Underdog: #LoveOzYA Short Stories edited by Tobias Madden

Short tales from the Australian writers of tomorrow.

Featuring stories by Tobias Madden, Sofia Casanova, Cassi Dorian, Michael Earp, Jes Layton, Sophie L. McDonald, Stacey Malacari, Kaneana May, K.M Stamer-Squair, Sarah Taviani, Vivian Wei and Felicity Martin

#LoveOzYA celebrates the best of new Australian writing for teenage readers. It has grown from a humble hashtag into a movement, reflecting the important role young-adult fiction plays in shaping our current generation of readers. This anthology collects, for the first time, some of the tremendous work from the #LoveOzYA community.

Featuring a foreword by award-winning Australian novelist Fleur Ferris (Risk, Wreck, Black and Found), Underdog celebrates the diverse, dynamic and ever-changing nature of our nation’s culture. From queer teen romance to dystopian comedy, from hard-hitting realism to gritty allegory, this brilliant, engrossing and inspiring collection of short stories will resonate with any teen reader, proving, yet again, why there is just so much to love about #LoveOzYA

I was just so incredibly impressed by all the short stories debuted in this anthology!! Each were written so incredibly well, all of them so exciting and insightful to read and what really impressed me was how diverse this anthology is – no two stories are the same and you can really hear the voice and the passion speaking up through the pages by each contributing author. It was very difficult to choose a favourite as each was so unique I loved each story equally but for different reasons. I believe this book really needs to have a shining light on it and all Aussie readers need to pick this up. Huge congrats to all contributing authors in this book for making a debut with your short story! I’m so excited for this to hit the shelves soon! I really hope there are many more to come!

Special thanks to Tobias Madden (editor) and Underdog Books for sending me an advance review copy of this book and for having me on board to launch this book in March 2019.
-Annie

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Te Korero Ahi Ka: To Speak of the Home Fires Burning. Edited By: Grace Bridges, Lee Murray and Aaron Compton

Te Korero Ahi Ka, a term which means to speak of the home fires burning…

This is an anthology of science fiction, fantasy, and horror, showcasing work from both established and emerging members of the SpecFicNZ organisation of writers, poets, artists, and creatives. It is a statement about how New Zealand creators of speculative fiction and art shine their light on our literary landscape.

Firstly, I want to give my special thanks to Lee Murray who helped me get a copy across the Tasman to Sydney, Australia. With my love of urban/speculative fiction stories that are inspired by culture, I was most excited to add Maori speculative fiction to my collection.

A total of 32 stories with foreword by author Juliet Marillier, this collection of short stories is quite intriguing and I found myself very easily immersed in each one. I found each story to be unique from each other some are funny, creepy, even thought provoking and it really brought out the beauty of the land of the long white cloud and some fascinating Maori legends!!! I highly recommend this book to anyone who, like me, love urban legends and stories that are derived from culture. With such great short stories in this anthology, it is very difficult to choose a favourite!!!

-Annie

Singing My Sister Down and other stories By Margo Lanagan

An intricate, resonant and perceptive set of short stories!

I have just finished reading all the short stories in this book and the first words that came to mind when describing what I’ve read are – poetic, resonant, peculiar (in a good way) and well written. The stories have a classic/gothic fairytale feel to it and it’s hard to put down. Each story was unexpected, surprising and intricately written. It feels like reading a treasure trove of delightful and vibrant stories that explores themes of family, love, choices, courage, reflection, and gratitude. The stories have emotional impact and at times very raw, heart breaking and confronting; it’s what makes this book a stand-out in my opinion. From the books I have read by Margo Lanagan, she has never disppointed because her writing style has this unique artistry and elegance which shines through. I think “Singing My Sister Down and other stories” is one of those books where Lanagan’s words will carry you to a different place through different characters (sniper, father, brother, granddaughter, spirits, ogre) but somehow you can still relate to everything she has written. I recommend savouring it slowly, with a cup of tea and let yourself be immersed into the stories.

Click here for the book blurb on Goodreads

– Review by NJ