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Running, running, endlessly running. I do not know what I am running from, but I know that I cannot let it catch me. It is dark. The path is narrow. The skeletons of trees are spaced so evenly, as if a line of soldiers on deathwatch. I know I should just stop running, try to take a moment to think, but the darkness creeps up behind me, and the narrow path ahead beckons.
Uncle Ben had been a pretty ornery cuss at times — he'd swear at any travelling salesman silly enough to poke his nose in Ben's backyard laboratory, and Mom and Pa were always on tenterhooks anytime he turned up at a family get-together, not knowing whether he'd behave appropriately or not in front of the relatives and kids. All it took was one "damn fool comment," as he called them, and he'd drag out the soapbox.
The group didn't get together often.
To the rest of the world they were just a bunch of nerds, but to them their meetings were important.
Sam was a schoolboy computer nerd. Dave an ageing wannabe sci-fi writer. Bill an even older nursing home resident who did complex puzzles and crosswords. Jim a young adult computer games expert. Middle-aged Rachel was a demographer/mathematician, and an absolute numbers whiz.
"Turns out that the Portuguese really did reach Australia first," Emma said, waving a photocopy of a crudely drawn map of the world.
Kathy nodded. "But they reckoned it was a secret and didn't tell anybody, and all their records were lost because Lisbon was burned down in the 1755 earthquake," she said.
Carlo sighs as he enters the football-shaped field. Memories of Essendon in the finals, Geelong in the semi's. But he's not there. He's goofing around near Mintabie. Shut out. Released. Dumped. No work. Trying for fun after many shifts sorting the rough, looking for flashes.
It was with some relief that I approached the cubicle at the ReadyWipe Clinic. To bend a cliché, it had been one of those weeks. First up, I'd strayed from my wife again, and as I had always considered myself an honest person, I had no intention of being placed in a situation where I might have to lie to her.
The sunlight woke him, as usual. Not the alarm.
Today is my last day alive, Prof Fred Gupta thought dolefully as he swung himself out of his bed. The cockatoos were so loud, so noisy! At least someone was rejoicing in the day. Just not him.
He hadn't had any reason to rejoice ever since that horrible day climbing with his wife and some of their friends two years ago.
Hunched over, he ... it enters my office, approaching the couch with hobbled gait and fangs poised. Instantly, I regret agreeing to his request for a night-time appointment. Hidden behind the clouds, the moonlight casts a meagre ray of light into the room, which skitters across my desk and glistens upon his tangled fur.
The Rook, Daniel O'Malley: Little Brown (January 2012)
Despite being written by an Australian author, The Rook is set in England with a protagonist of Welsh extraction. I found that slightly jarring at first, although I wasn't sure why. I think perhaps I expected to see something of Australia in the book, given the urban setting. If Australians want to create new worlds that's great, but apparently I feel that if the action is set in this world, it should be at home.
My latent patriotism was soon forgotten though. The Rook is an absolute pleasure to read, and one I will be reading again.
By Kevin J. Phyland
By Tom Grayhorse
Lobos (Part 2)
By Shaun A. Saunders
By Jeremy Huppatz
Malaita: Confession Time
By Wes Parish
Panic & Death
By Jason Barney
by Michael Schaper
by David Scholes
Room For All?
by Ed Errington
Disciplined to write prose using exactly fifty-words, the ancient wordsmith casts the world's greatest stories into one single work.
It raises questions but gives no answers regarding the true meaning of life.
Then in an inspired moment, he realizes the clue lay in the fifty-first word. And that word is
The Kingdom had been saved. Sir Hildmein was ready to claim his reward. The Princess's hand was his. She approached as a golden vision, his heart's desire. He reached out and she placed her hand in his. Then she walked away waving her bloody stump at the cheering crowd.
May the Force be with you!
Strange Bodies (A Crime Thriller)
By Antonia Marlowe
Tortured, and brutally murdered, the bodies of the Richardsons hang from a tree deep in the forests of the Blue Mountains
Australia in 2067, an oasis in a world which has barely survived climate change, terrorism and food wars. The Richardsons' deaths are just two of several brutal murders to be unearthed. With local police stymied, former Scotland Yard Commander, Nicholas Adams and his team, are called in. But even with the extensive surveillance of central computer BigSys and the pervasive eyes of cameras that cover so much of the country, it takes the skills of the attractive Verity Burne – computer wizard and freelance feature writer – to uncover the links between the homicides that lead to the discovery of past injustices and a thirst for bloody vengeance.
The Circle of Six
By Dan Sanders
The Twin worlds of Earth and Annwyn are in crisis: the seasons are out of balance and the worlds are dying. Their only hope is Daimon, an Athenian boy, and a small bird named Emily.
Dragged through a portal between the two worlds, Emily almost dies in the snow. Eostra, Mother Spring, saves Emily's life and transforms her into a snow rabbit. Now Emily's quest begins, and with Daimon as her protector, she must decipher the prophecy and gather The Circle of Six, beings of great power called on in times of darkness upon the land.
An Air-Elf, a young scholar, a prince and a fire-tiger are the reluctant and final members of the Six, called upon to aid Daimon and Emily.Read more...
The Perfect Theory
A Century of Geniuses and the Battle over General Relativity
Pedro G. Ferreira
Non-Fiction (Popular Science)
An engaging popular history of Einstein's General Theory of Relativity, taking in the sheer magnificence of its discovery, as well as the infighting that the theory sparked across a century.
Albert Einstein's General Theory of Relativity is possibly the most perfect intellectual achievement in modern physics. Anything that involves gravity, the force that powers everything on the largest, hottest or densest of scales, can be explained by it.Read more...