The Art of Reading: UK tour

I recently returned from the UK, where I did a quick tour for the The Art of Reading. ('Quick' being a loose word when intercontinental travel's concerned.) With thanks to support from the Australia Council for the Arts and Neilma Sidney Literary Travel Fund, I was able to perform at the Edinburgh International Book Festival, as well as some bookshops and libraries around England. My trip began as all trips to the far north begin: with far too much travel and transit. In this case, it was thirty-five hours from door to door, Hobart to London. The tube was...not pleasant. Coffee and cake at Bloomsbury's Syrup of Soot helped, but I still crashed. When I was lucid again, I visited the nearby Br

I love, I slay, and am content

What is best in life? To crush your deadlines. See them driven before you. And to hear the lamentations of the haters. I've a new essay in the latest edition of Island magazine (#154), on Conan the Barbarian. I explore the history and meaning of this savage modern hero, and speculate on why I'm so into him. I'm especially chuffed by this feature, as I commissioned Hobart artist Tania Walker to illustrate it for me. By Crom, her artwork slays. You can buy a copy Island magazine in bookshops, newsagents or online. Or just subscribe for literary goodness delivered right to your door. Want to read the beginning of the essay? Sure, here you go. In my first few weeks in Hobart, I took up swordfigh

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