Posted in Uncategorized

Check out this brill podcast

VerityEpisode3Time for another rousing discussion about which story best exemplifies a Doctor’s era. This time Deb, Erika, Liz, and Lynne tackle the 10th Doctor (not literally—as much as Lynne would probably enjoy that). “School Reunion” lies at the heart of the discussion, though “The Girl in the Fireplace” is touched upon and “Journey’s End” is defended quite ably.

We start the show with some Who-centric items that excite us, and end by taking a few minutes to talk (and rant) about the “Tennant Fangirl” phenomenon, awesome and unfairly-derided cosplay, and how to not be a dick.  (Wheaton’s Law, people. Follow it!)


Also covered:
Doctor Who the Writer’s Room!
New Zealand Doctor Who Coins!
New Doctor Who Soundtracks!
Classic Doctor Who on BBC America!
How to Spot a Real Doctor Who Fan

Download or listen now (runtime 1:14:52) 

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Posted in  flesh side, Helen Marshall, reviews

Hair Side, Flesh Side by Helen Marshall (Goodreads Author)

Hair Side, Flesh Side

by Helen Marshall (Goodreads Author)

Hair side, Flesh side

This work takes the mundane and gives it a fantastical spin. The first story centers on a woman who begins to find worrying patches on her skin. She discovers that these patches are words and that these words form sentences and paragraphs. She discovers that they form a lost Jane Austen work. The rest of the short story tells of the way in which she deals with her situation and uncovers the truth behind what has happened to her.  The other stories in this collection mirror the themes of this work,having examinations of art and culture as their primary focus. Last year was the year of the short story collection and this work was one of its stars.

Posted in Ausralian women writers challenge 2013

Walking The Tree by Kaaron Warren

Walking The Tree

by Kaaron Warren

wallking the tree

Kaaron Warren



A large tree dominates this world, casting a shadow over every community and providing for their every need. Every year a group of young women, and even younger children, walk around the tree.  As they walk, they visit the communities which are huddled around the base of the tree. For the children, the trip is educational, teaching them about their neighbors and therefore creating an understanding peace. For the teachers, the purpose is clear. This trip allows them to hunt for sexual partners. In this world, the females travel, auditioning the more sedentary males. They travel with the school until they meet a suitable partner. On achieving their aim; they join their chosen mate, leave the school and are replaced by a young woman from that community who will continue the journey. This is supposed to stop incest and create a wider gene pool.
We learn that this world has recently suffered an epidemic illness that killed many individuals and has had a profound effect on the society. We soon learn that this tragedy has caused the citizens of this world to fear illness and those citizens who are ill.   They fear the chaos that sickness can cause. This fear will have a profound effect on our main Point Of View character Lilleth. She learns that one of the students has a chance of developing an illness. She promises to protect him. Her oath will have a profound effect on Lilleth’s life.
As we walk the tree, we see how each community conceptualizes, both; the tree and their relationship to it. We see that each community is structured differently and that the way they structure society is dependent on their geographic location and their relationship to the tree. We also discover that each community has its own stories and that those stories shape the ways in which they relate to the tree, their world and each other. In this world, stories are important. The storyteller plays a pivotal role within the society, keeping the people and the tree up to date with current affairs; while, at the same time reminding the citizens of their history. In turn, the citizens are the storytellers of their own lives, telling the tree their stories and correcting the stories of others. As the story, and the journey of the characters progresses, lilleth is forced to question her own understanding of both the world and those individuals who share it with her.

Thematic summary and conclusion

Identity is one of the main themes.   I find Warren’s focus on illness and Disability particularly interesting.  The communities have undergone a great ordeal. This ordeal was caused by plague.  Therefore, they have a ‘natural’ fear of that illness. Their fear seems to have extended beyond their rational fear of the plague and moved to a fear of all disabilities and illness. In fact, many societies regularly kill disabled children and adults.  These fears of the citizens concerning illness mirror our own fears. We fear illness, death and disability, refusing to look it in the eye and demonizing those who remind us of our vulnerability. In creating this scenario, Warren encourages us to examine our own treatment of the disabled community.

I have now read two books by Kareen Warren. This and Mistification ( In my opinion, they both share a thematic link. They both share a fascination with story and how we use story to both; understand and misunderstand our world and each other. This is  an important message for a world in which the news is regularly shaped and spun to fit in with a particular message.
I really liked this book. My only quibble is that it dragged in the middle. I wonder if we needed to be presented with so many communities. I began to get frustrated, and slightly confused, with the work after exploring the first couple. But, my frustration made me understand the frustration, and confusion, of the main characters.

This has been the first read for my 2013 AWW challenge and I couldn’t have made a better start.


Kaaron Warren
Cover: Greg Bridges

4 February 2010
528pp A-format paperback
£7.99 UK   $tbc Aus
ISBN (use US edition ISBN)

Jan 2011
528pp mass-market paperback
$7.99 US    $8.99 CAN
ISBN 978-0-85766-043-5

January 2011
ePub 978-0-85766-044-2

Posted in Uncategorized

Jagannath by Karin Tidbeck




These stories take everyday events, such as a family trip to the mountains and the clearing of a dead man’s house, and combines them with  mythology to create wonderful tapestries. This book shimmers with life, giving every day life a magical edge and grounding magical events in real world settings

Posted in daily journal

Snowy Sunday Shorts


These  great books are getting me through the snowy weather blues. I will review them properly once I have read them.  But, for now a short shout out to;

Peace Gene Wolfe

This  book is, both;  a piece of  fantastical literary fiction and  very well written genre fiction.  So, it  satisfies both sides of my reading personality.  On, the surface , it is simply a memoir of a dying man. But, dig below the surface and you find mysteries.

Jonathan strange and Mr Norrell

A very well written Dickensesque  fantasy novel.


Perfection – Kistyn McDermott


A very sophisticated horror novel; involving;  two sisters, a ruined relationship,  A sleazy artist and a perfectly mysterious stranger

Posted in question

Snowy question

Well, my world’s still white? This makes me ask  you to name a book that mentions snow, rain, frost or Sun (or any other sort of weather type) in the first line  or first page ,

Posted in reading journal, Susanna Clark

Reading journal for a snowy day or thank you Coodestreet podcast.

I am trying something new. Well new for me anyway. I am going to post something every day. It won’t always be a review (although I have quite a few of those waiting to be edited. So, there will be some coming soon. ). It won’t always be long. It won’t always be edited. But, there will hopefully be something. Most of England is covered with a blanket of snow today. It’s cold and so there’s way I’m going very far from my kettle. Even my study, at the top of the house, seems like an uninviting prospect. But, it’s good reading weather. Which is good since I’m reading my way through the Coodestreet contemporary fantasy list. Contemporary Fantasy Novels (in the order mentioned on the podcast) Mythago Wood, Robert Holdstock The Drowning Girl, Caitlin R. Kiernan Last Call, Tim Powers

Ysabel, Guy Gavriel Kay The Limits of Enchantment, Graham Joyce The Wizard Knight, Gene Wolfe The Golden Compass, Philip Pullman Jonathan Strange and Mr Norrell, Susanna Clarke Perfect Circle, Sean Stewart Waking the Moon, Elizabeth Hand Wizard of Pigeons, Megan Lindholm The Scar, China Mieville The Prestige, Christopher Priest Who Fears Death, Nnedi Okorafor The Brides of Roll-Rock Island, Margo Lanagan Was, Geoff Ramon

So, far I’ve managed to source most of the books. However, I’m drawing a blank at perfect circle. I’ve already read ‘ who fears death’ ‘the drowning girl’ and ‘the bride’s of Roll rock island’. I’m currently trawling my way through the 1003 page Jonathan strange and Mr Norrell by Susanna Clark. I’m really enjoying it. It has a pickwickian feel to it. Daily questions; 1) what do you think of the Coodestreet list? 2) what are you reading? 3) why do you think that Jonathan strange and Mr Norrell is classified as lit fix (on a lit fix publisher Bloomsbury) and not a fantasy?

Posted in Uncategorized

Don`t they realize that women write science fiction? But,, I’m really glad to see that Harrison and Stanley Robinson made the ballot. I Really loved those books. I’m also really glad to see Tidhar and Burnham there too.

It Doesn't Have To Be Right...

And it’s a bloody good set of shortlists – and I don’t just say that because I’m on the short fiction shortlist for Adrift on the Sea of Rains. (Which astonishes and pleases me.) I’m also on the non-fiction list in spirit via Karen Burnham’s ‘The Complexity of the Humble Spacesuit’ from the anthology I edited, Rocket Science.

It is all together a strong set of shortlists. Unusually, I’ve read more of the shortlisted items than for most years – three of the five novels (and the other two are on the TBR); two (well, three) of the short fiction; and four of the five non-fiction nominees (if you can be said to “read” an entire website).

Anyway, the shortlists goes like this…

Best Novel
Dark Eden by Chris Beckett (Corvus)
Empty Space: A Haunting by M John Harrison (Gollancz)
Intrusion by Ken Macleod (Orbit)
Jack Glass by…

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Posted in Uncategorized


My favourite books of 2013

1, The drowning girl – Caitlin  R Kiernan -drowning-girl

2,  Jagannath – Karin Tidbeck 

3  2312 Kim Stanley Robertson

4 empty space M. John Harrison

5 Suited Jo Anderton

6 Brides of Rollrock Island (Seahearts) Margo Lanagan

7 The Scorpio races Maggie Stiefvater

8 Hair side Flesh side Hair side Helen Marshall

9 The Girl Who Fell Beneath Fairyland and Led the Revels There (Fairyland #2)

Cat Valente

10 Love and Roman Punk Tansy Rayner Roberts

11 The SHADOWED SUN N. K. Jemisin

12. The throne of the crescent moon  Saladin Ahmed



Currently reading

House of Leaves Mark Z. Danielewski 

Walking the tree  Kaaren Warron

Battle of the sexes sexes Justine Larbalestier



Read my tbr list and tbr pile

Read  the classics speculative fiction

The Australian women writers challenge

The end of the world – women’s writers.



What are your favourite books of 2012?

What are your goals for 2013?