The best SF novel you’ve never read

•February 6, 2011 • Leave a Comment

Back in September 2010, I had the opportunity to attend a few of the panels at Aussiecon 4. One of the panels was called “The best SF novel you’ve never read” and was chaired by three panelists: Claire Brialey, Gail Carriger and Mike Scott. I’d taken some notes during this panel and kept telling people that I would dig them up, so here they are finally. I think I managed to get all of the novels that they discussed.

The blurb for the event went as follows:
More than 350,000 books are published every year. With such a vast amount of material flooding the market across the world, it’s easy for great literature to get lost in the crowd. What are the best under-appreciated novels of the past ten years, the books that – despite immense originality and quality – never found the proper audience. A panel of experts point to some diamonds in the rough.

Feed, M.T. Anderson (YA)
Soon I Will Be Invincible, Austin Grossman
The Brief History of the Dead, Kevin Brockmeier
The Eyre Affair, Jasper Fforde
The Magicians, Lev Grossman (YA, described as “Harry Potter meets Narnia”)
Icarus, Roger Levy
Reckless Sleep, Roger Levy
Union Dues: The Sum of Its Parts, Jeffrey R. DeRego (appears on EscapePod podcast)
The Fortunate Fall, Rafael Carter (described as cyberpunk genre)
Ascent, Jed Mercurio (described as alt history)
Sun, Moon, Ice and Snow, Jessica Day George
Blindsight, Peter Watts (panellist Mike Scott described this one as his favourite of the past decade – also, it’s available as a free download)
Lint, Steve Aylett
Sorcery and Cecelia or The Enchanted Chocolate Pot: Being the Correspondence of Two Young Ladies of Quality Regarding Various Magical Scandals in London and the Country, Caroline Stevermer & Patricia C. Wrede
Freedom and Necessity, Steven Brust & Emma Bull
Carhullan Army, Sarah Hall
Knowledge of Angels, Jill Paton Walsh
The Carbon Diaries 2015, Saci Lloyd Hachette (YA)
Native Star, M.K. Hobson (described as steampunk genre)
Ysabel, Guy Gavriel Kay
Blue Silence, Michelle Marquardt
Aberystwyth Mon Amour, Malcolm Pryce

Truth #12

•January 24, 2011 • 1 Comment

A few of my photos made it into issue #12 of Truth Magazine. Many thanks to Dave for the curating.

The issue also features works by Albert Ruso, Fabrizio Quagliuso, Alina Livia Lazar, Dave Carswell and Justin Vogel.

Vinegar girl

•December 18, 2010 • 3 Comments

Last month, I was commissioned to take a photo of the “Vinegar Girl” sign in Richmond. The intention was to capture the beauty of the sign that it will ultimately hang on someone’s wall.

The sign itself has two different “looks” because at 8.30pm every night it lights up with animated neon. So I checked out both to see how it looks in each case and also how it interacted with the sky and the surrounding architecture. After I’d seen this, I felt that sunset would be the best time to capture it. I’d suspected this before I’d even embarked on this venture. Without question, the choice for me was to use a particular Ektachrome film: Kodak E100VS. The “VS” means “Vivid Saturation” but that’s not the reason I chose the film. A few years ago I discovered that this particular film responds to colour in a unique way during the twilight part of the day. The film appears to amplify a particular kind of warm purple that I find is quite beautiful. I’ve had this colour even appear in scenes where there was no visible purple at the time. Here’s a few examples I’ve taken in the past. In each case, no colour adjustments have been made from the original scans.

Last Transmission Days Lost
Swansong the ninth configuration
20,000 Views! wide open

The resultant shot, the one that was the favourite with the client, did end up being the sunset shot. The final print was even made from a completely unaltered scan of the slide, which can be seen here.

vinegar girl
Nov 2010

Photography (again)

•November 15, 2010 • 2 Comments

It’s hard to believe it’s been so long since I posted on here and surprising to also see that my last post was in May. Photographically, it all feels so recent but that’s probably because I haven’t done much photography since June. I couldn’t really explain the reason why either. It’s the same on my Flickr though; get to the third page and you’re already in 2009.

I shot my first roll of film a couple of weeks ago, motivated by the fact that it was my first and last chance to use some Kodachrome. So I shot it in a borrowed Exa 1b. Not only is it the first left-handed camera I’ve ever used, but it also has a maximum shutter speed of 1/175. Both of these elements slowed down the process of shooting and… it was a lot of fun.

Last week, I bought a Fuji Instax 210. I haven’t finished the first cartridge but it’s been a promising camera so far. I’ve yet to discover a way of disabling the flash, so I don’t know when that thing is going to go off which is a bit annoying.

Here’s a shot from the camera, taken whilst holding a FL-W filter in front of the lens.

Afterlife (first sequence)

•May 17, 2010 • 4 Comments

Last Thursday night after work, I wandered into the Melbourne CBD with fellow photog mate, Jeren, to spend a few hours to take some photos and video. This is the result of the video I shot. The idea was simply to experiment with “motion photographs” – an image that is primarily static but with secondary elements of movement. I’d be meaning to do this for ages but had never gotten around to it, so I definitely plan to try and do some more of these.

Long tune of Inner Mongolia

•April 14, 2010 • 2 Comments

I recently watched a music performance in Beijing by a group from the province of Inner Mongolia. The performance was of traditional music by the indigenous (or minority) people from the region. The music was totally amazing so I filmed the last part of it.

Having uploaded it to Youtube, I was able to work out the name of the performers (in Chinese only) and the name of the song. Here is another complete performance by them of the same song for Chinese television.

Tre espresso

•January 31, 2010 • Leave a Comment