Ferne Merrylees

devourer of books, regurgitator of words

Shortlisted for the December Furious Fiction

Tuesday, Jan 8, 2019
In 2018, I set myself the goal of writing more flash fiction and then I stumbled upon the Furious Fiction competition run by the Australian Writers’ Centre and it couldn’t have been better timed. Furious Fiction is a competition held during the first weekend of every month. The organisers provide a simple brief and writers have less than 500 words to craft a story. It’s fun and a bit of a challenge, but I’ve completed the last 12 months now and have 12 short stories that I never would have written otherwise.

Sea Hearts by Margo Lanagan

Wednesday, Jul 25, 2018
Sea Hearts by Margo Lanaghan has been on my list for a while. I picked up my signed copy at her book launch for Zeroes (co-authored with Scott Westerfeld and Deborah Biancotti) ages ago and vaguely remembered someone telling me to pay attention to the names at the start of each section. That’s my advice I’m passing on to you. Sea Hearts is a shortlisted book for the Children’s Book Council of Australua and even though it’s categorised as Young Adult, it will appeal to adult readers as well.

Who Fears Death by Nnedi Okorofor

Tuesday, Jul 17, 2018
Nnedi Okorofor’s Who Fears Death was my reading choice for my trip around NZ and the setting couldn’t have been more different as I was driving through the snow capped passes and the wide glacier lakes of the New Zealand countryside. I loved this novel. It’s a beautiful mix of science fiction (set in a post-apocalyptic world) and fantasy (where magic or juju abounds) set in the dry, open spaces of Africa.

LIFEL1K3 by Jay Kristoff

Tuesday, Jul 3, 2018
So a writers’ group buddy gave me a proof copy of Jay Kristoff’s new novel LIFEL1K3 (which doesn’t look nearly as good without the capital letters) and I devoured it before I headed off to NZ for the ACLAR conference. It’s a quick read and I found it difficult to put down. I’m a fan of posthuman apocalyptic settings, especially when paired with YA as both are particularly well suited to each other (the angst of being a teenager - almost a rite of passage - fits well in dystopias).

The Circus Act is live!

Friday, Jun 15, 2018
I’m excited to have a flash short story published in the Antipodean SF magazine this month. “The Circus Act” is a love story set in a future where performers are owned by their managers. You can read it here! I wrote this story a while ago, after seeing a Cirque du Soleil performance. Despite suddenly wanting to become a gymnast (an impossible dream when I can barely touch my toes), I couldn’t shake off the innate surrealism of circuses.

All the Birds in the Sky by Charlie Jane Anders

Sunday, Jun 10, 2018
I’ve been in a bit of a reading slump recently. I completely failed to read more than two books for the last book challenge I participated in and the piles of books growing in my home seem to mock me with all their unread pages. I’ve felt paralysed by choice. Being unable to chose what to read next has left me not reading at all and then feeling guilty for all that time I’ve wasted of the scant few years I have as a human being to read all the books!

Release of Posthumanism in Young Adult Fiction Finding Humanity in a Posthuman World

Thursday, Apr 19, 2018
An academic book I wrote a chapter for just got published! The book is called Posthumanism in Young Adult Fiction: Finding Humanity in a Posthuman World and is edited by Anita Tarr and Donna R. White. My chapter “The Adolescent Posthuman: Re-imagining Body Image and Identity in Marissa Meyer’s Cinder and Julianna Baggott’s Pure” was first accepted for publication back in July 2014, while I was still completing my PhD. It’s definitely been a long, long process!

Ice Wolves by Amie Kaufman

Wednesday, Mar 21, 2018
Amie Kaufman is a writing superstar. Not only did she launch Obsidio, the final book in the Illuminae Files, a fortnight ago with her co-writer Jay Kristoff, but also released her first novel she’s written alone: Ice Wolves, the first in the Elementals. Her audience this time is much younger than usual, aimed at children between 8 and 12, and definitely has a lot less swearing than her other young adult science fiction!

Illuminae Files by Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff

Wednesday, Mar 14, 2018
I’m a fan of Amie Kaufman and Jay Kristoff’s work. A big enough fan that I do my very best to attend their book launches when they’re in Sydney. Not only are they Australian authors (support #LoveOzYA) but they’re also hilarious to watch live, bouncing off each other with an ease that’s evident in the writing they do together. Thanks to a somewhat unique name and the amount of times I’ve been at their signing table, they actually recognise me, which always gives me a thrill.

Vigil by Angela Slatter

Monday, Jan 15, 2018
Last year I had the pleasure of attending GenreCon in Brisbane and I was delighted to meet a few Australian authors who were there to talk about the trials and tribulations of writing creatively. I also bought far too many books, so many that I ended up sneaking them into a friend’s bag as I only had carry on luggage. Of those books I bought, one was Vigil by Angela Slatter.