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On this episode of The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, start things off with a discussion about cultural appropriation, bouncing off a now infamous keynote speech given by Lionel Shriver at the Brisbane Writers Festival. Pertinent links are as follows:

  • Full transcript of Lionel Shriver's speech in The Guardian
  • Response to Shriver speech by Yassmin Abdel-Magied in The Guardian
  • Repsonse by festival volunteer Yen-Rong
  • Nike Sulway on Shriver, straw men and writing about others
  • Jim Hines on Shriver and cultural appropriation
  • Joe Aston in the Financial Review with an article that could be more accurately titled "How To Be A Dick: A Performance Piece".

The actual theme for the podcast this month was First Read/Re-Read. Kirstyn and Ian have each selected a book they read and loved a long, long time ago but which the other had never read before. Up for reminiscing and dissection are Savage Season by Joe R. Lansdale [33:40], chosen by Ian, and The Pillow Friend by Lisa Tuttle [1:04:00] which was Kirstyn's pick.

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If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:37:50 for final remarks. Up for discussion next month are two recent Shirley Jackson Award winners:

Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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It's Patron's Choice this month on The Writer and the Critic where your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, spend the episode discussing two books as voted on by their lovely supporters on Patreon. But first, they quickly go through the list of other nominated titles that were pipped at the post:

  • The Dead Lake by Hamid Ismailov    
  • Borderline by Mishell Baker         
  • Defying Doomsday edited by Tsana Dolichva and Holly Kench    
  • Heat and Light by Ellen Van Neervan    
  • Arms Race by Nic Low        
  • Planetfall by Emma Newman         
  • The Testimony by James Smythe    
  • Glory O'Brien's History of the Future by A. S. King        
  • Affinity by Sarah Waters


The discussion then moves on to the two books that garnered the most votes: Quicksand House by Carlton Mellick III [5:50] and A Head Full of Ghosts by Paul Tremblay [45:00]. This review of Quicksand House was mentioned in passing.



If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:27:30 for some brief final remarks. Next month, the theme will be First Read/Re-Read, where Kirstyn and Ian each select a book they have read and loved a long, long time ago but which the other has never read before. The two novels up for discussion will be:


Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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On this episode of The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, spend a few minutes talking about the New York Times Bestseller lists before jumping straight into the discussion of two novels which have been on the lists in some form for, oh, about a squillion weeks: All the Light We Cannot See by Anthony Doerr [11:45] and The Girl on the Train by Paula Hawkins [46:45].

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Here are the links for various items mentioned during this episode:

If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:32:00 for final remarks, including which books will be discussed next episode.

Next month is the inaugural Patron's Choice episode, wherein Kirstyn and Ian read two books nominated and voted on by some of their lovely supporters on Patreon. Ian won't let Kirstyn put the titles in the shownotes, because he wants them to be a surprise for listener's of this month's episode. Seriously, blame Ian. Then go to 1:32:00 to find out what they'll be discussing.

Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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On this episode of The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, spend a mercifully few brief minutes talking about kittens and stolen skeletons before diving straight into the two books which are up for discussion: The Fifth Child by Doris Lessing [9:00] and Parable of the Sower by Octavia Butler [55:40].

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If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:36:25 for final remarks, including some corrections regarding the Aurealis Awards as well as information for Patreon supporters about how to vote for the upcoming Patron's Choice episode.

Next month, Kirstyn and Ian will be looking at pair of novels which have spent a loooooong time on the New York Times Bestseller list:

Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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This month on The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, turn their attention to the 2015 Aurealis Awards which were announced in late March 2016. Sadly, there was no shortlist for the Best Horror Novel this year, although the category was won by Trent Jamieson's most excellent Day Boy, a book which was previously discussed on this podcast. There is much lamenting and some gnashing of teeth as Kirstyn and Ian spend a little time talking about Australia horror fiction and the ramifications of juried awards like the Aurealis failing to produce a shortlist. You can read the judges' report for the Best Horror Novel category, along with reports for all the others, in the Aurealis Awards program booklet.

The two books up for discussion this month are both Aurealis Award winners: In the Skin of a Monster by Kathryn Barker which won Best Young Adult Novel [24:50] and A Single Stone by Meg McKinlay [56:00] which took home the award for Best Children's Fiction.

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If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:29:20 for final remarks, including information for Patreon supporters about how to nominate and vote for the upcoming Patron's Choice episode.

Next month, Kirstyn and Ian will endeavour to fill a couple of large holes in their literary lives by finally getting around to reading novels by two beloved and critically acclaimed authors who have somehow slipped by them. Don't worry, they are currently hanging their heads in shame.

Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

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