Unfinished story

This is supposed to be the opening chapter of a work of historical fiction for a class called "Writing the Past". I don't have any plans to continue it, and I don't know how the mystery would unfold or what the solution would end up being, because I only needed to write the one chapter.


Australian Military Defeat

Australia has been involved in a number of wars in its short history as a country, but only one that took place entirely within its own borders. That war, which took place in November and December of 1932, was one of the strangest wars in recorded history. The location – Western Australia. The Australian force – The Seventh Heavy Battery of the Royal Australian Artillery. The enemy – 20,000 emus supported by guerrilla rabbit squads. This was the Great Emu War.


Quick reviews part two

A few more quick reviews of games I didn't spend long playing.

Quick reviews of games I barely played

I've been playing small amounts of a few different games recently to try to clear out some of my backlog of games I've bought and never tried. Here's what I think of some of them (and how long I played them for).


How to play Gat Out of Hell

I've just been replaying Saints Row: Gat Out of Hell today, and this time I noticed something odd about the early missions (in which you recruit your allies and gain your powers): They're in the wrong order. Now you can actually do them in any order you like, but the game prompts you to do them a certain way, specifically Blackbeard/summon, Shakespeare/stomp, Vlad the Impaler/aura and then the DeWynters/blast.


Chocolate with Vegemite

There's a thread on the Something Awful forums called the Anti-Food Porn Thread. It's pretty great most of the time, but there are a bunch of babies posting there who get disgusted by quite ordinary things. Recently a few "trip reports" have been posted of people eating food from KFC, which I found incredibly dumb, because that hardly fits the "anti food porn" description, does it? So I asked the thread to nominate something for me to eat that was actually weird. Someone suggested that chocolate with the Vegemite in it, but it had already been done, and anyway I don't think they're selling it any more. I certainly couldn't find any in the shops today.

So I decided to go one better and do a home-made version.


Authors Behaving Badly

This is an account, written for my Writing Creative Non-Fiction class back in May, of my encounter with Gilbert Ohanian (previously covered on this blog) and a discussion of similar reactions from other authors to bad reviews.


Letters to Yourself

Robert Dessaix's 'Letters to an Unknown Friend' was the keynote address at Essaying: The Calibre Prizes, a symposium held at the National Library of Australia. This is my review of a transcript of it, written for my Writing Creative Non-Fiction class back in May.


Uncreative Fiction

This is a thing about creative non-fiction (and why I hate it) that I wrote for my Writing Creative Non-Fiction class back in April.



Today, while looking for the many perfectly legitimate torrents of public domain things that I like to download, I noticed a couple of ads.


Shifts in Genre Conventions

An essay on genre and how it changes over time. I think genre is generally a pretty useless and uninteresting concept, so I can't really claim to have anything interesting to say about it, but since I had to write this I may as well post it.


Another thing I wrote for the genre class, this one was supposed to be gothic fiction but is really more just a sort of generic sci-fi, really. I don't mind this one, but it's pretty uninventive.

Pumpkin Jam with Ginger

This was a thing I wrote for a class on genre, in which the task was to combine detective and fan fiction with the nursery rhyme Jack and Jill. I think it turned out OK, given those constraints.


An astounding coincidence

I've done some research, and amazingly, it turns out that the period of time when I was a child was objectively the best time to be a child. Those who grew up either before or after me missed out on all of the best things. Here are just a few examples.


Literally everything I know about swimming

For school this week we were given this task:

Write for 10 minutes about a topic I’m going to give you. Start straight away, don’t think. Just write and don’t stop. The topic is swimming.

I wrote it, so I suppose I may as well post it, though I've no idea what educational value it was supposed to have.


A lot of words about Gat Out of Hell

Let's get the obvious out of the way first. Yes, this game is awesome. The story is much shorter than previous games and there are very few story missions, but that's what it says in the game's description so it shouldn't come as a surprise. To summarise the entire game in one sentence, it's a bunch of extra activities, targets and diversions for Saints Row IV but with a whole lot of tweaks and improvements and some really good dialogue. Considering its price relative to Saints Row: the Third and Saints Row IV, I'd say it's well worth it. Now let's get to some specifics. Make yourself a cup of tea, this is a long one. And there are lots of spoilers if you care about that.


Nutcase: A True Story About Being Cyber-Bullied

A few weeks ago I was contacted out of the blue by a man called Gilbert Ohanian. He'd found my name and email address somewhere and for some reason he wanted me to read and review his book. Little did I know, when I agreed, how batshit fucking crazy this guy was. I have since learned.


Microsoft HAL

There's a point when installing Windows 8 (and again when upgrading to 8.1) where your screen fades to black, and then after a few seconds the word "Hi" appears in the middle of the screen. And I just don't understand what they were thinking when they decided to do that. It's the creepiest software installation ever.