them. I believe Love and Romanpunk had sold out in the print form, but is easily found through Kindle or the Twelfth Planet Press website.
AT first I was scared to read this book - the second series is still showing in Australia and I didn't want to be spoiled. But I was pleasantly surpriAT first I was scared to read this book - the second series is still showing in Australia and I didn't want to be spoiled. But I was pleasantly surprised. This isn't a typical media tie in, instead a historical look at the society, dress and world between 1912 and 1919. It's interesting and well written, though history buff that I am, I could have done with even more information. Highly recommend for Downton fans, a nice taster for history buffs who may not know much about this era....more
I constantly had to stop while reading this book to remind myself that I wasn't reading a story set in the early 1900s, I was reading a memoir by a woI constantly had to stop while reading this book to remind myself that I wasn't reading a story set in the early 1900s, I was reading a memoir by a woman younger than myself. Deborah Feldman pulls you into her world completely, while telling her story in snippets, rather than thoroughly. I found myself wanting the answer to questions as I read it, but was left satisfied by the end.
The most thorough part of her memoir is the time around and after her wedding. She highlights the problems she and her husband had consummating their marriage, not at all helped by the sketchy sex education they had both received. She also talks about her pregnancy and her gradual movement away from the Hassidic world.
I thoroughly enjoyed this and I look forward to more books by the author....more