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Selected Essays, Articles and Review Essays

Terror, hope, anger, kindness: the complexity of life as we face the new normal

Unearthed: Last Days of the Anthropocene

How Australia’s Coal Madness Led to Adani

The Costs of Consumption

An Ocean and an Instant

The End of the Oceans

Writers on Reading: Barry Lopez’s Arctic Dreams

Strange Weather: Writing the Anthropocene

The Death of Negative Man: On writing comics

The Beginning is Nigh: Caspar Henderson’s Book of Barely Imagined Beings

2001: A Space Oddity

Encounters With The Uncanny: On Ghosts, Ghost Stories and Brain Science

The Element of Need: Murder and Memory in Adelaide (available for KindleiBooksGoogle Play and Kobo)

“We have pierced the veneer of outside things”: Four books about Antarctica

Me and Patrick White

A New Type Of Conversation
Some reflections on why I started blogging and the ways the experience has affected my life as a writer and my writing. Originally published in
Australian Author

The Hugo Award for Best Novel Shortlist 2010

John Wyndham and his Plan for Chaos

Diving with whale sharks

Growing content: a big future for little mags

Never real and always true: on depression and creativity
Also available in pdf form from Griffith Review.

The idiot box grows a brain
A piece from the Australian Literary Review about the rise of the new television.

Great White Tale
An account of several days spent cage-diving with Great White Sharks off the southern coast of South Australia, together with some reflections on wildness, and the place of the shark and the predator in the human imagination.

All Of This Has Happened Before And Will Happen Again: Humanity, Inhumanity and Otherness in Battlestar Galactica

Bloody Beauties: The Rise and Rise of Vampire Lit

Stealing Memory’s Thunder: James Frey and the rise and rise of fake memoir

Perfect worlds, in miniature: new stories by Annie Proulx, Robert Drewe, Michael Chabon and Anne Enright

The Island in the Mind: Rodney Hall’s Metahistories

Beyond the Break: On Surfing and Writing

The Lands Within
A discussion of the allure of fantasy, originally written to coincide with the publication of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows in 2007.

The Final Countdown
Western culture has been waiting for the end of the world for more than 2000 years. What is it that makes the notion of the apocalypse so seductive?

Bread and Sirkuses: Empire and Culture in Peter Carey’s The Unusual Life of Tristan Smith and Jack Maggs

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Selected Reviews and Criticism

Sherman Alexie, War Dances

Martin Amis, The Pregnant Widow

Julian Barnes, Nothing to be frightened of

Ned Beauman, Boxer, Beetle

A.S. Byatt, The Children’s Book

Peter Carey, My Life as a Fake

Peter Carey, Parrot and Olivier in America

Peter Carey, Theft

Mark Cocker and David Tipling, Birds and People

David Cronenberg, Consumed

Michael Cunningham, By Nightfall

Michel Faber, The Book of Strange New Things

Patrick Flanery, Absolution

Neil Gaiman, The Ocean at the End of the Lane

William Gibson, All Tomorrow’s Parties

William Gibson, Distrust That Particular Flavor

William Gibson, Pattern Recognition

William Gibson, The Peripheral

William Gibson, Spook Country

William Gibson, Zero History

Lauren Groff, Arcadia

Lev Grossman, The Magician King

Nick Harkaway, Angelmaker

Nick Harkaway, The Gone-Away World

Peter Heller, The Dog Stars

Philip Hoare, The Sea Inside

Sean Howe, Marvel Comics: The Untold Story

Duncan Hohn, Moby Duck

Marlon James, A Brief History of Seven Killings

Micheline Jenner, The Secret Life of Whales, Eelco Rohling, The Oceans: A Deep History and Jeff Goodell, The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities and the Remaking of the Civilised World

Thomas Keneally, The Widow and her Hero

Joy McCann, Wild Sea: A History of the Southern Ocean

Ian McEwan, Sweet Tooth

China Miéville, Kraken

Grant Morrison, Supergods

James Nestor, Deep: Freediving, Renegade Science and What the Ocean Tells Us About Ourselves and Wallace J. Nichols, Blue Mind: How Water Makes You Happier, More Connected and Better at What You Do

Téa Obreht, The Tiger’s Wife

Yoko Ogawa, Revenge: Eleven Dark Tales

Richard Price, Lush Life

Frederick Reiken, Day for Night

Callum Roberts, Ocean of Life

Kim Stanley Robinson, 2312

Dana Spiotta, Stone Arabia

Karen Walker, The Age of Miracles

G. Willow Wilson, Alif the Unseen

Tim Winton, Breath

Hanya Yanagihara, The People in the Trees

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