The Tree, Catherine Hughes

The words seemed so casual. Slipped so easily into Mum’s stream of consciousness that I almost missed them. She’d been talking for an hour or more, filling me in on the news of the last few months. The family was gathering tomorrow for Dad’s eightieth birthday party. Phil and the girls were arriving tonight and […]

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NiKKi, Hiroki Kosuge

18th April, 2014 Church I went to church on Good Friday. A man standing by the lectern preached about the importance of choice in our lives. Then, we sang a hymn. Every single believer but me sang pretty well. The preacher said, ‘Anyone interested, please come over here.’ The believers flooded to the lectern. They […]

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From Shattering, Ally Bodnaruk

Shattering is a young adult science fiction novel set in a far-flung future-city of August, where tensions between the Patron ruling class and anti-technology activists are building. At the centre of the controversy is the Imprint program, a new method of prolonging life using synthetic bodies and downloadable ‘imprints’ of the human mind. Mallory Li […]

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Badu Mangrove Morning, Willo Drummond

When the sun hits the surface of the Badu morning do you know what must be done?   When the sun hits the surface of what must be done fish wake to feed river and ocean   river fish feed shore birds training ironic eyes to assess the day   shore birds assess the Badu […]

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A Void Dance, Suzanne Strong

Drunk on the adulation of the humming crowd beyond the blinding white, and the tequila shot he had downed, he staggered, then leaned into his characteristic seductive sway, exaggerating each step. ‘Wish you, wish you were mine…’ His voice was deep and textured and his mouth touched the microphone intimately; his breath was loud and […]

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From Young Warrior, Jacqueline Brown

Young Warrior is an adventure novel for middle school children. Eleven year old Kevin Jones stumbles on a strange and mysterious dojang, from where he is transported to a fantastical realm to train with Master Cheng, and to be taught the ancient secrets of the monks, martial art and combat. But when the magic force […]

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Brave New World, Rebecca Fraser

(Winter) My breath plumes and swirls in front of me as I tread the wooden boardwalk though the wetlands. The path I follow gives way to a muddy track. Like a serpent from the Dreamtime of the Boonwurrung people that hunted and gathered here for tens of thousands of years, it snakes its way up […]

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Grace’s Room, Emma Dorreen

The edges of the house are indistinct — no matter how hard I look. It seems American though: solid, large, old. Not what we’re used to. It has two storeys, plus an attic. Stone stairs ascend to a deep porch. Large windows front generous rooms. I can see no context to the house — no […]

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From Slipstream, Kylie Nealon

Slipstream is a Young Adult novel, set in a parallel contemporary society, in which teenagers with ‘extra’ abilities are being recruited as part of an elite programme. At the d’Orsay Academy in central London, Scarlett, the protagonist, and her peers attend the corporation’s ‘school.’ We follow Scarlett and her three friends as they explore their […]

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Crossroads, Alix Rochaix

  I What is it about the small hours? Those between say, 2.00 am and 4.00 am? ‘These hours are as small as a human heart — with no hope left in it.’ No. Too tragic. ‘These are the hours in which to unleash a dam burst of … creative agony.’ Worse. I (for one) […]

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