Ex Machina Movie

Over the summer holidays, I caught an ABC Science Show podcast, The Year in Tech. Science reporter, Ariel Bogle, discussed with her editor, Jonathan Webb, tech stories that had caught her eye in 2017. She opened with an audio clip from the Ex Machina movie that instantly spiked my interest.

Dog On It is the first book in Spencer Quinn’s Chet and Bernie mystery series. It’s a detective novel, featuring Bernie Little, “a slightly down-at-heel private investigator” and Chet, his “partially K-9 trained” dog. Chet is also the narrator of the story.

Loopholes by Thirroul based author, Susan McCreery, is a collection of microfiction, or very short stories. Wiktionary.org defines the genre as, “Fiction that has a significantly shorter than average length.” Synonyms include drabble, flash fiction, flashfic, short-short story, sudden fiction and even twitterature.

Ben Elton set Three Summers in the southwest of W.A., at a fictional folk festival, Westifal. Over three consecutive summers, we meet an ensemble cast of characters, who bring to the festival campgrounds their individual stories and issues. Elton has described the film as "Australia in a tent".

Kate Liston-Mills sets her slim volume of short stories in her hometown of Pambula, on the far south coast of NSW. The metaphor in the opening story, Bound, is threaded through the volume: there is a "twine" that ties the waterfowl (and humans) to each other and to Pambula.

One ordinary morning, an image invades 67-year-old Abel Marvin's thoughts as he swims his laps: the "twisted, burned-out hulk of a wheelchair with two welded, gaping red and black skeletons". It's a scene that's haunted him for most of his adult life and he buries his face in the water to drown it.

The cover of Nicholas Jose’s Bapo, a 19th-century hand-fan, decorated with Chinese characters and a collage of contrasting patterns, catches the eye and invites the reader to open the book, to learn about its author and title, and to delve into the writing.

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