Ferne Merrylees

devourer of books, regurgitator of words

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.

Frogkisser by Garth Nix

Wednesday, Jan 3, 2018
I’ve always been a fan of Garth Nix, ever since I was a child. The fact he’s Australian and lives in my own city is just the icing on the cake as I often get the pleasure of seeing him talk at conferences, writing festivals and book launches. He spoke at GenreCon in Brisbane last year and I picked up two of his new books, Frogkisser! and Have Sword Will Travel , the latter he co-wrote with Sean Williams.

Aphelion Webzine December issue

Friday, Dec 15, 2017
To finish off 2017, I’m thrilled to have my short story “The Appointment” published in the December issue of Aphelion, the Webzine of Sciece Fiction and Fantasy. The story is one I wrote back in 2014 while on a trip to New York. There’s something about being out of your usual comfort zone that inspires the imagination and it was on a subway platform at 96th Street Station that I observed two gentlemen meet: one older and clearly fed up with his day and the other somewhat amused as if he was remembering a joke.

Unearthed by Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner

Sunday, Dec 3, 2017
On Tuesday the 28th of November, I had the pleasure of being at Amie Kaufman and Meagan Spooner’s book launch for Unearthed, the first book in their new YA SF duology. Garth Nix was the host and the evening was brilliant, offering great insight into how these authors work together to create some pretty epic stories. They discussed how the idea behind Unearthed was born while watching an Indiana Jones film one evening in New York during their Starbound book tour.