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[We regret to advise that there is some questionable audio for the first five minutes or so of this episode due to an unnoticed fault somewhere in the recording equipment. We sincerely apologise and ask that our lovely listeners persevere regardless. Thankfully, it doesn't last for long.]

This episode of The Writer and the Critic was recorded live at Continuum 11: Southern Skies -- the Melbourne speculative fiction and pop culture convention. In keeping with tradition, the special guests on the podcast were the convention's Guests of Honour, Tansy Rayner Roberts and R.J. (Rebecca) Anderson, who each recommended a favourite novel to talk about.
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After introductions and some entertaining banter concerning Doctor Who fan fic, chocolate-mousse-filled cronuts and secret author identity crises, the discussion moves on to the books. Rebecca's pick was The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner (15:40) while Tansy chose Growing Rich by Fay Weldon (59:20).

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Fans of Fay Weldon might also be interested to know that the 1992 mini-series of Growing Rich is available to view in full on YouTube. You're welcome.

If you'd skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, it's safe to come back at 1:31:30 for final remarks.

For the next episode, Kirstyn has chosen The Godless by Ben Peek while Ian is recommending The Book of the Unnamed Midwife by Meg Elison. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

Listen Now:


On this episode of The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, open with a short discussion of the Hugo Awards and other matters. Inevitably, there are puppies. Sorry. The discussion centres around the following websites and online articles:

Thankfully, they then move on to talking about books! On the slab this time around are The Well by Elizabeth Jolley (18:50) and Clade by James Bradley. (57:50).

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This obituary of Elizabeth Jolley in the New York Times as well as this interview with James Bradley in the Sydney Morning Herald are both mentioned.

If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers (or puppies), it's safe to tune back in at 1:46:40 for final remarks.

In June, The Writer and the Critic will be recorded live at Continuum 11: Southern Skies -- the Melbourne speculative fiction and pop culture convention. As has become traditional, the special guests for the podcast will be the convention's Guests of Honour, Tansy Rayner Roberts and R.J. (Rebecca) Anderson, who will each be recommending a favourite book to talk about. Tansy has picked Growing Rich by Fay Weldon while Rebecca has chosen The King of Attolia by Megan Whalen Turner.

Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun! And if you'll be at Continuum 11, we'd love to see you in the audience!

Listen Now:


On this episode of The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, begin with the enthralling tale of How Mondy Got Pneumonia on New Year's Eve, followed by a small rant from Kirstyn about Colleen McCullough and the Obituary That Should Hide its Head in Absolute Shame. The two then move on to discuss awards ballots and eligibility posts, the sometimes uncomfortable practice of self-promotion, and sad puppies in general.

The two books up for dissection this episode are The Bitterwood Bible by Angela Slatter (27:40) and How to be Both by Ali Smith (58:40).

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Highly recommended as a companion read to The Bitterwood Bible is the previous Angela Slatter collection published by Tartarus Press, Sourdough and Other Stories.

If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:32:00 for final remarks.

For the next episode, Kirstyn has chosen The Well by Elizabeth Jolley while Ian is recommending Clade by James Bradley. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

Listen Now:


On this episode of The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, kick things off with a debate about cultural cringe, tall poppy syndrome, big girl pants and why all these elements may have contributed to a dearth of Australian content on this podcast of late. Things, they will be a changing. This episode of The Coode Street Podcast focusing on Australian Science Fiction is mentioned, as is Kirstyn's love of The Babadook, an Australian film about which she recently talked at length with Terry Frost on The Martian Drive-In Podcast.

The two novels up for dissection this episode are Hild by Nicola Griffith (12:30) and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel (58:30).

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The reviews, blogs, podcasts and books mentioned during the discussion can be found via the following links:

If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, please come back at 1:35:30 for final remarks.

For the next episode, Kirstyn has chosen The Bitterwood Bible by Angela Slatter while Ian is recommending How to be Both by Ali Smith. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

Listen Now:


On this episode of The Writer and the Critic your hosts, Kirstyn McDermott and Ian Mond, begin with a lengthy discussion about authors, reviewers, and fans in view of the rapidly changing dynamics of author/reader relationships and power structures in publishing. This was sparked off by an excellent and thoughtful essay, "Don't Attack Reviewers", written by Jonathan McCalmont and published on his Ruthless Culture blog. You should go off and read the entire essay. Seriously.

This two books up for critique this time are Dust Devil on a Quiet Street by Richard Bowes (beginning at 24:30) and We Are All Completely Beside Ourselves by Karen Joy Fowler (1:03:10). During the discussion of the Fowler novel, this review by Dan Hartland is mentioned.

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If you've skipped ahead to avoid spoilers, then it's safe to return at 1:38:50 for some brief final remarks.

The books that will be featured on the next episode are Hild by Nicola Griffith, chosen by Kirstyn, and Station Eleven by Emily St. John Mandel, which Ian has recommended. Read ahead and join in the spoilerific fun!

Listen Now:


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