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edited by Russell B Farr and Nick Evans

Ticonderoga Publications (2007)

ISBN 978-0-9586856-7-2

Reviewed by Simon Petrie (this review was first published in October 2007)

First, a caveat: this review is of the pdf version of the book’s uncorrected proof, a document lacking both the final cover and the appended authors’ biographical notes.

The Workers’ Paradise – an unashamedly politically charged title, openly left-leaning, and the brief editorial follows suit. The timeliness of the editorial (written in September 2007, mere weeks before I received the pdf) is a drawback in a sense. There’s scope for much of the editorial’s content, relating to Australia’s current labour laws, to become quickly outdated. At least, one might hope so. But the more important questions arising are, will the stories collected here date as quickly? And do they hang together, or would they be better left to hang separately?

Paradise contains eighteen stories by an assortment of established and emerging Australian specfic writers. (That is to say, I believe them all to be Australian, though in the absence of biographical notes I can’t be completely sure of some of them.) Read the rest of this entry »

Nick Lake

Allen and Unwin (2010)

ISBN: 978-1416986270

Reviewed by Nick Evans, August 2010

Taro is a young peasant villager (and master archer) living quietly in a small village in the middle of the shogunate wars of 16th century Japan. By the second chapter his father is murdered in a sudden ninja attack and he is forced to flee with his best friend, Hiro, and good-guy ninja Shushako, sent to rescue them by unknown parties. Taro is fatally stabbed through the stomach during their escape and is only saved when Shushako reveals the greatest secret of the ninjas – that they are all also vampires.

The three flee together and Taro discovers he is also the son of Tokugawa, one of the two most important of the warring lords of the period. His death, of course, has been ordered by the other most important lord of the period, Lord Oda – a fact revealed by a random taoist abbess, later murdered by Oda’s minions for her part in helping him flee.

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