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Simon Brown

Ticonderoga Publications (2006)

ISBN: 0-9586856-6-5

Reviewed by Tansy Rayner Roberts (this review was first published July 2006)

Let’s start with the basics: Troy is a beautiful book. It has to be the prettiest Australian small press book I’ve ever seen, and what with Donna Hanson’s Australian Speculative Fiction: an Overview and the various classy CSFG and Agog! publications doing the rounds in recent years, it’s up against some pretty stiff competition.

Just from looking at the outside, this is a book that deserves a wider audience than the attendees of a SF convention. It should be in every literary bookshop in the country. And I have to say, it would make a pretty attractive Father’s Day present for all those history buff dads out there, even if they don’t think they like speculative fiction. Ticonderoga Publications are definitely up there with some of the better overseas indie press outfits as far as style, design and all that other shiny stuff goes.

Ahem. On to the contents. For those who aren’t familiar with his work, Simon Brown was one of the few male fantasy authors in the HarperCollins Voyager stable, until he moved to Pan Macmillan a couple of years ago. His latest novel is Daughter of Independence, due out later in 2006. Before Brown became a Big Name Fantasy Author, though, his science fiction short stories were a regular feature in Eidolon and Aurealis, back in the day when they were The Big Two science fiction magazines in Australia.

Throughout the nineties, Brown produced a series of short stories that connected with and utilised some of the characters, iconography and mythology of the Trojan War stories. This collection brings those works together for the first time, along with a single new story, “The Cup of Nestor”, (2006) and a very old story, his first piece of fiction inspired by the Trojan myths, “The Return of Ideomeneus” (1981), which is concealed in an appendix in deference to the author’s own unwillingess to place a 25 year old story alongside his more mature and professional work [1]. Read the rest of this entry »

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