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Book Review: Jo Walton's alternative British fascist history trilogy, Small Change

Half a crown

Colin Steele 12:00am FARTHING. HA’PENNY. HALF A CROWN. By Jo Walton. Corsair. 316pp. $19.99 each. 


Richard Flanagan on Man Booker longlist

Writer Richard Flanagan.

JASON STEGER Richard Flanagan is the sole Australian writer on the longlist for this year's Man Booker Prize, the first time the prize has been open to writers of any nationality.

Book series

JK Rowling plans more crime thrillers

British writer JK Rowling loves the freedom of the crime genre.

Author JK Rowling has revealed plans to pen many more crime thrillers and create a series that will run for longer than her seven Harry Potter books.

Kristina Olsson wins Kibble Literary Award for Boy, Lost

Kristina Olsson winner of the Kibble Award for Australian women's life writing  poses at State Library Of New South Wales.

SUSAN WYNDHAM Brisbane author Kristina Olsson is a deserving winner of the Kibble Literary Award for women’s life writing, awarded to her family memoir, Boy, Lost, a heartbreaking but finely controlled investigation into the theft of Olsson’s half-brother from their mother.

A spotter's guide to Canberra book clubs

Existential crisis: One boor can ruin it for everyone.

NATASHA RUDRA From boozers to work friends, there's a group for everybody.

Take three, with Colin Steele

Take Three dinkus

Colin Steele Colin Steele delves into the fantasy genre with three book reviews.

Litbits: July 19


RON CERABONA A comprehensive guide of what is happening in Canberra's literary scene.

No feud with publisher, says d'Alpuget

New venture: Blanche d'Alpuget has self-published her latest book.

SUSAN WYNDHAM Blanche d'Alpuget goes it alone; high praise for Australian novel from Bill Gates


Next Captain America will be African American: Marvel Comics

Sam Wilson (played in <i>Captain America: The Winter Soldier</i> by Anthony Mackie) will suit up as the new Captain America.

An African American character will soon strap on the star-emblazoned shield and step into the red, white and blue uniform of Captain America in the pages of Marvel Comics.

Comments 13

Melbourne Writers Festival promises a galaxy of writers

Festival director Lisa Dempster.

JASON STEGER Melbourne Writers Festival announces 400 guests, with Helen Garner to deliver the opening night address.

Booksellers slam Amazon's tests of ebook library

Digital book.

LINDA MORRIS Amazon seems to be testing an all-you-can-read digital library - and Australian booksellers are far from happy.

How the State Library landed Victor Hugo's 'mythical' Les Miserables manuscript

Les Miserable manuscript.

Tim Young Tim Young reveals how an Australian delegation scored an unlikely coup, convincing France to bring one of its greatest literary treasures to Melbourne.

Thor blimey

Comic shocks: Marvel unveils Thor as a woman, Archie Comics kills off main character

The female version of the Marvel comic book superhero character Thor courtesy of Marvel Comics.

Comic book superhero character Thor will now be a woman, publisher Marvel Comics says, casting the future of the films' leading man into question.

Comments 67

Bill Gates opens the door for Australian novel

Graeme Simsion gets a boost from Gates

SUSAN WYNDHAM The American billionaire, philanthropist and former Microsoft boss Bill Gates has given a priceless endorsement to The Rosie Project, the best-selling debut novel by Australian author and former data modeller Graeme Simsion.

Nadine Gordimer delved into the heart of apartheid

Helen T. Verongos Nadine Gordimer, the South African writer whose literary ambitions led her into the heart of apartheid to create a body of fiction that brought her a Nobel Prize in 1991, has died in Johannesburg at the age of 90.

Different paths for Nadine Gordimer and J.M. Coetzee

Susan Wyndham, Literary Editor There are South African writers who left, such as J.M. Coetzee, who moved to Australia in 2002; and those who stayed, including Nadine Gordimer.

Bookmarks: literary news and tidbits


JASON STEGER Here comes Dale, again; that's no for Amazon; the global view from Frankfurt, and more.

Nobel Prize

Nadine Gordimer, Nobel Prize novelist who took on apartheid, dies at 90

Gordimer, who was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1991, has died at the age of 90 at her home in Johannesburg, her family said

Nadine Gordimer, the South African writer whose literary ambitions led her into the heart of apartheid to create a body of fiction that brought her a Nobel Prize in 1991, died Sunday in Johannesburg. She was 90.


National and independent bestsellers

The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green.

The top-selling books for the week ending July 5.


Author John Clanchy reveals why he wrote Six


Nigel Featherstone Writer John Clanchy dissects his writing, discusses his new short story collection Six and reflects on how literature is evolving.

David Astle's Wordplay

Simon Letch

David Astle Language invention is popular in fantasy - think Star Trek's Klingon and Game of Thrones' Dothraki - but a dash of gibberish serves a useful purpose for lexicographers.


Omar Musa's Here Come The Dogs is trainspotted


Cris Kennedy The hip hop artist's debut novel is so hot even Scottish novelist Irvine Welsh endorses it.

Books that changed me: Andrew McGahan

Author Andrew McGahan

Andrew McGahan The Australian/Vogel Literary Award winner Andrew McGahan on two very different sources of literary inspiration.

Snow, White by Keith Austin

Keith Austin

Aleesah Darlison New in YA fiction.



Thuy On New releases at the bookstore.

Book review: Reservoir Dad by Clint Greagen

Reservoir Dad by Clint Greagen.

Thuy On A stay-at-home dad reveals the realities of childcare, fathers' groups and keeping romance alive.


In the Approaches, by Nicola Barker.

Kerryn Goldsworthy Short reviews of fiction from Australia and overseas.

Simply English by Simon Heffer

Simon Heffer

Peter Craven An authority on language who refuses to be cowed.

GoT creator

Game of Thrones author George R.R. Martin says 'f--- you' to fans

George RR Martin is not happy with fans questioning his ability to finish his fantasy series.

LUCY CORMACK A succinct "f--- you" and a one-fingered gesture was all Game of Thrones author, George R.R. Martin had for fans questioning his ability to finish the epic series before his death.

Sour notes in the tale of a strange marriage

Sour notes: Georgie & Elsa, by Norman Thomas di Giovanni.

Andrew Riemer A bitter account, with an agenda.


Tomorrow We Escape, by Tom Trumble.

Steven Carroll Short reviews of non-fiction titles from Australia and overseas.

Chasing the Ace by Nicholas J Johnson

Fair game: Chasing the Ace by Nicholas J. Johnson.

Simon Caterson Author and theme are well-matched in this new novel.

The Life of I by Anne Manne

Close scrutiny: The Life of I, by Anne Manne.

Morag Fraser A new book examines the modern epidemic of narcissism.

Book review: The Silkworm by Robert Galbraith

The Silkworm, by Robert Galbraith.

Sue Turnbull Robert Galbraith captures the worlds of crime drama and literature of past eras, writes Sue Turnbull.

The interview: Philip Hensher

A certain cachet: Philip Hensher.

Fiona Gruber Philip Hensher's unfashionable passions.

Publisher Matt Richell's life to be honoured by scholarship

Matt Richell.

LINDA MORRIS Publishing house announces support for Australian writers in memory of their chief executive Matt Richell.

Actor Steve Bisley shortlisted for biography award

Steve Bisley, in rehearsal for the MTC production of Glengarry Glen Ross. Bisley, who left the production due to illness, has been shortlisted for the National Biography Award,

SUSAN WYNDHAM Actor Steve Bisley’s childhood memoir is shortlisted for the $25,000 National Biography Award along with the life stories of cricketer Shane Warne, a retired army officer and an intrepid 19th century traveller among others.


Harry Potter returns in new JK Rowling short story

Harry Potter

Harry Potter has returned, in a short story posted online by J.K. Rowling.

Comments 18

Litbits July 12 2014

RON CERABONA Litbits July 12, 2014

Tom Rachman's eccentric family plot

The Rise & Fall of Great Powers, by Tom Rachman.

Anson Cameron The name of this novel is a red herring.



JASON STEGER When Murray made his bow; rare books galore; real names and real pain; and a letter of praise ... for Amazon.

Sweeping view of martime history's role in today's world

Replica: The Viking ship Havhingsten af Glendalough.

Ross Southernwood In many ways we take the seas and oceans, covering 70 per cent of the Earth’s surface, for granted these days. They are there and we utilise them as we see fit for travel, trade, leisure pursuits and fishing.

Bookshop: the newest reviews in brief


Thuy On On the shelf this week:

Books that changed me, Liam Pieper

Welcome to their worlds: Liam Pieper learnt one great lesson from each of the books that moulded him.

Liam Pieper has been a cook, music critic, itinerant labourer, 'mediocre criminal' and writer.

Neil Gaiman's dark collaboration with Eddie Campbell

Neil Gaiman

Lucy Sussex In reviewing, the most difficult books are not those where the author is a sensitive and vengeful little plant. Rather they are children’s picture books.

What's happening in the Melbourne and Victoria literary scene

Literary events in Melbourne and Victoria.

Kate Forsyth's new murder mystery

Trapped: Dancing on Knives, by Kate Forsyth, tells the story of tortured heroine Sara.

Dianne Dempsey Kate Forsyth can take a contemporary Australian setting and turn it into a world of seething passions.


Top seller: The Fault in Our Stars, by John Green.

Bestselling books from across the country.

Keeping the Anzac flame alive

David Astle's Dinkus

David Astle World War I bequeathed to us a whole vocabulary that emerged from the trenches.

The Fifth Season returns to dark side


Anna Creer Book review: The return of Detective Inspector Malin Fors is atmospheric, disturbing and memorable.



A look at what's going on in the books world at home and abroad.


News and views on books, writers and publishing.


The Age Short Story Award

Find out who won this year’s Age/Readings short-story award.

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