Category Archives: Science fiction

Top 5 Christmas songs

I am ridiculously sentimental and have a real weakness for silly and romantic things. Christmas has always been a favourite time of the year, even though it only seems to become more stressful and complicated with time. One thing I really love is a good Christmas song, and so I thought that since this is my blog and these are days of self-indulgence, I would repeat my list of my Top 5 Christmas Songs, which is unchanged since I first posted it back in 2009.

Because I’m older many of these are a little melancholy, but they’re all ones I’ve come to love.

1. Fairy Tale of New York, The Pogues with Kirsty MacColl

This one’s the gold standard in indy Christmas songs. MacColl and McGowan are perfect, even if the story they tell is a sad one.

2. How to Make Gravy, Paul Kelly

Another sad Christmas song. A man calling from prison to make contact with his family. Probably my favourite Australian Christmas song ever.

3. White Wine in the Sun, Tim Minchin

Though this one is a close runner-up. The image of the family drinking white wine in the sun is one that resonates when you live in a place where Christmas Day itself is often blisteringly hot.

4. Happy Xmas (War is Over), John Lennon and Yoko Ono

One of the first great rock/pop Xmas songs, and a Lennon song I like better than “Imagine” these days.

5. Santa Claus is Comin’ to Town, Bruce Springsteen and the (mighty mighty) E Street Band

But most great Xmas songs aren’t sad. Every now and then you have to turn to the hard-rockin’ E Street Band to kick out the jams and party at year’s end.

Episode 620: A Very Coode Street Advent Bonus: M. Rickert

luckygirl.jpegThere’s Christmas and then there’s Krampus. Here at Coode Street, there’s nothing quite like a little bit more, and as a very special holiday bonus Gary sat down with the wonderful M. Rickert to talk about what she’d been reading, what she’d recommend, and her fabulous Krampus tale, Lucky Girl, one of our favourites and perfect for a cold, winter’s night.

As always, our thanks to Mary and hope you enjoy the episode.

Episode 618: The Coode Street Advent Calendar: Elizabeth Hand

hokuloa.jpgAnd so we come to the final episode of the 2022 Coode Street Advent Calendar. Gary sits down to chat with a dear friend of the podcast, Elizabeth Hand, about what she’s been reading, what she’d recommend, her holiday recommendations, her own classic Christmas story, “Chip Crockett’s Christmas Carol“, and her fabulous new novel Hokolua Road.

We’d like to thank Liz for making the time to chat with us, and we hope you enjoy the episode.

Books to look forward to in 2023

We are at the end of the year as I write this and I’m beginning to throw together a list of books coming out in 2023 that I’m interested in reading. This list will change and evolve over time, but this is a start at least.

  1. Blade of Dream, Daniel Abraham
  2. Conquest, Nina Allan
  3. The Jinn-Bot of Shantiport, Samit Basu
  4. The Saint of Bright Doors, Vajra Chandrasekera
  5. Furious Heaven, Kate Elliott
  6. The Landing, Mary Gentle
  7. Menewood, Nicola Griffith
  8. Starling House, Alix E. Harrow
  9. The Water Outlaws, S.L. Huang
  10. Thornhedge, T. Kingfisher
  11. The Deep Sky, Yume Kitasei
  12. Translation State, Ann Leckie
  13. White Cat, Black Dog, Kelly Link (collection)
  14. The Blue Beautiful World, Karen Lord
  15. Hopeland, Ian McDonald
  16. No One Will Come Back For Us and Other Stories, Premee Mohamed (collection)
  17. The Sinister Booksellers of Bath, Garth Nix
  18. Jackal, Jackal: Tales of the Dark and Fantastic, Tobi Ogundiran (collection)
  19. Under My Skin, K.J. Parker (collection)
  20. He Who Drowned the World, Shelley Parker-Chan
  21. Lost Places, Sarah Pinsker (collection)
  22. Machine Vendetta, Alastair Reynolds
  23. The Navigating Fox, Christopher Rowe
  24. Joanna Russ: Novels and Stories, Joanna Russ (collection)
  25. Him, Geoff Ryman
  26. New Suns 2, Nishi Shawl ed.
  27. Ghost Engine, Charles Stross
  28. Shigidi and the Brass Head of Obalufon, Wole Talabi
  29. Some Desperate Glory, Emily Tesh
  30. System Collapse, Martha Wells
  31. The Road to Roswell, Connie Willis
  32. The Wolfe at the Door, Gene Wolfe (collection)
  33. Jewel Box, E. Lily Yu (collection)

Six at Burswood – 6 December 2022

Karis Oka as Katharine Howard in Six

Some things make sense when you find out where they began. Six started life as a show at the Edinburgh Fringe in 2017, and that seems exactly right now that I’ve seen it. It’s short, punchy, fun, and has a fairly solid single concept it carries through. So, what is it?

Six is a 75-minute musical where the six wives of Henry VIII take a quick, rocky trip through their respective biographies before finding a moment of girl power at the end, where they (semi-successfully) attempt to recast their stories outside the context of their late husband

It’s light and entertaining and, if you want a quick snapshot of it – imagine the Spice Girls doing a short show on the above theme, and you have it just about exactly. Although there is a ‘book’ for Six, there’s no real story or non-sung dialogue, and the staging/costumes are pretty standard stuff for a modern rock show, though they are well done.

How was the performance we saw at the Crown last night? Entertaining. And some of the audience *adored* it. I think I might have enjoyed how much one young audience member was loving the show more than I enjoyed the show itself. That said, all of the performers were at least solid and several were excellent. The Anne Boleyn for the night was ok, but Katherine Howard (played by a ‘swing’ performer Karis Oka and not the regular cast member) was fantastic and provided the highlight of the evening.

Will you enjoy it if you go? Was it worth the $A85 per ticket? I think it was and if you want a loud, fun, feminist Spice Girls show that doesn’t outstay its welcome, then this is for you.