*Forgot* to mention, The Age review has been transcribed by ‘the publisher’ over on her blog:
The busiest short-story writers in Australia are working in speculative fiction, a mixture of dark fantasy, science and other unsettling stuff. They are also some of the best, although largely ignored by the major local publishers. Biancotti has won various awards and been commended in international listings. She is working in the Zeitgeist of The Road and Steven Amsterdam – the apocalypse and afterwards – but at much shorter length. There are 21 short stories here. Most have the germ of a novel within them. A robot dog rusts in a decaying royal palace, but sticks to his duty. A girl slips into the interstices of Sydney. Thugs tussle over black market electricity. What Biancotti will do with more space, and a novel framework, remains to be seen. But the stories are succinct and powerful. Best ordered online, as the publisher is a micropress.
Really kind of excellent. Though I am the only one to be hung up on the line, “What Biancotti will do with more space, and a novel framework, remains to be seen.”…? ;)
(Yes, I suspect I am, because interest & sales are up & ‘succinct & powerful’ makes me feel very chuffed!)
By the by, apparently my flippant description of my novel as ‘The Great Unsaleable’ isn’t washing with several people. I *think* I read someplace that in traditional Chinese culture, it’s bad luck to talk about a newborn child in terms of its beauty, its charm, humour, personality, prospects, strength. Because if the gods hear, they’ll grow jealous & snatch the child away. So, for some weeks, the child is not named and not complimented. ‘Poor, ugly baby,’ the adults croon. ‘You’ll never amount to anything, little baby.’
Similarly, I have been trying to outwit the gods.
But, no more! People are worried the strategy will work too well & I’ll jinx myself & the gods will forget entirely to honour me. Henceforth I’m throwing away the pessimsim & working hard on proving that my novel is a charming, beautiful, honourable baby. I shall call it BROKEN, not because it *is* broken, but because that’s part of its real name, that’s what it’s about, a novel about being broken and living anyhow. A novel about shards of consciousness and subconsciousness and about how we shape the world with those.
Also, I am still getting my perverse delight from calling it BROKEN.