2011 has an absolute cracker of a fiction list.
In February treat yourself to a crime thriller which flawlessly balances ‘gripping’ and ‘laconic’. Prime Cut is set in Hopetoun and Ravensthorpe on the state’s south coast. It is about the seamy side of the mining boom. The only thing better than reading a crime novel is reading about crime in a place you know. It’s the perfect way to feel safely freaked out. Prime Cut was shortlisted in the prestigious Crime Writers’ Association Debut Dagger awards this year and excited much attention at the 2010 Frankfurt Book Fair.
Our short fiction list has undergone something of a renaissance – a trend we are noticing in general in the Australian writing scene. A good short story anthology is hard to find, but a great short story collection is magnificent.
In May, grab a copy of The Kid on the Karaoke Stage & other stories – twenty-eight stories from some of the best writers in Western Australia today including Amanda Curtin, Jon Doust, Peter Docker, Alice Nelson and Natasha Lester. The Kid on the Karaoke Stage is perfect bedtime or public transport reading.
In June, Goldie Goldbloom’s You Lose These & other stories follows on from her extraordinary debut novel The Paperbark Shoe. Darkly humorous and diverse, You Lose These is a diverse collection about people at the edge of society. This collection confirms for me that Goldie is a major Australian talent.
In August, stand by for The Waterboys, a high-action post-apocalyptic novel by Peter Docker. The Waterboys imagines an Australia in which Captain Charles Fremantle chose to accept the ways of the Nyungar people, and an east coast which clings to the imperialist imperative of destruction and annihilation. The novel is radical and confronting, but the future it warns us of is all too probable.
In October, from Adam Morris, lead singer of the Murder Mouse Music Blues band, comes a wonderfully grungy novel about Saul, a part-time muso, part-time teacher, the kind of guy who hangs out with the chooks in his mate’s backyard thinking about the best way to acquit his unemployment benefit on booze. This is a tight funny novel about masculine identity and narrowly missed epiphanies.
And in November, you will see K.A. Bedford’s Paradox Resolution No Extra Charge. Surely not another novel set in Malaga? A sequel to the greasily entertaining sci-fi thriller Time Machines Repaired While-U-Wait, this little beauty begins at the moment Aloysius ‘Spider’ Webb opens his fridge to find it contains the head of his ex-boss, nemesis, and wannabe destroyer of the universe, Dickhead McMahon. Paradox Resolution Guaranteed.
Stay tuned. Keep reading. You won’t regret it.
Georgia Richter, Fiction, Creative Non-Fiction and Poetry Publisher, Fremantle Press