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T h is collection © 1985 by D am ien Broderick.

C opyright resides in authors in respect o f th eir own


T h is book is copyright. A p art from any fair dealing

for the purposes o f study, research, criticism ,

review, o r as otherw ise perm itted u n d e r the

C opyright Act, no p a rt m ay be reproduced by any

process w ithout w ritten perm ission. Inquiries

should be m ade to the publisher.

Typeset, printed & bound by

Southw ood Press Pty Lim ited

80-92 C hapel Street, M arrickville, NSW

F or the publisher

H ale G flrem onger P ty Lim ited

GPO Box 2552, Sydney, NSW

National Library of Australia Catalogue Card no. and

ISBN 0 86806 208 1 (casebound)

ISBN 0 86806 209 X (paperbound)

Publication of this book has been assisted by the

L iteratu re B oard of the A ustralia C ouncil, the

Federal G overnm ent’s arts funding and advisory



U rs u la Le G u in

a n d G e n e Wolfe:

H o n o u re d

G uests




Damien Broderick

T he L ipton Village Society


Lucy Sussex

T im e and flowers


Anthony Peacey

A step in any direction


Timothy Dell

T he way she smiles, the things she says

Greg Egan

M r Lockwood’s narrative


Yvonne Rousseau

Glass Reptile Breakout


Russell Blackford

After the Beowulf expedition


Norman Lalbot

Precious Bane


Gerald Murnane

T he ballad of Hilo Hill


Cherry Wilder

T he elixir operon


David Foster

T he sanctuary tree


John Playford

O n the nursery floor


George Turner

C aveA m antem


Carmel Bird



Anthony Peacey

T he Interior


Damien Broderick

Notes on contributors





Here is an odd fact. I encourage you to marvel at it:

Not until twenty years ago (when I was only slightly younger

than I am today) was the first mass-market sf collection by an Australian published in Australia.

Why is this surprising? Well, after all, science fiction was hardly

brand-new, in the world at large, twenty years ago. H. G. Wells, its

major innovator, had been dead since 1946. Hiroshima and

Nagasaki, by 1965, were already ash two decades past. So was the

fabled American Golden Age of sf.

Indeed, at that very moment the New Wave of rebellion against

Golden Age science fiction was beginning to roil in Britain. Brian

Aldiss and Cordwainer Smith and Samuel R, Delany and Tom

Disch were recasting the nature of the genre. And we in Australia

were . . . what? Sending out our first collection to sniff the air. (As

it chanced, this novelty was a small pulpy gathering of my own

small inept stories.)

Since the late fifties, of course, other fledgling professionals —

John Baxter, David Boutland, Stephen Cook, Lee H arding and

Wynne Whiteford — had placed sf stories abroad. An adopted son,

Captain A. Bertram Chandler, had been active in the dreaded

Golden Age itself. Still earlier we’d had Erie Cox’s Out of the Silence

and M. Barnard Eldershaw’s Tomorrow and Tomorrow (recently

republished uncut). But sf was thin on our native ground.

By 1968 and 1971, John Baxter was still hardly overwhelmed in



his choices as he collected stories for his Pacific Books of SF.

Abruptly then, about a decade back, everything changed.

People date the change from AussieCon I in 1975, the first World

Science Fiction Convention held in the Antipodes (snatched from

its traditional custodians, I said grandly at the time in my anthology The Zeitgeist Machine, like the America’s Cup — as, years later, the America’s Cup was indeed to be snatched).

AussieCon was catalytic. It fetched here (with the aid of the

Literature Board of the Australia Council) Ursula Le Guin, Guest

of Honour, the world’s best sf writer. It built around her a most

remarkable writing workshop. Was some switch thrown at that

moment? Probably this is an illusion. Still, within a few years we

saw book after book of short stories (H arding’s 1978 Rooms of Paradise combining without embarrassment work from here and abroad), major novels of speculative fiction by George Turner, Lee

Harding, Gerald M urnane, Cherry Wilder and others, and the

emergence of several small specialist publishers (notably Norstrilia

Press and, more recently. Ebony Books) whose dedication has been

to get this work out into the light of day, not always without cost to


(Non-genre speculative fiction has also appeared, happily, from

Glenda Adams,

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