Tabula Rasa

Tabula Rasa

Search / Site Map


Australian Horror

Australian Horror Films

Recommended Viewing

Australian Monsters




The 2005 Spec. Fic Snapshot


KJ Bishop

Jack Dann

Will Elliott

Richard Harland

Robert Hood

Martin Murphy & Ian Iveson

Christian Read

Cameron Rogers

The Spierig Brothers

Peter Weir

Kim Wilkins


Finding Carnacki the Ghost Finder

Pilots into the Unknown



Agog! 1

Agog! 2


Epiphanies of Blood


Passing Strange

Southern Blood


The Boys

The Roly Poly Man

Wake in Fright


809 Jacob Street, by Marty Young

After The Bloodwood Staff, by Laura E. Goodin

The Art of Effective Dreaming, by Gillian Polack

Bad Blood, by Gary Kemble

Black City, by Christian Read

The Black Crusade, by Richard Harland

The Body Horror Book, by C. J. Fitzpatrick

Clowns at Midnight, by Terry Dowling

Dead City, by Christian D. Read

Dead Europe, by Christos Tsiolkas

Devouring Dark, by Alan Baxter

The Dreaming, by Queenie Chan

Fragments of a Broken Land: Valarl Undead, by Robert Hood

Full Moon Rising, by Keri Arthur

Gothic Hospital, by Gary Crew

The Grief Hole, by Kaaron Warren

Grimoire, by Kim Wilkins

Hollow House, by Greg Chapman

My Sister Rosa, by Justine Larbalestier

Path of Night, by Dirk Flinthart

The Last Days, by Andrew Masterson

Lotus Blue, by Cat Sparks

Love Cries, by Peter Blazey, etc (ed)

Netherkind, by Greg Chapman

Nil-Pray, by Christian Read

The Opposite of Life, by Narrelle M. Harris

The Road, by Catherine Jinks

Perfections, by Kirstyn McDermott

Sabriel, by Garth Nix

Salvage, by Jason Nahrung

The Scarlet Rider, by Lucy Sussex

Skin Deep, by Gary Kemble

Snake City, by Christian D. Read

The Tax Inspector, by Peter Carey

Tide of Stone, by Kaaron Warren

The Time of the Ghosts, by Gillian Polack

Vampire Cities, by D'Ettut

While I Live, by John Marsden

The Year of the Fruitcake, by Gillian Polack

2003 EyeScream Film Festival

2004 EyeScream Film Festival

2005 EyeScream Film Festival

2007 A Night of Horror Film Festival


Under the Blue Moon, 2008

Alison's Birthday

The Boys

Carmilla Hyde



Dangerous Game

Dark Age

Dead End Drive-In


The Last Wave

Lost Things

The Long Weekend


Summer of Secrets


Wake in Fright

Hearts in Atlantis


Modern Day

The Dark Ages: A History of Horror

On the Page

On the Screen


Australian Comics

Tabula Rasa


Terrific Tales

New Australian Speculative Fiction

Edited by Cat Sparks

Agog! Press, 2003

ISBN: 0-9580567-2-2

To purchase this book, go to Australian Online Bookshop.

Visit the Agog! Press home page.

Agog! Terrific Tales is a smaller scale project that I came to with few expectations and was ultimately quite delighted with. A follow-on from editor Sparks's inaugural effort Agog! Fantastic Fiction, this second volume in a new annual anthology series collects 21 stories (two reprints) from both new and established Australian writers, delivering a broad variety of solid fiction.

The highlight is Brendan Duffy's novelette "Louder Echo", which seems very much a piece with the New Weird movement that has sprung up around writers like Jeff VanderMeer and China Mieville. Told from the viewpoint of Ecce Homine -- an asexual homunculus created from a single sperm to prove the dominance of the masculine principle in human evolution and the irrelevance of the female principle -- it details his attempts to survive and dominate after he fails the Turin Test which was destined to prove he had a soul. Duffy fills the story with crackpot experiments, steampunk technologies, and all sorts of oddball darkness that give the story a wonderful feet of alchemical strangeness. "Louder Echo" isn't completely successful -- one or two small false notes are struck and it all could have added up to a little more -- but there is some fine work here and it definitely suggests that Duffy is an antipodean writer to watch.

Almost as good, and very different, is Kyla Ward's "Kijin Tea". A Japanese woman whose mother-in-law is certain she is not good enough to have married her son looks to rescue herself and her daughter from an uncertain fate by coming to an understanding with fox spirits. Deft, delicate, and yet uncompromising, it's a quite lovely fantasy. Deborah Biancotti, who's won several Australian awards for her short fiction, delivers a strange surreal piece of science fiction in "The Singular Life of Eddie Dovewater" which relates the story of somebody who is running from the moment he leaves the womb until the moment he leaves human ken altogether. Marianne de Pierres sets her "Moonflowers and the Ritz" in a "Vermilion Sands"-style resort town where the indolent rich indulge themselves at terrible cost, while Simon Brown looks to the cost of faith in "Waiting at Golgotha", a moving tale of love almost found.

Of the rest, I have a particular fondness for Martin J. Livings's "Sigmund Freud and the Feral Freeway" which, despite the title, is an amusing recast of "The Roads Must Roll", where a simulacra of Sigmund Freud is brought in to psycboanalyse a road. It's journeyman work, but good journeyman work. And that might well describe Agog! Terrific Tales itself. It's a strong anthology from an Australian small press that has few pretensions. If you're interested, as I was, in an overview of what's happening in science fiction in Australia today you're unlikely to find better.

--Jonathan Strahan, Locus
  • Kijin Tea, by Kyla Ward
  • Waiting at Golgotha, by Simon Brown
  • Runaway, by Lucy Sussex
  • Moonflowers at the Ritz, by Marianne de Pierres
  • Louder Echo, by Brendan Duffy
  • Lacey's Fingerprints, by Chris Lawson
  • In the Days of the Red Animals, by Kate Orman
  • JAM Jars, by Robert Hood
  • Bone Dog, by Kaaron Warren
  • Sigmund Freud & the Feral Freeway, by Martin Livings
  • Uncharted, by Leigh Blackmore
  • Exterminator rex, by Adam Browne
  • Storm in a Chandelier, by Tracey Rolfe
  • Witness of Blood, by Sue Isle
  • The Big One, by Dirk Flinthart
  • Tigershow, by Janeen Webb
  • Butterfly Merchant, by Sean Williams
  • That Which Does Not Kill Us, by Scott Westerfeld
  • The Singular Life of Eddy Dovewater, by Deborah Biancotti
  • Making Two Fists, by Lee Battersby
  • Eden, by Jack Dann

©2020 Go to top