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The Sunlit Zone

4.12  ·  Rating details ·  58 ratings  ·  16 reviews
The Sunlit Zone is a moving elegy of love and loss, admirable for its narrative sweep and the family dynamic that drives it. A risk-taking work of rare, imaginative power. The Sunlit Zone combines the narrative drive of the novel with the perfect pitch of true poetry. A darkly futuristic vision shot through with bolts of light. Brilliant, poignant, disconcerting. - Adrian ...more
Paperback, 164 pages
Published May 1st 2012 by 5 Islands Press
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4.12  · 
Rating details
 ·  58 ratings  ·  16 reviews

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I wasn't expecting to much like this slim volume, but I somehow ended up loving it. It's got slowpocalypse, Aussie sense of place, beautiful (and sometimes heart-wrenching) description, genepunk, family drama, terrorism, sexuality, humour, even echoes of future-tech almost-selkieness - and all in verse. Nothing wraps up neatly, yet it feels satisfying.

Little flaws here and there were not enough to knock it off a five-star rating for me. This isn't like anything else.
Jul 13, 2014 rated it really liked it
When I first met Lisa Jacobson the strength of artistry within her almost overwhelmed her tiny frame. She held her head high and beamed out her poems with an assurance she didn’t always feel inside. Her initial self-published edition in A4 format included woodcuts and bold colours with the same distinct sharp edge of perception that she now displays in full maturity. It was a privilege to perform our simple poems for Peace in the international year of that name back in 1986, along with fellow po ...more
Ellen Naismith
Apr 02, 2013 rated it it was amazing
Told in verse along two converging timelines, The Sunlit Zone is a story of great intelligence and sensitivity about our not too distant future. Lisa Jacobson has combined thorough research and her powerful imagination to project our present concerns about technology and the environment into the mundane constraints of the next generation's everyday life. The Sunlit Zone explores the many layered depths of life-experience through the eyes of North, who could easily be my 12 year old daughter's fu ...more
Jul 14, 2018 rated it it was amazing
A fabulous futuristic story about loss and love.
Tsana Dolichva
Feb 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
The Sunlit Zone by Lisa Jacobson is different to the books I normally read. It's written in verse. It's also much more literary than my usual fare, even when compared with the more literary books I've read recently, like the The Mad Scientist's Daughter . I admit I probably wouldn't have given it much of a second glance if not for the fact that after I tweeted in mock shock about a spec fic book* making the Stella longlist, Kerryn Goldsworthy (chair of the Stellar judging committee) tweeted at ...more
Apr 03, 2013 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aww2013, oz-sf
This review has been hidden because it contains spoilers. To view it, click here.
Carolyn Mck
Oct 24, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: aww15
The Sunlit Zone is a verse novel set in a future where environmental degradation and genetic experiments have destroyed the marine world as we currently know it. The narrator is North, whose twin (Finn) was born more sea child than human and who drowned while North was having her first adolescent petting session in the sand dunes with a friend Jack. The story swings between 2050, where we find North working as a marine biologist, and her earlier life with her family, her 'designer baby' friend C ...more
This was a novel written in a form of prose where the language was easy to follow and a joy to read.

Set 20-40 years time in Australia, the impact of technology and climate change is showing on the life of the planet. The book paints a believable and sad future scenario.

The narrator looks back at her childhood, the loss of her twin sister, her first love and the future. She tells of the enviable changes to the sea and sea life and her struggles with basic human needs of love and being needed.
Amanda Baldwin
Aug 21, 2016 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: sci-fi
What a wonderful little book. Recommended for fans of both speculative fiction and poetry - glad it's not just me that loves both these kinds of writing. Thought provoking ideas wrapped in beautiful imagery, and a moving personal story. Each sentence is a little world of its own.

... A quick ascent,
a one-hour flight and down again.
The bay in Brisbane shimmered
like a piece of silk but underneath
the water, houses huddled, drowned
by rising sea levels. At the terminal
we disembarked.
Apr 23, 2014 rated it liked it
An interesting combination of science fiction and poetry in this verse novel. Though I enjoyed the story, the poetry was often a little hard to handle, considering the theme and story. However, this is just a personal taste issue, and I recommend reading it yourself.
Oct 02, 2015 rated it it was amazing
A beautiful work of speculative fiction. I found the characterisations deeply satisfying. The poetic form of the book was rich in image and emotion. This book has haunted me for months since reading.
James Tierney
Mar 06, 2013 rated it liked it
A speculative verse novel of some power but as many missteps.
David McLean
One of the first 'poetic novels' I have read. Evocative.
Apr 17, 2013 rated it liked it
Didn't know what to expect, was pleasantly surprised.
Oct 31, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Loved this so much! I tried to buy a physical copy from the publisher, but had to resort to digital instead.
May 06, 2013 rated it liked it
This verse novel turned out better than I expected. The story line flowed well and I found myself caught up in North's experiences.
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The Stella Prize ...: The Sunlit Zone review 2 6 Apr 07, 2013 05:19PM  
“She's shed her skins
and plasma jeans, gets around in 2K
retro gear like the frock she wears today;
a loose, white elegy to what's been lost.
Already she's flowing back into herself
the way a river flows to fill a creek bed.
But some hard layer has washed away
and left her softer, more interested.”
More quotes…