Empty Sky


Trawling the backwaters of the world wide web, as I am wont to do, can mean you come across some very intriguing spots.  One such wander recently took me to "The National Book Foundation" and their page of book covers from 60 years of The National Book Awards.  And scolling down I saw this.  I've got a bit of a connection with Bendigo, with a brother and mother-in-law both living there, so I'm paratially aware of the history of the town's name: "The name of Bendigo Creek derives from an employee of the Mount Alexander Run, an ex-sailor or bullock driver who was handy with his fists and nicknamed Bendigo after the Nottingham prize-fighter, William Abednego Thompson, generally known as "Bendigo Thompson". Bendigo Creek was named after him, and the Bendigo Goldfield after the creek." - Wikipedia.  So how did Louis L'Amour come to use the town's name as a book title for one of his many westerns?  Did he ever visit Australia? Or maybe he just dragged it up from the depths of his memories about gold-rushes?  Or maybe he just trawled an atlas looking for likely names.  Old-school surfing? 

Pip Newling has been spying on her fellow commuters.  I've been known to do this as well.

Justine Larbalestier wonders why it is possible to remember such book titles as The Disreputable History of Frankie Landau-Banks, yet to struggle to recall When You Reach Me.  She's not alone with this.  You only have to hang around the front counter of any reasnable bookstore and listen to the conversations between customers and the sales staff. And I'm not poking fun here.  We all struggle - why do you think I have this weblog anyway?

"Adelaide from Adelaide" took her kids to Spain and gave each of them a book to sketch in on their holidays. My wife and I make it a point of ensuring the kids each have a notebook for their overseas trips.  It allows them to paste in photos, postcards, wrappers, and stickers, and to write up what they've seen and done each day.  Trouble is, my 16-year old demands one of these now. At least I know they'll last.

Andrew Kelley asks: "What's a not-for-profit university press doing publishing the memoir of an underworld figure?"  In case you're not across this - i.e. if you don't live in Melbourne - Andrew is talking about this bloke.  And it's a good point he raises. It's not a book I can see myself rushing out to read.

Jonathan Strahan contemplates his future as an editor of science ficton in Australia.  Even getting to the point of thinking about what it would take to edit a fiction-based magazine again.  I reckon he'd have to give up the day-job and dive in head-first. Big commitment.  One or the other, I'd say.

Angela Meyer is in Ubud, Bali, for the Writers and Readers festival there.  And it looks like a good one to get to at some time.


As well as that amazing looking worldcon next September...

Yes, well, let's not talk about that one shall we? We're a touch under a year out and this is the stressful management time. [Stares into mirror and shakes his head, again...]

I'm sure you and your trusty committee will kick some serious arse, sir.

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This page contains a single entry by Perry Middlemiss published on October 8, 2009 11:48 AM.

2009 Man Booker Prize Winner was the previous entry in this blog.

Reprint: An Australian Anthology: Mediocrity in One Volume is the next entry in this blog.

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