Make only honest film trailers: you might be sued for deception otherwise

An American judge has ruled producers of the Danny Boyle directed Yesterday deceived potential viewers of the movie. Two fans of Cuban and Spanish actor Ana de Armas had hired a copy of the 2019 rom-com, after a trailer they saw suggested de Armas had a prominent role in the stor … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Trailer for Triangle of Sadness, a film by Ruben Ostlund

Triangle of Sadness, trailer, the latest feature from Swedish filmmaker Ruben Őstlund, he of Force Majeure fame, looks like a lot of fun. Sort of. A group of rich and powerful people set sail on a yacht under the command of the captain (Woody Harrelson). It’s all plain sai … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Ten word creative summaries: a secret sentence, a North Star to write by

A journalist once told me he could summarise any article he was writing with a sentence of no more than ten words. These ten words, or less, outlined the purpose of the piece he was working on, whether it be five hundred words, or fifty thousand. If he found himself floundering, … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

The shortlists for the 2023 Oscar Awards have been announced

Ahead of nominations being announced on Tuesday 24 January 2023, the Academy of Motion Picture Arts and Sciences has unveiled the shortlists for the ninety-fifth Oscar Awards. While there’s the usual suspects, the various sequels, prequels, and remakes, Avatar: The Way of Water, … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

NSW Labor party to pay musicians $250 for live shows at publicly funded events

Should they form government at the state election in March 2023, the NSW state Labor party will mandate a minimum payment of A$250 for musicians performing at any event or show in NSW that has received public, or government, funding. The $250 flat fee will be a condition of a con … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

How adorbs, 500 new Scrabble words for your playing inspo

To see the pace at which the English language is evolving, though I’m not sure evolving would be everyone’s verb of choice — change, or even devolution, might better fit the bill — look no further than the latest batch of words that can now be used in popular word game Scrabble. … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Authors back up your manuscript every day, it’s not difficult

Image courtesy of malcevsasha. The story about British writer Ann Cleeves losing her laptop, and, in the process, potentially the manuscript of the novel she was currently writing, is enough to give anyone who’s ever written a book nightmares for weeks. Some people devote years t … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Should Elon Musk step down as Twitter head? VOTE NOW

Twitter boss Musk is conducting another of his famous polls. This time he is asking Twitter members whether he should step down as head of the social media service. He says he will accept a YES outcome, should that happen. We’ll see. Meantime, go ahead and vote, though I hate to … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Black hole stars, a weird cosmic entity and Soundgarden song

Black hole stars, sometimes called quasi-stars, were a hypothetical star that may have existed in the earliest days of the universe, up to about half a billion years after the Big Bang. They were larger — far larger — than any star known to be present in the universe today, and w … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Can an algorithm assess the quality of a novel manuscript?

It pays to follow Australian scientist and writer Dr Karl Kruszelnicki (aka Dr Karl) on Twitter (as long as Twitter continues to permit such behaviour), especially if you are writing a novel. The other day he posted a link to an article published in 2014, about a literary algorit … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Barbie by Greta Gerwig, a very 2001: A Space Odyssey trailer

What prompts you to see a movie? An interest in the story? Because you liked the book and are hoping against hope the film adaptation is going to be ok? Maybe you’re a fan of the director, or one of the lead actors? But what about the trailer? Would viewing a trailer — in isolati … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

The Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest for awful novel opening lines

Not a literary award at all, more of an anti-literary award really, the Bulwer-Lytton Fiction Contest (BLFC), which has been running since its inception at San Jose State University in 1982. But unlike the literary awards we are more familiar with, the Bulwer-Lytton recognises te … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Seeing G, when John Berger donated half his Booker Prize money to the British Black Panthers

Seeing G, a short documentary produced by the Booker Prize organisation, and British writer Jo Hamya, explores a fascinating chapter in literary award history. In 1972, British author and poet John Berger, was named the Booker winner for his novel G, also written in 1972. During … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards 2023 shortlist announced

What do I like best about literary awards? They send a whole heap of reading recommendations in my direction. Yesterday the shortlists for the 2023 Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards were announced, and as a fan of fiction I’m looking forward to adding some more novels to my to- … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Red Heaven by Nicolas Rothwell wins Prime Minister’s Literary Award for fiction

Far North Queensland writer Nicolas Rothwell has been named winner of the 2022 Australian Prime Minister’s Literary Award in the fiction category, with his 2021 novel, Red Heaven. Published by Text Publishing, Red Heaven recounts the childhood of a boy growing up in Europe in the … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Will 4000 character tweets be the end of Twitter as a micro-blogging platform?

In Twitter’s early days, the original one-hundred-and-forty character limit per tweet was a test of a micro-blogger’s ability to be succinct yet informative. It may have been harsh, but the more you thought about the seemingly restrictive limit, the easier it became to craft comp … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

British authors worse off than lowly paid Australian authors

Australian authors are not alone when it comes to struggling to make a living from their writing. English-French author Joanne Harris, also chair of the management committee of the British Society of Authors, writing for The Guardian, says British authors have seen their earnings … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Could flight of the bird propulsion power deep space travel

It may be possible to construct deep space vessels capable of (eventually) reaching speeds equal to two percent of the speed of light: Scientists have proposed a dazzling new mission to travel to the stars that is inspired by the elegant flights of seabirds, such as albatrosses, … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Dani Vee, Felix Shannon, Jason Steger talk their books of 2022

Dani Vee, literary podcaster and author, Felix Shannon, radio book show co-host, and Jason Steger, literary editor at The Age and Sydney Morning Herald, talk about their favourite books of 2022, with Kate Evans, and Cassie McCullagh, hosts of ABC radio show The Bookshelf. | Continue reading | 1 year ago

The Lost King, a film about finding Richard III, by Stephen Frears

The Lost King, trailer, tells the story — in its own way — of British writer Philippa Langley, and her relentless work to find the body of English King, Richard III, who died at the Battle of Bosworth Field, in the English county of Leicestershire, in 1485. There’s some serious B … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

How to Replace the Sky an interactive comic by Matt Huynh

How to Replace the Sky: New York based Australian artist and illustrator Matt Huynh explores his relationship between technology and his work. I probably won’t stop using new devices to make and share my work any time soon. My habits and instincts have been shaped too much by wha … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Gabrielle Zevin wins Goodreads Choice best fiction award

Los Angeles based American author Gabrielle Zevin has won the Best Fiction award in the 2022 Goodreads Choice Awards, with her latest novel Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, and Tomorrow, which was published by Penguin Random House earlier this year: On a bitter-cold day, in the December o … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Acting is not a glamorous career says Russell Crowe

New Zealand born Australian actor Russell Crowe, also president of the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts, speaking at the AACTA Awards this evening: “The perception of glamour is merely a marketing tool that we take advantage of when it suits us. The reality of a c … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Elvis directed by Baz Luhrmann wins eleven AACTA Awards

Australian filmmaker Baz Luhrmann has cleaned up at the Australian Academy of Cinema and Television Arts (AACTA) Awards, held at Sydney’s Hordern Pavilion tonight, with his latest feature Elvis. Among the eleven ACCTA Awards haul for the Elvis Presley biopic, were best director, … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Half of Australian mid career artists considering career change

A recent survey of the Australian arts sector (PDF) reveals that slightly over half of mid-career artists are either considering leaving the arts, or are already retraining, so they can take up work in another sector all together. Low rates of remuneration appear to be prompting … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Australian government to review copyright enforcement laws

Mark Dreyfus, the Australian attorney-general, says he will conduct a review of Australian copyright laws to ensure the income of artists is maintained, and copyright protections align with changes in technology that now allow the work of artists to be accessed across multiple pl … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Never revisit your past that includes NaNoWriMo manuscripts

British journalist and writer Tim Jonze on participating in NaNoWriMo 2021, meeting the fifty-thousand word target in the requisite thirty days of November, and then… reading the work — for the first time — a year later: Well, it’s been a year since NaNoWriMo. Could this book rea … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Vale Australian poet Antigone Kefala

Antigone Kefala, an Australian poet of Greek-Romanian heritage, died on Sunday 4 December 2022, aged 92. Kefala was only two weeks ago named winner of 2022 Patrick White literary award. | Continue reading | 1 year ago

A return to blogging RSS and blogrolls for content discovery

While I’m not one hundred percent sure we’re entering the end-days of social media, some recent talk of a resurgence in blogging, and a return to using RSS for content discovery, is encouraging. It’s kind of the web I know the best. But like anyone else, I can be found on the soc … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Literary authors are among the lowest paid Australian writers

The recently released results of a survey of Australian authors and writers make for sobering reading. If you’re considering a writing career, you ought to sit down before reading on. With rare exceptions, most Australian authors need at least one other job to make their writing … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Storywizard an AI for creating instant kids bedtime stories

Somewhat related to my last post… Storywizard is a generative AI story creation app, that composes bedtime stories for children, complete with images, in real time. We all have vivid imaginations and great ideas, but it’s not easy to express them and put them into writing. We bui … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Could AI technologies be the end of writers and bloggers?

For a long time it was believed the inevitable rise of automation technologies would bring about the end of repetitive and labour intensive jobs. Warehouse workers, drivers, and filing clerks would need to re-skill if they weren’t to be left unemployed. But as digital and AI tech … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Alcyoneus a sixteen million light year long radio galaxy

Image courtesy of A Owen. Alcyoneus, a galaxy located some three and a half billion light years from Earth, at over sixteen million light years in length, is — without putting too finer a point on it — staggeringly huge. Our home galaxy, the Milky Way, at a mere one hundred thous … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

The Booker Prize World Cup 2022

If football/soccer isn’t your thing, but you love the thrill of elimination contests involving novels, you could always take a look at the Booker Prize World Cup: We’ve selected, entirely arbitrarily, 16 winning books from the Booker Prize’s 53-year history, with each author repr … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Viva Magenta 18-1750 is the Pantone colour of the year 2023

When I used to work in the web design shop, the announcement of the Pantone Colour of the Year was always highly anticipated. Mainly because everyone hoped their personal favourite colour would be chosen. It never happened to me, but I wasn’t fazed, there’s seldom a COTY I don’t … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

For a hard boiled brew try deep fried coffee beans

Instead of roasting some coffee beans, the more usual process for preparing beans for brewing, British coffee connoisseur James Hoffmann decided to deep fry a batch. Like Hoffmann, I was unsure why anyone would actually, or ever want to, deep dry coffee beans, but his experiment … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Gaslighting named Merriam-Webster dictionary word of 2022

Hopefully by making gaslighting their word of the year of 2022, online dictionary Merriam-Webster increases awareness of the the insidious practice: Psychological manipulation of a person usually over an extended period of time that causes the victim to question the validity of t … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Sydney Modern builders become artworks by Richard Lewer

The stunning new Sydney Modern Project, at the Art Gallery of New South Wales, opened to the public for the first time today. Replete with glass, metal, light tones, and large open, naturally lit spaces, on the upper levels at least, Sydney Modern was designed by Tokyo based Japa … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Spotify Wrapped 2022 into the genre-verse and Aussietronica

Spotify Wrapped for 2022 has dropped, and once again the music streaming service is bamboozling listeners with custom genre definitions and statistics that apparently place some listeners into what appear to be elite music listening categories. And it also looks like we have list … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Sydney act 1300 wins Triple J/RAGE music video of 2022

And before another Ausmusic month, and November for that matter, falls behind us… Western Sydney based Korean rap act 1300 have won the music video of the year award for 2022, with their clip Oldboy in the 2022 J Awards. The video was directed by long-time collaborator Raghav Ram … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Trailer for Moja Vesna the debut feature of Sara Kern

Moja Vesna is the slow-burning, deeply affecting, debut feature of Melbourne based Slovenian-Australian filmmaker Sara Kern, which premiered at the 2022 Melbourne International Film Festival. The trailer is certainly gripping. In Melbourne’s outer suburbs, reticent Moja, her well … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Antigone Kefala wins 2022 Patrick White literary award

Antigone Kefala, an Australian poet of Greek-Romanian heritage, has been named winner of the 2022 Patrick White Award. In 1973 Patrick White became the first Australian author to win the Nobel Prize in Literature, and he used the prize money to create an award for Australian writ … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Gravidity and Parity by Eleanor Jackson wins 2022 SPN book of year

Gravidity and Parity, written by Eleanor Jackson, and published by Vagabond Press, has been named winner of the Small Press Network (SPN) Book of the Year award. Gravidity and Parity is a poignant and intricate collection of poetry that guides the reader into the journey of mothe … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

The Sun will not go supernova but it may still drive us away

In five billion years, hopefully long after a, hopefully, still extant humanity have departed the solar system for a new home somewhere among the stars, the Sun will become a red giant star. In this late phase of its life, the Sun will expand in size to engulf all the solar syste … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

You Don’t Know What War Is a book by Yeva Skalietska

Nine months have passed since Russia commenced its illegal invasion of Ukraine. Despite the brutality of the aggressors, Ukrainian defenders have steadfastly resisted Russian attempts to deprive them of their sovereignty. And while many of us empathise with the struggle of the Uk … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Twitter 2.0 is not a start-up much as Elon Musk likes to believe it

Tegan Jones, writing at Crikey, on Twitter owner Elon Musk’s… vision of the social media service being some sort of start-up, as of the minute he assumed control. Twitter was established in 2006, so we might be a little passed the development phase of the operation by now, no? So … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Vance Joy, Baker Boy, Archie Roach win at 2022 ARIAs

Melbourne based Australian indie pop musician Vance Joy has won the Best Video award for his 2022 single Every Side of You, which was directed by William Bleakley, at Australian music’s night of nights, the ARIAs. Meanwhile fellow Melbourne music act Baker Boy also known as Danza … | Continue reading | 1 year ago

Tropical cyclones may return to Sydney coastal region

For about thirty years, until the mid-seventies, tropical cyclones were relatively regular weather events in the Sydney region, but now meteorologists are concerned they may return. But climate change is not behind their possible re-emergence, rather changes in the Interdecadal P … | Continue reading | 1 year ago