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Geoffrey Maloney

Prime Books (2003)

ISBN: 9781894815239

Reviewed by Simon Petrie (this review was first published in February 2009)

I recently received an Advance Review Copy of this book, which in the circumstances is a somewhat misleading description, since the volume itself has been in publication for over five years. But no matter.

Geoffrey Maloney has been a presence on the Australian spec-fic scene for a good many years now. A couple of the stories in Tales from the Crypto-Systemwere first published in 1990; most of the other stories were published during the subsequent even-numbered years, up to 2002. (I leave it as an exercise to numerologists to discern the rationale behind Maloney’s apparent and puzzling lack of success during odd-numbered years, although 1999 was a notable exception.) It is a characteristic of the local spec-fic scene that most of the original periodicals in which these stories first saw light have long since perished; Aurealis and AntipodeanSF are happy exceptions to this trend, and may their resilience continue. Read the rest of this entry »

Geoffrey Maloney, Trent Jamieson and Zoran Zivkovic (eds.)

Izvori (2007)

ISBN: 978-953-203-271-0

Reviewed by Alexandra Pierce (this review was first published in July 2007)

My first thought when I saw the title to this book was: “Fantastical Journeys to Brisbane”?! I mean, it’s not the city that would have first sprung to mind for such an idea. Melbourne has gangland murders; Sydney has lots of people; Adelaide has all those churches, plus their murder rate; Hobart is so far south (can’t you see the Aurora Borealis from there?); Canberra you can buy porn (I have been told!); Darwin has people going troppo in the heat; Perth … yeah OK, Perth is about as likely as Brisbane… Anyway: each story in this anthology at least mentions Brisbane, or is set there, and after reading the introduction – about a writers’ masterclass at the Brisbane Writers’ Festival – it makes a bit more sense.

Kicking the set off is Tansy Rayner Roberts, with “The Pastimes of Aunties”. Now, I only have three aunties, and this made me regret not having a whole … gaggle? (troupe? pride?) of them. Here, the aunties go on an annual pilgrimage to Brisbane, from Hobart. One year, Auntie Chloe fails to return, and the narrator is sent to find her. It’s quite a funny story, and manages to be quite prosaic yet quite mysterious at the same time.

Next up is “Lost”, by Paul Garrety. I have to say that, after Roberts’ story, this one was a bit of a disappointment. It’s not particularly original: man has car accident, gets picked up by old-timer and taken to a little town … there are lots of ways that story could end, and this did not choose a unique one. That said, the writing is quite good. Read the rest of this entry »

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