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edited by Edwina Harvey and Simon Petrie

Peggy Bright Books (2012)

ISBN: 978-0-9806998-2-1

Reviewed by Tehani Wessely

This anthology seemed to appear out of nowhere – there was no submissions call, no advance marketing, no bloggage I came across by authors or editors about the book in progress. The first I saw of it was an announcement of the table of contents, and as it included some of my favourite writers, and was edited by two people I had worked with for a number of years at Andromeda Spaceways, I was immediately interested.

The titular theme of the book, Light Touch Paper Stand Clear, is a broad brushstroke that the invited authors included in the anthology have taken and run with in about as many different directions as you could imagine. From Greek mythology to imagined worlds to far-flung futures, from almost realities to the short term “what if”, the thirteen writers have used the theme as a springboard, restrained by little else and using the liftoff as a spark to ignite their imaginations.

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Simon Petrie

Peggy Bright Books (2010)

ISBN 978 0 98069981 4

Reviewed by Joanna Kasper

A collection of short (some very short) stories that seemed to come from the dark recesses of Simon Petrie’s mind. Most are funny, some are spooky and others are just plain weird and then there are the ones that are all three.

I found that sitting and reading the book all in one go was not a good idea because each story was so short that they tended to blend into each other. On the other hand, it is a brilliant book for reading before bedtime, or if (like me) you have young children and reading is done in short bursts during the day. Like pinching a chocolate from the box when no-one is looking as opposed to sitting and gorging the whole lot in one go … equally as satisfying!

This is a highly entertaining collection, with some sharp and funny commentary on science fiction and fantasy tropes, human nature and the perils of going into space. There is poetry, crime solving, sudoku puzzles (yes, really), sex education, and downright laugh out loud humour (“Highway Patroller”). It’s not all rolling in the aisles though, with stories such as “Running Lizard” looking at a more serious, and grisly, side to genetic mutations.

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