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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 There’s scope for much of the editorial’s content, relating to Australia’s current labour laws, to become quickly outdated.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 »

Russell B Farr (ed.)

Ticonderoga Publications (2007)

ISBN: 9780958685689 

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

Farr begins this anthology by talking about his experiences in Australian SF, and consequently providing me with a reading list as long as my arm. He also tries to define what is meant by “fantastic wonder stories”, saying such a story “has to open the door to a new world, but not just any old world. A world real yet unreal, with an element of the mundane that is quickly replaced by a sense of the extraordinary”. For (most of) the stories in this collection, that’s exactly what happened.

FWS opens with a poem, by Steven Utley, called “The Can-Opener”. It captures the reflections of someone whose job is about “the flawed fabric of spacetime”, thinking about how some other Him, in some other universe, has more intelligent interviewers to deal with. It’s humorous, lightly pathetic (if that makes sense), and – in opening up the idea of multiple realities – is a very good first piece. Read the rest of this entry »

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