Author: Jess Gately

Jess Gately is a freelance editor and writer with a particular love for speculative fiction and graphic novels.
We Who Hunt the Hollow

Book Review: Kate Murray’s We Who Hunt the Hollow is a wholesome dystopian fantasy

May 20, 2022

Kate Murray’s debut novel We Who Hunt the Hollow is a wholesome, angsty YA dystopian urban fantasy about who we are and who we want to be. Perfectly drawing on the awkwardness and fear of the late teenage years, Murray uses the anxiety and anticipation of becoming an adult to address issues of identity, family, […]

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Sea of Tranquility

Book Review: The past, present and future are more alike than you think in Emily St. John Mandel’s Sea of Tranquility

April 28, 2022

The new novel from award-winning author Emily St. John Mandel traverses time and space to tell a multifaceted story of love, endurance, human nature and reality. Sea of Tranquility is set within the same universe as her previous novels Station Eleven and The Glass Hotel offering fans of her earlier works plenty of ‘a-ha’ moments. […]

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Unlimited Futures

Book Review: Rafeif Ismail and Ellen van Neervan reflect on the past to imagine the future in Unlimited Futures

March 31, 2022

“I think it’s really important to show that, for us, the past, present and future, are happening simultaneously.” These are the words of editor Rafeif Ismail in the introductory conversation with fellow editor Ellen van Neervan for Unlimited Futures, a collection of speculative fiction from First Nations and Afro-Black writers. They perfectly encapsulate the unifying […]

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The Way Spring Arrives

Book Review: Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang showcase the creativity and passion of Chinese women and nonbinary SFF voices in The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories

March 29, 2022

The Way Spring Arrives and Other Stories is a beautiful, intelligent and poignant collection of science fiction and fantasy short stories and essays by Chinese women and non-binary creators, edited by Yu Chen and Regina Kanyu Wang. The stories range from the fantastic to fable-like, with writing voices and styles that at times feel more […]

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League of Liars

Book Review: Astrid Scholte’s League of Liars asks the hard questions about justice

March 17, 2022

Astrid Scholte’s League of Liars is a YA fantasy thriller full of twists and turns; in which no one can be trusted to tell the truth and everyone’s motives are questionable. It’s a suspenseful page-turner with an interesting cast, told in alternating points of view. But despite its young protagonists, the book doesn’t shy away […]

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Book Review: Vanessa Len’s Only a Monster is YA at its very best

February 14, 2022

Melbourne’s Vanessa Len takes all the tropes you know and love and manages to make them feel new and exciting in her debut novel Only a Monster. This urban fantasy adventure features enemies-to-lovers romance, a hidden magical underworld, time travel, hot monster boys, and a mysterious monster king surrounded by a frightening monster court. The […]

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Wild Dogs

“The way it feels, the way it smells, and the way it sounds”: Michael Trant talks about his new thriller Wild Dogs

February 10, 2022

Michael Trant is a WA country boy who now resides in Perth after a variety of careers ranging from farmer, marine draftsman, pastoralist, and FIFO pot washer. He writes with an authentic rural voice, drawing on his experiences to open readers to places and lifestyles foreign to many. Trent is passionate about farming, writing and […]

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Sarah Walker

Book Review: Sarah Walker examines the not-so-pretty sides of life in The First Time I Thought I Was Dying

January 21, 2022

At times unsettling but decidedly open and honest, Sarah Walker’s collection of essays The First Time I Thought I Was Dying explores the often-taboo aspects of life and living. Told from her perspective as an actor and photographer, the collection examines the awkwardness, the disgustingness and the discomfort of our bodies and minds in a […]

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Book Review: Jessica Walton and Aśka’s Stars in Their Eyes – Nerdy easter eggs and queer, disabled representation are just the beginning

November 4, 2021

A refreshingly fun and hopeful take on the coming of age story, Jessica Walton and Aśka’s Stars in Their Eyes is a graphic novel that celebrates nerdiness and reinforces the value of representation, all while exploring first love, self-care and identity. The story follows Maisie as her Mum takes her to her first Fancon. Maisie […]

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After Story

Book Review: Larissa Behrendt dissects complex family relationships in her entrancing new book After Story

October 7, 2021

Larissa Behrendt doesn’t pull any punches in this poignant but difficult examination of family relationships, racism, and the justice system. After Story is a captivating tale about a mother and daughter trying to reconnect after years of tragedy, trauma and secrets have created rifts between them. Bookworm Jasmine is a lawyer and the first of […]

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Tony Birch

“Whatever you’re writing about, the story has to work. It has to be a good story.”: Author Tony Birch talks about his latest collection Dark As Last Night

September 16, 2021

Professor Tony Birch is the bestselling and award-winning Australian author of The White Girl, Ghost River, Blood, Shadowboxing, Father’s Day, The Promise and Common People. In 2017 he was awarded the Patrick White Literary Award. An activist, historian and essayist, Birch’s latest short story collection Dark As Last Night was released by the University of Queensland Press in August 2021. We caught up […]

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Dark As Last Night

Book Review: Tony Birch explores pivotal decisions in everyday moments in Dark As Last Night

August 19, 2021

Tony Birch once again proves he is the master of short fiction in Dark As Last Night, a collection of sixteen slice of life short stories that range in time, tone and focus. In his trademark style, which brings the world to life with vivid but simple descriptions, Birch explores the various chances we’re given […]

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Little Boat Trusting Lane

Book Review: Mel Hall’s The Little Boat on Trusting Lane is a compassionate story of complex relationships

June 24, 2021

Mel Hall’s debut novel, The Little Boat on Trusting Lane, is a tender and thoughtful reflection on the power of community in the process of healing. The Little Mother Earth Ship is an alternative healing centre based out of a houseboat aboard stilts in the middle of a scrapyard on Trusting Lane. Richard, who runs […]

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Turtlenecks

Book Review: Turtlenecks is Steven Christie’s satirical love letter to arts culture

June 3, 2021

Steven Christie pays tribute to and pokes fun at the sometimes impenetrable, often critical, but unquestionably interesting world of art in his comedy graphic novel: Turtlenecks. When art student Sam decides to donate his beloved flower necklace to a charity art auction, his friend Jules reminds him of the sentimental significance of the item. But the […]

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Under-Earth

Book Review: Chris Gooch’s Under-Earth explores friendship in a world where it’s every man for himself

May 18, 2021

Cartoonist Chris Gooch manages to pack a lot into this page-turning dystopian graphic novel. Under-Earth follows two sets of prisoners as they struggle to survive in the subterranean landfill prison of Delforge. Gooch’s story is a commentary on everything from capitalism, materialism, and prison culture to revenge, forgiveness, loneliness, and friendship. The story begins with […]

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Evie Wyld takes out the 2021 Stella Prize with her novel The Bass Rock

April 22, 2021

“We are all struggling. To acknowledge that is to connect to our fellow human beings and to nature…” In an evening centered around the theme ‘If They Could Talk: On Voice and Voicelessness’, Evie Wyld took out the 2021 Stella Prize and the $50,000 prize for her novel The Bass Rock, “a fearless novel that […]

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Women of a Certain Rage

Book Review: Exploring a world of anger in Women of a Certain Rage

April 8, 2021

The Australian Psychological Society writes that anger is triggered when a person believes “their wellbeing and social status are either not being respected or are under threat”. It seems timely then to be reading this book amongst the current climate of Australian politics. Women of a Certain Rage is a collection of short stories and […]

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To Sleep In A Sea of Stars

Book Review: Dive deep into Christopher Paolini’s epic space opera To Sleep in a Sea of Stars

March 4, 2021

Kira Navárez is a xenobiologist working as part of a team of scientists who survey planets before they are colonised. All her life she’s dreamed of first contact with an alien race but when, on a routine survey mission, Kira makes the discovery of a lifetime, things don’t turn out at all the way she […]

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