Transition Events is a Speculative Fiction love story that takes place in a hybrid and discordant Dream–Wake ‘Australia’, that is both similar to and removed from our own world. It explores the nature of fear, displacement and identity. It begins in a world much like our own, but something is askew. My main characters, Turtle and Lisa, can physically travel between Waking and Dreaming, but, unable to live exclusively in either, they are outcasts in both. When the Dreaming infiltrates the Waking (and the usually separate realms merge) Turtle and Lisa are separated and thrust into a hybrid Dream–Wake world. To reunite, they must individually navigate a new terrain. Complicating matters is Doctor van Eeden (from the Sleep Disorders Centre), who is pursuing them. When they do find each other, questions remain if they’ll be able to reconcile: are they the same person?
As speculative fiction Transition Events defies genre conventions; bending magical realism, fabulism, sci-fi and fantasy; and it plays with reader expectations. The fantastical world-building in Transition Events attempts to reconcile estrangement as a ‘political act’ that is, according to author China Miéville, ‘Dark, politically aware urban visions that explicitly reject the consolatory, escapist “fantasy” strain established by the likes of Tolkien’. Following Haruki Murakami, Margaret Atwood, China Miéville, Lewis Carroll, Ursula Le Guin, Ben Okri and Kathy Acker this novel holds a mirror to our reality.
A section titled ‘Apnoea’ was published as a short story in Strange4 — Melbourne University (2008).
Magpie is a Realist young adult love story set in Australia’s recent past and follows fifteen-year-old Tom (nickname Magpie) for the year after his father’s death. Broken into Summer, Autumn, Winter and Spring, the narrative maps Magpie’s changing relationships with his mum, Coxy, Kev and Julie. At home, his mum acts like nothing happened; at school, the principal hates him; and everywhere he goes his shit of a younger brother Kev just annoys him. When his best mate Coxy, who can talk under cement, kisses Julie, the same girl he’s been in love with forever, Magpie’s ready to pack it in. To make matters worse, he plays in the same footy team as Coxy (the Magpies). Following Kalinda Ashton, Favel Parrett and Craig Silvey this novel looks at the fallout death brings when secrets and lies are shaken loose.
An extract was short listed for the Wet Ink Short Story Prize, and was published in Wet Ink magazine (in 2012).
Of Teak and Eucalyptus
Of Teak and Eucalyptus is a Magical Realist journey into the heart of Australia. It follows C, a CSIRO employee investigating unexplained phenomena sightings across the continent (e.g. the yowie). But it’s complicated: this land mass houses three nations: a southern Indonesian province (Java Nusa Agung: JNA); the Indigenous National Territory (INT); and an Australia which hugs the continent’s southern third — from Brisbane to Perth. The borders of all three countries intersect in the central desert region of the continent, where the frontiers have been fractious for centuries. This is an Australia that doesn’t exist, but could have. Of Teak and Eucalyptus journeys through Australia’s pasts, presents and futures. Following Alexis Wright, Terry Dowling, Gerald Murnane and Peter Carey this novel asks us to imagine a different Australia.
An extract was long listed for the 2016 Aurealis Awards, and was published in The Never Never Land anthology in 2015.
A Delicate Touch
A Delicate Touch reflects on death, dying, grief and happiness. It was part of the ACT Writers Centre’s 2015 HARDCOPY Nonfiction Master Class Program. In June 2013 my mother died of cervical cancer aged 65 and in May of that year I turned 40. A Delicate Touch is about family, regret, guilt and loss. It explores the paradox of grief and happiness, and looks at why they, more often than not, occur side by side. This is not a manual, although I grapple with the complexities of dealing with death; it is not a set of instructions for cancer patients and their families, although I critique the inadequacy of medical health systems to accommodate terminal patients; and it is not a self-help book, although I use my journey as a metaphor for re-discovery. It condenses biography, allegory and self-reflection into a personal and public exploration of the intimacy of death.