Best Australian Stories 2015 is now available. It's a cracker this year and I'm thrilled that my (very) short story - my first microfiction - 2 or 3 Things I Know About You is included. And yes, the title is a reference to Jean Luc Godard, though the film director in the story is not Godard. Worth checking out this collection.
My story The Trillion Pearl Choker has been published in the Elemental edition of Sydney University's Southerly Journal.
"The Land of Parrots had had it coming for a long time, people said....
As with many seismic changes the rumbles barely registered at first."
'Elemental is concerned with our experience of the elements in an era of climate change. The four elements of classical thought (earth, fire, water, air) align with what we now call four states of matter and hence to what is termed the “material turn” in contemporary debates in the humanities. This material turn seeks new ways of understanding the physical world and is motivated by the urgency of shared vulnerability on the planet.
In Australia this experience of extreme weather, including floods and fires, embroils the entire ecosystem including literary ecologies. This issue considers a range of Australian writers who address the modern experience of the elements in their volatility and magnificence, raising questions, recording and responding to the matter as the matter at hand.'
Must Australia Always Be Imaginary: Cartography as Creation in Peter Carey's 'Do You Love Me?' My first academic journal article, drawn from research for my exegesis, published in the June 2015 edition of Antipodes: A global journal of Australian/NZ literature.
I will be talking with acclaimed Australian novelist Amanda Lohrey at Gleebooks on March 25 about her wonderful new novel A Short History of Richard Kline.
“I woke with a gasp. And lay in the dark, open-mouthed, holding my breath. That feeling . . . that feeling was indescribable. For a moment I had felt as if I were falling . . . falling into bliss.”
All his life, Richard Kline has been haunted by a sense that something is lacking. He envies the ease with which others slip into contented suburban life or the pursuit of wealth. As he moves into middle age, Richard grows angry, cynical, depressed.
But then a strange event, a profound epiphany, awakens him to a different way of life.
I had zero expectations of finding When We Have Wings on this list, as it was published in 2011. So many thanks to Lisa Jacobson for not only choosing the book as her highlight of the year but for going against the trend that sees books having a shorter shelf life than yogurt.
'Highlight of the year: Claire Corbett's speculative novel, When We Have Wings (Allen & Unwin), which somehow flew under the literary radar despite its 2012 shortlistings. Corbett creates a dazzling world where the wealthy soar on lavish wings while those less fortunate dwell wingless below.' - Lisa Jacobson
‘The art of the story is mostly about the journey, and the economy of means with which the writers here carry us a great distance is at times breathtaking.’ – Amanda Lohrey
In The Best Australian Stories 2014, Patrick White Award–winning author Amanda Lohrey selects the outstanding short fiction of the year. Sometimes fantastical, sometimes raw, and always a ‘shot of adrenaline to the mind and heart’, this collection features exciting new voices alongside the established and admired.
Link to contributor Angela Meyer's thoughtful review of the collection here.
I'm pleased my story Snake in the Grass was chosen and very much enjoyed reading the whole collection.
I am so looking forward to this - an interview as a guest of the BSFA in the Artillery Arms. My interviewer is brilliant academic, writer and sometime game designer Dr Colin Harvey. This night will be so much fun. Would love to see you there.
Time: from 5pm in the bar downstairs, I think.
Interview from 7ish upstairs
Location: Upstairs, The Artillery Arms, 102 Bunhill Row, London, EC1Y 8ND
Looks like the BSFA couldn't have chosen a better pub - just across from a cemetery - how atmospheric for a group of SF writers...
As part of my Writers Omi residency I will be taking part with the other writers in my residency in two readings: one is a reading and Fall BBQ at Writers Omi on Saturday October 18 5pm. This sounds like great informal fun as there will be a reception afterwards.
The second event is a reading at KGB Bar in New York City. If you're in town it would be lovely to see you there. Sunday, Nov 2, 7pm, 85 E.4th Street.
My article for the August issue of The Monthly on the complex policy and urgent timing of the decisions on Australia's Future Submarines. Print edition in newsagents from August 1.
HMAS Farncomb (not seen) doing what subs do best...
HMAS Dechaineux leading HMAS Waller and HMAS Sheean.
HMAS Farncomb underwater, sitting on the sea bed...
My essay on the relationship between the fantasy of human space exploration - 2001 - and the reality - NASA - and whether humans will ever leave geostationary orbit again, is published in Overland, Autumn 2014.
My Carmel Bird Award longlisted story Hostile Takeover has just been published as an esingle by Spineless Wonders as part of the Amanda Lohrey Selects Series.
Here's the blurb: 'Z works within Treasury, in a government where knowledge and alliances are power, and people are bought, used and manipulated. Z is blindsided when he learns that he has been "bought" by the highest ranked official of a dangerous government agency, who took advantage of a sinister new law. Now Z must indulge her every whim and request. Will he ever find a way out of her grip? Claire Corbett's convincing characters and intriguing narrative gives an insight into an alternative reality that is scarily convincing. It will keep you guessing to the very last page.'
When I moved to Australia from Canada as a child, I was struck by the shape of my new home. In Canada I had to draw maps of my native land in exacting detail. This skill atrophied at my Sydney primary school when I was handed a plastic stencil of Australia, stamped with the helpful suggestion: “NOTE: TASMANIA TO BE DRAWN FREE HAND.” I loved that this continent was so whole and perfect I could hold it in my hand, the outline of Australia so self-contained it easily became its own template, icon and logo. What I didn’t know was that it took centuries of discovery and cartographic effort to resolve this shape.
The Mapping Our World: Terra Incognita to Australia exhibition at Canberra’s National Library of Australia (until 10 March) shows how Europeans discovered and charted our coastline, which had for centuries been imagined as the Unknown South Land, Terra Australis Incognita.
(rest of article in Feb 2014 issue or on website)
Love this image my editor John van Tiggelen used for the article - it's perfect. I still like my original title Land of Parrots...