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Friday Photos

Loved the name of this book

Loved the name of this book

Possum Pie Beetroot Beer and Lamingtons by Victoria Heywood, could there possibly be a comma missing from this title?

This business can't spell their key word

This business can’t spell their key word

Container building?

Container building?

I’m not sure what the architect was thinking but this building reminds me of the container buildings in Christchurch, they were put there after the big earthquakes they had but what is his excuse?

Melbourne tram

Melbourne tram

Just loved this scarf.

T is for Amy Thomson

I had 30 minutes to find an author of the appropriate letter and found someone in two! Amy Thomson is was born in America in 1958 and entered the writing field in 1994 with her first book Virtual Girl which went on to win the John W. Campbell Award for Best New Writer and she’s continued writing thoughtful works since then.

Why do I say thoughtful when I only heard of her a few minutes ago? I read this interview on io9 and was captivated. Thomson gives her thoughts of creating aliens from scratch and also her ideas on population growth which seem to have some mirroring on mine.

I’m struggling to find her works in regular book shops so I can’t direct you somewhere particular to find them but I’m guessing they’d be well worth trekking them down somehow.

The Colour of Distance has a sequel, Through Alien Eyes, she has also published two standalone novels, Virtual Girl and Storyteller and many essays in publications such as Locus. I’m going to be keeping an eye out for her so I can add her to my To Be Read Pile which is probably taller than me by now.

At the very least you should read the interview.

Wednesday ramble

Rambling, rambling, rambling


Rambling, rambling, rambling


Rambling, rambling, rambling

Actually, that’s where I lose the song so I’d better use some different words. We’re coming up to the pointy end of the year when VCE students have exams, many of us have finished our syllabus and are into revision but some haven’t, with my two classes I have one of each and my teacher added an extra lesson during the school holidays.

During my class I handed in some work with a request for feedback hoping to be able to improve it but he kept it thinking it was good enough. Not sure what ‘good enough’ is but I’m happy as it means I get to go on with my study for my last SAC for the year. We have an essay to write and English Language is the class I’m struggling with.

Oh yeah! I forgot to mention it’s English Language I’m talking about today.

The task I handed in I’d like to reproduce here but I handed in my draft so that’ll be challenging. We were told to look at the language of a particular group and examine how that informs identity. In class one week my teacher asked me what Pratchett Fans call themselves so I asked the question on Facebook, got a few real answers and then a multitude of made up ones…these Pratchett Fans are so clever sometimes and I promise not to mention the sharpness of a knife. I then wandered through the Discworld forums for a bit, thought about the books and how we use words and wrote all this up for my task. It feels a little bizarre writing about my fandom for class but whatever works.

Anyway, tonight is something special. If you’re a Discworld fan and you happen to have some time tonight you should head on over to this Trybooking link and book a free ticket. Rob Wilkins was Terry Pratchett’s PA and Right Hand Man, he’s an awfully nice guy and was billed as the International Man of Mystery at Nullus Anxietas V in April this year. He is in Australia to present a cheque to the University of SA to start a perpetual scholarship and following that is dropping in to Melbourne for a very fast flying visit. It’s going to be a night of fun and questions, I’ve revamped my hat specially for the occasion.

Be More Terry!

Gone Series – Michael Grant

As you might remember I’ve been reading the Gone Series by Michael Grant for a few years, I came to Grant a little late as the series was almost completely published when I found them but I’m trying to be good and read other books as well but this month I caved when I found both books together in the library and borrowed both, I’ve read one after the other so I could move on.

There are six books in this series. Gone, Hunger, Lies, Plague, Fear and Light.

Gone by Michael Grant

Gone by Michael Grant

Gone starts the ball rolling by isolating everyone under the age of 15 in a dome, nothing can get in and nothing can get out except as you reach your 15th birthday when you ‘wink out’ and at this stage we don’t know what happens to them. Gone deals with the isolation and the emergence of some of the children with powers. Each book after that then deals with a different problem within the dome.




Gone: Hunger by Michael Grant

Gone: Hunger by Michael Grant

In Hunger we see how they deal with powers emerging in the animal population and how they cope with the problem of food and it’s interesting to see how different characters come into their own, they’re in the low socioeconomic demographic and therefore have skills high socioeconomic people don’t have and these cooking, foraging skills lead them to be in charge.






Gone: Lies by Michael Grant

Gone: Lies by Michael Grant

Gone: Plague by Michael Grant

Gone: Plague by Michael Grant

In Lies we see how they cope with various lies people tell, while in Plague we see them living or dying with the plague.

Gone: Fear by Michael Grant

Gone: Fear by Michael Grant

Gone: Light by Michael Grant

Gone: Light by Michael Grant

The final two books bring the whole thing into perspective as we see Sam dealing with his fear of the dark in Fear…not just his fear as so many people are scared of the dark and in the last few pages the dome becomes clear and the light of the sun comes back. Light finalises everything and we finally see things from the outside world’s perspective.

These are definitely young adult books, there is death, destruction, cruelty, torture, love and references to sex in these books. They are all nicely put together and I couldn’t find fault or continuity errors, a good thing too as young adults are as quick to spot these things and judge as I.

You can see two different covers in this series. I much prefer the black ones as they’re really stark and this illustrates the starkness of the whole series. Yes, there’s a lot of information in the books, Grant doesn’t hold back from the emotional aspects and the descriptions so when I say starkness I mean there’s no covering up, very little alluding to things, except for the sex scenes, not much there.

Friday Photos

While I ponder Friday Photos I’ll keep posting.

I totally agree, it is a fold down seat but does it fold up again?

I totally agree, it is a fold down seat but does it fold up again?

Pooh Bear

Found this lovely little display in a book shop in Box Hill but can I remember where it was?

Where has reading taken you

That same window asked a question

Where has reading taken you lately? The question seems to be aimed at a particular demographic. The books listed on the right include Narnia, Hogwarts, 100 Acre Wood, Neverland and Middle Earth. Actually, I lie as they’re not books they just resemble books but wouldn’t you love to have books just describing those places?

S is for Pamela Sargent

Zooming through the many authors starting with the letter S I spotted Pamela Sargent, not quite sure why I remember her name but I’m sure it has something to do with reading some of her works except I can’t quite pin anything down.

She’s written enough short stories for Martin H Greenberg to be able to edit together a whole book of them which is probably where I remember her from, I love anthologies. Sargent examines fascinating ideas within her works such as looking at five genetically identical children as they start to live apart and I wonder to myself how much her MA in Classical Philosophy would assist her with her writing.

You can find some of her writing encased in some Star Trek novels and has spent time collaborating with George Zebrowski, bearing in mind she lives with him I can’t say I’m surprised.

I found her featured on a blog and the advice she uses for her writing from Frederick Pohl is fascinating and daunting.

Fred’s advice was to print out the text, destroy any electronic files, and begin rewriting with only your printed text as a guide. Otherwise, he told me, you get lazy and just do touch-ups instead of a complete overhaul.

I can see how that would work having taken stuff I’ve written by hand and typed it up totally changing it as I go but to do that with a whole book would be a very daunting challenge.

Anyway, she’s still very much for sale in new bookshops and here are a couple of links for you Dream of Venus and Other Science Fiction Stories / Decimated and The Shore of Women: The Classic Work of Feminist Science Fiction. If you believe what you read on the web then you’ll find her book Earthseed has been optioned and may therefore appear in a movie theatre near you, but the information I find on this goes back to 2012 so who knows what’s going to happen.


Two talented people have died this week. We’ve lost Jackie Collins and Yoram Gross.

Collins wrote romance so I’ll never read them but I’ll pay tribute to her despite that. She was a prolific author and her works were read by many, with eight of her 32 novels being adapted for the screen. She died of cancer having kept it secret from so many people. She will be mourned.

Yoram Gross took Dorothy Wall’s books about a koala called Blinky Bill and adapted them to TV.  They were good adaptations and gave much joy to so many children.

Vale to both Collins and Gross, much sympathy and good wishes to their families.

Fifth Column: The Chimera Vector – Nathan Farrugia

Hooley Dooley! What a Ride!!

With no idea what to expect as it’s the first Farrugia book I’ve read and the only recommendation I had from the author was that he’s published by the same author as Matthew Reilly I headed on into this book on the plane to Israel with no preconceptions. And because I’m feeling lazy I’m going to paste in the description from his website.

The Fifth Column: the world’s most powerful and secretive organization. They run our militaries. They run our governments. They run our terrorist cells.

Recruited as a child, Sophia is a deniable operative for the Fifth Column. Like all operatives, Sophia’s DNA has been altered to augment her senses and her mind is splintered into programmed subsets.

On a routine mission in Iran something goes catastrophically wrong. Bugs are beginning to appear in Sophia’s programming and the mission spins out of control.

Things to like

Fabulous fight sequences

Good writing

Love Sophia, she manages to cut through the rubbish surrounding her life and figure it all out…yes, she had help but when you’ve been manipulated like she has you need it. And she’s the leader of her little group.

Nice plot points. The idea that there is an organisation running the entire world using medically-altered people with lots of psychology packed into alter their mindset appeals to me.

Things not to like

It’s action packed and hard to put down, not so bad when I’m on a plane for several hours, can’t sleep and the onboard entertainment system doesn’t work well but not so good any other time – I did actually miss a session of the conference when I picked this book up to read a little more.

Where to buy

Here’s the Booktopia link for you. It’s a little expensive but well worth it. If you’d prefer you can get it for your ereader through Farrugia’s website for a vastly reduced sum, while you’re there have a read of his biography which gives you some idea of why his fight scenes are so well put together.

Friday Photos

Music book

Found this absolutely beautiful book of music sitting casually in a church somewhere in Israel but I don’t remember where.


I found this sticker on a packet of plastic plates rather amusing. Not only are they telling us the ingredients but they have a perfectly logical typo. Tion and Sion have the same pronunciation.

Pratchett Monash Uni Bookshop

Found some Pratchetts in the bookshop at Monash Uni. Not sure why they’re so high up, I’m sure The Librarian is trying to tell us something.

As of today I’ll have done 103 Friday Photos, next week will be my second year anniversary of posting photos on a Friday and it’s time to ask the question “do you want me to continue?” Next year will be even more challenging if I manage to get into full time study and I’m just wondering if I need to rationalise something.

R is for Sally Rogers-Davidson

R is much easier than Q, I happened on an Australian author!

Spare Parts by Sally Rogers-Davidson

I’ve spent so much time on the internet looking at items from overseas that things feel a bit strange and unreal when I find someone from Melbourne, Australia. Sally Rogers-Davidson was born right here in Melbourne and looks way too young to be older than me.

Her works have been published by Lulu, a company which assists self-publishing and she has five titles there to date. From its description Spare Parts seems to have echoes of other books I’ve read in the past and if I could only remember which I’d be happy.

There’s not a lot to be found about Rogers-Davidson, possibly she’s too young to have been involved in any nefarious activities and I won’t make them up right now, I’ll save it in case I meet her and I can do that in person – it’s better to offend someone in person than on the web.

What I have found is on Sally Odgers website is a page dedicated to her. Apparently enough people get Sally Odgers and Sally Rogers-Davidson confused so she’s created a page to direct people to buy the books on Lulu. Odgers even states Polymer by Rogers-Davidson is one of her favourite books.

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Thank You
I want to thank the Koolin people for their thousands of years of guardianship and caretaking of the area where I live.