Category Archives: Talking about things

A time for discovery

I’m slowly working my way through Alanna Mitchell’s The Spinning Magnet. It’s non-fiction, a book about the north and south magnetic poles switching and the impact that might have. The book caught my interest because we have an old story based around this idea that we’d love to revive. We shelved our original story because…

Voting for the Hugos

In which I attempt to explain how Hugo voting works, and why I like the system*. Compulsory voting Here in Australia we have compulsory voting in elections. I have to confess that in politics, I’m a huge fan of compulsory voting. If you live in a country where voting isn’t compulsory, you probably think I’m…

Speculate 18

Yesterday I went to the Speculate 18, which is a speculative writers’ festival, held here in Melbourne. It was pretty good. As festivals go, it was small. One stream, five sessions. But they were good sessions. Three in the morning, two in the afternoon. The most fun session was the first one after lunch.  Dungeons…

A history of migration in a suburb through its food

When we were children, Chinese food sold in restaurants was a very Australianised version of Cantonese cuisine. Fried rice, beef with black bean sauce, lemon chicken, sweet and sour pork (the dish with pineapple). All of them were modified for the Western palate. I mean, chilli in your dish—I can’t even think of a dish…

One percent inspiration, 99 percent perspiration

When Linesman first came out, Sherylyn and I did a talk at one of our local libraries. There was time, afterwards, for questions. “Do you consider yourself gifted?” one of the ladies in the audience asked.  “Having published a book and all.” “No,” we said.  “We persevered.” There are some truly gifted writers in the…

Halloween came late to our house

Growing up, Halloween was a weird celebration other countries (US, and maybe Canada) celebrated. We didn’t. Over the years, Halloween has become a thing, here, with parents buying scary costumes for their children and the kids going around to neighbors’ houses. Or some of them, anyway. It hasn’t really become a thing in our suburb…