Friday, April 08, 2011

Relentless Adaptations by Tansy Roberts Rayner (short story review)

When I was thinking about what I could do for Aussie Author month there were a couple of options. I could write at least some of the reviews that I have in draft for books by Aussie authors (which may still happen), or I could try something new to me - short stories. That option also seems like a really good way to expose myself to lots and lots of new to me Australian authors.

Luckily I had recently bought Sprawl, an anthology that fit the criteria perfectly that was published late last year by Twelfth Planet Press, a small publishing house based in Perth!

I am not sure why I don't read more short stories. I will read novellas, especially if they are part of a series, but the short story form seems to have passed me by. So far though, I have been pleasantly surprised at how much I have enjoyed the ones that I have read.

The first story I read from Sprawl was Relentless Adaptations by Tansy Roberts Rayner.

I think the thing that surprised me most about this story was that despite the fact that the story was only 12 pages or so, there was still time for a gradual unveiling of the world. This story is set in suburban Hobart, in what initially feels like the not too distant future. We start with a group of friends who meet regular for coffee in a bookstore with their young children in tow. They are asked "coffee or books" as they enter, but this is a world where that mean print on demand, and if you don't like something, even in the classics, then you can order your changes before it is printed. You may for example want to add a vampire or have a same sex relationship. Whilst there are differences between the world of Relentless Adaptations and our current world, and these differences are developed the further the story goes along, I also loved how recognisable things from our world today were incorporated and developed in the story, like the evolution of Twitter!

As someone who doesn't really like the classics mashups that have been so prevalent over the last couple of years, I loved where this story went, and the humour that was prevalent also worked for me! I actually read this story on the train on the way home from work one night, and I smiled the whole way through, to the point that I probably worried a few of my fellow travellers, and I was still smiling as I walked to my car and drove home.

I teased from this story a couple of weeks ago, and I participated in the Mighty Slapdash Blog Tour last week for her new release The Shattered City, book 2 of the Creature Court trilogy, and even in that short post I could hear an authors voice that definitely made me want to read more! 

This story has been nominated for an Aurealis Award in the Science Fiction Short Story category and even with my limited exposure to short stories, I can definitely see why. Sprawl was also nominated in the Best Anthology category and there was at least one other short story nominated in the same awards which gives me something to look forward to as I read more! The Aurealis Awards were set up in 1995 "to recognise the achievements of Australian science fiction, fantasy and horror writers".

Sprawl is available from Smashwords, and until April 15 is available for the reduce price of $4.99 (using the redemption code LY79G ).

This short story counts towards my Short Story Quest for the Once Upon a Time V challenge.


  1. If you like Tansy's work I recommend Siren Beat a nice little novella.

  2. I was looking at Siren Beat the other day. Think I am going to have to buy the first book in her trilogy as well, as my library doesn't have it.

  3. I quite like the creature court trilogy, found the start of the first book a bit slow initially but by the end I loved it.

  4. Arrgh! I just got Patrick Rothfuss's first book and returned it without reading. Guess I'll have to re-reserve.

  5. Definitely re-reserve! It is a fantastic book.



Related Posts with Thumbnails

  © Blogger template Simple n' Sweet by 2009

Back to TOP