Good Reading : December January 2008
DECEMBER 2007/JANUARY 2008 ı goodreading 11 Future classics Science fiction publisher Gollancz has gathered together eight novels pub- lished between 1985 and 2002 and republished them in a new series called ‘Future Classics’.The publisher describes the authors as ‘the future HG Wells, John Wyndhams and JG Ballards’ and says every science fiction fan should read them all.Well, they must be onto something because between them they’ve won every sci fi award going.The strange thing about the new editions is that the front covers – very beautiful, and many with raised surfaces, velour and other cutting-edge design – don’t have any words on them at all. Fittingly strange, perhaps, for the genre. The titles, which are published with an rrp of $22.95 each, and authors are (from left to right, top row): Altered Carbon by Richard Morgan; Blood Music by Greg Bear; Evolution by Stephen Baxter; Fairyland by Paul J McAuley; Hyperion by Dan Simmons; (from left to right, bottom row): Revelation Space by Alastair Reynolds; Schild’s Ladder by Greg Egan; The Separation by Christopher Priest. book trivia People of the book! A gentle reminder to those 50 lucky recipients of a proof copy of People of the Book by Geraldine Brooks (gr November), to be published by Harper- Collins in February 2008: don’t forget to send in your completed questionnaire by the end of December. How to annoy and irritate authors Judging by a couple of recent titles, this is a piece of cake! Fridge Magnets are Bastards: an A-Z rant about annoying people and useless things in the modern world is the local offering, from Sydney Morning Herald journo Mark Dapin (HarperCollins, rrp $24.99), who gives good rant. He’s up in arms about a bucket- load of stuff from the eponymous fridge magnets to financial planners, Liechtenstein, life coaches, F-list celebrities, novelty sports songs, taxi drivers Australia-wide, beards and a lot else besides. He’s often exceedingly funny and just as often exceedingly angry. Less splenetic – more vexed than incensed – are two British scriptwriters, Clive Whichelow and Hugh Murray, who put the boot into all kinds of ubiquitous modern clichés in their It’s Not Rocket Science (Piatkus, rrp $29.95). All the usual suspects are here (including that very phrase) and the Pommie pair is also very funny (describing yourself as ‘bubbly’ in a Lonely Hearts ad could, they maintain, mean ‘mad as a mop’), but reading their book makes you uncom- fortably aware of how much reliance we all place on this common parlance in veryday life. Makes gr feel like putting on a dunce’s cap and creeping quietly away to sit in a cor- ner and mutter ‘We must avoid clichés like the plague’ to ourselves ad nauseam. To celebrate the release of the film The Jane Austen Book Club in January, Sony Pictures is offering 50 lucky readers the chance to win a free double pass to the film valued at $31.00 each, and Penguin Books is offering 10 lucky readers the chance to win a copy of the book by Karen Joy Fowler valued at $24.95 each. A film about six book club members, six Austen books, six interwoven stories echoing Austen’s narratives, set in the busy modern city of Sacramento. To enter, tell us the name of the city in which the film is set. Simply write your answer, and your name and contact details, on the back of an envelope, and mail to ‘Jane Austen Book Club Competition’, GPO Box 3835 Sydney NSW 2001 or enter online at www.goodreadingmagazine.com TERMS AND CONDITIONS 1. Information on how to enter and prizes form part of these conditions. 2. The promoter is Good Reading Magazine Pty Ltd. 3. Entry is open to all residents of Australia. 4. Entries must be made between 01/12/07 and 09/01/08 and be sent to Good Reading Magazine, GPO Box 3835, Sydney NSW 2001 or entries can be made at www.goodreading- magazine.com 5. The draws will take place on 10/01/08. 6. Prizes cannot be transferred or redeemed for cash. 7. The promoter accepts no responsibility for late, lost or misdirected mail. 8. Any change in the value of the prizes between the publishing date and the date the prizes are claimed is not the responsibility of the promoter. 9. Entries for each competition will be drawn randomly from all entries received for those competitions during the promotional period and winning entries will be those that are judged to have correct answers. 10. For both competitions, the first 10 entries drawn will each win a copy of the book. For the ‘Jane Austen Book Club Competition’, the next 50 entries drawn will each win a double pass to the film. 11. The winners will be notified by mail and their names published in the March 2008 issue of Good Reading and on the Good Reading website during February 2008. 10 lucky readers could each win a copy of The Art of Love by Elizabeth Edmondson, valued at $32.99. Polly Smith is struggling to make a living as an artist when her friend Oliver invites her to his father’s house in the south of France. Thrilled, Polly asks for her birth certificate to get a passport — and her world changes. She discovers that her ‘mother’ is in fact her aunt, and her father is unknown; even her name isn’t right. Fleeing to the Riviera, Polly finds the serenity and sunshine bring her painting to life as never before. To enter, tell us the name of Polly’s friend. Simply write your answer, and your name and contact details, on the back of an envelope, and mail to ‘Art of Love Competition’, GPO Box 3835 Sydney NSW 2001 or enter online at www.goodreadingmagazine.com Win!