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.
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: Geordie Williamson
Publisher: Black Inc.
Release Date: 2016-11-07
Genre: Literary Collections
‘The essay creates a place for slow thought on hectic subjects, and that is what the best of this year’s crop manage to do.’ —Geordie Williamson In The Best Australian Essays 2016, Geordie Williamson curates the year’s best non-fiction writing from Australia’s finest writers. The result is a collection that reads as a wake-up call: from Jo Chandler on the devastating bleaching of the Great Barrier Reef and Richard Flanagan on the Syrian exodus to Kurdish-Iranian journalist Behrouz Boochani’s inside account of life on Manus Island. There is also space for Bowie, TV box-sets and Aussie rules. Spanning politics, music, literature, art, ecology, linguistics and more, this anthology showcases the nation’s most eloquent and insightful writing. Contributors include Maggie Mackellar, Ashley Hay, Rebecca Giggs, Anwen Crawford, Melinda Harvey, Mireille Juchau, Fiona Wright, Vicki Hastrich, Helen Garner, Tegan Bennett Daylight, Jennifer Mills, Fiona McGregor, Michelle de Kretser, Jo Chandler, Anna Spargo-Ryan, Peter Goldsworthy, Gregory Day, J.M. Coetzee, James Bradley, Galarrwuy Yunupingu, Richard Flanagan, Adam Rivett, Michael Winkler, Behrouz Boochani, Martin McKenzie-Murray, Guy Rundle, Clive James, Julian Burnside and Kim Scott.
Publisher: John Wiley & Sons
Release Date: 2019-03-11
The most significant architectural spaces in the world are now entirely empty of people. The data centres, telecommunications networks, distribution warehouses, unmanned ports and industrialised agriculture that define the very nature of who we are today are at the same time places we can never visit. Instead they are occupied by server stacks and hard drives, logistics bots and mobile shelving units, autonomous cranes and container ships, robot vacuum cleaners and internet-connected toasters, driverless tractors and taxis. This issue is an atlas of sites, architectures and infrastructures that are not built for us, but whose form, materiality and purpose is configured to anticipate the patterns of machine vision and habitation rather than our own. We are said to be living in a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene, in which humans are the dominant force shaping the planet. This collection of spaces, however, more accurately constitutes an era of the Post-Anthropocene, a period where it is technology and artificial intelligence that now computes, conditions and constructs our world. Marking the end of human-centred design, the issue turns its attention to the new typologies of the post-human, architecture without people and our endless expanse of Machine Landscapes. Contributors: Rem Koolhaas, Merve Bedir and Jason Hilgefort, Benjamin H Bratton, Ingrid Burrington, Ian Cheng, Cathryn Dwyre, Chris Perry, David Salomon and Kathy Velikov, John Gerrard, Alice Gorman, Adam Harvey, Jesse LeCavalier, Xingzhe Liu, Clare Lyster, Geoff Manaugh, Tim Maughan, Simone C Niquille, Jenny Odell, Trevor Paglen, Ben Roberts. Featured interviews: Deborah Harrison, designer of Microsoft’s Cortana; and Paul Inglis, designer of the urban landscapes of Blade Runner 2049.
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?
Author: Kate Cole-Adams
Publisher: Text Publishing
Release Date: 2017-05-29
Winner, 2017 Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award You know how it is when you go under. The jab, the countdown, the— —and then you wake. This book is about what happens in between. Until a hundred and seventy years ago many people chose death over the ordeal of surgery. Now hundreds of thousands undergo operations every day. Anaesthesia has made it possible. But how much do we really know about what happens to us on the operating table? Can we hear what’s going on around us? Is pain still pain if we are not awake to feel it, or don’t remember it afterwards? How does the unconscious mind deal with the body’s experience of being cut open and ransacked? And how can we help ourselves through it? Haunting, lyrical, sometimes shattering, Anaesthesia leavens science with personal experience to bring an intensely human curiosity to the unknowable realm beyond consciousness. What really happens to us when we are anaesthetised? By this I mean not what happens to the pinging, crackling apparatus of our nerves and spinal cords and brains, but what happens to us—to the person who is me or the person who is you—as doctors go about the messy business of slicing and delving within us? Kate Cole-Adams is a Melbourne writer and journalist. Her non-fiction work Anaesthesia won the Mark and Evette Moran Nib Literary Award, 2017 and the 2017 Australian and New Zealand College of Anaesthetists Media Award. It was shortlisted for the Victorian Premier’s Literary Award for Non-fiction, 2017. Her novel Walking to the Moon is also published by Text. ‘Anaesthesia is mesmerising...This rich and thorough study looks more deeply into questions about the nature of consciousness than many of us who undergo an anaesthetic are likely, or willing, to ponder.’ Australian Book Review ‘A work of splendid richness and depth, driven by a curiosity so intense that it hazards at times the extreme boundaries of the sayable.’ Helen Garner ‘Kate Cole-Adams has been fascinated with our funny non-being during surgery for a long time, and Anaesthesia feels like a book that’s taken over a decade to write, which it is. It also feels like you’re having a decade’s worth of conversations with a dogged, but generous and resourceful thinker, with someone (she is both a journalist and a novelist) who can crack open a complex idea, and then run with it.’ Readings 'An obsessive, mystical, terrifying, and even phantasmagorical exploration of anesthesia’s shadowy terra incognita.’ The New Yorker 'Remarkable in its attention to historical detail and quality of the primary sources...practising anaesthetists should read what has become the single best account of our profession’s most philosophically fragile constructs—consciousness and self... Cole-Adams has distilled and articulated the art of our profession.’ Anaesthesia Intensive Care journal (published by Australian Society of Anaesthetists) ‘Extraordinarily well-researched and delicately structured, this is a book with few parallels. Exceptional writing illuminates a topic that affects most of us, but that few of us understand.’ Judges’ Report, Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards, 2018 ‘Comfortably numb. A close-up look at anaesthesia is equal parts social history, popular science and report on experience.’ NZ Listener ‘Anaesthesia is not just an account of medical research but a poetic exploration of the mysteries of the human mind.’ Australian ‘Should be compulsory reading for all anaesthetists, others responsible for the care of surgical patients, and medical students who wish to achieve a true perspective of today’s anaesthesia.’ medicSA ‘Cole-Adams’s prose is sinuous, at times intoxicating, and witty.’ Sydney Morning Herald ‘A troubling, anxious subject that most of us would rather avoid or deflect with dark humour. Cole-Adams has illuminated it in a memorable way. The book is a gift not of oblivion but of awareness.’ Inside Story ‘For the interested reader, it’s an outline of the science, with an emphasis on the unknown. For the practitioner, it’s a patient experience, eloquently expressed. There’s much more the anaesthesia than meets the eye, and this book provides a glimpse into the depths.’ Conversation ‘A fascinating mix of historical background, moving—sometimes shocking—surgical stories, interviews with experts and case studies. Surprisingly, it seems relatively little is really known about exactly how effective and affective anaesthetic is. Despite that, I found this book an oddly reassuring study.’ North and South NZ ‘Kate Cole-Adams has written a book that defies familiar categories. It is a personal memoir, a history, a scientific study, and a philosophical enquiry into the unconscious, and by drawing all these strands together the author has delivered a masterpiece.’ Jamie Grant, head judge, Waverley Council Nib Literary Awards ‘This is a surprising delight of a book about the invention and use of anaesthetics, but it is also about the concept of consciousness. It is a book about the fear of death, the fear of a lack of control, the fear of an imminent operation, the way a life can be plagued by a general feeling of anxiety and how dreams play a part in this.’ Krissy Kneen, Feminist Writers Festival, Favourite Reads of 2017 ‘Kate Cole-Adams’s Anaesthesia propelled me towards new ways of thinking about thinking itself: experience and consciousness and how we make in and make up this world.’ Ashley Hay, Australian, Books of the Year 2017
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.
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: Kelly Hunter
Publisher: Tule Publishing
Release Date: 2017-05-23
Rowan Harper has traveled the American Extreme Bull Riders tour circuit with her stock-contractor father since she was four years old. She's seen the best rides and the worst wrecks. And then there's TJ who impressed her most when he didn't ride at all. T.J. Casey walked away from his rightful place in last year's bull riding finals in order to bury his father. His sponsors are gone, but he's back to stake his claim. He wants the buckle, sure, but he also wants the woman who treats her bucking bulls like lambs. Can T.J. really score the championship and the girl? Or will he have to choose between the two..once and for all?
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.
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