For all that I love science fiction and science fiction magazines; my favourite magazine in the world is, by some considerable margin, The Word.Â It’s the only magazine that I subscribe to that I don’t read for professional reasons and one of the few that I read cover-to-cover every issue.
Just the month before last the indefatigable scribes at The WordÂ reviewed former Go-Betweens frontman Robert Forster’s book of essays, The Ten Rules of Rock and Roll and I was sufficiently interested that I picked up a copy at the greatest independent bookstore in Australia, Planet.Â The book was smart and witty and perceptive, so I decided to keep an eye out for more from Forster.Â
It turns out that he reviews for The Monthly, where Australian SF writer John Birmingham also appears fairly regularly.Â Being a 21st Century kind of magazine,Â The Monthly makes all of its content available online for free a month or so after the print issue has been and gone. While I’ve now started buying The Monthly, I was delighted to get a chance to read Forster’s review/essay, “From Mop Tops To Moustaches“,Â on the recently remastered Beatles catalogue.Â An excellent essay and the sort of thing I’d love to see done really well in the science fiction field.
Reading Forster’s book led me directly to former Hunters & Collectors singer Mark Seymour’s book, Thirteen Tonne Theory (also obtained from Planet) which was one of the best books about life in the rock business that I’ve come across. It’s strongly recommended, even if you’ve never heard of the band.Â Smart, funny, and he cut out all the dull bits. And, between these two books, I may just have had enough time off reading SF that I’m feeling like diving into some new work again, which would be terrific.