My review of three books on Special Operations in The Australian and the implications for further militarisation of our police forces.
‘I am a sucker for boot-camp training stories in all their heartbreak, bastardry and triumph. The first half of Stanley Kubrick’s movie Full Metal Jacket is almost perfect, only improved by the knowledge that R. Lee Ermey as the senior drill instructor was a real US Marine Corps drill sergeant. The answer to the oft-asked question, were Marine Corps drill instructors really like that? Hell yeah!
That feeling of reality is also what makes these insider stories of men with guns fascinating….’
I’m really looking forward to this – will be a great evening.
MIFF Talks – Dystopia on Film
Genre: Sci-Fi Share
Co-presented with Overland magazine
Drawing on MIFF’s Sci-Fi retrospective and looking at how cinema harnesses contemporary anxieties to show us where we might be headed, some of the best minds around dissect the darker corners of the future in this panel discussion about Dystopia on Film.
Panellists include Alexandra Heller-Nicholas, Ben C Lucas, Claire Corbett and Jennifer Mills; moderated by Adolfo Aranjuez.
Watch Over Me is now available as an audio book. Here’s a link to an audio excerpt.
This is the most amazing looking writers’ festival, with so many fascinating writers, from Dava Sobel and Kenan Malik to Marie Munkara, John Safran, Anna Krien – too many to list. I’m on three panels and so looking forward to them – Friday 11th August 1:30-2:30pm – ‘The Lure of Crime’, Saturday 12 August 10-11am Future Imperfect with Merlinda Bobis and Sunday 13th August 11:30am-12:30 – Tomorrowland.
I ‘descend’ into titillation. Descend, I tell you! So revealing, isn’t it, the type of language used about women writing about sex. I mentioned this in my review of the TV series of Liane Moriarty’s Big Little Lies, where a morally serious and complex portrayal of domestic violence was dismissed by male critics as straying into ’50 Shades of Grey’ territory. This seems to be becoming part of the critical arsenal, the lazy way to trivialise women writing about the ambiguous and complex nexus of sex and power. Shades of grey indeed!
‘While some of the action of Watch Over Me has a 1984-feel, it is only speculative in the broadest sense. Corbett draws on her extensive knowledge of military matters so that the technology used is all contemporary. The occupation itself is based not only on any number of recent conflicts but Corbett also draws heavily on connections to Greek mythology.
Watch Over Me is overall an engaging and effective story based on truths that are unfortunately far from new about communities under occupation and the role and status of women during war time.’
This review first appeared in Aurealis #102, Australian Science Fiction and Fantasy Magazine
An intriguing and compelling story with a distinct dystopian feel despite having a modern day setting. This concept alone challenges your thoughts about the happenings and complexities of the character’s world, the characters themselves, and the psychology involved in war in a very tactile way which for me was possibly the most enjoyable aspect of the novel.
The love story is a strong theme throughout, and Corbett presents this in a highly passionate and endearing manner which indeed is not without conflict nor heartbreak as you’d expect within the confines of this particular story.
Overall, Watch Over Me, is a captivating and gripping read that will challenge and delight readers. This is a story that will stay with me for quite some time. Exceptional theme, meticulous research, and brilliant writing from Claire Corbett.
‘Sydney-based Corbett has written about defence and strategy for several publications, and Watch Over Me is deeply informed by her research into historical invasions from Sarajevo to Troy.
She is fascinated by the subjugation of a country and especially its women, who are usually seen as treasonous if they have an affair with an occupying officer — while the men are merely doing what’s natural.
“Nothing else about me will ever matter,” muses Sylvie. “I may even die for it: to the world I will always be that girl.”’
This is a powerful portrayal of what can happen in war and in the skilful hands of Claire Corbett the message is clear: there but for the grace of God …
The world is at war. It always has been. Our sense of security is an illusion. At any moment, on any day, in any year, somebody somewhere is suffering at the hands of someone else. This is the fundamental truth at the heart of Watch Over Me.
On 29th July I will be on a panel with Michael Robotham as part of a celebration of Avalon bookstore Bookoccino’s 25th Anniversary. There will be all kinds of events throughout the day, including a children’s drawing workshop with actor Richard Roxburgh. It will be a great day.