Category: books

On Peeling Oranges

In The Wizardry of Jewish Women, one family peels oranges with a fork. Chaz Brenchley asked me how this was done. I began peeling oranges this way when I was a teenager. It was partly for the cooking possibilities and partly for the clean fingernails and partly because it’s wonderful as a party trick. Someone …

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On writing what I know, or, “How do I know things? Let me count the ways.”

This week is a little busy. By Monday morning, I need to have finished all the non-fiction (articles, essays and two conference papers) due until 10 September. That’s over twenty thousand words. I’m part way through and on a roll and all I have to do is work steadily and somewhat obsessively and I’ll make …

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Discussion – novel where the main character is woman with a chronic illness (or two)

I was thinking about writing another novel about another kind of invisibility, to balance Ms Cellophane and The Time of the Ghosts. I deal with chronic illnesses every day of my life. I’m very much not the only one. Yet this kind of life with all its oddity and excitement seldom makes it into novels. …

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Australian Jewish speculative fiction writers using Jewish material

This list is not complete. This kind of list is never complete. It has its own particular complications. To create it, I talked to most of the current Jewish Australian writers of SFF I know and a tweet went round the world three times asking for advice: I could only find three Jewish Australian authors …

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About History and Fiction

My book, History and Fiction, has just been shortlisted for an Atheling (the award for critical work, given as part of the science fiction and fantasy popular awards, the Ditmars – ‘Atheling’ isn’t a full name, just as this isn’t a full explanation. Full details can be found here). This is a bit of a …

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The food (including a recipe and test for Cornish Meat Rolls) in The Wizardry of Jewish Women

A group of enthusiastic cooks and lovely people are making recipes mentioned in my new novel, The Wizardry of Jewish Women. I almost always have recipes lurking beneath my fiction. Even my next novel (which I’m editing this week) contains food which I can cook, and it takes place off-planet! My new novel is set …

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When the New becomes the Same-Old

I’ve reached the stage where I’m tired of the Not-Quite-New Black in SFF. I would very much like publishers to stop pushing gritty urban noir fantasy at me right now, whether it has elves or not, whether it’s derived from ancient gods or not, whether it’s set in London (which most are) or somewhere else. …

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A couple of thoughts on The Art of Effective Dreaming

Today is a bad day that has been redeemed by readers. Several people have this week talked publicly about The Art of Effective Dreaming. This week. Just when I assumed it had lapsed into the half-oblivion of not-quite-new books that don’t give the right resonance to last. In fact people are talking a bit about …

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Childhood books

I’ve just had a beautifully long conversation with my mother. We talked through a whole shelf of books from my childhood. It helped me discover some critical things about myself. 1. I read Little Golden Books at the same time as Thomas Hardy, because I read the same books as all the children I babysat …

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1 January 2016

I’ve had a very productive and exciting 2015, but also a very difficult year. Today sums up the irony of all those breakthroughs still garnering me not -enough paid work and so forth. You don’t need to know the ‘so forth’ – I’ve been chronicling it all year. And that was my year in summary. …

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