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really liked it 4.00  ·  Rating details ·  75 ratings  ·  24 reviews
In a post-apocalyptic Australian landscape dominated by free-wheeling cyborgs, a young man searches for his lost lover who has been kidnapped by a rogue AI truck, the Brumby King. Along the way, he teams with Sinnerman, a cyborg truck with its own reasons for hating the Brumby King. Before his final confrontation with the brumbies, he must learn more about the broken-down ...more
Paperback, 230 pages
Published November 11th 2013 by Twelfth Planet Press (first published November 2013)
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really liked it Average rating 4.00  · 
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 ·  75 ratings  ·  24 reviews

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May 14, 2014 rated it liked it
The bleakness of a post-apocalyptic world is successfully captured here, Australian-style. Although there are small pockets of people scattered about, it is the trucks that have taken charge in this tale. Self-aware now, the trucks run in packs, have mates, and are prone to show off their extensive sound systems in order to cow lesser trucks.

Interesting story that smacked of originality to me. I liked the mutant creatures, the flapples, the metallic snakes, and the slinky snakes. The Lie Bury w
Jason Nahrung
Dec 06, 2013 rated it really liked it
Trucksong is the debut novel from Melburnite Andrew Macrae, and it's overflowing with coolness. Intelligent trucks cruise a devastated Victoria looking for parts and AI in a machine-meets-mind post-apocalypse and humans scavenge the best they can. Brilliantly imagined, linguistically adept, with enough diesel and dust to smooth over that minor plot niggle. I'll never look at Melbourne's grand Lie Bury quite the same way again. A trucking good debut. ...more
Jason Fischer
Dec 08, 2013 rated it it was amazing
I've gotta admit, this ticked all of my buttons. Trucksong is a weird mongrel of a book, which quite deftly riffs against other brilliant stories written in the same genre. It's got the devolved language and Punch-and-Judyesque culture of Riddley Walker, the weird future Australiana of Terry Dowling's Rynocceros series, and fleshy cybertech that looks like the broken arse-end of Shadowrun. In some parts this influence is a clear homeage, in others it lends to outright mad invention - author MacR ...more
Keith Stevenson
Jan 30, 2014 rated it really liked it
This review originally appeared on the Newtown Review of Books

Post-apocalyptic dystopian stories have been popular for a long time now and seem increasingly so. They allow us to play out our worst fears – climate collapse, alien invasion, zombie attack – while clinging to the hope that humanity (in some form) might survive. Particularly in the YA area, but in adult fiction, TV and movies too, many dystopias feature resourceful, basically good protagonists fight
Rjurik Davidson
Jun 04, 2014 rated it really liked it
There was a time in my early twenties when I crossed the Nullabor plain about ten, maybe eleven, times. Once I travelled in a beautiful big 1970s ford, five of us crushed in and driving madly against a schedule. Other times I crammed in mini-buses filled with activists, off to conferences ‘over East’. There were moments of beauty out in the desert – spectral fog lit up by the rising sun, the massive thunderstorm that crashed and roiled overhead – and of horror, such as when the road shivered wit ...more
Corey White
Aug 22, 2018 rated it it was amazing
Utterly unique, distinctly Australian science-fiction. Brilliant and inventive from beginning to end.
Jun 30, 2014 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: australian
This book (quite appropriately) completed an impressive journey via a rather roundabout route to finally reach me (due to an equally impressive run of bad luck where the universe seemed to be conspiring to prevent me from making it to any event where whoever had it at any given time was).

Luckily it was worth the wait and I tore through this. It never occurred to be that a book about rogue cyborg trucks in post-apocalyptic Australia (including truck on truck sex scenes) would be my thing. Turns o
Feb 16, 2014 rated it really liked it
I'm a big fan of Russell Hoban's Riddley Walker, and love that Andrew MacRae has built something that riffs off it but in such a tangily Australian way. The language is brilliant,completely ocker without ever feeling like a smug latte-sipping parody, and the playing with future, corrupted words works every time ('lie bury', 'trance mission'). The descriptions of this dry, desperate and weirdly sexy techy world are grouse: the sequences where Jon has to tear his truck-connected IV out of his vein ...more
Sep 15, 2016 rated it really liked it
Trucksong is a great example of truly Australian speculative fiction that doesn't resort to cliches. I could really feel this vision of the future where trucks and road technology begins to take on a life of its own. The voice is exceptionally well written, I'm only sorry that it's taken me this long to read it. ...more
Lee Battersby
May 25, 2014 rated it really liked it
Entertaining post-apocalyptic road trip written in an easily-digestible pidgeon, detailing a young man's hunt for the love of his love who has been stolen by an intelligent truck. The narrative is fairly straightforward, and the climax is telegraphed fairly early, but the language, setting and characterisation carry the story along at a cracking pace and makes for a satisfying read. ...more
Michael Kingston
Dec 22, 2013 rated it really liked it
Awesome. A strong Australian voice, a plot that moves, and some deeply bad-to-the-bone sequences. The cyborg child of Mad Max, McCarthy’s the Road, Truckin’ Life and deep bass dancehall – with a post-rock soundtrack thrown in for good measure. Need I write more.
Jan 30, 2014 marked it as to-read
An Australian Dark Tower?

Paul Weimer review on Sfsignal:

Website has some ambient music:
Alan Baxter
Apr 19, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: science-fiction
Excellent post-apocalyptic sentient truck road yarn. Mad Max meets Max Headroom, and so Aussie you can smell the BBQ. The vernacular of the writing is really well done. Highly recommended.
Ray Hibbert
Sep 09, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This was really a pleasant surprise. A bit Mad Maxesque but without the hackneyed characterisations, and with a great deal more thought into the dystopian landscape and technosphere. Sentient trucks, and various autonomous scavengers and human interfaces and blurring of the lines between them all. The author takes quite a few brave jumps, that at times seem too far a stretch, but lands well each time.
Very refreshing and uplifting to see there is solid Australian scifi like this. Will keep an ey
Aug 04, 2019 rated it it was amazing
This is a dystopic, surrealist sci-fi masterwork! gnarly dusty torrid prose, ebbing between fluid and terse, something like Clockwork Orange mixed with Neuromancer. The worldbuilding is rich and believable. Highly recommend.
Daniel White
Jun 03, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Exceptionally engrossing.
Lize-Marie Leuschner
Apr 22, 2020 rated it did not like it
Sean McLachlan
May 04, 2015 rated it it was amazing
This is one of the most original science fiction novels I've read in a long time.
The action takes place in a post-apocalyptic Australia, where the tattered remnants of humanity are preyed upon by intelligent trucks. A lucky few humans, including our hero, learn to link into the trucks and make a symbiotic relationship with them, but that by no means guarantees their safety. Think Neuromancer meets Cars. Being the father of a small child and having seen Pixar's Cars movie about 20 billion times,
Tyrannosaurus regina
There are actually two versions of this book, the published version and also an original experimental version, which features "a distorted form of non-standard English to produce the effect of cultural and linguistic decay, mirroring the world of the novel". I've had a copy of the experimental version for a while and have enjoyed what I've read it of but it is so dense with language shift I've been taking it in a bit at a time. The published version also features some linguistic shift but not ne ...more
Kaia Landelius
I liked this book a lot! I had a hard time getting used to the flow of the language, which threw me off a bit, and made it hard to read. This is always the case when stuff is written with interesting spellings or phonetically, possibly because English isn't my first language, so not a fault of the book at all. I would've liked to be able to give half stars here, because it deserves more than a three, but not quite a four in my book. Either way, very interesting and imaginative, and I enjoyed it. ...more
Martin Livings
Apr 20, 2014 rated it really liked it
Trucksong is one hell of a weird fever-dream of a novel, as told through the eyes of a deeply unreliable narrator in a language somewhere between English, strine and Nadsat. It's a road trip, with emphasis on the "trip", in a Mad Max style post-apocalypse but with more advanced tech. But at its heart this is really a fantasy quest, with a lost maiden to rescue and mechanical dragons and drug-addled wizards to be overcome. A great read, definitely recommended. ...more
Seán Ó Séaghdha
Jan 03, 2015 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: sci-fi
Sort of an Australian (Mad Max crossed with Cars that ate Paris) Riddley Walker. I thoroughly enjoyed this post-apocalyptic road trip. I understand the language was made into less of a weird dialect for publication, but I would’ve been happy with more personally!

It also inspired me to go back and actually read Riddley Walker again after 30-something years.
Dec 24, 2013 rated it liked it
This was an impressive use of language to tell a story about a post-apocalyptic Australia. The story itself was not that interesting, nor was the ostensible hero much of one, nor were his adventures memorable. 10 out of 10 for writing--5 out of 10 for story. I will still look forward to Macrae's next effort. ...more
Jane Routley
Nov 28, 2014 rated it really liked it
Shelves: sf, lit-fic
An intense and Mad Maxian vision. I could smell the exhaust fumes and the dust. I particularly loved the Aussie Dialect. The world of dystopian novels are often so generic but this felt wonderfully fresh and familiar.
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Brian Richardson
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Feb 02, 2014
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Apr 30, 2018
rated it it was ok
Feb 08, 2017
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