Would it be ethical to eat sentient aliens? What is the basis of differences between the sexes? Where do you find fossils of early multicellular life? Is there any hope for the Great Barrier Reef or Tasmanian forests in a warming climate? Were Aboriginal Australians the world's first astronomers? The Best Australian Science Writing 2017, now in its seventh year, draws on the knowledge and insight of Australia's brightest thinkers. From the potentially venomous future of medicine to the ecological knowledge available from large-scale, unreplicated natural experiments (LUNEs), this acclaimed anthology selects the best science writing from the past year, challenging perceptions of the world we think we know. With a foreword by Professor Emma Johnston, UNSW Dean of Science, this year's collection includes the best of Australia's science writing talent: Jo Chandler, Elmo Keep, Peter Singer, Bianca Nogrady, James Bradley, and many more.
Good science writing makes us feel. It makes us delight in the discovery of a black hole munching on a star, laugh at the image of aliens puzzling over golf balls on the Moon, wonder at the mystery of the Spanish influenza’s deadly rampage, grieve for baby shearwater chicks dying with plastic-filled stomachs, rage at the loss of the Great Barrier Reef and cheer for the clitoris’ long-overdue scientific debut. This ninth edition of The Best Australian Science Writing showcases the most powerful, insightful and brilliant essays and poetry from Australian writers and scientists. It roams the length and breadth of science, revealing how a ceramic artist is helping to save the handfish, what is so dangerous about the hype around artificial intelligence and whether too much exercise is bad for the heart. It makes us think, feel and hopefully act.
Could the dodo make a comeback? What does science tell us about the sex in Fifty Shades of Grey? Is giving up meat really the greenest option? Can you use tweets to spot a psychopath? Do birds make art? What do the Cold War and climate science have in common? And can a psychologist interpret your farts? The Best Australian Science Writing 2013 brings together great writing about life and the universe, including contributions from poets and psychologists, comedians and climate commentators, neuroscientists and novelists, star-gazers and science journalists. With a foreword by superstar comedian, musician and self-confessed science-nerd, Tim Minchin, this provocative collection is chock-full of intrigue, curiosity and controversy. Read this. Your brain will love you for it.
Author: Mircea Pitici
Publisher: Princeton University Press
Release Date: 2018-12-04
The year’s finest mathematical writing from around the world This annual anthology brings together the year’s finest mathematics writing from around the world. Featuring promising new voices alongside some of the foremost names in the field, The Best Writing on Mathematics 2018 makes available to a wide audience many pieces not easily found anywhere else—and you don’t need to be a mathematician to enjoy them. These essays delve into the history, philosophy, teaching, and everyday aspects of math, offering surprising insights into its nature, meaning, and practice—and taking readers behind the scenes of today’s hottest mathematical debates. James Grime shows how to build subtly mischievous dice for playing slightly unfair games and Michael Barany traces how our appreciation of the societal importance of mathematics has developed since World War II. In other essays, Francis Su extolls the inherent values of learning, doing, and sharing mathematics, and Margaret Wertheim takes us on a mathematical exploration of the mind and the world—with glimpses at science, philosophy, music, art, and even crocheting. And there’s much, much more. In addition to presenting the year’s most memorable math writing, this must-have anthology includes an introduction by the editor and a bibliography of other notable pieces on mathematics. This is a must-read for anyone interested in where math has taken us—and where it is headed.
Author: Alice Gorman
Publisher: MIT Press
Release Date: 2019-10-22
A pioneering space archaeologist explores artifacts left behind in space and on Earth, from moon dust to Elon Musk's red sports car. Alice Gorman is a space archaeologist: she examines the artifacts of human encounters with space. These objects, left behind on Earth and in space, can be massive (dead satellites in eternal orbit) or tiny (discarded zip ties around a defunct space antenna). They can be bold (an American flag on the moon) or hopeful (messages from Earth sent into deep space). They raise interesting questions: Why did Elon Musk feel compelled to send a red Tesla into space? What accounts for the multiple rocket-themed playgrounds constructed after the Russians launched Sputnik? Gorman—affectionately known as “Dr Space Junk” —takes readers on a journey through the solar system and beyond, deploying space artifacts, historical explorations, and even the occasional cocktail recipe in search of the ways that we make space meaningful. Engaging and erudite, Gorman recounts her background as a (nonspace) archaeologist and how she became interested in space artifacts. She shows us her own piece of space junk: a fragment of the fuel tank insulation from Skylab, the NASA spacecraft that crash-landed in Western Australia in 1979. She explains that the conventional view of the space race as “the triumph of the white, male American astronaut” seems inadequate; what really interests her, she says, is how everyday people engage with space. To an archaeologist, objects from the past are significant because they remind us of what we might want to hold on to in the future.
Author: John Pickrell
Publisher: Australian Geographic
Release Date: 2018-10-05
For first-time visitors here, Australia's wildlife - from the platypus and the thorny devil to the cassowary and the koala - seems almost indescribably exotic. This is not only true for its plants and animals but also for its landscapes and environments. The unusual fauna, unusual environments, unusual climate, and the vast size of Australia - ......
Author: Ashley R. N. Hay
Publisher: Archway Publishing
Release Date: 2016-10-20
When Charlotte calls off work as an ER nurse to take a rainy day drive with her husband, she never expected her world would be flipped upside down. She loses her beloved in a horrific car accident and nearly loses her own life in the process. She thought the worst thing she would endure as a young widow would be emotional trauma. Then, the demon attacked. Los Angeles is now teeming with witches, vampires, and monsters as an unknown dark force begins to take over. After Charlotte is rescued by the mysterious Sky, the two team up with the elusive fae, who seem innocent enough ... at first. Charlotte begins to question her own family heritage and discovers abilities within herself that appear to have lain dormant until now. Charlotte must learn to battle the pressing forces of evil while fighting to keep her soul intact in the process. During her quest to understand her birthright, her frightening powers take her to the darkest of places, and unexpected emotions threaten everything she thought she knew about herself. Charlotte is prepared to battle creatures of the underworld and endarkened witches, but will love prove to be the greatest danger of all?
From the Wreck tells the remarkable story of George Hills, who survived the sinking of the steamship Admella off the South Australian coast in 1859. Haunted by his memories and the disappearance of a fellow survivor, George's fractured life is intertwined with that of a woman from another dimension, seeking refuge on Earth. This is a novel imbued with beauty and feeling, filled both with existential loneliness and a deep awareness that all life is interdependent. 'It's hard to find the right words to praise this novel. I think we need a whole new critical vocabulary to be invented. Rawson recreates a vanished historical world with utterly convincing characters as well as inhabits the mind of a cephalopod alien and make us feel, in both cases, yes, that's exactly how it is. Jane Rawson's writing is mysterious, chilling and tender. The book is a sort of miracle.' Lian Hearn
Author: Jonathan Strahan
Release Date: 2019-07-09
New anthology from the critically-acclaimed editor of Engineering Infinity. SPACE IS DANGEROUS The greatest threat, to those who dare venture among the stars, isn’t from aliens, or enemy nations, or cosmic forces from outside reality, but from the simple things on which our lives in space are built: the engines and control systems, the machines that provide our atmosphere, our gravity, even our food and water. Mission Critical tells the stories of when the machines go wrong.
Author: Michael Pryor
Release Date: 2017-05-01
Genre: Young Adult Fiction
WINNER OF A 2018 BOOK OF THE YEAR ABIA Bestsellers. Award-winners. Superstars. This anthology has them all. With brilliantly entertaining short stories from beloved young adult authors Amie Kaufman, Melissa Keil, Will Kostakis, Ellie Marney, Jaclyn Moriarty, Michael Pryor, Alice Pung, Gabrielle Tozer, Lili Wilkinson and Danielle Binks, this all-new collection will show the world exactly how much there is to love about Aussie YA. Harnessing the power of the #LoveOzYA social media movement, this anthology features incredible short stories from ten beloved Australian YA authors. MORE AWARDS Winner - 2018 Australian Book Industry Awards (Older Children) Shortlisted - 2018 Inky Awards Shortlisted -- 2017 Aurealis Awards (Best Young Adult Short Story): One Small Step by Amie Kaufman, I Can See the Ending by Will Kostakis, Competition Entry #349 by Jaclyn Moriarty, First Casualty by Michael Pryor and Oona Underground by Lili Wilkinson Shortlisted -- 2017 Aurealis Awards (Best Fantasy Short Story): Oona Underground by Lili Wilkinson Shortlisted -- 2017 Aurealis Awards (Best Science Fiction Short Story): One Small Step by Amie Kaufman Shortlisted -- 2017 Aurealis Awards (Best Science Fiction Novella): I Can See the Ending by Will Kostakis
It is 1997 in San Francisco and Simon and Sarah have been sent on a quest to see America: they must stand at least once in every 25-foot square of the country. Decades later, in an Australian city that has fallen on hard times, Caddy is camped by the Maribyrnong River, living on small change from odd jobs, ersatz vodka and memories. She's sick of being hot, dirty, broke and alone. Caddy's future changes shape when her friend, Ray, stumbles across some well-worn maps, including one of San Francisco, and their lives connect with those of teenagers Simon and Sarah in ways that are unexpected and profound. A meditation on happiness – where and in what place and with who we can find our centre, a perceptive vision of where our world is headed, and a testament to the power of memory and imagination, this is the best of novels: both highly original and eminently readable.
If you love to read, or write, or both, you’ll appreciate Brain Doyle—passionate observer of and commentator on all things written. In this ultimate collection of his thoughts on writers and writing and readers and reading, he covered everything from what the books people keep stashed in the cars or sitting on their bookshelves tell you about them, to the pleasures of reading box scores or what’s hung on refrigerator doors, to the scent that books and newspapers give off as they age, to literary genres of books about nature or travel or Portland or almost any subject you can name, to (in his humble opinion) the great and not-so-great-but-still-essential writers, to why the essay is the coolest wildest literary form of all. But don’t believe us, listen to him: “Think how many times in your own work you were typing along happily, cursing and humming, and suddenly you wrote something you didn’t know you felt so powerfully, and maybe you cried right there by the old typewriter, and marveled, not always happily, at what dark thread your typing had pulled from the mysterious fabric of your heart. Maybe that happens the most with essays. This could be.”
Author: Robert John Jarrad
Release Date: 2017-07-19
A full life and a keen interest in people, animals and nature have fuelled Bob Jarrad's verses. He is an astute observer and recorder of poignant moments, as well as a positive Aussie with a delightful sense of humour. In this collection of poetry, Jarrad plants seeds of hope, as he captures life's simple pleasures and what it is like to be human, to be humble and grateful for the things all around us - things that have us sitting on top of the world.
Author: Behrouz Boochani
Publisher: Picador Australia
Release Date: 2018-07-31
Genre: Political Science
WINNER OF THE VICTORIAN PREMIER'S LITERARY PRIZE FOR LITERATURE AND FOR NON-FICTION 2019 Where have I come from? From the land of rivers, the land of waterfalls, the land of ancient chants, the land of mountains... In 2013, Kurdish journalist Behrouz Boochani was illegally detained on Manus Island. He has been there ever since. People would run to the mountains to escape the warplanes and found asylum within their chestnut forests... This book is the result. Laboriously tapped out on a mobile phone and translated from the Farsi. It is a voice of witness, an act of survival. A lyric first-hand account. A cry of resistance. A vivid portrait through five years of incarceration and exile. Do Kurds have any friends other than the mountains? WINNER OF THE NSW PREMIER'S AWARD 2019 WINNER OF THE ABIA GENERAL NON-FICTION BOOK OF THE YEAR 2019 WINNER OF THE NATIONAL BIOGRAPHY AWARD 2019 LONGLISTED FOR THE COLIN RODERICK LITERARY AWARD 2019 PRAISE FOR NO FRIEND BUT THE MOUNTAINS 'Our government jailed his body, but his soul remained that of a free man.' RICHARD FLANAGAN 'The most important Australian book published in 2018.' ROBERT MANNE 'A powerful account ... made me feel ashamed and outraged. Behrouz's writing is lyrical and poetic, though the horrors he describes are unspeakable' SOFIE LAGUNA 'A poetic, yet harrowing read, and every Australian household should have a copy.' MAXINE BENEBA CLARKE 'Bears lucid, poetic and devastating witness to the insane barbarity enacted in our name.' MICHELLE DE KRETSER 'A chant, a cry from the heart, a lament, fuelled by a fierce urgency, written with the lyricism of a poet, the literary skills of a novelist, and the profound insights of an astute observer of human behaviour and the ruthless politics of a cruel and unjust imprisonment.' Arnold Zable, author of the award-winning Jewels and Ashes and Cafe Scheherazade 'A shattering book every Australian should read' Benjamin Law (@mrbenjaminlaw 01/02/2019) 'A magnificent writer. To understand the true nature of what it is that we have done, every Australian, beginning with the prime minister, should read Behrouz Boochani's intense, lyrical and psychologically perceptive prose-poetry masterpiece.' The Age 'He immerses the reader in Manus' everyday horrors: the boredom, frustration, violence, obsession and hunger; the petty bureaucratic bullying and the wholesale nastiness; the tragedies and the soul-destroying hopelessness. Its creation was an almost unimaginable task... will lodge deep in the brain of anyone who reads it.' Herald Sun 'Boochani has defied and defeated the best efforts of Australian governments to deny asylum seekers a face and a voice. And what a voice: poetic yet unsentimental, acerbic yet compassionate, sorrowful but never self-indulgent, reflective and considered even in anger and despair. ... It may well stand as one of the most important books published in Australia in two decades, the period of time during which our refugee policies have hardened into shape - and hardened our hearts in the process.' SATURDAY PAPER 'An essential historical document.' Weekend Australian 'In the absence of images, turn to this book to fathom what we have done, what we continue to do. It is, put simply, the most extraordinary and important book I have ever read.' Good Reading Magazine (starred review) "Brilliant writing. Brilliant thinking. Brilliant courage." Professor Marcia Langton AM (@marcialangton 01/02/2019) "Not for the faint-hearted, it's a powerful, devastating insight into a situation that's so often seen through a political - not personal - lens." GQ Australia "Segues effortlessly between prose and poetry, both equally powerful." Australian Financial Review "Behrouz Boochani has written a book which is as powerful as it is poetic and moving. He describes his experience of living in a refugee prison with profound insight and intelligence." Queensland Reviewers Collective "In his book Boochani introduces us to different dimensions of his experience and thinking. Both a profound creative writing project and a strategic act of resistance, the book is part of a coherent theoretical project and critical approach." Omid Tofighian, translator of No Friend But the Mountains "It is a voice of witness, an act of survival. A lyric first-hand account. A cry of resistance. A vivid portrait through five years of incarceration and exile." Readings "Boochani has woven his own experiences in to a tale which is at once beautiful and harrowing, creating a valuable contribution to Australia's literary canon." Writing NSW