Shaun Prescott

Shaun Prescott’s début novel shares obvious conceptual territory with the fiction of Franz Kafka and Gerald Murnane, both of whom are mentioned in its promotional material ...

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Machine Man, Max Barry’s fourth novel, begins with its protagonist Charles Neumann searching for his mobile phone. It takes him twelve very funny pages to find it, but when he does it ushers in the novel’s central ‘tragedy’. It is easy to assume that Barry comes bearing a worn theme about modern society’s alarming reliance on technology, but he is no Luddite, and Machine Man’s central tragedy is also the centre of its comedy. Neumann loses a leg, but as a clinically minded, emotionally incapable engineer whose love for hard science and determination to improve knows no bounds, his loss quickly becomes his (and his company’s) gain – before, inevitably, it becomes his loss again.

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The Crossing by B. Michael Radburn

May 2011, no. 331

Set in an imminent Tasmanian ghost town, B. Michael Radburn’s first novel departs from his previous work as a horror short story writer. This murder mystery unfolds in the rural town of Glorys Crossing, which is being consumed by a hydropower dam, and which all but the most stubborn townsfolk are leaving to make a life elsewhere. Told through the eyes of ...

Black Glass, speculative fiction with a sentimental edge, explores a nation controlled by an intrusive surveillance culture and subliminal social engineering...

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