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3.96  ·  Rating details ·  98 ratings  ·  32 reviews
A presence haunts an old dresser in an inner-city share house. Shining sun-people lure children from their carefree beachside lives. Sheela-na-gigs colonise a middle-aged man’s outer and inner worlds. And a girl with a heavy conscience seeks relief in exile on the Treeless Plain.

These stories from four-time World Fantasy Award winner Margo Lanagan are all set in Australia,
Paperback, Twelve Planets Collection, 105 pages
Published August 2012 by Twelfth Planet Press (first published January 1st 2011)
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Average rating 3.96  · 
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This tiny collection is absolutely glorious. Set in dusty, gritty, sun-drenched Australia, the characters are haunted by pasts both their own and not their own, encountering phantoms that - even to this weary-of-ghost-stories reader - feel at once ancient and entirely new.

A particular standout for its incredibly vivid, dark tone, Bajazzled, involves a man haunted and hunted by sheela-na-gig figures, the line between real and unreal blurred to indistinguishable. On the other hand, the previous s
Jul 31, 2012 marked it as to-read
Shelves: first-reads
I can't believe it!! I just won this book as a FirstReads giveaway. I think I will go buy a lottery ticket.... this is the book I really really really wanted :) ...more
Jun 17, 2012 rated it it was amazing
Cracklescape by Margo Lanagan is the seventh book in the Twelve Planets series of collections published by Twelfth Planet Press.

Knowing that a Margo Lanagan collection was going to be part of the Twelve Planets was, I have to admit, one of the reasons I was initially interested in the series. Lanagan is one of Australia’s best writers of short fiction (as her stack of very well-deserved awards testifies), and I knew that she and Twelfth Planet Press were going to create a collection that was som
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Cracklescape is the seventh book in the Twelve Planets series, released by Twelfth Planet Press, which showcase the talent of female Australian authors. There is now to be a thirteenth in the series, but that's a review for another time. The brief given to authors was to write 4 short stories of up to 40,000 words in total. The stories could be separate, discrete narratives or linked through character, setting or theme.

This collection contains four short stories that are connected by how the cre
Julia Dvorin
Apr 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I picked this collection up at World Fantasy Convention in Toronto back in 2012. I first heard of Margo Lanagan back in 2009 when I attended the World Fantasy Convention in San Jose. At that time, her book Tender Morsels won Best Novel in the World Fantasy awards, and I read it and was completely blown away by it. So when I had an opportunity to read something else by Lanagan, I was really excited (even though yes, it took me over a year to finally get to should see my crazy TBR pile, i ...more
Mark Webb
May 18, 2012 rated it really liked it
This review forms part of my contribution to the Australian Women Writers 2012 Reading Challenge. All my AWWC reviews can be found here.

Cracklescape by Margo Lanagan is one of the Twelve Planets series published by Twelfth Planet Press (12 boutique collections of stories by Australian women writers). It is made up of four shorter stories, including:

- The Duchess Dresser
- The Isles of the Sun
- Bajazzle
- Significant Dust

Cracklescape is a beautiful book, with the stylish writing that characteri
Dave Versace
Jan 31, 2013 rated it really liked it
Cracklescape is award-winning fantasist Margo Lanagan‘s contribution to the Twelve Planets series from Twelfth Planet Press. It’s a collection of four short stories. The stories are unconnected, though the introduction rightly points out that they are all essentially ghost stories, albeit unusual and diverse examples of them.

‘The Duchess Dresser’ is a strange tale that seems to be more of a reflection on lifestyle and relationships in inner city apartment dwelling than it is about a piece of ha
Tsana Dolichva
Nov 17, 2012 rated it really liked it
Cracklescape by Margo Lanagan is one of the more recent releases in the Twelve Planets series from Twelfth Planet Press. I have previously reviewed several collections in the series.

This is only the second Margo Lanagan book I've read and the first containing short stories (the other was Tender Morsels). Although there were only four stories in Cracklescape, I really felt like I got a feeling for the sort of stories Lanagan writes. The general feeling actually reminded me a bit of Ekaterina Sed
Another of the Twelve Planets series, like Love and Romanpunk, this book contains four short stories. Unlike Love and Romanpunk, though, which had a clear storyline thread through the four books, the thing that connects the stories in Cracklescape is more fleeting and indescribable – a bit ghostly.

The first story, The Duchess Dresser, is a story about a share house and the ghost that is invited in when Tan brings home a dresser with a mysteriously locked drawer. Tan and the other members of the
S.B. Wright
Jun 13, 2012 rated it really liked it
Margo made me cry again with one of her stories in this collection. So yes, I liked it. Like it so much that I saved reading the last story for some six months after buying.

I also love the Twelve Planets range and the cover art of Amanda Rainey. The wasabi green cover of Cracklescape is no different, it helps make an impressive alternative rainbow on my bookcase.

But you’re here for the stories.

There’s four, in line with the brief of the Twelfth Planet Series. They offer a range of what Lanagan
Jun 21, 2012 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aww2012
I am a big fan of the Twelve Planets series that is currently being published by Australian small press Twelve Planets Press. I look forward to each instalment but I must confess that this particularly instalment was one that I was anticipating more than most! And, of course, given that it is Margo Lanagan telling us short stories, I wasn't disappointed!

The collection opens with The Duchess Dresser. A young man picks up a duchess dresser from the side of the road and decides it will be the perfe
Jun 25, 2012 added it
Shelves: sff, short-stories
Cracklescape is a collection of four short stories by Margo Lanagan. I have no idea what the stories are about but they make for great reading. They hint at things, and the unknown, but they don’t have to hunt after the answer to any of the questions they raise, it is enough for them to make you wonder.
I think of them all my favourite was Bajazzle. I loved the Sheela-na-gig reference, and the idea of the Sheelas was just great, although really want to know more about them. And Don, urgh, he was
May 11, 2014 rated it really liked it
I love Margo Lanagan’s writing so much. I love her brutal skewering of human failings, and her sympathy for those failings. I love the unflinching way she rolls out a story like Bajazzled, refusing to let you look away until she’s wrung every last drop out of it. I love the way she mingles everyday life and the fantastical – a howling otherworldly feminist cult on a Countrylink train trip to the coast, a thong fallen to the ground as a child flies away, another thong left by a tragic beachside w ...more
Barry King
Mar 26, 2013 rated it really liked it
I was trying to figure out what it is about these stories that are so similar. I think it's a presence in the moment. They all have an intense veracity, of attachment to the protagonists, making them and the stories "real". There is no sense of otherness at all, despite how strange they are, in fact, as views of reality.

Which is a rather pathetic way of describing four very good stories wrapped up in a small packet that I would recommend highly, especially to writers of short stories. Not to say
Jun 19, 2013 rated it really liked it
Margo's stories are always beautifully written. These four were a little different from usual in that they were quite speculative fiction lite (though this didn't stop her being Aurealis nominated last year). Each story is linked by a sense of Australian landscape and of the supernatural.

The Duchess Dresser features a ghost in an old dresser. The Isle of the Sun features golden people in the sky who lure children away. Bajazzled (possibly my favourite for the South Coast setting) involves a cree
Dec 06, 2012 rated it liked it
Margo Lanagan writes beautifully, with details that evoke the places and people beautifully. This is a collection of 4 stories - I enjoyed them all, with Bajazzle evoking both a fascinating slightly askew world and producing a lovely presentation of a truly unpleasant pov character. I find many authors try to write from the perspective of a jerk or a dill but just leave the reader confused - here the world and the character's failings appear in symmetry with each other. Also disturbingly erotic. ...more
Katharine (Ventureadlaxre)
Katharine is a judge for the Aurealis Awards. This review is the personal opinion of Katharine herself, and does not necessarily reflect the opinion of any judging panel, the judging coordinator or the Aurealis Awards management team.

To be safe, I won't be recording my review here until after the AA are over.
Mar 30, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Four very strong and unique stories that deal with ghosts in different forms. Margo Lanagan's writing really got under my skin and I had some creepy moments. I've always loved her style but the topics she writes about are usually more miss than hit for me. Not this time though and I can wholeheartly recommend this collection - but beware, these are not ordinary fantasy story! ...more
Nov 27, 2014 rated it really liked it
Cracklescape brings together four of Lanagan's short stories in a perfect taster of her work for a new reader. Lanagan's fantastical Australia is compelling and confusing, refusing to explain itself either to the stories' characters or the reader. I will certainly be seeking out more of Lanagan's work to read this summer. ...more
May 28, 2012 rated it really liked it
I received Cracklescape free from Goodreads. It was the first time I've read Margo Lanagan and I was favourably suprised by her writing. While short stories aren't really my thing, my enjoyment of her language was enough to see me through. ...more
Tyrannosaurus regina
All four of these stories are strange and beautiful in a way that I love, a little bit dreamy and a little bit sharp at the same time. My favourite would have to be Bajazzle, though, which is wonderfully evocative and pointed.
Jul 13, 2012 rated it liked it
Shelves: 2013, owned
It was okay but not as good as I've come to expect from Margo Lanagan. ...more
All of these stories leave their mark upon the reader. For me, the one that is lingering longest would be The Isles of the Sun.
Miss Susan
Jun 27, 2013 marked it as to-read
this looks good; need to check if the library has it
May 12, 2014 rated it liked it
3.5 stars
Jun 18, 2015 rated it did not like it
I still love Lanagan's writing style, but these stories fell a little flat for me. The highlight for me was 'Significant Dust' which was rather beautiful, though 'Bajazzle' provided a lot of giggles. ...more
Anna Hepworth
Jul 10, 2015 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: reread
Love it. Lanagan has a fantastical way of reimaging the world.
Dec 28, 2015 rated it liked it
Shelves: short-story, scifi
Not sure why this is science fiction.
Aug 08, 2012 marked it as to-read
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Margo Lanagan, born in Waratah, New South Wales, is an Australian writer of short stories and young adult fiction.

Many of her books, including YA fiction, were only published in Australia. Recently, several of her books have attracted worldwide attention. Her short story collection Black Juice won two World Fantasy Awards. It was published in Australia by Allen & Unwin and the United Kingdom by Go

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