Opinion Pieces


First and Foremost: Eric Frank Russell / With a Blunt Instrument

The First Line 12.2 (Summer 2010). Being a critique of Eric Frank Russell’s short story With a Blunt Instrument, and in particular the effectiveness of its opening line: Mrs. Banstead squatted like an immense bullfrog, stared grimly across the big black desk and said, “I want to be a widow.”

I Owe it to Auntie: Spec-Fic TV and the Coming of Australia’s ‘Fatty and George’ Generation

Andromeda Spaceways Inflight Magazine #55 (December 2012). In which nostalgia reigns and memory skips happily through those small-screen fields that have influenced Australia’s current crop of spec-fic writers.

Obstinately Galumphing, Reliably Ornery, Naturally Stupid: A Study in What Maketh the Minion

Crossed Genres Quarterly #3 (July-September 2011). Any purist hungering for a bona fide minion should look no further than the Jon Pertwee era of Doctor Who; specifically, to the Ogrons: hulking, lumbering great brutes with gorilla brows and strength in every muscle excepting the brain.

Parisian Stutter: The Legacy of Billy Joel’s
One-Time Francophiliation

Windmills 7 (Spring 2011). In 1980 Billy Joel released the album Glass Houses, in which he all but abandoned his piano in favour of pop rock beats and cutting edge 80s synthesisers. Also present was a quaint smattering of continental bilingualism, a nuance of which has gone largely unappreciated these past 30 years: the porquoi? lurking at the end of Don’t Ask Me Why. [Translating Jade Alex Carbon.]

Pinning Down the Lenticular Walrus

The First Line 13.4 (Winter 2011). Being a critique of Douglas Adams’ novel, So Long, and Thanks for All the Fish, and in particular the effectiveness of its opening line: “That evening it was dark early, which was normal for the time of year.”

Pith, Pithy, Pithed: Entanglement at the Recursive Limits

Dot Dot Dash #9 (‘Recursive’) (Autumn 2012). In which the word ‘pith’—and its infectious, etymologically volatile propagation via the perverse proboscises of social languitoes—is subjected to a discursive analysis far in excess of that which is warranted.

Space-Age Gloss and My Favourite Old Hat: Growing up with 80s and 70s Who Concurrently

The Doctor & I (2013). In which childhood memories of watching Doctor Who find themselves suddenly set in stone, like President Borusa at the end of The Five Doctors. Were the 80s really that long ago?

Note: When my copy of The Doctor & I arrived, I was horrified to find that someone had abridged my title; worse, that great chunks of the text had been removed or otherwise edited, without consultation and for no obvious reason. Perhaps it’s because I identify as a Doctor Who fan, rather than a Whover (sounds like a vacuum cleaner) or Whovarian (dessert) or whatever it is the editors in their wisdom prefer.