Science fiction, for all its association with wild technology and alien cultures, has always concerned itself with the state of the world as it is now, using future possibilities as a lens through which to examine current issues. Louis Armand is clearly fascinated by the way our world is shaped and the way we shape our place within it; in addition to his previous novels, he has written or curated ... (read more)
Sky Kirkham is the producer and host of The Book Club, on 4ZZZ FM and the Community Radio Network. He has been a guest at BWF and NYWF, appeared on Big Ideas on ABC1, and contributes regularly to The Music.
December 2012–January 2013, no. 347 • 29 November 2012
A good novel can use personal drama to humanise history. A small story becomes powerful because of the ideas it represents, and the political, removed from the realm of theory and made concrete, has a tangible impact that can foster empathy and understanding. When done poorly, as it is here, the reverse occurs and the large concepts are reduced, lessened into triviality by the hollowness of the ta ... (read more)
October 2012, no. 345 • 26 September 2012
The Midnight Promise, Zane Lovitt’s début novel, is billed not as a detective story, but as a detective’s story. It is a minor grammatical change that makes for a major shift in the focus of the tale. Here there is no major dramatic revelation – no car chase, forensic science, femme fatale. Instead, the reader is offered a character study of a man slowly succumbing to depression, apathy, an ... (read more)
Romy Ash’s début novel, Floundering, sits comfortably in the realm of Australian realism. It depicts the travails of a dysfunctional and impoverished family as they make their way across the country during a scorching Australian summer. Tom and Jordy, young brothers, live with their grandparents following their abandonment by their mother, Loretta. Twelve months later Loretta returns, just as p ... (read more)