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A Fistful Of Clones, Seaton Kay-Smith, Harper Collins Australia (Impulse): March 2015
If you think there's a cliché in the title, be prepared for a bunch of them when you read this book — to comic effect, of course. And yes, I do recommend this book, especially if you're in the market to read something a little odd.
Seaton Kay-Smith is brave. He penned this novel with an unlovable protagonist, normally the death-knell of any good story. Indeed, none of the characters are approachable, and at times they're outright depressive. I should except the narrator, who really is another character in this book — warped and invested with black fun.
Touch, Claire North, Hachette Australia (Orbit): Feb 2015
Touch has a note on the cover advising the reader that it is by the same author as a book called The First Fifteen Lives of Harry August. Not having ever heard of it, the recommendation didn't mean much to me. It was useful later though. As soon as I had finished Touch, I hit up Amazon for North's previous book. Which really, is a fairly good indication that I enjoyed this one.
Touch is delightful. While the idea of a person who can jump from body to body isn't a new one, it was done marvellously here, with a protagonist who is both sympathetic and fascinating. The only name we are given is Kepler, which is false, and we are left in the dark even about whether our hero is male or female.
"I am sick of this course, Doe! My professor is on my case. I need to come up with some amazing experiment to bring his department glory. I am sick of it. Everything worth doing has been done already. I can't think of a single thing to do. I hate the course, I hate the work, and don't get me started on those hideous field trips."
Notice: the data recorded on this microcard found in this microphone may be of importance in the up-coming case against [REDACTED] of [REDACTED] webzine.
Hello. My name is [REDACTED]. I am a reporter for [REDACTED]. I've been looking for the Back-O-Burke Insurgency for some time now, and some people in [REDACTED] suggested this might be the spot.
On a Wednesday, late October, he decided to check the turnips. They had been planted in August heat. Most were a few centimetres tall, good-looking leaves. One had a strange peak. It looked more like a new rose. He knelt down and touched a leaf.
It was the final case of the day, and the district court judge, world-weary after decades on the bench, was in no mood for listening to the pleas of drug dealers. He checked his wristwatch — if he moved quickly, the case could still be settled that day without an adjournment.
I'm in total awe. He's exactly as history described. A mountain of a man despite his height. His presence outweighs his size.
Ruggedly handsome but somehow vulnerable. He doesn't have a moustache yet but his shirt is open practically to his navel.
Imaging her thoughts as a void of grey sky, Miranda Petal waits as the machine scans her mind, then beeps green. She walks through the security gates of Canberra's Museum of Useless Pursuit, thankful the government hasn't engineered a way to control people's thoughts. Not yet.
The miracle the world had been waiting for arrived on a bleak winter's night. The television screens of the world went blank. There was much playing with remote controls, checking power switches, cursing, and making cups of coffee.
Then the screens filled with a smiling face, and a calm, gentle voice spoke to the television watchers of the world. "Hello men and women of Earth.
"There are buildings and lights and stuff all over the dark side," Jake whispered to his school chum, Toby. "You can check it for yourself: download Google Earth, switch to Moon, and spin around to the dark side. There's just this one square patch at high res. It's all there."
He slid a scrap of paper across the desk:
Otto and the Cloth Baby were just changing back into civilian dress after yet another astounding super caper involving an international crime cartel whose attempt to smuggle drugs in hollowed out cucumbers met with a stunning defeat. The two Department of Agriculture superheroes were going off-duty, and hopefully getting some much needed R & R.
Having changed into their secret identities — Otto as Clanston Mudridge, wealthy bachelor and gay man about town; and The Cloth Baby as his illegitimate son, Drone — Clanston said, "You know I’m glad that caper’s over, Dronie baby, 'cause I got a heavy date tonight with Troxine."
A Composer Composed
by Wes Parish
by Shaun A Saunders
by Bart Meehan
Goldilocks The Epilogue
by Harris Tobias
by Lorena Torres Loaiza
by David Scholes
by DW Walker
by Steve Ruskin
The Last Streetcar To Somewhere
by Wayne Haroutunian
The Last Woman But One
by David Adès
Online Since Feb 1998
Inspiration by Liz Martin (Liz Heldmann)
Does Whatever by Wes Parish
Social Experiment by David Scholes
Devils by Christine Gladstone
Acquired Distaste - by Kevin J Phyland
Closer To God by Martin Livings
The Party by Edwina Harvey
Where The Last Humans Went by Edwina Harvey
Chlorphyll Haven by DW Walker
Authentic Empathy by Mark Webb
Grubber by Tom Grayhorse
The Teeth Of Moloch by Houston Dunleavy (podcast special)
A Lively Discussion Over The Merits Of Flash Fiction by PS Cottier
The AntipodeanSF Radio Show delivers audio from the pages of this magazine.
The monthly program features all of the issue's flash stories, usually narrated by the authors themselves, with occasional longer stories.
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The Three Laws Of Robotics